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

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

  1. Fin McCool Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2015
    star 1
    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.
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  2. Chancellor Yoda Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 25, 2014
    star 4
    Finished it and greatly enjoyed it.

    Like others I was surprised how much I enjoyed the Pryce sections of the novel, in fact she was probably my favorite character in the book. I doubt it will happen but I would love the next Timothy Zahn star wars book being primarily about Pryce herself.
  3. Anakin.Skywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2016
    star 5
    I'm still reading it, and so far I've enjoyed the plot.

    One thing I figured out yesterday and has been bothering me is how Zahn seems to be "cheating" when it comes to making Thrawn look smart. I'll put the rest in spoiler tags just in case.

    Show Spoiler
    When Pryce goes to Thrawn for help against that Moff that tried to threaten her again, Thrawn makes the observations that there's probably someone corrupt in the ISB who would go along with said Moff because the ISB wouldn't convict Pryce without evidence. This makes Thrawn look ultra-observant, which he's supposed to be, but it also feels obvious that Zahn is depriving his other characters of information to show Thrawn making these impressive "jumps." It doesn't seem logical to me that Pryce wouldn't know how this works, but it serves to make her look less insightful, thereby increasing Thrawn's intelligence by comparison. Also, by denying the reader this information, we -- like Pryce -- are supposed to be similarly surprised that Thrawn came up with this. It would be truly impressive if we were given all the information and background knowledge, and then Thrawn came up with an impressive conclusion that the reader and the other characters had still been unable to reach, even with all the background information.


    Still, just my opinion.

    edit:

    Here. I drew a crappy picture on Paint to illustrate my point.

    Feast your eyes.

    [IMG]
    Last edited by Anakin.Skywalker, May 15, 2017
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  4. Fin McCool Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2015
    star 1
    Very impressive picture.

    Show Spoiler
    Point taken, but is Pryce a good example of the effect you describe? I take it she's midway through her path from hayseed to enlightened, and not near whatever the hell she is in Rebels at that point. She's learned nuance but is still pretty ignorant of how the sausage is made.
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  5. Anakin.Skywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2016
    star 5
    lol. Thanks

    Show Spoiler
    True, she's not terribly smart yet. But there certainly is information being left out to the reader, if nothing else. I mean, I know Zahn can't include everything, but still
    Last edited by Anakin.Skywalker, May 16, 2017
  6. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 6

    Yeah, poor guy–he's got to be, what, in his 20s?–probably has the forehead wrinkles of a 60-year-old. [face_laugh]
  7. Dougmeister Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005

    Another spoiler tag to hide my question about Thrawn's exile:

    Show Spoiler

    But the book STARTS OUT with the story of Thrawn being exiled by the Chiss High Command... is Thrawn telling the truth at the end of the novel or not?!

    I was listening to the audio version so maybe I missed something. Was it the Chiss *purposely* planting him there to be found by the Empire?
    Last edited by Dougmeister, May 17, 2017
  8. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 6
    Not quite finished with the book yet, but about the Nightswan reveal...

    Show Spoiler
    When Eli said "Cygni?" for a second I was like "Okay, I know the name...who is that, who is that...?" [face_laugh]

    Maybe I missed something. Did we know all along that Cygni was Nightswan, or was that supposed to be a startling reveal? Because while it was effective enough that when I remembered who Cygni was, I was mildly surprised, at the same time the fact that it took me that long to remember who he was also sort of killed it. Just a bit. But at the same time, I'll grant, I've really enjoyed the book so much that it also didn't bother me.

    Or maybe since I'm not done yet there's another reveal coming that'll be a double twist, or something. If not I'm okay with that, though. I just kind of expected...y'know...more.
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  9. Rennzwerg Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2017
    star 1
    Show Spoiler

    You did not miss anything there. I found this a bit confusing as well. I don't think Thrawn was outright lying to Nightswan - that would not serve any purpose if he wanted to convince him to join the Ascendency.
    At the same time the first diary entry is not phrased that ambiguously either (if it was all an obvious scheme ordered by the Chiss rulers there would have been no need to use the word"exile" in this context). Hence the perceived contradiction.

