Login to

XLA Multiverse

Please choose how you want to sign in

By creating an account, you agree to XLA Multiverse’s Privacy Policy

Star Wars poster image


Star Wars icon

Star Wars Universe

Awaiting Claim

Star Wars: Heir to the Empire

General Info

Star Wars: Heir to the Empire logo
AuthorTimothy Zahn
GenresScience Fiction, Fantasy
Book NameStar Wars: Heir to the Empire
PublisherBantam Spectra
Release Date1991-01-01
Number of Pages404
Original TitleStar Wars: Heir to the Empire
Country of OriginUnited States
Heir to the Empire is an exciting novel that immerses us in the Star Wars universe, five years after the destruction of the Death Star and the defeat of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine. The main character, the legendary space hero Luke Skywalker, works diligently with Leia and Han Solo to revive a building turned into rebellion. However, their efforts are jeopardized by the strategies of Grand Admiral Thrawn, a sinister tactical genius and formidable enemy. Set against a backdrop of intergalactic politics and epic battles, this novel is a must-see for Star Wars fans. This is the first book in Timothy Zahn's successful Thrawn trilogy and helps further explore the characters' evolving backstories and relationships. This immersive show paints the Star Wars galaxy in a stunning watercolor of intrigue, suspense and adventure.


"Heir to the Empire" marks the first part of the trilogy, which resurrects the classic "Star Wars" saga with a new plot. Released nearly a decade after the finale of the original trilogy, it's a testament to the enduring legacy of a galaxy far, far away. The story breathes new life into the Star Wars universe, introducing new, brutal villains and allies while staying true to its original charm.
Set five years after the Rebel Alliance's victory over the Empire, the story brings beloved characters Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo into an epic scenario. The New Republic they fought so hard for now teeters on the brink of chaos, with a sinister conspiracy lurking in the shadows. A hidden threat emerges in the form of Thrawn, the last Grand Admiral of the fallen Empire.
As Thrawn devises a meticulous plan to regain control and crush the New Republic, each character grapples with complex personal struggles as the looming galactic crisis unfolds. Luke struggles with being the last Jedi, Leia struggles with being a mother and political leader, and Han tries to navigate this politically charged universe.
Author Timothy Zahn adds depth and complexity to the beloved series, demonstrating a rich understanding of Star Wars history. It is a thrilling space opera full of dangerous adventures, political intrigue and a variety of familiar and new characters. So, Heir to the Empire is a fascinating return to the fan-favorite galaxy. It's a thrilling ride and a testament to the timeless appeal of Star Wars.


With the fall of the Galactic Empire, Star Wars: Heir to an Empire takes readers into new territory five years after the climax of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi at the Battle of Endor. Under the orders of the young New Republic, Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa-Solo set out to transform the remnants of the Empire into a peaceful society while raising their twins.
The story picks up as the remnants of a once mighty empire rise from the unknown realms of the galaxy. Strategically brilliant but relentlessly ambitious, Grand Admiral Thrawn embarks on a mission to restore rule and dominion to a fallen empire. Using the Empire's dwindling resources, he assembles a powerful fleet that threatens to derail the New Republic's progress and return the galaxy to an age of terror and tyranny. In this epic sequel, the iconic heroes must unite and once again prove their loyalty and heroism to the galaxy. Luke Skywalker, the last Jedi Knight, becomes an essential weapon against the return of dark forces. She faces new challenges, including navigating Jedi spirituality without the wisdom of the last Jedi Masters, as well as potential lovers who may not seem like what they are at first - who threaten the balance of her powers.
In Heir to an Empire, author Timothy Zahn embarks on an epic journey exploring the aftermath of the original trilogy. Through political maneuvering, strategic battles, and thrilling adventures, Zahn expands the Star Wars universe to reveal how the galaxy fares even after its most oppressive regime has collapsed. An exciting introduction to the post-Luke Skywalker era. The book reveals the forces familiar and new to fans that continue to influence the fate of this galaxy far, far away.


In the Expansion section of Star Wars: Heir to an Empire, Timothy Zahn takes the reader on an exciting journey that takes place five years after Return of the Jedi. Zahn masterfully pulls the threads of the original trilogy and weaves together a plot that creatively expands the Star Wars universe. It introduces new characters such as Grand Admiral Thrawn, a strategic genius based on suspense and intrigue, and Mara Jade, a complex character with a mysterious past, both of whom have a large following. Zahn's ability to stay true to the essence of the character originally written by George Lucas while adding depth and new perspectives is what sets his novel apart.
Heir to the Empire also marks the arrival of the New Republic, a burgeoning political system born from the Rebel Alliance. Zahn explores his subtle dichotomy between prevailing uncertainties, effectively portraying a universe in transition.
Also, Luke Skywalker's development after his battles has a distinct sense of humanity. Zahn deviates from the invincibility often associated with the protagonists, making Skywalker's journey more relatable.
Finally, the reimagining of Han Solo and Leia Organa as parents-to-be grappling with impending parenthood amid galactic chaos adds new twists to the story. Zahn's expansion of the Star Wars universe beyond the cinema screen through the inventive storytelling of Heir to the Empire certainly sets the stage for a massively expanded universe.


