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The Last Command (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy) Paperback – January 1, 1994
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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In the Thrawn Trilogy, Timothy Zahn kicks off the EU proper with a trilogy usually regarded as one of the EU's high points--and with good reason. Zahn definitely has a feel for Star Wars and his writing is perfectly suited for the task at hand. Thrawn is an extremely compelling character, as is Palleon. Jorus C'boath is another interesting character, and Mara Jade is downright essential. Most good EU novels will follow the same sort of direction as what Zahn did in the Thrawn trilogy, and characters from these books will pop up time and time again in subsequent EU books.
This book however confused me upon first reading. I did not understand that Luuke and Luuuke were clones of Luke. I literally thought this was an editing error. Keep this in mind and you will avoid that confusion!
A must read, it will fill in gaps and create new and better possibilities.
The situation with the rebels is also brilliantly executed. Mara Jade must carefully navigate her shifting allegiances as she struggles with her own challenges both internally and with her continually shifting circumstances. She must find a way to resolve the awful spell that palatine beset upon her, compelling her to kill Luke Skywalker in vengeance. She also doesn't exactly like Luke, because the death of the emperor terminated her previous position as hand to the empire, which was considerably lucrative. All of this occurred years ago, and Mara is beginning to process this anguish, which only makes the conflict within her even more difficult. It's far easier for Mara simply to hate Luke, but she finds herself needing his help in this third book, and her situation becomes only more complicated, when the alliance learns of her history with the Empire!
Sadly, Winter plays a minimal role in this book. I always found her to be one of the more fascinating characters with her photographic memory. She spends most of her time caring for Leia's child in this book. Leia makes a big power play, going off on a limb to lend aid to the Noghri, a race of short lizard-like aliens that have been loyal to the Empire, but only because of their respect for Lord Vader. Leia uses her investigative and diplomatic skills to utilize this inherited esteem, which ultimately results in significant effects.
Many other exciting challenges take place for Luke Skywalker in this book. Master C'boath, Thrawn and a few other surprises along the way keep him more off his feet than usual! There is so much else that happens, that is masterfully resolved in this book it would take too long to describe. The smuggler Talon Karrde attempts to rally the rest of his smuggler associates against the empire, which proves to be a very difficult task. Every storyline in this book is entertaining, and finds a way to wrap itself into the significance of the overall conclusion. I only had one problem with this book, and it has to do with a rather silly quote in one of the final chapters having to do with Thrawn's fascination with art. You'll know it when you get to it. For that to be one of the only things that really bothered me about the book though is amazing, because I'm usually really picky. This book is defiantly a good pay-off if you weren't as impressed with the first two. Timothy Zahn makes this one count, and puts in a lot of great moments as well as excellent conclusions.