"…once you have done Thrawn in a book, where do you go from here? How do you up the game, what can you do to make it even better?"
―Timothy Zahn on writing Thrawn: Alliances[src]

Thrawn: Alliances is a canon novel written by Timothy Zahn. It is the sequel to the 2017 novel Thrawn, and it was published by Del Rey on July 24, 2018. The story features Thrawn and Darth Vader on a mission shortly after the events of Star Wars Rebels Season Three, while a parallel narrative set during the Clone Wars features Thrawn, Anakin Skywalker, and Padmé Amidala.

Publisher's summaryEdit

Grand Admiral Thrawn and Darth Vader ally against a threat to the Empire in this new novel from bestselling author Timothy Zahn.

"I have sensed a disturbance in the Force."

Ominous words under any circumstances, but all the more so when uttered by Emperor Palpatine. On Batuu, at the edges of the Unknown Regions, a threat to the Empire is taking root—its existence little more than a glimmer, its consequences as yet unknowable. But it is troubling enough to the Imperial leader to warrant investigation by his most powerful agents: ruthless enforcer Lord Darth Vader and brilliant strategist Grand Admiral Thrawn. Fierce rivals for the emperor's favor, and outspoken adversaries on Imperial affairs—including the Death Star project—the formidable pair seem unlikely partners for such a crucial mission. But the Emperor knows it's not the first time Vader and Thrawn have joined forces. And there's more behind his royal command than either man suspects.

In what seems like a lifetime ago, General Anakin Skywalker of the Galactic Republic, and Commander Mitth'raw'nuruodo, officer of the Chiss Ascendancy, crossed paths for the first time. One on a desperate personal quest, the other with motives unknown…and undisclosed. But facing a gauntlet of dangers on a far-flung world, they forged an uneasy alliance—neither remotely aware of what their futures held in store.

Now, thrust together once more, they find themselves bound again for the planet where they once fought side by side. There they will be doubly challenged—by a test of their allegiance to the Empire…and an enemy that threatens even their combined might.[1]


"And just to make it clear, I'm not writing this book. I turned it in two and a half weeks ago."
―Timothy Zahn[src]

The novel was announced at New York Comic Con 2017 during the Lucasfilm Publishing Presents: Tales from a Galaxy, Far, Far Away! panel, where Timothy Zahn was one of the featured authors. On the panel, Zahn revealed that the book was already written and turned in to Del Rey as of two and a half weeks before October 6, 2017.[2]

While planning the novel, Zahn wanted to write a story about Thrawn and Anakin Skywalker working together, a premise he had introduced in Thrawn. However, Lucasfilm wanted a story about Thrawn working with Vader. Eventually, it was decided to write both stories in the same novel.[3] An idea originally pitched by Zahn for the novel but vetoed by the Lucasfilm Story Group was the inclusion of the 501st Legion, leading to the creation of the First Legion.[4]


At one point in the book, Vult Skerris is referred to as lieutenant, when he is referred to as a captain several times. In the Star Wars Rebels episodes "Secret Cargo" and "Flight of the Defender," which take place before and after Thrawn: Alliances, Skerris is referred to as a commander.



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