BBY/ABY is used to position items along the Star Wars Timeline. BBY refers to Before the Battle of Yavin. ABY refers to After the Battle of Yavin. The Battle of Yavin in Episode IV: A New Hope occured in 0 BBY/ABY.
The Youtini Expanded Universe Ranking system is a 1-5 scale that ranks EU book quality, difficulty, and importance. Books closer to Level 1 are easier to read and understand, more important, and of higher quality.
After destroying the second Death Star and freeing the galaxy from the Emperor’s clutches, Luke, Han, and Leia find themselves trying to lead the fledgling New Republic into a new age. However, in the far reaches of space, a new threat rises from the ashes of the Empire in the form of Grand Admiral Thrawn. Despite only having the remains of the Imperial military at his disposal, Thrawn’s intellectual prowess promises to push our heroes to their absolute limits.
Timothy Zahn changed Star Wars forever when he released Heir to the Empire in 1991, and it continues to have a profound impact on the fandom to this day. It proved that Star Wars could not only live beyond the story of the original films, but that it could thrive. All Expanded Universe books were born out of the spirit of this novel, making it essential reading for all fans.
It’s five years after the Rebel Alliance destroyed the Death Star, defeated Darth Vader and the Emperor, and drove the remnants of the old Imperial Starfleet to a distant corner of the galaxy. Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting Jedi twins. And Luke Skywalker has become the first in a long-awaited line of Jedi Knights.
But thousands of light-years away, the last of the Emperor’s warlords, 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 build.
Heir to the Empire is some of Timothy Zahn's best work. It set the stage for what Star Wars could be—particularly in the written format—after the Original Trilogy. All of your favorite characters are back including Luke, Han, Leia, and Chewbacca as they're thrown into a battle with the Empire they thought they had defeated. From the ashes of the Second Death Star rise a new villain who manages to be every bit as formidable as Darth Vader without any of the Force powers: Grand Admiral Thrawn!!
Heir to the Empire changed the Extended Universe forever by basically creating it. That cannot be overstated. The novel, itself, is tremendously entertaining, and Zahn proves himself to be an indisputable master of world building and character creation as he brings in multiple new (future fan favorite) characters that weave seamlessly with our established heroes. At times, I found myself yearning to go back to other storylines while in the midst of others that weren't quite as entertaining, but that's merely a testament to the strength of Zahn's creation.
When it comes to foundational Star Wars books, this trilogy is said to be one of the most significant. Timothy Zahn told a story that showed what Star Wars books had the capacity to be. To say I'm reading this series for the very first time in 2020 may seem unbelievable, but I'm glad I've explored so much of the EU before diving into the first book here. Knowing where we are now, and how far we have come - having read the new Thrawn trilogy, and witnessed his character arc in Rebels - it's so interesting to go back and see where his origins began. And to have his story so masterfully intertwined with familiar characters from the original trilogy was an essential yet brilliant move at the time. Zahn showed readers and Star Wars fans that these characters could live on in other mediums even after the movies were over. If you haven't read this book yet, do it - and don't stop with this one. Keep going!
Look, this book kinda gets put on a pedestal. Everyone goes on and on about how great it is. Well guess what? THEY ARE RIGHT TO DO SO. I would wager that this book is more universally loved than any other Star Wars book and by all kinds of different Star Wars fan with varying opinions. While there are a few moments of what we refer to as "weird Legends stuff", it isn't nearly enough to distract from the awesome original characters and twisting plot. Kids, go read this book and get some culture.
The embattled Republic reels from the attacks of Grand Admiral Thrawn, who has marshaled the remnants of the Imperial forces and driven the Rebels back with an abominable technology recovered from the Emperor's secret fortress: clone soldiers. As Thrawn mounts his final siege, Han and Chewbacca struggle to form a coalition of smugglers for a last-ditch attack against the empire, while Leia holds the Alliance together and prepares for the birth of her Jedi twins.
Overwhelmed by the ships and clones at Thrawn's command, the Republic has one last hope: sending a small force, led by Luke Skywalker, into the very stronghold that houses Thrawn's terrible cloning machines. There a final danger awaits, as the Dark Jedi C'baoth directs the battle against the Rebels and builds his strength to finish what he had already started: the destruction of Luke Skywalker.
