Specter of the Past

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Specter of the Past
Author Timothy Zahn
Cover artist Drew Struzan
Country USA
Language English
Series The Hand of Thrawn
Canon C
Subject Star Wars
Genre Science fiction
Publisher Bantam Spectra
Publication date
1 December 1997
1 December 1998
Media type Hardcover , Paperback& e-reader
Pages Hardcover: 344
Paperback: 416
ISBN Hardcover:
ISBN 0-553-09542-0
ISBN 0-553-29804-6
Preceded by Showdown at Centerpoint
Followed by Vision of the Future

Specter of the Past is the first of the two Hand of Thrawn novels by Timothy Zahn. Chronologically, it is the fourth (of five) in the Thrawn series.


Specter of the Past is set in 19 ABY, ten years after the events of The Last Command, and six years prior to those of Vector Prime.


New Republic[edit]

The Empire[edit]



Once the unquestioned master of countless solar systems, the Empire is tottering on the brink of total collapse. Once commanding an invincible armada of Star Destroyers, its fleet has been reduced to a skeleton force. Day by day, neutral systems are rushing to join the New Republic coalition. But with the end of the war in sight, the New Republic has fallen victim to its own success: as an unwieldy alliance of races and traditions, the confederation now finds itself riven by age-old animosities.

Princess Leia struggles against all odds to hold the New Republic together, but she has powerful enemies. An ambitious Moff Disra leads a conspiracy to divide the uneasy coalition with an ingenious plot to blame the Bothans for a heinous crime that could lead to genocide and civil war. At the same time, Luke Skywalker, along with a mysterious group of pirate ships whose crews consist of clones. And then comes the most startling news of all: Grand Admiral Thrawn—believed to be dead for ten years—is alive. The most cunning and ruthless warlord in an Imperial history has seemingly returned to lead the Empire to triumph.

As Han and Leia try to prevent the unraveling of New Republic in the face of this fearful and inexplicable threat from the past, Luke sets out to track down the rogue pirate ships. To do so, he will team up with Mara Jade, with whom he will share his growing mastery of the Force and the ever-present threat of the dark side. All the while, lurking in the shadows is the enigmatic Major Tierce, a disciple of Emperor Palpatine, sharing his long-dead master's lust for power, schooled in the devious stratagems of Thrawn himself, and armed with his own dark plans for the New Republic and the Empire.