Today’s review gives full vent to my nerdy side. Let’s look at a Star Wars: Legends series, The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn!
Titles: Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, The Last Command
Series: The Thrawn Trilogy
Author: Timothy Zahn
Genre: Sci-Fi/Science Fantasy
Rating: 4/5 stars
Overview: I confess I came to this series with a decided bias. I was disappointed with the Disney sequel trilogy and was already convinced this original continuation of the Star Wars franchise would be better. That being said, this book did not disappoint. I was (extremely) pleasantly surprised to learn that Thrawn was the main antagonist—I first met him in the Rebels TV show and soon declared him the coolest bad guy in the galaxy. It was fun to see him on the printed page and get a feel for who he was originally created to be.
Characters: For the most part, the cast consisted of our old friends from the original trilogy. There were a few new faces, Grand Admiral Thrawn, Mara Jade, and Talon Karrde being the most noticeable. I liked them all. There were times when the original cast didn’t feel quite true to their film selves, but hey, it’s fanfiction. We’re not expecting perfection. It was quite fun to see my old friends in these brand new situations. Luke especially experiences some much-needed character growth; I actually kind of like him in this series.
Thrawn, as aforesaid, is the main villain, and he plays his role to perfection. He’s basically the Sherlock Holmes of Star Wars. I only wish we could have gotten to see the story from his POV instead of constantly relying on Captain Pellaeon.
Content: The series was quite clean—another pleasant surprise. There were several instances of mild swear words, but for the most part, language is limited to phrases like, “he swore,” in which we never actually see the words themselves. There are no overly romantic moments either; just a few flirtatious comments from our favorite couple, the Solos. (Side note: I was happy to see them happily married in this series. That’s one of the things that bugged me the most about the Disney trilogy.) In the last book, there’s an undetailed childbirth scene.
Writing: The series shares a flaw common to a lot of books from the 90s—too many POVs. It was interesting to see the story from all their perspectives, but it was also a bit confusing at times trying to figure out whose head we’re in at any given time. There was also a bit too much detail on the finer points of space travel; but the author has a Master’s in physics, so what do you expect?
Summary: It’s always a good thing when you heave a small sigh after closing a book’s cover for the final time. It’s an even better thing when that sigh is accompanied by a little smile. That’s what this series did for me. I enjoyed it all the way to the end, and it was a bittersweet feeling to finish it. Sometimes the story moved a bit slowly, and sometimes I was a little confused as to what was going on. But it definitely held my interest from start to finish. The series only gets better with each installment. Would I have been as interested if these weren’t Star Wars books? Maybe not. But they are Star Wars books, and as such, they fulfilled their purpose. I recommend this series to Star Wars fans aged 16+.