Vision of the Future is a Star Wars Legends novel written by Timothy Zahn. It is the sequel to Specter of the Past (1997) and the second volume of Star Wars: The Hand of Thrawn Duology. It was first published in hardcover by Bantam Spectra on September 1, 1998.

Publisher's summary[edit | edit source]

Vision of the Future is the second book in the epic two-volume series The Hand of Thrawn from Timothy Zahn, the bestselling, Hugo Award–winning author of the original landmark trilogy based on George Lucas's legendary Star Wars films. Now the story begun in Specter of the Past comes to an explosive conclusion as Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo are thrust into the middle of an impending civil war—and discover the shocking truth behind the rumored resurrection of the dead Admiral Thrawn.

For a beleaguered Empire, desperate times call for desperate measures. Sowing discord among the fragile coalition of the New Republic, remnants of the once powerful Empire make one last play for victory. Having implicated the Bothans in the genocide of the Caamasi, they now plan an attack on Han and Leia that is also blamed on the Bothans. If they are successful, the New Republic will be torn asunder. To prevent inevitable disaster, Luke, Leia, Han, and their friends must prove the Bothans innocent and reveal the Empire's treachery. But time is running out.

The cunning Major Tierce has joined with the ambitious Moff Disra in the Empire's master plan. At its heart lies the most elaborate con of all: the rumor that the legendary Grand Admiral Thrawn, long believed dead, has returned to lead the Empire to a prophesied triumph. The news of Thrawn's return is already rallying Imperial forces against the New Republic.

As Leia travels to a secret rendezvous with an Imperial commander who claims to want peace, Han and Lando Calrissian journey into enemy territory to learn the truth of Caamas's destruction. Meanwhile, Luke and Mara Jade infiltrate a hidden fortress where Thrawn's most fanatical followers await his call to arms. And Talon Karrde returns to his underworld past and a brutal crime lord whose knowledge may save the Republic. But it is the truth about Thrawn that is most important. In his hands—alive or dead—rests the fate of the New Republic.

Vision of the Future is the magnificent finale to one of the most suspenseful, action-packed, and thought-provoking Star Wars stories yet. It is a masterful re-creation that captures the magic and adventure of the greatest science fiction saga of all time.

Plot summary[edit | edit source]

Thirty hours after repulsing the attack by an unidentified force, Admiral Pellaeon is informed by Captain Ardiff that the Chimaera has been repaired and is fully operational again. Pellaeon repeats his decision to remain in orbit over Pesitiin until they know for certain whether New Republic General Bel Iblis received his message. When Ardiff asks how much longer they can afford to wait, Pellaeon, after a moment's thought, decides two more weeks.

Aboard the Relentless, Moff Disra has accompanied "Grand Admiral Thrawn" (in reality the con man Flim) and Major Grodin Tierce (in reality a former Royal Guardsman) to the Kroctar system, a much deeper incursion into New Republic space than he is comfortable with. To his astonishment, the ship is hailed by Lord Superior Bosmihi, who eagerly petitions for the Kroctari's readmission into the Empire, having followed "Thrawn's" return with enthusiasm and fed up with Coruscant's lack of interest in their security. "Thrawn" appoints Disra to handle negotiating the finer points with Bosmihi. Aside, Disra angrily demands to know what Tierce is up to - even if Kroctar is legally free to defect from the New Republic, such a move will only increase the chances of Coruscant retaliating against the Empire, something it is definitely not ready for. He points out that Tierce is too good a tactician not to have considered this, and must have some greater scheme in mind, and Disra demands to know what it is. After a moment's thought, Tierce confides that while he was serving aboard the Chimera during the real Thrawn's campaign against the New Republic, Thrawn mentioned "The Hand of Thrawn" as the key to the Empire's ultimate and total victory. Tierce has never found any reference to the term in any Imperial record, and is not sure if the Hand is a person, a super-weapon, or some piece of vital information, but if the Hand is out there, then the best way of luring it or its holder into the open is to spread the word of "Thrawn"'s return.

Continuity[edit | edit source]

The character Alex Winger, who had previously appeared in several short stories from author Charlene Newcomb, makes a brief appearance in Vision of the Future. The novel notes that Winger has cybernetic fingers, which Newcomb later elaborated upon in the 2009 short story "Shades of Gray."[4]

The 2012 reference book The Essential Reader's Companion dates the events of Star Wars: The Hand of Thrawn Duology to 19 ABY, placing Vision of the Future between the novels Specter of the Past (1997) and Scourge (2012).[4]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

Vision of the Future ends with Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade intending to marry, and their wedding was later depicted in the 1999 comic book miniseries Star Wars: Union.[4]

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