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Lucasfilm today gave Star Wars fans their first sneak peek of Marvel’s Thrawn, a prequel comic book series about the titular fan favorite Star Wars villain. The comic book series is based on Timothy Zahn’s novel of the same name, and this preview shows us Thrawn’s first major encounter with the Galactic Empire.
The future Grand Admiral Thrawn, full name Mitth’raw’nuruodo, was first created by Zahn back in 1991 in the author’s novel Heir to the Empire. A part of what was then known as the “Expanded Universe” (now stylized as “ Star Wars Legends “), Heir was the first of a “Thrawn trilogy” that depicted events after Return of the Jedi. While the antagonist met his end in that trilogy, the character was seemingly resurrected in subsequent media and became a recurring villain. After Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm, these novels, along with several other pieces of media, were rendered non-canon. But with Thrawn’s popularity so high, the character was reintroduced into the canon in the animated show Star Wars Rebels. Voiced by Danish actor Lars Mikkelsen, the ruthless and brilliant villain made a triumphant return to the franchise. Zahn followed these appearances up with a new canon novel titled Thrawn , the source material for Marvel Comics’ series.
StarWars.com revealed the preview of the first comic issue, which depicts a younger, long-haired Thrawn, alone and exiled by his people. He eventually comes across an Imperial scouting party, and brutally dispatches a handful of Stormtroopers, guerilla-style. Take a look:
By the end of the preview, Thrawn has disguised himself as a Stormtrooper to infiltrate their ranks and stow away. The artwork by Luke Ross, who also adapted Star Wars: The Force Awakens to comic book, highlights the brutality from Thrawn in a way we cannot gather from words on a page, with his signature gaze from his distinct bright red eyes.
When the Expanded Universe of Star Wars was essentially tossed aside, fans of the universe mourned for the status of some of their favorite stories and characters. But Zahn’s Thrawn character has more than proven his worth, and has enjoyed a longevity and legacy that no other element from the Legends canon can match thus far. While we probably won’t see Mara Jade Skywalker or the original Solo children ever return, there’s always hope for say, Kyle Katarn and/or Darth Revan. While Rian Johnson’s new Star Wars trilogy will probably focus on brand new characters, fans can cross their fingers for their favorite classic EU characters to make the jump to the canon, as Thrawn did on Rebels. Look forward to Marvel’s Thrawn , written by Jody Houser, when it kicks off early next year.