The embattled Republic reels from the attacks of Grand Admiral Thrawn, who has marshaled the remnants of the Imperial forces and driven the Rebels back with an abominable technology recovered from the Emperor's secret fortress: clone soldiers. As Thrawn mounts his final siege, Han and Chewbacca struggle to form a coalition of smugglers for a last-ditch attack against the empire, while Leia holds the Alliance together and prepares for the birth of her Jedi twins. Overwhelmed by the ships and clones at Thrawn's command, the Republic has one last hope--sending a small force, led by Luke Skywalker, into the very stronghold that houses Thrawn's terrible cloning machines. There a final danger awaits, as the Dark Jedi C'baoth directs the battle against the Rebels and builds his strength to finish what he had already started: the destruction of Luke Skywalker.
Features a bonus section following the novel that includes a primer on the Star Wars expanded universe, and over half a dozen excerpts from some of the most popular Star Wars books of the last thirty years!
Timothy Zahn attended Michigan State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in physics in 1973. He then moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and achieved an M.S. degree in physics in 1975. While he was pursuing a doctorate in physics, his adviser became ill and died. Zahn never completed the doctorate. In 1975 he had begun writing science fiction as a hobby, and he became a professional writer. He and his wife Anna live in Bandon, Oregon. They have a son, Corwin Zahn.
Maybe how a trilogy should be it’s that all three parts would be the same as good. I am sure nobody would mind about that.
However, if perfection isn’t in the equation, I think that a wise approach is constructing a solid first part, not necessarily extraordinary, but with great potential to become better and introducing interesting new characters. Then, having a second part involving a bigger scope action and since we would have an expected third part, so why not a victory for the bad guys? So far, it was a format quite similar to the original movie trilogy of Star Wars (while I do think that the first film was truly extraordinary, where yes, the scope in the second film was bigger and more intense, both movies the same as epic and iconic).
Then the fearful third part comes.
Moviegoers can tell you how hard is having good third movies in a trilogy (why? I don’t know, maybe some voodoo curse, or something!) but it’s almost inevitable after two good movies, having a failure in the third movie. Even sometimes, if we are so kind with those third movies, we can rescue some elements, we can appreciate some effort, but the unmerciful general opinión decrees that the third movie wasn’t near as good as the previous ones.
You know? I like the third movie of Star Wars. Close friends know that my complain is about the use of the Ewoks. And it’s not the Ewoks per se, since I find them as an interesting alien species and even they had a whole better 80’s animated series in comparison with the boring and poor produced Droids. My objection falls in making a comedy-like battle of primitive almost-naked care bears against profesional trained armored-suited soldiers.
In any case, we could have an eternal discussion if Return of the Jedi is as good as its two previous installments.
The same kind of arguments, I’m sure, since I have no doubt there must be many readers who consider that all three books in the Thrawn Trilogy deserved a full 5-stars rating. Where I have no problems with that, since it’s the right of each reader to give the ratings that they feel that it reflects as their own personal reading experience with the books.
In my own personal case, it was like an increasing reading experience. Heir to the Empire was a 3-stars’ experience (still on the good side of a positive reading), then Dark Force Rising was a 4-stars’ experience, and now, in this book, The Last Command, I am truly glad of finding it as a truly 5-stars’ experience, that seeing the trilogy as a whole long story, I found that it’s the ideal way to present a story, since indeed the climax, the final part should be the strongest and most solid section of the entire narrative.
A LEADER IS AS GOOD AS HIS/HER OFFICERS
Grand Admiral Thrawn was a formidable strategist and a born leader.
However, a leader is as good as his/her officers. I still am kinda hesitant about his appreciation of how the Emperor may use the Force to coordinate fleets formations but it’s clear that Thrawn has a vision, a clear vision of how to deploy an effective plan to give back the Empire its former glory.
Sadly, he can’t be everywhere, and he needed to trust in the decisions of his/her officers and associates where even they may have “good intentions” to help the cause (sometimes they may be just plain crazy), but the final result can be disastrous. And even Earth’s Roman Emperors’ history can give useful tips of how crutial is who you choose as your own personal security (of course, it’s possible that since Earth is in another galaxy, far far away from them, the Empire wasn’t aware of certain history’s valuable lessons) but still since Thrawn is shown as some formidable strategist and a military leader seeing two steps ahead of his fellow comrades and enemies, it’s kinda odd that he may be susceptible to such dangerous situations.
ATTACK OF THE CLOONEYS
The idea of having evil crazy clones is really cool. However, their choices of names is kinda odd.
I mean, without making any spoiler (don’t worry), there are clones there, okay? But their names is basically the same name of their original counterparts but just adding an extra vowel (a,e,i,o or u) in their names, and while there are some vowels where when you have a distinct sound (Geez! I feel like doing a Sesame Street segment!) there are some vowels that even having two of them, the sound would be pretty much the same. Sure, in a prose novel like this one, you can easily differentiate them from your comfy position as reader...
...but how the heck the characters can tell any difference in the names?!!!
It’s not like Jango Fett’s clones just decided to name themselves “Jaango” as an unanimous call. No, they chose to name themselves like Cody, Rex and so on. Even Jango’s unaltered clone is named Bobba. Totally different names.
Even weirder, I think that there is some intention of deception in the crazy evil clones here, in the sense that they may want to be perceive as the “originals” and not clones, so why bother even to choose names that they are virtually the same that hearing them, it will be heard without any sound difference?
Street Fighter may show easy wisdom in the case of Ryu, where his evil clone is named... Evil Ryu!!! See? Easy! Anyone will be able to say... “Aaah! Sure! You’re Evil Ryu!” (Of course, besides the clear name, you have a cool dark aura, but still…) it’s not like Evil Ryu appears and he says... “I’m Ryuu!” and people would just hear the name as “Ryu” without knowing that there is a dang extra vowel “u” in the name! Geez!!!
NEVER WILL BE THE SAME ANYMORE
Any good book in a series should create an everlasting impact, in the sense of the introduction of new characters, the forge of new interactions between characters, crutial change in the status situation of the characters, etc... in that way, the story can be felt as something relevant in its existence in the developing of the series.
And certainly, the Thrawn Trilogy had all that!
So, putting aside some inconsistencies due the theatrical films made several years after the publication of this book trilogy, no one can deny the importance of it, with the introduction of key characters that they become crutial in the development of the Expanded Universe in Star Wars during 25 years since then.
As this sequel trilogy drew to a close, I couldn't help but think what a great flick this would have been. Timothy Zahn is an excellent writer, and this trilogy brings to the page what made the original films fabulous: action, romance, heroism, etc. If only Disney had adapted the already existing literature to celluloid form instead of relegating them to "Legends" status!
