Thrawn, Part III is the third issue of the canon comic book miniseries Star Wars: Thrawn, which adapts the 2017 novel of the same name. The issue was written by Jody Houser, illustrated by Luke Ross, and published on April 11, 2018 by Marvel Comics.
"THE RISE OF THE GRAND ADMIRAL" CONTINUES! Lieutenant Thrawn has been moving fast through the ranks of the Empire, but he isn't the only one…Meet Arihnda Pryce, as she too rises through the corrupt Coruscant political climate. But paths cross in mysterious ways as the two discover a dark secret within the Empire…
The road to CoruscantEdit
Arihnda Pryce, an aide of Lothal's Senator Domus Renking, and her friends Juahir Madras and Driller MarDapp attend an Ascension Week party at the upmarket Alisandre Hotel in Coruscant. While Juahir and Driller are in a jovial mood, Pryce is still bitter about the loss of her family's mine on Lothal two years earlier.
In a flashback scene, Governor Ryder Azadi's aide Arik Uvis tries to cajole Pryce into selling the Governor another 21 percent stake in her family's mining company, Pryce Mining, in return for protection from competitors. Since Uvis already owns 30 percent of the company, Pryce realizes that this would give Governor Azadi a controlling stake in Pryce Mining. She rejects Uvis' offer and orders him to leave. Uvis vows revenge.
Several days later, Pryce learns from her distraught father Talmoor that her mother Elainye Pryce has been arrested on trumped charges of embezzlement. Pryce turns to Senator Renking, who tells her that he is unable to lift the embezzlement charge. Since Azadi is conspiring to take over Pryce Mining, Renking convinces Pryce to sign over her family's company to the Galactic Empire. Caught between "a rock and a hard place," Pryce opts to sell her family's company over to the Empire in return for a job at one of Renking's citizen assistance offices on Coruscant.
Through the grinderEdit
Returning to the present, Driller notices Senior Lieutenant Thrawn among a group of human Imperial officers, mistaking him for a Pantoran with an eye condition. Senator Renking introduces Pryce Colonel Wullf Yularen and Ensign Eli Vanto, and Thrawn, whom he describes as a rising star in the Imperial Navy. Senator Renking talks about Thrawn's role in capturing a pirate ship and saving a shipment of tibanna gas during the Dromedar incident. Thrawn is modest about his achievements and acknowledges Vanto's role. Colonel Yularen explains that he is helping Thrawn cultivate allies in response to opponents who dislike his methods.
Senator Renking sends Pryce to deliver a white and blue datacard to Moff Ghadi. Moff Ghadi permits Pryce into his plush quarters. While the Moff's datapad processes the datacard, Ghadi invites her to treat herself to his liquor cabinet. Pryce declines the offer, preferring to look at his art collection. Ghadi soon returns with the datacard and tells Pryce she can take it back to Renking.
However, Pryce recognizes that this is a different datacard due to its white and orange coloring. Unable to fool Pryce, Ghadi instead blackmails her into returning the falsified data card to Renking by spraying her with the illegal drug polstine spice, which carries a life prison sentence. He threatens to report her to the authorities if she refuses. Pryce has no choice but to comply.
As a result of the falsified data card, Senator Renking faces allegations of financial and corporate discrepancies. Due to a cut in funding, Renking closes several of his outlying citizen assistance offices and lays off several staff members including Pryce. In private, Renking chastises Pryce for allowing herself to be blackmailed by Ghadi. Pryce responds that Renking took advantage of her. Renking responds that she is a fool for believing there to be trust in politics.
Six months later, Pryce has found work at the Proam Avenue Citizen Assistance. Driller and Juahir invite Pryce for dinner at a fancy Coruscant restaurant called the Pinnacle. Juahir has found work as a martial arts instructor training bodyguards at the Yinchom Dojo. Driller is running the Higher Skies Advocacy Group and tells Juahir that he is looking for a mining expert. Pryce accepts the job offer, seeking a career in politics and lodging at Juahir's apartment.
Pryce also takes up martial arts training at the Yinchom Dojo where she is tutored by Ottlis Dos, one of Juahir's top students. One day, the dojo is visited by the now Captain Thrawn, Colonel Yularen, Ensign Vanto, and two Imperial Security Bureau officers. Juahir introduces herself to Thrawn, who remembers their first meeting at the Alisandre Hotel. Colonel Yularen is here to visit the dojo's Togorian owner H'sishi in order to check her dojo's credentials.