First released in 1991, Star Wars: Heir to the Empire is a great addition to the vast Star Wars universe. The book, written by famous science fiction writer Timothy Zahn, is the first part of the Thrawn trilogy. Set five years after the events of Return of the Jedi, the story introduces unforgettable new characters and brings back fan favorites.
The novel introduces Thrawn, a brilliant tactician and warlord who tries to restore the Galactic Empire to its former glory. Zahn illustrates Thrawn's abilities in the same way that several villains have been portrayed, making him not only a great schemer, but also appreciating art as a way to understand the ways of thinking of his enemies. This makes Thrawn arguably one of the most compelling characters in the Star Wars franchise.
Star Wars: Heir to an Empire also marks the first appearance of Mara Jade, a highly trained agent who serves at the pleasure of Emperor Palpatine. His entrance turns Luke Skywalker's world upside down, adding another layer of complexity to the massive Star Wars plot.
This landmark release was an instant hit with Star Wars fans and was instrumental in reviving the Star Wars franchise in the 1990s. Zahn's clever storytelling and the expansive universe he created in Heir to the Empire paved the way for many other stories to build upon. Despite the many changes in the vast Star Wars universe over time, this book's powerful characters and dynamic storyline have never been forgotten by fans or critics alike. This is perhaps the best evidence of the enduring popularity and influence of this book.


Star Wars: Heir to the Empire was first released in 1991. and heralded a new era in the Star Wars universe. Written by Timothy Zahn, the book became the first part of the Thrawn trilogy and introduced fans to legendary characters and complex plots that are revered to this day.
Five years after the epic story of Return of the Jedi, the Rebel Alliance has won a major victory over Imperial forces. The mighty Galactic Empire is now in disarray, and the newly formed New Republic is working diligently to restore peace and order to the galaxy.
The book unfolds as Luke Skywalker, the last surviving Jedi, slowly assumes the role of leader as he becomes burdened by his duties. Princess Leia and Han Solo are expecting their new twins and trying to protect their growing family in the service of the New Republic.
But the main interest is the Empire's last Grand Admiral, Thrawn, who emerges from the shadows of the Unknown Regions. Known for his brilliant strategic mind and astonishingly calm demeanor, Thrawn reassembles the scattered forces of the Empire to revive the dying Empire.
The release of Heir to the Empire gave Star Wars fans a new and compelling story that beautifully expanded the iconic universe. Not only did he enrich the existing story, but through Thrawn he gave us one of the most intriguing villains in the Star Wars mythology. Political intrigue, personal growth, and epic space opera touches make this book a seminal work in the expanded Star Wars universe.


Heir to the Empire, the first book in Timothy Zahn's Thrawn trilogy, opened to rave reviews from Star Wars fans and critics alike. The strong storyline, complex twists and excellent writing were praised, especially for how they built and continued the legacy of the original Star Wars series.
The book has been credited with reinvigorating public interest in the Star Wars franchise and reinvigorating the universe. Readers appreciated Zahn's depth of character development, particularly with the characters Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Han Solo, creating a consistency not seen in other expanded universe material.
Zahn also introduced new characters that quickly became fan favorites. The strategic brilliance of the blue-skinned Grand Admiral Thrawn, the deadly assassin Rukh, and the wily but morally conflicted smuggler Talon Karrde added new layers to the rich tapestry of Star Wars.
The detailed world-building and compelling narrative kept fans engaged, but Zahn's post-Return of the Jedi reinvention of the Star Wars universe really resonated with readers. Delved into politics, the struggle for power and the restoration of the republic; themes that were lightly touched upon in the original series, but find deeper resonance in this epic storyline.
Heir to an Empire was a commercial success, reaching No. 1 on The New York Times bestseller list, a testament to its widespread fan recognition and admiration. This book set the precedent for all subsequent Star Wars novels and became an important part of the expanding Star Wars universe.

Cultural impact

Heir to the Empire had a significant cultural impact upon its release and became a defining moment in the expanding Star Wars universe. It was the first novel published after the original trilogy and set the standard for all subsequent Star Wars novels. This renewed fan interest and paved the way for countless comics and series to expand the Star Wars universe in the years to come.
The book introduced major new characters who have become fan favorites, such as Grand Admiral Thrawn, a blue-eyed, red-eyed alien with immense tactical genius, and Mara Jade, the former "hand" of Emperor Palpatine and his evolution. the killer with the unique mission of killing Luke Skywalker to eventually become his wife. Both characters later became such an integral part of the Star Wars mythos that their presence was felt outside of the book. Heir to the Empire played a key role in standardizing the Expanded Universe, pushing the Star Wars story beyond the events of the original films and showing just how fertile and diverse the galaxy far, far away can be. The book is being hailed as a pioneering work of transmedia storytelling, seamlessly weaving together the various elements of the Star Wars franchise.
In its 30th year, Heir to the Empire continues to be popular with Star Wars fans and remains a cultural staple. It was the basis for the expansion of the Star Wars universe into the multi-media empire it is today, encompassing movies, TV shows, comics, novels and video games. It's a testament to Zahn's compelling storytelling and the enduring appeal of Star Wars.