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Lit Revisiting the Thrawn Trilogy in Light of the NEU

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Pearlsaber, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. Pearlsaber

    Pearlsaber Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Disclaimer: If you have never read the Thrawn trilogy, I will touch on a few minor "spoilers."

    I haven't read the Thrawn Trilogy in over a decade. A few weeks ago, I felt compelled to reread it. Yesterday, I just finished The Last Command and would like to share a few thoughts I have in rereading it.

    First of all, I know a lot of discussion has taken place in regard to how the NEU novels compare with the Legends novels. For me, the jury is still out. I grew up with the Legends novels and have a lot of sentimentality towards them. However, there has not been enough NEU material published for me to make a decision as to how it compares. I do feel that the NEU novels up to this point seem a bit boxed in and offer little exploration into new material beyond new the films. However, there are many NEU novels I have enjoyed and look forward to how they will evolve in the future.

    Moving on to TTT, I had a blast digging in to these again! I felt like a kid again as I became reacquainted with the Noghri, Karrde, Mara, Thrawn, Pellaeon, and our old heroes. The new planets, characters, and adventures seem to grant a much larger creative freedom than there seems to be in current novelizations. Is this just me?

    Also, I am curious for those of you who were around when TTT was released, what was your impression? As I was reading about the cloning facilities and especially about Luke's clone (Luuke), it seemed like this may have seemed a bit far-fetched for the SW universe at the time. Just curious.
     
  2. Jeff_Ferguson

    Jeff_Ferguson Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    May 15, 2006
    The great thing about this trilogy is that it was so early in the EU --- there was basically nothing else, save for Dark Empire, which Zahn wasn't even taking into account --- that anything was possible. 1993 was pretty much the only time that they could have gotten away with a clone of Luke and still be taken seriously; even two or three years later it would have been a lot more far-fetched and silly. I've always loved that Zahn just said screw it and went for it.

    That was the nature of the beast. It was blazing the future because it was the medium that had been chosen to do so. In the new canon, the films are blazing the future and for the most part the novels are beholden to them and filling in their gaps. Zahn was the trailblazer of the post-ROTJ saga, and he had the kind of creative freedom that these days is reserved for JJ Abrams and Rian Johnson. In the 1990s, for all intents and purposes, Zahn's books were the sequel trilogy.
     
  3. PCCViking

    PCCViking Chosen One star 10

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    Jun 12, 2014
    A clone of Luke was definitely sensible...in light of Waru later on. :p
     
  4. blackmyron

    blackmyron Force Ghost star 6

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    Oct 29, 2005
    The trilogy book titles were all cool-sounding phrases that actually were significant to the story but also gave nothing away. Who would've thought a Star Wars novel would have "Dark" or "Force" in the title and actually mean something?
     
  5. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

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    Aug 31, 2004
    ZAHN RULES FOREVER! [face_laugh] His action was well-paced without feeling rushed. His new characters were intriguing and compelling. I loved the fact that we were getting post Endor stuff with such fascinating and riveting adventures. Thrawn was (and still is) =P~ an adversary the reader can feel is plausible: a true threat without being tropey or infallible :p Mara -- you really see her character grow from HtTE through TLC. :) And Karrde ... just. [face_laugh] He's not all one thing versus another. He's got layers. :D

    The Noghri subplot was very believable as to what the Empire would do to make them beholden. :rolleyes: And the whole reveal which allowed them to break the shackles =D=
     
  6. fett 4

    fett 4 Force Ghost star 5

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    Jan 2, 2000
    Have you or will you read the sequels to the Thrawn Trilogy, the Hand Of Thrawn duology Spector of the Past and Vision of the Future by Zahn ?
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  7. Pearlsaber

    Pearlsaber Jedi Master star 4

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    Jan 29, 2013
    @fett 4

    Yes. But I am currently reading chronologically.
     
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  8. firesaber

    firesaber Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 5, 2006
    The original Thrawn Trilogy for me was like a light in the darkness. The time in between books was almost insufferable. Keeping specifically to the character I like how they have handled him with the new EU and that they kept Zahn involved. I don't have the issues with the retconning of the character like I do with the Solo movie as there is enough of the old EU there. They have also been smart to stay away from certain parts of his back story in the old EU to still leave that door open.
     
  9. sidv88

    sidv88 Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Aug 22, 2005
    There were some hiccups in characterization early on though. "Historically, Solo has never liked droids, nor allowed them to travel aboard his ship except under highly unusual circumstances. Skywalker’s droid and its astromech counterpart appear to be the sole exceptions."

