A Short Begging Open Letter To Lucasfilm – Make The Thrawn Trilogy

Thrawn-TrilogyHey George,

I know you’re busy pulling the practical joke known as Indiana Jones 4 right now, but if you take just a minute of your time to read this, it would be much appreciated.

Like a lot of people in my age range, I waited most of my life for you to make some new Star Wars films. What you achieved with the original trilogy and how much ground you broke and how much you changed the industry will probably never be duplicated. It defined Science Fiction, and for those of us who were but young children at the time, it defined for us what imagination was. For that we will always be in your debt.

My first disappointment with the Star Wars universe was long before the release of Phantom Menace. It was just after it was announced that new Star Wars movies were on the way, and it was revealed that the new films would be “PREQUELS” (a term never used until Phantom Menace really). My heart was broken. I was still excited to see new Star Wars adventures, but I wanted to see what came NEXT… not what happened BEFORE. I got over it eventually and started getting enthused for Phantom Menace.

The purpose of this note is not to talk about Phantom Menace or any of the prequel really. But rather to ask that in your infinite wisdom you consider either A) doing, or B) allowing someone else to do new films based on the Star Wars universe. Specifically films based on what is known as “The Thrawn Trilogy” (Heir To The Empire, Dark Force Rising, The Last Command) by Timothy Zahn.

In my opinion, those books… that story… is the true heir to the Star Wars legacy. The centerpiece of which was a new villain worthy of darth vader himself… GRAND ADMIRAL THRAWN!!! A military and cultural genius who collected the remnants of the Imperial Fleet a few years after their defeat at Endor and made them a major power and threat again in the universe.

Georgio my man… forget the TV stuff… forget the animated stuff… commission someone (maybe even Zahn himself) to start adapting these 3 amazing books into a film treatment. This story about Thrawn could make believers out of so many disenfranchised Star Wars fans who lost their faith after the new trilogy. Bring us Thrawn! Joruus C’Baoth commands it! Pretty please. PPPLLLEEAASSEEE!!!

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52 thoughts on “A Short Begging Open Letter To Lucasfilm – Make The Thrawn Trilogy

  1. I remember once I read a George interview that he had originally planned for 9 films – three trilogies. At that time I think we knew prequels were coming, and I was just thinking “We already have the books after the movies…would he ever choose the Tim Zahn trilogy to make another set?” I’ve dreamed of it for the past ten years (though they’d have to do Mara well or I’d have to boycott it and disown Star Wars forever.)

    I don’t know – I fear that Lucas won’t do it and make it impossible for anyone else to create such movies after he’s gone…though maybe he is finally softening up a bit, sharing his story…

    But you’re right. Thrawn is a fabulous enemy. The kind that can fill Vader’s shoes. Everyone was excited about Maul, and then we lost him after the first film…kinda left us empty as far as a cool villian. And I think the sophisticated villian would sell well in today’s market…as would the look, with blue skin and glowing red eyes…and they could pull off that effect well now, too.

    But he’s never gonna do it. Maybe we should just get together and make a fan film.

  2. the thrawn storyline is great, but the actors are too old to reprise their roles, unless you take the basic tenet of the story and change it to suit their ages or change it even more to have new characters inhabit the storyline. my preference would be from the star wars legacy comic line, set 125 years after the battle of yavin, when the empire has reclaimed control over the galaxy. great read

  3. Those saying this is a dumb idea could not have read the Thrawn Trilogy. It was an awesome story arc that kept the reader on the edge of their seat throughout.

    Great Idea – though I am skeptical it will come to reality one can always dream.

  4. Sorry to say it people…STARWARS are DEAD! Lucas will never relinquish the rights the someone else and if he is actually happy with the quality of the piece of shit prequals he calls movies, which he is, then you can kiss all thoughts and dreams of more SWs movies goodbye. In all my fanboy, geek, D&D dreams do I wish this would happen?? Yes I do…but I also wish they would take Aliens back to its original horror/violent/scary state…and Predator, Terminator, Star Wars…oops!!! Never gonna happen.

  5. yeah u big fat fucker Lucas.. let someone with REAL talent to direct more star wars movies u shit.. someone like… mmmm… Mark Steven Johnson… ho wait a minute..

