Thrawn 1 is the first 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 February 14, 2018 by Marvel Comics.
One of the most cunning and ruthless minds in all of the Star Wars, Grand Admiral Thrawn is back with his own six-issue miniseries! Written by Jody Houser (ROGUE ONE ADAPTATION) and drawn by Luke Ross (STAR WARS: DARTH MAUL, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS ADAPTATION), follow the comic adaptation of Timothy Zahn's New York Times best-selling novel about Thrawn's rise in the Imperial ranks, on his way to becoming one of the most feared military tacticians in the galaxy far, far away.! [sic]
The scouting expedition
The comic opens with a blurb of Imperial cadet Eli Vanto's log. Vanto is on a mission to study a mysterious settlement and crash site on an unnamed planet in Wild Space in accordance with the Unknown Alien protocols. Due to his knowledge of Sy Bisti, Vanto is assigned by Captain Voss Parck with translating a series of crates.
While Vanto reflects on legends about the Chiss, a mysterious Chiss warrior downs a V-wing starfighter using a Monofilament cable, kidnapping the pilot and stuffing his suit with pyussh berries. He also steals the pilot's blaster, spare power packs, and concussion grenades. The Chiss warrior straps explosives to the bodies of rodents and sends them scurrying through the Imperial camp, causing explosions.
The Chiss warrior then downs a second V-wing using another monofilament cable. After knocking out the pilot, he steals his comlink, blaster, power packs, and concussion grenade. The stranger uses these weapons to ambush and kill several Imperial Navy troopers. Captain Parck dispatches two squads of stormtroopers and an Imperial Troop Transport. However, the Chiss warrior ambushes and kills a stormtrooper, stealing his armor.
Imperial troops find the missing stormtrooper's body. With the comlink channels disabled, Captain Park orders the Imperial mission to pull out. He also orders that the hut and crates be brought aboard their Venator-class Star Destroyer Strikefast. Aboard the Strikefast's hangar, the disguised Chiss warrior emerges from a crate but is captured by stormtroopers.
The captive Chiss is interrogated by Captain Parck, who is accompanied by Vanto. Vanto speaks to the Chiss warrior in Sy Bisti, a language spoken by the Chiss. The Chiss warrior introduces himself as Mitth'raw'nuruodo but allows them to call him "Thrawn." Thrawn tells the Imperials that he had been exiled to the uncharted planet because his people disagreed with his use of preemptive strikes.
Due to his knowledge of the Chiss, Captain Parck assigns Cadet Vanto with serving as Thrawn's liaison, translator, and aide to Thrawn. He also tasks Vanto with coaching Thrawn in Galactic Basic Standard. Vanto learns that Captain Parck intends to take Thrawn to Coruscant, believing that the Emperor Palpatine wuld be interested in him. Parck assigns Vanto with learning as much about Thrawn's homeworld and people.
Vanto meets with Thrawn in his cell. Thrawn deduces that Vanto is unwilling to act as translator, assistant or interrogator. Vanto does not have lofty ambitions and only aspires to be a logistics and supply officer. Thrawn takes an interest in Vanto, which startles Vanto who questions why Thrawn is not interested in Captain Parck and the Emperor. Thrawn tells Vanto that as a translator, he "holds his words and their meanings in their hands." Thrawn adds that Vanto is connected to his immediate survival.
Audience with the Emperor
At the Imperial Palace, Captain Parck presents Thrawn to the Emperor in his throne room. Thrawn tells the Emperor that he is a "resource whom he has never seen the like of before." When the Emperor queries, Thrawn tells the Emperor that there are threats lurking in the Unknown Regions that will someday find his Empire. He offers to help the Emperor seek out and eliminate these dangers.
When the Emperor asks what he wants from the Empire, Thrawn replies that he wants a state of mutual gain, offering his knowledge and skill in exchange for consideration to his people in the future. Thrawn is prepared to gamble with the Emperor over the fate of his people. The Emperor asks Thrawn if he will choose the Empire over his people if a threat rose against his people. Thrawn affirms his loyalty to the Emperor and says that Anakin Skywalker can vouch for him.
The Emperor realizes that Thrawn was the Chiss he had been expecting when Parck's message arrived. When Vader asks if Skywalker survived the Clone Wars, the Emperor lies that he did not. Thrawn says that he mourns Skywalker's passing, describing him as a cunning and courageous warrior. The Emperor tells Thrawn that Skywalker bad briefed him about his talents and abilities before his "passing."
Thrawn volunteers to serve as the Emperor's adviser on the Unknown Regions in return that his translator Vanto be transferred to duty at his side. After learning from Parck that Vanto has three months before graduating from the Myomar Academy, the Emperor decrees that Vanto will complete his training at the Royal Imperial Academy on Coruscant.
