Monday, May 01, 2017

Book Review: 'Star Wars: Thrawn' by Timothy Zahn

Superb! A great addition to the new Star Wars canon expanded universe, and great to see Thrawn back, written once again by Timothy Zahn!

The book charts the course of Thrawn's rise through the ranks of the Empire over a few years, from his first encounter with the Empire, all the way to him becoming Grand Admiral, shortly before his debut during season 3 of 'Star Wars Rebels'.

As such, when I read through the book, I had the voice of Thrawn from the show (voiced by Lars Mikkelsen) in my head. The calm, calculating voice from the TV show very much fits the personality and character of Thrawn in this book.

But the book doesn't just focus on Thrawn. It also follows Ensign Eli Vanto, initially frustrated at being stuck as Thrawn's aide, but eventually comes to terms with his partnership with the Chiss, and the emergence of Arihnda Pryce (Pryce was also introduced recently in Star Wars Rebels) who is ambitious and knows how to work the political system, whereas for all his tactical and strategic abilities, Thrawn does not.

After Thrawn is promoted into the Imperial Navy, no mean feat considering the anti-alien racism of the Empire, but having friends in very high places helps, the story takes on the feel of a Sherlock Holmes story with the appearance of an antagonist called Nightswan. The pairing of Thrawn and Vanto are like a Holmes and Watson, with Nightswan like a Moriarty character, leaving clues for Thrawn to find.

And being part of the new Star Wars canon, a few hints are dropped here and there from events in the past during the Clone Wars as well as what could potentially happen in the future about a possible threat about what lies beyond in the 'Unknown Regions' as well as other things that could be hinted at more in another stories or even comics (hopefully).

If you loved the character from the SW Legends books then you'll love his official return into the new Star Wars Canon Expanded Universe.