It is finally March and that means it is time for brackets. All kinds of brackets from College Basketball to dessert toppings and everything in between. With that in mind this blog will be doing a Star Wars authors bracket.
I am taking on the Vince McMahon role for this endeavor. That means I picked the authors who I felt most qualified to be considered. I don’t think I made any huge omissions but some of you may…This is the 32 authors I think have had the most impact on the Star Wars book universe and more importantly have entertained all the Star Wars book readers. They will be broken into four brackets; Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Yoda, and Grand Moff Tarkin. The Authors have been seeded 1 through 8 again most due to my own personal judgement while taking into consideration how the authors works are viewed by the readers at large.
With all that being said I give you the number one seed in the Grand Moff Tarkin bracket:
Not only was Timothy Zahn the writer of the entire foundation of the Expanded Universe, but he also created on the most beloved characters to never appear in any of the films. I of course speak of Grand Admiral Thrawn who made his debut in the new canon in Season Three of Star Wars Rebels. In April of 2017 Zahn will become the second EU author to write a book in the Disney canon as Thrawn returns to the world of Star Wars books. On top of all that this is the guy who invented Coruscant a planet so important to the EU George Lucas added it to one of those new endings to Return of the Jedi.
While Zahn is most remembered for his Thrawn character, the new canon Thrawn book will be his 11th Star Wars novel. Added to his extensive work in the Star Wars comics; most notably Mara Jade: By the Emperor’s Hand; he has also written a ton of short stories a number of which were published in those short story anthologies that were all the rage in the late 1990’s.
Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command were the first three EU novels and introduced not only Thrawn, but he Jedi Master Jorus C’baoth. These books are set five years after the destruction of the second Death Star, and nine years after the Battle of Yavin. Zahn uses these three books to introduce and tell the backstory of a race of aliens known as the Noghri. He also plants the seed for many of the far-reaching EU threads as Leia is pregnant with twins.
These books have held up extremely well over the years, and are among the best of the EU offerings. So many plot threads were laid down in this trilogy that it is almost mind-boggling. Zahn also introduces Mara Jade here and without a doubt she is the one characters fans of the EU hope makes her way to the Disney canon.
Zahn’s next work was the Hand of Thrawn Duology and they take place 10 some years after the events in the Thrawn Trilogy. In these novels Luke teams up with Mara Jade and that leads to their marriage which is another huge plot thread going into the New Jedi Order series and the later half of the EU. Once more Zahn uses these books to tell back story of the Chiss, and further develop his characters.
Following those five works Zahn would go on to write five stand alone books. The first of these was Surivior’s Quest and it is the bridge from the Bantam novels to the Del Rey novels that begin with Vector Prime of the NJO series. This book in a lot of ways explores the marriage of Luke and Mara and lays the seeds for his next project; Outbound Flight.
This novel tells the back story of the Outbound Flight project that has been in the background of all of the Zahn Star Wars novels. It takes place five years after the Battle of Naboo and some 32 years prior to the Battle of Yavin. In this book we get a lot of details about Jorus C’baoth and the workings of the Jedi Council and the Old Republic government.
Allegiance would be Zahn’s next EU work, and most notably this book deals with Mara Jade’s history as the Emperor’s Hand. It takes place immediately following the Battle of Yavin. It would get a sequel in the novel Choices of one. In that work we are introduced to the Hand of Judgement.
Zahn’s final EU work would be the novel Scoundrels. This book tells the tale of how Han Solo lost the reward he was given for his role in the destruction of the first Death Star, and the lengths he has to go to get the money he needs to payoff the bounty placed on his head by the Crime Lord Jabba the Hutt.
With Thrwan appearing in the new canon, and with the three covers on the new Thrawn novel having just been released to the public we anxiously await the release of this work, however even without all that Zahn’s Star Wars legacy is secure.
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Thrawn (Star Wars)
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Check out this awesome Timotky Zahn interview: