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Thrawn and Darth Vader Team Up in Next Timothy Zahn Novel

Thrawn and Darth Vader Team Up in Next Timothy Zahn Novel

There was an audible gasp and commotion in the convention hall of Star Wars Celebration in London in July of 2016 when it was announced that author Timothy Zahn‘s most beloved creation, the evil and ruthless Chiss military strategist, Grand Admiral Thrawn, would be returned to canon as a villain in season three of Star Wars Rebels, and indeed that Zahn himself would return to write a new in-canon novel, Thrawn, which was released about a year ago. Since then, Thrawn became the main villain of the rest of Rebels and Zahn has a sequel book slated for July 2018. Entitled Thrawn: Alliances, the book will follow a team-up between Thrawn and none other than Darth Vader himself.

StarWars.com has shared an excerpt from the novel which details the pair’s meeting with Emperor Palpatine in which he assigns them to work together on a particular mission to investigate a disturbance, one near Thrawn’s planet in the Unknown Regions. As you might guess, Vader and Thrawn don’t like each other much; their dynamic appears very much like that of Kylo Ren and General Hux in the new trilogy. Each fancies himself the right-hand of the Emperor, and each does so in a completely different manner, one through strategy and tactic and the other with fear and brute force. Putting the two together should prove very volatile indeed.

The other bit of information we can glean from the excerpt is the time frame; this adventure takes place squarely in between Rebels seasons three and four, since there are references to Thrawn’s recent defeat on Atollon, when Phoenix Squadron and the Ghost crew got away, and Thrawn had his run-in with the giant Force creature known as Bendu.

Another point of note: the disturbance Palpatine mentions is on Batuu. This is the name of the planet that will be featured in Disney Parks’ Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge areas. It’s a place both Thrawn and Vader remember, which lends an interesting history to the planet.

Thrawn and Vader never got to meet in the original continuity since the Thrawn Trilogy of novels took place after the original trilogy, meaning after Anakin Skywalker had been redeemed and gone to hang out with other ghosts, but now we’re hopefully going to get to learn what happened when the two met in Clone Wars era. Giving them a whole novel to spark off each other on a secret mission is fascinating, especially if it gives us insight to perhaps what happened to him following the finale of Rebels (getting lost in the Unknown Regions and what not). We shall see!

Thrawn: Alliances hits shelves in July.

Images: Penguin Random House

Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist. You can find his film and TV reviews here. Follow him on Twitter!

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