At the Royal Imperial Academy, Thrawn and Vanto are greeted by an unsympathetic Commandant Deenlark, who enrols Thrawn in a three–month orientation course. Deenlark also grants Thrawn the rank of lieutenant. In private, Vanto tells Thrawn that Deenlark awarded him with the rank of lieutenant not out of the goodness of his heart but rather to undermine his standing among the other cadets. Vanto explains that the other students may mistake him for Deenlark's pet or a failed officer who has been sent back for a refresher.
Thrawn endures xenophobic harassment and taunting from some Imperial cadets. Later, Thrawn and Vanto are invited to the metallurgy lab to play cards with the well-connected Spenc Orbar and his friend Rosita Turuy. Vanto warns it is a trap but Thrawn responds that "sometimes walking into a trap is the best strategy because there are few traps that cannot be turned against their designers."
In the metallurgy lab, Orbar reveals that he and Turuy invited them her because he wanted to pick Thrwan's brain on tactics and strategy for his battle simulation classes. After discussing the King's Lane card, Orbar challenges Thrawn to a game of Highland Challenge. Despite Orbar holding a King's Lane card, Thrawn is able to turn the tables. When an instructor stumbles upon them, Thrawn reassures him that Cadets Orbar and Turuy were running a test that he and Vanto were observing. Before leaving, Thrawn tells Orbar never to forget there is no such thing as a guaranteed "winning hand."
While walking, Thrawn teaches Vanto about anticipating his enemy before shoving him over a hedge. Shortly later, Thrawn is attacked by several hooded cadets. Vanto comes to Thrawn's aid by hurling dirt at them, blinding the attackers. Thrawn manages to fight them off long enough for other cadets to arrive. Thrawn is unconcerned by his own injuries and says that predators strike a balance between silence and speed.
Following the incident, Vanto and Thrawn submit comlink records to Commandant Deenlark as evidence that Cadets Orbar and Turuy instigated the attack on Thrawn. Since Orbay and his accomplices were well-connected and protected, Deenlark fears the political repercussions if he takes disciplinary action against them. To avoid political entanglements, Thrawn advises Deenlark to send Orbar's accomplices for starfighter pilot training at the Skystrike Academy due to combat reflexes. He convinces Deenlark to send the three troublemakers to the Skystrike Academy incommunicado in order to frighten Orbar into rectifying his behavior. While disagreeing with Thrawn for bypassing the proper Academy processes, Deenlark accepts Thrawn's solution out of political expediency.
Three months later, Thrawn and Vanto are assigned their first postings in the Imperial Navy. Lieutenant Thrawn is assigned as the second weapons officer aboard the Gozanti-class cruiser Blood Crow while Ensign Vanto is assigned to serve as an aide to Thrawn aboard the Blood Crow.
Vanto is dismayed and thinks that Thrawn set him up with the Emperor. Thrawn responds that the Emperor has not spoken with him since their first meeting. Thrawn reassures a disappointed Vanto that the Blood Crow is scheduled for duty in border sectors where Sy Bisti is spoken. He explains that he merely pointed out that it would be beneficial to have two Sy Bisti speaking officers aboard the ship.
Thrawn offers to refuse the posting but Vanto points out that the Navy doesn't change orders because junior officers don't like them. Thrawn and Vanto accept the situation. Vanto reflects that Chiss do not make idle boasts or promises and that they persist once they set their mind to something.
While the character Colonel Mosh Barris appears during the Empire's first contact with Thrawn in the original Thrawn novel, most of his speaking parts in the comic adaptation are assumed by Captain Voss Parck. In the original novel, Barris commands the scouting expedition on the uncharted world and makes the decision to withdraw back to the Strikefast against the orders of Captain Parck.
- UPC 759606088409; February 14, 2018; Marvel Comics
- UPC 759606094394; May 1, 2019; Marvel Comics; True Believers
- 00111; Cover E; Paul Renaud
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Notes and references
- In Chapter 19 of the novel Thrawn Ryder Azadi has been recently arrested and removed as governor, which Star Wars Rebels – "Gathering Forces" establishes was caused by allowing Ezra Bridger's parents to make their broadcasts. Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide states that Bridger was seven years old when his parents were arrested, and Star Wars: Galactic Atlas places his birth in 19 BBY; thus, Azadi's arrest, and Chapter 19 by extension, must occur in approximately 12 BBY. Additionally, as Chapter 19 takes place approximately four years after the start of Thrawn, this means that Thrawn begins in approximately 16 BBY.