Paul Darcy's Reviews > Shadows of the Empire

Shadows of the Empire by Steve Perry
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Jan 09, 2012

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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 built his new light saber and what Leia and Chewie and Lando did between movies. And as far as that goes a pretty decent job was done.

But, since Han is frozen in carbonite sitting pretty in Jabba’s throne room, I guess the author felt the readers really needed another Han and so created Dash Rendar . . . Yeah, that’s what I thought to. I thought the Clone Wars were long over . . .

Perhaps the neatest creation, to give the author some credit back, is Xizor the head of Black Sun the evil underground crime network of the Star Wars Universe - if you are a super geek you will also know that there was a plastic model kit made of Xizor, an actual full length movie soundtrack and other marketing goodies just like it was an actual movie release.

So, back to Xizor. Pretty decent character as far as evil characters go; ruthless, charming and reptilian with a juiced up pheremone system to drive all the humanoid ladies wild when he so chooses - no really. And you can guess that at some point in the novel Leia gets to sample his scent, but I won’t spoil it for you here.

The actual writing itself left me a bit annoyed. The sentences are too damn short. And repetitive. And too melodrama. Just too much. Way too much. Really too much, it was. If you follow me.

Still, the writing style aside, the story is pretty decent and we get to see Darth Vader pitted against Xizor in a competition to win the Emperor’s favours. Good rivalry there for sure and yeah, since you’ve seen ‘Return of the Jedi’ you can guess which evil villain wins.

Overall a worthwhile bit of time spent with your favourite Star Wars characters. I really would have liked to not see Dash Rendar though - the Han Solo clone. You do get to see how and where Leia gets her funky bounty hunter suit though and how the Emperor let the rebels get the new Death Star plans - It’s a trap!

I leave it up to you. If you are a Star Wars geek you will likely need to read this book since it ties up a bunch of activities between movies and is treated as official Star Wars Universe stuff. If you just like the movies (the first three produced, not the last three) you can skip this book and never knew it existed.

May the . . .

Nope, not gonna do it.
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