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7th Jun '13 12:55:28 PM StarSword
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7th Jun '13 12:55:15 PM StarSword
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The HandOfThrawn duology is a pair of books, ''[[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Specter_of_the_Past Specter of the Past]]'' and ''[[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Vision_of_the_Future Vision of the Future]]'', by TimothyZahn. Set in the StarWarsExpandedUniverse, they take place ten years after TheThrawnTrilogy (hence, fifteen years after ''Return of the Jedi'').

Supreme Commander Pellaeon looks at the [[TheRemnant Imperial Remnant]], the [[VestigialEmpire scraps of a once-proud Empire]], and concludes that there is one and only one way it may be saved: a peace treaty with the New Republic. But other Imperials are unwilling, and try and sabotage his effort by capturing the messenger Pellaeon is sending. While the Supreme Commander waits for a response, they contrive to make it seem as if [[MagnificentBastard Grand Admiral Thrawn]] has come BackFromTheDead.

Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, the head of the NewJediOrder, joins his old friend Han Solo for a diplomatic mission--and in the process helps fight off a gang of pirates. Luke holds back, having decided recently to not be so profligate with his abilities, and notices something he might otherwise not have--he can feel a "distortion" in the Force, which as far as he knows is caused only by clones, aboard the pirates' ships.

And taking a much-needed vacation on Wayland, the world that the Emperor used as a trophy case, Senator Leia Organa Solo and her children run into a smuggler who has stumbled across a cache of datacards, one of them the Caamas document.

The Caamasi people were a group of peaceful [[ActualPacifist Actual Pacifists]], so respected by even some warlike species that "caamasi" was a word for "friend from afar" or similar in numerous languages, and there is even a legend that the first Jedi came to the Caamasi to learn ethical use of the Force. Shortly after the Clone Wars, their planet's surface was razed; the few survivors were offworld or didn't see what initiated the Holocaust, but the genocide had long been believed to have been directed by Palpatine. Palpatine's copy of the Caamas document confirms this--but more importantly, notes that a number of Bothans, working for him, helped to lower Caamas's planetary shields, allowing the destruction. Unfortunately, the document Leia has found is corrupted, and the actual list of names is lost. When the news gets out, the New Republic is engulfed by demands for justice. The heatedness of the debate, with leaders of entire species coming down on either side, leads to a resurging of old inter-species rivalries, and the New Republic begins to fracture...just as word arrives on Coruscant that Grand Admiral Thrawn has returned.

Before the Caamas crisis rose up, this would have caused the New Republic to react decisively and overwhelm the pathetic fleets still guarding what is left of the Empire, but in the current political climate, there is no consensus on if it is even real. The Imperial conspirators spin their webs larger yet tighter. Luke's clone hunt falls short, and he learns that Mara Jade has vanished on a hunt for a mysterious alien ship that's buzzed her twice. Taking a chance, rather than lending his efforts to the larger danger, he listens to the Force and goes after her. Leia struggles desperately to keep the Republic from collapsing into all-out Civil War, and Han mainly works to keep Leia from going crazy. Pellaeon waits, wondering why the New Republic general he's waiting for in an isolated area of space hasn't responded, and utterly annihilates the fleet the conspirators send after him.

That's set up early in the first book. Just another few weeks in the galaxy.
----
In addition to the character and universe tropes they carry over from the Original Trilogy, these books provide examples of:

