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Heir to the Empire (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, Vol. 1) Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1992
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From School Library Journal
YA-- This first book in a trilogy takes place five years after Return of the Jedi (Ballantine, 1983) by James Kahn. Han and Leia are now married and expecting twins; Luke is continuing his training as a Jedi, while training Leia. The Republic is at peace, having defeated Darth Vader and the evil Empire. Enter Grand Admiral Thrawn, ex-warlord of the empire, with his rogue Jedi knight. They attack the Republic and attempt to kidnap Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia for their own nefarious purposes. It's great fun to romp with the ``Star Wars'' cast of humans, droids, and aliens again. While it is not on a par with Zahn's creative, powerful works such as Cascade Point (Baen, 1987), Heir is well written for what it is. Recommended for YA collections needing a Star Wars fix. --John Lawson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA2-
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Publisher
It's five years after Return Of The Jedi : the Rebel Alliance has destroyed the Death Star, defeated Darth Vader and the Emperor, and driven out the remnants of the old Imperial Starlfleet to a distant corner of the galaxy. Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting Jedi Twins. And Luke Skywalker has become the first in a long-awaited line of Jedi Knights. But thousand of light-years away, the last of the emperor's warlords has taken command of the shattered Imperial Fleet, readied it for war, and pointed it at the fragile heart of the new Republic. For this dark warrior has made two vital discoveries that could destroy everything the courageous men and women of the Rebel Alliance fought so hard to build. The explosive confrontation that results is a towering epic of action, invention, mystery, and spectacle on a galactic scale -- in short, a story worthy of the name Star Wars. ®, (TM) and © 1995 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.
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I took off the dust cover for the heck of it and I really liked how the original cover art is on the cover and black and white, the way it looks is pretty awesome.
As much as I'm looking forward to Disney's new take on Star Wars, I feel like this is probably a "truer" continuation of the Star Wars story I grew up with.
As for the 20th anniversary edition, I really liked the author's notes and comments. They added a fascinating glimpse into the writing process and gave a lot of background information that I hadn't known before. I'd definitely recommend it! A quick caution, though: many of the notes can be spoiler-y, so if this is your first read, you may want to skip them.
My understanding is that in the actual book edition, the notes are written in the margins and impossible to skip. However, I read the kindle version, and was able to jump back and forth between text and endnotes with ease. This is the first kindle book I've read with its own annotations, and I was impressed! Simple, easy to use, and almost seamless - definitely beats flipping back and forth in a thick book! Also, included the same cover illustration as the hardcover edition, which I appreciate - too many kindle books have bland, nondescript covers.
All in all, highly recommended for first-time or veteran Star Wars fans. Can't wait for the new editions of the rest of the trilogy - I'll be downloading those, too!
The introduction of the new characters, particularly Grand Admiral Thrawn, shines more than the story itself, which I'd rate only a "B" because of an average ending and less development of a key theme and character than I expected. No doubt such topics will pick up in the other volumes of the trilogy, along with the continued rich character development that would be less likely had Mr. Lucas been in charge.
I had to smile a bit in the story line focused on Mara Jade, with her intense hatred for Luke that is somewhat explained later in the novel. Naturally, she's tough and attractive and talented, and their relationship is tense. You just know that there will be more to this down the line. We've all seen too many movies where boy meets girl, they don't get along, and, well, stay tuned.