The dying Empire's most cunning and ruthless warlord - Grand Admiral Thrawn - has taken command of the remnants of the Imperial fleet and launched a massive campaign aimed at the New Republic's destruction. With the aid of unimaginable weapons long hidden away by the Emperor on a backwater planet, Thrawn plans to turn the tide of battle, overwhelm the New Republic, and impose his iron rule throughout the galaxy.
Meanwhile, Han and Lando Calrissian race against time to find proof of treason inside the highest Republican Council - only to discover instead a ghostly fleet of warships that could bring doom to their friends and victory to their enemies.
Yet most dangerous of all is a new Dark Jedi, risen from the ashes of a shrouded past, consumed by bitterness...and scheming to corrupt Luke Skywalker to the Dark Side.
The reign of the Galactic Empire has reached the Outer Rim planet of Jelucan, where aristocratic Thane Kyrell and rural villager Ciena Ree bond over their love of flying. Enrolling at the Imperial Academy is nothing less than a dream come true for both of them. But Thane sours on the dream when he sees firsthand the horrific tactics the Empire uses to maintain its ironclad rule.
Bitter and disillusioned, he joins the fledgling Rebellion--putting Ciena in an unbearable position between her loyalty to the Empire and her love for the man she's known since childhood.
Now on opposite sides of the war, will these friends turned foes ever find a way to be together, or will duty tear them--and the galaxy--apart?
The Republic has fallen.
Sith Lords rule the galaxy.
Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi has lost everything . . .
Everything but hope.
Tatooine—a harsh desert world where farmers toil in the heat of two suns while trying to protect themselves and their loved ones from the marauding Tusken Raiders. A backwater planet on the edge of civilized space. And an unlikely place to find a Jedi Master in hiding, or an orphaned infant boy on whose tiny shoulders rests the future of a galaxy.
Known to locals only as “Ben,” the bearded and robed offworlder is an enigmatic stranger who keeps to himself, shares nothing of his past, and goes to great pains to remain an outsider. But as tensions escalate between the farmers and a tribe of Sand People led by a ruthless war chief, Ben finds himself drawn into the fight, endangering the very mission that brought him to Tatooine.
Ben—Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, hero of the Clone Wars, traitor to the Empire, and protector of the galaxy’s last hope—can no more turn his back on evil than he can reject his Jedi training. And when blood is unjustly spilled, innocent lives threatened, and a ruthless opponent unmasked, Ben has no choice but to call on the wisdom of the Jedi—and the formidable power of the Force—in his never-ending fight for justice.
The turning point for the entire Star Wars saga is at hand
After years of civil war, the Separatists have battered the already faltering Republic nearly to the point of collapse. On Coruscant, the Senate watches anxiously as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine aggressively strips away more and more constitutional liberties in the name of safeguarding the Republic. Yoda, Mace Windu, and their fellow Masters grapple with the Chancellor’ s disturbing move to assume control of the Jedi Council. And Anakin Skywalker, the prophesied Chosen One, destined to bring balance to the Force, is increasingly consumed by his fear that his secret love, Senator Padmé Amidala, will die.
As the combat escalates across the galaxy, the stage is set for an explosive endgame: Obi-Wan undertakes a perilous mission to destroy the dreaded Separatist military leader General Grievous. Palpatine, eager to secure even greater control, subtly influences public opinion to turn against the Jedi. And a conflicted Anakin–tormented by unspeakable visions– edges dangerously closer to the brink of a galaxy-shaping decision. It remains only for Darth Sidious, whose shadow looms ever larger, to strike the final staggering blow against the Republic . . . and to ordain a fearsome new Sith Lord: Darth Vader.
On the run from vengeful Republic forces, Dessel, a cortosis miner, vanishes into the ranks of the Sith army and ships out to join the bloody war against the Republic and its Jedi champions. There, Dessel's brutality, cunning, and exceptional command of the Force swiftly win him renown as a warrior. But in the eyes of his watchful masters, a far greater destiny awaits him.
As an acolyte in the Sith academy, studying the secrets and skills of the dark side, Dessel embraces his new identity: Bane. However the true test is yet to come. In order to gain acceptance into the Brotherhood of Darkness, he must defy the most sacred traditions and reject all he has been taught. It is a trial by fire in which he must surrender fully to the dark side — and forge from the ashes a new era of absolute power.