Timothy Zahn on Thrawn & Vader: “Alliances” Features the Convergence of Two Villains

The Verge caught up to the author at SDCC; Star Wars Explained posts two videos

Possible spoilers ahead for Thrawn: Alliances…

Around the Galaxy: Star Wars News & Notes – July 27, 2018

I am in the middle of Timothy Zahn’s latest, Thrawn: Alliances and was pleased to come across The Verge’s  informative Q & A with the bestselling author.

Andrew Liptak introduced his piece and the book:

The book is the sequel to his 2016 novel Thrawn, a long-untold origin story for his fan-favorite character, Grand Admiral Thrawn. In the new novel, he brings together two of the franchise’s greatest villains: Thrawn and Darth Vader… Thrawn, reintroduced in Star Wars Rebels, and Zahn wrote the definitive origin story for the character in Thrawn — which could serve both the old canon and the new. Thrawn: Alliances picks up the story, but alternates between an encounter between Anakin Skywalker and Thrawn during The Clone Wars, and much later, during the events of Rebels. 

The inclusion/mention of prequel-era/Rebels characters is an integral part of the new book, including as it does Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker, with Thrawn bridging the gap between the eras, and interacting in both with Skywalker/Vader.

Liptak pulled together an excellent interview with Zahn in Sand Diego, with my favorite question/answer being…

The entertainment industry is no longer just about books or movies — it’s about overarching, coordinated multimedia IP. How important do you think it is to the fan experience to have that coordination, versus “Here’s another adventure in this world”? It feels like these franchises are far more heavily geared toward fans than before.

My feeling is, they don’t have to all interconnect with everything. But if you have a standalone game, it should fit the continuity. You shouldn’t have Captain America in two places at the same time, for example. But you also have to be careful: you cannot have something unexplained in a movie, and then explain it the novelization. It’s not fair to the moviegoer that they’d have to find out the details of this unexplained thing somewhere else. Now, you can deepen what’s going on, but the movie should be its own experience.

Also important to my enjoyment (thus far) are passeges including Padmé.

“I liked it,” said Zahn about getting to use the former Queen Amidala in the . “Padmé did not have that much to do in the prequel movies, but they fleshed out a lot more in the Clone Wars series, and that was the Padmé I wanted to write about. Being able to pick up that character and have her be really competent, in action when she needs to be, diplomatic when she needs to be.

“She’s a fun character to play with,” he added. “Of course Anakin and Vader are two sides: you have two hints of what Anakin will become, you can have hints of Vader’s past, and linking them together in the storyline was really fun.”

Thus far, I have really enjoyed the audio version of the book, but am also glad that Star Wars Explained did two videos on the book – they are both hugely helpful:

I also wrote about Thrawn: Alliances over at JB


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John Bishop

A graduate of Boston and Northeastern universities, John Bishop became the beat reporter for prior to the B’s 2006-07 hockey season. While with the Bruins, “Bish” traveled North America and Europe to cover the Black & Gold’s every move via laptop, blog, and smart phone. The co-author of two books, Bygone Boston and Full 60 to History: The Inside Story of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, John covered the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010 and the B’s 2011 championship run and banner raising before taking a faculty/communications position at a prep school outside Boston in 2013. He lives with his wife Andrea and sons Jack, Scott, and Luke in central Massachusetts.
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