  6. John, i had been saying the same damn thing for 4 years now. I couldnt agree more. The Heir To The Empire series is by far my favorite Star Wars read. I think Zahn is superior in the field of the Star Wars legacy, even better than Salvatore. Though it pains me to say this, but i dont think we will ever see a Lucas sanctioned movie adaptation of that trilogy. However, with the induction of the television show, i dont see how it would be a far stretch to imagine say, a three-part series, revolving around Thrawns reign. Personally, i would also like to see televised adaptations of the entire Outbound Flight story, as well the stories surrounding the 501st.
    Alot of people are being quick to bash Lucas for his decision to delve into television, but for true fans of the entire Star Wars mythos; this could stand to be one of the greatest mediums for us to enjoy the stories we read and dreamed of seeing on the big screen.

  7. Thrawn was kinda lame with his whole “I study art to find weakness” thing. Plus Zahn made him too smart. He was almost omniscient in the novels. And the whole C’boath character was lame.

    Besides, you can’t make any more Luke-Leia-Han movies unless you animated them. The actors are too old.

    Concentrate on the 20 years between trilogies then maybe go way back and do some stories in the Old Republic era, when there were armies of Sith and Jedi.

  8. I hate to say this peeps, I thought star wars all its films were a little boring maybe i missed the hype machine on this but the only thing i like about the whole universe is yoda and the notion of the FORCE which was spoiled in the prequels. YOU SHOULD NEVER EXPLAIN A MYSTICAL POWER. Star trek on the other hand will send me into a coma

  9. John, if you think that Thrawn was a great villain, imagine a Lucas sequel trilogy with not only the Grand Admiral and a ragtag Imperial fleet using the Rebel’s tactics against them — but with the help of an evil Obi-Wan Kenobi.

    You see, Timothy Zahn had originally intended that Joruus C’boath (who it was revealed in the Thrawn trilogy was not the real Jedi, but his clone) be a sort of mentally unbalanced clone of Obi-Wan Kenobi. This idea was nixed by Lucasfilm, who had issued standing orders that no Star Wars books, games, comics, etc. use the characters of Anakin Skywalker, Luke and Leia’s mother or Obi-Wan Kenobi. I suspect this was because Lucas hadn’t at that time decided how he was going to use the characters in the prequels and rather than have a book or a comic tie his hands creatively, it was simpler to just ban all usage.

    This is likely the reason why Obi-Wan is given a goodbye scene in the first book of the Thrawn series where he tells Luke he will no longer be able to contact him through the Force.

    It would have shown tremendous foresight, had Lucas allowed Zahn to use Obi-Wan and then later incorporate a scene into the prequels where Obi-Wan’s genetic info would have been taken on the watery clone planet (Kamino? Is that right?). Then, we could have seen a still-young, and quite deranged, Obi-Wan reunited with Luke in a sequel trilogy — that would have brought the series full circle indeed.

  10. LUCAS.. MY MAN. MY DAWG. MY G! Where me THRAWN at? NOT ON MOVIE that’s fo sho!. HIT THAT SHIT UP MAN! PEACE!

    Yeah. Thrawn would fucking rule.

  11. How can you ever call a movie-franchise dead?
    The first movie of every franchise starts out of zero.
    you know what i mean?

    It always depends on the quality of the movie.
    It doesn’t make any difference whether it is a prequal, a sequal or whatsoever.

  12. My word, you people are too sad. I’m a star wars fan, disenfranchised after the awful prequels… but you really believe making more will fix the problem? Star Wars is dead, people… you have to accept it and move on.

    As for the slating of the Indiana Jones movie? How can you possibly allow such blatant hypocrisy as to slate one sequel while asking for another? And not only that, but a sequel so BADLY conceived as to make a mockery of that which you proclaim to love.

  13. Hey Sir Jig,

    Well, we all have our own points of view on this for sure… me personally, I thought revenge of the sith was great… almost good enough to salvage the new trilogy (not quite… but almost)

  14. Campea – when i said ‘the people/public’ i mean your average joe in the street or on the net.that’s including great sites/blogs/forums like this one and its thousands of similar counterparts applauding and giving the majority thumbs up to his efforts instead of:

    “hey did you see the new Star Wars?”

