WEG40131 - Star Wars D6 - The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook.pdf

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by Timothy Zahn
It was just after four o'clock on November 6,1989, and I was three days into writing my first novel for my new
publisher, Bantam Books, when the phone rang. It was my agent. "Tim," he said after the usual pleasantries, "we
have a very interesting offer here."
So began my involvement with Star Wars. Or rather, so began my professional involvement. My personal
involvement had begun some twelve years earlier, as I sat open-mouthed in a crowded theater watching that
Imperial Star Destroyer roll inexorably past overhead.
I saw Star Wars about twelve times. I then waited eagerly for The Empire
Strikes Back, and after that for Return of the Jedi. When the trilogy was over
and there were no signs of more to come, I put my enthusiasm into mothballs
and moved on to other things.
And now, suddenly, here on a Monday afternoon, Star Wars was back, not
in movies but in books. And those books were being offered to me.
I wandered around the house for the next couple of hours, lost in a fog of
excitement, anticipation, and panic, wondering if I could possibly come up
with a story that would do justice to George Lucas's vision. By the next day,
I had enough of the plot worked out to figure I could at least take a shot at it.
I spent the rest of November writing up an outline for the three books and
submitted it to Bantam. It took Bantam and Lucasfilm several months to work
out their contract and then get my outline approved, but by May I was able
to begin the actual writing. I charged on ahead, happy as a clam.
And then, in early July, I got a box from West End Games. It seemed that
Lucasf ilm had decided I ought to coordinate with their Star Wars role-playing
game background stuff. Stuff which, not being a gamer, I'd never heard of.
Once again I set off wandering around the house, this time growling and
grumping. Here I was, eleven chapters into the book and suddenly there was more research to be done. Finally, I
cooled down and started actually reading through the material.
And you know what? The stuff was pretty darn good.
That was my introduction to West End Games. I've been working with them ever since: vetting the sourcebooks
they've created from my books, writing original stories for The Official Star Wars Adventure Journal, and
occasionally sticking my oar in on a game or two. Along the way I've had a lot of fun, been given the opportunity
to stretch into new professional directions and — most importantly — made several good friends.
But then, that's really a major part of what has made these new Star Wars books so successful, as the movies were
before them: the chance to visit again old friends like Han, Luke and Leia, while making new ones along the way.
So come on in and make yourself at home. Or as Han might say, "Didn't we just leave this party?"
Timothy Zahn
December 13, 1995
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"Hey, Polio, wait up!"
The young Devaronian, Polio Tipn, turned to-
ward the loud voice crashing through the university
arboretum — and winced as he recognized the
source of the commotion.
"You know, the arboretum is supposed to be a
quiet area, Herg," Tipn grumbled; Herg had an un-
canny knack for driving Polio to distraction with
sarcastic comments. Herg seemed to pride himself
on badgering Polio constantly — of course he was
an arrogant young native of Coruscant.
"Hey, I just wanted to know why the History
Department's bright star had to stay after class,"
Herg said with a smirk. "Lemme guess: the mainte-
nance droid broke down and you had to sort out
Na'al's notes, right?"
"For your information, Professor Na'al asked me
to assist him with some research."
"Wow. I'm riveted" Herg said. "Let's see, he prob-
ably wants you to do something really exciting like
digging through the old Imperial records in the
palace. Or sorting his laundry. Something really
"Yeah. Something important," Tipn snapped. He
was getting edgy standing around amid the trees
and flowers of the arboretum; patience was not a
common trait among Devaronians. "Listen Herg, the
professor asked me not to discuss this with anyone.
So drop it, all right?"
"Right. Top secret, I'm sure. I'll find out anyway,
you know," Herg said, his smirk widening, "'cause I
can just watch you digging through moldy old
datacards and flimsies. It'll be fun to watch you
slave away for the greater glory of the university."
"Guess again, hotshot," Tipn flashed a feral grin
of his own. "You won't be seeing me do anything. As
of tomorrow, I'm on a leave of absence for field work.
Enjoy the mid-term exams."
Tipn turned on his heel and left Herg — speech-
less for once — in his wake.
"Polio," Na'al had said, after the students had
filtered out of the room, "I've been very pleased with
your work, and you have a natural aptitude for this
kind of work. That's why I have to ask you to assist
me on a very ... sensitive matter.
"As you know, a few years ago I stepped down as
head of New Republic Council Research to take this
teaching position," Na'al continued, "but I still have
some ties to the government."
"Yes sir," Tipn said. "I understand that you still
speak to Mon Mothma and Leia Organa Solo occa-
sionally." Tipn held the upper echelons of the New
Republic government in awe, particularly people
like Organa Solo and Jedi Master Skywalker. It was
Na'al's familiarity with the heroes of the Rebellion
that had led Tipn to his current field of study. Maybe
someday, he thought, I'll get to meet Skywalker, too.
"Mon Mothma has asked me to investigate some
unusual reports from some equally unusual quar-
ters," Na'al continued, "adjacent to Minos Cluster in
fact. Normally I would have declined — and the
Force knows Rivoche and the kids aren't wild about
my leaving — but after hearing Mon Mothma out, I
think it is important, maybe even vital, that we look
into it."
"'We?'" Tipn was startled; he had expected the
professor would ask him to perform some minor
research, or maybe handle a lower-level class of
students for a day. Actually accompanying Na'al
during whatever investigation he was about to un-
dertake shocked the young Devaronian.
"That's right, Polio," Na'al grinned, "I'd like you to
come along. For two very important reasons: First,
you are an excellent researcher, and I need a good
pair of eyes and a sharp mind with me; and second,
I'm a little old to be hopping around the Outer Rim
like an overzealous kid. Someone watching my back
would be exceedingly helpful. 'Sides, my wife
wouldn't let me go if someone didn't come with me.
