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Shadows of the Empire (Star Wars) Mass Market Paperback – March 3, 1997
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- Publisher : Del Rey (March 3, 1997)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 385 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0553574132
- ISBN-13 : 978-0553574135
- Reading age : 10 years and up
- Item Weight : 6.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.14 x 0.8 x 6.86 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #56,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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As for the bad guys, Darth Vader wants his Son captured and a new villain wants him dead. It all connects great and leads straight into Jedi.
We have some new folks joining the crew. Of course we have Lando, but we also have Dash Rendar, who basically fills for Han Solo. Another Prince Xizor, the leader of an evil crime syndicate.
Steve Perry’s writing fasts paced, and he always knows when to stop with detail and to keep going.
Overall if you want to start reading Star Wars books, think this era is interesting, or are a casual fan looking for a good standalone book, it would be a crime not to read it.
None of the new characters are 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). Rereading this novel really makes one wonder how Xizor and Black Sun were so powerful in Shadows of the Empire yet never mentioned elsewhere. In retrospect, this only highlights the lack of impact the Shadows of the Empire novel has had on the Star Wars universe.
Top reviews from other countries
I won't put any proper spoilers in here, but suffice to say, it left me with the feeling that this would have made a truly awesome Star Wars film. Perhaps one day, they'll do it as animation or something. Perhaps they already have and I've never come across it. Apologies if that's the case.
The only drawback, and this is just my personal opinion, is that there's a lot of Twilight-esque Leia bits where she thinks about her feelings towards Luke and Han. I suppose it needs exploring but the way it's done is a little too silly. It's a pity, as the rest of the story is really good, and introduces two characters - Prince Xizor and Dash Rendar - who deserve to be regarded as fully-fledged Star Wars characters.
If you're not familiar with it, in a nutshell, this is the story set between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi where Luke, Leia and co are trying to rescue Han from Boba Fett. The story ends when they're about to infiltrate Jabba's palace. The development of Darth Vader's character in this is especially fantastic, as you get to see more into his mind than you do in the films. It's a great story and I'd definitely recommend any Star Wars fans to read it if they haven't already.
For anyone whose looking for a good read I would recommend you try this story.