I'm reading the Grand Admiral Thrawn original trilogy in comic book form. I've heard my whole life how great these books are and how great the character is. Now that I've seen/read all the Disney Canon Thrawn stuff, I decided to read the original.
I'm 1/3 done. It's boring and slow and doing nothing for me. Is it the conversion to comic book form? Does it get better?
Of course not.
Although it's strange to me that you're only now reading the Timothy Zahn Thrawn stories when you have previously made mention of the Luuke clone that features in the conclusion of the Thrawn trilogy.
I think I was 10 when I read the Thrawn STAR WARS trilogy. And despite being a speed-reader, it took me like a month to read all three. It was dense. It was thick. It was slow. It was Serious Military Science Fiction Literature. This was not George Lucas' STAR WARS, a lighthearted, slambang action thrill ride that sought to capture the high adventure of FLASH GORDON with the thoughtful mysticism of a Japanese samurai movie.
Instead, TIMOTHY ZAHN'S STAR WARS was -- I'm guessing -- an attempt to write STAR WARS like a war novel akin to Norman Mailer's THE NAKED AND THE DEAD (a 1948 WWII set novel). Combined with the military science fiction stylings (but not the values) of Robert Heinlein's STARSHIP TROOPERS and its counterpoint, THE FOREVER WAR by Joe Haiderman. And with the mythic self-importance of LORD OF THE RINGS novels (which are grimdark misery after the first 50 pages of the first one).
There was a market at the time for thick, dense, hyperdetailed, Serious Military Science Fiction Literature in the early 90s. The Thrawn trilogy, coming out from 1991 to 1993, was an Adult Hardcover Novel for the people who enjoyed STAR WARS movies as children who were now Grown Adults who would appreciate STAR WARS as an Adult Product.
I've never dared admit this to anybody, but while I respected and appreciated the craft and skill of the trilogy and the concluding duology by Timothy Zahn -- it was quite boring. And when I got to the end of it, I felt like I had read an Important Science Fiction Novel, but it wasn't fun. It was like eating unflavoured protein powder by spoon.
In contrast, the first STAR WARS movie had been a pretty great bacon cheeseburger from an indie burger restaurant, the second one had been an unexpected gourmet prime rib, and the third had been a satisfactory fast food Big Mac.
There were points of interest like Mara Jade and Luke's relationship and the twisted lessons of C'Baoth, but Zahn's prose is so serious, so muted, so avoidant of strong emotion and drama that it isn't that inspiring.
Zahn's favourite character is clearly the cold, academic, aloof, mysterious Grand Admiral Thrawn and Zahn's great at writing distant, unknowable characters and less great at writing more earnest, heart-on-their-sleeve characters like Luke and Han and Leia.
I have a lot of respect for how Zahn repackaged STAR WARS as Serious Literature with the publishers maintaining that brand identity for very long periods between 2001 - 2014. Of course, there were plenty of STAR WARS novels that were just weak media tie-in merchandise, but there were plenty that were good and fun and exciting and comedic and closer to the movies, and there were also a bunch that followed the Zahn model of Seriousness. Seriousness was in vogue in 1991. There was a big market at the time for Zahn's books..
Probably doesn't read well today.