An Eli Vanto Comic? Make It Happen, Marvel and Lucasfilm!
This article has spoilers for the 2017 Thrawn novel and Marvel’s Thrawn comic.
I’m reluctant to call this “news.” It’s more wishes on behalf of Timothy Zahn with a dash of possibility thrown in, coupled with a fan call to action. That being said, I can’t help but feel excited at the idea for today’s article.
Star Wars Explained has been releasing clips from a Dragon Con interview with author Timothy Zahn. Zahn is known for being the creator of Star Wars Legends character Grand Admiral Thrawn who became canon with Star Wars: Rebels. In their latest video called “Where is Eli Vanto During Thrawn: Alliances,” Star Wars Explained asked Timothy Zahn about the character Eli Vanto.
Eli Vanto is a character introduced in the 2017 bestseller Thrawn. He’s a young cadet from Wild Space who gets his life sidelined when he meets Thrawn. Eli wanted to be a supply officer, but Thrawn requested Eli to be his translator (even though Thrawn could speak Basic, the common tongue in Star Wars). Through the course of the book, Thrawn helped Eli grow into a leader. Vanto achieved the rank of Commander in the Imperial Navy. The book ends with Thrawn sending Eli to his own people in the Chiss Ascendancy. Eli has been missing in canon ever since.
About thirty seconds into the Timothy Zahn interview, Zahn explains that he would like to bring Eli Vanto back. He goes onto say that Marvel had approached him about doing a five issue series set in the timeline of Thrawn: Alliances, the newest Thrawn novel that was released earlier this year. In those issues, he had the idea of showing Eli in the comic.
Okay, lets break this down a bit. I am pretty sure they will do an adaptation of Thrawn: Alliances in comic book form. As I said in my review of the Thrawn comics, I do not want the Alliances comics to be five issues. That book is massive with two story lines. It needs to be 8-12 issues in a maxi-series.
That being said, if we got an entire issue dedicated to just Eli, that would be wonderful. Star Wars Explained goes on in the above video debating the possibilities of bringing Eli back. I would love to have a miniseries comic, five issues, of just Eli in the Chiss Ascendancy. It would be a great look at Thrawn’s people. Admiral Ar’alani, who makes a cameo in Thrawn and Alliances, could be there. Zahn said in a panel at Dragon Con that he had plans for Ar’alani as well. This could be a fantastic way to flesh out both the Chiss and Eli.
While adaptations are great, I’m always clamoring for new material. The Rogue One comic adaptation is a great example. It added background information with characters like Bodhi Rook, Saw Gerrera, and we even got a cameo of Steela Gerrera. I wish we got this for the Thrawn comic. If they do make a run for Thrawn: Alliances, I hope they add extra material. A “What’s Eli Vanto up to?” issue could put this to great use.
Now to clarify, this is in no way a confirmation that an Eli Vanto comic is coming and that Thrawn: Alliances is getting a comic. What we can do as fans, like they say in the Star Wars Explained video, is reach out to Lucasfilm and Marvel. Let them know we want an Eli comic. Let them know he’s a character we love. If they think there is interest, then they will make it.
I love Eli Vanto. He’s become one of my new favorite characters in Star Wars. Incredibly relatable, he’s the audience’s point of view as they get to know Thrawn. He’s funny, sassy, and smart. Through his point of view, we get to witness the speciesism Thrawn endures as well as watching Eli get put down for being from Wild Space and not the Core Worlds. He perseveres through a lot in one book. I would love to see a miniseries dedicated completely to Eli.
Let’s make it happen, folks. Let’s let Marvel and Lucasfilm know that we, like Zahn, would love to see Eli Vanto come back.
Source Star Wars Explained