This review applies to all three of the Thrawn Trilogy novels
It might not be entirely fair to these books that I first started reading them expecting them to be masterpieces (touted by more than a few people I know as the very best of Star Wars EU fiction), because to be quite honest, I was more disappointed than I was impressed with them. I say that this might not be fair because in reality, they aren't that bad; the plot is certainly interesting enough to hold your attention, especially if you're a Star Wars fan. However, there are several aspects of these books that just irked me the entire way through, and ultimately prevent the series from getting any more than a "read it if you've got nothing else better to read" recommendation from me.
The first and biggest problem with the Thrawn Trilogy is the portrayal of the central characters from the original Star Wars films. Luke, Han, Leia, Lando, C-3PO; even Chewie and R2-D2 all fall extremely flat when compared to their movie counterparts. Han and Leia get the shortest end of the stick, possessing very little of the wit and charm (and absolutely NONE of the romantic chemistry) that made their characters shine on screen. All the pair ever seem to do in these novels is worry about things; Leia about the success or failure of her political endeavours, and Han about the well-being of Leia. Luke comes off as the most faithfully portrayed; essentially remaining at the same level of mild stoicism and virtuosity as he was at in Return of the Jedi (which wasn't very interesting to begin with). C-3PO and R2-D2 are basically just parodies of themselves, and worse, barely contribute a thing to the story despite at least one of them being present at nearly every major event (See: The Prequel Trilogy). Chewbacca and Lando are boring cardboard cut outs. This is all made worse by the fact that returning characters seem to feel the need to constantly remember (and very often quote) parts from the original films, and reflect on how similar or dissimilar that particular event was compared to their current situation. It's as though you as the reader are constantly being turned towards and winked at every few chapters, in case you forgot you were reading a Star Wars book.
Another big problem is the new characters. While thankfully the books are all but saved by the presence of interesting newcomers Talon Karde and Mara Jade (despite their being fairly transparent Mary-Sues), virtually every single other new character is flat and boring. Grand Admiral Thrawn (the titular villain of the series) would have been an interesting new character if we'd ever been given a look at him through his own mind, and not through the eyes of his bland and annoying first officer. Thrawn is essentially omniscient; whenever there is any kind of trickery afoot he automatically knows that something is up (and often exactly what the trickery is, who is orchestrating it, and why) even when he would have absolutely no reason to suspect anything normally. Again, this would be interesting if we were ever given a look at his supposedly ingenious thought process, but every time it happens, it seems to do so only because the plot needs it to. This is very, very lazy writing. Jedi Master Joruus C'baoth is intriguing as a concept, but is mostly left on the sidelines of the story from the beginning of the first book until very late in the third book, and is given little to do in between. The other new characters such as Senator Garm Bel Iblis, Winter, Niles Ferrier, Councilor Fey'lya and Ghent are all one-note characters with a single defining characteristic each.
Finally, author Timothy Zahn's writing style simply isn't very good. Particularly when characters are conversing with one another, there seems to be only a few different types of responses (which often sound awkward and hard to envision) that characters are able to give one another, such as: "grunted", "retorted", "countered", and "conceded". Zahn also uses the word "sardonic" incorrectly on a few occasions, and by the end of the third book it was really getting on my nerves how often characters tended to "mentally cross their fingers", or admit defeat in an argument by simply saying "Point."
Over all, I may have made this book seem awful, but it really isn't. As I said, the plot is interesting enough to hold your attention (even though the pay-offs to established mysteries usually somewhat underwhelming), and its cool to see some of the concepts from the movies expanded upon in greater detail than in the films (such as the logistics of using The Force, or how space battles and hyper-drive technology actually work in the Star Wars universe). Though you may find yourself, as I did, skimming over more than a few redundant character conversations or internal debates. For my part, however, I'll definitely try to avoid Star Wars EU books which prominently feature characters from the films as their protagonists, as the discrepancy between screen and page portrayals was the biggest obstacle for me.
This was a fun conclusion to the Thrawn Trilogy. It was of a similar quality to the previous two books in the series and satisfactorily wrapped up the main ongoing plot arcs.
The ending produced a few shocks which was quite entertaining. I was happy with the way things concluded regarding the Dark Jedi Jorus C'baoth, but felt like things with Thrawn were a bit rushed. On the plus side Thrawn was back to his best in this book. He was a step ahead of his enemies most of the time.
Thrawn, Karrde, and Mara Jade continue to be more entertaining than the characters from the original movies. I'll read more from the now defunct Star Wars EU just to read more about them.
Rating 3 stars.
Audio Note: Mark Thompson did a fantastic job with this full series. The sound effects also helped to give the audio book a real Star Wars feel.
3.5 Stars This final volume is what I was waiting for while reading the first two books in the trilogy. I liked Mara Jade playing a larger role with a real sense of suspense and potential danger. This trilogy is worth reading for anyone who wants to read further into the Star Wars expanded universe.
Same review for all three: I grew up on Lucas' film trilogy; it took on a certain mythological quality. Say what you will about Lucas: I won't apologize for this enjoyment. When the first horn blasts of that John Williams score strike, I wear that nerdy shame with all of its lightsaber-wielding pride.
And Zahn pulls off a follow-up trilogy just well enough to pass. We get some closure on the whole Han/Leia thing, we see how well the fledgling Republic fares, watch Luke struggle through his on-going mentor-less apprenticeship. It moves along at a fair-enough pace, pays respect to the "classic" characters while introducing some well-executed new ones, and honors canon well enough that it won't raise the hackles of the rabid fan.
High literature, it is not. A decent enough lightweight read for an unashamed Star Wars fan, it is.
Really enjoyable and fitting closure to the Thrawn trilogy, and Mara Jade's dilemma. The audiobook performance really elevated the story-telling, which was otherwise fairly predictable. Luke and Leia both come across as being too nice and bland sometimes, which thankfully was tempered by more interesting characters like Han, Chewie, Lando, Talon Karrde and his smugglers, even the Noghri, and of course, Thrawn - one of the most impressive antagonists I've read to date.
What I liked most from these books is the expansion of the Star Wars galaxy from the beloved movies while maintaining the nostalgia with the characters that made it special.
Rather then ending the Thrawn Trilogy with a whimper, Timothy Zahn saves the best for The Last Command!
With Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine gone, the New Republic was supposed to usher in a golden age of peace. Instead, the galaxy finds itself being torn apart by the ravages of war again. Led by the brilliantly tactical mind of Grand Admiral Thrawn, the dreaded Imperial Empire has risen again, armed with a fleet of seemingly-indestructible starships that are being piloted by a limitless army of clones. Pulling the strings of the Empire's vast clone army is Dark Jedi C'Baoth, who is too far gone in his delusions to realize that he himself is also merely a puppet of Thrawn's. In a last ditch effort to end the war and defeat the Empire, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo lead a covert mission with the one person who knows enough about Thrawn's stolen technology to destroy it...Jedi warrior Mara Jade, who once served as the Emperor's most trusted assassin. But even if Luke manages to save the galaxy, he may never get to see the results of his work, since Mara Jade has vowed to fulfill the Emperor's last command and kill Luke Skywalker...
Like many people my age, I grew up loving Star Wars, but in more recent years, it became harder and harder to remember why. Let's face it, the prequels were, at best, disappointing, and when Lucas re-released the original Star Wars trilogy, it seem like without that childhood sense of wonder, the flaws of the original trilogy were far more glaring. Sure, the action was great and the one-liners were amusing, but when you really look at the original movies, the characters were mostly cliched, the overall story was pretty standard, and much of the dialogue that didn't make us laugh induced groaning instead. In fact, what better evidence is there that the much of the appeal of the original Star Wars trilogy was cosmetic than the fact that Boba Fett became such a fan-favorite character...despite the fact that he didn't really do much more than wear a cool-looking suit of armor...
"Let the stormtroopers do all the work...I'm just going to stand around and look shiny!"
But Timothy Zahn's brilliant Thrawn Trilogy has reminded me why Star Wars still has a special place in my heart...it's FUN!!! Yes, even with its flaws, if the stories are done right, the good far outweighs the bad and the audience is taken on a roller-coaster of a thrill ride. But with the Thrawn Trilogy, Zahn has managed to up the ante a bit by giving us a story that's not only fun, but intelligent as well. And no character embodies the more cerebral nature of Zahn's Star Wars stories than lead villain Grand Admiral Thrawn himself. While Darth Vader was more inclined to simply choke the life out of someone who displeased him, Thrawn's tactics are far more methodical. I knew I was in for a different kind of Star Wars adventure right from Chapter 1, when Thrawn uses a strategically-placed cloaked ship to give the illusion that his own starfighter can somehow manage to shoot through his prey's shields, causing them to surrender because they believe he possesses a super-weapon that doesn't actually exist! All throughout the book, Thrawn machinates complex schemes that are fascinating to watch as they unfold...my favorite being the most creative usage of asteroids that I have ever seen!
Not that the bar was set that high...before this book, the most creative usage of asteroids in art was a game where you did nothing but shoot at rocks over and over...if I had to chose between playing this game for two hours or watching that movie where Bruce Willis and a bunch of oil-drillers get shot into space...well, I'd still pick this game, but it would be harder to chose than it should be!
But Thrawn is just one of many things that works about this novel. In addition to Thrawn's master plan, multiple sub-plots introduced in the first two books are realized in a superb fashion. Princess Leia's pregnancy, smuggler Talon Karrde's efforts to rally his fellow rogues against the Empire, Thrawn's mysterious informant within the Republic, and of course, Mara's mission to kill Luke...Zahn was juggling a lot in the trilogy's final episode. Fortunately, rather than collapse under its own weight, the book weaves all the various plot-threads together, leading each to a more-than-satisfying conclusion. In addition, the minor problems I had with the last two books were resolved this time around. While the previous two books dragged at times, this one was paced beautifully, so much so that I never once found my interest waning. Classic characters like Han and Leia were handled better and no longer felt outshone by Zahn's original characters like Mara and Karrde. Even dark Jedi C'Baoth, who I found more annoying in the past, came across as a far more intimidating adversary this time around. Yes, if there was any flaw this time around, it was that the ending came a little too abruptly, but it was hard to get too upset about that, considering it was so artistically done!
Above is another example of something artistically done! Forget that overrated Mona Lisa drawing...as far as I'm concerned, THIS is true artwork!!!
Exciting, intelligent, and most of all, FUN!!! "The Last Command" is the best book in an amazing 3-novel series. To anyone who ever enjoyed the Star Wars universe, this trilogy is a must read. And if, like myself, you ever found yourself wondering why you ever liked Star Wars so much in the first place, this trilogy will make you realize that your original love of Star Wars wasn't just the result of some Jedi mind-trick...
Awesome ending to an awesome trilogy (and we finally get some great jedi vs. jedi action).
This is a great series of books, but I will reiterate what I said in an earlier review: If you can get your hands on the Marc Thompson narrated audiobooks for this series I highly recommend it. It takes this trilogy from a series of great Star Wars stories and elevates it to an epic Star Wars experience.
This book is longer than the first two books by 60 and 20 pages respectively, but it felt so much longer. That's not a knock against the book, its just that it had so much story to tell in its pages that it felt like quite a lot!
I loved the whole battle for Coruscant, and I loved the whole battle of Wayland. Both were set up and payed off well. I was shocked at how few pages the Battle for Coruscant took, but Zahn made it feel epic and important nonetheless.
Mara Jade had a great character journey in this book, and is probably my standout character, just like the last book. Although I do think some praise is in order for what Zahn did with Garm Bel Iblis in this book.
When the company arrives on Wayland, the book slows down a little bit, and runs the risk of feeling overlong. I think it still works well because Zahn put some excellent moments between Luke and Mara that make up for it. (Side Note: I didn't even remember this sequence from the first time I read the book, it felt totally new to me).
Thrawn is fantastic in this book, and this is the book where his hubris gets the better of him. He always is willing to listen to facts, and even is right just about the whole time. But that one piece of information he didn't know he didn't have cost him dearly, and was handled perfectly by Zahn.
I still think the way Zahn deals with "YOU MUST KILL LUKE SKYWALKER" is a little convenient and easy, but it makes sense in the story. Other authors will eventually do this trope to death, but I think it was handled well here.
I also really enjoyed the reveal of who/what the spy was on Coruscant. Zahn had set up some obvious answers, but goes with something else that was foreshadowed earlier and makes total sense in hindsight.
Talon Karrde's story is actually really good in this book, and I'm shocked he wasn't used more in the overall EU. His tactical ability and charm are fun to read about, and it is great seeing what Han could have ended up as.
Overall, a very strong book. I think it is slightly better than book two, but not quite as entertaining as book 1. I'll give it a 9.3 out of 10!
"Your destiny is in your heands...in the end you're the one who makes the decisions" The final entry in the esteemed Thrawn Trilogy! The Katana fleet is Thrawn's and he has been using it quite liberally--along with a new breed of clones--to slow take back all the ground lost to the New Republic. The New Republic is scrambling desperately, but to no hope. The Republic's only chance of warding off the Empire is to destroy the unending supply of Imperial clones. And it will take the collaboration of long-time enemies to win. NOTE: Spoilers from the previous two novels may appear.
