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Star Wars: Heir to the Empire

(20th Anniversary Edition), The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 1
Written by: Timothy Zahn
Narrated by: Marc Thompson
Length: 13 hrs and 9 mins
5 out of 5 stars (323 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Here is a special edition 20th anniversary release of the number-one New York Times best-selling novel that reignited the entire Star Wars publishing phenomenon - unabridged for the first time. The biggest event in the history of Star Wars books, Heir to the Empire follows the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia after they led the Rebel Alliance to victory in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi.

Five years after the Death Star was destroyed and Darth Vader and the Emperor were defeated, the galaxy is struggling to heal the wounds of war, Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting twins, and Luke Skywalker has become the first in a long-awaited line of new Jedi Knights.

But thousands of light-years away, the last of the Emperor’s warlords - the brilliant and deadly 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 create.

The explosive confrontation that results is a towering epic of action, invention, mystery, and spectacle on a galactic scale - in short, a story worthy of the name Star Wars.

©1991 Timothy Zahn (P)2011 Random House Audio

What listeners say about Star Wars: Heir to the Empire

Average Customer Ratings
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pure rad

legit wick story. The way Luke Skywalker is portrayed is brilliant. The wookie voices were very snuggly.

2 people found this helpful

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Too many sound effects

I like star wars, and I like audiobooks, so I thought this would be great. But the sound effects (R2D2, chewbacca, space ships, ect) were too much and distracting, and got very annoying after awhile

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    5 out of 5 stars

Disney Star Wars post-Endor sucks

This is how you continue the story of the original Star Wars trilogy. It has a great mysterious villian who is actually threatening, and also a threat to the heroes. Mara Jade is a great new character when this book was first written and she's leagues better than anything Disney could ever put out (can't wait to see them cherry pick her from the EU like Thrawn, and just give her the sequel trilogy treatment that was given to the original cast). C'Baoth does the crazy old man in a bathrobe thing far better than Snoke. And of course Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, R2, 3PO, Lando, Wedge, Ackbar, and Mon Mothma all are treated with the respect owed to them. Disney barely even qualifies as Star Wars, they just own the name, not the feeling of the galaxy far far away...

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Great classic star wars legens story

Great classic star wars legens story Marc Thompson voice lent it self incredibly well to the story

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A Movie-Like Audiobook Experience

6 days! I couldn’t stop listening. One of the best audio books I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. It was the closest I’ve had to a “movie-like” experience in an audio book. A must listen/read for any Star Wars fan!

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My first audiobook experience

Wow, this was amazing, the voices, the sound effects, the story. I’m blown away, can’t wait to hear the other two books in the series

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A classic star wars story

it felt just like one of the movies ! this author is really good, the classic star wars characters you know and love act exactly like they would in the movies. the new characters fit right in as if they were always there. the exciting and addictive and I devoured it eagerly. wrap it all up in a stellar voice performance with music and sound effects and you've got an amazing experience right here. get into it.

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Classic Star Wars

It's an older story, sir. But it checks out!

Childhood favorite, brought to life by Marc Thompson.
#Audible1

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love the narrator

I couldn't stop luaghing when I heard him do a woman's voice. audible is now one of my favorite things

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Captures the Star Wars magic

A solid and well told Star Wars story. Probably the best trilogy of the Legends EU.
The voice acting was well done and the added sound effects and background music gives the production a polished and professional feel. High quality audio book.
A must buy for OT Star Wars/EU Legends fans.

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  • Jt
  • 2011-10-25

At last!

Very entertaining read. Marc Thopson wow. You just cant beat this guy as far as readers go. He took a really good book and made it that much better. If your a star wars fan this is a must read and if not read it anyways you might become one.

43 people found this helpful

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  • Real Buyer
  • 2011-09-08

Thank you for this AMAZING production.

What made the experience of listening to Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition) the most enjoyable?

It being a fully produced (soundtrack, effects and all) unabridged version.

What did you like best about this story?

A continuation of the saga

What about Marc Thompson’s performance did you like?

Overall good, only nitpick is that Han could have sounded a little more like Harrison. but overall it was great!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

We need to get the other two books re done like this.

46 people found this helpful

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  • Ryan
  • 2011-09-06

It's about time!

Marc Thompson is a fantastic narrator. I've listened to many of his books, and loved every one. I encourage everyone to buy this book immediately. We need to show that if they release unabridged star wars audio, then we'll buy it! It appears they've stopped making the horrible abridged releases already. However, I really hope this starts a new trend of releasing old star wars books unabridged. Hopefully it's not a one time thing.

As for the book, it's also fantastic. There are plenty of reviews of the material in the book on Amazon. Buy it. You'll love it.

114 people found this helpful

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  • Eric
  • 2011-09-10

Perfect

This book is one of the best Star Wars books that I have ever read and when it became available on audible I jumped at the chance to experience this riveting story again. The audio version of this book is excellent. Marc Thompson portrays every character very well in distinct voices. This rendition also contains music and sound effects. At first I found the sound effects very jarring and would take me out of the story. Fortunately I got used to these sound effects and instead of detracting from the story they reinforced the performance. After I listened to Heir to the Empire I was excited to continue listening. I looked up when Dark Force Rising would be released in anniversary edition, and discovered that it will only be released if Heir to the Empire preforms well enough. I hope that Marc Thompson narrates that version if it comes out or if it doesn't then he narrates the the complete trilogy anyway.