    “yeah i did buddy. same shit dished out on a new plate butt the smell is still the same”

  15. Lucas’ ego is far too big to film somebody else’s vision of a universe he created. especially since his pride is still in shards on the floor after Irvin Kershner outdid him with the genius film that is Empire.
    George would never relinquish his cashcow to more capable hands such as Ridley,Del Toro,Cameron or Singer. guys who could pull off something like Thrawn without sacrificing storyline/dialogue/character development for a flashy lightshow & wooden CGI.

  16. Hey Sir-Jig-A-Lot

    You said:

    “awards and accolades do not mean shit these days (if they ever truly did) unless they come from the people/public”

    People’s Choice Awards is fan voted
    Hollywood Film Awards is Fan voted

    Revenge of the Sith won them both :)

  17. I am conflicted about the Thrawn Trilogy as a movie. It was such a wonderful story. It revitalized me into Star Wars and I have read every single book since then (Currently in the timeline Solo is over 60)

    But as much as I would love to see this story played out, it would be impossible to do with the original cast due to age (Thrawn Triology was 5 years after Jedi) and those characters are iconic partly because of those who played them.

    NO ONE can be Han Solo without being said “he was trying to play Solo and failed” no matter how good a match they make.

  18. Campea,any realistic sorts acknowledge the fact that the Star Bores prequels did well financially due mainly to fans of the original series hoping to get the same rush & excitement hoping against hope that Lucas would get at least one of them right,but were let down with all of them.
    awards and accolades do not mean shit these days (if they ever truly did) unless they come from the people/public and not some industry organization who probably want the publicity and/or have a vested interest in seeing certain films do well ie theater/studio owners.

  19. Hey John, I could post counter points with you ad nauseam but we both know all we’ll do is circle around and round; never resolving anything.

    All I can offer for you to ponder is this. You are another one in a extremely long line of people to call ST dead. A line extends back to 1969.

    Yet today, 40 years later, another movie is being made. There is excitement in the ST world again. People are getting interested in ST again. Granted, that exists only in the current ST fandom base. But its there and the opportunity exists again for it to spill out.

    Is that characteristic of a dead franchise?

    I do not believe so.

    What can I say – ST is my Transformers.

  20. Hey Lou,

    Your definition of “dead” is mildly confusing. The last Star Wars film made almost a BILLION dollars world wide (while ST didn’t even have enough fan life left in it’s dead carcass to muster even $70 million world wide)

    Revenge of the Sith Alone:

    – Best Picture (Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films)

    – Best Forign Film Nom (Japanese Academy)

    – Best Film (Empire Awards)

    – Hollywood Movie of the Year (Hollywood Film Festival)

    – Best Movie (People’s Choice Awards)

    yadda yadda yadda… the point here is simply, just because you don’t LIKE a film, doesn’t mean it’s dead. A dried up fan base with no prospects of gaining new ones is a dead franchise. A dead franchise is one with no interest left in it (aka Star Trek in its current incarnation).

    Look again at those facts and figures… and tell me again how Star Wars is a dead franchise. :P

  21. yes Star Wars has legs left in it…in written fiction. Georgie is too over the hill to attempt the Thrawn trilogy. his legs started buckling after the compromises he made with himself on Return Of The Jedi. all in the name of toys nonetheless. hey! Lucas should get together with Avi Arad & do a Barbie trilogy :-)

  22. Hey AjaxJou

    Really? It’s a dead franchise? Hmmmm…

    Revenge of the Sith – $847 million
    Attack of the Clones – $649 million
    Phantom Menace – $924 million

    Doesn’t look like a dead franchise to me. Unlike sayyyyy… Oh I don’t know… Star Trek:

    Nemesis – $67 million
    Insurrection – $112 million
    First Contact – $146 million

    Looks to me like Star Wars still has a lot of legs left in it and enough of an existing fan base to still generate almost a billion in ticket sales world wide per movie. I think there is still life in the can.

  23. As far as I’m concerned the Timothy Zahn “Thrawn Triology” are the best Star Wars books I’ve read (and I’ve read A LOT). In my opinion he really captured the feeling of the Star Wars universe; it’s almost like he looked into Lucas’ head.

