Big Time wrong "Jewels" ... anybody who is more than just a casual fan of the movies KNOWS about the Thrawn Trilogy because it is what brought Star Wars back from the dead and led to the SE versions and the prequels. Before this book series came out if you were to stop someone on the street and ask them what they thought of Star Wars they would have said it was the stupidest idea that Reagan ever had. Don't know if you're old enough to remember that but that was the "nickname" give to the Missile Defense program that Reagan pushed while he was in office. I don't know why I'm wasting my time with a long answer to this since the person asking it doesn't really care much for facts but I guess I'm kind of stupid that way.
The first book, "Heir To The Empire" came out in 1991. At that point SW fans were fed up with the crap that had been put out before that because is was pure garbage ... stories that didn't jive with the movies etc, etc. I remember my reaction when I first saw it at the book store, rage. I stormed out of the store mumbling under my breath about somebody else messing with the story that had been my greatest love growing up. After a couple weeks I gave in and bought it ... fully prepared to hate it ... I was fully wrong. The book was awesome. It captured the "feel" of the movies so well that one reviewer said "that you could almost hear the soundtrack of John Williams playing in the back of your mind as you read" ... he was very right. The other two books, "Dark Force Rising" & "The Last Command" were just as good and would have made a great episodes 7 - 9 because the DO tie into the story perfectly. That was what Lucas was looking for when he commissioned Timothy Zahn to write them. In fact, in 1995 Lucas WAS toying with the idea of making them into movies but one phone call to Harrison Ford killed the idea in its tracks. He was not interested in reprising his role as Han Solo. Lucas is many things but he's not stupid. He knew that recasting that role or either of the other members of the "Big 3", Han, Luke, & Leia, would cause a fan uproar that would be beyond anyone's imagination. The same is true today although some think not ... they don't understand what the OT meant to fans and don't really get the impact it had on people. When it was first written Lucas did give the series the tag of "Official continuation of the story of SW" ... but not the tag of ep 7 - 9 and with events that happened after 95 between Lucas and Zahn there isn't a snowball's chance in hell that Lucas will EVER do that now. With the 95 idea DEAD, Lucas turned his sights on redoing the OT the way he had originally wanted to do but didn't have the FX abilities at the time to do. This resulted in the 1997 release of the SE versions of the films to theaters. The wild success of those films is what pushed Lucas to make the prequels. Two things ruined the relationship between Lucas & Zahn. Lucas got really ticked off that people gave credit to Zahn for bringing SW back to life ... not Lucas although he was deeply involved in the storyline of the books. Then after the release of ep I Zahn was at a book signing event and someone asked him what he thought of ep I ... he said he liked it but that he thought that Lucas had lost his way in respect to what the "Force" was. This was of course a reference to the midi chlorians and such that gave a Jedi his connection to the Force. Lucas went off the wall when he heard that statement and he basically banned Zahn from writing anymore SW books. When it became clear that the quality of writing for the books was slipping and the decision to switch from Bantam books to Del Rey as the publisher of the books Lucas allow Zahn to write the final two books in the contract with Bantam, those books were the Hand of Thrawn Duology. As time has passed Lucas has mellowed a little with his dislike of Zahn but it is still very "icy". Zahn is the "master" of putting across the true feel of SW into his books so Lucas has let him back into the pool of writers that now write SW books and every book that Zahn has written has been a bestseller but will Lucas EVER let the Thrawn Trilogy be ep 7 - 9 ... not a chance in hell. So, it is NOT something to look forward to because it isn't going to happen ... just like there will not be anymore live action movies in the series. I can see how casual fans don't understand this but it is a fact never the less.
May The Force Be With You ...
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