Synopsis for Timothy Zahn’s Upcoming Novel “Thrawn” Revealed!

Penguin Random House has released a synopsis for Timothy Zahn’s upcoming novel Thrawn.

First introduced in Zahn’s book Heir to the Empire, Grand Admiral Thrawn captured the imagination of Star War fans everywhere. Recently reintroduced into the Star Wars canon in Star Wars Rebels, Thrawn gets a new story about his meteoric rise to power by the original author.



From Penguin Random House:

Grand Admiral Thrawn has earned an iconic status among Star Wars’ greatest villains. But Thrawn’s origins and the story of his rise in the Imperial ranks have remained mysterious. Now, in Star Wars: Thrawn, Timothy Zahn chronicles the fateful events that launched the blue-skinned, red-eyed master of military strategy and lethal warfare into the highest realms of power—and infamy.

After Thrawn is rescued from exile by Imperial soldiers, his deadly ingenuity and keen tactical abilities swiftly capture the attention of Emperor Palpatine. And just as quickly, Thrawn proves to be as indispensable to the Empire as he is ambitious; as devoted as its most loyal servant, Darth Vader; and a brilliant warrior never to be underestimated. On missions to rout smugglers, snare spies, and defeat pirates, he triumphs time and again—even as his renegade methods infuriate superiors while inspiring ever greater admiration from the Empire. As one promotion follows another in his rapid ascension to greater power, he schools his trusted aide, Ensign Eli Vanto, in the arts of combat and leadership, and the secrets of claiming victory. But even though Thrawn dominates the battlefield, he has much to learn in the arena of politics where ruthless administrator Arihnda Pryce holds the power to be a potent ally or a brutal enemy.

All these lessons will be put to the ultimate test when Thrawn rises to admiral—and must pit all the knowledge, instincts, and battle forces at his command against an insurgent uprising that threatens not only innocent lives but also the Empire’s grip on the galaxy—and his own carefully laid plans for future ascendancy.



It seems that, among other exciting things, we will learn how the collaboration between Thrawn and Governor Pryce began in the first place.


Trawn will be released on April 11th, 2017 in hardcover, eBook and audio book formats.



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Staff member, comic and book reviewer. Cheers for the Light Side, but would drink with Grand Admirals.

Jelena Bidin (LadyMusashi)

Staff member, comic and book reviewer. Cheers for the Light Side, but would drink with Grand Admirals.

31 thoughts on “Synopsis for Timothy Zahn’s Upcoming Novel “Thrawn” Revealed!

  • January 21, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Sweet! Eager to see what Zahn has done with Thrawn this time around.

  • January 21, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    First I have to read the original trilogy. Dang I have a lot of books to read…

    • January 21, 2017 at 6:38 pm

      I am doing it the other way around: first the canon (this one) than the legends (the trilogy). 🙂

      • January 22, 2017 at 3:36 pm

        I find audios a great way to catch up on stuff like this – stick ’em on my phone & listen in bits throughout the day @ home & the train to work…

  • January 21, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Im glad we are getting more on Govenor Pryce. Beside Tarkin and Thrawn, she seems to be one of the few effective Imperials in the series.

  • January 21, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Sounds great! This is one of my most anticipated novels of new canon since the legends trilogy and duology are some of my favorite legends books! The only thing that I don’t like about this summary is the bit about him taking this “Eli” character under his wing which seems to me to imply that this book probably won’t be bringing Pelleon back into canon as I hoped it might. If thrawn is Sherlock Holmes he needs his Watson!

  • January 21, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    I haven’t read the Thrawn trilogy, but if it is Legends now, how will they handle the “future” of this character? I understand the pre-prequel Thrawn books on some points contradict the story Lucas would eventually tell, as far as the backstory goes. Would it be possible to go over the Thrawn trilogy, revise and rewrite whatever needs to be revised to bring these books into accord with the movies as we have them now, and still tell ESSENTIALLY the same story? If so, a revised or “definite” Thrawn trilogy could be released and be counted as fully canon. The “Legends” version would thereafter be regarded as a slightly garbled version of the “true” version, or as an alternate-universe version.

    • January 21, 2017 at 9:14 pm

      I think Zahn could write new book(s) but the trilogy not just contradicts the prequels (this part could be re-written), but the entire new canon history of New Republic. Han and Luke were never part of New Republic (Han became space Formula 1 manager, Luke secluded Jedi), after Battle of Jakku, galaxy had almost 30 years of peace and no major conflicts as the one with Thrawn. So, I don’t know how Thrawn could fit this history and Zahn’s books remain essentially the same.

      • January 22, 2017 at 2:40 am

        which would probably mean that thrawn can’t make it out of rebels alive, right? he’s not in the OT and there is nothing for him to do afterwards.

