Turn Back the Clock
The Thrawn Trilogy:
The Trilogy Every Star Wars Fan Wishes George Lucas Would Make
Author: Timothy Zahn
Published By: The Ballentine Publishing Company
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
So, now that George Lucas has begun to work on the live action Star Wars television series, talk has resurfaced about whether or not Lucas will do another trilogy. Of course, people who are not Star Wars fanatics are probably wondering: What other Star Wars trilogy could Lucas do? Well, welcome to Star Wars: The Expanded Universe!
After Star Wars: A New Hope, fans wanted more about the characters in the movie, what the Clone Wars were, how Han Solo became a smuggler, the man behind Darth Vader’s mask, and more. Not knowing whether Star Wars was going to be successful enough to spark a sequel, George Lucas gave Alan Dean Foster permission to write a novel using Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa and Darth Vader. The book was called Splinter of the Mind’s Eye. Then, as the fan force grew, Lucas gave Brian Daley permission to write some adventures for Han Solo and Chewbacca that take place before the infamous meeting in Mos Eisley. There were three in all: Han Solo at Star’s End, Han Solo and the Lost Legacy, and Han Solo’s Revenge. Fans, myself included, gobbled them up. However, except for the novelizations of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, fans had to be content with comic books and role playing games if they wanted to follow the further adventures of the Star Wars Universe.
That all ended in 1991, fourteen years after Star Wars first aired in theaters. Finally, Lucasfilm Ltd. had given authorization for the story to be continued. This continuation began with a three part series and has now grown in numbers that I can’t even begin to imagine. To give you an idea of how large the novel collection is, consider this: I have over 70 Star Wars books and that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. When you consider how many Star Wars novels are out there, it’s hard for a newcomer to know where to begin. I always say, start with the one trilogy that every Star Wars fanatic wishes George Lucas would adapt to film: The Thrawn Trilogy, written by Timothy Zahn.
The very first novel to hit the bookstores in 1991 was part one of this trilogy, Heir to the Empire, taking place 5 years after Return of the Jedi. The Death Star has been destroyed and the Emperor has been killed. The Rebel Alliance has successfully driven back all Imperial Starfleet remnants. The Imperials now control barely a quarter of the territory they originally claimed. A new government has risen, with Mon Mothma at the helm. Leia Organa and Han Solo are now husband and wife. Han has been asked to use his connections to set up an alliance with those in the smuggler’s trade in an attempt to further interstellar trade. In addition with assisting Mon Mothma in getting the new government set up, Han and Leia are faced with a new challenge: parenthood. Leia is expecting twins. Luke Skywalker is coming to grips with the fact that, now that Ben and Yoda are gone, the training of his sister and her children will fall on his shoulders. As if these challenges aren’t enough, a new leader has risen in the Imperial Forces – one that threatens to destroy all that the Rebellion helped to build. His name is Admiral Thrawn and he is bent on the destruction of this “New Republic”.
As the trilogy continues in the novels Dark Force Rising and Last Command, we learn that Luke is not the last of the Jedi. There are others who can wield the force. One of these force-wielders, C’boath, offers his aide to Thrawn on one condition – C’boath wants Leia’s unborn children. Another of these force-wielders is obsessed with carrying out the Emperor’s last command to kill Luke Skywalker. And to top all of this off, we discover that not all of the cloning facilities were destroyed after the clone wars. One still exists and Thrawn has found it. How will our heroes cope with all these new challenges? You have to read the books to find out.
The Thrawn Trilogy is packed with action and adventure. Timothy Zahn truly captures the spirit of Star Wars in this trilogy. Expanded universe fans everywhere agree that Timothy Zahn is THE best of the Star Wars authors. The books are riveting and have something for every type of Star Wars fan. You want dogfights? You got ‘em! Jedi? Got ‘em! Want to know where Lando and your other favorites from the Star Wars trilogy end up? Got that, too! And the locations – we get to travel to Myrkyr, Coruscant, Tattooine, Wayland, Kashyyyk – more planets than I can even mention here. These novels are just incredible! I can’t say enough about them! Once you start reading them, you can’t put them down and once you finish, you can’t wait to get to the next one. The trilogy was so well done, that it sparked a movement to get George Lucas to film the continued adventures of Luke, Han, and Leia. (He still refuses, but a Star Wars fanatic can always hope!) If you want to read the further adventures of your favorite Star Wars characters, The Thrawn Trilogy is definitely the place to start!
For more Star Wars books by Timothy Zahn, check out: