Lit Thrawn - New canon Star Wars book by Timothy Zahn (Spring 2017)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Diego Lucas, Jul 16, 2016.

  1. Rennzwerg Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2017
    star 1
    Agreed, with Starkiller Base all bets are off.

    However, the bickering and inactivity of the senate (at least as described in the beginning of Bloodline) did not sound great to me, with so much responsibility resting on Mon Mothma's charisma. But then we have the benefit of hindsight and if there never had been a Starkiller Base perhaps it would have all worked out eventually.
    (And it's not as if our own politicians always act in the most logical and collaborative manner either... ;-) )

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  2. sidv88 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2005
    star 4
    Is this the same Jedi Council that was unable to foresee a Clone Army created in their name (ordered by a former Council member) as well as a full-fledged Droid Army created by another former Council member? Where even the usually haughty Mace Windu told Yoda they needed to tell the Senate that their use of the Force has diminished?

    For all we know, Luke had a full-fledged New Jedi Order Council functioning that was just as effective as the old one, i.e. not sensing darksiders, armies, etc. until it was too late.

    Old Jedi Order: "Wow, there's this droid army here on Geonosis we never heard of before. Oh no, suddenly a galactic war! We need to get out more."

    New Jedi Order: "Wow, there's this army here in the Unknown Regions we never heard of before. Hey Ben, what are you...? :eek: "
    Ben: My name... is Kylo. :kylo:
    Last edited by sidv88, May 10, 2017
  3. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    Systems work because people make them work, without that basic willingness any system, no matter how well designed, will fail.

    It is neat and convenient for the NR politicians to go 'oh, Mothma was so good I can't possibly match her' in place of actually doing something, because with action comes responsibility.
  4. Vialco Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2007
    star 4
    But that's just it. The Old Jedi had their vision clouded by the Shroud of the Dark Side. But that shroud lifted when Anakin brought balance to the Force and destroyed the Sith.

    The New Jedi should be able to see far and wide now. Anakin's sacrifice brought the Force back into balance.
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  5. sidv88 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2005
    star 4
    Snoke and the source of the Dark Side stuff hinted at in Aftermath might be more than enough to cloud the senses of the New Jedi Order.
  6. Vialco Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2007
    star 4
    Quite possibly, but I would hope not. The huge imbalance in the Force was the Sith. Specifically the Dark Lord of the Sith who brought a thousand years of Sith plotting to fruition. He was the Shroud of the Dark Side and Anakin destroyed him.

    Snoke shouldn't be able to do what Sidious did.
  7. GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin + Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    I. The NR was definitely dysfunctional. But not unstable.

    II. Even a flawless NR would've still been blown up in TFA.


    Missa ab iPhona mea est.
  8. PCCViking Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2014
    star 9

    Especially with a smaller number of Jedi than in the PT.
  9. Rennzwerg Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2017
    star 1
    And re. 2 (other what if's aside):
    If the NR had been flawless and there had been no need to form a Resistance, would the First Order then be unopposed (after blowing up Hosnian Prim plus fleet)?

    I miss the Empire. :-(

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  10. TheAvengerButton Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2011
    star 4
    I am just one chapter into this and already Zahn's writing is infinitwly better and more engaging than the other authors of the new canon books--Luceno included. That first chapter of Thrawn was a blast to read.

    Sent from Hell--depending on whether or not it exists.
  11. anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms

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    Mar 4, 2011
    star 9
    The New Republic that Mothma designed reminded me of the Articles of Confederation, which the newly-formed US government designed ineffectually because it was so afraid of another king.

    Of course the resemblance was probably purposeful.

    Chapters 18-21:

    Show Spoiler


    So Pryce gets her governorship by blowing sunshine up Tarkin's ass. There is some sort of irony there given what happens to her. But holy hell, she can manipulate people. I found it hilariously sad that she dissolved her own family's mine.

    I found her comments about Lothal relatable. I know what it's like to not enjoy rural/small town life and want to move to a big city, then after living in a big city and moving back to one's home town, finding it even less enjoyable than remembered.

    And now she's getting revenge on nearly everyone who pissed her off.

    So Eli finally got promoted. I was wondering why they were holding him back other than just for the hell of it.
  12. Charlemagne19 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 8
    Just finished this novel!
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  13. anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms

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    Mar 4, 2011
    star 9
    Chapters 22-24:

    Show Spoiler


    So Thrawn walked Eli right to Nightswan. That was the most interesting scene here. Thrawn's always-one-step-ahead strategizing seemed really over the top in the old books but in this one, it appears more like a unique stroke of brilliance.

    Nightswan seems like he'd be part of Saw Gerrera's rebels or a leader of a similar crew. It seems like a book on the various rebel groups would be worth reading.
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  14. SWpants Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 5
    Because it came out over a month ago, are spoiler tags still needed?
  15. anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms

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    Mar 4, 2011
    star 9
    Not my call since it isn't my area, but I err on the side of caution.

    Chapters 25-Epilogue:

    Show Spoiler


    I wasn't sure whether Pryce was going to leave her parents to die or try to get them out of there. I appreciated the fact that it was the latter, and her sending them to the Governor's Palace on Lothal. Although obviously they were horrified at what she had become.

    Nice meeting with Thrawn, Vader and the Emperor. It seems like there was a scene in one of the Legends novels with the Emperor saying he would leave the Chiss Ascendency alone, but I could be remembering wrong. Nice touch there, with Thrawn indicating where his loyalties are, and being able to get away with that around the Emperor.

    And the whole "exile" was staged? I did not see that coming, although I suppose I should have.


    Great book. I did enjoy the Pryce parts the most, but I have gained appreciation for methodical, studious and strategic Thrawn.
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  16. Charlemagne19 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 8
    My review:

    http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/2017/05/star-wars-thrawn-by-timothy-zahn-review.html

    My first Star Wars novel, which would literally change my life, was Dark Force Rising in 1992. I was twelve-years-old and it changed my view of how Star Wars and writing were supposed to work. It was darker (but not too dark), more serious (but not too serious), and had a focus on politics as well as military tactics (but without ending up like the Prequels of Honorverse's later books). I loved them so much I read every single one of Timothy Zahn's other Star Wars books and plan to read his original works sometime this year.

    I will admit, though, some of Timothy Zahn's novels haven't blown me away the same way the Thrawn Trilogy has. Choices of One was fun and I liked the Outbound Flight Project plus its companion novel in Survivor's Quest but they were just good rather than great. I loved the Hand of Thrawn Duology but that had the benefit of being the grand finale to the "Bantam" Star Wars Expanded Universe. So, where does Thrawn stand? Especially since it is the first "canon" novel to star Grand Admiral Thrawn? Around the Hand of Thrawn duology and better than most but not up there with the Thrawn Trilogy.

    The premise is basically, "The Adventures of Lieutenant Thrawn, Officer of the Empire." It's kind of a weird Horatio Hornblower collection of adventures which chronicle his ascension from naive every Chiss to the 4th or 5th most powerful man in the galaxy. It also expands on, more or less gives, a backstory to Governor Pryce from Star Wars: Rebels. The book doesn't deal with any great threats to the Empire. There's no superweapons, alien races, or possible origins to Snoke and the book feels a bit subdued to what I think of as typical Star Wars fair.

    I was a bit annoyed with the opening few chapters because they're imore or less a retelling of a short story ("Mist Encounter", SWAJ 7#) which Timothy Zahn wrote for Star Wars: Adventure Journal back in the day. Given it was published in 1995 in a periodical no longer commonly available and was a pretty good story, I don't hold this against Timothy but it was re-rereading events I'd already read. The subtle changes also threw me, like the introduction of a new character not in the original story but playing a vital role in Thrawn's life.

    The book proceeds to follow Thrawn as he goes to the Imperial Academy with Eli Vanto on the Emperor's orders, deals with several pirate groups, and then becomes involved in a massacre mentioned in Star Wars: Rebels that gets him promoted to Grand Admiral. I enjoyed these sections a great deal but they confused the heck out of me because I find it difficult to believe the Emperor would just put Thrawn in the general Imperial Navy. I would have assumed he'd have given him a Captainship or Admiralship to begin with as he's such a valuable resource on the Unknown Regions. Also, I don't believe the Emperor wouldn't get every bit of information on them from Thrawn, including the location of the Chiss. He's not a very accommodating man.

