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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

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (2467 )
5 star
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Story
4.7 (2325 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jason 05-13-14
    Jason 05-13-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The true second trilogy"
    What made the experience of listening to Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition) the most enjoyable?

    A far more interesting, fleshed out and REAL Star Wars story. The very best of the EU, and finally unabriged with Marc Thompson doing his finest.

    A must read for any Star Wars fan.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Felt like a true follow up to the original trilogy, and introduced the franchises next great villain.


    What does Marc Thompson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Greatness


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K 05-11-14
    K 05-11-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Loved the story, but the perfornance of Leia"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition) to be better than the print version?

    The printed version was better only because I could hear all of the character in my head.


    What didn’t you like about Marc Thompson’s performance?

    Princess Leia's voice was awful! All other characters were fine, but her voice ruined it for me. Her spunk was lost in translation.


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

    I enjoyed to listening to the story I had read so many years ago.


    Any additional comments?

    Redo Leia's part.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Irwin AZ 04-28-14
    J. Irwin AZ 04-28-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    4
    1
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    "One of the best Star Wars trilogies, but..."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, though I would recommend the paperback.


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

    Ralrra's voice by the actor.


    What didn’t you like about Marc Thompson’s performance?

    Ralrra


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

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    The portrayal of Ralrra on Kashyyk is annoying at best, and un-listenable at worst. It's VERY hard to listen to those in those sections. Other than that, the narrator does a great job and this is one of, if not the best, of the Star Wars trilogies. Also check out Kevin J Anderson's Jedi Academy trilogy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nick 04-16-14
    Nick 04-16-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    1
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    "If you're a Star Wars fan, check this one out!"
    What made the experience of listening to Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition) the most enjoyable?

    There are added sound effects in the background. At first, I wasn't sure if I liked it, but it grew on me quickly. I am not a big audiobooks listener, I found the additional effects rather nice. The narrator's voice is clear and easy to understand as well and his character voices are distinct from one another so it is always easy to tell who is speaking in the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It definitely adds to the Star Wars universe. As I stated above, I also, to my surprise, found I liked the sound effects and occasional background music.


    What aspect of Marc Thompson’s performance would you have changed?

    I did not like his female voices. The female characters in this story are strong, confident women, but his voicing of them makes them seem somewhat...damsel-in-distress. I felt they were overplayed.


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

    Yes. I finished it rather fast, and it was entertaining. I only got the first one in the trilogy having never read a star wars book before, and I am now planning to purchase the others to continue the story.


    Any additional comments?

    As I stated above, i am new to Star Wars books. I am a Star Wars fan, and finally thought I would check out some of the literature. I spent some time looking around the internet to come up with the best book to start with and the overwhelming suggestion was with this series. After making it through this book, I am glad to have started here. Apparently there are other books that, chronologically, come before this one, but this does seem to make a good starting point.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wade Waterford, MI, United States 04-15-14
    Wade Waterford, MI, United States 04-15-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Just hand over the Star Wars universe to Zahn"

    I was at the theater when the original Star Wars movie arrived and changed everything. The quantum leap in special effects in the Star Wars movie is always credited as the main differentiator from previous sci-fi movies. More importantly, though, it was the characters and the universe that captured everyone's imagination.

    Zahn picks up the story roughly 10 years after The Return of the Jedi. He includes all the heroes you would expect (Luke, Leia, Han Solo, Lando, Chewie, etc.) and handles them deftly. They've grown a bit and settled into their roles in the New Republic, but they are the same characters everyone would expect. More importantly, though, Zahn expands the universe with an additional set of great new characters and a villain equal to the task of replacing Darth Vader. Zahn's villain, Commander Thrawn, is different from Vader in his power isn't from own brutal strength and malevolence but from the fact he is four steps ahead of you at every turn. Thrawn if more a Moriarty than a monster.

    I picked up this audiobook in 2013, having not read a Star Wars novel since 1979 (Splinter of the Mind's Eye). This story not only reignited my love for the Star Wars universe, it helped wash a bit of the bad taste left in my mouth from Star Wars Episodes 1 - 3.

