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

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 number-one New York Times best-selling 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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Performance
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  •  
    Brian 12-06-14
    Brian 12-06-14 Member Since 2011

    Enthusiast

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great performance. Decent story"

    I had heard that if you're going to read any of the Star Wars books, this is the trilogy to read. So I gave it a shot. I have to say that the production of the audiobook was amazing. There was music and sound effects. The narrator did an excellent job of mimicking the voices of the original movie actors. So I have no complaints there.

    As for the story itself, I think it just felt like if I had read it when I was 12, I would have loved it. As it was, it didn't really do anything for me. I've always liked Star Wars, and I thought I would really like this, but I didn't.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Anderson 10-30-14 Member Since 2014
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    "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...."
    Where does Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is one of the best


    What did you like best about this story?

    The character and the plot


    Have you listened to any of Marc Thompson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


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

    no I enjoyed the whole book


    0 of 0 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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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 2013

    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 2015

    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
  •  
    S. Abouseda Fresno, Ca USA 09-01-14
    S. Abouseda Fresno, Ca USA 09-01-14 Member Since 2005
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    "Good story, even better narration"
    What did you love best about Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition)?

    I was very surprised how good and how distinct the narrator made the voices of the characters. I enjoyed this book and the series very much. Some of the best story telling I have experienced on Audible.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josh Swanson 08-06-14 Member Since 2014
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    5
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    "great book"
    Would you listen to Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition) again? Why?

    probably


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

    The sound FX


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

    Great range in character voices


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

    many


    Any additional comments?

    great job, can't wait to listen to the rest of the series. Read all of these 20 years ago, it is nice to come back to them all these years later.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott 07-29-14
    Scott 07-29-14
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    "Good Sequel to the Original Story"

    This series of books are a good sequel to the movies, and introduces a few new characters that I hope make it into future series. If you loved the movies, I'm fairly sure you will enjoy these books.

    A few points that prevent me from giving it a perfect score:
    1) The books seem to reference key points in the movies in flashback scenes that are not relevant to this story (Mos Eisley cantina, the battle on Endor, Luke's losing his hand, the Death Star, etc etc etc etc). And they sometimes flashback to the same event more than once. I think the books would have stood on their own fine without so many flashbacks to events that did not happen in this book. But I can see why they did it.

    2) The protagonist (Grand Admiral Thrawn) is known as a great strategist, but he's "too" great. Unnaturally great. Given almost no information, he can poke a hole through the Rebel Alliance's strategy and predict their true plan. I wish there were more subtle reasons why he made some of the calls he did. Does he have special powers? Other unmentioned spies? The book just has him diverting troops to the perfect spot at the perfect time for no reason.

    3) Meanwhile, the Alliance has the opposite problem. Leia is presented with a fairly obvious hint that something is strange, and she shrugs it off. But Thrawn is told of an inconsequential issue with a passing ship and he chases after it personally.

    Other than that, it's very engaging, and I'm looking forward to more from this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Micah Denton, Texas United States 07-15-14
    Micah Denton, Texas United States 07-15-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Great full cast production.......with one narrator"
    Would you listen to Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition) again? Why?

    Yes!
    Marc Thompson does a great job of differentiating all the different characters well and on a consistent basis. Th production includes various sound effects put to good use to make you feel like you're on the bridge of a Star Destroyer; without having to TELL you that you are.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mara Jade doesn't have a huge roll but she is pretty awesome.


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

    the VOICES. All the characters feel different and are instantly recognizable. A great narration.


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

    Nostalgia is pretty strong for me. Its a fun read.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Norwegian Troll
    5/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing"

    Everything you would want from an addition to the Star Wars universe. Great story, good written dialogue, all coming together with a great performance!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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