At Lucasfilm’s publishing panel at New York City Comic Con today, Timothy Zahn announced that he will be writing a sequel to this year’s Star Wars Rebels tie-in novel, Thrawn.
Zahn didn’t reveal much about the book. It has a working title of Thrawn: Alliances, and it will feature another iconic Star Wars villain: Darth Vader. The book will presumably pick up with where Thrawn left off, with the character now a Grand Admiral, and his loyal assistant headed off into the depths of Unknown Space on a secret mission. According to Del Rey, the novel will hit stores in Summer 2018.
Thrawn became a fan-favorite character when Zahn introduced him in his 1991 novel Heir to the Empire. Earlier this year, he told The Verge that Thrawn has endured “because he was so different from any other villain we’d seen in Star Wars to that time,” using strategy and tactics over brute force. While Lucasfilm rendered the Star Wars Expanded Universe non-canon in the lead up to The Force Awakens, Star Wars Rebels executive producer reintroduced him in the show, and Zahn returned to write his origin story. The novel was left on an open-ended note, leaving open the possibility for a sequel novel.
Alliances isn’t the only place that we’ll see Thrawn next year. The character will return to Rebels in its fourth and final season, and Marvel Comics announced that it would adapt Thrawn as a six-issue miniseries that will hit in February 2018.