A Few Thoughts On Thrawn From Author Timothy Zahn
It’s a great week for Star Wars bookworms! Timothy Zahn’s final novel in this second Thrawn trilogy – Thrawn: Treason – is finally in the hands of readers. Zahn sat down with Kristin Baver of StarWars.com to talk a little bit about the political intrigue of Treason and his thoughts on writing everyone’s favorite Chiss.
From the sound of it, Orson Krennic will serve as Thrawn’s primary antagonist – though a character like Thrawn tends to view people like Krennic more as opponents or obstacles, and I doubt the the doomed Imperial Director knows who exactly he’s dealing with. Though Darth Sidious is featured on the cover, it sounds like he’ll play his usual role of pulling the strings while unwitting pawns proceed with his plans.
“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,” Zahn says. “You can see Palpatine doing very much the same thing, letting Tarkin and Krennic fight back and forth, lest they decide to unite. It’s got a historical basis to it.”
Krennic certainly has his menacing moments in Rogue One, but he’d be one of the last people I’d put up against Grand Admiral Thrawn. It’s an interesting choice by Zahn. We know from the James Luceno novel Catalyst (which served as a prequel to Rogue One) Krennic is deep in the construction of the first Death Star at this point. Thrawn is only serving the Empire at this point in the capacity of reconnaissance for the Chiss Ascendancy and because the Empire is who he’s deemed the ‘winner’ in this part of the galaxy. It’s been hinted that might change once he learns of the Death Star, as the Empire could pose an existential threat to his own people in the Unknown Regions.
Eli Vanto (left) is also back, apparently to warn Thrawn of an imminent threat facing the Chiss. You’ll remember Vanto from the first novel in this trilogy, Thrawn, but he was completely absent for the sequel, so fans will no doubt be happy to hear from again. Vanto is the closest thing Thrawn has to a friend in the Empire, so he entrusted the young officer to act as his emissary to the Chiss Ascendency in the Unknown Regions. This will be a great chance to get a glimpse of this part of the galaxy we hear a lot about but know very little of.
Though Thrawn: Treason concludes Zahn’s trilogy I think it’s safe to speculate this is not the last we’ll see of the grand admiral. Somewhere in the Unknown Regions, Thrawn and Ezra Bridger just arrived – and there’s no doubt fans would happily line up to hear that story. Timothy Zahn helped launch a new renaissance of Star Wars storytelling in 1991 with Heir to the Empire, so we voracious Star Wars readers certainly owe him a debt of gratitude. Let’s hope this second Thrawn trilogy is not his last. The characters of George Lucas have three trilogies, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable to hope Zahn gets his three as well.
Timothy Zahn, speaking to Kristin Baver of StarWars.com:
“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.”
Make sure to head over to StarWars.com for the full article! Thrawn: Treason is available at your local bookstores and online retailers.