* AbsurdlySharpBlade: The [[SharpenedToASingleAtom monomolecular stiletto]], previously seen in Stackpole and Zahn's short story ''Side Trip''. They can cut through anything, but realistically are very fragile and tend to be ruined by even a single use. For that reason, Shada carries three of them when she breaks into Han and Leia's home.
* BatmanGambit: At the end of ''Specter of the Past'', Pellaeon shows how much he learned from Thrawn. The conspirators have staged an attack on the ''Chimaera'' to make it look like General Bel Iblis has rejected Pellaeon's offer and is attacking him. Pellaeon creates a new variation on one of Bel Iblis' own tactics, [[ContinuityNod the "A-wing slash" from the Thrawn Trilogy]], and uses it successfully against his attackers--thus proving they can't possibly be led by Bel Iblis because he wouldn't have fallen for his own trick.
* BecomingTheMask: The clones of Soontir Fel. They're part of a sleeper cell, becoming [[FarmBoy farmers]]... and they loved the soil too much to return to duty. [[spoiler: Which turned out to be Thrawn's objective - if/when any powerful alien species from the Unknown Regions or outside the galaxy invaded, the sleeper cells would be there to stop them, and would fight all the harder because they'd be fighting for their homes.]]
* BigBadDuumvirate: There are three people working to create and maintain the illusion that Thrawn has returned, but of the three, Disra and Tierce are the ones at odds. Flim mostly serves as TheWatson, though he gets his own jabs in now and again. At the end it turns out that Tierce contributed more to the scheme than anyone else could have realized.
* BigDamnHeroes: Pellaeon's arrival [[spoiler: on the ''Relentless'' at Yaga Minor. Shown from the point of view of the Smug Snake villain, for added value.]]
* BodyguardCrush: Hinted at between Talon Karrde and Shada Du'kal.
* BreakingSpeech: Pellaeon does this to Tierce in the climax of ''Vision of the Future''. His lecture consits of pointing out that Tierce is nothing more than a vision-less, [[RevengeBeforeReason vengeance-obssessed]], [[ManipulativeBastard manipulative]], [[TheChessmaster tactically brilliant,]] [[spoiler: flawed clone of a]] Red Guard [[spoiler: with some of Thrawn's cunning]] who doesn't have what it takes to be a true MagnificentBastard like Thrawn. This causes Tierce's full-blown VillainousBreakdown and Pellaeon shoots down Tierce's MotiveRant during the lecture.
* BrickJoke: Subtle (it's never explicitly stated) but remember that tractor beam guy in ''The Last Command'' who Thrawn promoted instead of punishing him because he tried an imaginative solution to prevent Luke escaping his tractor beam, even though he failed? The one who Thrawn then ordered to work on the solution properly? Guess how Lando tries to escape an Imperial tractor beam at the end of ''Specter''...same method, only ''now'' [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome the Empire has a way to defeat it]].
** Also, the beckon call Luke found on Dagobah in ''Heir to the Empire''; here we meet its owner and find out how it got there.
** Lieutenant Tschel, an excitable newbie officer from TheThrawnTrilogy, has become a steady, reliable Major.
* CharacterDevelopment: Pellaeon has overcome his earlier anti-alien racism (which fits with him being involved in Daala's opening up of the Empire to other races in ''Darksaber'').
** Fey'lya has also become more rounded from his earlier ItsAllAboutMe SmugSnake ObstructiveBureaucrat persona. Unfortunately, later authors undid this in the New Jedi Order series.
* TheChessmaster: Tierce, who is actually [[spoiler: a partial clone of Thrawn, though his actual genetic material came from a former Royal Guardsman; it's just that his mental programming included elements taken from Thrawn's own mind]]. As Pellaeon points out, though, he lacks the charisma and leadership necessary to be a truly MagnificentBastard.
* ConflictBall: One attempt to avenge the past leads to a host of ethnic conflicts flaring up nearly destroying the New Republic. More or less justified, and explained on a couple occasions, in that for most species, the Caamas crisis really served as an excuse to legally get at longstanding enemies and rivals. Not a lot of people cared that profoundly about something that had happened so long ago.
* ConMan: Flim. He sometimes upsets Disra and Tierce by accurately referring to their plan as TheCon and saying they shouldn't act like it's anything else.
* ContinuityNod: Very frequent. Zahn read the rest of the EU. It's not hard to tell which parts he liked and which he didn't.
** There are also several to TheThrawnTrilogy's events, naturally.
* CloningBlues: There's a lot of FantasticRacism directed at them, that's for sure. Lando in particular - he calls them "subhuman" behind their backs, and antagonizes them to their faces. (This may be an ironic in-joke, as the character of Lando was originally going to be a leftover Clone Wars clone in early drafts of ''The Empire Strikes Back'').
** There was also one [[IncrediblyLamePun blue clone]].
** Also, at the end of the book, after [[spoiler: the good guys win]], they repeatedly refer to the near-disaster as a scheme caused by Disra and Flim, the two members of the triumvirate who ''weren't'' clones, despite Tierce orchestrating most of it.
* CurbStompBattle: [[spoiler: Shada]] versus [[spoiler: Tierce]]. Considering how much of a BadAss the latter is supposed to be, it's surprising he was defeated so quickly.
* [[DevilsAdvocate Devil's Advocate]]: In ''TheThrawnTrilogy'', Captain Pellaon acted as a [[DevilsAdvocate Devil's Advocate]] to Grand Admiral Thrawn, and commended his subordinate for playing this trope in ''HandOfThrawn''.
* DidntSeeThatComing: The conspirators' plan to make everyone think Flim is Thrawn works so well that it convinces General Bel Iblis...who, when the attempt at infiltrating the Yaga Minor shipyard goes awry, decides that stopping Thrawn is important enough to sacrifice his own ship and life and prepares to ram "Thrawn"'s. Fortunately for the conspirators, the situation is resolved before this can happen.
* DividedForPublication: The German translation of ''Vision of the Future'' was split into two volumes. It must use more words in German or something.
* DoorStopper: At 694 pages - some versions have more or fewer pages than others - Vision of the Future is the longest Star Wars novel, at least as of 2008.
* DoubleEntendre
** Which will become Luke and Mara's [[GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex thing]] all the way into [=NJO=]. I guess we can [[IncrediblyLamePun put one myth about marriage to bed]].
* DrivingQuestion: Where can we find an intact copy of the Caamas Document? (Technically this is really 'Which Bothans were involved in the attack on Caamas?', but in practice this is resolved offscreen once the Document is found).
* FixFic: Like we said...Zahn read the rest of the EU.
* {{Flanderisation}}: Zahn mocks the other EU writers' treatment of Thrawn as [[MaryTzu omniscient and undefeatable]] by having several alien senators (whose worlds were never threatened by Thrawn the first time around) being terrified of his reputation, to which the main characters point out that he was never ''that'' good (he did, after all, ''lose'' in the end, and as clever as he was, Thrawn made a couple of key mistakes that were fatal in the end) in a LampshadeHanging.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: [[spoiler:All of Tierce's little tics.]]
** More distantly, there are vague references to the impending [[spoiler: Yuuzhan Vong invasion]].
* GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke: [[spoiler:Tierce]]
* GenreSavvy: Pellaeon is well aware that the New Republic is going to survive the unrest caused by the Caamas Document, would find out if the Empire sent agitators to stir up trouble, and would mete harsh vengeance on them for trying. When some try anyway the first two happen, and the third is narrowly avoided by [[spoiler: Pellaeon's peace treaty.]]
* GilliganCut: A literary example, discussing the events that will later be explored in ''OutboundFlight'':
--> '''Parck:''' On one side were handpicked units of Palpatine's own private army, equipped with fifteen top-line combat ships. On the other side were Commander Mitth'raw'nuruodo of the Chiss Expansionary Defense and perhaps twelve small and insignificant border patrol ships.
--> '''Mara:''' How badly did Thrawn slaughter them?
--> '''Parck:''' Utterly.
* GrandFinale: For the publishers, anyway; Bantam Books would soon lose the rights to the series to Del Rey, so as a last hurrah, they brought back the writer of the [[TheThrawnTrilogy most acclaimed books]] of the Expanded Universe to wrap up the main plot. Additionally, readers who are dissatisfied with [[NewJediOrder later]] [[Literature/LegacyOfTheForce books]] can [[FanonDisContinuity disavow]] their existence and come to a satisfying conclusion here.
** The very last Bantam novel was actually ''[[XWingSeries Starfighters of Adumar]]'', but it was set before this duology anyway, and it rather nicely explains how Wedge went from dating Qwi Xux in the [[JediAcademyTrilogy JAT]] to being married to Iella from the X-Wing Series here.
* HeelFaceTurn: The majority of the Empire by the end, and Supreme Commander Pellaeon right at the beginning. Sort of. Even in his first appearance, Pellaeon's Heel status was in doubt. Sure, he was an Imperial, but under Zahn, that doesn't by itself make a character evil or even a PunchClockVillain. Here, Pellaeon's one of the good guys.
** Even in Zhan's earlier work Pellaeon (and other Imperials) was always depicted as a good man, with some [[FairForItsDay fair for the empire]] FantasticRacism, he just happens to work for very bad people.
* [[HoYay/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Ho Yay]]: Thrawn means a lot to Pellaeon. A ''lot''. Pellaeon doesn't take the news that Thrawn may have returned without talking to him very well, and speculates morosely as to ''why''.
--> "Thrawn wasn't human, you know, no matter how human he might have looked. He was an alien, with alien thoughts and purposes and agendas. [[AmIJustAToyToYou Perhaps I was never more to him than just one more tool he could use in reaching his goal]]."
* IndyPloy / XanatosSpeedChess: ''Constantly'' and ''everyone''. Hero, villain, HeroicNeutral... ''everyone'' is madly struggling to get past the difficulties they throw at each other, all the time. None of the main characters are ''ever'' really certain or secure for long, though they give that impression to their enemies.
* InvincibleHero: This is how Zahn saw the overpowered Jedi of the books. He couldn't retcon them into more Yodalike power levels (Pulling a starfighter out of a swamp wasn't easy), so he insinuated that demigod Jedi are relying so heavily on sheer power that they've blinded themselves to the subtler sides of the Force, like precognition (both in the immediate sense - as an awareness of danger before it hits - and in the longer-term, as visions) and that Luke was drawing on the Dark Side by using the Force as a solution for every problem. Zahn was telling other EU authors that they were making Luke out to be a MarySue and cheapening the Force by making it a source of cool powers and nothing more.