I Liked: Another tough section to write as I want to include everything from the previous two novels! In this third book, Zahn steps up the threat of Thrawn by allowing him to capture the Katana fleet and be successful in his takeover of worlds. Too often, a villain is "dangerous" or "evil" because the author writes it. But the villain never does anything that really threatens the heroes and makes the reader wonder who will come out on top. This is certainly not so with The Last Command. I was a bit worried earlier on in the trilogy, when Thrawn's expertise was lauded and yet he seemed to fail at every venue. While this was notable in making Thrawn fallible, it was also possibly hurting his reputation and believability as a true villain. I shouldn't have worried. Zahn followed up with a nice little win for Thrawn, and now the stakes are truly high and our heroes do have something real to worry over. I've talked endlessly about the characters, Luke, Leia, and Han, so I won't really add anything, other than they are, as always, fabulous. I also love how Zahn gets the credit for creating the Solo twins, who would make such an impression in the New Jedi Order and the Legacy of the Force series. But I also love the path that Mara's story is taking. In many ways, the Thrawn trilogy is her trilogy. She grows, from a nomadic smuggler, running from her past, to a Rebel embracing her future. Mara realizes the Empire is dead and will never return, that the Emperor may not have always told the truth, and perhaps she doesn't want to kill Luke after all. Her growth in this trilogy is truly amazing. And while she does tread the Mary Sue line, well, I can handle it. I really like how Zahn brought in the clones and references to the Clone Wars. While much of our knowledge of the Clone Wars has changed with the prequels, I like seeing how his ideas still fit or can be worked into the "new" universe. It's also interesting to think about how the Force behaves around clones. I hope someone gets a chance to talk about that. Also, I applaud Zahn for his nice, crisp conclusion. Not too long and preachy, hopeful, yet tinged with solemnity. The universe has been saved...but the New Republic still has a long way to go.
I Didn't Like: I really have to be nit-picky yet again in order to come up with anything for this section. While I like the clones, Zahn doesn't give them much of a personality (apparently, a plague of being bred in an ysalamiri environment) nor does he give much indication of what happens to them afterwards. The concept of the ysalamiri even seems to have changed since Heir. In Heir, Luke never senses the dark void the ysalamiri create, allowing himself to be captured. Here, Luke and Mara can sense that Mount Tantiss is shrouded in darkness, meaning they wouldn't be able to use the Force. Petty, but I was a little perturbed that the Solo-Skywalker clan can jail-break Mara and receive no repercussions. Just another thing that makes me wonder if the New Republic is going to be quickly corrupted.
Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence: None. Leia gives birth to her twins and breast-feeds them. Several characters die. Luke, Han, Lando, Chewie, and Mara are sent to Wayland to destroy the cloning facility.
Overall: Some things age well with time, others don't. I've read a few older Star Wars novels that just haven't quite stood the test of time. I can happily state that the Thrawn Trilogy isn't one of them. As a review of both the last book and the series as a whole, the Thrawn Trilogy is in short brilliant. There is no doubt at all that this is Star Wars. Lightsaber battles, Jedis, Imperials, smugglers, new worlds, new aliens, new technologies, new characters, Han, Luke, Leia, the Force...all are here and are masterfully written. The minute you begin reading, you are enveloped in the world and are startled when you realize you are reading Star Wars and not watching the movies! I cannot give these novels enough praise. If you are a Star Wars fan, these need to be the first novels you read.
If you're thinking about picking up a Star Wars book, forget all those new ones on the shelf, and pick up this classic masterpiece.
The Thrawn Trilogy of books (of which this is the first) are far and away the best Star Wars novels; perhaps because it was penned by a science fiction author with experience writing about galactic warfare.
Zahn bravely pushes the saga in interesting new directions that sets the bar for all the novels that have followed. He introduces some of the most memorable and enduring Extended Universe characters, like Talon Karde, Mara Jade, and the inestimable Grand Admiral Thrawn -- the delightfully Holmesian Star Wars villain.
These books are among the few that I have read multiple times in my life.
I don't know what more I can say about these Star Wars books. They are so enjoyable, well the audios are anyway. This one didn't have as much action as previous ones I've read, but I was still completely into it. The narrator does a great job. His Leia voice could use some work, but everything else is wonderful. I also love it when they use the real Chewy voice. So 4 stars.
I can certainly see why so many fans insisted this trilogy should be cannon, and why there is a new cannon Thrawn book. He's a great character - it is fun to have a non-force character in the Star Wars that is so dominant just because of the way the thinks.
I really enjoyed this trilogy, and I will read the new Thrawn book soon.
Questa trilogia mi ha prosciugato. Ma andiamo con ordine...
Beh beh beh, a mio avviso il soggetto di partenza avrebbe anche potuto avere il suo perché, non regge ovviamente il confronto con la trilogia originaria di cui vuole essere il seguito, ma di suo, l'idea avrebbe del potenziale. Ho usato il condizionale perché poi, nella realtà dei fatti, la trilogia di romanzi che ne è venuta fuori è pessima sotto ogni aspetto. Cominciamo con l'elenco dei problemi: uno dei principali, per me, è la messa in scena: la scrittura è quanto di più banale e sciatto possa esistere, le meccaniche di trama sono semplicissime e lineari fino alla noia, le descrizioni planetarie non sono per nulla evocative e i dialoghi sono imbarazzanti, spesso rasentano il livello Beautiful. I personaggi storici ricalcano abbastanza fedelmente gli originali cinematografici, almeno all'inizio della storia, poi la cosa degenera andando avanti e diventano delle macchiette improponibili; le nuove leve introdotte sono poco convincenti e non suscitano nessuna emozione, alcune sono davvero detestabili (io per esempio Mara Jade non la sopporto, e a quanto pare non sono il solo!)
Ma la colpa più grave a mio avviso è la totale assenza di quell'atmosfera tra il mito e la fiaba che è la cifra stilistica dell'opera di Lucas; qui l'eterna lotta fra Bene e Male viene banalizzata e svuotata di ogni significato.
Nonostante già il primo libro della trilogia mi avesse deluso, ho voluto leggere l'opera nella sua interezza per tentare di capire come mai sia da tutti così tanto osannata. Non l'ho capito.
