Target Audience: General
Characters: Han Solo, Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, Mara Jade, Grand Admiral Thrawn, Captain Pellaeon, Jorus C’boath, Talon Karrde, Chewbacca, R2D2, C3PO, Lando Calrissian
Synopsis: 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 Starfleet 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 thousands 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.
The first in the Thrawn trilogy, Star Wars: Heir to the Empire is an overall enjoyable read suitable for all audiences with well-established characters and a fast paced plot. As to be expected, given the time of publication and the recent production of The Force Awakens, the story does vary somewhat from the Star Wars movie canon, but is certainly no less appealing for it. Zahn does an excellent job of picking up the storyline and maintaining the characters that George Lucas created while incorporating new characters for his readers to fall in love with. Despite the author’s slight overusage of certain phrases, the story progresses smoothly and at a pace that will keep readers coming back for more.