Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
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|Author||George Lucas (characters)
Steve Perry (novel)
John Wagner (comic)
|Galactic Year||3.5 ABY|
|Publisher||LucasArts (video game)
Bantam Books (novel)
Dark Horse Comics (comic)
|Released||December 20, 1996|
Computer and video games: Nintendo 64, Windows
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire is a multimedia project created by Lucasfilm Ltd. in 1996. The original idea was to create an interquel, a story set between the movies The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi (a time no Star Wars novel had explored before), and to explore all commercial possibilities of a full motion picture release, without actually making the film. The venture paved the way for the theatrical release of the Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition in the following year, and the later releases of the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy.
- 1 Project overview
- 2 Novel
- 3 Comics
- 4 Game
- 5 Soundtrack
- 6 Toys
- 7 Trading cards
- 8 Trailer
- 9 Original Trilogy Special Edition
- 10 Sequel
- 11 Prequel
- 12 Tie-ins
- 13 Production miscellaneous
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Several products were released, including a novel, a junior novelization, comic book series, video games, trading cards, a soundtrack, role-playing games, toy figurines, vinyl dolls, a series of Micro Machines toys, statuettes, model kits, a series of action figures and vehicles, and so on. The entire Shadows of the Empire project, along with The Force Unleashed, though not technically a film, can be collectively considered the closest project to a film in the Star Wars official continuity, without actually being a film. This story is significant in the fact that Lucas reportedly said he would have made a story like this into a movie if he had had the time and effort to do so back in the early 1980s.
The Battle of Hoth
Hotshot smuggler and mercenary Dash Rendar with his droid co-pilot Leebo arrive at Hoth to deliver the usual food supplies to the secret Rebel base there; along with some assault blasters for Princess Leia Organa. When he docks in the hangar, he is surprised to run into Han Solo, who had become involved with the Rebellion since their last meeting. Their meeting is cut short because of an advancing Imperial force. Dash instructs Leebo to load their cargo into the evacuating transports and to retrieve their payment as he joins Rogue Squadron for the upcoming battle. On Solo's recommendation, Commander Luke Skywalker agrees to give Rendar an unused T-47 snowspeeder into combat.
In the ensuing battle, Dash flies against the approaching walkers, AT-ST and Viper probe droids, succeeding in destroying some of the AT-AT walkers before the Imperials destroy the Base's deflector shield generator and the Rebels are forced to withdraw. Dash is left behind as the base is overrun by snowtroopers who have destroyed the main generators; Leebo warns Rendar that the hangar doors of Bay 3 could not be opened to allow the Outrider to leave until power was restored. Fighting his way through the Imperial forces, Rendar proceeds to the base's lower level and activates the emergency generators, restoring power to the hangar door. As he makes his way back to Bay 3, he ends up before an AT-ST, which he manages to destroy with a rocket launcher.
Leebo takes control of the Outrider, leading it through the Hoth asteroid belt while Rendar uses the ship's gun turret to fend off the TIE Fighter and TIE Bomber attackers. After clearing the asteroids, the Outrider jumps to safety and Rendar rejoins the Rebels.
Search for Boba Fett Aboard the Redemption, Leia is informed that an Imperial Strike Cruiser has spotted the fleet; Wedge Antilles leads the Rogues into a space battle so that their Rebel rendezvous point remains secret. Leia meanwhile understands that Luke is different after his encounter with Darth Vader and wonders what happened between them. On the Executor, Vader is contacted by Palpatine who chastises him for his failure to capture Luke on Bespin. He then orders Vader to conclude shipping arrangements of the Death Star II plans with the Black Sun crimelord Prince Xizor; a discussion which Xizor oversees being a guest to the Imperial Palace. Xizor realizes that this young Skywalker who is hunted by the two Lords of the Sith, might be related to Vader. On his way out, Xizor explains to his servant Guri, that he intends to kill Luke and discredit Vader, while improving his prestige before the Emperor. Guri has made her arrangements with bounty hunters and Xizor is ready to meet Jabba.
The Slave I carrying Han Solo in carbonite block, exits hyperspace above Tatooine and Boba Fett hopes to deliver it to Jabba; but discovers that a signal beacon -installed when he was on Cloud City- was activated. The IG-2000 arrives and he has a dangerous encounter with IG-88D, who intends to claim the bounty of Solo. Slave I sustains some damage but Fett outwits the droid. Thinking that it is destroyed, Fett retreats to planet Gall for repairs; but the droid also managed to survive and limps off to Ord Mantell to search for spare parts for the ship in the planet's scrapyard.
Luke and Leia end up on Tatooine. Luke had performed a Jedi mind trick to the guard of a circus tent, and practices his abilities on the acrobat string, while contemplating his training with Yoda, the Force, and meeting with Vader. Leia sleeps inside Ben Kenobi's hut and has a nightmare, remembering the capture of Han and their last kiss.
Xizor in his palace ponders on his plans to overthrow Vader and his other underground business, such as hiring the Pike Sisters and meeting his lieutenant Mayth Duvel who gives him a precious rare ruby from Nezriti Organization; it does not impress Xizor the least.
In his castle, Vader tests his injured hand by battling an ASP droid with a lightsaber, while briefing his agent, Wrenga 'Jix' Jixton about his foresight that Luke will approach Jabba to rescue Han. Jix is sent to Tatooine to join Jabba's gang both to capture Luke, and ensure his survival.
Meanwhile, Lando wanted to redeem himself of his treachery and had sent Rendar to discover traces of Han Solo. Having tracked IG-88 on Ord Mantell, he is sent there to learn Fett's whereabouts. IG-88D hid in a salvage plant which, as Leebo scans show, is connected with a hover train. Rendar rides one whose tracks run parallel to those of the train that lead to his destination. As the two trains move alongside each other, Rendar leaps across the gap and makes his way to the front. Leebo then manages remotely to jam the hovertrain's auto-brakes, causing it to crash and break the door of the salvage plant. Inside, Rendar finds IG-88D who reveals that he had indeed tracked Fett to the Zhar system. Unwilling to let Rendar stop him from taking Solo from Fett, the droid opens fire. Rendar fights back and defeats the droid. Back on Tatooine, Leia and Chewie are waiting in Chalmun's Spaceport Cantina for Lando, as Chewie defends Leia who is being harassed by suspicious figures. Finally Lando shows up with Threepio and Artoo and narrates Rendar's information that Han has been found.
On Coruscant, Vader finishes his diplomatic debate with Xizor, during which he attempted to look superior and more polite than Vader. Finally, the two arrange 300 ships from Xizor Transport Systems (XTS) for the construction of the Death Star II on Endor. Xizor walks in a luxury hall while a man, Hoff, makes an assassination attempt against him; Xizor kills him single-handedly. The event is watched by Palpatine and Vader, who suspects that Palpatine orchestrated the attempt, only to test Xizor. Luke, in Kenobi's hut, attempts to construct a new lightsaber following a book left for him by Ben. He ponders his memories of him and the adventures in Cloud City when he sees his Rebel friends coming. They tell him about Fett's whereabouts; while thinking on how to get there and approach the bounty hunter, Chewie proposed to ask help from the Rebellion.
Green's death. On Coruscant, Xizor is in a meeting of Black Sun "Vigos". Several agents are present, Durga, Kreet'ah , Clezo, Wumdi, Perit and Green. Knowing that Green's ambitions and network of double agents, Guri strangles him in order to intimidate other ambitious Vigos; and make a point that Xizor does not tolerate such cooperatives. When the meeting is concluded, Xizor summons Jabba to meet him. Vader is naked in his medical chamber and ponder his meeting with Luke. He attempts to Force heal a part of his body and succeeds but the satisfaction cuts his tie with the dark side and the healing collapses.