Under the pretext of training for a possible urban combat unit, Thrawn asks to spar with H'sishi. Thrawn bests H'sishi in combat, earning each other's mutual respect. H'sishi is impressed with the Chiss' martial arts skills while Thrawn seeks to learn Togorian martial arts. Before Thrawn leaves, Pryce tells him that she works for an advocacy group called Higher Skies. Thrawn promises to stay in contact.
An old enemyEdit
Later, Ottlis Dos invites Pryce to a training session at his employer's office. However, Ottlis is working as Moff Ghadi's bodyguard and leads her into a trap. Having a better grasp of political intrigue, Pryce exploits Ghadi's animosity towards Senator Renking by revealing her dislike for her former employer. She tells Ghadi that Renking engineered the Imperial takeover of her family's mining company.
Satisfied with Pryce's political savvy, Ghadi demands to know who hired Higher Skies to destroy him. Ghadi complains that his confidential financial information was stolen and that one of his mines was hit by raiders after a Higher Skies employee visited him. Ghadi thinks that it is Renking or another Moff such as his rival Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin. Threatening to frame her again for stealing confidential files, Ghadi enlists Pryce as a double agent in spying on Higher Skies and copying their files and conversations.
Seeking Thrawn's helpEdit
To escape Moff Ghadi's machinations, Pryce secretly meets with a disguised Thrawn at Gilroy Plaza Diner. She tells Thrawn that Ghadi is blackmailing her into spying on Higher Skies. Pryce reveals that she investigated one of Ghadi's mines and discovered that he was selling doonium on the black market. Thrawn counsels Pryce to hold on to the information until the time is right for him to pass it to Colonel Yularen.
Seeking to cultivate Thrawn as an ally, Pryce offers to help Ensign Vanto get his long overdue promotion and to speed up the Thunder Wasp's repairs. Thrawn accepts Pryce's help and advises her to exploit Ghadi's fears and enemies.
Killing two birds with one stoneEdit
Taking Thrawn's advice, Pryce secures a meeting with Grand Moff Tarkin under the pretext of representing Higher Skies. She reveals that Higher Skies has been using a thief program to steal information from government officials and tells Tarkin of her suspicion that Higher Skiers are a rebel front group. Pryce reveals that she has been working as a double agent for Thrawn and Colonel Yularen, using a double-layer thief program.
Pryce tells Tarkin that all Thrawn requested in return for helping her was a long overdue promotion for his aide Vanto. Pryce reveals that Moff Ghadi has been stalling Vanto's promotion. Pryce also presents a recording showing that Ghadi had conspired to steal Higher Skies' information on Tarkin in order to topple another high government official.
Tarkin is grateful to Pryce for exposing Higher Skies and eliminating his political rival Ghadi. He asks her what she wants in return. Pryce tells Tarkin that she wants the Governorship of Lothal in order to humiliate Governor Azadi and Senator Renking for costing her family their home and mining business. She offers Tarkin valuable information on Lothal's resources to the Empire. Tarkin accepts Pryce's help and request but opines that some would consider trading her homeworld as a betrayal. Pryce counters that she is showing loyalty to her "new homeworld."
Seeking to settle scores with Juahir for "betraying" her, Pryce personally accompanies Colonel Yularen and the ISB when they arrest Juahir Madras at Yinchom Dojo. Juahir had been using her positing as a martial arts instructor to recruit bodyguards into spying on their bosses. Pryce asks Juahir if she was ever a friend or just a tool for her. A distraught Pyrce reiterates that she was a friend and that she had joined Driller's espionage operation after Senator Renking had fired Pryce; believing the system to be corrupt.
Pryce does not fully accept Juahir's explanation and still believes that Juahir tried to use her. When Juahir pleads for help in return for their friendship, Pryce tells Juahir to cooperate with Colonel Yularen in return for escaping execution. Pryce says that she is on the road to power and hints that she can pull some strings to secure Juahir's release in a few years. As a final jab at Juahir, Pryce tells her that she should have chosen her friends better.
- UPC 759606088409; April 11, 2018; Marvel Comics
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