So over the last couple months I’ve decided to get my full geek on and read the Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn. It’s the first and only Star Wars Extended Universe stuff I’ve read or watched beyond the occasional Nintendo game back in the day and I found myself enjoying it quite a lot. It’s not fantastic literature by any stretch but the story was well paced, interesting and a fun way to squeeze a bit more out of the format. The reason I picked it up was because I was reading a movie blog that had a top 10 list of books that should be made into movies but never will and this one was featured, I have to say I agree with that assessment. I suspect most Star Wars fans would have preferred this to what Lucas cooked up for the Prequels.
Anyways, I have a feeling that a ton of Doper geeks have read the series before and I want to hear some opinions and talk it out. What did you think? How long ago did you read them?
For my part I found the stories slightly dated, at least for something set in a completely fictional world with no connection to reality, and I occasionally felt like the author was shoehorning characters into the loop as a bit of literary stunt casting and certain segments felt like tortured attempts to involve those characters in ways that didn’t necessarily improve the story. To that point some of the dialogue was also contrived in order to inspire nostalgia for the original movies and in some ways that was successful.
The best part of the books were the new characters. Thrawn was a very good villain and I enjoyed his interactions with his subordinates and how they tiptoed around him fearing Vader-like repercussions. Many of the alien races that were introduced were interesting and it seemed he avoided any Jar-Jar like missteps. Joruus C’boath was a bit of a disappointment. Generally I liked the concept but they seemed to make him slightly too powerful, perhaps even moreso than the Emperor or Yoda were ever portrayed. I couldn’t decide how I felt about the addition of the ysalimari and how they were used in the main theme of the story. Additionally some of leaps of logic that the heroes made at opportune times which would save the day reminded me of some of Lucas’ inept storytelling but for what was essentially teen-lit I can’t complain too much.
Enough rambling from me. I hope someone out there remembers reading it and feels like sharing, geeky crap like this is at it’s best when dissected!
Not sure how to handle spoilers. Use your discretion I guess, the books are like 15 years old so I suppose there’s not that much reason to fret too much but perhaps there’ll be a handful of people inspired to read the books by the thread.