Grand Admiral Thrawn is one of the treasures of the Star Wars universe. He is a worthy foe to the Jedi and is my favorite Star Wars villain. If you are new to the world of Thrawn books I will set forth the books about Thrawn and give my suggested reading order for Thrawn.
Like most of the Star Wars universe, the book release date never matches the actual timeline of the story. Below I have included the Star Wars Thrawn books in timeline order.
In total there are 11 books about Thrawn, spread across 4 series. All of them were written by Timothy Zahn. Only books that have Thrawn as the main character are included. I have also included the release date for each book. The books are split into these 4 sections:
- Thrawn Ascendancy
- Star Wars: Thrawn Trilogy
- Thrawn Trilogy
- The Hand of Thrawn Duology.
Star Wars Thrawn Series
- Chaos Rising – September 1, 2020
- Greater Good – April 27, 2021
- Lesser Evil – November 26, 2021
The Thrawn ascendancy series is the latest written by Timothy Zahn. It was written 30 years after the original Thrawn books.
It tells the early history of Thrawn, then known as Mitth’raw’nuruodo, and his time in the Chiss Ascendency. It takes place between Attack of the Clones and The Revenge of the Sith.
Star Wars: Thrawn Trilogy
These are considered a trilogy and were released in chronological order, but were also written to stand on their own. These books explain Thrawn’s rise to Grand Admiral for the Empire. The first book takes place around 8 years after Revenge of the Sith and 11 years before Star Wars: A New Hope.
This series is notable for exploring Thrawn’s relationship with Darth Vader.
Thrawn Trilogy (The Original)
Built upon the original Star Wars movies (i.e., episodes 4-6) this was the first introduction to the Chiss Grand Admiral Thrawn. Set five years after the Return of the Jedi, the books feature the same characters as the movies with the addition of three main newcomers; Grand Admiral Thrawn, Mara Jade, and Jorrus C’baoth.
Heir to the Empire was the first book I read about Thrawn. It was also my first Star Wars book. It builds on the Return of the Jedi so well. The characters (Luke, Leia, Han, etc.) are exactly as you would expect them to be. I wish Disney would have gone with this book as its sequel for Star Wars. But oh well, maybe one day we will get a Thrawn Star Wars movie!
The Hand of Thrawn Duology
These books take place after the Thrawn trilogy and wrap up the original storyline. The books take place about 14 years after the Return of the Jedi.
Suggested Reading Order of Thrawn Books
You should first read Heir To The Empire. It is the book that started it all. It might be the most important Star Wars book ever written because it set a standard for what a Star Wars book could be. It was a popular book and brought excitement (and new hope) to the Star Wars Universe.
My suggested reading order is based mostly on the series the books are in. For example, Heir to the Empire doesn’t resolve itself, and you need to read the rest of the books in the series.
Suggested Reading order
- Heir to the Empire and the Thrawn trilogy
- Star Wars Thrawn trilogy – You get to learn more about Thrawn’s beginnings and how he ascended to the title of grand admiral.
- The Hand of Thrawn duology – You still get the classic Star Wars characters in this series, but I don’t think this series is as good as the two above it.
- Thrawn Ascendancy – For the hardcore Thrawn fans. More details about the Chiss and how Thrawn was formed.
What Thrawn Books are Canon?
Any Thrawn book set before A New Hope is considered Canon.
So the following books are Star Wars canon:
- Star Wars: Thrawn
- Thrawn: Alliances
- Thrawn: Treason
- Chaos Rising
- Greater Good
- Lesser Evil
The following books are not considered canon:
- Heir to the Empire
- Dark Force Rising
- The Last Command
- Specter of the Past
- Vision of the Future
*Featured Image Artwork by Two Dots
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