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Today will be a day long remembered for Star Wars fans, particularly for enthusiasts of the Expanded Universe: LucasBooks has released their Star Wars: Heir to the Empire: The 20th Anniversary Edition written by Timothy Zahn. The novel has long been an enduring fixture in the reading collections not only of Star Wars fans, but also for general readers of Sci-Fi as well. Zahn contributed a significant first chapter in the beginning of a journey that would continue expanding the cosmos of Star Wars.
Originally released in 1991, Heir to the Empire was the first part of The Thrawn Trilogy. Set five years after Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, the Rebel Alliance has claimed Coruscant and instituted the New Republic. Meanwhile, the remnants of the Empire have coalesced under the strategic genius and foresight of Grand Admiral Thrawn, placing the Imperial Forces under the strongest direction it has had since the fall of Palpatine and Vader, and becoming a new menace to the infancy of the New Republic.
May the Force be with you all! Geeks of Doom will be posting a couple of Star Wars articles today, May 25, for Universal Day of the Jedi, which celebrates the anniversary of the release of the first Star Wars movie.
This year, Universal Day of the Jedi also celebrates the anniversary of Timothy Zahn‘s novel, Heir to the Empire. The initial release of this novel 20 years ago this month is significant, because it was quite literally groundbreaking: its impact would open the floodgates for an amazing deluge of Star Wars novels and comics – turning the Expanded Universe into an EXPANDING Universe.
Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy, of which Heir to the Empire is the first part, is widely regarded by many fans as one of the best series of Star Wars books to ever have been released. Some fans even consider the trilogy to be the equivalent of the closest we may ever get to a Star Wars Sequel Trilogy. Timothy Zahn has continued his journeys into the Expanded Star Wars Universe through the years – exploring deeper into the history and legacy of Grand Admiral Thrawn, the continual growing relationship between Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade, and also the mysteries behind the enigmatic Outbound Flight.
I figured with this month being the anniversary of Zahn’s masterpiece, and also with today being Universal Day of the Jedi, it would be a good opportunity to take a look back at some of the finer examples of Star Wars novels over the years.