One of the most popular Star Wars expanded universe characters returns in Timothy Zahn’s new novel Thrawn: Alliances. Grand Admiral Thrawn is an immigrant from the older non-canon novels that Lucasfilm rebranded as Star Wars Legends after Disney purchased the franchise. He made his first reappearance in the television series Star Wars Rebels and has proven to be one of the more enduring villains featured in media outside of the film series.
An intellectual schemer and strategist, Grand Admiral Thrawn most famously used art theory to devise successful strategies for subjugating hostile planets. He is a contrast not only in method but also competence to other Imperial commanders.
This outing for the Grand Admiral features him teaming up with none other than Darth Vader. The two butt heads on a mission given to them by the Emperor himself. The narrative switches back and forth between the Imperial era and the Clone Wars, where Thrawn had a similar mission with Anakin Skywalker, before the Jedi donned the black armor and mask in his fall from grace.
The novel also serves as a sort of tie-in for Disney’s latest Star Wars theme park experience, sharing the setting on the planet of Batuu, a trading post and world of adventure.
As a fan of his original debut in the Heir to the Empire trilogy, it is fun to see Thrawn return to the new continuity. I haven’t gotten around to reading these new books or watching the television shows, but the reviews are all positive and if it features a villain as riveting as Thrawn, you can’t go wrong.
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