17 people found this helpful

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  • G. Grimsley
  • 2011-09-08

Finally! Unabridged after 20 years!

Would you consider the audio edition of Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition) to be better than the print version?

Heir to the Empire was the very first book that ignited my passion for literature as a teenager. Imagine my disappointment when this wonderful book could only be found as an abridgment in audio format. Now, with the 20th anniversary, the fans are rewarded by an unabridged version of Heir to the Empire. I would highly recommend to anyone who has ever loved the Star Wars series, that they read/listen to this story. Fans of the SW saga will be delighted by the same level of action and intrigue Timothy Zahn placed into this book as George Lucas put into the series. Whether you are a life-long SW fan or new to the series, you will not be disappointed by this series. Hopefully, the fans will not have to wait too long for the rest of the Thrawn trilogy to be available in an unabridged format.

What did you like best about this story?

The interaction between the original characters was wonderful and true to the movies. The new characters were also marvelously developed and wonderfully complex. This book does indeed read like the 7th episode in the SW saga.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

They may have defeated the Emperor and Darth Vader, but the Empire may not be as defeated as they think.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Long Shot Review
  • 2011-09-08

Excellent

I hope they do this for the rest of the Thrawn Trilogy. Hell I hope they do it for the rest of the Star Wars books

30 people found this helpful

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  • Kevin
  • 2019-10-17

The Real Sequel Trilogy-Disney Missed BIG TIME

This is probably one of the best Star Wars books out there and is the first book in a three part story. I am currently working on the second book, I am about halfway through and it is just as good as this. This would have been amazing to see on the big screen and adapted into a live action trilogy. This is the Star Wars we deserved to see on the big screen following Return of The Jedi. Lucas himself even signed off on these stories to be cannon. Then Disney came in, well rather Kathleen Kennedy came in, and ruined it. This is pure Star Wars, no SJWs, no one trying make a point. It was a great story with great characters that I cared about. These Disney movies do offer any of that. I really could care less how Rey and all the other goons fit into the Star Wars universe. The Start Wars fan base deserved to see Thrawn on the big screen, it would have been magical....

5 people found this helpful

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  • Matt
  • 2016-07-29

So Good Feel Guilty I Did Not Read It

The only Star Wars book I have read was, " Shadows Of The Empire." With my job, using Audible is a perfect way for me to get caught up while I work. It is nice to hear sound effects and voice over, sort of feeling like I am listening to the audio of a movie. I am excited to start the next in the series, " Dark Force Rising." I am incredibly intrigued to see where the storyline leads as well as the new version that Timothy Zhan will be writing as well as how Disney will tie all of this new extended universe together. If you are at all of a Star Wars and or Star Trek fan I can with full confidence already recommend this trilogy. If you are like me and have a hard time trying to find time to sit and read and are constantly on the move a.k.a. walking and public transportation, as well as a busy work day in your cubicle but have access to headphones,, I personally believe this is a must buy, or perfect for your first free download already convinced me to purchased the next.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Princeps P
  • 2011-09-09

Finally!!!!!!!


This is a great addition! Like a previous reviewer mentioned we need more Star Wars books that are unabridged and Marc Thompson as the narrator. This is the book that started it all for the expanded universe and is a must read for any Star Wars fan. I just hope they continue the series with the following books. Truly a great production with sounds and Thompson at the helm.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Robbie P
  • 2018-06-25

Better than Disney

If only the Disney story group knew something about storytelling, they would have used the EU stories to inspire their movies post ROTJ. The performance was on point as always with Marc Thompson and the production value of the audiobook is top notch. I can't recommend this book any more because of the quality of the story and the honoring of the characters that made Star Wars great from the beginning. Get this book/series, you won't be disappointed.

3 people found this helpful

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  • O. Couston
  • 2016-05-01

L'épisode 7 original

Ce qui faisait office d'épisode 7 de star wars avant qu'il n'y ait un véritable épisode 7, le roman qui a vraiment lancé l'univers étendu de star Wars. Très bon récit qui reste vraiment encré dans l'univers Star Wars (et qui ne part pas dans des délires de clone de l'empereur). On reste avec les personnages de la trilogie originale, Luke, han, Leia, lando et quelques nouveaux, dont le charismatique Amiral Thrawn, le "méchant". Ceci est la première partie d'une trilogie, il n'y donc pas vraiment de conclusion. Le narrateur est très bon, ils utilisent de nombreuses voix pour les différents personnages, dont une imitation de Harrison Ford des plus convaincantes. Par contre je pourrais reprocher la voix de l'interprète wookie assez difficile à supporter. J'ai aussi trouvé que le volume de la voix de C3PO était beaucoup plus élevé que les autres. Sinon des bruitages et musiques tirés directement des films viennent accompagner la narration pour plus d'immersion, sans être trop envahissants. Bref, j'ai passé un bon moment, j'ai hâte d'écouter la suite et j'espère qu'une traduction française verra le jour pour que plus de monde puisse en profiter.

4 people found this helpful