Last year, one of the Star Wars Expanded Universe’s biggest fan-favorite characters, Grand Admiral Thrawn, was given new life. He appeared in the third season of Star Wars Rebels and was featured in his own novel. Last week at San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Comics announced that the character would be the focus of a new comic miniseries.
The comic will adapt Thrawn by Timothy Zahn, which detailed the origins of the character, tracking how he rose through the ranks of the Imperial Navy. The comic will also include some additional material. This new series will be written by Jody Houser, who adapted Rogue One for Marvel, and illustrated by Luke Ross, who’s worked on comics such as Spider-Man and Captain America. The series will be released in February 2018.
Marvel Comics editor Heather Antos explained in an email to The Verge that Thrawn is a character that she’d asked her bosses to feature since she began working on the company’s Star Wars line. “I’ve always loved a good villain,” she says. “Ever since I read his first appearance in Zahn’s Heir to the Empire, I’ve become infatuated with the Star Wars Universe’s most famous military tactician.” While Zahn isn’t directly involved in writing this comic, Antos says that he’s been on hand to answer questions from character descriptions to Thrawn’s personal motivation.
Antos believes the biggest appeal of Thrawn is that he represents a very different type of villain than the ones typically seen in the Star Wars universe. “He’s 10 steps ahead of you. You’ve been defeated before you even think to pull out your blaster.”
This isn’t the first time that a Timothy Zahn novel has been adapted for comics. The three novels of the original Thrawn trilogy, Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command were each adapted by Dark Horse Comics between 1995 and 1998.
Antos says the series will run for six issues, kicking off with an oversized, 30-page comic in February. She’s hopeful that this won’t be the last we’ll see of the character. “Who’s to say where Thrawn’s journey will take him in the comics universe after this? All I know is if the fans want him, I’m happy to edit stories about Thrawn for as long as Marvel will let me!”