Excellent book. However, Eli Vanto winces to an unnatural degree. Grand Unifying New Canon Theory: The grave threat in the UR are the Chiss (or Chiss-connected). Palps knows this and intends both to use Thrawn to his advantage and live long enough to get out there to conquer them. The details of what occurred in between then and now are largely undocumented as of yet, but the result is the conquering force from the UR descending on the known galaxy and whatever imperial trappings the FO employs are more or less a false flag. Some of this is revealed during the current trilogy, albeit obscured by the remnants of Vader storyline, but it's the driving force of the next trilogy. Probably 80% wrong (at least), but interesting to me.