Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Women's Cyber Monday Deals Week Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Train egg_2015 Fire TV Stick Beauty Gifts Gifts for Her Amazon Gift Card Offer mithc mithc mithc  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage R6 Siege Outdoor Deals on HTL

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Buy Used
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by GSB co
Condition: Used: Very Good
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire (AU Star Wars) Audio, Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook

12 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
Audio, Cassette, Abridged, Audiobook
$9.27 $5.04

Deals in Books

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

For legal reasons, the previous installments in this best-selling series concentrated on the events following the three popular Lucasfilm movies. Now, thanks to an agreement between the parties, Perry's tale bridges the gap between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

He looks like a walking corpse, Xizor thought.  Like a mummified body dead a thousand years.  Amazing he is still alive, much less the most powerful man in the galaxy.  He isn't even that old; it is more as if something is slowly eating him.

Xizor stood four meters away from the Emperor, watching as the man who had long ago been Senator Palpatine moved to stand in the holocam field.  He imagined he could smell the decay in the Emperor's worn body.  Likely that was just some trick of the recycled air, run through dozens of filters to ensure that there was no chance of any poison gas being introduced into it. Filtered the life out of it, perhaps, giving it that dead smell.

The viewer on the other end of the holo-link would see a close-up of the Emperor's head and shoulders, of an age-ravaged face shrouded in the cowl of his dark zeyd-cloth robe.  The man on the other end of the transmission, light-years away, would not see Xizor, though Xizor would be able to see him.  It was a measure of the Emperor's trust that Xizor was allowed to be here while the conversation took place.

The man on the other end of the transmission--if he could still be called that--

The air swirled inside the Imperial chamber in front of the Emperor, coalesced, and blossomed into the image of a figure down on one knee.  A caped humanoid biped dressed in jet black, face hidden under a full helmet and breathing mask:

Darth Vader.

Vader spoke: "What is thy bidding, my master?"

If Xizor could have hurled a power bolt through time and space to strike Vader dead, he would have done it without blinking.  Wishful thinking: Vader was too powerful to attack directly.

"There is a great disturbance in the Force," the Emperor said.

"I have felt it," Vader said.

"We have a new enemy.  Luke Skywalker."

Skywalker? That had been Vader's name, a long time ago.  Who was this person with the same name, someone so powerful as to be worth a conversation between the Emperor and his most loathsome creation? More importantly, why had Xizor's agents not uncovered this before now? Xizor's ire was instant--but cold.  No sign of his surprise or anger would show on his imperturbable features.  The Falleen did not allow their emotions to burst forth as did many of the inferior species; no, the Falleen ancestry was not fur but scales, not mammalian but reptilian.  Not wild but coolly calculating.  Such was much better.  Much safer.

"Yes, my master," Vader continued.

"He could destroy us," the Emperor said.

Xizor's attention was riveted upon the Emperor and the holographic image of Vader kneeling on the deck of a ship far away.  Here was interesting news indeed.  Something the Emperor perceived as a danger to himself? Something the Emperor feared?

"He's just a boy," Vader said, "Obi-Wan can no longer help him."

Obi-Wan.  That name Xizor knew.  He was among the last of the Jedi Knights, a general.  But he'd been dead for decades, hadn't he?

Apparently Xizor's information was wrong if Obi-Wan had been helping someone who was still a boy.  His agents were going to be sorry.

Even as Xizor took in the distant image of Vader and the nearness of the Emperor, even as he was aware of the luxury of the Emperor's private and protected chamber at the core of the giant pyramidal palace, he was also able to make a mental note to himself: Somebody's head would roll for the failure to make him aware of all this.  Knowledge was power; lack of knowledge was weakness.  This was something he could not permit.

The Emperor continued.  "The Force is strong with him.  The son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi."

Son of Skywalker?

Vader's son! Amazing!

"If he could be turned he would become a powerful ally," Vader said.

There was something in Vader's voice when he said this, something Xizor could not quite put his finger on.  Longing? Worry?


"Yes...yes.  He would be a great asset," the Emperor said.  "Can it be done?"

There was the briefest of pauses.  "He will join us or die, Master."

Xizor felt the smile, though he did not allow it to show any more than he had allowed his anger play.  Ah.  Vader wanted Skywalker alive, that was what had been in his tone.  Yes, he had said that the boy would join them or die, but this latter part was obviously meant only to placate the Emperor.  Vader had no intention of killing Skywalker, his own son; that was obvious to one as skilled in reading voices as was Xizor.  He had not gotten to be the Dark Prince, Underlord of Black Sun, the largest criminal organization in the galaxy, merely on his formidable good looks.  Xizor didn't truly understand the Force that sustained the Emperor and made him and Vader so powerful, save to know that it certainly worked somehow.  But he did know that it was something the extinct Jedi had supposedly mastered.  And now, apparently, this new player had tapped into it.  Vader wanted Skywalker alive, had practically promised the Emperor that he would deliver him alive--and converted.

This was most interesting.

Most interesting indeed.

The Emperor finished his communication and turned back to face him.  "Now, where were we, Prince Xizor?"

The Dark Prince smiled.  He would attend to the business at hand, but he would not forget the name of Luke Skywalker.

