Adult Novel


Timothy Zahn
Artwork by
11 - 2 BBY

BBY/ABY is used to position items along the Star Wars Timeline. BBY refers to Before the Battle of Yavin. ABY refers to After the Battle of Yavin. The Battle of Yavin in Episode IV: A New Hope occured in 0 BBY/ABY.

Rise of the Empire

The Youtini Expanded Universe Ranking system is a 1-5 scale that ranks EU book quality, difficulty, and importance. Books closer to Level 1 are easier to read and understand, more important, and of higher quality.

Level 2
Coming Soon
Coming Soon


No Spoilers

After stumbling upon an exiled Chiss on an abandoned planet, the Empire quickly realizes they may have found a new weapon. With his powerful intellect and devastating cunning, Thrawn is soon enrolled in the Imperial Academy on Coruscant along with Eli Vanto, new cadet for the Empire, serving as his translator. Despite mounting unhappiness with the unusual pair’s success, Thrawn and Eli climb the ranks in the Imperial military, just in time for a clash with a mysterious adversary known only as Nightswan…

Any villain as monumental as Grand Admiral Thrawn deserves an equally prodigious origin story, and this book delivers. With a healthy serving of mysteries to be solved, this tale of an unlikely alien’s climb to the zenith of the Empire is one of the Zahn’s most intriguing yet.

Publisher's Summary

Possible Spoilers

One of the most cunning and ruthless warriors in the history of the Galactic Empire, Grand Admiral Thrawn is also one of the most captivating characters in the Star Wars universe, from his introduction in bestselling author Timothy Zahn’s classic Heir to the Empire through his continuing adventures in Dark Force Rising, The Last Command, and beyond. But Thrawn’s origins and the story of his rise in the Imperial ranks have remained mysterious. Now, in Star Wars: Thrawn, Timothy Zahn chronicles the fateful events that launched the blue-skinned, red-eyed master of military strategy and lethal warfare into the highest realms of power—and infamy.

Youtini Quick Notes

Definite Spoilers
Show Anyway

Our Review




Very Good








Complete Disaster

Not Yet Reviewed

Don't worry. A review is coming soon.
/ 100
/ 100
/ 100
/ 100
/ 100
Read the full review

Staff Comments

Thrawn is easily one of the most entertaining books in the entire EU. While it can get dense and try to be a bit too intellectual at times, it more than makes up for it by showing the creation of arguably the greatest Star Wars villain outside of the Original Trilogy. While it helps to understand the lore around the character, who originally debuted in Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn, it's not necessary to enjoy this book. I would highly recommend it for any Star Wars fan.

- Charles Hankel

A staple of the new Canon, Thrawn brings a Legends favorite into the new era of Star Wars with an origin story that informs, entertains, and respects the legacy of Timothy Zahn's most beloved creation. While you do not need to be a fan of the original Thrawn trilogy to enjoy this book, Zahn's style is unmistakable as he writes the Grand Admiral once more.

- Eric Eilersen

Whether you’re new to the Expanded Universe or you’re a big fan of Thrawn during the Legends era, this novel accurately depicts the character through his strategic planning in response to military situations. Readers can easily relate to Eli Vanto, Thrawn’s personal aide, as he observes the talented strategist from a more casual standpoint. Thrawn made his name in Legends through the Heir to the Empire trilogy by Timothy Zahn, and the character has been seamlessly converted into the Canon timeline by staying true to his personality and continuing to be written by the original author. Outside of the novels, Thrawn makes many appearances throughout the Star Wars Rebels animated series.

- Heather Goldman

Whether you're a long time fan of the Expanded Universe or you're just getting into the novels, this book is a rich and entertaining look into how a longtime fan favorite came to be in the service of Palpatine. Cameos from Original Trilogy and "Rebels" characters spice up an already entertaining plot. The sheer intellect of Thrawn can make for momentarily dense reading, but thankfully Timothy Zahn gives us Eli Vanto, who offers an "everyman" point of view that makes the protagonist accessible. Even as part of a trilogy, it stands well on its own. Here's hoping it's a precedent for more beloved EU characters to join the current canon.

- Karl Sander

- Meg Dowell

- Stacey White

- Corey Helton

- Andrew Bell

This Clone Wars era novel slipped under my radar for quite a while. Maybe because the title sounds like a romance novel... But by the time I finally got around to reading this, I was incredibly surprised! This is a gem of Star Wars Legends and gives us the rare spotlight on Yoda and Count Dooku. After having just read Dooku: Jedi Lost, this really scratched the itch that I had with my newfound interest in the character. This time, he’s trying to set a trap for Yoda under the guise of wanting to end the Clone Wars once and for all. Also, Ventress! On top of all of this, we get great insight and perspective we get on Yoda and a very close, personal story with Dooku as well. Dark Rendezvous great atmosphere and setting on the spooky planet of Vjun!

- Jared Mayes

Community Reviews

Technical Specs

Del Rey
Release Date:
April 11, 2017
Page Count:
Issues Collected:
Marc Thompson


April 11, 2017
January 30, 2018
Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition
Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition insert
Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017 Limited Edition
See more

Other Books In This Series

You May Also Like

Report a bug
There's a disturbance in the Force...
Noticed a bug or wish to report some inaccurate or missing information? Just fill out the form below!
Thank you! Your contribution is appreciated!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Report Error
Contact Us
Get Help
Help Center
What is thy Bidding?
Report Error
Contact Us
There's a disturbance in the Force...
Noticed a bug or wish to report some inaccurate or missing information? Just fill out the form below!
Thank you! Your contribution is appreciated!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
What is thy bidding?
Want to get in touch or have a question?Just fill out the form below! Or tweet at us!
Thank you! We will be in touch soon!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.