    Leaving aside an obvious oversight by the editors... I assume the exile is real enough as far as the Chiss are concerned but perhaps it was part of a plan cooked up by a sub-set in the Ascendency. I.e. the government might be more isolationist and against investigating potential allies but that does not mean everyone is. So this shadowy group stages Thrawn's exile and make him a plant in the Empire.

    Still sounds a bit wonky to me but perhaps someone gets the opportunity to ask Mr. Zahn about it. ;-)



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  10. PCCViking Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2014
    star 9
    Show Spoiler
    Given that Admiral Ar'lani is now canon, and her role in Outbound Flight (albeit one of plausible deniability), it wouldn't surprise me if she was part of that sub-set.
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  11. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 6
    Finished last night! This was quite a fantastic book–one more to add to nucanon's growing repertoire.

    Show Spoiler
    Didn't expect Thrawn's exile to be staged in canon! That was surprising since, from what we know of Legends, it was a legit exile. Good twist.

    Definitely wasn't expecting Vanto to go to the Chiss at the end of the book. Nice to see Ar'alani recanonized. I'm interested to see why Thrawn sent Eli to the Chiss and what this means for future stories. I'm hoping there are plans to continue with the Unknown Regions/Chiss/Eli Vanto story they've got going here (I'm assuming there will be, what with the First Order also being UR-centered).

    Thrawn's talk with Nightswan showed how multifaceted Thrawn's character is. Overall, he just wants the best for people, but he's willing to do bad things to get there–and he has no faith in people to trust themselves. Also interesting that he fully acknowledges Palpatine's corruption but basically says "Sure, but he won't live forever." I'm intrigued to see what happens to Thrawn in Rebels now, and whether he'll survive to have post-ROTJ stories, or he'll be killed off. Because Thrawn being involved in the First Order (or even against it?) would be quite interesting.

    So, this book recanonized Voss Parck, Mosh Barris, H'sishi, and Ar'alani. Not bad, Zahn. That's almost Luceno levels of recanonization, right there. Turns out putting Thrawn in canon has caused quite the trickle effect of minor characters (since we've also got Ruhk in Rebels). Imagine if they recanonized Mara Jade. That trickle effect could give us Talon Karrde, Booster Terrik and Mirax, through Mirax possibly Corran Horn...who knows?
  12. Dougmeister Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Question in my spoiler tag...
    Show Spoiler

    1) When was the exile acted out for us... wasn't it in "Outbound Flight"?

    2) Why the heck would Zahn change his original version of Thrawn's exile to a "staged" one? Did Disney *make* him do this because it is going to somehow be a component of, or background for, a movie in the future?

    Or is he just trying to put a twist into the original story? (Such as the "flaw in the Death Star really being a plan by Galen Erso to destroy it")

    I'm not sure how he can just explain this away... other than Disney suddenly decides that it's not canon...

    Last edited by Dougmeister, May 23, 2017
  13. sidv88 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2005
    star 4
    Show Spoiler

    I think Zahn changed it due to his trend of continuously "whitewashing" and portraying Thrawn as a heroic martyr ever since his introduction as a villain over 25 years ago in the Thrawn Trilogy. All of this portraying Thrawn as a hero is a Zahn thing due to how he sees the character now, along with his retcon of Thrawn's slaughter of civilians in Batonn to all be Pryce's fault (contradicting what the Rebels team had written in Rebels--Rebels has already been confirmed to be written without Zahn's input).