    One cannot over-emphasize how good a job Marc Thompson does with the narration. He is truly the gold standard in Star Wars narration that all others will be compared.

    One additional note: Zahn's novels are not only well-written but are kid-safe as well. Zahn doesn't fall prey to the writing crutch of making the story more gritty or darker in order to try and make it more exciting. I had no qualms about giving these to my kids and they had no qualms about asking me for more of his novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Canton, OH, United States 03-31-14
    David Canton, OH, United States 03-31-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Performance made the book."

    The story is very good but the performance made the book. You barely have to use your imagination to see the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chris roseville, MI, United States 03-11-14
    chris roseville, MI, United States 03-11-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Good to fair series."
    What made the experience of listening to Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition) the most enjoyable?

    Lots of good & interesting parts. But those are to far apart. These books don't really have filler pards, but the story is thin at times.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Timothy Zahn? Why or why not?

    Ya. Over all its a good to ok series.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Luke fights the Master. I don't wana say any more & spoil it.


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

    no


    Any additional comments?

    This is a rating on the hole series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luke Denton, TX, United States 02-27-14
    Luke Denton, TX, United States 02-27-14 Member Since 2013

    Anarcho-Capitalist with a long commute.

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    "Reads Like a Movie"
    Would you try another book from Timothy Zahn and/or Marc Thompson?

    Yes! I'm a lifelong Star Wars fan, and I will at least complete the Thrawn Trilogy. Timothy Zahn has done a wonderful job of crafting a new an interesting experience within the framework of the existing universe, and Marc Thompson is a talented narrator to be sure. The ability to capture so many iconic characters so well--both from an author's and narrator's standpoint is very impressive.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    This is part of the reason that I've docked the Story 2 stars. It's already got a lot of "sequelitis." As the book was drawing near the end, I could already feel the cliffhanger. However, rather than a moment of pure suspense and build towards the next installment, I came away from this with a fairly good idea of where things were headed and a sense that the book just arbitrarily ended there.


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

    Lando Calrissian. Not a perfect replication of the cinema original--perhaps a bit more "plantation owner"--but very enjoyable and appropriate.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Absolutely. As some have mentioned in their reviews already, Lucas almost made this trilogy into movies. It will be interesting to see if there is any inspiration from this title when the real Star Wars VII, VIII, and IX are released.


    Any additional comments?

    Predictable but enjoyable. If you're a seasoned Star Wars veteran, get it without a second thought.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Kalamazoo, MI, United States 02-17-14
    Kenneth Kalamazoo, MI, United States 02-17-14

    Ken Magerman Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Historical Fiction fan. Teacher, rockstar, medival gourmet, dungeon master, expert on secret Targaryens.

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    "A great continuation of a beloved tale"
    If you could sum up Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition) in three words, what would they be?

    Nostalgia, expansion, performance


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    General Thrawn. He was the new addition to the movies of my youth and he definitely had the same wonderful sense of villainy as Vader and the Emperor. A cold calculating villain who's goals of order gave him a fantastic greyness that lent depth to the story.


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

    He was fantastic in his imitations of all the characters. I have seldom seen a more complete and amazing voice acting job and I have listened to many.


    Any additional comments?

    I went in with an open mind and I wasn't disappointed. I have heard by many if you are going to read any expanded universe this is the series to do. You also couldnt have ask for a better performance then this one on the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David New York, NY, United States 02-02-14
    David New York, NY, United States 02-02-14 Member Since 2013

    I enjoy "Sherlock Holmes." Classics like "Dracula" and "The Three Muskeeteers,"but predominately Star Wars. Thanks Audible!

    ratings
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    35
    4
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    "Thrawn!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition) to be better than the print version?

    No question about it. I got through it a lot faster and the sound effects helped my visualization.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Thrawn is a brilliant tactician and written well as a villain who is not egocentric or pompous, simply that darn good!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Too many to name just one.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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