Customer Reviews: Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy
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A bit of a history lesson here is necessary for the uninitiated. Odds are that there will be few (uninitiated) here, given that most drawn to this review will have working familiarity with the subject matter, but I'll supply a few details from memory anyhow. Call it posterity. Once the lights in the theatre went out on STAR WARS: EPISODE 6: RETURN OF THE JEDI, serious Star Wars enthusiasts had no idea when (or even if) they'd be treated to another adventure in their most favorite cinematic universe. The original trilogy had come to its close with mild controversy (Ewoks? Really, George? Were they necessary?) with some fanfare -- after seriously amping up the stakes in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK -- and 1983 seemed to bring an end to the continuing adventures of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and the rest of the gang.

Then, in 1992, science fiction novelist Timothy Zahn's new trilogy of Star Wars tales began, and it reminded Star Wars fans everywhere of the latent potential still lingering like a welcome disturbance in the Force in that galaxy far, far away. Over the course of the next few years, Zahn did as Lucas had done with the original trilogy, amping up the stakes just a little bit at each crazy turn, whetting fandom's appetite for even more visits to these distant worlds ... and the good folks at Dark Horse Comics were all too happy to oblige. Eventually, Dark Horse stumbled onto the brilliant idea to adapt Zahn's books; these novels had, after all, earned a special place in the hearts of most Star Wars fans, so much so that most consider these outings as unofficial Episodes 7, 8, and 9, picking up the events of Luke & company nearly a decade after JEDI ended.

Dark Horse completed three miniseries adaptations -- each with six issues, each miniseries focusing on one of Zahn's novels -- ultimately and inevitably re-releasing each of these three miniseries in trade paperback forms, and now Dark Horse Books has finally put them all together in one grand spanking adventure. At over 400 pages, STAR WARS: THE THRAWN TRILOGY is the ultimate fan package, returning Star Wars fans to the excitement they felt with each passing chapter of Zahn's massive adventure. It's not a light undertaking in the slightest: these comics go to great lengths to capture the details of the books, bringing many new characters, worlds, ships, and situations that, honestly, fit like a glove in Lucas's fantastic universe.

In a nutshell, the New Republic has grown to encompass many worlds, but elements of the Empire -- namely, several surviving ships, bases, and one nasty Grand Admiral Thrawn -- have come across data that indicates the Emperor held a few tricks up his sleeve even in death. A hidden Dark Jedi Master ... ship cloaking technology ... and a mountain fortress complete with cloning cylinders mean that the return of the Empire has always remained a virtually galactic heartbeat away, leaving Adm. Thrawn to hatch his plan to return the forces of evil to reign in the galaxy. Standing in his way? The usual suspects of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, and they each have special roles to play, alongside a growing legion of smugglers and Rebel fighter pilots ...

Read closely, and you'll find it hard to believe that the theatres were dark with new cinematic Star Wars adventures for two decades!

Zahn weaves his tale with several new faces and even some new twists on the ol' ones, and he brings an adult, dramatic, treacherous sensibility to bare on every development. THE THRAWN TRILOGY is a massive undertaking -- wouldn't it be great to get three more Star Wars stories up on the silver screen -- and, while it might not be to everyone's liking, it certainly tickled mosts fancies when so little else was happening in this universe. While some of the events feel a bit rushed toward the end of the collection, this is one story worth visiting again and again, not only for nostalgia but also because it's great to have Star Wars making all of us feel like a kid again.

May the Force be with you. Always.
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on June 17, 2010
I am a member of the generation that came of age between the two trilogies, the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy. Being that I was 2 years old when Return of the Jedi hit the big screen I never had the pleasure of witnessing the orignal movies in their theatrical glory. In fact, by the time I was even able to comprehend what Star Wars was, Star Wars was already on VHS, and the all toys belonged to my friends' older brothers. Growing up in the late 80s to the early 90s, I had no new movies or toys to spark my interest in Star Wars.

During this time, the forefront of the Star Wars continuity was the Expanded Universe(EU). The EU was all we really had, and if it wasn't for the EU the prequel trilogy, and all of its spinoffs and merchandise, would not exist to this day. If there are two things that really launched the EU and created a new generation of fans at the time, they would have to be the DARK EMPIRE series by Dark Horse Comics, and the Thrawn Trilogy written by Timothy Zahn.

Not long after Dark Horse started making comics, and the Thrawn Trilogy was written, these two juggernauts of EU awesomeness married to give us a comic book series based upon the Thrawn Trilogy. Originally released as single issue comics, available at stores, recently these comics have been compiled to a collection or graphic novel. This was music to my ears,bceause I was never able to track down all the comics when they originally came out.

