Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire: Evolution

Overview

His name is Xizor, Underlord of a galaxywide criminal organization called Black Sun. He seeks to displace Darth Vader as Emperor Palpatine's right hand. To do so, he will hatch a brilliantly evil plan to discredit Vader in the Emperor's eyes. But in the meantime he will join the Dark Lord in an unholy alliance whose common target is the young Rebel hero, Luke Skywalker. While Vader and Xizor bait their trap for Luke, Han Solo is being held captive, flash-frozen in a carbonite slab. Mourning the loss of the man ...
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2000 Trade paperback New. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 117 p. Contains: Illustrations. Star Wars (Dark Horse). Intended for a young adult/teenage audience.

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Overview

His name is Xizor, Underlord of a galaxywide criminal organization called Black Sun. He seeks to displace Darth Vader as Emperor Palpatine's right hand. To do so, he will hatch a brilliantly evil plan to discredit Vader in the Emperor's eyes. But in the meantime he will join the Dark Lord in an unholy alliance whose common target is the young Rebel hero, Luke Skywalker. While Vader and Xizor bait their trap for Luke, Han Solo is being held captive, flash-frozen in a carbonite slab. Mourning the loss of the man she loves, Princess Leia mounts a rescue mission to free Han. She enlists the aid of Luke, who is sharpening his skill in the Force at Ben Kenobi's home on the edge of Tatooine's Western Dune Sea. Skywalker organizes a crack fighting force, including Wedge Antilles and his famous X-wing squadron; Lando Calrissian; and the mercenary Dash Rendar. Yet the fierce battle that ensues to rescue Han will not go according to plan. For the Empire's spies are everywhere. What's worse, though he is cold and reptilian, Xizor has a certain predatory charisma that not even Leia can totally resist. Against the judgment of Chewbacca, who has promised Han to keep her from harm, Leia walks willingly into Xizor's lair in a dangerous play of passion and willpower to get the information she needs to defeat him. At the same time, Luke stands in the crosshairs of a conspiracy of assassins and bounty hunters recruited by Xizor's lieutenant, the beautiful but lethal human replicant Guri. As the struggle between Xizor and Vader intensifies, Luke finds himself the potential prize of the two most evil entities in the galaxy - one who wants him alive, and one who wants him dead. In a final, explosive showdown, the Rebels must infiltrate Xizor's impregnable stronghold and fight the combined forces of Black Sun and the Empire in deep space. With death and betrayal looming on every side, Luke, Leia, Lando, and Chewie must use every weapon and resource at their disposal, including the Reb

Here is the untold story of the events that took place between the movies The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. It is a novel in which Darth Vader still lives--and battles a villain as powerful and evil as himself. Ads in Locus. Online promo. HC: Bantam. (Science Fiction)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This Empire Strikes Back/Return of the Jedi entr'acte spent six weeks on PW's bestseller list. (Apr.)
Library Journal
For legal reasons, the previous installments in this best-selling series concentrated on the events following the three popular Lucasfilm movies. Now, thanks to an agreement between the parties, Perry's tale bridges the gap between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569714416
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Publication date: 2/1/2009
  • Series: Star Wars (Dark Horse) Series
  • Pages: 120
  • Product dimensions: 6.65 (w) x 10.22 (h) x 0.24 (d)

Read an Excerpt

He looks like a walking corpse, Xizor thought. Like a mummified body dead a thousand years. Amazing he is still alive, much less the most powerful man in the galaxy. He isn't even that old; it is more as if something is slowly eating him.

Xizor stood four meters away from the Emperor, watching as the man who had long ago been Senator Palpatine moved to stand in the holocam field. He imagined he could smell the decay in the Emperor's worn body. Likely that was just some trick of the recycled air, run through dozens of filters to ensure that there was no chance of any poison gas being introduced into it. Filtered the life out of it, perhaps, giving it that dead smell.

The viewer on the other end of the holo-link would see a close-up of the Emperor's head and shoulders, of an age-ravaged face shrouded in the cowl of his dark zeyd-cloth robe. The man on the other end of the transmission, light-years away, would not see Xizor, though Xizor would be able to see him. It was a measure of the Emperor's trust that Xizor was allowed to be here while the conversation took place.

