Grand Admiral Thrawn Quotes From Timothy Zahn’s Original Thrawn Trilogy

The first of Timothy Zahn's Star Wars book trilogy, Heir to the Empire, is a fun read. It's well-crafted with a plot that makes more sense than the far inferior The Truce at Bukara.

Timothy Zahn's book trilogy is much revered amongst the Star Wars fandom and some fans consider Heir to the Empire to be the novel that kickstarted the grand age of the Star Wars fan resurgence and renewed popularity.

One of the key elements of that success is a fellow known to many as Grand Admiral Thrawn. There's a reason this blue-colored chap is so popular, and it could be because he's arguably the smartest Star Wars bad guy that has ever been committed to the novel format. And Thrawn is eminently quotable, so we're going to provide you with some of his best lines from all three of that trio of books (Thrawn does also appear in several more).

Let's get to it.

Heir to The Empire Quotes

  • “I am Grand Admiral Thrawn, Warlord of the Empire, servant of the Emperor. I seek the Guardian of the mountain.”
  • “The only [puzzle] worth solving. The complete, total, and utter destruction of the Rebellion.”
  • “These creatures you see on our backs are called ysalamiri. They're sessile, tree-dwelling creatures from a distant, third-rate planet, and they have an interesting and possibly unique ability- they push back the Force. A single ysalamiri can occasionally create a bubble as large as ten meters across; a whole group of them reinforcing one another can create much larger ones.”
  • “The conquering of worlds, of course. The final defeat of the Rebellion. The re-establishment of the glory that was once the Empire's New Order.”
  • “Would you rather we have brought back a full-fledged Dark Jedi? A second Darth Vader, perhaps with the sort of ambitions and power that might easily lead him to take over your ship. Count your blessing, Captain. C'Baoth is predictable enough, and for those times when he isn't, that's what the ysalamiri are for.”
  • “But risk has always been an inescapable part of warfare.”
  • “How very thoughtful of the Emperor to have left such fine equipment for us to rebuild his Empire with.”
  • “You served too long under Lord Vader, Captain. I Have no qualms about accepting a useful idea merely because it wasn't my own. My position and ego are not at stake here.”
  • “With Mount Tantiss and Sluis Van both, the long path to victory over the Rebellion will have begun.”
  • “Do you know the difference between an error and a mistake, Ensign? Anyone can make an error, Ensign. But that error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.”
  • “The Empire is at war, Captain. We cannot afford the luxury of men whose minds are so limited they cannot adapt to unexpected situations.”
  • “Our entire victory campaign against the Rebellion begins here.”
  • I'm quite aware that stormtroopers have infinite confidence in themselves, but that sort of deep-space combat is not what space trooper suits were designed for. Have the cloak leader detail a TIE fighter to bring him out.”
  • “As long as we have Mount Tantiss, our ultimate victory is still assured.”

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=0553560719&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=theoptiprimex 20Dark Force Rising Quotes

The second novel sees Thrawn upping the ante plot-wise, which means he has a great range of quotes – his commitment to rational thinking appears to be only second only to Star Trek's Spock.

  • “Never forget, Captain, that our goal is no longer merely the pitiful rear-guard harassment of the past five years. With Mount Tantiss and our late Emperor's collection of Spaarti cylinders in our hands, the initiative is once again ours. Very soon now we`ll begin the process of taking planets back from the Rebellion, and for that, we'll need an army every bit as well trained as the officers and crew of the Fleet.”
  • “Ackbar himself is replaceable, Captain. The delicate political balance the Rebellion has created for itself is not.”
  • “We need to utilize every weapon at our disposal if we're to defeat the Rebellion. C'Baoth's ability to enhance coordination and battle efficiency between our forces is one of those weapons; and if he can't handle proper military discipline and protocol, then we bend the rules for him.”
  • “Concentration, focus, long-term thinking–those are the qualities that separate a warrior from a mere flailing fighter.”
  • “This is the calm before the storm, Captain; and until the storm is ready to unleash, we might as well spend our time and energy making sure our illustrious Jedi Master will be willing to assist us when we want him.”
  • “Do you require a reminder of what it means to defy the Empire?”
  • “I am the law on Honoghr now, Maitrakh. If I choose to follow the ancient laws, I will follow them. If I choose to ignore them, they will be ignored. Is that clear?”
  • “Do not presume to dictate to me, Mara Jade. Not even in private.”
  • “I rule the Empire now. Not some long-dead Emperor; certainly not you. The only treason is defiance of my orders.”
  • “Mixed loyalties are a luxury no officer of the Imperial Fleet can afford.”
  • “It may be time to reconsider our arrangement with Master C'Baoth. To reconsider it very carefully.”
  • “Thanks to your insistence on delaying me, we've lost the Peremptory. I trust you are satisfied.”

The Last Command Quotes

The final novel of Zahn's trilogy sees Grand Admiral Thrawn's plans come awry, leading to some dignified or philosophical exit quotes.

  • “If you kill me, you'll lose the war.”
  • “On no fewer than four occasions I told the Emperor that I would not waste his troops and ships attacking an enemy which I was not yet prepared to defeat. The first time I refused he called me a traitor and gave my attack forces to someone else. After its destruction, he knew better than to ignore my commendations.”
  • “I am not Lord Darth Vader – I do not spend my men recklessly. Nor do I take their deaths lightly.”
  • “Your devotion to duty is commendable Captain.”
  • “An uncertainty faced by all warriors.”
  • “History is on the move. Those who cannot keep up will be left behind, to watch from a distance. And those who stand in our way will not watch at all.”
  • “We'll remind the Rebellion what war is all about.”
  • “The insanity of men and aliens who have learned the hard way that they can't match me face-to-face. And so they attempt to use my own tactical skill and insight against me. They pretend to walk into my trap, gambling that I'll notice the subtlety of their movements and interpret that as genuine intent. And while I then congratulate myself on my perception they prepare their actual attack.”
  • “His use to the Empire is rapidly nearing an end. However, he still has one last role to play in our long-term consolidation of power.”
Thrawn's last words in The Last Command have become his most remembered and quoted: “But it was so, artistically done.”
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Paul Rose Jr has worked as TV News Producer, Forensic Analyst, and Train Conductor, among many other things. He’s the former TV Editor for InfuzeMag and owns more books, DVDs, and comics than most people have seen in their lifetimes. When he’s not writing or editing on Wealth of Geeks, he exercises his creative muscle writing screenplays and acting in film and television in Los Angeles, CA.