Timothy Zahn: The Man Who Saved ‘Star Wars’

Is it right to say that Timothy Zahn saved Star Wars? Certainly, his 1991 opus Heir to the Empire kicked off the second era of Star Wars and gave Lucasfilm the confidence to build the saga once again, confident that there was a fanbase.

Writing in the Chicago Tribune, Christopher Borrelli takes a look at the man and his extensive, still very much in progress legacy.

Timothy Zahn, who is 65 and bald and carries an ever-so-slight air of social anxiety, is nobody’s image of a superstar. And yet as he sat behind table No. 26 and waited for fans, he did not wait long. The doors to the convention hall at McCormick Place opened at 10 a.m., and by 10:10 a.m. the line of people to meet Zahn was the second-longest at C2E2, the massive Chicago comic book convention held each spring. Only Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man and the Hulk, could boast longer lines. This was a few weeks ago, just as “Thrawn,” Zahn’s latest “Star Wars” novel, was debuting at No. 2 on The New York Times’ best-seller list.

Zahn looked gratified, not surprised.