Star Wars: Thrawn will explore legendary Grand Admiral’s origins, Imperial ascent

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Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy ZahnPenguin Random House has released a synopsis for Star Wars: Thrawn, the new novel by Timothy Zahn that will be available April 11.

The 448-page hardcover book, which you can pre-order now, will be the first appearance in the new print canon by the blue-skinned, red-eyed tactical genius who was a star villain of the old “Expanded Universe” (now “Legends”) before Disney bought Lucasfilm and cleared the slate.

Zahn’s trilogy of Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command introduced the character of Grand Admiral Thrawn and effectively launched that vast collection of tie-in novels, comics and games that ultimately became so unwieldy as to need rebooting. All Star Wars related media since the reboot — including Thrawn — are considered to be canonical within the same universe as Lucasfilm’s Star Wars movies and television shows.

Now, after consulting on the character’s appearance in television’s Star Wars Rebels, Zahn returns to the fold with a novel that tells the story of Thrawn’s origins and rise through the ranks of the Empire’s military complex.

Read on for the official teaser blurb for Star Wars: Thrawn.

“I study the art of war. Work to perfect it.”
—Grand Admiral Thrawn

One of the most cunning and ruthless warriors in the history of the Galactic Empire, Grand Admiral Thrawn is also one of the most captivating characters in the Star Wars universe. From his introduction in bestselling author Timothy Zahn’s classic Heir to the Empire, through his continuing adventures in Dark Force Rising, The Last Command, and beyond, Grand Admiral Thrawn has earned an iconic status among Star Wars’ greatest villains. But Thrawn’s origins and the story of his rise in the Imperial ranks have remained mysterious. Now, in Star Wars: Thrawn, Timothy 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—and infamy.

After Thrawn is rescued from exile by Imperial soldiers, his deadly ingenuity and keen tactical abilities swiftly capture the attention of Emperor Palpatine. And just as quickly, Thrawn proves to be as indispensable to the Empire as he is ambitious; as devoted as its most loyal servant, Darth Vader; and a brilliant warrior never to be underestimated. On missions to rout smugglers, snare spies, and defeat pirates, he triumphs time and again—even as his renegade methods infuriate superiors while inspiring ever greater admiration from the Empire. As one promotion follows another in his rapid ascension to greater power, he schools his trusted aide, Ensign Eli Vanto, in the arts of combat and leadership, and the secrets of claiming victory. But even though Thrawn dominates the battlefield, he has much to learn in the arena of politics where ruthless administrator Arihnda Pryce holds the power to be a potent ally or a brutal enemy.

All these lessons will be put to the ultimate test when Thrawn rises to admiral—and must pit all the knowledge, instincts, and battle forces at his command against an insurgent uprising that threatens not only innocent lives but also the Empire’s grip on the galaxy—and his own carefully laid plans for future ascendancy.

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