Enough with the history lesson. This Collection is an excellent buy. For one, it is hardcover and for the price I bought it on Amazon, it was $20 under the suggested retail price. Secondly, it is thick (it has all three stories). You defenitely get the most bang for your buck, when you consider that you are getting all three stories for slightly more than you would have to pay just to buy one.

Some would complain that it is not as in depth as the book, well no crap, it's a comic book. It is not meant to replace the original novels (which I defenitely recommend). This collection is an excellent companion to the Thrawn Trilogy.

The art work in my opinion is pretty awesome. I might be a bit nostalgic but I really liked the artwork during this era of Star Wars comics.

In summary if you are a fan of Star Wars you will love this item, if you are a fan of the EU you will adore it, and if you are a fan of the Thrawn Trilogy you will not be able to live without it. (Maybe a bit too dramatic)
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on October 17, 2011
Never did I expect, after so many years down the road, that Dark Horse finally compiled the entire collection of the Thrawn Trilogy into this remarkable hardcover edition. If I had known then, I wouldn't have wasted my time collecting the individual 6-book issues of each series, and the individual 3 tradepaperback series - I guess all those individual comic issues are worth much more now! However, it still delighted me to, once again, purchase and hold the entire collection in my hands.

The Thrawn Trilogy hardcover edition is a must-have for all die-hard Star Wars fans out there. Ever since Timothy Zahn released his 3 novels 20 years ago, starting with Heir To The Empire, readers have always wonder what ysalamiri or an Interdictor cruiser would look like. Now we know. The comics writers have edited out, but also retained quite a lot of the nuances and verbal speech that the characters use. I guess something will definitely be lost in translation, otherwise this comic adaptation would be more than 800 pages! Timothy Zahn did a remarkable job bringing each and every character back to life, which kick-started the novel/comics franchise of the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

Next up, I'm looking to purchase the Dark Empire complete collection. I'm like all die-hard Star Wars fans out there. The books just can't satisfy the thirst for more action, adventure and stories from this amazing series.

May the Force be with us all!
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on September 8, 2015
I read this after I read the Zahn Thrawn trilogy. Its a lot quicker to read since it only covers the important story lines and simplifys the dialogue to short and to the point . But the illustrations are beautiful for the time it was released. The comic isn't as good as the 3 novels but if you read it as a supplement to the novels it really helps you dive deeper into the story, as well as seeing what type of characters look like.
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on March 12, 2013
I've been reading The Thrawn Trilogy, and it is nothing less than fantastic. Addicting. I read the novels when they first came out, so it's been quite a while since I've read the story. I remember the big events, but the details are fuzzy.

This graphic novel is done so well--it's such an aid to the imagination. All the dialogue is lifted straight from Timothy Zahn's words in the novels. Having just finished the first story, Heir To The Empire, I am quite impressed.

It's a damn good read.

I love the visuals. Each planet has it's own feel, and the artists seem to know the Star Wars universe well. Things look at they should.

There's a scene on Kashyyyk where Leia is attacked. She's sleeping. I don't remember this being mentioned in the book, but in this graphic novel, she leaps out of bed to defend herself in her panties and sleeping shirt.

I don't mean this in a perverted way at all. C'mon, this is a comic book! What I got out of it, though, and why I'm mentioning it, is how Leia was portrayed--so regal. A real ruler. Though she stood there, almost naked, the character on the page had that same fire and fighting spirit as the character does on the screen.

It is really done well.

Parts of the book, like the one I just described, I actually like better than Zahn's novels. Other characters I like better in this graphic novel than in the books are Talon Karde and Mara Jade. They both came off a bit (pardon the phrase) "comic-booky" in the novel. Yet, here, in a comic book, the characters felt more like true Star Wars characters. I believe in them more through the graphic novel than I do the original books.

The thing I like about the story, over all, is that it's a grand, epic tale of the Star Wars universe, but unlike Dark Empire, the tale isn't as "Big". There's no new Super Star Destroyer that dwarfs the one shown in the movies. The Emperor isn't resurrected in a clone. The Force, though it plays a part in the story, is not the central to the plot. There are not Galaxy Guns or World Devastators.

(Don't get me wrong--I like all that stuff. It's just nice to read a well-told tale that is different from that, still epic, and still Star Wars).