Rendar has headed to the Imperial moon base on Gall in the Zhar system to confirm Fett's presence. Having landed in Smuggler's Gorge he makes his way through Imperial patrols along the cliffside before reaching the entrance to the base through which he fights his way to the observation tower. Once there, he accesses the computer and learns that Fett was docked in the second tower, on the other side of the nearby canyon. Stealing a jetpack, Rendar crosses the canyon and arrives to a large hangar containing an AT-ST. After disabling it, he opens and follows the facility's ventilation system near a waiting hoversled with which he reaches the Slave I. But Fett is also there; the two mercenaries open fire until Fett flees into his ship. Slave I takes off and Fett tries to aim its weapons against Rendar, who is able to damage the ship with his rocket launchers.
As Luke continues tampering the lightsaber jewel in the company of his friends, Lando arrives bringing confirmation by Rendar that Slave I is on Gall.
Meanwhile, Xizor welcomes Jabba who came from Tatooine. During their conversation Jabba gives out that the smuggler Solo was an affiliate to Skywalker, and that his delivery was delayed. When Jabba leaves, Guri puts out the information that the bounty hunters after Skywalker would be advised to locate Boba Fett. Meanwhile, the rebels are on board the Millennium Falcon on their way to Gall's moon, Kile. Chewie plays a game with Threepio (probably dejarik), and Lando makes a failed attempt to prepare "Giju stew" for dinner.
The Battle of GallEdit Luke, Leia, Lando and Chewie meet Wedge and the Rogues on Kile and are reintroduced to Dash Rendar. Wedge briefs the new arrivals on the layout of the Imperial base and two Star Destroyers, each with a wing of starfighters. Skywalker proposes to attack, drawing off the defending TIE fighters, while Rendar leads the Falcon and its crew to Fett's coordinates. After his defeat by Rendar, Fett meets Bossk and Zuckuss in a cantina, who negotiate with him to `share the bounty of Han. He firmly refuses and takes out a sniper placed to ambush him. Then his system warns him that Slave I has been breached.
Vader is in his castle and trains on lightsaber fight with an ASP droid; he feels that the slight ache in his shoulder where Luke had cut through his armor during their fight was feeling better.
The Battle of Gall.
Meanwhile the Rogue Squadron attacks the Star Destroyers above Gall, and Luke hones his Force skills. Dix Rivan is killed, and the second Star Destroyer starts to approach. As the Falcon follows the Outrider on the planet, Rendar dares Lando's piloting skill, as Lando tells Leia about Rendar's past. To avoid Imperial sensors, they fly few meters above the trees and then into the Grand Trench. After they pass the sensor station and lift out of the canyon, they come to the shipyard where Slave I is. Less than a minute away from the target, however, Rendar leaves, being hired to lead, not fight. Cursing, Leia and Lando man the turrets to fend of the TIEs as they approach Fett. Above the planet, as the Rogues retreat in a mock hyperspace jump, Wes Janson's malprogrammed R2 seizes control of his X-wing and attempts to shoot Luke down. After avoiding it, Luke manages to shoot Wes' R2. The Rogues land on Kile and examine Wes' Artoo. It was malprogrammed by an agent. Rendar arrives on the base explaining to Luke and Wedge why he was forced to withdraw.
Meanwhile, Fett arrives at Slave I to find 4-LOM with other bounty hunters attempting to steal Solo's slab and shoots them down, before seeing the Falcon approaching and takes off. The Falcon has sustained too much damage and Fett's departure marks the failure of the mission.
Luke and Wedge find that Janson's droid had been programmed by their technician Viera Cheran, who attempts to shoot Luke, before being shot by Wedge. As Luke welcomes Leia, Lando and Wedge investigate her account and discover 10,000 credits paid by dummy corporations, tracing to Saber Enterprises. Being a front organization for the Empire's anti-espionage operations, they believe that she was paid by Vader.
