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"It was just after four o'clock on November 6, 1989, and I was three days into writing my first novel for my new publisher, Bantam Books, when the phone rang. It was my agent. 'Tim,' he said after the usual pleasantries, 'we have a very interesting offer here.'"
―Timothy Zahn[3]

Timothy Zahn is a science fiction author which is best known for his work on the Thrawn Trilogy, a series of books following the events after Star Wars's Return of the Jedi, introducing various characters to the saga, such as Grand Admiral Thrawn, Mara Jade Skywalker. He also wrote other books, such as Outbound Flight where he gave some backstory to Thrawn and Joruus C'baoth, which had been introduced in the Thrawn Trilogy.


Expanding the universe[]

Timothy Zahn first book in the Star Wars franchise was Heir to the Empire, which followed the events after Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi.[4] He later released Dark Force Rising as a sequel to the former,[5] and later concluded the trilogy with The Last Command.[6] He later wrote a duology which consisted of Specter of the Past[7] and Vision of the Future.[8]

Zahn also wrote various standalone novels, such as Outbound Flight, which told one of Thrawn's first victories, which gained him the respect of Darth Sidious.[9] Scoundrels,[10] Survivor's Quest,[11] Allegiance[12] and Choices of One.[13] He also contributed to the script of several comics and short stories such as Star Wars: Mara Jade – By the Emperor's Hand.[14]

Talon Karrde (portrayed by Zahn, right) with Mara Jade (portrayed by Shannon McRandle) and Corran Horn (portrayed by Michael Stackpole).

Zahn later portrayed Talon Karrde from The Thrawn Trilogy, for the Star Wars Customizable Card Game[15]. As Karrde had much more hair than his creator, Zahn needed to use hair extensions. He was also involved in the writing of Copero flashpoint in Star Wars: The Old Republic.[16]

Planned works[]

Before Zahn was hired to write a ninth Star Wars novel, Zahn had planned a number of ideas including stories of the Skywalker family, more adventures of the Hand of Judgment and more of Thrawn's and Mara Jade Skywalker's backstories.[17] At Celebration III, Zahn said he would like to write a novel set after Star Wars: Legacy of the Force, featuring Luke Skywalker, Mara Jade Skywalker, and a teenager Ben. But the possibility of that novel in that time period vanished when Mara died in Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice. However in a later interview with TheForce.net. Zahn said he still wanted to do a novel about the Skywalker family with Mara, Ben and Luke or to tell more tales. But it would have had to be before Star Wars: Legacy of the Force.[17]

Zahn answered a fan's question at Celebration III, he shared that he would be interested in working more with Thrawn if it involved a new threat that only a clone of the grand admiral could solve. The clone would become unsure of himself due to the people expecting him to be as good as the original Chiss. Zahn stated at a book signing in Philadelphia that he would like the clone of Thrawn to team up with Ben Skywalker.[18] Zahn stated through a Facebook Q&A in 2013, that he had a trilogy project to share with Lucasfilm, with one book featuring Thrawn and the Chiss species, the second involved Jade preventing an assassination attempt on Darth Vader, and the third book would be the third book in the Hand of Judgment series. The proposed title for the trilogy was The Maestro Trilogy.[19]

Rebuilding Thrawn and the Chiss[]

Timothy Zahn explored the Chiss Ascendancy on a new trilogy

After the announcement of the new continuity, Canon, in April 25, 2014. Which made all of Zahn's works Legends instead of Canon.[20] Zahn hadn't been involved in Star Wars, however, as Thrawn was reintroduced into the saga through Star Wars Rebels Season Three, through the episode Star Wars Rebels: Steps Into Shadow[21] created by Dave Filoni. He was chosen to write the Thrawn, a novel which focused on Mitth'raw'nuruodo, Thrawn's rise through the Galactic Empire's ranks. From Lieutenant Commander to Grand Admiral. Which released on April 11, 2017.[22]

The novel received a follow up, Thrawn: Alliances, which told the story of how Anakin Skywalker and the Chiss defeated the Separatists on Mokivj and how Darth Vader and the Grand Admiral discovered a major threat for the Empire, the Grysk Hegemony.[23] It was released on June 26, 2018.[24] He later released Thrawn: Treason, the final installment in the trilogy, where Thrawn defeated the Grysk Hegemony with the help of Admiral Ar'alani, and where he defeated Balanhai Savit.[25] It was released on July 23, 2019[26]

On September 1, 2020, Zahn released Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising the first book in the Star Wars: The Ascendancy Trilogy which was about Thrawn when was a member of the Chiss Ascendancy.[27] On April 27, 2021, Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good was released. Being the second book in the Ascendancy Trilogy.[28] Later, on November 16, 2021, Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil was released, which ended the Ascendancy Trilogy.[29]