The man on the other end of the transmission--if he could still be called that--

The air swirled inside the Imperial chamber in front of the Emperor, coalesced, and blossomed into the image of a figure down on one knee. A caped humanoid biped dressed in jet black, face hidden under a full helmet and breathing mask:

Darth Vader.

Vader spoke: "What is thy bidding, my master?"

If Xizor could have hurled a power bolt through time and space to strike Vader dead, he would have done it without blinking. Wishful thinking: Vader was too powerful toattack directly.

"There is a great disturbance in the Force," the Emperor said.

"I have felt it," Vader said.

"We have a new enemy. Luke Skywalker."

Skywalker? That had been Vader's name, a long time ago. Who was this person with the same name, someone so powerful as to be worth a conversation between the Emperor and his most loathsome creation? More importantly, why had Xizor's agents not uncovered this before now? Xizor's ire was instant--but cold. No sign of his surprise or anger would show on his imperturbable features. The Falleen did not allow their emotions to burst forth as did many of the inferior species; no, the Falleen ancestry was not fur but scales, not mammalian but reptilian. Not wild but coolly calculating. Such was much better. Much safer.

"Yes, my master," Vader continued.

"He could destroy us," the Emperor said.

Xizor's attention was riveted upon the Emperor and the holographic image of Vader kneeling on the deck of a ship far away. Here was interesting news indeed. Something the Emperor perceived as a danger to himself? Something the Emperor feared?

"He's just a boy," Vader said, "Obi-Wan can no longer help him."

Obi-Wan. That name Xizor knew. He was among the last of the Jedi Knights, a general. But he'd been dead for decades, hadn't he?

Apparently Xizor's information was wrong if Obi-Wan had been helping someone who was still a boy. His agents were going to be sorry.

Even as Xizor took in the distant image of Vader and the nearness of the Emperor, even as he was aware of the luxury of the Emperor's private and protected chamber at the core of the giant pyramidal palace, he was also able to make a mental note to himself: Somebody's head would roll for the failure to make him aware of all this. Knowledge was power; lack of knowledge was weakness. This was something he could not permit.

The Emperor continued. "The Force is strong with him. The son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi."

Son of Skywalker?

Vader's son! Amazing!

"If he could be turned he would become a powerful ally," Vader said.

There was something in Vader's voice when he said this, something Xizor could not quite put his finger on. Longing? Worry?

Hope?

"Yes...yes. He would be a great asset," the Emperor said. "Can it be done?"

There was the briefest of pauses. "He will join us or die, Master."

Xizor felt the smile, though he did not allow it to show any more than he had allowed his anger play. Ah. Vader wanted Skywalker alive, that was what had been in his tone. Yes, he had said that the boy would join them or die, but this latter part was obviously meant only to placate the Emperor. Vader had no intention of killing Skywalker, his own son; that was obvious to one as skilled in reading voices as was Xizor. He had not gotten to be the Dark Prince, Underlord of Black Sun, the largest criminal organization in the galaxy, merely on his formidable good looks. Xizor didn't truly understand the Force that sustained the Emperor and made him and Vader so powerful, save to know that it certainly worked somehow. But he did know that it was something the extinct Jedi had supposedly mastered. And now, apparently, this new player had tapped into it. Vader wanted Skywalker alive, had practically promised the Emperor that he would deliver him alive--and converted.

This was most interesting.

Most interesting indeed.

The Emperor finished his communication and turned back to face him. "Now, where were we, Prince Xizor?"

The Dark Prince smiled. He would attend to the business at hand, but he would not forget the name of Luke Skywalker.

Copyright © 1997 by Steve Perry. ™ & © 1997 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.

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First Chapter

He looks like a walking corpse, Xizor thought. Like a mummified body dead a thousand years. Amazing he is still alive, much less the most powerful man in the galaxy. He isn't even that old; it is more as if something is slowly eating him.

Xizor stood four meters away from the Emperor, watching as the man who had long ago been Senator Palpatine moved to stand in the holocam field. He imagined he could smell the decay in the Emperor's worn body. Likely that was just some trick of the recycled air, run through dozens of filters to ensure that there was no chance of any poison gas being introduced into it. Filtered the life out of it, perhaps, giving it that dead smell.

