Title: Vision of the Future
Author: Timothy Zahn
Publication Date: September 1, 1999 (Paperback) Book 2 of the Hand of Thrawn Duology
My Grade: B
So this is the final book in the five Thrawn books made by Timothy Zahn. The first three being his Thrawn Trilogy, and the second two being the Hand of Thrawn Duology which began with Specter of the Past.
Zahn is really good at building us a universe to play in. It’s interesting to see in the Duology how his main characters have changed in the decade between then and now. Mara has become more comfortable with herself, and with the idea of the Jedi. Luke also has changed, become more mature and is in the process of evaluating how he uses the force in his day-to-day life. Leia and Han just want a peaceful vacation with their three kids where no one tries to kidnap, kill or anything else to them. However, when push comes to shove they are going to help out.
Han in this book is a little less the rascal we all love in the movies. It is after all almost 20 years post the Battle of Yavin, so I suppose that all that time spent with the Rebellion, The New Republic and of course being a father to three Jedi children might chill you out a bit. There is plenty of Lando as well, as he teams up with Han to find the Caamas Document.
Leia meanwhile is teaming up with various subcharacters in the political world trying to find peace for the New Republic, both internally and externally.
I think one of my favorite things is the delving into the background of Talon Karrde, as well as seeing what Pelleaon is up to now as the Supreme Commander of the Empire’s naval forces. He’s trying to save the Empire but is not having an easy time of it because of the reappearance of “Thrawn.”
If you like books that deal with political intrigue, character backgrounds and action you will enjoy this book. It has a good mix of the three. It deals with the theme of how things can appear one way but turn out not to be that way at all, it depends on your point of view (as Obi-wan once told us) and who got to write the history down.
It also sets up the next stage of the Star Wars Legends books, which is interesting but I won’t be delving into myself. At least not right now.
I really liked the fact that Luke and Mara had basically a road-trip like plot arc (well, it was more like a hike, but the same concept). They ended up forced to face some issues between them that had developed over the last ten years, and eventually realise they love each other. It’s a bit sappy in its almost instantious realization, and I feel it might have been better if he had started to develop them going down that road in the first book, but there is plenty going on that needed developed.
My only problem is wondering why after the kids are sent away to hang out with Chewie and his family, no one really mentions them. That being said, it is a good book and I would definitely put it on my recommended books list.
I do however suggest, should you try this book out to start with the Thrawn Trilogy. While it’s not completely necessary (as there is a ten-year gap with many events happening), it does give some background on the relationships between the main characters and an interesting place to compare how they have changed in 10 years.