The new Star Wars: Thrawn trade from Marvel comes out this week. It’s a collection of the six-part comic book adaptation of the New York Times best-selling novel by Timothy Zahn.
As the crew of the Strikeforce investigate an uncharted planet in Wild Space, they are mysteriously attacked. As they withdraw, a lone figure infiltrates the ship and is soon captured. He is brought a translator who speaks Sy Bisti, believed to be the language used by Ciss. The Ciss warrior Mitth´raw´nuruodo, or as he asks to be called, “Thrawn,” is brought before Emperor Palpatine where he offers up his services and knowledge of the unknown regions in exchange for a position in the Imperial Navy as well taking Vanto on as his assistant and translator. The pair train in the Royal Imperial Academy and on the way up the ranks Thrawn and Vanto encounter pirates and insurgents around every turn.
Also in the story we have Arihnda Pryce. After having her family’s name and legacy destroyed, Pryce takes a job assisting a Senator and works her way up through the ranks to eventually become Governor of her homeworld Lorthal. Along the way she takes a job with an advocacy group and soon discovers that it’s a front to gather intel for the insurgent groups on the activities of the Empire. She goes to Grand Moff Tarkin with this information.
Both Thrawn and Pryce meet multiple times throughout the story, assisting each other in piecing together the puzzle that will eventually lead back to Nightswan and his true involvement with the insurgents. They will also discover the Empire’s plan to build a giant battle station. It all comes to a climactic end on Batonn as Pryce attempts to rescue her parents and Thrawn find himself face-to-face with Nightswan.
The story is adapted from Zahn’s novel by Jody Houser. The character of Thrawn is very complex and that is well displayed in the writing. Thrawn wishes to learn from the Empire so that he might save his homeworld from an imminent threat even more terrifying than the Empire. With the discovery of the Death Star, Thrawn is now forced to look at the Empire as a potential threat as well. This also interweaves his story with the story of Pryce. She is just as cunning as Thrawn and this is just as much her story as it is his. Houser does a great job with the political aspect of the story as well. There is an intricate common thread throughout the events in Thrawn’s career. The character of the Nightswan represents that thread perfectly. He is a smuggler and involved in some way to every incident in this story. It is a very interesting perspective to look at Imperials like Thrawn, Pryce, and Vanto as heroes and an insurgent leader like Nightswan as the villian.
The artwork on this series is magnificent. Luke Ross really knows how to set up a page to flow with the situation or action upon it. He also does a wonderful job of capturing the look and feel of the Star Wars universe. This is a beautiful looking book and Nolan Woodard’s colors only enhance the beauty of it even more. The action is exciting and vibrant to look at, making it jump right off the page. There are also moments of espionage and political dealings that have a shadier tone to them. These images are not only awesome to look at but they convey emotion and intensity that only adds even more to the feel of the characters.
Overall this is a brilliant adaptation to a masterful novel about a character that has been reintroduced into Star Wars canon and rightfully so. It is complex in its character designs and politics. This is a must-have for any Star Wars fan, especially fans of Thrawn.