    For years my mom, brothers and me have said how fantastic it would be to adapt these moves into film. I have often wished it would come true even though I so highly doubt Lucas would ever make anything SW that didn’t come directly from his own head. It’s a shame.

  24. I thought the political roles the main characters took hold of were interesting, and that bitch Mara Jade was sorta cool. Yes, this coulda happened in the early 90′ when the actors looked somewhat younger. We can all dream though Mr. Campea.

  25. I have been wishing for this for years, but I have to put in this one caveat: have someone else direct it. Lucas didn’t direct Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi, and they weren’t bad (read: awesome). The only problem with making the Zahn trilogy into film is that all the actors are really quite old, and the Zahn trilogy starts just 5 years after Return of the Jedi. Ford and Hamill don’t look young by a long shot, but they’d have to do Carrie Fisher entirely with CGI.

  26. John, I think this is a great idea. When I first saw the original trilogy back when it was rereleased in 1997 I was completly blown away and I thought Star Wars was the coolest thing ever. When Episode 1 came out I was only 10 and I really liked it then, but when I go back and watch the prequels now I am amazed how bad Episode 1 and 2 where, but 3 was still great. Now at 18 I am extremly hungry for some more Star Wars movies or anything else but I am very worried about the new Star Wars TV shows that are coming in the near future to completly suck balls. This idea of going back to the original roots of the story could be great and I think it could work.
    PS: John, what did you see at Comic Con from the Star Wars franchise?

  27. You know I guess im on a negative rant today but im sick and tired of all these winny Star Wars fans crying about how they dont like the prequels. Sure I would like to change some things like the duel with yoda and Palpatine cut with the Vader and Obi-Wan. But the movie was still great. So was episode one and two. The thing is that before Star Wars came we had no expectation on the first movie. However by they time Return came along our expectations were so high that some of us fans were let down. History repeated itself in 1999 when epiosde 1 was released to were fans expectations were so high that it was easy to call the film dissapointing. If GL is gonna make sequels after Return I would not like them to be based on books that were written by someone else. Oh sure he could change and adapted it but its missing the under tones and philosophy/mythology that made Star Wars connected with millions of people. To do this would be the first step to the down fall of the Saga. Just like Star Trek.

  28. Maybe we should just boycott IJ4 and when GL has the subsequent heart attack and dies, his kids will sell/rent the license to do movies in the SW universe….Then we can have a Clone Wars TV series (PG)…A Bounty Hunters’ TV series (Nar Shaddaa, the Smuggler’s Moon) on HBO (R). A KOTOR movie series with SITH everywhere swearing and “wacking” whomeever crosses them including each other. (R) And a continuation Movie Series, and another with the Vuuzhan Vong.

    Hmmm…Star Wars burnout would occur in approximately 90 days…
    George Lucaas is a genius for making us wait…and wait…and wait…
    and re-releasing, and re-releasing, and VHS ing to DVD ing, to Blu-Raying…UGH!

    At least Harry Potter kept things going…

  29. John, your pleading with George’s humanity – I’m not sure anyone that pulls elaborate Indiana Jones 4 jokes have much- if any humanity. Therefore I think that George with never do this “because” it should be done, and to spite you or in spite of your pleads – if I’m following his kind of humor.

    Good day,
    – Indiana Jones

  30. I don’t know about turning these books into film. I hadn’t really read a Star Wars book since Han Solo at Stars End (or something like that). It was this trilogy that caused me to read through to the point where I just HAD to put them down because I was spending toomuch money getting caught up. Damn Timothy Zahn. What i enjoyed most about Thrawn as a villain as opposed to, say, Darth Maul, He wasn’t a Jedi. He wasn’t a Sith. I don’t think he ever touched a lightsabre. He was brilliant and deadly. Dammit now I am going to have to read those books again.

  31. I agree these movies were what i was hoping for when i heard there were going to be new Star Wars Movies. These books are the best star wars books ive read, Thrawn is could be the best Movie Villan in years. O and Mara Jade wouldnt be bad either.

  32. The Zahn books were an excellent trilogy. Too bad they will not be turned into movies….well, in our life time. I know you don’t like to know what happened BEFORE A New Hope, but I always thought that a movie (or movies) about Knights of the Old Republic would be cool. Something that takes place thousands of years before there was an Anakin Skywalker.

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