Thrawn 2 is the second 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 March 14, 2018 by Marvel Comics.
THE RISE OF THE GRAND ADMIRAL CONTINUES! Mitth'raw'nuruodo, better known as Lieutenant Thrawn of the Galactic Empire, has graduated the Imperial Academy with the highest marks possible, as well as been assigned his own personal assistant, Ensign Eli Vanto, but that doesn't mean that everyone in the Imperial army wants him to succeed. Tensions run high in the ranks of the Empire as Thrawn continues to defeat new enemies.
Clone Wars antiques
While serving aboard the Gozanti-class cruiser Blood Crow, Captain Filia Rossi objects to Lieutenant Thrawn's collection of Clone Wars relics: a droideka, two buzz droids, half a STAP platform, and part of a hyperdrive docking ring. Regarding them as junk, she orders Thrawn to dump them before his next watch.
Later, Ensign Eli Vanto tells Thrawn that Rossi wants to wipe every trace of the previous Captain Rik Virgilio from the ship and that she used her political connections to get Virgilio transferred. Thrawn tells Vanto that he has managed to restore the buzz droids to working condition. Vanto hopes that Captain Rossi does not figure that the droids are work since she would have taken them for herself.
Mission aboard the Dromedar
A month later, Thrawn and Vanto are assigned to lead a crew to retrieve tibanna gas from the derelict freighter Dromedar. Vanto and the technicians Layneo and Jakeeb complain about dust and having to retrieve static–locked cargo. Thrawn learns that tibanna is static locked due to its highly explosive and valuable nature. The pilot Ensign Merri Barlin is unable to detect life-form readings due to the static screwing up her sensors.
While Thrawn and Barlin approach the bridge, Vanto along with Layneo and Jakeeb to the freighter's engine section. There, they encounter a human man named Nevil Cygni who claims that he is a freighter crew member and that the crew had been kidnapped by pirates. Cygni tells them that Captain Fitz locked the hyperdrive before the pirates could get to it. He also claims there is a reactor leak aboard the ship.
Thrawn tells Vanto to contact Captain Rossi to tell her to bring a fully operational crew while they attempt to restart the hyperdrive. If they are unable to do it, he recommends disengaging the static-locks and transferring the tibanna cyinders to the Blood Crow. However, Captain Rossi is unable to help since the Blood Crow has been diverted to prevent a conflict between the Makurth and Ho'din on Moltok. Vanto convinces Rossi to allow Thrawn to remain aboard the Dromedar in order to restart the freighter's hyperdrive.
Trapped by pirates
While Barlin and Layneo attempt to restart the hyperdrive, Thrawn, Vanto, and Jakeeb focus on acquiring the tibanna gas. Thrawn has also brought a buzz droid in an attempt to unlock the tibanna cylinders. Barlin manages to reactivate the hyperdrive. Before they can travel to Ansion, Cygni holds Thrawn and his comrades at gunpoint, revealing that he is one of the pirates. He convinces Thrawn to order Barlin and and Layneo to surrender in order to avoid bloodshed.
With the Imperials disarmed, Cygni and Angel discuss bringing the Dromedar and its cargo of tibanna to port. Out of respect for Thrawn, Cygni warns Angel not to harm any of the prisoners. He also allows Angel to take one of Thrawn's buzz droids due to its valuable doonium shell.
Thrawn and the Imperials are locked in the cargo hold of the Marauder with Captain Fitz and the crew of the Dromedar, which include two Gran and a Togruta. From Captain Fitz, they learn that Cygni was a pirate infiltrator who got aboard the ship using a fake authorization. She fears that they are doomed now that the ship and tibanna is gone. Vanto tells her not to give up hope and Thrawn tells them to wait until Cygni and the others have reboarded the Dromedar and jumped to lightspeed.
Turning the tables on the pirates
Thrawn discusses their escape plans with the Imperial crew and Captain Fitz. Thrawn reveals that he has modified the spare plaque that Commandant Deenlark gave him into a beckon call, which he uses to activate the buzz droid which Angel had brought aboard the Marauder. The buzz droid cuts open the bars of the cell, allowing Thrawn and the other prisoners to break free and overpower the pirates.
After disarming their captors, Thrawn assigns Ensign Vanto, Tech Jakeeb and Captain Fitz with guarding the prisoners. He sends Ensign Baylin and Tech Layeno to take over the control system. When Fitz points out there are more pirates in the cockpit, Thrawn reassures her that the other sections of the ship have been open to vacuum. Vanto explains that Thrawn moored a second buzz droid to the ship's hull. A pleased Captain Fitz tells Lieutenant Thrawn the ship is his and asks what course they should set.
Despite Thrawn's role in rescuing the crew of the Dromedar, Captain Rossi is furious with Thrawn for choosing to save the crew over retrieving the tibanna cargo. Captain Rossi suspends Thrawn and Vanto from duty and orders them to remain on Ansion while the Blood Crow finishes its patrol. Despite this setback, Thrawn reassures Vanto they can make use of their time on Ansion.
At the Imperial prison, Thrawn plays "good cop" with the three surviving pirate prisoners. Since the pirates are the remnants of Q'anah's Marauders, Thrawn plays on their fears of Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin by offering them safe passage from Ansion if they identify the system where Cygni and Angel have taken the Dromedar to remove the tibanna. Thrawn then leaves the room for the pirates to ponder his offer.
The pirates discuss their plans in Sy Bisti, thinking that Thrawn does not understand the language. However, Thrawn and Vanto are observing the conversation from a computer screen. Thrawn and Vanto learn that Cygni and Angel are traveling with the tibanna to Uba in the Barsa sector.
A bittersweet victory
On Coruscant, Lieutenant Thrawn is cleared by an Imperial panel of charges of insubordination during the Dromedar mission. Following the hearing, Thrawn and Vanto discuss their observations that the Empire is channeling vast amounts of resources, labor, and funds into a secret project that the Imperial Senate and Finance Ministry are not privy to. Thrawn enlists Vanto's help in investigating this mysterious project.
Short later, Ensign Vanto is visited by an elderly human woman named Culper, who serves as an aide to Moff Ghadi. Culper offers Vanto a well-paid job as an assistant military attache to the Governor of a prestigious Inner Rim system. She tries to entice Vanto with the offer of being promoted to a senior command position. Despite the lucrative offer, Vanto realizes that Moff Ghadi is plotting sabotage Thrawn's career in the Imperial Navy.
Vanto declines the offer, preferring to serve his three more years of Imperial Naval service with Thrawn. Culper reveals her dislike for Thrawn when she blames Thrawn for costing the Empire hundreds of thousands of credits by choosing to save the crew of the Blood Crow over retrieving the tibanna. Before leaving, Culper warns Vanto that he will be serving as Ensign for a long time.
- UPC 759606088409; March 14, 2018; Marvel Comics
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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.
- Thrawn ends shortly before the events of Star Wars Rebels: Steps Into Shadow. Dawn of Rebellion dates the events of Star Wars Rebels: Steps Into Shadow seventeen years after the end of the Clone Wars, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 19 BBY; therefore, the events of Steps Into Shadow must take place in 2 BBY.