Millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror when the mouse officially declared that the stories in the Star Wars expanded universe as non-canon. There was a glimmer of hope when Lucasfilm stated that aspects of what is now deemed “Legends” could be brought into the new canon. At that moment, fans in unison, all wanted one character more than anyone… Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Famed author Timothy Zahn brought this character into our consciousness in 1991 with the novel Heir to the Empire, the first installment of what would become known as the “Thrawn Trilogy.”
Thrawn’s reputation as a master military tactician is legendary. Now, the character’s creator Zahn returns to the Star Wars universe and gets reacquainted with an old friend.
Thrawn serves as an origin story of the blue-skinned, red-eyed Chiss warrior, while detailing his rise to power in the Empire. Most of what we know about Thrawn is pretty much intact. Various characters that served under Thrawn in “Legends” become canon, except for Captain Pellaeon. Instead, a new character named Eli Vanto is introduced and carries the essence of Pellaeon in a younger form.
Vanto is an imperial cadet from the outer rim who talks with what could be a southern accent and is considered a “wild space yokel.” He vies for simplicity until fate brings Thrawn into his life and changes it forever. Zahn sets up Vannto as the listener’s window into how he helps Thrawn adjust to a career as an Imperial while marveling at his cunning and reserved disposition.