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Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition): The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 1 | [Timothy Zahn]

Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition): The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 1

Five years after the Death Star was destroyed and Darth Vader and the Emperor were defeated, the galaxy is struggling to heal the wounds of war, Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting twins, and Luke Skywalker has become the first in a long-awaited line of new Jedi Knights. But thousands of light-years away, the last of the Emperor’s warlords - the brilliant and deadly Grand Admiral Thrawn - has taken command of the shattered Imperial fleet, readied it for war, and pointed it at the fragile heart of the New Republic....
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Publisher's Summary

Here is a special edition 20th anniversary release of the #1 New York Times bestselling novel that reignited the entire Star Wars publishing phenomenon—unabridged for the first time. The biggest event in the history of Star Wars books, Heir to the Empire follows the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia after they led the Rebel Alliance to victory in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi.

Five years after the Death Star was destroyed and Darth Vader and the Emperor were defeated, the galaxy is struggling to heal the wounds of war, Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting twins, and Luke Skywalker has become the first in a long-awaited line of new Jedi Knights.

But thousands of light-years away, the last of the Emperor’s warlords - the brilliant and deadly Grand Admiral Thrawn - 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 create.

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.

More in the Thrawn Trilogy we have. And listen to all of our Star Wars titles you can!

©1991 Timothy Zahn (P)2011 Random House Audio

What Members Say

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  •  
    Cage 09-11-11
    Cage 09-11-11

    I like my horror, techno-thrillers, and science fiction. Which is why Jurassic Park and The Lost World are 2 of my favorite books ever!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The first of the new..."

    This was the very first audiobook I ever listened to. That is, the abridged cassettes read by Denis "Wedge Antilles" Lawson, a long time ago, a couple states away. Now, finally, a perfect audiobook experience is available in this unabridged version of Heir to the Empire. This story was great when I read it back in high school, and is even better now! I always considered Timothy Zahn's trilogy to be Episodes VII, VIII, and IX, although they aren't officially recognized as such.
    The sound effects were distracting at first, because I don't hear many effects in other audiobooks, but considering the sounds and music are from Star Wars ( tattooed on my brain since childhood), I found them to actually enhance the story. This is my first listen to Marc Thompson ever, and it's no wonder why he does all the Star Wars narrations. Perfection! This is quite possibly the best audiobook I have ever heard. Bring on Dark Force Rising and The Last Command! The Force is most definitely with us...

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Chicago, IL 11-17-13
    Amazon Customer Chicago, IL 11-17-13 Member Since 2007

    Emergency physician and fantasy nerd in Chicago.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Extremely high production values and great story"
    If you could sum up Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition) in three words, what would they be?

    Great for fans.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition)?

    Kashyyk, no question.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, but very few do


    Any additional comments?

    Listening to this book is like watching a movie with the video turned off, there are tons of effects, every voice is by a different actor. I've never heard an AB quite like this but really enjoyed the change. Will listen to the whole series now.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Pottstown, United States Minor Outlying Islands 07-15-13
    Pamela Pottstown, United States Minor Outlying Islands 07-15-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My favorite Star Wars Novel"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Definitely.
    It's compelling, fun, and bring you back to what Star Wars was before the Prequels!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Grand Admiral Thrawn! he's my favorite EU character of all time.
    He's smart, interesting, and has so much going for him. He's the Palpatine of the non-force-users.


    Which character – as performed by Marc Thompson – was your favorite?

    It will always be Han. Just awesome.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I don't get moved by Films (with the exception of Act of Valor), Books, etc.


    Any additional comments?

    This was my favorite Star Wars book since the moment I read it for the first time. In the Star Wars cannon the films can overwrite any EU materiel, I loved this this book so much that I categorize any thing else that may contradict this novel as non-cannon.

    Anyways after This was released i had to listen to it and Marc does a fantastic job bringing the characters to life. If you say your a Star Wars fan then read/listen to this! That's an Order!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Keys Aurora, CO USA 07-01-13
    Daniel Keys Aurora, CO USA 07-01-13

    A Hermit with a pen

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thrawn Thriller"
    Would you listen to Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition) again? Why?

    This was an incredible story. Zahn extended the Star Wars universe seamlessly and Marc Thompson breathes life into this great work.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The saga continues. The worse part about the Star Wars movies is that they end. Heir to the Empire continues the story keep fans satiated.


    Which character – as performed by Marc Thompson – was your favorite?

    Marc Thompson does an incredible job brining all the characters to life. Admiral Thrawn is one of the coolest villains I've ever come across. Thompson also does a great job as Han Solo.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The Storm of Thrawn.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. MccRacken 05-18-12 Member Since 2011

    LG user

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Great Production But"
    Would you listen to Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition) again? Why?

    I loved the book but we need the rest of the Trilogy in the Unabridged version so we can continue the whole story


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C Wu Redondo Beach, CA, United States 09-15-11
    C Wu Redondo Beach, CA, United States 09-15-11

    homesauce

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Masterful performance"

    Wow, what an amazing production!

    I'm blown away by the quality and the performance that Marc Thompson has done.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Al Foster Cheyenne, WY United States 10-09-14
    Al Foster Cheyenne, WY United States 10-09-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Loved It, Loved It, Loved it!"
    Where does Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This Admiral Thrawn trilogy has leaped to the top of my audiobook favorites!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition)?

    I don't want to give out any spoilers but this trilogy was filled with many memorable scenes involving not only the well known and loved characters from the 6 movie series, but also introduced me to a host of new characters. There was something here for every Star Wars enthusiast.


    What about Marc Thompson’s performance did you like?

