Awesome / The Thrawn Trilogy

  • When Thrawn uses his Ysalamir to No-Sell C'boath's Force Lightning. The latter's reaction to a Muggle somehow managing to stand toe-to-toe with him like that is just priceless.
  • Thrawn's "Reason You Suck" Speech to C'baoth when C'baoth seizes control of the minds of the Chimaera's crew.
    "It's a minimum of five days to Coruscant from here," Thrawn said coldly. "Five days during which you'll have to maintain your control of the Chimaera's thirty-seven thousand crewers. Longer, of course, if you intend for them to actually fight at the end of that voyage. And if you intend for us to arrive with any support craft, that figure of thirty-seven thousand will increase rather steeply... I merely present the problems you and the Force will have to solve if you continue with this course of action. For instance, do you know where the Coruscant sector fleet is based, or the number and types of ships making it up? Have you thought about how you will neutralize Coruscant's orbital battle stations and ground-based systems? Do you know who is in command of the planet's defenses at present, and how he or she is likely to deploy the available forces? Have you considered Coruscant's energy field? Do you know how best to use the strategic and tactical capabilities of an Imperial Star Destroyer?"
  • In the first book, Thrawn gets cloaking shield technology, but ships using the cloak can't see through it with their sensors or communicate with outsiders, so they're completely blind and deaf. Being Thrawn, he still comes up with brilliant plans to use the technology to great effect:
    • Thrawn attacks New Republic convoys, limiting the number of freighters the New Republic has, so Ackbar has some surplus capital ships converted into lightly crewed transports at the shipyards of Sluis Van. Thrawn then steals mole-miners, puts them in the cargo bay of a freighter with some TIE fighters and hides the inside of the ship with the cloaking shield. He brings the ship into the Sluis Van system, blows it up and releases the mole miners to burrow into the hulls of the converted capital ships, inserting four or five stormtroopers to kill the skeleton crew and seize control of the ships for his own use. This plan only fails because Lando Calrissian happened to be present, and even then the New Republic ships end up being badly damaged so Thrawn still benefited to some extent.
      • Even better, when the plan is foiled by Lando's intervention, Captain Pellaeon waits in trepidation to see how Thrawn will react to seeing his work undone... and Thrawn calmly orders an immediate, well-ordered retreat. There isn't even any Tranquil Fury. He then gives Pellaeon a short-but-sweet speech about knowing when to fold 'em, solidifying himself as one of the most clever villains in all of fiction.
      Thrawn: This is a setback, Captain, nothing more.
    • Thrawn has two cloaked Carrack cruisers towed into position just under where a planet's planetary shield will be when it's switched on. He then openly comes in with the Chimaera and they raise the shields. He fires at the parts of the shield that the hidden cruisers are situated under and gets Joruus C'baoth to use his Jedi powers to communicate through the cloak so the crews of the ships fire at the planet exactly in time with the Chimaera`s shots hitting the shield. From the planet's perspective, it looks like the Chimaera has a new superweapon capable of passing straight through their shield, and they promptly surrender.
    • To neutralise Coruscant, Thrawn has 22 asteroids fitted with cloaking shields, then brings a fleet of ships into orbit of the planet and has them use their tractor beams to fling the cloaked asteroids into orbit. But he also has them run a power surge through their tractor beam emitters many dozen more times (which, as the asteroids are invisible, is indistinguishable to the New Republic from launching a real asteroid). The result is that Coruscant can't risk lowering its planetary shield in case an asteroid hits, but has no idea exactly how many asteroids were launched, so has no way of knowing if it's accounted for them all or not.
      • Interestingly, the New Republic's count of total "cloaked" tractor beam firings is accurate. . . Thrawn the ships in his task force managed fire the tractor beams (real and faked) 237 times, and the New Republic counted 237 tractor beam firings during the battle. But they still can't be certain they didn't miss any during the battle, and they quickly surmise that Thrawn wouldn't have squandered the resources 300 cloaking shields would take, so they know he's using a smaller number. They just don't know what, specifically, that smaller number is.
  • It's offscreen, but Yoda's fight with the Dark Jedi was pretty clearly this.
  • Mara learning the truth about the Emperor's Last Command:
    Mara: Who's this "son of Vader" you're expecting to show up and help us?
    Noghri: He travels with you. You serve him, as do we.
    Mara: You mean. . . Skywalker?
    Noghri: You did not know?
    • Awesome because it's the true start of Mara's complete break from the Emperor, because she finally sees through the lies he built around her to control her, even from beyond the grave. And because it demonstrates clearly the unshakeable faith the Noghri have in Luke and Leia.
  • The very first scene of Heir to the Empire. Thrawn gets ambushed by a task force that seriously outnumbers him. He sacrifices a TIE fighter to gain some information, then calmly explains his plan to Captain Pellaeon. Timothy Zahn doesn't even bother describing the actual battle, aside from a single line to end the chapter:
    "An hour later, it was all over."
  • Leia learning the truth about when the battle that ravaged the Noghri homeworld actually took place. Her whole time there, she's heard the maitrakh address Khabarakh as "thirdson," and assumes this means "third-born son." Then Leia and the Noghri are reflecting on motherhood in general, when the maitrakh notes that she sent all four of her sons to the Empire's wars, three of them died far from home, and the fourth returned home a cripple who died shortly afterward. Suddenly, Leia realizes that "thirdson" can't mean third-born, since all the maitrakh's sons are dead, and the maitrakh confirms "thirdson" means "son of my son of my firstson." Then Leia asks how long ago the battle was, and the reply is forty-four years. Leia is somewhat upset, since she and Chewie has placed the amount of arable land the Noghri have as being the result of about eight years of decontamination work. Though the exact numbers are somewhat undermined by the Prequels establishing the Clone Wars happened only thirty or so years ago, and Anakin Skywalker never could have come to the Noghri as Darth Vader during them, it's still a chilling moment, and Leia's immediate quest fueled by righteous anger to reveal the Empire's treachery is breathtaking to behold.