Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil: When In Doubt Flee The Galaxy?
After the birth of the Empire, were the survivors of The Clone Wars right to flee the galaxy in Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil?
Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil arrived on November 16, 2021, and delivered an awesome conclusion to the Thrawn Ascendancy series. Without its author (Timothy Zahn) there would be no Star Wars literary universe, so I must pay homage to him before I begin. One of the most fascinating parts of the book came at the very end. But for those of you who haven’t read Lesser Evil, I will only divulge that it is something that will change how you look at Star Wars history forever.
THE CHISS ASCENDANCY
That being said, the Chiss Ascendancy receives word that the Clone Wars – plaguing the larger galaxy has ended placing Lesser Evil on the timeline at 19 ABY. The Chiss are sequestered from the rest of the galaxy in a region called Chaos (known as the Unknown Regions to the Old Republic), where hyperspace travel is very hazardous. Mostly due to a chain of supernovas going off in the ancient past, disrupting hyperlanes. There are ways to navigate, as the Chiss has demonstrated. But it would take several decades for the rest of the galaxy to catch up.
So how did the Chiss know about the conclusion of the war? Well, it turns out you CAN reach Chaos with a ship. It’s just something very dangerous and done out of desperation. The Chiss encountered a group of alien refugees who identify themselves as Neimodians. Neimodian is a word that Star Wars fans have known since 1999, as they were the main antagonist species of The Phantom Menace. And they were a major asset in funding the “bad guys” during the Clone Wars.
In Legends, after the Emperor dissolved the Separatist Council by “taking care” of them; Cato Neimodia and the other Neimodian purse worlds were quickly appropriated by the fledgling Galactic Empire. Eventually, they were forced to sign a treaty (ironically what they tried to do to the Queen of Naboo, 13 years prior). Legends usually come back in some form or the other in the official canon, so this event has likely happened again.
RISE OF THE EMPIRE
The Empire is known for its aggression and lack of empathy to non-human populations. So these refugees the Chiss encountered may be escaping from a major lockdown or even genocide. Only time will tell what the Neimodian situation is. However, this brings to light the question. Why didn’t more refugees flee into the Unknown Regions or even another galaxy when the Empire took over?. A Class 1 military hyperdrive could reach another galaxy in roughly 200 days, so it’s very doable. I brought this question up on TheRancorpit forums many years ago, and someone wisely said along the lines of “why should they abandon their homes”.
Yes, that is a good point. But when faced with a juggernaut like the Empire, sometimes I feel it would be better to abandon ship. And raise your progeny someplace where they will not always live in fear. We will hopefully get more details about Neimodian refugees or any of the refugees soon.
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Max Nocerino is a regular Staff Writer for The Future of the Force. He is a passionate Star Wars fan and loves the literature of the galaxy far, far away. Follow him on Twitter where he shares his love of the Force frequently!