    Now it's gotten to the point where even Thrawn being legitimately exiled from the Chiss is too "villainous" for Thrawn's heroic martyr character and Zahn just had to change it. I think it's getting a bit too much, in my opinion, where practically every villainous deed ever attributed to Thrawn is now retconned to not be his fault.
  14. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 6

    Outbound Flight is already non-canon, so Disney doesn't have to explain anything.
  15. Rennzwerg Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2017
    star 1
    Since we never learned exactly what Thrawn did to get exiled (just that he had engaged in pre-emptive strikes - but without any details as to their extent), we don't know how "villainous" it was.

    In fact, he could have done exactly the same acts in new canon (whatever they are) and all that has been changed now is the Chiss' attitude to said pre-emptive strikes.

    And please stop referring to Batonn as retconning. In the Rebels episode we had one line about it - one! Without any explanation whatsoever. Given how shallow & black/white Rebels is in its story telling, that is not a good enough argument for me (and I mean no disrespect to the TV show, its short episodes don't allow for deep-dive explanations).

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  16. Zohar Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 22, 2017
    star 1
    I saw Thrawn's exile as being true and false at the same time. The Chiss ascendancy already decided for the exile but sweeted the pot with this last mission for Thrawn to spy the empire.
  17. Vana Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2005
    star 4
    Yes I also think that there was really an exile, because the Ascendency could not let him break the rules with no punishment, but they knew it was a waste to really exile him on a remote planet, so they gave him a mission so he could be exiled AND still useful to the Chiss.

    So yes he is exiled, but instead of the "full exile" (the rest of his life on a remote planet) he got some kind of soften punishment (they did everything to attract the Empire so he could leave with them).

    So both are true, the exile and the set-up, in a way... but he cannot go back to Csilla. To me, he's really exiled. But on a mission at the same time.

    What did Zahn tried to do there? I'm not sure he wanted to whitewash the character, after all, Thrawn still did use the preemptive strikes, that didn't change. I think that Zahn wanted to create an excuse to maybe call Thrawn back to the Chiss ascendency if whatever Disney plans for the period post-Endor goes bad for him (if they don't kill him in Rebels season 4). Maybe it's Zahn's safety measure to keep Thrawn alive in the future? as he would of course die as a villain if he's still on the Empire's side after Endor, maybe he thought that Thrawn might not agree with the birth of the First Order and decide to go back to his Empire of the Hand/Ascendency... (and so he would not be a direct threat to the heroes and could survive).

    I don't know, just a theory.
  18. SensationalSean Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 19, 2014
    star 3
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  19. SensationalSean Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 19, 2014
    star 3
  20. fett 4 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2000
    star 4
    I still think it would work to have Luke married to Mara and have her die (insert reason) in the gap between RTJ and TFA

    Side note but Looking at that pic of Mara, I'm still not sure where you can put a sleeve gun when her top has no sleeves :p
    Last edited by fett 4, Jun 14, 2017
  21. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 7
    Haven't read it yet so loving the reviews, and oh Thrawn. Beautifully compelling as are the other characters Zahn conceived [face_love] [face_love] !!!!!! Hopefully this will generate some fanfics about Thrawn in the Saga side =P~ !!!!!!!!!!
  22. Rennzwerg Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2017
    star 1
    This popped up last night in my Google alert (yes, I have one set up for Thrawn...). Great article!

    One part made me raise my eyebrows: Zahn not being sure what the storygroup had in mind for Thrawn beyond the fourth and final season of Rebels.
    So, is that a backhand confirmation that he lives to fight another day?

    Anyway, Thanks for sharing! :-D

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  23. SensationalSean Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 19, 2014
    star 3
    You're most welcome, thanks for reading! I took it to mean that Zahn doesn't know whether or not Thrawn survives Rebels, but has plans for the character if he does.
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  24. Rennzwerg Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2017
    star 1
    Hm, oh well, but you can't blame me for getting my hopes up. ;-)

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  25. Diego Lucas Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2015
    star 3
  26. Vialco Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2007
    star 4
    Just started listening to the audiobook for Thrawn and I'm blown away. Marc is doing an amazing job as always. The various voices he can do gives real character to Eli Vanto.


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