- "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
Alongside Star Wars: Dark Empire, Zahn's Thrawn trilogy (consisting of Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command) began an explosion of Expanded Universe media. Following these works, Star Wars novels and story collections by authors such as Kevin J. Anderson and Michael A. Stackpole were released, reinvigorating a franchise that had been largely dormant for years. Zahn also wrote two additional Star Wars novels, collectively called Star Wars: The Hand of Thrawn Duology (consisting of Specter of the Past, and Vision of the Future). He also wrote several stand-alone novels Survivor's Quest, Outbound Flight, Allegiance, Scoundrels, and Choices of One. He has also contributed to the script of several comics and short stories over the years, including Star Wars: Mara Jade – By the Emperor's Hand.
Zahn's work is not limited to Star Wars. He has also written the widely popular Conquerors' Trilogy, which tells the story of a war between Humans and a race of aliens that have indestructible spaceships and an "elder" form after death.
Following the announcement of the new canon continuity on April 25, 2014, Zahn had not been involved in any further writing of Star Wars titles. On July 16, 2016, however, it was announced that Zahn had been commissioned to author Thrawn, a novel focusing on the character within the new continuity, as Thrawn was re-introduced in Star Wars Rebels Season Three. The novel was released on April 11, 2017. A follow-up, Thrawn: Alliances, was slated for publication on June 26, 2018, before being delayed to a July 24, 2018 release. A third Thrawn book, entitled Thrawn: Treason, was released on July 23, 2019.
On September 1, 2020, Zahn released Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising, which acted as the first volume within the the Ascendancy Trilogy. The new trilogy follows the life of Thrawn when he was an active member in the Chiss Ascendancy.
- Heir to the Empire (1991)
- Dark Force Rising (1992)
- The Last Command (1993)
- Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising (2020)
- Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good (2021)
- Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil (2021)
- Survivor's Quest (2004)
- Outbound Flight (2006)
- Allegiance (2007)
- Choices of One (2011)
- Scoundrels (2013)
- Star Wars: Mara Jade – By the Emperor's Hand (graphic novel) with Michael A. Stackpole
- "Mara Jade: A Night on the Town", comic in Star Wars Tales 1
- Specter of Thrawn (cancelled)
- "First Contact", short story in Tales from the Empire (1994)
- "Mist Encounter," short story in Star Wars Adventure Journal 7, later printed in the paperback version of Outbound Flight (1995)
- "The Saga Begins," short story in The DarkStryder Campaign (1995)
- "Hammertong," short story in Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina (1995)
- "Sleight of Hand," short story in Tales from Jabba's Palace (1996)
- "Command Decision," short story in Star Wars Adventure Journal 11 (1996)
- "Side Trip," with Michael A. Stackpole, novella in Tales from the Empire (1997)
- "Jade Solitaire," short story in Tales from the New Republic (1999)
- "Interlude at Darkknell," with Michael A. Stackpole, novella in Tales from the New Republic (1999)
- "Handoff," short story in Star Wars Gamer (2002)
- "Hero of Cartao," short story in Star Wars Insider (2003)
- "Duel," short story / Hasbro tie-in. (2003)
- "Fool's Bargain," short story in e-book format, later printed in the paperback version of Survivor's Quest (2004)
- "Changing Seasons," short story in Star Wars Insider (2004)
- "Judge's Call," short story on Del Rey's website. (2004)
- "Buyer's Market," short story published in Star Wars Insider 126 (2011)
- "Crisis of Faith," novella included in the 20th Anniversary Edition of Heir to the Empire. (2011)
- "An Apology," short story created as an April Fools' Joke. (2012)
- "Heist," short story prequel to Scoundrels in Star Wars Insider (2012)
- "Winner Lose All," eBook short story prequel to Scoundrels (2012)
On April 25, 2014 the announcement of Star Wars Legends rendered the Expanded Universe largely non-canon, including characters such as Thrawn and Mara Jade Skywalker, as well as the general conception of events following the film Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi. Events from that era in the galaxy are covered in a new, re-booted canon featured in Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens. In July of 2016, it was announced that Zahn would author the novel Thrawn, featuring a canon version of the character, and the title was published on April 11, 2017. Prior the announcement of the new continuity, Zahn had floated a number of ideas for further stories within the Legends continuity, the publication of which is currently unlikely due to Disney's current lack of interest in publishing further Legends titles.
- Prior to being contracted to write a ninth novel, Zahn had expressed an interest in writing more Star Wars novels and specified a number of plot ideas, including stories about the Skywalker family, the further adventures of the Hand of Judgment, and more of Thrawn and Mara's backstories.
- 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 teenage Ben. But the possibility of a novel with the Skywalker family in this time period ended when Mara died in Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice. However, in a later interview with TheForce.net Zahn has said he still wants to do a Skywalker family novel or more tales of the Skywalker family with Luke, Mara, and Ben, but it would have to be set before Star Wars: Legacy of the Force. In response to a fan's question at a writer's workshop, Zahn said that, if given the choice, he would love to write a Skywalker family novel with Luke, Mara and Ben before Mara's death.
- In response to a fan's question (also at C3) he stated he would be interested in revisiting the character of 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 massive expectations placed upon him. Zahn said at a book signing with the 501st in Philadephia that he would like the Thrawn clone to team up with Ben Skywalker.
- He has stated that he's written a story detailing how Baron Soontir Fel leaves Imperial service and joins the Chiss Ascendancy, but it was never published.
- In a Facebook Q/A Zahn stated that he had a trilogy project to pitch to LFL, with one book heavily featuring Thrawn and the Chiss, the second involving Mara Jade preventing an assassination attempt on Vader, and where the third book would also be the third book in the Hand of Judgment series. The proposed series title was The Maestro Trilogy.
Notes and references
- Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 Live Stream – Day 2 | The Star Wars Show LIVE!