* LegacyCharacter: Kind of. Pellaeon, as TheWatson to Thrawn, has managed to at least halfway match some of Thrawn's tactical genius (as seen at the end of ''Specter of the Past'' when he figures out that the pirate fleet couldn't possibly have been sent by Bel Iblis ''because he used one of Bel Iblis' own tactics to beat it''). Lampshaded in that Pellaeon muses that Captain Ardiff is now in the [[WithDueRespect same]] [[CommanderContrarian position]] that he was to Thrawn ten years ago.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Ohhhh yes. Can't have an epic without them.
* MacGuffin: An intact copy of the Caamas Document, which would name the Bothans responsible and allow them to be put on trial so people stop blaming the race as a whole. Karrde tries to find one by searching out Jorj Car'das and his information archive, while Bel Iblis tries to get one by an information raid on the Imperial archives at Yaga Minor. In the end [[spoiler:it's actually Luke and Mara who find one, by accident no less, in Thrawn's archives on Nirauan]].
* ManipulativeBastard: Tierce. Pellaeon points out in his BreakingSpeech that Tierce is just a vision-less manipulator instead of a true leader.
* MemeticBadass: In-universe example. Thrawn is perhaps the most terrifying figure the galaxy has ever seen, so even his impersonator's appearance freaks out Lando and others who see him. It takes Pellaeon, who knew Thrawn best and is not threatened by him, to ferret him out.
* MentalFusion: Luke and Mara do this.
* MostWritersAreHuman: ...Okay, yeah, Zahn's probably human. But many of his characters aren't, and a lot of them are in prominent positive or neutral roles which in other books get filled by humans.
** However, like almost every other EU writer, he consigns Chewbacca to minor roles.
* MythologyGag: Possibly unintentional, but Lando is the one most suspicious of the clones. In the early drafts of "Empire Strikes Back", Lando was ''himself'' a clone left over from the Clone Wars.
* PardonMyKlingon: Colonel Bas, Pellaeon's fighter commander (from commoner stock and thus less refined in his speech than most offices) has a habit of using the swearword "kriff".
* PeaceConference: What Pellaeon's working towards.
* PowerTrio: Disra, Flim, Tierce, generally acting as Id, Ego, and Superego, respectively
* ProphecyTwist
* PunctuationShaker: Almost any time Zahn renders an alien language, there are apostrophes in it.
* RammingAlwaysWorks: When Bel Iblis' plan to infiltrate Yaga Minor with the ''Errant Venture'' fails and the ship is trapped, but the ''Relentless'' is in front of them and [[spoiler:seemingly]] has Thrawn on board, Bel Iblis orders ramming speed. Fortunately, the situation is resolved before it can happen.
* RedStringOfFate: [[spoiler:Luke and Mara, as literal as possible with the Force]]
* RuleThirtyFour: There's a now-defunct thread on theforce.net about Luke and Mara's [[spoiler:Force bond]] and how it relates to [[spoiler:their marital bed]]. That thread lasted for four years. So RuleThirtyFour ''always'' applies.
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: As in TheThrawnTrilogy, averted. When Pellaeon bemoans the Empire's sorry state at the start of ''Specter'', Captain Ardiff argues that even only eight sectors represents more than a ''thousand'' inhabited systems. Still [[VestigialEmpire a tiny fraction of what it was]], small enough that it calls ''itself'' the [[TheRemnant Imperial Remnant]], but not insignificant, even if the New Republic could invade and destroy it utterly if it wanted.
** Also, the galaxy map indicates that only the central quarter of the galaxy is mapped and the rest is the Unknown Regions, in contrast to the now canon Star Wars galaxy map in which most of the galaxy is known and the Unknown regions are about a fifth of it.
* ShipperOnDeck: Han, at least, ships Karrde with Shada.
-->"You know, I asked you once what it would take to get you to join the New Republic. Remember? You asked what it had taken to get ''me'' to join up--"\\
"Yes, I remember," Karrde cut him off, an uncharacteristic note of embarrassment coloring his voice. "Kindly bear in mind that I have ''not'' joined the New Republic. And my relationship with Shada is nothing like that."\\
"Neither was mine," Han said smugly, putting his arm around Leia. "That's okay. Give it time."
* ShoutOut: [[XWingSeries Corran Horn]] makes a minor appearance in the first book and shares a somewhat larger subplot with Wedge in the second. Also a general ShoutOut to L/M fans and their [[FixFic requests that Zahn fix this mess]].
* ShownTheirWork: Very soon after "Specter of the Past" was published, MichaelStackpole wrote "I, Jedi", which introduced the Caamaasi character Elegos A'kla. "Vision of the Future" included Elegos in a fairly prominent role, and in-character. There are also lots of other connections, such as cortosis ore (a substance that shuts down lightsabers).
** Zahn and Stackpole, for their difference in styles, seem to communicate with each other very well, and generally appreciate each others' work. The same can't be said for a large portion of the rest of the EU.
*** Zahn has an author's note somewhere saying that one day, he will defeat Stackpole at Star Wars Trivial Pursuit.
*** Both have noted that, since all EU characters are owned by GeorgeLucas, not the authors who created them (this is a standard agreement required for becoming an EU writer), there's no need to ask other authors for permission to use "their" characters. But Zahn and Stackpole do so anyway, to avoid screwing up each others' future story ideas and to keep everybody in-character.
**** In the foreword to one of the comics, Stackpole comments that not only did he ask permission to use Talon Karrde in one of his books, he even sent Zahn the sections with Karrde in them. To reciprocate, Zahn did the same for borrowing Booster Terrik. Only minor changes were requested by each author each time. Given how poorly [[spoiler:Mara's death]] in [[Literature/LegacyOfTheForce later books]] went over with fans compared to how well-received Zahn and Stackpole are, it's a wonder these sorts of things don't pop up more often.
* SmugSnake: Disra, who's smart, but not nearly as on top of things as he thinks he is, or would like to be.
** Also, Tierce, oddly enough. Once you know that [[spoiler: he's got part of Thrawn's mind]], you realize just how much he ''acts'' like the man... except that he's not as good at hiding smug satisfaction, and he makes many more predictions that don't turn out as planned.
* StagedShooting: Inverted - Imperial agents on Bothawui implicate Han on a balcony in shooting at a crowd by using a blaster that fires an invisible (but otherwise real) bolt to hit a device planted next to him on the wall, designed to reflect the shot back towards the crowd as a visible bolt.
* StrawVulcan: The very, very calm Diamala species, who naturally are in conflict with the very emotional Ishori.
* TakeThat: [[RuleOfThree Like we said...Zahn read the rest of the EU]].
** In particular, [[Literature/JediAcademyTrilogy Anderson]], [[TheCallistaTrilogy Hambly]], everyone behind ''ComicBook/DarkEmpire'', and the ''Literature/BlackFleetCrisis'' got some of the worst. Not saying anyone took Zahn's heed; Luke's ''still'' [[StoryBreakerPower overpowered, even relative to what we'd expect the most powerful Jedi ever to be]].
*** By contrast, Rusch's ''The New Rebellion'' gets a couple of favourable mentions, probably because she used Zahn's ysalamiri and Talon Karrde fairly well, even though the quality of that book is of a similar standard to the other EU books.
* TheChainsOfCommanding: Pellaeon never wanted to lead the Empire, which is probably the reason why he was able to save it from final destruction; he was moved by a sense of duty while the likes of Disra were concerned only with power.
* TheyDo: Luke and Mara.
* TitleDrop: "The Hand of Thrawn" is the only uncorrupted sentence found on one of the damaged Imperial datacards unearthed at the beginning of ''Specter of the Past''. Everyone speculates about what it might mean, but Luke and Mara only find out when the latter realises what the damaged Chiss fortress on Nirauan, with its five remaining towers, looks like...
** The phrase "vision of the future" is also used at the end of the eponymous book.
* TookALevelInBadass: Weary though he is, Pellaeon has become a highly capable commander in his own way in the years since we first saw him.
* TragicDream: Maybe it was only a ship, but it was a ship that meant everything to Mara.
* UnusualEuphemism: Shavit. Also "kriff", introduced in these books, has since become StarWarsExpandedUniverse {{fanon}}'s answer to [[Franchise/BattlestarGalactica "frak"]] in its many contexts.
* VestigialEmpire
* VillainousBreakdown: Tierce has a rather impressive one, combined with a MotiveRant that gets a lot of his oddities to make sense, when everything gets blown.
* VillainSue: An interesting twist here. Thrawn (especially compared to the straight-up MagnificentBastard of TheThrawnTrilogy) initially shows all the hallmarks of this: ridiculously genius strategist, [[TheChessmaster Chessmaster]] ''par excellence'', WickedCultured, and the good guys are practically paralyzed with terror at the mention of his name. Here's the twist: [[spoiler:he never shows up]]. So it's a case of in-universe word of mouth inflating his ''reputation'' to VillainSue levels.
* WeWillNotUseStageMakeUpInTheFuture: Flim and Luke both subvert this, though Flim uses "self-powered surface inserts" to simulate Thrawn's [[GlowingEyesOfDoom glowing]] [[RedEyesTakeWarning red]] [[MonochromaticEyes monochromatic]] eyes.
** When Luke uses it, Zahn uses Mara's lines to deliver a concise TakeThat to the Black Fleet Crisis trilogy, in which Luke goes around warping people's minds to make them see another person to avoid him being recognised - not even when he's on a mission, just when he's walking the street - instead of, you know, wearing a disguise.
* WhamLine: Bel Iblis to Booster Terrik near the end: "[[RammingAlwaysWorks And we're going to ram it]]".
** Luke, also near the end: "[[spoiler:Thrawn's copy of the Caamas Document]]".
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: What happened to Carib Devist and the other Fel clones after they chose their side?
* XanatosGambit: In ''Vision of the Future. The protagonists are on the run from a powerful slaver fleet towards the planet of Exocron. If the slavers pursue them there [[spoiler: the Aing-Tii monks, Force-users who usually don't go out of their territory but hate slavers, will destroy them with weird alien tech]] but if they see the trap and break off pursuit, that works too. Though the 'xanatos' aspect is downplayed for BatmanGambit; the protagonists are counting on [[spoiler: the Aing-Tii monks to save him.]]
----