The viewer on the other end of the holo-link would see a close-up of the Emperor's head and shoulders, of an age-ravaged face shrouded in the cowl of his dark zeyd-cloth robe. The man on the other end of the transmission, light-years away, would not see Xizor, though Xizor would be able to see him. It was a measure of the Emperor's trust that Xizor was allowed to be here while the conversation took place.

The man on the other end of the transmission--if he could still be called that--

The air swirled inside the Imperial chamber in front of the Emperor, coalesced, and blossomed into the image of a figure down on one knee. A caped humanoid biped dressed in jet black, face hidden under a full helmet and breathing mask:

Darth Vader.

Vader spoke: "What is thy bidding, my master?"

If Xizor could have hurled a power bolt through time and space to strike Vader dead, he would have done it without blinking. Wishful thinking: Vader was too powerful to attack directly.

"There is a great disturbance in the Force," the Emperor said.

"I have felt it," Vader said.

"We have a new enemy. Luke Skywalker."

Skywalker? That had been Vader's name, a long time ago. Who was this person with the same name, someone so powerful as to be worth a conversation between the Emperor and his most loathsome creation? More importantly, why had Xizor's agents not uncovered this before now? Xizor's ire was instant--but cold. No sign of his surprise or anger would show on his imperturbable features. The Falleen did not allow their emotions to burst forth as did many of the inferior species; no, the Falleen ancestry was not fur but scales, not mammalian but reptilian. Not wild but coolly calculating. Such was much better. Much safer.

"Yes, my master," Vader continued.

"He could destroy us," the Emperor said.

Xizor's attention was riveted upon the Emperor and the holographic image of Vader kneeling on the deck of a ship far away. Here was interesting news indeed. Something the Emperor perceived as a danger to himself? Something the Emperor feared?

"He's just a boy," Vader said, "Obi-Wan can no longer help him."

Obi-Wan. That name Xizor knew. He was among the last of the Jedi Knights, a general. But he'd been dead for decades, hadn't he?

Apparently Xizor's information was wrong if Obi-Wan had been helping someone who was still a boy. His agents were going to be sorry.

Even as Xizor took in the distant image of Vader and the nearness of the Emperor, even as he was aware of the luxury of the Emperor's private and protected chamber at the core of the giant pyramidal palace, he was also able to make a mental note to himself: Somebody's head would roll for the failure to make him aware of all this. Knowledge was power; lack of knowledge was weakness. This was something he could not permit.

The Emperor continued. "The Force is strong with him. The son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi."

Son of Skywalker?

Vader's son! Amazing!

"If he could be turned he would become a powerful ally," Vader said.

There was something in Vader's voice when he said this, something Xizor could not quite put his finger on. Longing? Worry?

Hope?

"Yes...yes. He would be a great asset," the Emperor said. "Can it be done?"

There was the briefest of pauses. "He will join us or die, Master."

Xizor felt the smile, though he did not allow it to show any more than he had allowed his anger play. Ah. Vader wanted Skywalker alive, that was what had been in his tone. Yes, he had said that the boy would join them or die, but this latter part was obviously meant only to placate the Emperor. Vader had no intention of killing Skywalker, his own son; that was obvious to one as skilled in reading voices as was Xizor. He had not gotten to be the Dark Prince, Underlord of Black Sun, the largest criminal organization in the galaxy, merely on his formidable good looks. Xizor didn't truly understand the Force that sustained the Emperor and made him and Vader so powerful, save to know that it certainly worked somehow. But he did know that it was something the extinct Jedi had supposedly mastered. And now, apparently, this new player had tapped into it. Vader wanted Skywalker alive, had practically promised the Emperor that he would deliver him alive--and converted.

This was most interesting.

Most interesting indeed.

The Emperor finished his communication and turned back to face him. "Now, where were we, Prince Xizor?"

The Dark Prince smiled. He would attend to the business at hand, but he would not forget the name of Luke Skywalker.

Copyright © 1997 by Steve Perry. ™ & © 1997 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2001

    My Shadows of the Empire Review!

    As many of you know or do not know this book was set between 'The Empire Strikes Back' and 'Return of the Jedi'. The book was wonderfully written with plenty of research into the Star Wars Expnded Universe.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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