    Did Zahn even read the Han Solo Adventures by Brian Daley, which were already written by this point? Bollux?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
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  10. PCCViking

    PCCViking Chosen One star 10

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    Jun 12, 2014
    Keep in mind that's Thrawn talking and he didn't exactly know Han that well.
     
  11. sidv88

    sidv88 Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Aug 22, 2005
    Thrawn doesn't know everything??? :eek:

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk
     
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  12. PCCViking

    PCCViking Chosen One star 10

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    Jun 12, 2014
    He certainly didn't predict Han and Luke's trip to New Cov. He even admitted he had not foreseen that move.
     
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  13. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

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    Jul 19, 1999
    TTT Thrawn was far more fallible than his later incarnations - it's what ultimately killed him.
     
  14. blackmyron

    blackmyron Force Ghost star 6

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    Oct 29, 2005
    That's the punchline of the whole series
    Thrawn realized too late that the Noghri's 'art' was their assassination techniques; he never truly 'read' them correctly to realize how they would turn on him and follow Leia.
     
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  15. Pearlsaber

    Pearlsaber Jedi Master star 4

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    Jan 29, 2013
    Such a great conclusion.
     
  16. Ackbar's Fishsticks

    Ackbar's Fishsticks Jedi Master star 4

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    Aug 25, 2013
    Yeah. It's one of the things I like about TTT-Thrawn. The character almost reads like a deconstruction of the Sherlock Holmes archetype, in that he's not infallible, he actually gets one or two of his Sherlock scans wrong, and that send him completely down the wrong analytical alley, and he never realizes it until it's too late.
     
  17. sidv88

    sidv88 Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Aug 22, 2005
    I can't remember the story Holmes says this, but Sherlock actually does make a few mistakes in the original Doyle stories, and he tells Watson it's far more common than the readers of Watson's stories would think.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  18. fett 4

    fett 4 Force Ghost star 5

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    Jan 2, 2000
    In the books Sherlock freely admits his brother’s deductive skills are greater than his, it’s just that his brother lacked the field craft skills of his brother to go with them.
     
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  19. sidv88

    sidv88 Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Aug 22, 2005
    True, although Doyle later added that business about Mycroft being a high ranking agent in the British government.
     
  20. The Positive Fan

    The Positive Fan Jedi Master star 4

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    Jan 19, 2015
    Probably not. Nor is he likely to have read the Lando books, or the Marvel comics (which had already started creating a post-ROTJ narrative). And he wasn't expected to. The concept of interconnectedness that we take for granted in 2018 didn't exist in 1991. There was no requirement that Zahn keep continuity with previous works.
     
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  21. TheAvengerButton

    TheAvengerButton Jedi Master star 4

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    Aug 11, 2011
    People love to **** on clone Luke, but...when I first read these books and it introduced him towards the end, I was floored. It was such a cool little plot twist, and the way it served Mara's story was awesome as well. I have a soft spot for Luuke. He was a really awesome addition to the story.
     
  22. sidv88

    sidv88 Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Aug 22, 2005
    That's not true. Zahn himself stated that LFL gave him the West End RPG and told him to use them: http://scifidinerpodcast.com/2018/0...hor-of-star-wars-thrawn-and-thrawn-alliances/
     
  23. The Positive Fan

    The Positive Fan Jedi Master star 4

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    Jan 19, 2015
    Correct - as reference material, so he wasn't reinventing the wheel every time he (for example) needed a certain ship type or that kind of thing. He did not have to maintain continuity with previous stories (other than the OT, obviously). Sorry if that point wasn't clear.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
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  24. crazyewok

    crazyewok Jedi Padawan star 2

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    Oct 27, 2017
    Thrawn was a far better post return of the Jedi novel than that abomination Aftermath.

    The x wing books and thrown books should of been left as canon.

    Just cause the rest of the EU had terrible parts doesn't mean you have to throw out the best.
     
  25. stellarmagic01

    stellarmagic01 Jedi Master star 4

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    Nov 1, 2012
    Personally, I include the Thrawn Trilogy as part of the canon timeline with just a few tweaks as it is (mostly retconning dates). Well... besides Ruhk being dead already.

    The decommissioning of the majority of the New Republic navy works great with the events of Heir of the Empire (Mon Calamari cruisers being converted to freighters? Wow that fits surprisingly well), as well as a shortage of stormtroopers in Thrawn's forces which is mentioned in Dark Force Rising. Thrawn never uses particularly large fleets as well, so him showing up with just his fleet from Rebels forming the core of his force fits.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
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