        • January 22, 2017 at 2:50 am

          I suspect Thrawn could be two season Rebels villain (this and the next) and then killed by someone from his circle (not by Rebels) like in the books or he could be sent by the Emperor to Unknown Regions or somewhere else and they could leave his destiny open. I really don’t know, as they stand the books don’t fit the new canon. But, he is such a beloved character to many fans. Maybe giving Zahn the opportunity to deal with his exit is the best option.

          • January 22, 2017 at 3:10 am

            yeah i hope he gets one more season no matter what his fate ultimately is.

        • January 22, 2017 at 2:59 am

          Well in legends he was sent to the unknown regions, so maybe this could be true in canon as well, and Thrawn could be sent away at the end of Season 3 or 4. then he could reappear in a novel set between Episodes VI and VII.

          • January 22, 2017 at 3:08 am

            that was my original thinking but new landscape post jedi just doesn’t seem to fit him anymore. unless they wanted to take him in some new direction(which could be interesting).

    • January 21, 2017 at 9:33 pm

      I don’t think it will happen

    • January 22, 2017 at 3:40 pm

      Too much contradictory stuff & it takes place 5-6 years after ROTJ….Insane clone Jedi Masters, dead Emperor, a huge fleet of warships that vanished (The Dark Force) – it’d be an awful lot to shoe-horn in

    • January 23, 2017 at 4:03 am

      As someone who is regularly pretty harsh on the EU, I’m going to absolutely advocate that you read the Thrawn Trilogy. Yep, it’s Legends, but it’s fantastic. The EU was never canon anyways so nothing’s really lost there. But really, Zahn does a great job with those books. You won’t be disappointed.

  • January 21, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    Pryce is Mandalorian, right?

    • January 21, 2017 at 11:32 pm


      • January 22, 2017 at 2:18 am

        yeah wookipedia says its Lothal, but then there was a recent Rebels episode where Sabine fought an imperial officer that was also Mandalorian, didn’t she? who was it then?

        • January 22, 2017 at 2:35 am

          i don’t remember if they did, maybe it will be revealed when she goes home.

  • January 22, 2017 at 3:13 am

    Morrrrrrreeee we want moreeeee

  • January 22, 2017 at 3:15 am

    This sounds amazing! I won’t lie; I LOVE Grand Admiral Thrawn. He’s easily one of my favorite characters in the SWs mythos. What Zahn managed to do with him for the Thrawn Trilogy was simply perfect. I doubt many would disagree in that he would have been an awesome antagonist for the ST.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but in Legends we never really got a full backstory to Thrawn. The Outbound flight stuff, and those books Zahn did in between the OT, but nothing concrete.

    And as such I’m looking forward to this. Backstories, I argue are a vital part of storytelling because they do two things. One, reveal what a character was like before the start of the tale and two; showcase HOW they became who they were. And Thrawn, I’m really curious to learn how he became who he was.

    And knowing Zahn’s stuff, he’ll most likely deliver. 🙂

  • January 22, 2017 at 4:56 am

    Looking forward to seeing more lore unfold when the Thrawn book reaches bookstores in April. ^_^

  • January 22, 2017 at 8:06 am

    This is the way to do it. Shame that other greats like Allston and Crispin are dead so they can’t reintroduce their own characters into the new canon.

  • January 23, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    This appears to be more of an origin story. I’m really interested to see how Thrawn is used because I think that Lucasfilm will be reluctant to kill him off before the end of Return of the Jedi. The EU fans are going to be upset if he dies.

    • January 24, 2017 at 6:35 pm

      The EU fans have been upset for years. They will get over it.

  • January 23, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    I haven’t read any of the books of the new continuity, but I may just have to pick up this one. I loved the Thrawn Trilogy, and I enjoyed it just as much as when I first saw the OT as a child. The grand admiral remains my favourite of all the Star Wars villains. In my opinion, the character deserves to feature in the cinematic universe as well.

    I hope that this will be first of more re-canonisation of characters from the legends series. Mara Jade needs to brought back too. She’s too a good a character to throw away.

    • January 24, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      None? Many, you really are depriving yourself of some great stories.

      • January 24, 2017 at 4:28 pm

        Thanks, Jeff. I would like to get started with the new continuity particularly any stories that bridge the 30 year gap between ROTJ and TFA. But I have got a long reading list at the moment! Do you have any recommendations of where to start?

        • January 24, 2017 at 4:37 pm

          Well, if you want to start in that era, you’re going to be a bit limited, since the ST is pretty much preventing a lot of stuff from being touched. Honestly, I would start with Luceno’s books (Tarkin & Catalyst) or Claudia Grays books (Lost Stars & Bloodline).

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