    I was amazed and often enthralled by the reader's performances in this trilogy. His imitations of the well-known characters, (Han, Luke, Lando, Leia, Emperor Palpatine, etc.) sounded very much like the real characters, including C3PO and R2D2! He made the overall listening experience hugely satisfying.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Absolutely, AND at the same time, I hated for the trilogy to end - it was that enjoyable and entertaining.


    Any additional comments?

    The addition of sound effects and music to this trilogy's performance made it almost like listening to a movie! Now and then a background sound effect tended to be a little too loud or annoying, but those instances weren't very numerous, and even then, they made for a level of realism I've never experienced in an audiobook before. I wish every audiobook performance utilized this level of performance and production efforts!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark PLANO, TX, United States 10-08-14
    Mark PLANO, TX, United States 10-08-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Just shows how worthless of a Jedi Skywalker is"

    Luke got into so many issues that it showed how crappy of a Jedi he is. The main instance of this is when he uses he moral ideas to see if Mara Jade was ok. You don't need to have Jedi powers to know she was going to be waiting for him. I just hope the new movie shows him to be less of a moron.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Fan Princeton, NJ 10-07-14
    Mary Fan Princeton, NJ 10-07-14 Member Since 2011

    Sci-fi/fantasy junkie, storyteller, devourer of books, workaholic

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awesome sequel for Star Wars fans"

    This book is very entertaining for those of us who love Star Wars. Marc Thompson is spot-on with the voices he puts on for the male characters (there's only so much he can do for Leia, being not a female), especially Han and Lando. And the sound effects were lots of fun... I felt like I was listening to a movie. The story itself had a few flaws - primarily the lack of Leia (she just kind of floats in the background) - but was enjoyable nonetheless.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Absalonson Spokane, WA USA 09-24-14
    Dan Absalonson Spokane, WA USA 09-24-14 Member Since 2012

    Author, Audiobook Narrator

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic Story, Amazing Narration & Production"

    This novel is book 1 in the The Thrawn Trilogy and part of the expanded Star Wars universe. Part of the reason I decided to read this book is the fact that the new Star Wars movie, Episode VII is coming out next year thanks to Disney buying Lusas Film. It made me curious just what happened to the film characters in the novels all this time. Now when I watch the films I'll be able to pick up on any little Easter eggs they might throw in for fans of the Star Wars novelizations that have kept the story going in the absence of movies all these years. It's probably not likely they'll use anything from the novels as they've said they're only going to use the movies as cannon moving forward, but I was still really curious. I'm really glad I decided to give this book a read, and that I chose to consume it via audiobook.

    The author Timothy Zahn does a tremendous job with some of the most beloved characters known to science fiction fans. Honestly I was a little hesitant to read this book because I have concrete ideas about who all of the Star Wars characters are. How they react to situations, the way they talk, the way they interact with others. They all felt very much like the characters I have come to love from the original Star Wars trilogy. Zahn also did a fantastic job developing some new characters that played a major role in this book. Of course there is Grand Admiral Thrawn, who the trilogy is named after. Zahn does a remarkable job of having this character come across as a terrifying individual. Someone who is calm and calculating in the face of cataclysmic events. A person with enormous powers of reasoning and deduction. Someone whose determination to see his plans come to fruition is unshakable no matter what setbacks may occur. Thrawn is a villain I loved to hate and someone who came off as impressive, incredibly capable, and scary to me. Any story is much better when the bad guy your heroes face is an extremely formidable foe that sends chills down your spine. A person you would never want to meet in real life, even if you were on their side. I really enjoyed the character development of Grand Admiral Thrawn in this book and I look forward to seeing him in action again when I read the next book.

    Another great character was a man named Talon Karrde. You hear rumors about him for a while before you meet him. Before he appears in a scene you have a sort of reverence for him and his reputation precedes him. When you get to see him in action he lives up to all the hype. I loved Karrde's interaction with some of my favorite characters.

    All the favorites are in this book. R2-D2, C-3PO, Leia, Han, Lando Calrissian, Luke, Wedge Antilles, Admiral Ackbar, and of course Chewbacca who's home world you get to visit!

    The courage and bravery of the good guys in this book was exciting to read. There were a lot of slow scenes where big parts were moving and a lot of exhilarating action scenes. This book has a lot. I can think of intimate scenes where you get to see what it's like for Luke and Leia to use the force. There quiet scenes between characters where not much is happening but a lot is going on emotionally and internally. This novel had to be done this well because it handles some of the most loved characters of all time in a universe that fans around the world are crazy about. Timothy Zahn more than pulled it off. I'm so excited there are two more books! And that I will get to watch new Star Wars movies in the theaters with my kids! Woo-hoo! Sorry that has nothing to do with this book, but I'm just excited!

    Last but not least, I can't end this review without touching on how fantastic the audiobook version is. I listened to the 20th Anniversary Edition narrated by Marc Thompson. Marc's ability to voice all the characters so well was nothing short of brilliant. The guy does all the voices spot on and there are a lot of characters in this book. Major props to him from one newbie inexperienced audiobook narrator to veteran pro. I can't stress how good of a job Marc Thompson did narrating this book. He makes this audiobook come alive as a sort of audio play but all acted out by one man with a thousand voices. His versatility as a narrator is something you just can't miss.

    This audiobook also had much more production than any other professional audiobook I have heard. There were always complex weavings of sounds making up the background atmosphere of the scenes. You always knew if the characters where at a space port, on a ship, or deep in a forest. From massive epic space battles, to quick action scenes with intense fighting to quiet moments where hearing R2-D2's emotive beeps to Luke make you feel like you're right there in the Star Wars universe. This audiobook is easily one of the most entertaining listens I have ever experienced. I can't wait to listen to the next book in the Thrawn Trilogy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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