On Coruscant, having just ended the relationship with his mistress, and dined at Menarai, he sends Guri to Ororo Transportation, a rival to Black Sun, and arranges a second meeting with Vader.
Leia decides to contact an underground organization and find out who who wants Luke dead. Unfortunately she decides to ask Black Sun, unaware that this is the very organization they are looking for. Luke is sent to follow Fett on Tatooine, again not knowing that Xizor already expects him to do so so. However she also secretly hires Rendar to follow and protect him.
Xizor visits the Emperor's skyhook and meets Vader. Presented as a faithful servant to the Empire, he gives the largest Vergesso asteroid in the Lybeya system, as a secret Rebel shipyard. In reality the Vergesso Base belongs to Ororo Transportation. Palpatine sends Vader and Admiral Okins to destroy the "Rebel" base, an order which is a setback to Vader's plans to watch over Xizor.
Hunting the Assassins Lando and Leia travel to Rodia, where they meet Avaro (Greedo's uncle), who promises them to bring a contact of Black Sun. Back on Tatooine, Luke is in Ben's hut finishing his lightsaber. Meanwhile Jixton has arrived in Mos Eisley, and manages to challenge and impress Big Gizz and his gang by stealing Spiker's swoop bike and thus gains a job for Jabba. He is puzzled to learn that Jabba got a transmission that Vader (actually Xizor) wants Luke dead, which interferes with Vader's instructions to ensure Luke's survival. After a discussion in Chalmun's cantina that Dash overhears, Jix and the gang race over to kill Luke. Dash steals a swoop and runs after them.
Luke is testing his lightsaber with Artoo when he sees the bikers arriving. He takes out one of the riders, kick one off and take his swoop to flee towards Beggar's Canyon. During the frail, Luke is unknowingly aided by Jix who sabotages his fellows' attempts to hit Luke. The pursuers are halved and Luke loses them by passing through the Stone Needle when Rendar arrives, drops into the canyon and opens fire causing them to scatter and flee. Big Gizz remains hidden and attempts to shoot Luke, but Jix hit his head with a stone. While Vader is en route to the Vergesso asteroid, Xizor visits Palpatine and reveals that he was the 'generous' informant of the secret "Rebel base". Vader concludes the battle in his Interceptor and on his way back he contacts the Emperor. Enraged, he sees Xizor in the hologram beside him.
Back in his Palace, Xizor is informed that Leia attempts to contact Black Sun. Charmed by her beauty, he sends Guri to bring her. He then watches a recording of Guri's earlier meeting with the heads of Ororo Transportation, Z. Limmer, Tuyay and Dellis Yuls; killing them after denying to cooperate with Black Sun. Having Dash explained that he was sent by Leia, and the gang belonged to Jabba, Artoo detects the approach of a message droid. It is a message from Koth Melan to Leia, claiming to have vital information for the Alliance and requesting a meeting as soon as possible on Bothawui. Skywalker decides to go, followed by Rendar.
On Coruscant, as Vader expresses his concerns on giving the Death Star plans to the Rebels, Palpatine says that he knows best. Leia gets tired waiting for Black Sun and Avaro explains that it's not up to him, not knowing that Guri is already coming for her. Before that, she sends the route of Suprosa to their Bothan double agent.
Meanwhile Fett hides in an asteroid field when 4-LOM resumes operation. Before Fett disables him once more, Bossk's ship picks up his signal and attacks a stranded Slave I. Zuckuss and his team board the ship and apprehend Fett. As Furlag leads him to the force cages, Fett opens a trapdoor under his feet and gets his weapon. He kills everyone but keeps Zuckuss alive to communicate with Bossk. He sends Bossk's shuttle back to him; when Bossk's colleague looks inside he sees his fellows dead, along with a detonation device, when Fett jumps to hyperspace.