to:

The HandOfThrawn duology is a pair of books, ''[[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Specter_of_the_Past Specter of the Past]]'' and ''[[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Vision_of_the_Future Vision of the Future]]'', by TimothyZahn. Set in the StarWarsExpandedUniverse, they take place ten years after TheThrawnTrilogy (hence, fifteen years after ''Return of the Jedi'').

Supreme Commander Pellaeon looks at the [[TheRemnant Imperial Remnant]], the [[VestigialEmpire scraps of a once-proud Empire]], and concludes that there is one and only one way it may be saved: a peace treaty with the New Republic. But other Imperials are unwilling, and try and sabotage his effort by capturing the messenger Pellaeon is sending. While the Supreme Commander waits for a response, they contrive to make it seem as if [[MagnificentBastard Grand Admiral Thrawn]] has come BackFromTheDead.

Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, the head of the NewJediOrder, joins his old friend Han Solo for a diplomatic mission--and in the process helps fight off a gang of pirates. Luke holds back, having decided recently to not be so profligate with his abilities, and notices something he might otherwise not have--he can feel a "distortion" in the Force, which as far as he knows is caused only by clones, aboard the pirates' ships.

And taking a much-needed vacation on Wayland, the world that the Emperor used as a trophy case, Senator Leia Organa Solo and her children run into a smuggler who has stumbled across a cache of datacards, one of them the Caamas document.

The Caamasi people were a group of peaceful [[ActualPacifist Actual Pacifists]], so respected by even some warlike species that "caamasi" was a word for "friend from afar" or similar in numerous languages, and there is even a legend that the first Jedi came to the Caamasi to learn ethical use of the Force. Shortly after the Clone Wars, their planet's surface was razed; the few survivors were offworld or didn't see what initiated the Holocaust, but the genocide had long been believed to have been directed by Palpatine. Palpatine's copy of the Caamas document confirms this--but more importantly, notes that a number of Bothans, working for him, helped to lower Caamas's planetary shields, allowing the destruction. Unfortunately, the document Leia has found is corrupted, and the actual list of names is lost. When the news gets out, the New Republic is engulfed by demands for justice. The heatedness of the debate, with leaders of entire species coming down on either side, leads to a resurging of old inter-species rivalries, and the New Republic begins to fracture...just as word arrives on Coruscant that Grand Admiral Thrawn has returned.

Before the Caamas crisis rose up, this would have caused the New Republic to react decisively and overwhelm the pathetic fleets still guarding what is left of the Empire, but in the current political climate, there is no consensus on if it is even real. The Imperial conspirators spin their webs larger yet tighter. Luke's clone hunt falls short, and he learns that Mara Jade has vanished on a hunt for a mysterious alien ship that's buzzed her twice. Taking a chance, rather than lending his efforts to the larger danger, he listens to the Force and goes after her. Leia struggles desperately to keep the Republic from collapsing into all-out Civil War, and Han mainly works to keep Leia from going crazy. Pellaeon waits, wondering why the New Republic general he's waiting for in an isolated area of space hasn't responded, and utterly annihilates the fleet the conspirators send after him.

That's set up early in the first book. Just another few weeks in the galaxy.
----
In addition to the character and universe tropes they carry over from the Original Trilogy, these books provide examples of:

* AbsurdlySharpBlade: The [[SharpenedToASingleAtom monomolecular stiletto]], previously seen in Stackpole and Zahn's short story ''Side Trip''. They can cut through anything, but realistically are very fragile and tend to be ruined by even a single use. For that reason, Shada carries three of them when she breaks into Han and Leia's home.
* BatmanGambit: At the end of ''Specter of the Past'', Pellaeon shows how much he learned from Thrawn. The conspirators have staged an attack on the ''Chimaera'' to make it look like General Bel Iblis has rejected Pellaeon's offer and is attacking him. Pellaeon creates a new variation on one of Bel Iblis' own tactics, [[ContinuityNod the "A-wing slash" from the Thrawn Trilogy]], and uses it successfully against his attackers--thus proving they can't possibly be led by Bel Iblis because he wouldn't have fallen for his own trick.
* BecomingTheMask: The clones of Soontir Fel. They're part of a sleeper cell, becoming [[FarmBoy farmers]]... and they loved the soil too much to return to duty. [[spoiler: Which turned out to be Thrawn's objective - if/when any powerful alien species from the Unknown Regions or outside the galaxy invaded, the sleeper cells would be there to stop them, and would fight all the harder because they'd be fighting for their homes.]]
* BigBadDuumvirate: There are three people working to create and maintain the illusion that Thrawn has returned, but of the three, Disra and Tierce are the ones at odds. Flim mostly serves as TheWatson, though he gets his own jabs in now and again. At the end it turns out that Tierce contributed more to the scheme than anyone else could have realized.
* BigDamnHeroes: Pellaeon's arrival [[spoiler: on the ''Relentless'' at Yaga Minor. Shown from the point of view of the Smug Snake villain, for added value.]]
* BodyguardCrush: Hinted at between Talon Karrde and Shada Du'kal.
* BreakingSpeech: Pellaeon does this to Tierce in the climax of ''Vision of the Future''. His lecture consits of pointing out that Tierce is nothing more than a vision-less, [[RevengeBeforeReason vengeance-obssessed]], [[ManipulativeBastard manipulative]], [[TheChessmaster tactically brilliant,]] [[spoiler: flawed clone of a]] Red Guard [[spoiler: with some of Thrawn's cunning]] who doesn't have what it takes to be a true MagnificentBastard like Thrawn. This causes Tierce's full-blown VillainousBreakdown and Pellaeon shoots down Tierce's MotiveRant during the lecture.
* BrickJoke: Subtle (it's never explicitly stated) but remember that tractor beam guy in ''The Last Command'' who Thrawn promoted instead of punishing him because he tried an imaginative solution to prevent Luke escaping his tractor beam, even though he failed? The one who Thrawn then ordered to work on the solution properly? Guess how Lando tries to escape an Imperial tractor beam at the end of ''Specter''...same method, only ''now'' [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome the Empire has a way to defeat it]].
** Also, the beckon call Luke found on Dagobah in ''Heir to the Empire''; here we meet its owner and find out how it got there.
** Lieutenant Tschel, an excitable newbie officer from TheThrawnTrilogy, has become a steady, reliable Major.
* CharacterDevelopment: Pellaeon has overcome his earlier anti-alien racism (which fits with him being involved in Daala's opening up of the Empire to other races in ''Darksaber'').
** Fey'lya has also become more rounded from his earlier ItsAllAboutMe SmugSnake ObstructiveBureaucrat persona. Unfortunately, later authors undid this in the New Jedi Order series.
* TheChessmaster: Tierce, who is actually [[spoiler: a partial clone of Thrawn, though his actual genetic material came from a former Royal Guardsman; it's just that his mental programming included elements taken from Thrawn's own mind]]. As Pellaeon points out, though, he lacks the charisma and leadership necessary to be a truly MagnificentBastard.
* ConflictBall: One attempt to avenge the past leads to a host of ethnic conflicts flaring up nearly destroying the New Republic. More or less justified, and explained on a couple occasions, in that for most species, the Caamas crisis really served as an excuse to legally get at longstanding enemies and rivals. Not a lot of people cared that profoundly about something that had happened so long ago.
* ConMan: Flim. He sometimes upsets Disra and Tierce by accurately referring to their plan as TheCon and saying they shouldn't act like it's anything else.
* ContinuityNod: Very frequent. Zahn read the rest of the EU. It's not hard to tell which parts he liked and which he didn't.
** There are also several to TheThrawnTrilogy's events, naturally.
* CloningBlues: There's a lot of FantasticRacism directed at them, that's for sure. Lando in particular - he calls them "subhuman" behind their backs, and antagonizes them to their faces. (This may be an ironic in-joke, as the character of Lando was originally going to be a leftover Clone Wars clone in early drafts of ''The Empire Strikes Back'').
** There was also one [[IncrediblyLamePun blue clone]].
** Also, at the end of the book, after [[spoiler: the good guys win]], they repeatedly refer to the near-disaster as a scheme caused by Disra and Flim, the two members of the triumvirate who ''weren't'' clones, despite Tierce orchestrating most of it.
* CurbStompBattle: [[spoiler: Shada]] versus [[spoiler: Tierce]]. Considering how much of a BadAss the latter is supposed to be, it's surprising he was defeated so quickly.
* [[DevilsAdvocate Devil's Advocate]]: In ''TheThrawnTrilogy'', Captain Pellaon acted as a [[DevilsAdvocate Devil's Advocate]] to Grand Admiral Thrawn, and commended his subordinate for playing this trope in ''HandOfThrawn''.
* DidntSeeThatComing: The conspirators' plan to make everyone think Flim is Thrawn works so well that it convinces General Bel Iblis...who, when the attempt at infiltrating the Yaga Minor shipyard goes awry, decides that stopping Thrawn is important enough to sacrifice his own ship and life and prepares to ram "Thrawn"'s. Fortunately for the conspirators, the situation is resolved before this can happen.
* DividedForPublication: The German translation of ''Vision of the Future'' was split into two volumes. It must use more words in German or something.
* DoorStopper: At 694 pages - some versions have more or fewer pages than others - Vision of the Future is the longest Star Wars novel, at least as of 2008.
* DoubleEntendre
** Which will become Luke and Mara's [[GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex thing]] all the way into [=NJO=]. I guess we can [[IncrediblyLamePun put one myth about marriage to bed]].
* DrivingQuestion: Where can we find an intact copy of the Caamas Document? (Technically this is really 'Which Bothans were involved in the attack on Caamas?', but in practice this is resolved offscreen once the Document is found).
* FixFic: Like we said...Zahn read the rest of the EU.
* {{Flanderisation}}: Zahn mocks the other EU writers' treatment of Thrawn as [[MaryTzu omniscient and undefeatable]] by having several alien senators (whose worlds were never threatened by Thrawn the first time around) being terrified of his reputation, to which the main characters point out that he was never ''that'' good (he did, after all, ''lose'' in the end, and as clever as he was, Thrawn made a couple of key mistakes that were fatal in the end) in a LampshadeHanging.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: [[spoiler:All of Tierce's little tics.]]
** More distantly, there are vague references to the impending [[spoiler: Yuuzhan Vong invasion]].
* GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke: [[spoiler:Tierce]]
* GenreSavvy: Pellaeon is well aware that the New Republic is going to survive the unrest caused by the Caamas Document, would find out if the Empire sent agitators to stir up trouble, and would mete harsh vengeance on them for trying. When some try anyway the first two happen, and the third is narrowly avoided by [[spoiler: Pellaeon's peace treaty.]]
* GilliganCut: A literary example, discussing the events that will later be explored in ''OutboundFlight'':
--> '''Parck:''' On one side were handpicked units of Palpatine's own private army, equipped with fifteen top-line combat ships. On the other side were Commander Mitth'raw'nuruodo of the Chiss Expansionary Defense and perhaps twelve small and insignificant border patrol ships.
--> '''Mara:''' How badly did Thrawn slaughter them?
--> '''Parck:''' Utterly.
* GrandFinale: For the publishers, anyway; Bantam Books would soon lose the rights to the series to Del Rey, so as a last hurrah, they brought back the writer of the [[TheThrawnTrilogy most acclaimed books]] of the Expanded Universe to wrap up the main plot. Additionally, readers who are dissatisfied with [[NewJediOrder later]] [[Literature/LegacyOfTheForce books]] can [[FanonDisContinuity disavow]] their existence and come to a satisfying conclusion here.
** The very last Bantam novel was actually ''[[XWingSeries Starfighters of Adumar]]'', but it was set before this duology anyway, and it rather nicely explains how Wedge went from dating Qwi Xux in the [[JediAcademyTrilogy JAT]] to being married to Iella from the X-Wing Series here.
* HeelFaceTurn: The majority of the Empire by the end, and Supreme Commander Pellaeon right at the beginning. Sort of. Even in his first appearance, Pellaeon's Heel status was in doubt. Sure, he was an Imperial, but under Zahn, that doesn't by itself make a character evil or even a PunchClockVillain. Here, Pellaeon's one of the good guys.
** Even in Zhan's earlier work Pellaeon (and other Imperials) was always depicted as a good man, with some [[FairForItsDay fair for the empire]] FantasticRacism, he just happens to work for very bad people.
* [[HoYay/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Ho Yay]]: Thrawn means a lot to Pellaeon. A ''lot''. Pellaeon doesn't take the news that Thrawn may have returned without talking to him very well, and speculates morosely as to ''why''.
--> "Thrawn wasn't human, you know, no matter how human he might have looked. He was an alien, with alien thoughts and purposes and agendas. [[AmIJustAToyToYou Perhaps I was never more to him than just one more tool he could use in reaching his goal]]."
* IndyPloy / XanatosSpeedChess: ''Constantly'' and ''everyone''. Hero, villain, HeroicNeutral... ''everyone'' is madly struggling to get past the difficulties they throw at each other, all the time. None of the main characters are ''ever'' really certain or secure for long, though they give that impression to their enemies.
* InvincibleHero: This is how Zahn saw the overpowered Jedi of the books. He couldn't retcon them into more Yodalike power levels (Pulling a starfighter out of a swamp wasn't easy), so he insinuated that demigod Jedi are relying so heavily on sheer power that they've blinded themselves to the subtler sides of the Force, like precognition (both in the immediate sense - as an awareness of danger before it hits - and in the longer-term, as visions) and that Luke was drawing on the Dark Side by using the Force as a solution for every problem. Zahn was telling other EU authors that they were making Luke out to be a MarySue and cheapening the Force by making it a source of cool powers and nothing more.