    The book also continues Zahn's portrayal of Thrawn as "The Good Imperial." This Thrawn is, with one exception where he returns Wookiee slaves to their captors, a thoroughly decent man who just so happens to be working for a tyranny. There's also a potential retcon to his motivations that he may not even be loyal to the Empire at all but just using it for his own purposes. I can't say I approve of this as while I like "decent people in awful service", I have to say I prefer Thrawn having a bit more edge and ruthlessness. Indeed, the book retcons his role in the Rebels massacre to being the fault of another.

    I was actually more interested in the story of Arihnda Pryce, the Colonel Spalko-esque villain of the Rebels cartoon. It's an interesting take to have her ve a small town girl in the Big City who ends up becoming a ruthless Space Nazi but Zahn doesn't pull any punches in her corruption. Indeed, I felt she was a bit too fast in her corruption. Hypocritical as it may be, I wish she'd been a little more redeemable by the end. Really, Arihnda's story shows why so many Imperials would want to join the Empire. It serves as an alternative to the massive petty local corruption and can reward lavishly those who side with it over their home worlds.

    In conclusion, this was a decent book all round and had a lot of Easter Eggs for the fans of the Rebels cartoon. I felt Thrawn was a bit too nice in the story and would have preferred to see him more willing to spill blood but enjoyed Pryce's humanization. It's probably my favorite canon book release after Lost Stars, Bloodline, and the Aftermath Trilogy.

    9/10
    Last edited by Charlemagne19, May 13, 2017
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  17. comradepitrovsky Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2017
    star 3
    I did find it fascinating to compare the original Mist Encounter to the remake. Like the SE to the OT...
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  18. Charlemagne19 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 8
    BTW, did Zahn actually canonize xenophobia against aliens in the Empire with this book?

    I can't remember it being brought up anywhere else until now.
  19. fett 4 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2000
    star 4
    Very good review I agree with much of it. Regarding Thrawn serving the Empire for his own (and People's) ends, I kind of get the impression that Palpatine is well aware of this and manipulating Thrawn, rather than 2 steps ahead Thrawn.

    One thing I am curious about though Charlemagne is that you stared the Thrawn books with Vol2 rather than 1 ! You didn't find it difficult to get into and in regards the characters various plots ?
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  20. Charlemagne19 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 8
    [IMG]

    Well, understand, this was 1992 and it was a bit of a different sort of situation than today when we had Amazon.com and I was not yet an avid bookstore (remember those?) attendee. I read a lot of books but they came from the school library rather than anything I bought myself. This book, however, caught my attention when I was on vacation with my family in Hawaii. It was in a news rack and I was stunned by seeing Han, Luke, Leia, and the new guy (Thrawn). It was also a good deal larger than my usual types of book because I didn't buy big massive paperbacks around this time since I mostly read short stories like Sherlock Holmes and was only starting on D&D fiction.

    This was, in fact, my FIRST Star Wars novel.

    Yes, even before the Jedi Prince series I picked up afterward.

    :)

    Was it confusing? Yes, certainly, but I'm of the belief you should never write with the assumption your readers have read everything before. It certainly helped I was able to follow the basic plot and the Katana Fleet kept me going. I would later read the book again after reading Heir to the Empire and found myself suitably enriched too. I've since read the books five or six times.
    Last edited by Charlemagne19, May 14, 2017
  21. Stymi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2002
    star 4
    I was a bit annoyed with mist encounter 2.0 as well...since it was basically the same story. I get the canon geeks like it's now re-canonized, but I don't want to read the same story for canon purposes. I want new story in new books I buy.

    That being said, mist encounter does serve a larger, important function for the novel. It really does set up a lot of what comes later, including the twist.

    So...while I wasn't happy with it at first, it was told well, and I liked why it was included.

    Sent from my Moto X-Wing
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  22. SyndicThrass Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2016
    star 3
    It was implied in a few other novels, (off the top of my head Gallius Rax speaks negatively about the New Republic for the Alien members amongst their leadership) but it's been downplayed quite a bit compared to Legends and as far as I'm aware Zahn is the first to tackle it head-on.
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  23. DarthKuriboh Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 8, 2007
    star 3


    Just more proof that evil will always win because good is dumb
  24. Vialco Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2007
    star 4

    Sure it will.

    [IMG]

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  25. DarthKuriboh Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 8, 2007
    star 3