Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
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Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire (Star Wars Universe)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  9,656 ratings  ·  220 reviews
Here is the untold story of the events that took place between the movies The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi: a novel in which Darth Vader still lives--and battles a villain as powerful and evil as himself.


It is a time of crisis. Han Solo, frozen in carbonite, is being taken to the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt. As Princess Leia mounts a res...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published June 28th 2011 by Spectra
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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All the furore over the release of Episode III has made me go back and search out some of the Star Wars Extended Universe novels that I devoured so furiously when I was a kid, out of the hope that immersing myself in the Original Trilogy and the books based around it would help block out some of the pain caused by the prequels. They're essentially glorified, sanctioned fanfiction - though the ten-through-twelve-year-old version of me didn't know that. Shadows of the Empire was one of my favourit...more
I lasted through 40 pages or so of this novel. The concept sounded interesting; a rival vs Darth Vader for the affections of the Emperor.

But the problem is that the concept wasn't fully mined nor not even partially enough to make it interesting enough. Furthermore, every other chapter jumped to the Star Wars characters in which they rehashed stuff from the movies just like the crime lord character who was opposed to Vader. I get that he hates Vader but do I have to hear it for pages and pages of...more
This was my first foray into reading a genre book from a franchise. I've been watching the original Star Wars films with my daughter. We haven't watched Return of the Jedi yet and, somehow, during some Web meandering, I discovered this book was written in the '90s to fill some narrative gaps between the TESB & RotJ. I like to try things I wouldn't normally do and reading a Star Wars book is definitely one of them. The writing was all over the place in quality, in my opinion. There'd be passa...more
Scott Rhee
I can easily guess why George Lucas never went on to make his planned third trilogy (Episodes 7-9) by perusing the sci-fi section of any bookstore: he didn't need to. There are a slew of other writers who have carried on the Star Wars mythos. Probably better than Lucas's movies would have been, in my opinion. I have read a small handful of the Star Wars novels, and some are better than others. Back in the mid-'90s, best-selling sci-fi author Steve Perry jumped on the Star Wars bandwagon with hi...more
Good solid airplane fun reading. The usual Star Wars cliches and weaknesses apply, but what were you expecting from a Star Wars novel, existential philosophy? It's fun seeing Luke, Leia et. al. during their original series prime, and Luke as a Jedi in training is more entertaining than his omnipotent later incarnations. The characters are a bit more vulnerable and human than in other books (this book has more "adult situations" than all the others combined, but that isn't saying much), so it's c...more
James Caterino
It seems inconceivable I somehow did not read this book back in the late '90s when I was devouring anything "Star Wars".

Part of it was the backlash "Shadows" was getting at the time in the genre magazines, especially "Sci-fi Universe", still the best science fiction mag of all time outside of the old "Cinefantastique". And part of it was there was so much Extended Universe stuff hitting the shelves, between the "Heir to Empire" trilogy and "The Jedi Academy" trilogy and the "X-Wing" series and...more
I'd heard good things about SoTE, had fond memories of the game, and honestly thought the plot sounded pretty good in summary. Unfortunately, Steve Perry's execution of it was terrifically worthless. He includes not one but two Gary Stus - Dash Rendar and Prince Xizor. This is generally a bad way to design characters. However, the real problem with SoTE is that Perry never escapes the tropes of the SW universe. I realize there is a fine line between repetitious, predictable tropes and the archet...more
Crystal Starr Light
"Stand back. Let's see if it will stop a lightsaber."
Han Solo is locked in carbonite, in the possession of Boba Fett. Luke, Lando, Leia, and Chewie are desperately searching for the bounty hunter, in the hopes of rescuing Han. Meanwhile, Prince Xizor of the Black Sun is angling to destroy his rival and destroyer of his family, Darth Vader.
NOTE: Based on the audiobook and what I remember of the novel I read years ago.

I Liked:
Steve Perry is given a difficult task: bridge the gap between The Empire...more
Paul Darcy
by Steve Perry, published in 1996.

