Author: Timothy Zahn
Category: Star Wars
Publication Date: June 1992
If you think Darth Vader was an awesome bad guy, wait till you get to see Grand Admiral Thrawn! In Heir to the Empire, we rejoin the heroes of the Rebellion (Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa-Solo, and Han Solo) 5 years after the fall of the Empire. Leia and Han are now married and excepting 2 Force-wielding twins on the way. Luke, as the supposed last Jedi, trains Leia in the ways of the Force as they hunt down the remnants of the Empire. Little do they know, a powerful enemy has been gathering forces to raise the Empire back to its original power.
To start off Thrawn is a fantastic villain! He is not powerful in the ways of the Force but with his own intelligence and experience he is ruthless. No matter what our heroes do he is always a step ahead. As an example, there is one point when a few of the characters trade ships to try to confuse the enemy of who is going where. All of Thrawn’s men believe the lie and want to follow the wrong ship. Through sheer intelligence and just an astounding understanding of his enemies, Thrawn sees straight through it without hesitation and sends men in the right direction. It will be exciting to see more of this character and how he develops. Maybe even get to hear more of what his background is in the future.
The main characters are all very much like they are in the original movie trilogy. With only a 5 year gap they are the same classic characters we know and love. They just have a little more responsibility now. That being said, there wasn’t much new about them either. Leia is dealing with her role as Han’s wife and as an ambassador to the New Republic, but there is a lot of action going on for her that really the only way she grows is when she visits the home world of the Wookies. Han has no plot line except to interact with Lando Calrissian and being the cool hotshot. Luke is dealing with being the last Jedi but again character growth gets sacrificed for action. He has moments where he contemplates on where he should go but the constant action slows that down.
The story is fun, as we get to see new worlds and new cultures in the Star Wars Universe. Unfortunately, besides Admiral Thrawn, there was just nothing new brought in that made this story anything exciting. There is a small reveal at one point near the end that maybe was suppose to be shocking, but it was a little to over the top. (Can’t dive into that much without spoilers) The Star Wars Universe is diverse and exciting, and as big fans we can recommend this book, even if its for our new favorite bad guy!
On one hand I really enjoyed this book. Seeing one of my favorite movies series continued into more exciting adventures. Thrawn was definitely the highlight of the book and that really sums it up. You get to see new worlds we haven’t explored some new species, it feels as though the action covers much of the potential growth these characters could have had. Maybe that will come in later books but honestly I recommend it fully for Star Wars fans.
While this wasn’t as tightly woven a story as the original Star Wars trilogy, it was still a fun read. It seemed like Lando, and even Han at times, really did not have much place in this story. It really was not necessary for Lando to take off with Han and stick with him. His enterprises had just been seriously robbed and he decides to go galavanting along across the galaxy? Well I guess now we know why he is always working on one scam or another….
Seriously though, I did like it but Grand Admiral Thrawn absolutely pulled this story. It was nothing without him because who doesn’t appreciate an intelligent bad guy that doesn’t fall for every still ruse the heroes throw their way?