How 'Thrawn' and Darth Vader Set Up Disneyland's Star Wars Expansion

Fans can get a taste of what to expect when Grand Admiral Thrawn and Darth Vader clash in Timothy Zahn's newest Star Wars novel thanks to a newly revealed excerpt, but the story promises to set up the Galaxy's Edge expansion at Disney Parks.

As revealed in this portion of Thrawn: Alliances, the new book will help establish the planet that will be the setting for the Star Wars expansion at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, known as Batuu.

Check out a portion of the excerpt below, which can be found in full on StarWars.com, and read on to learn more about Batuu and how the new novel will also tie into Star Wars Rebels.

This time, it was the Chiss who spoke first. “With all due respect, Your Majesty, I believe my duty and my abilities would be best used elsewhere,” he said. “The rebels who escaped Atollon must be tracked down and eliminated before they can regroup and join with other cells.”

“I agree,” the Emperor said. “But the Seventh Fleet and Commander Woldar can deal with that without you for now. Grand Moff Tarkin will also be joining the commander while his new assignment is being prepared for him.”

Palpatine sensed a flicker in Vader’s emotions, perhaps a hope that Thrawn would mistakenly believe this was the right time and place to once again raise objections to the Death Star project. Palpatine paused, offering the Grand Admiral the opportunity to do just that.
But Thrawn remained silent.

“While Woldar and Tarkin find and deal with the rebels,” the Emperor continued, “you and Lord Vader will take your flagship to deal with this other matter.”

“Understood, Your Majesty,” Thrawn said. “May I point out that Governor Tarkin is less familiar than I am with this particular Rebel cell. Perhaps a more efficient approach would be for Lord Vader to be offered one of my Star Destroyers and seek out this disturbance on his own.”

Palpatine felt a sudden stirring of anger from his apprentice at Thrawn’s unthinking choice of phrase. A Lord of the Sith was not offered a ship. He took what he wanted when he wanted it.
But like Thrawn, Vader knew when to remain silent.

“You surprise me, Admiral Thrawn,” Palpatine said. “I would have expected a certain eagerness to journey within sight of your home.”

Thrawn’s glowing red eyes narrowed slightly, and Palpatine felt his sudden caution. “Excuse me, Your Majesty?”

“The disturbance is located at the edge of your Unknown Regions,” the Emperor said. “It appears to be centered on a planet named Batuu.” Again, he sensed a reaction to the name. This time, the reaction came from both of them. “I believe you have heard of it?”

Thrawn’s eyes were hooded, the expression on that blue-skinned face swirling with memories. “Yes,” he murmured. “I have indeed heard of it.”

As, of course, had Vader. It was the place where he and Thrawn had long ago interfered, albeit unwittingly, with one of Palpatine’s plans.

But again, Vader remained silent.

“Very well, then,” Palpatine said. “You, Admiral, will command.” He looked at Vader. “You, Lord Vader, will deal with the disturbance.”

“Yes, Your Highness,” Thrawn said.

“Yes, my master,” Vader said.

Palpatine leaned back into the depths of his throne. “Then go.”

Based on the conversation between Vader, Thrawn, and the Emperor, this story will take place between the events of Star Wars Rebels Seasons 3 and 4. Palpatine references the battle on Atollon and Thrawn's inability to capture or destroy the Rebel forces.

There are also references to Grand Moff Tarkin and his Death Star project, which Thrawn believes to be inferior to his own work with the TIE Defenders that was shown on Rebels.

The book is also going to explore the first encounter between Thrawn and the Jedi known as Anakin Skywalker, when the two had run in on the planet Batuu.

Zahn's new novel appears to be reveling in the new Star Wars canon, taking the lead in establishing the history of the planet that will have a huge impact on the franchise when the parks open up.

Batuu is on the edge of the Outer Rim, one of the last inhabited planets before the Unknown Regions. It will serve as the site of a struggle between the First Order and the Resistance, and will be a haven for smugglers and travelers across the galaxy.

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Thrawn: Alliances will be released on July 24th.

Are you excited to see the master strategist team up with the Dark Lord of the Sith? Let us know in the comments!