This Star Wars novel, ‘Shadows of the Empire’, fits exactly between the Star Wars movies ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and ‘Return of the Jedi’ and is even sanctioned by that Lucas guy. As you recall Han is kinda frozen, Luke is not quite done his training and Lando has possession of the Falcon and Leia is, well Leia and Chewie still snarls a lot.

What this novel does well is set a good fast pace of activities in the Star Wars universe and really fill in how Luke bui...more

The 3-stars on this review should be taken as 3-stars for a Star Wars book, not for just any book.
I don't think that it's fair to read these puffed up pieces of fan-fiction as actual books and the rating reflects this.

I have known about Shadows of the Empire since it was released in 1996. I was in middle school and I totally bought in to the marketing. I collected Star Wars figures at the time, and despite not having read the central piece in the media onslaught, I got figur...more
John Cress
This was one of the better Star Wars books that I read. I can easily see how there was a big marketing campaign with video game ties ins built around this big in the mid 90s. The thing I liked most about this book was that something happened on just about every page. There was very little down time and I could swear that I could hear the John Williams soundtrack in the background at times. Also, the main villain, Xizor, was very credible opponent to Luke, Lea, and even Vader. Both Xizor and Vade...more
Shadows of the Empire tells the story between episodes V and VI. It follows the adventures of Lando, Chewie, Leia, Luke, and a character who first appears in this book- Dash Rendar. Much of the story focuses on a battle of wits and espionage between Darth Vader and Prince Xizor (head of the crime syndicate Black Sun). Shadows of the Empire gives much depth to Xizor's character. Many paragraph breaks within chapters make the pace seem faster and allow Perry to switch the perspective between sever...more
Steven Shinder
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I garnered this book from my mother who was going to sell it in her garage sale next month. I saw it and decided to rescue it from the sale block. This entertaining read takes place between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. I particularly enjoyed the villian Xizor who made a wonderful counterpoint to Lord Vader. Definitely a must read for the diehard Star Wars fan.
Dustin Gaughran
This was excellent. I know 'Shadows' is well known, and has been out quite a while. I'm late getting to a lot of Star Wars novels. I really enjoyed how this story bridged the gap between 'Empire' and 'Jedi', but still managed to be fresh, original, and add memorable characters like Dash Rendar and Xizor. Well worth my time.
Alex James
Shadows of the Empire is a Star Wars novel set between the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi movies. Luke, Leia, Lando, Chewbacca, and the droids R2-D2 and C3-PO are on Tatooine, awaiting the return of bounty hunter Boba Fett so they may rescue Han Solo. Meanwhile Luke Skywalker begins constructing a new lightsaber using the teachings left from Obi-Wan Kenobi. Much of the story is about a dark rivalry between Darth Vader and Prince Xizor of the Black Sun criminal organisation.

It was go...more
Mark Oppenlander
Set in the time between Episode V and Episode VI, "Shadows of the Empire" has Leia, Luke, Lando, Chewie and the droids looking for Han Solo, who has been frozen in carbonite and taken away by the bounty hunter Boba Fett. The heroes of the Rebellion are aided in their quest by a few other characters, including a hotshot, smart-aleck pilot named Dash Rendar who in many ways fills in for Han Solo who, for obvious reasons, does not appear in this book.

Meanwhile, we are introduced to Prince Xizor, a...more
Scott Shadel
It had been a while since I had read this multi media phenomenon, so I was glad for the reunion.

I remember a little of the comics and the video game that was released. A friend who is VERY into collecting the action figures still has some from that line.

With out spoiling anything I will say that this is a mixed bag. There is not much that needs to be brought out by way of an introduction. Putting this story between Empire and Jedi (Episodes V and VI) makes a nice point of reference. True the n...more
One of the BEST Star Wars sequels ever written. A true classic and it would make an awesome film in its own right. Darth Vader is clearly the star here, but in this novel transcends his villian status. He's still nasty, but there's a depth to him.
Mars Dorian
I've heard so much good stuff about this Star Wars novel it was time.