* LegacyCharacter: Kind of. Pellaeon, as TheWatson to Thrawn, has managed to at least halfway match some of Thrawn's tactical genius (as seen at the end of ''Specter of the Past'' when he figures out that the pirate fleet couldn't possibly have been sent by Bel Iblis ''because he used one of Bel Iblis' own tactics to beat it''). Lampshaded in that Pellaeon muses that Captain Ardiff is now in the [[WithDueRespect same]] [[CommanderContrarian position]] that he was to Thrawn ten years ago.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Ohhhh yes. Can't have an epic without them.
* MacGuffin: An intact copy of the Caamas Document, which would name the Bothans responsible and allow them to be put on trial so people stop blaming the race as a whole. Karrde tries to find one by searching out Jorj Car'das and his information archive, while Bel Iblis tries to get one by an information raid on the Imperial archives at Yaga Minor. In the end [[spoiler:it's actually Luke and Mara who find one, by accident no less, in Thrawn's archives on Nirauan]].
* ManipulativeBastard: Tierce. Pellaeon points out in his BreakingSpeech that Tierce is just a vision-less manipulator instead of a true leader.
* MemeticBadass: In-universe example. Thrawn is perhaps the most terrifying figure the galaxy has ever seen, so even his impersonator's appearance freaks out Lando and others who see him. It takes Pellaeon, who knew Thrawn best and is not threatened by him, to ferret him out.
* MentalFusion: Luke and Mara do this.
* MostWritersAreHuman: ...Okay, yeah, Zahn's probably human. But many of his characters aren't, and a lot of them are in prominent positive or neutral roles which in other books get filled by humans.
** However, like almost every other EU writer, he consigns Chewbacca to minor roles.
* MythologyGag: Possibly unintentional, but Lando is the one most suspicious of the clones. In the early drafts of "Empire Strikes Back", Lando was ''himself'' a clone left over from the Clone Wars.
* PardonMyKlingon: Colonel Bas, Pellaeon's fighter commander (from commoner stock and thus less refined in his speech than most offices) has a habit of using the swearword "kriff".
* PeaceConference: What Pellaeon's working towards.
* PowerTrio: Disra, Flim, Tierce, generally acting as Id, Ego, and Superego, respectively
* ProphecyTwist
* PunctuationShaker: Almost any time Zahn renders an alien language, there are apostrophes in it.
* RammingAlwaysWorks: When Bel Iblis' plan to infiltrate Yaga Minor with the ''Errant Venture'' fails and the ship is trapped, but the ''Relentless'' is in front of them and [[spoiler:seemingly]] has Thrawn on board, Bel Iblis orders ramming speed. Fortunately, the situation is resolved before it can happen.
* RedStringOfFate: [[spoiler:Luke and Mara, as literal as possible with the Force]]
* RuleThirtyFour: There's a now-defunct thread on theforce.net about Luke and Mara's [[spoiler:Force bond]] and how it relates to [[spoiler:their marital bed]]. That thread lasted for four years. So RuleThirtyFour ''always'' applies.
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: As in TheThrawnTrilogy, averted. When Pellaeon bemoans the Empire's sorry state at the start of ''Specter'', Captain Ardiff argues that even only eight sectors represents more than a ''thousand'' inhabited systems. Still [[VestigialEmpire a tiny fraction of what it was]], small enough that it calls ''itself'' the [[TheRemnant Imperial Remnant]], but not insignificant, even if the New Republic could invade and destroy it utterly if it wanted.
** Also, the galaxy map indicates that only the central quarter of the galaxy is mapped and the rest is the Unknown Regions, in contrast to the now canon Star Wars galaxy map in which most of the galaxy is known and the Unknown regions are about a fifth of it.
* ShipperOnDeck: Han, at least, ships Karrde with Shada.
-->"You know, I asked you once what it would take to get you to join the New Republic. Remember? You asked what it had taken to get ''me'' to join up--"\\
"Yes, I remember," Karrde cut him off, an uncharacteristic note of embarrassment coloring his voice. "Kindly bear in mind that I have ''not'' joined the New Republic. And my relationship with Shada is nothing like that."\\
"Neither was mine," Han said smugly, putting his arm around Leia. "That's okay. Give it time."
* ShoutOut: [[XWingSeries Corran Horn]] makes a minor appearance in the first book and shares a somewhat larger subplot with Wedge in the second. Also a general ShoutOut to L/M fans and their [[FixFic requests that Zahn fix this mess]].
* ShownTheirWork: Very soon after "Specter of the Past" was published, MichaelStackpole wrote "I, Jedi", which introduced the Caamaasi character Elegos A'kla. "Vision of the Future" included Elegos in a fairly prominent role, and in-character. There are also lots of other connections, such as cortosis ore (a substance that shuts down lightsabers).
** Zahn and Stackpole, for their difference in styles, seem to communicate with each other very well, and generally appreciate each others' work. The same can't be said for a large portion of the rest of the EU.
*** Zahn has an author's note somewhere saying that one day, he will defeat Stackpole at Star Wars Trivial Pursuit.
*** Both have noted that, since all EU characters are owned by GeorgeLucas, not the authors who created them (this is a standard agreement required for becoming an EU writer), there's no need to ask other authors for permission to use "their" characters. But Zahn and Stackpole do so anyway, to avoid screwing up each others' future story ideas and to keep everybody in-character.
**** In the foreword to one of the comics, Stackpole comments that not only did he ask permission to use Talon Karrde in one of his books, he even sent Zahn the sections with Karrde in them. To reciprocate, Zahn did the same for borrowing Booster Terrik. Only minor changes were requested by each author each time. Given how poorly [[spoiler:Mara's death]] in [[Literature/LegacyOfTheForce later books]] went over with fans compared to how well-received Zahn and Stackpole are, it's a wonder these sorts of things don't pop up more often.
* SmugSnake: Disra, who's smart, but not nearly as on top of things as he thinks he is, or would like to be.
** Also, Tierce, oddly enough. Once you know that [[spoiler: he's got part of Thrawn's mind]], you realize just how much he ''acts'' like the man... except that he's not as good at hiding smug satisfaction, and he makes many more predictions that don't turn out as planned.
* StagedShooting: Inverted - Imperial agents on Bothawui implicate Han on a balcony in shooting at a crowd by using a blaster that fires an invisible (but otherwise real) bolt to hit a device planted next to him on the wall, designed to reflect the shot back towards the crowd as a visible bolt.
* StrawVulcan: The very, very calm Diamala species, who naturally are in conflict with the very emotional Ishori.
* TakeThat: [[RuleOfThree Like we said...Zahn read the rest of the EU]].
** In particular, [[Literature/JediAcademyTrilogy Anderson]], [[TheCallistaTrilogy Hambly]], everyone behind ''ComicBook/DarkEmpire'', and the ''Literature/BlackFleetCrisis'' got some of the worst. Not saying anyone took Zahn's heed; Luke's ''still'' [[StoryBreakerPower overpowered, even relative to what we'd expect the most powerful Jedi ever to be]].
*** By contrast, Rusch's ''The New Rebellion'' gets a couple of favourable mentions, probably because she used Zahn's ysalamiri and Talon Karrde fairly well, even though the quality of that book is of a similar standard to the other EU books.
* TheChainsOfCommanding: Pellaeon never wanted to lead the Empire, which is probably the reason why he was able to save it from final destruction; he was moved by a sense of duty while the likes of Disra were concerned only with power.
* TheyDo: Luke and Mara.
* TitleDrop: "The Hand of Thrawn" is the only uncorrupted sentence found on one of the damaged Imperial datacards unearthed at the beginning of ''Specter of the Past''. Everyone speculates about what it might mean, but Luke and Mara only find out when the latter realises what the damaged Chiss fortress on Nirauan, with its five remaining towers, looks like...
** The phrase "vision of the future" is also used at the end of the eponymous book.
* TookALevelInBadass: Weary though he is, Pellaeon has become a highly capable commander in his own way in the years since we first saw him.
* TragicDream: Maybe it was only a ship, but it was a ship that meant everything to Mara.
* UnusualEuphemism: Shavit. Also "kriff", introduced in these books, has since become StarWarsExpandedUniverse {{fanon}}'s answer to [[Franchise/BattlestarGalactica "frak"]] in its many contexts.
* VestigialEmpire
* VillainousBreakdown: Tierce has a rather impressive one, combined with a MotiveRant that gets a lot of his oddities to make sense, when everything gets blown.
* VillainSue: An interesting twist here. Thrawn (especially compared to the straight-up MagnificentBastard of TheThrawnTrilogy) initially shows all the hallmarks of this: ridiculously genius strategist, [[TheChessmaster Chessmaster]] ''par excellence'', WickedCultured, and the good guys are practically paralyzed with terror at the mention of his name. Here's the twist: [[spoiler:he never shows up]]. So it's a case of in-universe word of mouth inflating his ''reputation'' to VillainSue levels.
* WeWillNotUseStageMakeUpInTheFuture: Flim and Luke both subvert this, though Flim uses "self-powered surface inserts" to simulate Thrawn's [[GlowingEyesOfDoom glowing]] [[RedEyesTakeWarning red]] [[MonochromaticEyes monochromatic]] eyes.
** When Luke uses it, Zahn uses Mara's lines to deliver a concise TakeThat to the Black Fleet Crisis trilogy, in which Luke goes around warping people's minds to make them see another person to avoid him being recognised - not even when he's on a mission, just when he's walking the street - instead of, you know, wearing a disguise.
* WhamLine: Bel Iblis to Booster Terrik near the end: "[[RammingAlwaysWorks And we're going to ram it]]".
** Luke, also near the end: "[[spoiler:Thrawn's copy of the Caamas Document]]".
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: What happened to Carib Devist and the other Fel clones after they chose their side?
* XanatosGambit: In ''Vision of the Future. The protagonists are on the run from a powerful slaver fleet towards the planet of Exocron. If the slavers pursue them there [[spoiler: the Aing-Tii monks, Force-users who usually don't go out of their territory but hate slavers, will destroy them with weird alien tech]] but if they see the trap and break off pursuit, that works too. Though the 'xanatos' aspect is downplayed for BatmanGambit; the protagonists are counting on [[spoiler: the Aing-Tii monks to save him.]]
----
[[redirect:Literture/HandOfThrawn]]
20th May '13 1:15:50 PM ChaoticNovelist
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* BreakingSpeech: * HannibalLecture: Pellaeon does this to Tierce in the climax of ''Vision of the Future''. His lecture consits of pointing out that Tierce is nothing more than a vision-less, [[RevengeBeforeReason vengeance-obssessed]], [[ManipulativeBastard manipulative]], [[TheChessmaster tactically brilliant,]] [[spoiler: flawed clone of a]] Red Guard [[spoiler: with some of Thrawn's cunning]] who doesn't have what it takes to be a true MagnificentBastard like Thrawn. This causes Tierce's full-blown VillainousBreakdown and Pellaeon shoots down Tierce's MotiveRant during the lecture.

