Grand Admiral Thrawn’s origin story will be told this April in a Timothy Zahn-penned Star Wars book Thrawn, but don’t expect the new novel to retcon all of his dark deeds from the old beloved books. Instead, the new canon book will likely explain his relationships in Rebels, specifically Thrawn’s connection to the Imperial Governor Pryce.
In a new synopsis released on January 21 by publisher Penguin Random House, the connections between the Thrawn of Rebels and the Thrawn of the past are made a bit clearer. While “Timothy Zahn chronicles the fateful events that launched the blue-skinned, red-eyed master,” the book will also set-up Thrawn’s rise specifically through his alliance with Arihnda Pryce. The synopsis explains that “even though Thrawn dominates the battlefield, he has much to learn in the arena of politics where ruthless administrator Arihnda Pryce holds the power to be a potent ally or a brutal enemy.”
The good money here seems to be that Thrawn will make Pryce his “potent ally,” since the two end up working together in the future of Rebels. In the old Zahn books, Thrawn’s existence was kept more of a secret, whereas now it seems like his influence and power will be widely known.
While it’s still unclear exactly how much time passes in the new novel, the deepening of Thrawn’s backstory in the new Star Wars canon poses an interesting question: If this much time is being spent on a previously canonized character, could he appear in future films? Because if Orson Krennic can hang out with Grand Moff Tarkin, and the Ghost can fly in the Battle of Scarif, then what’s to stop Grand Admiral Thrawn from surviving all the way to assist the First Order?
The new novel Thrawn will be published by Del Rey (Penguin Random House) on April 11, 2017.