| Star Wars sequel trilogy|
20th Century Fox
May 4, 1993 (Episode VII)
5 years after Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
The trilogy follows the campaigns of Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn, from the Destruction of the Elomin task force to the Battle of Bilbringi. It also recounts the efforts of the Dark Jedi Joruus C'baoth, and his efforts to claim Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa Solo, and her children as his apprentices.
The series introduced many notable Expanded Universe characters such as Garm Bel Iblis, Talon Karrde, Grand Admiral Thrawn, Gilad Pellaeon, and Mara Jade—characters who would subsequently appear in a variety of Expanded Universe works, by a plethora of creators. Grand Admiral Thrawn became a popular villain in the Expanded Universe, with appearances in several later works which took place earlier in the timeline. In addition, the Imperial capital world—Coruscant—was given its name by the trilogy, and would later feature in the prequel films.
As the first three of many Star Wars movie-based novels by Bantam Spectra, it marked the beginning of an era of rapid expansion of the Star Wars Expanded Universe (along with animated TV series such as Dark Empire, from Dark Horse comics, began publishing in 1991).
The titles of all three movies could have multiple meanings:
- Episode VII: Heir to the Empire could refer to Thrawn, C'baoth, or the New Republic.
- Episode VIII: Dark Force Rising could refer to the dark side of the Force, the Katana fleet, or Thrawn's Empire in general.
- Episode IX: The Last Command could refer either to Palpatine's command to Mara Jade, Han Solo's command of the mission to Wayland or to Thrawn's battle.
Timothy Zahn, who wrote the Legends non-canonical Thrawn trilogy of novels, was interviewed about the sequel trilogy for the rest of the Expanded Universe, and said that he had been briefed years before on Lucas's plans for the sequels:
- "The original idea as I understood it—and Lucas changes his mind off and on, so it may not be what he's thinking right now—but it was going to be three generations. You'd have the original trilogy, then go back to Luke's father and find out what happened to him, and if there was another seventh, eighth, or ninth film, it would be Luke's children. The Thrawn Trilogy really would have fit into the gap."
- ―Timothy Zahn