Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Thrawn Trilogy Concludes

Click here to read my thoughts on the first book in this trilogy.

I must explain that I felt about about leaving off (for months) in the middle of the Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn while also admitting that I do feel like it was the best thing for me to just take a break. You see, it was very awkward to try reading this trilogy at this precise moment in time. As anyone who's going to be reading this whole post probably knows, the Thrawn Trilogy is part of the non-canon legends, as compared with the post-2013 canon books. And given that this trilogy takes place at some point after the events of Return of the Jedi, it was actually confusing at times to be reading the newer books (like Bloodline and the later Aftermath books) at the same time as I was trying to read the older books. There are similar events in each, just with different details. So I had to set aside the Thrawn Trilogy halfway through the second book, Dark Force Rising, in order to allow myself to read the new publications (and some non-Star Wars books, of course), awaiting the time in which I would be able to refocus on non-canon.

And then along came news that Thrawn was going to have his own book, which of course just came out yesterday. That gave me a reason to thrown myself back into this trilogy in a desperate attempt to finish the older, non-canon version of this character's story before this newer, canon version came out. Whew.

I must also admit that, whether or not it was because of my rush to finally finish this trilogy after such a long delay, my interest began to dwindle. I really enjoyed Heir to the Empire. But by the time I got to the second two books, I really only wanted to read the scenes with Leia, Luke, and/or Mara. I came to care less about the political situation (after all, if it isn't canon, then the politics seem like something to pay little attention to--it's the characters that remain interesting whether or not they're "real" anymore) or about characters like Karrde or even C'baoth or Thrawn himself. I was interested in how Luke and Mara would interact with them, but not in them themselves. So the last book, The Last Command, in particular felt like a lot of bulk with only certain storylines that I wanted to follow.

Basically I just wanted to see more of Mara Jade, I guess. As I mentioned before, she quickly won me over, living up to her reputation. So it was fascinating to watch the direction that she moves in throughout this trilogy, especially in this last installment. Her "problem" resolves well, setting up a rather nice theme that complements the Luke/Vader/Emperor confrontation at the end of Return of the Jedi quite well.

I am only disappointed to see that Luke and Mara's story only just started here. I don't even know which books to read next in order to hear the rest of it; thankfully, there are plenty of online sources to help me out when I'm ready for more. That is, I would be quite ready right now if I didn't have other (once again, non-Star Wars) books (well, plus the new Thrawn, of course) to read. It's funny because I was excited to read this trilogy to find out more about Thrawn, but I lost much of my interest in his character along the way and now the only one I can think about is Mara. I kind of miss her already, and I really feel for the people who had to experience her becoming non-canon after they had gotten to know her simply as a character.

Ah, well, I guess this all just goes to show that, even if you're new to Star Wars books and even if most of them are now non-canon, it's still worth delving into the legends/expanded universe.

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