This is not an April Fool’s joke: Del Rey announced that the third novel in Timothy Zahn’s current Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy will be releasing later this year!
That means that the final two books in the trilogy will both release this year, which is unexpected and awesome! The first book, Chaos Rising, was released September 1, 2020. The second book, Greater Good, is set to release April 27, 2021. We knew all of that, but today Del Rey announced that the third book, Lesser Evil, will release on November 16, 2021!
The trilogy is exploring the origin story of Thrawn, who since 1991 has been a fan-favorite character who has played a key role in non-film storytelling. Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire trilogy (which began in 1991) introduced fans to the blue-skinned Imperial Grand Admiral who is a formidable threat – because of his mind. He was a brand new type of villain, and fans loved it. In the Disney era, Thrawn has played an even bigger role, as he was the primary villain of the final two seasons of Star Wars Rebels, starred in a brand new trilogy of books from Zahn set prior to the events of Rebels, was name-dropped in The Mandalorian, and now is starring in another Thrawn trilogy from Zahn. There’s a lot of Thrawn, and that’s great.
This series explores his time before joining the Empire, showing us the Chiss Ascendancy. It’s a period of Thrawn’s life that hasn’t been explored before either in legends or canon, so it’s exciting! And StarWars.com released the synopsis for the final book of this trilogy, Lesser Evil:
The fate of the Chiss Ascendancy hangs in the balance in the epic finale of the Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy from bestselling author Timothy Zahn.
For thousands of years The Chiss Ascendancy has been an island of calm, a center of power, and a beacon of integrity. Led by the Nine Ruling Families, their leadership stands as a bulwark of stability against the Chaos of the Unknown Regions.
But that stability has been eroded by a cunning foe that winnows away trust and loyalty in equal measure. Bonds of fidelity have given way to lines of division among the families. Despite the efforts of the Expansionary Defense Fleet, the Ascendancy slips closer and closer toward civil war.
The Chiss are no strangers to war. Their mythic status in the Chaos was earned through conflict and terrible deeds, some long buried. Until now. To ensure the Ascendancy’s future, Thrawn will delve deep into its past, uncovering the dark secrets surrounding the ascension of the First Ruling Family. But the truth of a family’s legacy is only as strong as the legend that supports it. Even if that legend turns out to be a lie.
To secure the salvation of the Ascendancy, is Thrawn willing to sacrifice everything? Including the only home he has ever known?
This sounds very interesting, and of course, we haven’t even read Greater Good yet! But from the sound of it, Lesser Evil will have some pretty huge implications on the Chiss Ascendancy, and I’m hoping that it will set the stage for Thrawn joining the Empire.
All things considered, it’s really crazy that we’ll be getting all three books of this Thrawn trilogy in just over a one-year span (15 months), including the final two installments yet to come in 2021. That’s a surprise, but a welcome one!