STILL THE DEFINITIVE FOLLOW UP TO THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY.
With new Star Wars films on the horizon, now is a good time to rediscover the highlight of the old Expanded Universe.
A few days ago it was announced that principle photography for the seventh Star Wars film has been completed. The title of Episode VII, which is the first part of a new trilogy set after Return Of The Jedi, was also confirmed to be The Force Awakens. (Yes, I agree, it’s a very uninspired title.)
Little is actually known about the plot of the film, or the trilogy in general, but what is known for certain is that these new films will not be acknowledging the vast Expanded Universe of Star Wars literature that has been produced over the years. Earlier this year, Disney, the new owners of the franchise, announced that they were de-canonising the stories told in these books, comics etc. so as not to constrain the producers of future films. This is actually not a bad thing because most of the Expanded Universe material (with a handful of exceptions) is unmitigated rubbish.
I must confess, I am not particularly excited about the prospect of this new Star Wars trilogy, but the announcement brought to mind a pre-existing sequel trilogy that not nearly enough people are familiar with. I am of course referring to author, Timothy Zahn’s, The Thrawn Trilogy, that was published in the early nineties. This three book series, which picks up five years after the events of Return Of The Jedi, not only tells a great story, it also introduced Star Wars fans to a number of memorable new characters; notably the titular Grand Admiral Thrawn, and of course the iconic female Jedi, Mara Jade.
The three books of the trilogy, Heir To The Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command have been so well received by readers and critics alike, that they have been accepted, unofficially at least, as canon by some. Indeed, many people have lamented the fact that Zahn’s work was never, (and now never will be it seems), adapted for the big screen, so the upcoming new films will have their work cut out to achieve the same level of acceptance from these fans. Even then, it’s very doubtful that the new trilogy will tell quite as strong and compelling a tale as Zahn delivered.
If you have never read The Thrawn Trilogy, then I certainly recommend that you rectify this as soon as possible. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Shining a spotlight on those books, series, authors and publishers most deserving of more attention, and a wider audience of readers.