Tribute to 20 years of a hobby [starwars]

20th Anniversary of the Thrawn trilogy

A little under 20 years ago, it started.

It started small, only once, but after that first time, I was hooked.

I looked forward to the second time. Then the third time.

Then I would go back to the first one and re-experience it.

That’s right, I’m talking about Star Wars books.

20 years ago, sci-fi author Timothy Zahn was contracted to write a trilogy of books that would ‘extend’ the Star Wars Universe beyond the movies and the comics. The trilogy was called the “Thrawn trilogy” after the introduction of a new character Grand Admiral Thrawn, an Imperial who threatened to undo the Rebellion. It had drama, intrigue, humor, and clever writing that had tidbits for repeat readers. In short, a story worthy of the name Star Wars.

My copies of this trilogy? My dog-eared paperback copies (one of which is split down the middle) were signed by Timothy Zahn at a Comicon-like event whilst in high school (I know, serious nerd cred here…shut up).

It went from that first trilogy to the Kevin J. Anderson trilogy (which, honestly, sucked. A sun crusher that destroys stars? Please. And even such a ridiculous object predated JJ Abrams’ Star Trek Red Matter, so there!) to a few more books to…well, I’ve posted before how many books I have.

The thing is that people will take their hobby and view their life through that hobby. It’s little wonder that I often think in imagery from the Star Wars universe. And often when I read star wars books, I highlight affirmations or situations that reflect the theology/philosophy books that I’ve read. Given that every Star Wars book involves a level of ethics and care/concern for the helpless, they often are strong conversation partners.

So I want to thank Timothy Zahn for writing that first trilogy that I started reading in a library in rural Oklahoma and bought with chores money, and finished probably the first night I brought it home. It’s been an amazing journey, and even though the series has gotten as convoluted and heavy as the United Methodist Church’s bureaucracy and polity, that makes it the perfect companion for someone in that role.

Any other Star Wars extended universe readers out there? Favorite story arcs? Or am I all alone in my theo-star-wars-nerddom?

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  1. says

    I enjoyed the trilogy, having read them when I was working my first meteorology job after I graduated college. I read one other book of Star Wars that wasn’t part of the triology. It wasn’t great, but then I read the trilogy that opened the Jedi Academy, I thought those were great as Luke tried to reestablish the Jedi Order.

    I’m with you.

  2. says

    The Thrawn trilogy was pretty much the only Star Wars series I read; the glut of Star Trek novels with their accompanying lack of quality cured me of fictional universe extended wanderings which had more to do with making money than with expanding the story. Since Zahn did such a good job with those three I figured I could save my money; I wasn’t likely to find much better.

  3. Xan says

    Hear hear! I think the first of the SWEU books that I read was the X-Wing series, but soon thereafter I found Heir To The Empire and was hooked. Across middle school and high school I ended up collecting around seventy or eighty of the SW books. I haven’t read any in earnest in a while, but any time I see that Zahn has put out a new one I make a point of picking it up.

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