"Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design."
“Execute Order 66.”
With these words, and the unspeakable actions they commanded, the Galactic Republic began to fall. In its place, something much more sinister took form.
The Galactic Empire rose as all dark forces do: Slowly, in the shadows so that only those who were meant to know of it were told, until the moment came for it to reign supreme.
For years, the galaxy had no choice but to bend to its will … sometimes until parts of it broke apart. Stormtroopers showed no mercy to civilians. Governors restrained every system, forcing it to obey the Emperor it now, by default, served.
Eventually, a force would rise against and defeat the darkness -- or rather, one rebellion made up of forces that could not be stopped. Though Palpatine always had a plan in place in case his Empire fell, he never thought his greatest enemy could rise from within the very man he believed to be destroyed.
Whether you want to see the Empire’s ruthless impact on the galaxy at large or you’re itching for a glimpse at its terror from someone on the inside, the characters and narratives surrounding this era of the galaxy far, far away has something to satisfy everyone’s curiosity.
Witness the rise, tyranny, and fall of the Empire through the many stories told in the Star Wars expanded universe.
Every Star Wars movie has an accompanying novelization, but none so impressive as Revenge of the Sith. While it expertly tells the story of the film, it also manages to add to it in unexpected ways. Not only is it the best novelization, it’s a fantastic work of fiction in and of itself.
Matthew Stover outdoes himself in this novelization by painting Obi Wan, Anakin, and the rest of the Jedi as glorified super heroes in the eyes of the common man in the Star Wars universe. Somehow, this raises the stakes of one of the most intense episodes of the saga and makes Anakin’s ultimate fate even more impactful.
When Director Krennic arrives on Lah'mu to bring Galen Erso back into the arms of the Empire, he greets him as an old friend. While his nefarious motivations are clear to any viewer, we can't help but wonder...did this friendship truly exist?
Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel answers this question by introducing us to the two men as they both attempt to climb the professional ladder in their respective fields. Galen's obsession with kyber crystals proves to be an irresistible draw to Krennic as well as a distinct hindrance to the family life that Galen and Lyra are trying to create.
If you ever wondered how the most brilliant scientist in the galaxy could walk away from his life's dream in order to hide on a farm at the edges of the universe, this is exactly the place to start.
The most iconic Sith duo is that of Darth Sidious and Darth Vader. When it comes to the films, the immense power of their strengths combined remains to be seen. Lords of the Sith offers the display of unrivaled power that we deserve, and Paul S. Kemp delivers those brutal moments in vivid detail.
The magnitude of chaos and destruction unleashed by the Sith Lords is emphasized alongside the sheer terror and hopelessness of the rebels attempting to fight against them. Their despair is even more apparent through the eyes of Cham Syndulla, Hera Syndulla’s father and rebel leader of Ryloth, showing that even the most courageous minds are no match for the dark side.
Compared with other villainous characters in the Star Wars universe, very little is known about Grand Moff Tarkin. Yet he remains one of the most hated Imperials of all time. He’s the one who gave the command that left Alderaan in ruins. He is unsympathetic and menacing. A man of true evil.
Leave it to James Luceno to craft a Wilhuff Tarkin origin story audiences never knew they needed. Five years after the birth of the Empire, we meet a man who has yet to rise through the ranks to become the tyrant we know he will become. Tarkin’s refusal to let anyone or anything stand in his path will get him exactly where he wants to go … but not without cost.
What many still don't know about the Empire is that it did not instantly crumble with the destruction of the second Death Star. For a long time, those who remained loyal to the Emperor held on, refusing to surrender and accept defeat. In the aftermath of the Battle of Endor, there is still a war to be won. And it's not just up to the high-profile heroes we know and love to get the job done.
Follow an unlikely team of rebel heroes, from old heroes like Wedge Antilles to new ones like Temmin Wexley, as they struggle against what remains of Palpatine's forces and try to save the galaxy from coming undone again.
Heir to the Empire is essential reading material because without it, the rest of the Expanded Universe might not exist. In this book, Zahn manages to construct a new type of Star Wars villain in Grand Admiral Thrawn who defeats his enemies with superior intellect that is every bit as overwhelming as Vader’s Force choke. Luke, Han, Leia, and the entire cast of the Original Trilogy make their triumphant return and must find a way to deal with this new threat who is poised to bring back the Empire even stronger than it was before.
Timothy Zahn has arguably crafted some of the most important books in the Expanded Universe and they all started with Heir to the Empire.