Year Title Format
1991[4] Heir to the Empire Novel
1992[30] Dark Force Rising Novel
1993[31] The Last Command Novel
1994[32] First Contact Short Story
1995[33] Mist Encounter Short Story
1995[34] The Saga Begins Short Story
1995[35] Hammertong: The Tale of the "Tonnika Sisters" Short Story
1995[36] Sleight of Hand: The Tale of Mara Jade Short Story
1996[37] Command Decision Short Story
1997[38] Side Trip Short Story
1997[7] Specter of the Past Novel
1998[14] Star Wars: Mara Jade – By the Emperor's Hand Comic
1998[8] Vision of the Future Novel
1999[39] Mara Jade: A Night on the Town Comic
1999[40] Interlude at Darkknell Short Story
2002[41] Handoff Short Story
2003[42] Hero of Cartao Short Story
2003[43] Duel Short Story
2004[11] Survivor's Quest Novel
2004[44] Fool's Bargain Novella
2004[45] Judge's Call Short Story
2004[46] Changing Seasons Short Story
2006[9] Outbound Flight Novel
2007[12] Allegiance Novel
2011[47] Buyer's Market Short Story
2011[48] Choices of One Novel
2011[49] Crisis of Faith Short Story
2011[50] Heir to the Empire: The 20th Anniversary Edition Novel
2012[51] An Apology Short Story
2012[52] Heist Short Story
2012[53] Winner Lose All Short Story
2013[54] Scoundrels Novel
2017[55] Thrawn (novel) Novel
2018[23] Thrawn: Alliances Novel
2019[25] Thrawn: Treason Novel
2020[56] Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising Novel
2021[57] Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good Novel
2021[58] Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil Novel
n/a[59] Specter of Thrawn Comic

Roleplaying scenarios[]

Year Title
August, 1995[60] The Kaal Connection
July, 1995[61] The DarkStryder Campaign


Notes and references[]

  1. SWYTlogo.png The Mandalorian Season 2 Date Announced, A New Look at The High Republic, and More! on the official Star Wars YouTube channel (backup link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Novelist Timothy Zahn is the man who saved 'Star Wars,' according to fans. Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on December 18, 2021.
  3. The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook
  4. 4.0 4.1 Heir to the Empire
  5. Dark Force Rising
  6. The Last Command
  7. 7.0 7.1 Specter of the Past
  8. 8.0 8.1 Vision of the Future
  9. 9.0 9.1 Outbound Flight
  10. Scoundrels
  11. 11.0 11.1 Survivor's Quest
  12. 12.0 12.1 Allegiance
  13. Choices of One
  14. 14.0 14.1 Star Wars: Mara Jade – By the Emperor's Hand
  15. *Swccglogolg.png Star Wars Customizable Card GameReflections II: Expanding the Galaxy (Card: Talon Karrde) (backup link)
  16. *SWTOR mini.png First Look: 'Traitor Among The Chiss' Teaser on The Old Republic's official website (backup link)
  17. 17.0 17.1 Jedi Council Interviews - Timothy Zahn. TheForce.net. Archived from the original on June 2, 2020.
  18. Meeting Tim Zahn-Questions on the Jedi Council Forums (Literature board; posted by Coonsan on 2/5/07 12:20pm; accessed February 27, 2013) (backup link)
  19. Facebook icon.svg Star Wars Books (@starwarsbooks) on Facebook: Timothy Zahn Q&A (January 23, 2013): "(1) If there are to be more books, and if LFL/Del Rey/Disney decide to let me write some of them, I have a trilogy project to pitch where the third book would also be the third book of the Hand of Judgment series (Allegiance and Choices of One). Again, I don't know if that will happen. (2) A Fel or Chiss novel would be fun. As a matter of fact, the trilogy I mentioned above (which I'll pitch if I'm invited to do another book) would have one book heavily involving Thrawn and the Chiss. (The middle book, btw, would feature Mara being sent to stop an assassination...against Vader. Imagine the fun they would *both* have with *that* assignment.) The proposed series title is The Maestro Trilogy, if anyone wants to star nagging Del Rey. (No, seriously, *don't* nag. Just ask politely...)" (backup link)
  20. StarWars.com The Legendary Star Wars Expanded Universe Turns a New Page on StarWars.com (backup link)
  21. SWYTlogo.png Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 Live Stream – Day 2 | The Star Wars Show LIVE! on the official Star Wars YouTube channel (backup link)
  22. StarWars.com Timothy Zahn on His Novel Thrawn, How to Pronounce the Grand Admiral's Full Name, and More on StarWars.com (backup link)
  23. 23.0 23.1 Thrawn: Alliances
  24. PenguinRandomHouse.jpg Thrawn: Alliances (Star Wars) on Penguin Random House's official website (backup link)
  25. 25.0 25.1 Thrawn: Treason
  26. PenguinRandomHouse.jpg Thrawn: Treason (Star Wars) on Penguin Random House's official website (backup link)
  27. PenguinRandomHouse.jpg Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy (Book I: Chaos Rising) on Penguin Random House's official website (backup link)
  28. StarWars.com The Chiss Fleet Attacks in Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good – Exclusive Excerpt on StarWars.com (backup link)
  29. StarWars.com The Star Wars: Ascendancy Trilogy Will End With Lesser Evil – Exclusive Reveal on StarWars.com (backup link)
  30. Dark Force Rising
  31. The Last Command
  32. First Contact
  33. Mist Encounter
  34. The Saga Begins
  35. Hammertong: The Tale of the "Tonnika Sisters"
  36. Sleight of Hand: The Tale of Mara Jade
  37. Command Decision
  38. Side Trip
  39. Mara Jade: A Night on the Town
  40. Interlude at Darkknell
  41. Handoff
  42. Hero of Cartao
  43. Duel
  44. Fool's Bargain
  45. Judge's Call
  46. Changing Seasons
  47. Buyer's Market
  48. Choices of One
  49. Crisis of Faith
  50. Heir to the Empire: The 20th Anniversary Edition
  51. An Apology
  52. Heist
  53. Winner Lose All
  54. Scoundrels
  55. Thrawn
  56. Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising
  57. Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good
  58. Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil
  59. Specter of Thrawn
  60. The Kaal Connection
  61. The DarkStryder Campaign

External links[]