Thrawn sequel by Timothy Zahn co-starring Darth Vader coming next summer

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Oct 6, 2017, 5:51 PM EDT

Timothy Zahn and Grand Admiral Thrawn will be back next summer, Lucasfilm Publishing announced Friday at New York Comic Con. The sequel to Zahn's Thrawn canon novel is tentatively titled Thrawn: Alliances. That's a heavy title for fans who read the first book, which revealed Thrawn's origin (or at least some of it), and the way he rose to power and prominence in the Empire.

In the first book, we saw Thrawn make alliances both within and outside of the Empire's political and military structure, and had hints that reached back to the Chiss's mysterious past out in the Unknown Regions. But Zahn revealed precisely who one of the "Alliances" would be: Darth Vader.

"Let's bring in a little Dark Lord of the Sith, shall we?" he said to a cheering crowd.

In Thrawn, it was revealed that one of the earliest encounters Thrawn had with the humans of the galaxy was with a young Jedi named Anakin Skywalker. It will be interesting to see if more of that particular adventure is revealed, and if Vader feels drawn to the Chiss because of that past experience.

Thrawn: Alliances won't hit until next summer, but Zahn did want to point one thing out:

“I just want to clarify something, I’m not writing the book – I turned it in a few days ago," he said. And now... the waiting game.

Fans of Grand Admiral Thrawn don't have to wait too much longer for his next appearance, though, as he'll be the prominent "big bad" of Star Wars Rebels Season 4, the final season, which begins airing in less than two weeks on Oct. 16.