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The Last Command 
(Thrawn Trilogy – Book Three)

By Timothy Zahn
10 years after ANH

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This is the third book in a trilogy by Timothy Zahn, continuing the interwoven storylines of a host of important Expanded Universe characters.


The Last Command begins one month after the conclusion of the trilogy's second book, Dark Force Rising. All of the plots established in the first two Thrawn novels, converge into their final, neatly wrapped package. The seemingly omnipotent Grand Admiral Thrawn, with most of the Katana fleet refurbished, and with these ships "manned" by his growing cadre of clones, steps up the pace of his push to take back the galaxy in the name of the Empire. The mad Jedi clone Joruus C'Boath pulls further from Thrawn's influence and control in his increasingly insane quest to lure Luke, Leia, and Mara Jade into his web. Talon Karde moves forward in his attempts to push the smuggler's coalition off of neutral ground and onto the side of the New Republic. And Leia prepares, at last, for the birth of her twins. These layers all inexorably build to a two-pronged explosive conclusion: A do-or-die battle at an Imperial shipyard for one set of protagonists, and a cataclysmic confrontation at the Emperor's secret storehouse on the planet Wayland for the rest of our heroes and villains.


The Thrawn trilogy is really more like one fabulous book, than three separate stories. If you liked the first two installments………and if you're a Star Wars fan, I can't imagine that you didn't like them……you will like The Last Command just as well. Everything that is right with Heir to the Empire and Dark Force Rising, is also engrossingly right with The Last Command. The plots established in the first two novels, are complex and exciting, and more than multi-faceted enough to sustain and build over three installments. All of the characters, both film-created and Timothy Zahn-created, are three-dimensional, fascinating, and capable of believable growth and change. It is the mark, in my mind, of a gifted writer that even the smaller roles are well-delineated and interestingly drawn. It is also to Zahn's credit that he balances the enrichment of the Star Wars "universe" with wonderful new personalities…..Thrawn, Pellaeon, Mara Jade, Talon Karde, the Noghri…..he balances these added personalities with depictions of our core film characters…..Luke, Leia, Han, et.al….that enrich our understanding and appreciation of them.

Along the way to a cinematic, rip-roaring conclusion………quick cuts from battle front to battle front, from introspection to action (and very reminiscent of Lucas' style in his editing of the final battles in The Phantom Menace, by the by)……The Last Command also serves up some intriguing speculation on the science and morality of cloning, and some philosophical tidbits on the role and powers of the Jedi order. Foreshadowing for movie Episodes Two and Three?

Regardless. If you only immerse yourself in the Expanded Universe "waters" once, make this trilogy your swimming pool. .