There was some exciting news announced yesterday on The Star Wars Show: Timothy Zahn is writing a new Thrawn novel, titled “Thrawn: Treason,” due out in Summer 2019!
The cover is absolutely awesome:
Here is part of the plot synopsis released on the Star Wars website:
Now, as Thrawn’s TIE defender program is halted in favor of Director Krennic’s secret Death Star project, he realizes that the balance of power in the Empire is measured by more than just military acumen or tactical efficiency. Even the greatest intellect can hardly compete with the power to annihilate entire planets.
As Thrawn works to secure his place in the Imperial hierarchy, his former protégé Eli Vanto returns with a dire warning about Thrawn’s homeworld. Thrawn’s mastery of strategy must guide him through an impossible choice: duty to the Chiss Ascendancy, or fealty to the Empire he has sworn to serve. Even if the right choice means committing treason.
This book seems to be set, then, during the time that Thrawn is away from Lothal and back on Coruscant during Star Wars: Rebels, and for those who have kept up with some of these storylines, it sounds really intriguing. Thrawn has been pushing for his TIE Defender program instead of the Death Star project, but he ultimately loses out. According to Del Rey, it sounds like we’ll be seeing Thrawn cross paths with Director Krennic too, which would make perfect sense as the Death Star project takes all of the attention, focus, and resources away from the TIE Defender.
But it’s more than just Krennic: we’ll also be getting more of Eli Vanto! Thrawn’s protege from the first Thrawn novel released by Zahn a few years ago, Vanto was ultimately sent to the Chiss Ascendancy by Thrawn. We didn’t really learn anything more about him in Thrawn: Alliances, but Vanto will make his return in Thrawn: Treason. And Vanto won’t just be coming back to say hi; he’ll be coming back to warn Thrawn about a threat to the Chiss Ascendency. It’s fair to wonder whether this warning is about the Grysks that Thrawn and Vader encountered in Thrawn: Alliances, as Thrawn knew that he was essentially sending the Grysks to the Chiss Ascendency before the Empire.
Ultimately, more Thrawn is a win for me no matter what, as I absolutely love the character. Timothy Zahn returning to write another Star Wars novel (after what I consider to be his best one yet in Thrawn: Alliances) is amazing, and the Emperor, Krennic, and Vanto all showing up in this one will make it even better. I also think that we’ll see some more of the tension between Thrawn and the Empire he serves, especially in relation to his split allegiances.
I can’t help but wonder if the events of this book will help us understand why Palpatine would not go looking for Thrawn after he disappears. After all, you’d think a Force-sensitive ruler like Palpatine would know Thrawn was still alive and want to retrieve his top military mind… unless there were other reasons that made Thrawn more expendable in the Emperor’s mind. So while Thrawn may not exactly commit treason (since he returns to Lothal with the might of the Empire and is with the Emperor… kind of), we may get more information that will help make things clear.
And, of course, I can’t wait for the day when Timothy Zahn will be allowed to write novels about Thrawn post-ROTJ, too. I’m sure that those stories are coming at some point, but I’d guess that Lucasfilm is waiting on Dave Filoni to see what he wants to do. I’m sure that he’d love to tell the stories of what happened to Thrawn, Ezra, Sabine, and Ahsoka, but he’s currently quite busy with The Clone Wars, The Mandalorian, and Resistance. If/when he ever does get around to telling those stories, I’d expect Zahn to be an important part of doing so too. And I can’t wait!
But for now, I’m just super pumped that we’re getting another novel about Thrawn, and it immediately jumps to the top of the list of most-anticipated books of 2019 for me.