There just this brilliant tactician--the only alien to reach the position of Grand Admiral in Palptaine's empire--attempting to pull what's left of the Empire together and defeat the New Republic.

It's an excellent story that every Star Wars fan should read.

And, if you choose to do it though this graphic novel, you won't be sorry.

Highly recommended.

Five Stars.
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on June 16, 2014
If you have read the novels this brings it even more to life. If you haven't read the novels it is a great way to do so. I am a huge star wars fiction fan and the Thrawn series is one of my favorite. When I found this on amazon I about flipped out. Got it in the mail and flipped out again. It is huge for a graphic novel!!!! The pages and coloring are very well done, all glossy. Highly recommend it. I wish they would do more of the novels like this.
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VINE VOICEon September 9, 2010
I first read this book 15 years ago, and it hasn't lost its magic. While much of the rest of the Star Wars Expanded Universe has become bogged down with irrelevant characters and unrealistic plot twists, Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire Trilogy actually manages to recapture the feeling of the original Star Wars trilogy. The original characters all play great roles and the ploy is well paced. More important, this book introduced several of the Expanded Universe's most beloved characters, from Mara Jade to Grand Admiral Thrawn. The illustrations are a great way to bring this trilogy to live. Overall, this trilogy is required reading for any Star Wars fan (the other books - not so much).
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on February 16, 2016
First series of books that created something after episode 6, a great story, created by a person who loved star wars and backed up by George Lucas and LucasFilms. All characters, new and old were sanctioned by Lucas and his people and it helped re-ignite the flame that was Star Wars and one of the reasons why it stood for so long.
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on May 3, 2014
I loved these books when they came out originally in novel form. Though there were some parts that were not quite what I would consider star wars, for the most part it's fun and entertaining, the end itself is a bit disappointing after following the story through three novels, but overall it's a great experience. Now comes the compiling of the three novels in their comic form. I love the design of these books, the black writing on black hardcover book looks great. The only issue I have with this series is sometimes its' hard to follow what is going on. I know it's complicated to take a novel and put it into a limited number of comics but there are times when they leave out bits of information or start a conversation in the middle, so if you have not read the novels or you read them a long time ago, you'll forget a bit of what they are talking about. It seems to jump a bit at times. The flow is a bit off from time to time. But the art and overall story adaptation is great. So if you love Star Wars you'll love this book. The jumpiness I mentioned is the reason it gets only 4 stars. But, it's still a solid read and well packaged as well.
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on December 6, 2015
Of all the Star Wars stories I've read, I'd have to say this is one of the best. This was indeed a great addition to the classic Expanded Universe series. And I have a lot of respect for all those old EU stories (from books, comics, video games, etc.). I mean, dude, those were legit! They stayed true to the classic Star Wars lore. They even helped make the prequel trilogy to begin with, and of course I did like that too. I liked how they all weaved into the background of the first six films, even before and after the those events. And this one, being set after Return of the Jedi (which is the first SW film I ever remembered seeing), is what really kicked the EU into high gear. It introduced us to EU favorite Mara Jade. And man, she kicked some serious tail! I do wish they had managed to interpret this particular story into film and have made it "the" sequel trilogy. I was really bummed when, after Disney acquired the rights to Lucasfilm, they announced they were dropping pretty much most of the original stories from the official Star Wars canon, including this one, in favor of their take on the sequel trilogy. But hopefully this new trilogy that's going to begin later this month with The Force Awakens won't disappoint. I just hope they can still find a way to interpret some elements of the original EU stories into this new set of stories Disney has in mind. I still would like to see Mara Jade portrayed on film. That would be really awesome. But if not in the sequel trilogy, then perhaps this rumored fourth trilogy they are considering. Let's see, we got an original, a prequel, and now a sequel trilogy. What would make a good fourth? How about a reboot trilogy?! While still being canon with the three trilogies, this one goes back in time and rewrites the course of history, starting with Episode X, and Episode XI and XII would mainly rewrite the original trilogy. This would bring George Lucas original envisioning of the Saga to a definite close, back when he was making the first film in the 70's. And best of all, it would include certain elements from the original EU stories. Hey Disney, those are about 30 years worth of hard-worked stories; you might as well use at least some of their material. But I imagine that J.J. Abrams might not be attached considering that he had already done the whole alternate timeline gig for Star Trek. It would be just mind-boggling if any of that were to ever happen. And that would certainly generate more Star Wars excitement, displaying how far the Force is willing to go in these stories. Anyway, I highly recommend reading this or the original novelizations. You might be surprised what could've been.
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