The Galactic Empire was the tyrant government order that ruled the Galaxy in the Star Wars Universe with an Iron Fist. Also known as the First Galactic Empire or the New Order, they took over what was left of the Galactic Republic after the end of the Clone Wars. They were the ones that took the Galaxy into a new age. The Empire is an entity that is often associated with death, destruction, violence, and rampart corruption and oppression. When the Empire finally fell with the fall of the Final Order and its leader – Darth Sidious, the entire Galaxy breathed a sigh of relief. The threat has not been fully averted though. A stronger, more powerful Empire is coming to the Star Wars Universe.
A new novel set in the Star Wars Universe titled Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising, will show us the exploits and adventures of Admiral Thrawn before he set sail for newer regions and became the Grand Admiral the way Star Wars fans know and picture him as. Thrawn’s military career spans not just one Empire but two. Before he became part of the Galactic Empire, Admiral Thrawn was a military commander in the Chiss Ascendancy, an alien imperial dictatorship located in the infamous unknown regions of space.
The writer of the novel is named Timothy Zahn. He has been working on the details of the novel for quite some time now. According to the writer, the Chiss will be a new race in the history of Star Wars. They will be more dynamic, powerful, and eager to destroy anything they set their sights on. Zahn finally reveals some amazing details about the Chiss, and shows us why the readers should be wary of their presence. The Chiss Ascendancy, according to Zahn, is more powerful and potent than the Galactic Empire.
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The official confirmation about the Chiss Ascendancy came from the Lucas Film Publishing Panel at the recent San Diego Comic Con. It was Timothy Zahn that created the very character of Thrawn. Thrawn has been a part of his literary works long before he starred in official Star Wars Canon ventures. Before Disney asked Lucas Film to come up with a Star Wars reboot, Thrawn had already been a part of Zahn’s previous trilogy where the titular character was shown trying to quell the rebels and ‘liberate’ the Galaxy 5 years before the events of Return of the Jedi.
Thrawn became a primary antagonist in the animated Star Wars series Star Wars: Rebels. The series’ events took place right before those of Star Wars: A New Hope. Timothy Zahn’s fascination with Thrawn runs deeper than you could imagine. He wrote another novel set between and before the events of Star Wars: Rebels. The novel explored the adventures of Thrawn and stated his story of how Thrawn transitioned from a military genius in the Chiss Ascendancy to the Grand Admiral of the Galactic Empire. It is a story of how Thrawn managed to climb the ladder of the Empire’s hierarchy so quickly despite being quite literally an outsider. The long standing question of how Thrawn burrowed his way into the elite Imperial High Command is finally answered here.
Despite being a fairly popular character, Thrawn’s history and origins are actually shrouded in secrecy. Nobody knows what he used to be and do during his time with the previous empire aka the Chiss Ascendancy he was a commander in. What Timothy Zahn has revealed so far does give us some clues and inferences as to how Thrawn could get a seat at the Emperor’s High Table. Thrawn was the commander of the Expansionary Fleet of the Chiss Ascendancy. He was tasked with exploring and conquering new worlds for the fascist government of the unknown regions of space. Due to his extensive experience in navigating the Unknown Regions, Thrawn had extremely valuable knowledge of locations that lay outside the purview of the Republic and the Jedi Order.
In short, Thrawn’s knowledge of the Unknown Regions was how he got his golden ticket to Imperial High Command. Thrawn knew a lot about regions of space the Republic had never explored before. When the Emperor ‘dies’ after the destruction of the Second Death Star, Thrawn had a pivotal role in identifying routes and hideouts that would allow for easy relocation of material and resources that would lead to Palpatine’s resurrection and the rise of the Final Order. All of this happened right under the noses of the leaders of the New Republic. It has also been hinted that Thrawn joined the Empire as part of an alliance between the Chiss Ascendancy and the Sith.
Maybe that should explain why the Chiss Ascendancy is not seen within the Star Wars lore, thus protecting the on-going continuity. The Alliance must have had specific terms for the Empire to not meddle in the Ascendancy’s matters and the latter promised it will stay out of the Empire’s way for good. There are still so many questions regarding Thrawn that need to have a proper explanation. Timothy Zahn has promised that new details and answers to existing questions will be made public very soon. The next set of books from Zahn will help him do that.
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“With this trilogy, I’m being able to basically build the Chiss Ascendancy and the culture from the ground up, exploring how the families work, how the military works, their relationships with others in the area. The focus will be on Thrawn of course, his interaction and bringing in a bunch of new characters, and the emergence of a threat against the Ascendancy. Someone has the Ascendancy in their sights and it will be up to our heroes to figure out where these attacks are coming from, how they’re being done, and how to deal with them.”
Timothy Zahn is probably implicating that the “families” are actually the Nine Ruling Families that lead and rule the Chiss Ascendancy. This has just opened up a door of tremendous possibilities for the Star Wars Universe. The Chiss Ascendancy will be Star Wars’ first attempt at trying to get out of the boundaries of the Known Regions of Space and traverse into the infamous and much talked about Unknown Regions.
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This is the official synopsis for Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising, being written by Timothy Zahn:
“The peace of the Ascendancy, a beacon of calm and stability, is shattered after a daring attack on the Chiss capital that leaves no trace of the enemy. Baffled, the Ascendancy dispatches one of its brightest young military officers to root out the unseen assailants. A recruit born of no title, but adopted into the powerful family of the Mitth and given the name Thrawn.”