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Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

Happy Star Wars Day!! May the Fourth be with you!!

My ex-boyfriend was very, very, VERY into Star Wars (like he has tattoos, lots of books, all of the special edition movies, and knows way more about the extended universe than can be healthy.) Every time that I’d say "Oh, I think you'd really like this book," he responded with "Is it Star Wars, Stephen King, or Michael Crichton?" I personally like Star Wars, but believe it or not, had never picked up one of the hundreds of books. Because I recognized the blue alien on the front cover, Star Wars: Thrawn became my first novel from the universe.... and it was not what I expected.

First off, I must say that the character Thrawn (Mitth'raw'nuruodo, an exiled Chiss with an incredible will to survive and conquer) is terrifying; not in the way that Pennywise or Freddy Krueger are, but in a way similar to the cold, calculated, ruthless nature of characters like Professor James Moriarty or Stalin. In this novel, we learn the canon origins (as opposed to that of legend – meaning before Disney bought Lucas Films) of Thrawn, one of the most intense characters in all of Star Wars. Using extreme skill and incredible militaristic tactics, he manipulates his way onto a ship exploring the obscure planet hosting his exile, then further drops the name "Anakin Skywalker", and is granted a private audience with Emperor Palpatine. He thus forms his pathway through Imperial trainings and to the top of the food chain, where he becomes an indispensable player in the Empire's seizing of power.

According to IGN (Imagine Games Network), the character Thrawn really kick started the entire Star Wars extended universe novels in his original introduction (again, pre-Disney). The fact that his original creator in both the legends era and the canon era is the same person is so unique. It gives this book the aura of the original trilogy, tapping directly into our collective sense of nostalgia. Though totally terrifying in the eyes of the Rebellion, Thrawn really is a fascinating character – well worth the numerous books – and a great introductory character into the written Star Wars world.

"There are things in the universe that are simply and purely evil. A warrior does not seek to understand them, or to compromise with them. He seeks only to obliterate them."

Thrawn, Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

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