to:

* BreakingSpeech: * HannibalLecture: Pellaeon does this to Tierce in the climax of ''Vision of the Future''. His lecture consits of pointing out that Tierce is nothing more than a vision-less, [[RevengeBeforeReason vengeance-obssessed]], [[ManipulativeBastard manipulative]], [[TheChessmaster tactically brilliant,]] [[spoiler: flawed clone of a]] Red Guard [[spoiler: with some of Thrawn's cunning]] who doesn't have what it takes to be a true MagnificentBastard like Thrawn. This causes Tierce's full-blown VillainousBreakdown and Pellaeon shoots down Tierce's MotiveRant during the lecture.
20th May '13 12:55:06 PM ChaoticNovelist
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* BoringInvincibleHero: How Zahn saw the utterly overpowered Jedi of a lot of the books. He couldn't retcon them into more Yodalike power levels (remember? Pulling a starfighter out of a swamp wasn't easy), so he insinuated that demigod Jedi are relying so heavily on sheer power that they've blinded themselves to the subtler sides of the Force, like precognition (both in the immediate sense - as an awareness of danger before it hits - and in the longer-term, as visions). And that Luke was drawing on the Dark Side by using the Force as a solution for every problem. Zahn was basically telling other EU authors that they were making Luke out to be a MarySue and cheapening the Force by making it basically a source of cool powers and nothing more.

to:

*BreakingSpeech: * BoringInvincibleHero: How Zahn saw HannibalLecture: Pellaeon does this to Tierce in the utterly overpowered Jedi climax of a lot ''Vision of the books. He couldn't retcon them into Future''. His lecture consits of pointing out that Tierce is nothing more Yodalike power levels (remember? Pulling than a starfighter out vision-less, [[RevengeBeforeReason vengeance-obssessed]], [[ManipulativeBastard manipulative]], [[TheChessmaster tactically brilliant,]] [[spoiler: flawed clone of a swamp wasn't easy), so he insinuated that demigod Jedi are relying so heavily on sheer power that they've blinded themselves to the subtler sides a]] Red Guard [[spoiler: with some of the Force, like precognition (both in the immediate sense - as an awareness of danger before Thrawn's cunning]] who doesn't have what it hits - and in the longer-term, as visions). And that Luke was drawing on the Dark Side by using the Force as a solution for every problem. Zahn was basically telling other EU authors that they were making Luke out takes to be a MarySue true MagnificentBastard like Thrawn. This causes Tierce's full-blown VillainousBreakdown and cheapening Pellaeon shoots down Tierce's MotiveRant during the Force by making it basically a source of cool powers and nothing more.lecture.



