For other uses, see Thrawn Trilogy (disambiguation).

Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy is a Legends adult-fiction novel series from author Timothy Zahn. It consists of Heir to the Empire (1991), Dark Force Rising (1992), and The Last Command (1993), which were published by Bantam Spectra.

The trilogy is set in 9 ABY, five years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, and it chronicles the campaign of the eponymous Grand Admiral Thrawn.



When the first installment of the trilogy, Heir to the Empire was released in 1991, Lucasfilm Fan Club Magazine clarified in the same year that although the book was licensed and approved by Lucasfilm, Heir to the Empire is not George Lucas' story, nor the official continuation of the saga, but, rather, a story of Timothy Zahn's own imagination.[5] The sourcebooks released for the novels in the following years also noted that all products taking place after Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi, are the author's vision of what may have happened, and not the true fate of the characters.[6][7][8] In 1994, Howard Roffman, head of Lucas Licensing clarified, the books following the events of Episode VI were never intended to be the story of the planned Episode VII-IX.[9] In the second edition of the A Guide to the Star Wars Universe published in 1994, the trilogy, alongside with books such as Splinter of the Mind's Eye, was noted to be “officially licensed source that may or may not agree with George Lucas' vision of the Star Wars galaxy” as opposed to “original Lucasfilm source.”[10] Nevertheless, some continued to entertain the idea that the Thrawn Trilogy is the official continuation of Lucas' saga or it was based on Lucas' plans for Episode VII-IX, something that was addressed by Pablo Hidalgo in the 77th issue of Star Wars Insider in 2004: "That's not the case. Those works are the creation of their respective authors with the guidance of editors at Lucas Licensing. They are not, nor ever were, meant to be George Lucas' definitive vision of what happens next."[11] After George Lucas started to work on the sequel trilogy and sold Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, the novels alongside other Expanded Universe material was set into a separate continuity and rebranded as Legends in 2014.[12]

Numerous mentions are made in the trilogy to the Clone Wars that are contradicted by later portrayals in Episode II and the Clone Wars TV show (e.g., that the Clone Wars were waged by "the clone masters" in an attempt to "roll over the galaxy"). Additionally, the Dark Force (or Katana fleet) is said to have been created by the Republic to showcase their military might prior to the Clone Wars, which is contradicted by Episode II, where the Republic explicitly refuses to have a standing military prior to the purchase of the Grand Army of the Republic from the Kaminoans at the onset of the Clone Wars.

The trilogy follows the campaign of Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn, from the destruction of the Elomin task force to the Battle of Bilbringi. It also recounts the efforts of the Dark Jedi Joruus C'baoth and his efforts to claim Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa Solo, and her children as his apprentices.

The series introduced many notable Expanded Universe characters such as Garm Bel Iblis, Talon Karrde, Grand Admiral Thrawn, Gilad Pellaeon, and Mara Jade—characters who would subsequently appear in a variety of Expanded Universe works. Grand Admiral Thrawn became a popular villain in the Expanded Universe, with appearances in several later works. In addition, the Imperial capital world, Coruscant, was given its name by the trilogy and would later feature in the prequel films.

A soundtrack for the trilogy had been in discussion by Robert Townson, the vice president of Varèse Sarabande, but did not go any further.[13]


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