Wednesday, July 11, 2018

New 'Thrawn: Alliances' Preview Excerpt Features Padme Amidala

By: Dominic Jones

Another prequel era, fan favourite character is set to appear in the upcoming novel Star Wars: Thrawn: Alliances.  A new preview excerpt from the upcoming novel by Tim Zahn features Padme Amidala in a prominent role.  What makes this even more intriguing is that Padme's story will take her to the planet Baatu, where the upcoming theme parks Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will be set.  A poster of Padme on Baatu will be a free give-away with the book if you buy it a Barnes and Noble.  You can see the poster and read part of the excerpt below,

Duja’s ship—Padmé had never known its real name, but the current ID beacon listed it as the Possibility—was small and cramped and, to the casual observer, completely harmless.
But the casual observer would be wrong. The ship boasted extra shielding, twin laser cannons in the front and one in the rear, and a pair of top-grade proton torpedoes. More a pocket fighter than a simple transport, it had evaded Batuu’s pitiful police force with ease.

It should, she thought dully from inside the cockpit escape pod, make for a spectacular crash.
She still didn’t know how that vulture droid had gotten her. She’d arrowed straight into Mokivj as soon as she hit the system, then crossed the wide expanses of plain, scrubland, and lake at the lowest altitude she dared. Combined with the Possibility’s compact size, that should have let her slip past anything patrolling the area around Du­ja’s coordinates. Clearly, it hadn’t worked. The vulture had nailed her, and she’d never seen it coming. Apparently, the Batuu police pursuit had dam­aged her ship more than she’d realized. She’d barely had time to kick it high enough to give the escape pod time to deploy before the whole thing began to come apart.

And now, as she burned at a controlled fall toward the hills below, she watched the multiple pieces of the Possibility arcing their fiery way toward the distant landscape.

Like Duja herself, the ship had faced its final challenge and lost. Now it was up to Padmé to avenge them both.

The planet Batuu is located on the edge of the outer rim territories and was described by the Disney Parks Blog following Galaxy's Edge's announcement in 2015 as being "a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space".  This will be our first in-universe look at Batuu in-universe, outside of a brief flyover of the planet featured at the end of the Crait adventure that was added to the Star Tours ride at the end of last year.  Out of universe, fans have gotten a look Baatu thanks to the the scale model of the park that was on display the D23 Expo last August in Anaheim.

The whole idea of giving fans their first real look at Batuu in this novel is a great idea.  Even though the experiences in Galaxy's Edge are set in the sequel era, this will give it an in-universe history that connects it back to the original trilogy era (where the primary story of Thrawn: Alliances is set), the prequel era as we'll see Padme and Anakin Skywalker there, as well as Star Wars Rebels and the old expanded universe thanks to Thrawn's history there.

Thrawn: Alliances hits shelves on July 24th, 2018 and picks up the story of Grand Admiral Thrawn following the events of the first novel, simply titled Thrawn, and the events of Star Wars Rebels season three (and possibly the first half of season four).  Seeing as the book appears to be set prior to the events of the Star Wars Rebels finale, it seems unlikely that it will address what happened to Thrawn there.  The novel will also be available at San Diego Comic Con next week, with a convention exclusive cover featuring Anakin Skywalker and Thrawn.

The novel is Timothy Zahn's twelfth in the Star Wars universe and second of the "new" canon.  Zahn created the character of Grand Admiral Thrawn for his first Star Wars novel, Heir to the Empire, back in 1991.  The novel, along with its sequels Dark Force Rising and The Last Command, kicked off the new era of Star Wars publishing which continues to this day.  Zahn later helped bring the character back following the canon reset in 2014, writing the new Thrawn series of novels and advising on the character's portrayal on Rebels.

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