I find a lot of Star Wars novels boringzzzzzzzzz. Too much boom boom action which belongs to a video game screen and boring characters that are thinner than nanopaper - not so this book.

Good pace, grrreat characters, especially Prince Xizor and Dash Rendar.
Crisp one-liners, fun cat-and-mouse game between the heroes, and the villains, and the villains of the villains.

It's not high literature. Theme and meaning take a backward...more
Adds texture to the Star Wars universe between episodes Five and Six, but adds no essential knowledge
An early Expanded Universe (EU) novel, Shadows of the Empire is really all but Star Wars episode 5.5 in all but name, taking place as it does between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

Starting with a familiar scene from The Empire Strikes back (at least, it was familiar until Lucas changed it!) but viewed from a different angle, the novel is also unusual in that Vader is actually one of the main protagonists, with he and Prince Xivor (the head of the criminal organizat...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Willem van den Oever
Having been presented in the form of a novel, comic book series, a soundtrack CD and various other incarnations, ‘Star Wars; Shadows of the Empire’ is a Star Wars movie like any other, except there was never a movie released. It was an enormous project Lucasfilm set up in 1996 in order to warm up the fans for the release of the 1997 special editions of the original movies.
Filling in the gap between ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and ‘Return of the Jedi’ the plot focuses on the rescue of Han Solo afte...more
L'histoire de se roman se passe entre l'épisode 5 et 6. Le prince Xizor veut tuer Luke Skywalker dans le but de mettre Darth Vader en disgrâce face à l'Empereur et peut être même prendre sa place à ses côtés. Pendant ce temps, Luke et ses compagnons partent à la recherche de Boba Fett qui détient toujours Han Solo pris dans le carbonite.

J'ai vraiment beaucoup aimé ce roman de Steve Perry car il y a beaucoup d'action. On a la chance de se promener de planète en planète et découvrir les différente...more
I'm a lifelong Star Wars geek but until this book I had never really delved into any of the Expanded Universe novels. For those looking to get into it, I suppose this is a good place to start.

While the story takes place chronologically between "Empire" and "Jedi", the main villain, Prince Xizor, and his "Black Sun" crime syndicate, are completely new to the universe. It is an interesting idea, a mob-style intergalactic organization just as powerful as the Empire, existing alongside it.

As for the...more
This was a great bridge between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, it expands and gives much background information of events that are hinted at in the movies (such as where Leia gets her disguise for Jabba's Palace), what is really clever is that while it gives this information it never feels forced and is also a story in itself.
The story and characters are excellent and has a strong Star Wars feel to it, both the characters from the movie and those new to the book are well written.
I picked this book up because i was feeling all nostalgic about how much i used to love reading Star Wars books, and i remembered that i thought the junior novelization of this one was really good. I do think this is a pretty good one as far as Star Wars books go, i just don't get nearly as much pleasure out of them as i used to.

***Spoiler Alert***

In the beginning i thought it was a little corny how the author kept recycling sound bytes from the Star Wars movies; "it's not my fault!" "i've got...more
Jeff Cothern
From Library Journal

Xizor, the Dark Prince and underlord of the criminal organization Black Sun, plots to kill Luke Skywalker to usurp Darth Vader's position with the Emperor. Perry is the first novelist authorized by George Lucas to reveal what happened to the familiar Star Wars characters between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Highly recommended for fans of the series.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Yet another prolific action-sf writer has been

Shane Amazon
Steve Perry has done an amazing job bringing readers from the events of Episode V to the events of Episode VI but not to be consumed by either. Steve has expanded on the Star Wars universe by creating compelling characters that are well balanced and as life like as possible. Many authors have taken key characters and turned them into superheros that use the Force to do the most menial tasks, Steve has stayed true to the characters that George Lucas created and used their abilities wisely to expa...more
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