5 Timothy Zahn Thoughts About Star Wars: Thrawn


Cover detail from Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn.

Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn is in bookstores now.

It is a return to a fan-favorite Star Wars character that Zahn created almost three decades ago in the novel Heir to the Empire, the infamous Grand Admiral Thrawn. His origins and the story of his rise in the Imperial ranks were always a mystery in the novels. But now, in Star Wars: Thrawn, 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.

This makes Star Wars: Thrawn a must for Star Wars fans. Because Zahn wrote the book to still align with Heir to the Empire and its sequels — books that are no longer canon due to the Disney realignment of the universe — but is also canon to match up with the Thrawn we are seeing in “Rebels.”

Zahn stopped by the University Book Store in Seattle, WA last week to sign copies of Star Wars: Thrawn and take questions from the audience. I decided to write down five of the best thoughts he had to share.

Here you go!

1. “I’ve got two sequels in mind. I’ve pitched them to Del Rey. Del Rey is interested but, at the moment, everything is working its way through the story group and the “Rebels” team to make sure it’s not stepping on something else they are doing.”

2. “This book is canon.”

3. “In Thrawn, this is the same Thrawn but he’s in a very different era. He is not in charge of anything starting out; he’s having to balance politics and the military of the Empire at its height.”

4. “I did not do anything on “Rebels.” . . . by the time they were able to tell me — because animated series have so much lead time — most of season three was well into production by that time.”

5. “I presume the “Rebels” team feels the same way — until they get the audience reaction, they’re not going to know if they’ve gotten it right. From what I’ve seen of Thrawn in that series and different storyarcs as well, I think they’ve done a wonderful job. And I’m very interested with what they do. I’m honored that Thrawn has been a part of it.”

There you have it. Some of the more relevant things that bestselling author Timothy Zahn had to say about Star Wars and Thrawn (I won’t post about Zahn wanting to use a clone of Obi-Wan as a villain alongside Thrawn that got cut back in the day). Ha.You can watch the entire event from University Book Store in the video above.

But my favorite was this one. When asked if Heir to the Empire and its sequels were ever considered for movie adaptation, Zahn had a great answer: “Lucas’s pattern has always been to skip a generation, jump generations. Young Anakin or Anakin. Anakin’s son. And presumably we’ll get, I don’t know, Anakin’s granddaughter or whatever, whomever. It’s just a guess.” He pauses, realizing what he’s just said. “I don’t know anything. Seriously, I don’t know anything at all.”

We believe you, Tim. But that last one made the audience laugh because it was clear that he doesn’t know, made a guess, realized that guess could spread through the internet(s) like wildfire, and became super uncomfortable for it.

No worries. We hope we have the actual answer in “The Last Jedi.”

May the Force be with you…