* HannibalLecture: Pellaeon does this to Tierce in the climax of ''Vision of the Future''. His lecture consits of pointing out that Tierce is nothing more than a vision-less, [[RevengeBeforeReason vengeance-obssessed]], [[ManipulativeBastard manipulative]], [[TheChessmaster tactically brilliant,]] [[spoiler: flawed clone of a]] Red Guard [[spoiler: with some of Thrawn's cunning]] who doesn't have what it takes to be a true MagnificentBastard like Thrawn. Did we mention that this causes Tierce's full-blown VillainousBreakdown and Pellaeon even shoots down Tierce's MotiveRant during the lecture.



* IndyPloy / XanatosSpeedChess: ''Constantly''. And ''everyone''. Hero, villain, HeroicNeutral... ''everyone'' is madly struggling to get past the difficulties they throw at each other, all the time. None of the main characters are ''ever'' really certain or secure for long, though they may give that impression to their enemies.

to:

* IndyPloy / XanatosSpeedChess: ''Constantly''. And ''Constantly'' and ''everyone''. Hero, villain, HeroicNeutral... ''everyone'' is madly struggling to get past the difficulties they throw at each other, all the time. None of the main characters are ''ever'' really certain or secure for long, though they may give that impression to their enemies.enemies.
* InvincibleHero: This is how Zahn saw the overpowered Jedi of the books. He couldn't retcon them into more Yodalike power levels (Pulling a starfighter out of a swamp wasn't easy), so he insinuated that demigod Jedi are relying so heavily on sheer power that they've blinded themselves to the subtler sides of the Force, like precognition (both in the immediate sense - as an awareness of danger before it hits - and in the longer-term, as visions) and that Luke was drawing on the Dark Side by using the Force as a solution for every problem. Zahn was telling other EU authors that they were making Luke out to be a MarySue and cheapening the Force by making it a source of cool powers and nothing more.



* ManipulativeBastard: Tierce. Pellaeon even points out in his HannibalLecture that Tierce is just a vision-less manipulator instead of a true leader.

to:

* ManipulativeBastard: Tierce. Pellaeon even points out in his HannibalLecture BreakingSpeech that Tierce is just a vision-less manipulator instead of a true leader.



* RuleThirtyFour: There's a now-defunct thread on theforce.net about Luke and Mara's [[spoiler:Force bond]] and how it relates to [[spoiler:their marital bed]].
** That thread lasted for four years. So RuleThirtyFour ''always'' applies.
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: As in TheThrawnTrilogy, averted. When Pellaeon bemoans the Empire's sorry state at the start of ''Specter'', Captain Ardiff argues that even only eight sectors represents more than a ''thousand'' inhabited systems. Still [[VestigialEmpire a tiny fraction of what it was]], small enough that it actually calls ''itself'' the [[TheRemnant Imperial Remnant]], but not insignificant, even if the New Republic could invade and destroy it utterly if it wanted.

to:

* RuleThirtyFour: There's a now-defunct thread on theforce.net about Luke and Mara's [[spoiler:Force bond]] and how it relates to [[spoiler:their marital bed]].
**
bed]]. That thread lasted for four years. So RuleThirtyFour ''always'' applies.
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: As in TheThrawnTrilogy, averted. When Pellaeon bemoans the Empire's sorry state at the start of ''Specter'', Captain Ardiff argues that even only eight sectors represents more than a ''thousand'' inhabited systems. Still [[VestigialEmpire a tiny fraction of what it was]], small enough that it actually calls ''itself'' the [[TheRemnant Imperial Remnant]], but not insignificant, even if the New Republic could invade and destroy it utterly if it wanted.
25th Apr '13 7:48:46 AM Scifantasy
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* GenreSavvy: Pellaeon is well aware that the New Republic is going to survive the unrest caused by the Camaas Document, would find out if the Empire sent agitators to stir up trouble, and would mete harsh vengeance on them for trying. When some try anyway the first two happen, and the third is narrowly avoided by [[spoiler: Pellaeon's peace treaty.]]

to:

* GenreSavvy: Pellaeon is well aware that the New Republic is going to survive the unrest caused by the Camaas Caamas Document, would find out if the Empire sent agitators to stir up trouble, and would mete harsh vengeance on them for trying. When some try anyway the first two happen, and the third is narrowly avoided by [[spoiler: Pellaeon's peace treaty.]]



** Mara, also near the end: "[[spoiler:Thrawn's copy of the Caamas Document]]".

to:

** Mara, Luke, also near the end: "[[spoiler:Thrawn's copy of the Caamas Document]]".
25th Apr '13 4:14:02 AM Thande
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Added DiffLines:

* AbsurdlySharpBlade: The [[SharpenedToASingleAtom monomolecular stiletto]], previously seen in Stackpole and Zahn's short story ''Side Trip''. They can cut through anything, but realistically are very fragile and tend to be ruined by even a single use. For that reason, Shada carries three of them when she breaks into Han and Leia's home.
19th Apr '13 4:25:30 AM Thande
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Added DiffLines:

* GilliganCut: A literary example, discussing the events that will later be explored in ''OutboundFlight'':
--> '''Parck:''' On one side were handpicked units of Palpatine's own private army, equipped with fifteen top-line combat ships. On the other side were Commander Mitth'raw'nuruodo of the Chiss Expansionary Defense and perhaps twelve small and insignificant border patrol ships.
--> '''Mara:''' How badly did Thrawn slaughter them?
--> '''Parck:''' Utterly.
7th Apr '13 3:02:21 PM StarSword
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** In particular, [[JediAcademyTrilogy Anderson]], [[TheCallistaTrilogy Hambly]], everyone behind ''DarkEmpire'', and TheBlackFleetCrisis got some of the worst. Not saying anyone took Zahn's heed; Luke's ''still'' [[GameBreaker overpowered, even relative to what we'd expect the most powerful Jedi ever to be]].

to:

** In particular, [[JediAcademyTrilogy [[Literature/JediAcademyTrilogy Anderson]], [[TheCallistaTrilogy Hambly]], everyone behind ''DarkEmpire'', ''ComicBook/DarkEmpire'', and TheBlackFleetCrisis the ''Literature/BlackFleetCrisis'' got some of the worst. Not saying anyone took Zahn's heed; Luke's ''still'' [[GameBreaker [[StoryBreakerPower overpowered, even relative to what we'd expect the most powerful Jedi ever to be]].
28th Mar '13 8:48:07 AM Thande
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Added DiffLines:

** Mara, also near the end: "[[spoiler:Thrawn's copy of the Caamas Document]]".
28th Mar '13 8:45:49 AM Thande
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* DrivingQuestion: Where can we find an intact copy of the Caamas Document? (Technically this is really 'how can we find out which Bothans were involved in the attack on Caamas', but in practice this is resolved offscreen once the Document is found).

to:

* DrivingQuestion: Where can we find an intact copy of the Caamas Document? (Technically this is really 'how can we find out which 'Which Bothans were involved in the attack on Caamas', Caamas?', but in practice this is resolved offscreen once the Document is found).
This list shows the last 10 events of 74. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.HandOfThrawn