From the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Series: AU Star Wars
  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Random House Audio (April 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553474383
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553474381
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.8 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,148,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm married, got kids, grandkids, dogs, all like that. Ex-hippie, long-time martial artist, duffer on the guitar.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 26, 1997
Format: Audio Cassette
Shadows is a must read for all Star Wars fans. I enjoyed the prologue in which Xizor overhears the conversation between Vader and Palpatine in The Empire Strikes Back. The setting was brilliant, during a time of great uncertainty for Luke and Leia and thier friends. Another aspect that was interesting was how Perry added things (that he really did not need to do) that had a bit of an effect in Return of the Jedi like we find out where Leia got that bounty hunter suit from that she wore as a disguise when trying to save Han in Return of the Jedi. I hoped for just one small meeting between Luke and Vader (not a lightsaber duel) before the story goes into Jedi. The return to Tatooine expanded the aspects of the planet in A New Hope that is not done well in Return of the Jedi. Overall, again, a great story that would be awesome if turned into a movie. It had the right atmosphere like with the movie trilogy. Anyone wants to tallk Star Wars with me, I would be happy to talk.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 26, 1999
Format: Audio Cassette
This book is one incredible book considering the fact that Perry really couldn't develope the characters very much. It lets us in on Darth Vader's thoughts and it shows us how he isn't always thrilled to do the Empiror's bidding and we find out that Vader feels for his son. This, of course, leads to the ending of Return of the Jedi. An incredible book!!! A must-read!!!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cam T. on July 7, 2007
Format: Audio Cassette Verified Purchase
If I could, I'd give this 4 1/2 stars, for as much I enjoyed this abridgement, there was one small thing that bothered me: it doesn't use much of the Shadows of the Empire soundtrack, by Joel McNeely, aside from Xizor's Theme. There is great music on that CD, and I was hoping a lot of it was used in this one.

Still, it was a wonderful performance by TV, movie actor Anthony Heald, (TV's Boston Public, "Silence of the Lambs") whom I've enjoyed as an actor for years. I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of voices he uses in this for the different Star Wars characters, most notably Darth Vader, which was electronically modified and deepened, giving the listener a good mental image of the Sith Lord, though the voice is definitely not James Earl Jones, or even the late Brock Peters(voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars Radio Drama Trilogy), but it is sufficient.

Some of the other reviewers have noted that since this is an abridgement, a lot of material is removed from the performance. This is a fact, but in my humble opinion, it does not overly hurt the story. To my knowledge, there is not an unabridged version available.

But I'm glad to have this in my audio book collection. It's good listening while I'm in my car, working. Better that than most of the garbage on radio these days!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Audio Cassette
I remember when I first read this years ago I thought it was awesome. I particularly liked how the book came out alongside the Nintendo 64 video game and Hasbro toys. However, after rereading the novel, it comes up a bit short. In retrospect, I think my memories of the novel were shaped by the video game, which I loved. The novel itself seems to have a lot packed in, but also feels empty. Xizor, the head of the Black Sun crime syndicate, plots to assassinate Luke in order to get revenge on Darth Vader. Already, based on Return of the Jedi, we know what happens. Some subplots in the novel really feel like forced, designed to explicitly explain events in Return of the Jedi, such as the capture of the Death Star II plans. Other parts seem too dramatic or unrealistic, such as how Luke essentially utilizes Rogue Squadron for personal missions (wouldn't the Alliance High Command be a bit peeved?).

None of the new characters is particularly interesting. Xizor comes across as an overconfident playboy rather than a genuine villain. As another reviewer said, it would have been more interesting if we had seen Xizor actually succeed at something before he fails. As it stands, it looks like he's just playing out of his league with Vader and the Emperor. Dash Rendar is more interesting, but at the end of the day is just too much of a stand-in for Han Solo. His character takes a few interesting turns, but at the end it's hard to care too much about him. It would have been better to explore a completely new personality.

More tellingly, 15 years on, neither XIzor nor Black Sun have made much of an appearance in other Star Wars Expanded Universe works (Dash Rendar hasn't either, but he will feature in a book coming out later this year called Shadow Games).
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Audio Cassette
Anthony Heald is the great. He is so good that I'd rather listen to him do a book than the dramatizations I've heard.
This is a review of Shadow of the Empire which is available as a hard cover book of 340 (ISBN 0553574132) pages, a comic (isbn 1569711836), a novelization of 176 pages (isbn 044013036) and audio cassette (isbn 0553100890). This story tales places between ESB and ROTJ. I always felt it was one of the more important stories of the Expanded Universe given that Xizor became an action figure as did Dash Render and his ship (Outrider). The whole gang is in this one even Han, though is encased in carbonite. We get Vader, the emperor, Fett, Guri, Boosk, 4-Lom, Jabba, Zuckuss and Wedge along with the regular gang of heroes.
Apparently Dark horse did have available any pictures of Lando or Leia because the artists did a lousy job of drawing them. Most of the time Luke was OK, but sometimes he looked like Jessica Lynch. They did do a great job drawing Fett, Vader and dash however.
Everyone is searching for Han, but he has not be taken directly to Jabba. Xizor has risen to lead Black Sun which has thrived since Darth Maul wiped out the old leadership. His newest ambition is to replace Vader as #2 in the empire. Xizor orders Luke killed knowing that Vader wants him alive. Then Xizor captured Leia.
This is one of my favorite of all the EU stories. Steve Perry has created a new and exciting Journey. The novel is 4 stars and the comic is 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4. Considering that Dark horse released this in 1997 before some of their awesome new production techniques, this is a very well done comic. The abridged audio cassette is good quality, but at on 2 ½ hours to much is cut.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: star wars books au