Wow, what an ending... Definitely my favorite out of all three and the last 25% was so action packed! I didn't think there was enough room left at the end of the book for a good conclusion, but Zahn did it. The whole series definitely lives up as a great sequel trilogy to the original movies
Pues concluyo la trilogía de la Nueva Republica que dio el pistolazo de salida hacia el universo expandido de Star Wars y que años después exploto en multitud de comics, libros, películas, videojuegos y lo que os queráis imaginar. Pero por mucha gratitud que le pueda tener al autor Timothy Zahn por llevar la marca de la guerra de las galaxias de nuevo a la moda en su momento, yo tengo que valorar su trilogía de forma honesta y sin ese poderoso velo llamado nostalgia. Por lo tanto debo empezar diciendo que la trilogía, si, está bien escrita y está lejos de ser un mal producto (de esos hay a rabiar en la saga), peeeeero para mi está lejos de ser la trilogía perfecta como muchísimos fans pregonan. Entiendo que en su momento fue un boom, y es verdad que es el mejor comienzo para leer el UE si quieres continuar la historia de Luke, Han y Leia después del Episodio 6. Pero fuera de eso no vas a encontrar una historia que rompa tus esquemas, sino aventuras y situaciones que beben mucho de la trilogía original.
Y si, se podría argumentar que se puede esperar de un libro de Star Wars, que quizás pido demasiado, puede, pero soy bastante consciente de que hay mucha variedad en esta saga. Con mirar lo que salió después encontraras historias políticas, de terror (hasta con zombis), algunas que llegan a rozar lo “grimdark” dentro de los límites que te pueden permitir esta franquicia claro, algunas protagonizadas por villanos (como Tarkin, Darth Plagueis, Darth Bane, etc), vamos que dentro de lo que cabe y si sabes buscar tienes variedad, así que no me vale eso de “es que es Star Wars”, porque Star Wars se ha visto que puede ser de todo. Partiendo de esto, ¿eso significa que esta trilogía no es recomendable? Ni muchísimo menos, como digo de todos los libros que llevo leídos de esta franquicia, estas han sido las más interesantes, porque amigos míos… hay cada cosa por ahí… hay una llamada… Estrellas Perdidas, que aún me produce pesadillas (y eso que los fans también la consideran de los mejor que se ha escrito en los últimos años), prefiero no pensar más en ello que me entran flashback de Vietnam.
Si tengo que valorar las cosas más positivas que tiene esta historia sin duda me quedo con los personajes, Luke, Han y Leia son los mismos personajes que te encantaron en las películas clásicas, Lando y Chewie igual, incluso tendrás al dúo mecánico de Erredos y Cetrespeo. Pero los personajes nuevos tampoco se quedan atrás, Talon Karrde, Mara Jade, Joruus C'baoth, Gilad Pellaeon, Garm Bel Iblis y sin duda una de las estrellas de esta Trilogia, el Gran Almirante Mitth'raw'nuruodo o mejor conocido como Thrawn. Incluso conoceremos la introducción tan emotiva en este tercer libro de un pareja de gemelos que retorcerán el statu quo de la Galaxia en el futuro, para bien y para mal, como son Jaina Solo y Jacen Solo, los hijos de Han Solo y Leia Organa Solo. Aún queda un tercero, Anakin Solo, pero ese nacerá más adelante, en la trilogía de comics de Imperio Oscuro (-pero ¿y Kylo Ren? – ¡Herejía!, ese nombre está prohibido aquí). Todos ellos personajes interesantes y algunos de ellos en futuras historias evolucionaran y tendrán mucho protagonismo.
Pero me tengo que detener un momento en Thrawn, y es que aquí vuelvo a sacar el cuchillo de la discordia y aunque lo lamente profundamente por el que es considerado de los mejores villanos de la saga, y es que me parece que yo no cazo muy bien con los personajes al estilo “Sherlock Holmes” que son profundamente inteligentes y omniscientes y está rodeado de ineptos para así demostrar aún más su superioridad táctica. Hay muchas ocasiones donde parece que nuestro amigo Chiss se las ingenia para acertar por pura conveniencia de guion, y ese torpe intento de vender que es experto en casi todos los planes del enemigo solo porque “observo el arte de cada cultura alienígena al cual me voy a enfrentar y por eso lo se casi todo”, yo no lo compro. Porque hay que hacerlo muy bien para no rozar el Deux Ex Machina y sobretodo, que gracia tiene un villano que es muy inteligente y casi todo lo adivina… y constantemente al ser una historia pura de aventuras donde los héroes no pueden ser muertos o derrotados, continuamente sus planes siempre son frustrados pero OJO, que eso también lo previo, y no es importante, porque SIEMPRE TIENE UN AS EN LA MANGA. Pero… eres el villano, vas a perder al final Thrawn, lo sabes ¿no? Me gusta que sea un villano imperial que no sea un villano de carton piedra ni una parodia como hay muchos en la franquicia, me gusta que valore a sus hombres y sepa premiar sus victorias, se le llega incluso a humanizar cuando sabes que es el malo a derrotar, de verdad que eso tiene su valor. Pero me sigue haciendo muy poca gracia como el autor se regodea en Thrawn como su personaje predilecto (y es algo que ya se ve que es característico del autor en futuras obras, sobretodo en la trilogía protagonizada por el mismo Thrawn dentro del canon Disney). Aunque debo decir que en este libro queda eclipsado su protagonismo de villano por la amenaza más sobrenatural, de la Fuerza, como es el loco de Joruus C'baoth (haciendo una analogía a como Tarkin era el villano más enfocado en el Imperio en el Episodio 4, y en el 6 siéndolo directamente Palpatine y Vader). Y el final de Thrawn, sin duda me ha convencido, es poético en cierto sentido y un poco irónico, buen cierre de personaje y de los pocos momentos donde le vemos errar de verdad en su lógica.
En resumidas cuentas, una trilogía sencilla, divertida, que cumple su prometido, que gustara más a unos que vayan buscando un enfoque más parecido a la trilogía original, donde las aventurillas y los héroes rebeldes luchando contra las cuerdas contra una superioridad imperial clara y saliendo victoriosos por el poder de la Fuerza son el factor más representativo.
Ahora tendré que adentrarme en otra trilogía muy diferente y sí que más polémica, la trilogía de comics de Imperio Oscuro. Aunque quien no suela leer comics, la siguiente trilogía de novelas después de esta que salió en la época fue la Trilogía de la Academia Jedi, otra también tan amada como denostada por los fans. Y con esto me despido, que la Fuerza os acompañe jóvenes padawans y recordar, temer el poder de Disne… perdón, del Imperio.
Realistically, 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3 because there’s a good villain involved.
Well, I am glad to have finished this trilogy. Kudos to Rich Kelly for the wonderful cover art depicting Grand Admiral Thrawn. I wish he’d been on the first book cover of the series, giving me a better image of the master-planning Imperial villain. Is it wrong of me to like Thrawn better than any of the good guys? But I do—he’s smart, he’s cultured, he’s emotionally controlled. And he is by far the most complex character in the trilogy.
