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There really isn't any nice way to say this, The Thrawn Trilogy is Better than The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi (Episode 9 TBJ). Heir to the Empire is easily better than TFA and Dark Force Rising, while slow in places, is a Hell of a lot better than TLJ. TTT manages to avoid pretty much all the issues the The Disney Sequel Trilogy have run into by having each chapter of the trilogy tell a engaging story that feels like Star Wars that, while doing the whole Rhyme thing that Lucas included in the series, still told stories that were unique and different from the original trilogy.
To cover all the major points quickly as I only have 3000 characters here's the Short SHORT version!!!
Mara Jade. She has more character development and depth in Heir alone then Rey does in the entirety of Awakens and TLJ. Her relationship with Luke is more fleshed out and she actually earns the role of Hero while all Rey does is download all her skills from Kylo Ren's brain.
Thrawn and C'Baoth are much more intimidating and complex villains than every member of The First Order who are all just less interesting versions of more popular Star Wars villains. There's a reason that Thrawn is still remembered and love even 20 years later despite only appearing in only a handful of stories in the SW Original EU to the point that fans cheered when he was revealed to be in Star Wars Rebels.
NO BODY IS STUPID!!!
You remember that line from Spaceballs when Dark Helmet nearly killed Lonstar? "Evil will always triumph. Because Good is Dumb." Well it looks like he was right as everything that goes wrong in the series was the result all our heroes doing incresingly stupid things that they wouldn't normally do because we had to have the bad guys win somehow.
The plot of TTT is pretty much the heroes now have to fight for the Happy Ending they won from the Original Trilogy and everyone, from Luke to Thrawn, don't do stupid things just to advance the plot, don't rely on Deus Ex Machina's to save the day and are instead actually cleaver. The reason Thrawn avoids the title of Mary Sue is because all of his conclusions are the result of analyzing the situations and coming the most logical conclusion and the heroes respond in kind. In fact Luke and Mara find themselves working without their powers and have to rely on their wits and each other to get out of situations which makes for much more compelling stories.
In short this is the real Sequel Trilogy and I hold out hope that Disney will just reboot their side of the Stories, (minus Rebels) and just adapt The Thrawn Trilogy. I am 100% certain that if they did that the ONLY negative feedback would be the new actors playing Luke, Han, Leia and Lando.
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