The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook
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"Make no mistake, this will be dangerous" Na'al
concluded, "and I won't blame you if you don't want
to come along."
"I'm in," Tipn replied.
"Good," Na'al smiled warmly at his pupil. "Here's
some of the preliminary research; before we hop the
shuttle tomorrow, I want you as familiar as possible
with this material."
heard of. And remote wasn't even the word, he
thought. This Exocron place wasn't even on the
official star charts.
The Devaronian sifted through the datapads and
flimsies Professor Na'al had given him. They looked
like his original notes on Grand Admiral Thrawn's
campaign, he thought. / can't believe I'm reading
these; they're actually a piece of the New Republic's
history. He glanced over at his bedside chronom-
eter, groaning when he saw how late it was. / also
can 't believe / have to read all of these before the
shuttle leaves.
With a mental sigh, the young historian accessed
the file marked "Thrawn" and began to read.
Finished with his packing, Polio relaxed on his
bunk for a moment. Tomorrow, he would be on a
shuttle, bound for some remote system he had never
The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook
This sourcebook is a companion to the novels Heir to
the Empire, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command,
providing comprehensive, detailed information about
the people, places and events from this thrilling three-
book cycle, as well as illuminating a great deal of
"hidden history" not revealed in the novels. This infor-
mation was originally printed in Heir to the Empire
Sourcebook, Dark Force Rising Sourcebook and The Last
Command Sourcebook. These three books have been
collected in one volume for ease of reference, and all
have been updated to be compatible withStar Wars: The
Roleplaying Game, Second Edition.
The Heir to the Empire Trilogy Sourcebook contains a
collection of entries on the many subjects presented in
the novels, including updates on the main characters,
as well as details about new characters, places, equip-
ment, vehicles and tactics, in order to tell "the story
behind the story."
If you have not read the novels, it is strongly sug-
gested that you do so now. Since Timothy Zahn in-
cludes several unexpected plot twists and surprises,
you may spoil the story for yourself by reading the
sourcebook first.
Now, grab your blaster and warm up your X-wing,
because the Star Wars saga continues ...
The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook
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Chapter One: Thrawn's Campaign
Chapter One
Thrawn's Campaign
Excerpt from a report prepared by Polio Tipn for Voren
Na'al, former Head of New Republic Council Research
(retired). This report was prepared nearly 10 years after
the destruction of Mount Tantiss.
defeat was quiet enough: an Elomin task force in the
Obroa-skai region was destroyed after an unorthodox
Imperial data raid. While the loss of an entire task force
was by no means a laughing matter, the New Republic
Provisional Council saw no cause for serious alarm.
The next move indication of a new Imperial offensive
became apparent when Han Solo, Leia Organa Solo, and
Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker were attacked by aggres-
sive alien commandoes while on a diplomatic mission
to Bimmisaari. None of the group could identify their
alien assailants. The quick thinking of Captain Solo and
the Force-augmented abilities of Jedi Skywalker helped
these heroes avoid capture by their enigmatic attack-
After the attempted abduction on Bimmisaari, the
group returned to Coruscant — the capital planet of the
New Republic — over Leia's protests. While Captain
Solo was within his rights to evacuate an area that
housed a hostile alien force, there was considerable
damage to the diplomatic mission to Bimmisaari as a
result. This damage and the breach of security that led
to Captain Solo's decision to leave Bimmisaari gave
added ammunition to Councillor Borsk Fey'lya to use
against his political rival, Admiral Ackbar.
The next assault came shortly after the mission to
Bimmisaari. A coordinated series of hit-and-fade at-
tacks on the planet Bpfassh and two other star systems
showed the New Republic that the Empire was again
mobilizing. In response to these unorthodox attacks —
attacks which were apparently designed to cause mas-
sive damage — a New Republic relief mission was
dispatched to help coordinate repair efforts. The mis-
sion was led by Leia Organa Solo and her husband, and
was centered at the Sluis Van shipyards.
At Sluis Van, the first rumors about "Joruus C'baoth"
reached the New Republic. Wedge Antilles, the leader
of the now-infamous Rouge Squadron, reported to Leia
and Han that a long-lost Jedi Master had been sighted
on the remote planet Jomark. Shortly after passing this
information on, the group was again attacked by myste-
rious, grey-skinned aliens — the same species that
ambushed them on Bimmisaari.
An Overview of Grand Admiral
Thrawn's Campaign
Grand Admiral Thrawn was undeniably one of the
most capable, cunning soldiers the Emperor com-
manded. He was also one of the biggest enigmas in the
Imperial military: a non-human given high rank in an
intolerant, human-dominated regime; a brilliant tacti-
cian who studied the customs and thought patterns of
the peoples he conquered, yet whose own mind was
unknown to those around him.
Thrawn's campaign against the New Republic have
been well documented, and this report is by no means
a comprehensive analysis. The chaotic events of the
period are somewhat contradictory, due in large part to
the confusion that followed after Thrawn's death. How-
ever, by examining the records of the period, I believe
I have constructed a fairly accurate overview of this
most dangerous period in the New Republic's history.
— Polio Tipn
First Rumblings
The early stages of Grand Admiral Thrawn's cam-
paign against the New Republic began roughly five
years after the Battle of Endor. The New Republic, still
in its infancy, was struggling to establish itself as the
legitimate galactic government. No longer facing a mili-
tary campaign, the New Republic turned its attention to
the development of trade routes and shipping lines to
furnish badly needed supplies to worlds that had been
devastated during the galactic civil war. Political
struggles within the New Republic government were
still minor, but growing. All in all, the New Republic was
experiencing some severe growing pains, but the war
against the Empire appeared to be won.
The first indication that the Empire was far from
The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook
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