As I’ve said in reviews of the previous two books, the writing is about the right level for the 10-13 year old crowd. By all rights, there should have been a romance between Mara Jade and Luke Skywalker, but that opportunity isn’t taken up—another reason that I feel these books are written with much younger people in mind. Those two should be making Jedi babies!
You know, one of these days I’m going to have to watch the Star Wars movies—maybe next time there’s a Star Wars marathon being shown in town.
Book number 308 in my Science Fiction & Fantasy reading project.
Usually it is the other way around : I like the first book of a series better than the last one, probably because it is all new and full of promise, worlds and people waiting to be discovered. With the Thrawn trilogy I already knew what I was dealing with before I even started, and it took me until the third and final book to get caught up in the adventure. I've grumbled in the first two reviews about the poor writing, the lack of originality and the often contrived logic of the conflict, but I confess I read this last one in only a couple of days, feverishly turning the pages to follow up on the action. I guess a part of me will remain a teenager thirsting for over the top lightsaber duels and miles long battleships drifting majestically over starry landscapes, no matter how much I advance in years. The familiarity with the characters and the hardware helps the story along, with some set pieces readily identifiable as they are recycled material (the throne room confrontation, the garbage chute escape or messing around with the electronics in a circular pit).
I must admit that the different threads of the plot have come together rather well in this final book, despite the forceful bringing together of several independently operating teams in the same location for the big finale. Master Jedi C'Baoth somehow steals the rug from under Grand Admiral Thrawn as the big threat to the Galaxy. As the series parallels in general the original movies, the Empire holds the upper hand until almost to the final page, but I would say the outcome was never in doubt, as the good guys always get out of jail in the nick of time and live to fight another day. The closure of the Thrawn plotline in particular was a disappointment, not only predictable, but also cutting down on a big action scene right when things were starting to get interesting. But ... it is sort of open ended and leaves the reader still wondering : What comes next? I'm curious in particular about the twin kids of Leia and Han Solo and how they will learn the Jedi trade. Such is the power of attraction this Star Wars universe exercises on our imagination, not unlike the popular Harry Potter, Pirates of the Carribean or Twilight francises. It's probably not only the fight between good and evil (I've read some comic books from Dark Horse where the line of demarcation is more blurred and the characters more nuanced than the ones Zahn worked with), as the pure adrenalin rush of a fast paced adventure. I know the food analogy has been overused in characterizing books, but if the Thrawn books are popcorn instead of chateaubriand, sometimes popcorn is exactly what I feel like eating.
I am interested in continuing with the Star Wars fanfiction, but I think I prefer the comic book format as better suited to the intense visual elements of the stories.
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4.5 stars. The Thrawn Trilogy, of which this is the final book, set the standard for "non-canon" star wars books and is still among the best in that group. This is a great universe (i.e., star wars) written by an excellent author (i.e., Zahn). The result is a very good read.
After taking way to long to read this book, here's my review of the final volume in Timothy Zahn's beloved Thrawn Trilogy! I started this book way back in March or so, but then I stopped and restarted. Not because I didn't like it, but because my life got way too busy and I didn't want to pause for a really long time and then start up again. But that eventually ended up happening anyway so go figure. Heir to the Empire was not only a book that really surprised me, but it was great as an opening to the trilogy. I disagree with many others on it being a masterpiece, but it left me very excited to continue on with its two sequels. While not bad by any means of the word, Dark Force Rising was a bit of a disappointment. It progressed the storyline and characters a touch, but the pacing was to slow and there was not enough built up to warrant a full 300 page book in my opinion. The Last Command, for the most part, is a return to form for the trilogy. While I don't think it's quite as good as the first book, I was happy enough with what I got to be generous with my rating. Where Heir to the empire was about a 4.5 stars, Last Command is closer to a 3.5ish, rounded up to a solid 4. The strengths of this book are much bigger than those of Dark Force Rising, but the problems it has are much more significant than those of Heir to the Empire.
THE STORY: All of the slow (and sometimes TOO slow) buildup from the previous two novels has lead to this. The final showdown. Will our heroes be able to stop this new menace and save their fledgling New Republic? Or will Grand Admiral Thrawn's resurgent Empire manage to undo the Rebels' hard won victory at Endor? Well, I was well aware of all the countless extra post ROTJ material that takes place after these books and the fate of Thrawn was already spoiled for me long before I read this so I pretty much knew that answer going in. But I digress. Han and Leia finally get the chance to welcome their twins into the galaxy, but their happiness will have to wait as the mad and villainous Joruus C'Baoth plots to take the babies to train them for his twisted interpretation of the jedi. Speaking of C'baoth, his insanity has come to full bloom and he plots not only to take Luke, Leia, the solo twins, and Mara Jade under his wing but also usurp Thrawn as the leader of the galactic empire. Using the Katana fleet and his army of clones produced on Mount Tantiss, Grand Admiral Thrawn begins a full scale campaign against the already vulnerable New Republic. Luke Skywalker teams up with Mara Jade to figure out how to put an end to the cloning advantage held by the empire. Accompanied by Han Solo, Chewbacca, the droids, and Lando Calrissian, they travel to Wayland to destroy the emperor's cloning pods and put an end to the empire's new endless army.
Talon Karrde sets up a coalition of smugglers. Why? I don't know, and I don't care. It was one of the reasons I took so long to finish the book.
THE BAD: While the majority of what took me so long to finish the book is that I was just to busy to read it, even when i got used to my busier schedule it still took a while. While I enjoyed the book when I was actually reading it, it usually didn't grab me enough to eagerly drop everything else to pick it up again on my free time.
Most of my problems with The Last Command come with Talon Karrde, who really tarnished the quality of the book for me. I was never a fan of the character of Karrde even at the start of the Thrawn Trilogy, but he was used sparingly in Heir to the Empire, mostly just as a way to flesh out the star wars galaxy. While his role increased in Dark Force Rising it was not enough to ruin the book for me. Here though, I feel like Zahn tries way to hard to make Karrde seem important by giving him so many undeserved pages for his smuggler coalition (particularly in the middle of the novel where it seems like at least half of every chapter is devoted to that stupid smuggler coalition). I don't have a problem with Karrde and his gang helping out either the heroes or the villains at the end but he didn't deserve to have pages and pages devoted to his POV. For one thing, I find Talon Karrde to be very bland as a character, so I didn't care to know what he was thinking about or how he felt about the war. Second, and more importantly, his subplot about building the coalition of smugglers was painfully boring. If Talon Karrde was dull, the other smugglers are even more forgettable. After the slow burn of the first two books in the trilogy particularly Dark Force Rising, all that buildup should finally pay off with full scale war. And for the most part it did, except the stupid smuggler interludes had to cut in the middle of it and destroy the immersion in the story replacing it with drowsy immersion into my snoring. Again, if this ragtag band of neutrality- obsessed hacks actually lead to some kind of contribution to the conflict between the New Republic and the empire, you know, the stuff that I ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT, I would have been more forgiving. But no, all they do is whine and complain like butthurt star wars fans about not picking sides in this war. THAT'S IT. There might have been some mention of them coming to help the good guys in the final space battle, but why should I care after slogging through all that for just one line of exposition? I could have had either so much extra reading time saved, or better yet, have more with Thrawn kicking ass or the heroes bonding.
