Timothy Zahn’s final installment of the intriguing Thrawn trilogy released today. Titled Thrawn: Treason, it completes the story of the intelligent Chiss tactician working his way up the ranks of the Empire’s military. The character of Thrawn was made particularly famous in the acclaimed Star Wars: Rebels television series. Author Zahn stated:
“I don’t want stupid villains or stupid heroes. That’s boring. I want both sides to be smart within their own parameters, within the range of what they know, and so it’s a matter of both sides are clever. I usually go in knowing which side is going to win and I work it that direction.”
Thrawn often finds himself with additional struggles due to racism against the Chiss inside the Empire. He goes toe-to-toe with Director Krennic and Grand Moff Tarkin. It’s a tale of political intrigue and manipulation set during the events of the final season of Rebels. At that time, Thrawn’s personal TIE Defender program is halted so the Empire can focus on Krennic’s Death Star project. Zahn elaborated:
It’s an echo of the Third Reich because Hitler deliberately set his top people fighting among themselves so they wouldn’t gang up on him. You can see Palpatine doing very much the same thing . . . A lot of it is kind of beyond Thrawn’s perception. He just doesn’t understand politics the way he does military, so those [scenes] are always fun to do, just watching Tarkin playing against Krennic.
As Thrawn focuses on his military career, his aspirations are interrupted when his former protege and assistant Eli Vanto tells him of trouble on his homeworld, forcing Thrawn to choose between the Chiss Ascendency and the Empire.
The character of Thrawn was originally introduced in Zahn’s Star Wars Legends series, the Heir to the Empire trilogy in 1991. Zahn said:
“The danger with a character that’s been going that long is that the well runs dry. You’re repeating yourself. And the wonderful thing about this latest trilogy is that because it is set in an entirely different era than I’ve ever written in before, I have a whole cast of new characters. I’ve got an entirely different political/military situation, so it’s not the same. It’s the same Thrawn, but he has to deal with entirely different things.”
Ashley is the author of the Thread of Souls book series, an avid traveler, and a Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast!