New Star Wars Novel Cover For “Thrawn: Alliances” Revealed, Along With New Excerpt

A new special edition cover for the novel Thrawn: Alliances from Del Rey Books has been revealed. Showing both a younger Thrawn and Anakin Skywalker. Hinting at the Jedi and Chiss go back to that of the Clone Wars.

The official cover for the novel depicts the two characters in a similar pose though at a different point in time, many years after the events of the Clone Wars with the Clone War hero Anakin Skywalker now the evil Darth Vader standing with Thrawn in his white admiral attrie.

Thrawn: Alliances will be written by fan favourite Timothy Zahn, who wrote last year’s Star Wars: Thrawn, as well as the original Thrawn trilogy (Heir to the Empire, Dark Forces Rising & The Last Command) back in the ’90s. While those books now fall under the Legends storylines that aren’t canon, Thrawn emerged in season 3 of Star Wars Rebels and became an integral component of that official storyline which concluded in season 4 back in March.

Dave Filoni confirmed that the Grand Admiral had indeed survived the final episode along with series protagonist Ezra Bridger, stating:

 “I thought a lot about that… It’s one of those things that you go ‘Oh boy, I love the idea of an end credits scene!’ “But as tempting as that is, I [decided that] if I cover that, then I want to do it right, and I don’t want to commit to things right now because things might change. So I have a lot of theories about it and what I think happens and where they are. I’ll say this much: they’re not dead. Both of them survive, both Ezra and Thrawn I would say survive it.”

– Dave Filoni 

Now earlier today the Official LucasFilm site StarWars.com released an excerpt on Timothy Zahn’s upcoming novel. And you are in for a treat. Why? Because it’s that of Anakin Skywalker meeting Thrawn for the first time. Enjoy:

Taking a final look at the nav display, Anakin pointed the Actis toward the horizon and poured power to the drive—

Abruptly, R2-D2 trilled a warning. “What is it?” Anakin said, frowning as he checked his rear display.

And felt the back of his neck tingle. There was a ship back there, the size of a medium freighter but of unknown configuration.

Settling into orbit right beside his hyperdrive ring.

“Unknown ship, this is General Anakin Skywalker of the Galactic Republic,” he called. “Identify yourself and state your purpose.”

Nothing. Maybe they didn’t communicate on any of the Repub­lic’s standard frequencies.

Or, more likely this far out, didn’t speak Galactic Basic.

Anakin pursed his lips, running through his list of trade languages. He knew Huttese and Jawa Trade Language fairly well, but Batuu was a long way from Hutt influence. Meese Caulf? He was a bit far out for that, but it was the best he had. “Unidentified ship, this is General Anakin Skywalker of the Galactic Republic,” he said, working hard to wrap his mouth around the Meese Caulf words and hoping he was getting the grammatical structure right. “You are intruding on Re­public equipment and interfering with a Republic mission. I order you to pull back and identify yourself.”

“I greet you,” a calm voice came back in the same language. “Did you give your name as General Skywalker?”

“I did,” Anakin said, frowning. “Why, have you heard of me?”

“No, not at all,” the other said. “I was merely surprised. Let me as­sure you I mean no harm to you or your equipment. I merely wished a closer look at this interesting device.”

“Glad to hear it,” Anakin said. “You’ve had your look. Pull back as ordered.”

There was a pause. Then, at a leisurely pace, the ship drifted away from the ring. “May I ask what brings a Republic envoy to this part of space?” the intruder asked.

“May I ask what business it is of yours?” Anakin countered. It wasn’t very polite, but he wasn’t feeling in a particularly polite mood. Every minute he was stuck out here making sure this prowler be­haved himself was a minute he couldn’t spend looking for Padmé. “You can be on your way at any time.”

“On my way?”

“To continue your travels,” Anakin said. “To go wherever you were going before you stopped to look at my hyperdrive ring.”

Another silence. The alien ship, to Anakin’s annoyance, had halted its sideways drift and was now pacing the hyperdrive ring at a dis­tance of a hundred meters. Still far too close for comfort. “Yes, I could continue on my way,” the intruder said. “But it might be more useful for me to assist you in your quest.”

R2-D2 gave a puzzled twitter. “I already told you I was on a Re­public mission,” Anakin said. “It’s not a quest.”

“Yes, I recall your words,” the intruder assured him. “But I find it hard to believe that a Republic at war would send a lone man in a lone fighter craft on a mission. I find it more likely that you travel on a personal quest.”

“I’m on a mission,” Anakin ground out. This was starting to be really irritating. “Directly ordered here by Supreme Chancellor Pal­patine himself.” Not that Palpatine even knew Anakin was here, of course, let alone sanctioning the mission. But if the stranger had heard of the Clone Wars he’d surely heard of Palpatine, and dropping the chancellor’s name might add some weight to his side of the con­versation. “And I don’t have time for this.”

“Agreed,” the other said. “Perhaps it would be best if I were to sim­ply show you the location of the ship you seek.”

Anakin’s hands tightened on the yoke. “Explain,” he said quietly.

“I know where the Nubian ship landed,” the intruder said. “I know the pilot is missing.”

Anakin ground his teeth. “So you intercepted a private transmis­sion?”

“I have my own sources of information,” the intruder said, his voice still calm. “Like you, I seek information, on that and other mat­ters. Also like you I’m alone, without the resources to successfully investigate. Perhaps in alliance with a Republic general we may find the answers both of us seek.”

“Interesting offer,” Anakin said. And now, finally, he was close enough. Taking a deep breath, he stretched out to the Force.

The intruder wasn’t human, though of course Anakin had already guessed that. He was near-human, though, like many other species in the Republic.

But the texture of his mind was unlike anything Anakin had ever touched before. It was neat and well ordered, the patterns of thought flowing smoothly and precisely in ways not unlike those of scientists or mathematicians. But the content of that flow, and the muted emo­tions accompanying it, were completely opaque. It was like a neat and precise array of unfamiliar numbers.

“So what answers are you looking for?”

“I wish to more fully understand this conflict in which you’re em­broiled,” the intruder said. “I wish answers of right and wrong, of order and chaos, of strength and weakness, of purpose and reaction.” There was a slight pause; and when the voice came back there was a new formality to it. “You asked my identity. I am now prepared to give it. I am Commander Mitth’raw’nuruodo, officer of the Expan­sionary Defense Fleet, servant of the Chiss Ascendancy. On behalf of my people, I ask your assistance in learning of this war before it sweeps its disaster over our own worlds.”

“Fine,” Anakin said. “Whenever you’re ready.”

“I’ll make preparations at once,” Mitth’raw’nuruodo said. “One additional thought. Chiss names are difficult for many species to properly pronounce. I suggest you address me by my core name: Thrawn.

“That’s all right, Mitth’raw’nuruodo,” Anakin said. Did this being go out of his way to be annoying and condescending? “I think I can handle it.”

“Mitth’raw’nuruodo,” the alien said.

“That’s what I said,” Anakin said. “Mitth’raw’nuruodo.”

“It’s pronounced Mitth’raw’nuruodo.

“Yes. Mitth’raw’nuruodo.”

“Mitth’raw’nuruodo.”

Anakin clenched his teeth. He could hear a slight difference be­tween his pronunciation and the alien’s. But he couldn’t figure out how to correct his version. “Fine,” he growled. “Thrawn.”

“Thank you,” Mitth’raw’nuruodo—Thrawn—said. “It will make things easier. My shuttle is prepared. Let us depart.”

Ohhh you can almost hear Lars Mikkelsen and Matt Lander when reading. So for those that are interested in purchasing Thrawn: Alliances, it’ll be hits shelves on July 24th while the exclusive cover (Anakin & Thrawn) will be available at San Diego Comic-Con, kicking off on July 19th.

Connor Heggie