I also think the callbacks to the films went to far. I was extremely impressed with how little Zahn relied on callbacks in the first book. It started to get a little to much sometimes in Dark Force Rising, but in The Last Command they often felt forced and ham-fisted. .
THE GOOD: When the book focused on the classic characters, Thrawn, or Mara Jade, The Last Command was the epic trilogy capper I wanted it to be. ignoring Karrde, just about all my grievances with the previous too books, if they couldn't be fixed, were eliminated. Unlike the previous two books, I actually enjoyed the climactic space battle, likely because it focused less on the action itself and more on the characters' thoughts and feelings reacting to it. As I was reading these books I realized that Zahn simply isn't good at writing the big space battles, and he seems to have embraced his strengths with characters involved instead. Rather than sending the big three on their own individual adventures, most of the book feels more like an ensemble outing. This has been particularly advantageous for Han Solo, who goes from dull subplots to playing the role of sidekick to Luke and Leia, who always tended to get much more interesting things to do in these books anyway. He actually worked really well as a supporting role in Last Command offering his snark and sarcasm when with Luke (particularly when concerning the trip to Honoghr) and his loving support when he's with Leia (making the scene where Leia gives birth to their twins one of the more memorable scenes in the book). And for the trilogy capper that needs be constant fast paced payoff from Heir to the Empire and Dark Force Rising, having them all work together was a great idea. Mara Jade's story arc started to get alot more interesting in Dark Force Rising, and the arc pays off excellently in The Last Command. While I think her use in the climax was a touch excessive and felt like Timothy Zahn was just trying to be like "hey audience check out how cool my new character is!" it did work for the story and helped serve her character's arc. Afterall, she did constantly say she was going to kill Luke throughout the whole trilogy so I guess the more helpful she can be the better it works. I also thought the way she interracted with Luke in the last third or so and especially the ending was fantastic, and did a great job establishing their potential dynamic in future EU material. It was clear Timothy Zahn wanted to set up Mara Jade as Luke's love interest going forward, and it was even clearer to see why the fans wanted it too. While I don't have the same attachment to "Lara" as others do (SHUT UP EVERY FICTIONAL COUPLE NEEDS A SHIP NAME. How to Train Your Dragon has "Hiccstrid" for Hiccup and Astrid, so the Star Wars EU can have "Lara" for Luke and Mara. Deal with it! ;D), I can see why it would work really well after reading this book. There's not really a good way to describe the villains in Last Command, except for that it all built up to awesomeness. Well, except for that whole Luuke thing, lol. The last two books talked about Thrawn's genius and cunning, but here we finally get to see it as soon as the book opens. I also loved the power struggle between Thrawn and C'baoth and how that played out, with Zahn even holding back the use of the Ysalamiri to greatly increase the tension. yes, naming that thing "Luuke" was pretty stupid but the ideas behind it and how it played into C'baoth's plans was really interesting and honestly made up for it. The last thing I will mention is that most of the action is pretty well written too. About half of the scenes featuring the big three involve some kind of action and it was fun to read.
THE CONCLUSION: The Last Command is certainly not a perfect novel and I can't even say it's as good as Heir to the Empire. However, it is definitely an improvement over Dark Force Rising and much like Return of the Jedi, Kung Fu Panda 3, Toy Story 3, or even Revenge of the Sith, it works as a good, although flawed, final installment for the trilogy it is part of. If you liked the first two books in the Thrawn Trilogy, you'll definitely enjoy this as a conclusion.
And now, for what is undoubtedly the biggest thing you have all been waiting for ever since I started reading these books: what do I think of the Thrawn Trilogy? The answer? These books are good. Are they the epic masterworks that they are often hyped up to be? Not even close. They have problems-Talon Karrde, the Ysalamiri, some moments that feel too much like retreads from the original trilogy, and some problems with pacing. But the stuff that works is mostly pretty strong. The strongest part of the Thrawn Trilogy was the storyline. Even though the books are no longer part of the Star Wars canon and they have no effect on any of the new movies coming out, Timothy Zahn created a story that not only was a compelling continuation of the original trilogy, but one with an interesting plot that takes as many opportunities as possible to greatly flesh out and expand what at the time was a very small Star Wars Universe. Another strong aspect of the Thrawn books is the characters, both old and new. For the vast majority of the trilogy I had no trouble believing that that the big three were not only the Luke, Han, and Leia that I remembered from the original movies, but also having grown for 5 years since Return of the Jedi. Talon Karrde may have sucked from how bland he was but Thrawn is completely awesome-partially from his cool design and unique abilities, but the real credit comes from the way Zahn wrote him. C'Baoth was pretty cool too, and made for a really good foil for Luke with their ambitions to rebuild the fallen Jedi order. Mara Jade I am a bit more mixed on. Is she a good character? yes. She works pretty well as part of this story and helping develop Luke Skywalker's character, her story arc itself is quite interesting, and she gets a lot of entertaining dialogue throughout the three novels. Maybe later EU books take the chance to give her more nuance, but in this trilogy she seemed to have a pretty flat personality, mostly just sassing around the main characters. It is easy to see why the character is so popular- she was introduced at a time when the Star Wars universe was lacking prominent female characters that weren't named "Leia", and she wasn't a villain or a Leia clone. Afterwards, Jade became a mainstay in the EU storyline, giving readers the chance to go through thick and thin with her as they were growing up and following the wider Star Wars story throughout the 1990s and the early 2000s. So I get where people come from in terms of the novelty and growing up with the character, but as someone who didn't read the Thrawn books until after the new canon started I just don't see what makes Mara Jade stand out from other females except that she came first. I enjoyed her in the Thrawn books but there are so many other strong female characters like Rey, Rae Sloane, Hera Syndulla, Sabine Wren, Asajj Ventress or Asohka Tano that I find more interesting. Even before the canon reset and only accounting for legends- I could point to several female characters that I find to be better written such as Bastila Shan (just from Kotor, not the Revan book LOL), Satele Shan, Nomi Sunrider, or especially Darth Traya. The action may not always be good, but the worldbuilding never fails. I love how all these new planets fit in with the planets we know from the original films, whether it be the capital planet of Coruscant that would later show up in the prequels and the special edition of Return of the Jedi, or the harrowing tale of the Noghri homeworld Honoghr. Even if the worlds themselves werent' necessarily fleshed out, namedropping so many different places like Sluis Van, Billbringi, Ukio, or Tangrene makes the galaxy feel so much bigger. Sure the Ysalamiri were stupid but the Vornskyrs and the planet Myrkyr was still pretty cool.
