Following the theft of the CR90 corvette Vorknkx, Grand Admiral Zaarin retreated into the Unknown Regions with an operational cloaking device. Grand Admiral Thrawn had a homing beacon hidden in the corvette and immediately followed Zaarin with his fleet consisting of the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Grey Wolf, the Interdictor cruiser Corvus and the Strike cruisers Ebolo and Daring. With the Interdictor able to keep Zaarin in one place, Thrawn intended the complete destruction of his enemy and the end of the Zaarin Insurrection.
Thrawn brought his forces out of hyperspace with the Grey Wolf and Corvus just close enough to trap the Glory, but far enough away to be safe from Zaarin's numerous TIE Defenders. Thrawn's two Strike cruisers came out of hyperspace right on top of the Glory and launched their squadrons of TIE Avengers led by Maarek Stele. The Grey Wolf also launched fighters and bombers to attack the Glory and other capital ships under Zaarin's command. While the two Strike cruisers attacked the Glory, the Grey Wolf lagged behind to protect the Corvus.
Zaarin, attempting to escape, split his TIE Defenders into several groups, one to eliminate the TIE Avengers, another to destroy the strike cruisers, and one to destroy the Interdictor and possibly the Grey Wolf. As the two strike cruisers were so close to the Glory, they quickly succumbed to a concentrated proton rocket attack by the Defenders. The fighters also managed to kill off a few Avengers, but the superior skill of Maarek Stele destroyed them. The TIE Defenders heading for the Corvus were also intercepted and destroyed, although they did manage to do some damage.
Without his superior fighter cover, the Glory quickly took a number of rocket and torpedo hits from the TIE bombers, causing Zaarin to evacuate the vessel in a number of transports, shuttles, and the Vorknkx. The shuttles and transports were all destroyed, but the Vorknkx engaged the cloaking device, evaded the fighters, and fled into hyperspace.
The death of ZaarinEdit
What Zaarin did not know was that Thrawn had altered the reports of the cloaking device, eliminating the portions that showed that the cloaking device was unstable in hyperspace. As the corvette leapt into hyperspace, it exploded, resulting in the first death of an Imperial Grand Admiral.
Thrawn had defeated Zaarin, but this might have had some unforeseen consequences. Zaarin's use of advanced starfighters meant that the Empire would use less of them, resulting in Rebel fighter superiority, a crucial advantage in many battles. Moreover, Thrawn's presence in the Unknown Regions meant that he was not able to be present at the Battle of Endor, and prevent the death of the Emperor. Years later, Gilad Pellaeon would hypothesize what would have happened if Thrawn had been at Endor.
Thrawn would remain in the Unknown Regions, continuing to strengthen the Imperial presence, until returning in 8 ABY. Both Grey Wolf and Corvus would not be seen again, presumably joining the forces under the Empire of the Hand.
- Star Wars: TIE Fighter (First appearance)
- The Essential Chronology
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 67
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (See "Zaarin")