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Soldier for the Empire (Star Wars: Dark Forces, #1)
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Soldier for the Empire (Star Wars: Dark Forces #1)

3.39  ·  Rating Details  ·  732 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
In Soldier for the Empire, writer William Dietz and painter Dean Williams have accomplished something rare among the numerous spinoffs of the Star Wars films: a story that captures the essence of Star Wars while charting new territory in terms of character development.

The story is a simple one. Like Luke Skywalker, Kyle Katarn is a young farm boy who dreams of the stars.

Hardcover, 127 pages
Published April 14th 1997 by Putnam Adult (first published March 1st 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,478)
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James Anderson
This is a good first part of a story (which is what this book is: the first portion of a trilogy) and I enjoyed the setup. I thought the insight into some of the Stormtrooper Academy goings-on was very interesting. If I had a complaint, it's that the climax of the book felt more like a video game than I think it was intended to. I know that this series is based on a game, but it truly felt like the author was playing the game and then transcribing what happened. Some of the dialogue was a little ...more
Jon H
Apr 22, 2016 Jon H rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting prequel to the "Dark Forces" PC game. Leads right into where the beginning of the game kicks off. Book could definitely have been longer / with more backstory (It's a very short book).
Darryl Dobbs
Apr 21, 2016 Darryl Dobbs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of a Force-sensitive named Kyle Katarn, who just graduated from the Imperial Military Academy. He received news that the Rebels had killed his father, when it was in fact the Empire that did that – under the guise of the Rebels. Thanks to chance meetings with a Rebel leader, as well as his father’s own protocol droid (who had his father’s death recorded so the truth could be revealed), Katarn fled the Empire in favor of the Rebels. He was later given a mission to get a hold of the Empi ...more
Steven Shinder
Mar 07, 2015 Steven Shinder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 07, 2015 Jaime rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so I'm not listening to the audio cassette, but it is the radio drama.

I never played the games. The little I know about Kyle and Jan is the smatterings in the novels (which I've forgotten) and a few things I've read in Natacha Guyot's A Galaxy of Possibilities.

Kyle is in the Imperial Academy. He even gets a medal for a mission. One night he receives a message saying the Rebels killed his father; not long after he learns the truth from Jan Ors. This is all that it takes for him to turn to t
May 15, 2016 Aaron rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
I have owned this book for nearly 20 years.
I bought it a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... Middle School.
It's one that I have saved and stored and moved with me over the years.
It is very bad.

The video game DARK FORCES was a Star Wars DOOM clone released back in 1995 and was probably the first major purchase I ever made. I was so bad at it that I had to buy the guidebook too, but I played the hell out of it and loved it because it was Star Wars and because I got to blow things up.
William Redd
This book was enjoyable, a nice little story based on a video game, and apparently part of a trilogy (which I never realized). It was nice that there were mentions of other Star Wars characters from other series (Thrawn when he was merely a captain and Lando before he joined the rebellion), but it at times seemed like they were there only as a reminder that this was a Star Wars story. It felt off to me for some reason. Partially the blind Dark Jedi and Jedi Rahn, who was a friend of Kyle's fathe ...more
James Caldwell
Jan 23, 2013 James Caldwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, if you're a Kile fan and want to know more about him you'll probably like this book.

It's not really that exciting, then what Star Wars books are? Anyways, you get to know a little more about Kile and a bit abut Jan through the course of the story, and even though it's pretty light on character development, it's only barely over 100 pages, so it's a pretty light read.

The author writes in an omniscient point of view switching from character to character every few paragraphs, even when they'r
Apr 03, 2016 Nihi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A poorly-structured collection of clichés and expository dialogue with no shred of interest or originality. Mon Mothma seems only capable of speaking in Star Wars film quotes. Does terrible violence to the characters of Katarn and Ors, taking away any depth or subtlety from their characters and replacing it with prissy goodigoodiness.