All in all, Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy is not a brilliant masterpiece, but an enjoyable series nonetheless. I can't call it overrated because even though I don't love these books as much as most who read the trilogy do, I understand that these novels are close to many fans' hearts, and why people still love them. While the books haven't aged perfectly I think the storylines and characterizations still hold up ok. I don't know if I will find the time read the trilogy again simply because of the time and energy required to read a trilogy of books, but I was extremely happy that I finally took the time to check it out. After finishing this trilogy, which essentially kept Star Wars alive in the 90s by kickstarting the expanded universe, I feel very accomplished as a Star Wars fan. Even though the books have been relegated to legends, Timothy Zahn deserves tons of credit for his contributions to the franchise. It's a good read for anybody who calls themselves a hardcore fan of the franchise, and it's a good series for long time EU fans to look back on.
The perfect finale for the perfect Star Wars trilogy! I enjoyed every page of The Last Command. Action, secrets, plans, plot twists, this book has everything. And best of all, we got the lightsaber fights!
Yes, it has its flaws and similarities with the original movies (same structure and pacing as many people in the review section pointed out), but it's still enjoyable and intriguing to read. I like how the story was wrapped up at the end and everything came together in a satisfying way.
My favourite part of the whole trilogy are definitely the new characters. Mara Jade, Talon Karrde, Aves and other smugglers, Bel Iblis, Nogri population, not to mention Grand Admiral Thrawn (the best villain of all times!), they're all amazing. I love them deeply and I need more stories about this bunch of people. They're simply memorable and became a significant part of the Star Wars universe. Besides, in my humble opinion, they deserve a movie, or animated tv show or something like altered universe for another new Star Wars trilogy.
Five stars! And now I'm going to continue with The Hand of Thrawn duology.
One of my favorite things about this series is how the books work together to tell one story (acting as initial conflict, rising tension, and climax, respectively), and yet each book has its own separate arc as well. As they go, the books escalate in tension and in the scale of the final climax of those arcs. In book one, it’s as small as a fight between Luke and Mara in the jungles of a small planet, trying to escape, and a single unit of Stormtroopers trying to apprehend them. In book two, it’s a fight between two Star Destroyers, two squadrons of X-Wings, and several ships of the Katana fleet. And here, everyone piles up in several places for several huge conflicts, and the arcs for all of the characters emotionally all have pretty nice closers as well.
Spoilers for books two and three ahead.
Finally, Thrawn’s seemingly all-seeing strategy begins to fail, thanks to some wild cards, including the interference of Leia with the Noghri, and the increasingly erratic Joruus C’baoth, who insists that he, not Thrawn, will rule the new Empire. C’baoth absconds to Wayland to set a trap for Luke and the other fledgling Jedi, including Mara Jade. Pretty much all the story threads come to a head here, including the clones and the ysalamiri, and it’s also where Mara’s emotional arc climaxes, as she finally defeats the specter of the dead Emperor in her head, and becomes her own person once again.
Leia, having recently given birth, is now protected at all times by a group of extremely dedicated Noghri bodyguards. With Mara Jade’s help, they manage to track down the major leak of information slipping out to Thrawn, and despite Mara’s insistence that she’s going to kill Leia’s brother, the two manage to bond somewhat. At least, as much as Mara is capable at this point.
As for Thrawn, he eventually fails due to a combination of sheer determination on the part of his enemies, sabotage by his former ally C’baoth, and his own lies previously told to the Noghri, which involved essentially enslaving that entire race and poisoning their planet. His final scene (for now) is a good one, full of earned justice, even if it is slightly sad to see him go, because he’s such an entertaining villain.
What really makes this book (and thus the series) isn’t just that it’s good sci-fi, full of space battles and fantastical science (clones, lightsabers, lightspeed, aliens, etc.), or even great strategy and side-switching and cons and other clever trickery, or epic tales of good and evil and love and friendship, but that all that stuff is supported in full by smart, emotionally affecting stories for the characters that are the ones doing all these deeds, and acting out all this action. Zahn takes our favorite characters and actually does interesting things with them, exploring and deepening our understanding of them, all while he’s making us feel like kids again playing with a new toy.
I’m really glad I re-read this series, and I’m really excited to revisit the sequel duology in a couple of months. I rmember it being even better than this series, so we’ll see!
It's been too long for me to identify specific events in each of the three volumes, but I thought I'd post a general review of the trilogy. My favourite thing about the trilogy is Talon Karrde. While he's an opportunist and a bit of a scoundrel, he does have a sense of right and wrong. He's definitely a useful ally. And I thought his taste for the finer things, his pet vornskrs, and his penchant for puns were cute. Admiral Thrawn is probably the best villain of the entire Star Wars cycle. He's absolutely brilliant, usually one or two steps ahead of his prey and enemies. Several times I was totally at a loss trying to figure out how Han and Luke and company would ever survive the game. He's also urbane; and I liked how he collected the artwork of different species because of what it told him about their cultures. And then there's Mara Jade. She's scary at times, but her inner conflict blunts her purpose. It might not be completely logical or realistic for someone who spent years as the Emperor's Hand, his private assassin, to change sides; but I like that she has good in her, and without the Emperor jerking her around, she chooses to change. These books are some of the most entertaining in the Star Wars Extended Universe.
My review for all 3 Thrawn books is the same; after reading them back to back they kinda blended together. The writing in each one was similar - nothing special with lots of dialogue while the characters quickly jumped from space battle to space battle.
The thing I loved most was seeing Leia work on her Force abilities even as she continued her job as a politician. The Leia/Noghri storyline was my favorite, by far. I didn’t care all that much about the lost ships, or clones, or the struggling Empire. But I was invested in Leia and her relationship with the Noghri from the beginning, it just seemed like a very Leia-y thing to happen. Han, Luke, Lando, and all of the other original characters didn't really grow much, but I did come to like a few of the newer characters by the end. (Karrde was a better character than Mara, fight me about it. Her backstory was wayyyy too glossed over and I kept expecting more from her.)
Star Wars diehards can't go wrong with this trilogy, but I don't really see a casual fan making it past the first book.