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Star Wars: Heir To The Empire Hardcover – May 1, 1991

4.5 out of 5 stars 835 customer reviews

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The Underground Railroad
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Editorial Reviews

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.

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... ®, (TM) and © 1995 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 361 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1st edition (May 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553073273
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553073270
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (835 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,235,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alex Diaz-Granados on September 19, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In 1991, Bantam Books and Lucasfilm Ltd. reinvigorated interest in the Star Wars universe (well, galaxy) by gathering a diverse group of noted science fiction writers and starting a regular series of novels set in the time period which follows Return of the Jedi.
Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire, the first volume of a three-book cycle, was almost an instant phenomenon when it was published in hardcover. With its depiction of the continuing battle between what is left of the Galactic Empire and the fledgling New Republic, this novel cleverly mixes the characters from the Classic Trilogy with a cast of newly created heroes and villains, some of whom will make appearances in other authors' Star Wars works.
As Heir to the Empire begins, the New Republic has been engaged in a long campaign to mop up the remnants of the once-mighty Empire. The once dreaded Imperial Fleet is in disarray, political and military control of the late Emperor Palpatine's New Order has changed hands several times, yet the former Rebels have reduced Imperial dominion to one quarter of its former size. Yet even as Mon Mothma and the New Republic government establish democratic rule from Coruscant (former capital of both the Old Republic and the Galactic Empire), a new dark force has arisen in the form of one of the Empire's most cunning warriors.
His name is Thrawn, and his tactical and intellectual gifts are so great that the racist and sexist Palpatine had promoted him to be the only non-human to wear the white uniform of Grand Admiral. For several years after the Battle of Endor (where the Rebels destroyed the second Death Star and both the Emperor and Darth Vader died), Thrawn was pacifying the Unknown Regions until his return to Imperial territory.
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Format: Hardcover
Being a hard-core Star Wars fan since '77, I was thrilled but cautious when 'Heir To The Empire' first came out. I had read 'Splinter of the Mind's Eye', the FIRST Star Wars novel outside of the original trilogy books (which ALL stink, by the way) and although it was entertaining, it just seemed like a story with characters who had the same names as Leia & Luke & Darth etc. There was no real substance that tied the 'spirit' of the movies to the book. But even so, I gave Timothy Zahn a shot, and all I can say is WOW! He has captured the very 'essence' of Star Wars PERFECTLY. IF George Lucas ever decided to make Episode 7, 8 & 9 he would start with 'Heir' for sure. I don't think even HE could improve upon his own stories any better than Zahn has. Everything from Grand Admiral Thrawn (a fantastic character, and MUCH more depth than Darth or the Emperor) to the Emperor's Hand, Mara Jade, to the ingenious introduction of creatures that actually REPEL the Force, this book and it's incredible sequels are NOT to be missed. If you have EVER wondered if there were novels about the Star Wars Universe that were every bit as good as the movies, than Zahn is your author and the next series you read should start with 'Heir To The Empire'. I have read and re-read this series 3 times now, and each time I find something new to remember, and another reason to be impressed with Zahn's writing style and ability. I have also read almost all of the 'other' Star Wars novels out there (since a rash of them have been published since the completion of 'The Last Command') and there are but a small few that are even worthy of the Star Wars name, and none of THEM even rival THIS series by Zahn. I'm telling ya, THIS is IT! Ever wonder where Lucas came up with the name for the Imperial world, 'Coroscant'?Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For those who are considering the Kindle version, take a moment to think about the mechanics of reading it. The hardcover version has the annotations in the margins of the pages, meaning you can easily ready, shift your eyes over to the notes and continue reading. The ebook has the notes all the way in the back. The annotations are numbered in the text of the book, and those numbers are hyperlinked, so you can go back and forth between the two, but I have to say it's a bit slow. I'm on a Nook Color, but even overclocked to 1.2 ghz, it takes about one to two full seconds to go back and forth. It doesn't sound like much, but some chapters have 20 annotations, that's a lot of time waiting to go back and forth. Further, if the annotation falls on the margin of a page, you can easily confuse your ereader as it won't know if you're trying to turn a page or link to the annotation.

Still, I can't fault the content here. The introductions are great, and the annotations range from little tidbits to genuine insight into Zahn's head at the time he was writing this.
3 Comments 65 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is amazing and I suggest looking at reviews of the original paperback for insights on the book. I'm simply writing briefly about the Kindle edition of this 20th Anniversary edition.

While the hardcover has the notes by Timothy Zahn in the margins, this Kindle edition has hyperlinks which you have to scroll over and click on, which take you to a section in the back of the book with all the notations. I thought this would be a major pain, but it's not bad at all. It's very quick still and I never felt annoyed by it. I would've preferred a hardcover copy to be honest (and recommend that if you have the option), but I live in Korea now so I had to download the Kindle version. That said, I'm very satisfied with having bought this edition.

The notes themselves are more entertaining than I'd expected. I thought they'd be boring, tedious notes, but they give great insight into the story, the SW universe, as well as cool production notes such as limitations with what he was contractually allowed to do, and so on.

I'd highly recommend getting this book in either format and especially for any Star Wars fan or fan of light sci-fi/fantasy novels.

P.S. PLEASE support this book by purchasing it if you're interested. The publisher has stated that if this edition is successful enough they'll release similar 20th anniversary editions of Dark Force Rising and The Last Command.
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