Atrocious. Abysmal. Bad.
Zachary Hatton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 31, 2012 Joseph rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-wars
This took all of 2 days to read and it was quick to pass the time by. It wasn't horrible and well written, it was just ok. I guess since I love SW so much I expect a higher quality of material from it. The book is about this imperial solider, who turns to being a rebel spy and is part of the team that uncovers the Death Star plans. Ok, sure. Well a few things. In SW they said a bunch of people or droids or something died getting it. Well there were death's, but no rebels... While this was 1 book ...more
Patrick Carey
Sep 15, 2015 Patrick Carey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was in with some graphic novels- actually a prose Young adult piece with some nicely painted illustrations. A decent read, addressing some moral issues about war and authority, but not overly deep.

As the saying goes, "It was good as far as it went." I just may check out the rest of the trilogy.
Mar 04, 2014 Brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i listened to the audio drama version of it. i had no idea going in that it was based on a video game. at one point, they reference someones father knowing a jedi once...a jedi named "ron." that got me laughing.

overall it wasn't a very good story and it was not acted well.
Feb 07, 2016 L-ssar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sorprendentemente interesante para tratarse de un libro basado en el famoso juego Dark Forces.
Está ilustrado por Dean Williams.
Ben Yandle
Okay read but like several of the older entries it is starting to show its age.
Feb 04, 2016 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mar 12, 2012 Jazzie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always heard of Kyle Katarn but didn't know anything about him. Every one I know who's really into EU has always been his fan. Now, I can see why. This book is a good introduction to new readers in the EU universe who (like me) are also not really reading the material in any sort of order. I am liking the Dark Force trilogy so far. As others have also said this, this is by far not any type of quality writing (and a bit whiny at times) but it's fun and enjoyable!
Apr 23, 2010 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-wars
I don't think that this book was all that it could have been. The story was not quite up to par with other EU books, which I have noticed happens a lot when books are written to tie in with video games. It's interesting to read about Kyle Katarn, so if you really like him or the Dark Forces games, go nuts. But if you're not, don't expect to fall in love with this and gain a burning desire to read the other two books.
Robert Carlberg
Didn't know I've had these on my shelf since 1997. LOL A little late to be reading about Kyle Katarn and his introduction to the Rebellion, but the first book was really good. Just trying to wait before I start anything else, to wait for something coming out on Tuesday the 6th
Jesse Booth
Feb 16, 2012 Jesse Booth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
By no means is this quality writing, but the Dark Forces and Jedi Knight games are such a positive nostalgic piece of my past that actually reading about Kyle Katarn's origins was a guilty pleasure. I plan on finishing the trilogy.
Daniel Rose
Aug 14, 2012 Daniel Rose rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-wars
The story line of dark forces the video game is put here in this book about Kyle Katarn. Interesting how he was a Empire Officer who because of the death of a loved one it being his father he joins the rebellion.
Inutile. Senza capo ne' coda. faticoso da scoltare come tutti i "radio drama" in cui le conversazioni sono sovrastate dai rumori degli effetti speciali.
May 12, 2015 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great introduction to the Dark Forces storyline.
The Third Place A Teen Library
F DIE df bk. 1

Science Fiction
Star Wars
Tony Black
Feb 27, 2013 Tony Black rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Found this very boring and tedious.
Jay marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2016
Ronny added it
Jun 23, 2016
Kimberly Nearpass-Pollack
Kimberly Nearpass-Pollack rated it it was amazing
Jun 21, 2016
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William Corey Dietz grew up in the Seattle area, spent time with the Navy and Marine Corps as a corpsman, graduated from the University of Washington and worked as a surgical technician, college instructor, and news writer. Later he worked for US West in a number of different marketing communications and public relations related positions, before leaving to accept a job as Director of Public Relat ...more
More about William C. Dietz...

Other Books in the Series

Star Wars: Dark Forces (3 books)
  • Rebel Agent (Star Wars: Dark Forces, #2)
  • Jedi Knight (Star Wars: Dark Forces, #3)

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