Timothy Zahn is a science fiction writer best known for his work with Star Wars, and by "best known," we mean if you were to call Zahn the Dan Abnett of Star Wars, you wouldn't be far off. Zahn's books were the first to (semi) officially continue the story of the main characters where Return of the Jedi left off, and are pretty much what kick-started the old Star Wars Expanded Universe, laying the groundwork for the hive city-sized mountain of supplemental material it would grow into, and Zahn's stories and characters are still considered the best things in it. Seriously, the loss and overwriting of Zahn's material in particular is probably one of the biggest issues Star Wars lorefags have with the new trilogy and the axing of the Expanded Universe as a whole.
Thankfully Disney seems to have figured this out and have brought one of Zahn's greatest characters, Grand Admiral Thrawn, back into the canon via Star Wars Rebels, and Zahn himself has been commissioned to write new Thrawn novels (with a sequel confirmed!).
- According to Tim himself, his favorite Star Wars characters he created are Thrawn and Mara Jade.
- While Tim killed off Thrawn in his EU book "The Last Command", he only did it because otherwise the heroes would've lost. He did disapprove of how Mara was killed off in the Legacy of the Force series book "Sacrifice".
- While Thrawn's found his way back into Star Wars canon, Disney and Zahn have an interesting deal regarding Mara. Disney gave Tim complete creative control over the Mara Jade character, but she cannot be introduced back into the canon unless it's in a way both Disney and Zahn approve. While Tim has said he'll use his creative control to block any cameos of Mara, he's determined that if Mara's reintroduced to the canon it'll be a major role and one that's organic to the story.