Vision of the Future
|Cover artist||Drew Struzan|
The Hand of Thrawn|
September 1, 1998
September 1, 1999
|Media type||Hardcover & Paperback|
ISBN 0-553-57879-0 (paperback)
|Preceded by||Specter of the Past|
|Followed by||Fool's Bargain|
Admiral Gilad Pellaeon admits that the Empire, down to only a few sectors, is now fighting a losing battle. He initiates preliminary peace talks with Princess Leia, who acts as the New Republic representative.
However, several Imperial officials are vehemently anti-surrender, the most notable being Moff Disra. He hires a con artist, Flim, to impersonate the deceased Grand Admiral Thrawn, the idea being that Imperial Forces would rally, and many systems would rejoin the Empire, due to Thrawn's "returning from the dead."
Another Imperial plot is underfoot, to provoke civil war in the New Republic, involving the Caamas Document. Caamas was a world destroyed by the Empire shortly after the Clone Wars, and it is revealed in the book that this was made possible by Bothan sabotage of that planet's planetary shield. Various alien races take sides over treatment of the Bothans and what would be justice for Caamas; more than a hundred alien warships gather in orbit over the Bothans' homeworld of Bothawui. Several of this book's plotlines revolve around major characters seeking an unaltered copy of the Camaas Document, in an attempt to settle the issue. Han Solo and Lando Calrissian travel to an Imperial base at Bastion in an attempt to find it. Meanwhile, Garm Bel Iblis attempts a raid on an Imperial Ubiqtorate base at Yaga Minor.
The Empire hopes that the confrontation over Bothawui will reach a flash point, and three Imperial Star Destroyers lie in wait to 'finish off' the survivors. Furthermore, an Imperial sabotage team knocks out a major section of the Bothawui planetary shield.
Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade sneak into a fortress called the Hand of Thrawn (so called because of its 'four fingers and a thumb' shape). Many secrets are revealed there, including mention of an expedition by Thrawn to the galaxy's Unknown Regions. Luke and Mara are about to die, when Luke proposes to Mara, she accepts. They escape and at the end of the novel, a peace treaty is signed by Admiral Pellaeon and New Republic president Ponc Gavrisom.
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