Bothawui Luke and Dash make their way to the Intergalactic Trade Mission on Bothawui. Rendar bribes a guard but on the 16th floor, the protocol droid R0-4 refuses to let them in without an appointment, until Rendar pulls his blaster. The Bothan accepted the pair as Leia's representatives, explaining about a new unknown Imperial military project. A secured supercomputer containing the plans is being transported from Coruscant to Bothawui aboard the Suprosa, a Mobquet Medium Transport masquerading as a fertilizer freighter. Melan plans to capture it and had put together a team for the mission, joined by Skywalker and Rendar, who looked forward to an extra reward. In a hidden base outside the city, they meet the Blue Squadron. On Coruscant, as Vader expresses his concerns on giving the Death Star plans to the Rebels, Palpatine says that he knows best.
Lando, Chewy and Leia pass a long time in Avaro's casino. Lando gambled and played and won most of his games while Leia was fed up waiting. Eventually Avaro tells her that Guri would meet them shortly.
Capturing the supercomputer Guri's Bothan agent brings the route plans of the Suprosa to the Bothan Spynet, and Blue Squadron, joined by Ace Azzameen of the Rebel Alliance, move to the coordinates.
Battle of Bothawui Intercepting the Suprosa The vessel doesn't surrender as Luke demands and the Y-wings start disabling the engines. The Suprosa opens fire, destroying a ship and the Bothans break off to regroup. As they pull back, the freighter fires a Diamond Boron Missile. Rendar fails to shoot it down and it destroys a group of four Y-wings, killing eight Bothans and another two. Despite the losses, the Rebels soon disable the freighter and Rendar takes the Outrider in to conduct the boarding operation. He docks the Outrider and boarded the freighter to look for the supercomputer. Following Leebo's directions, Rendar works his way towards the main cargo hangar, encountering heavy resistance from the crew and Stormtroopers. Upon reaching the hangar, Rendar destroys a loader droid which attacked him with spring-loaded arms. After Rendar located the supercomputer and disabled the hangar force field, Leebo brings the Outrider into the hangar to collect the smuggler and the supercomputer.
On Rodia, Guri inspects the Rebels at the Next Chance casino. After a brief meeting she cuts it short claiming that she has business to attend, leaving the Rebels with the distinct impression that there was something unusual about her.
On the Outrider, Koth and Luke discuss about the supercomputer's significance while Dash blames himself for missing the missile. Luke sends Dash to Rodia to find Leia. Himself and Koth moves to Kothlis with Koth. En route to Kothlis, the party is attacked by Claw and Hunter which are driven off by Blue Squadron, and a special Bothan encryption team arrives at Kothlis to attempt to bypass the self destruct device of the supercomputer.
Guri reports to Xizor that Leia is dangerous and advocates killing the Rebels. However, Xizor has other plans and asks her to be brought to Coruscant. He then meets Palpatine showing recordings of how successfully the plans entered Rebels' hands. With securing the plans, the Alliance gains trust in Xizor. The plans are in truth, outdated, and the second Death Star is fully operational, unlike what the schematics read.
Lando installs a doppraymagno scanner in their hotel room waiting for Guri, before notified that Dash arrived on Rodia and welcome him. Guri then returns to Rodia and during their meeting, the scanner quickly confirms Leia's suspicions: Guri is not Human. C-3PO puts a sleeping potion in her tea, so that they can conduct a closer examination but it fails; the two continue to trade diplomatic small-talk until Guri, tired of proceedings, attempts to abduct Leia only to be restrained by Lando, Chewbacca and Dash.
Kotlis safehouse attack Luke being captured
Luke and Koth and a Bothan special decryption team work on the supercomputer in the safehouse until bounty hunters break in. During the skirmish, a Bothan takes the supercomputer and hides it. Koth is killed, and Luke is captured, learning there there are two rewards on his head, both alive and dead. Unknown to him, it is Vader who wants him alive and Xizor who wants him dead. After much discussion between Leia, Guri and Xizor, Leia and Chewie follow Guri to the Stinger and move to Coruscant. To allow the two to make it safely, Guri provides for them them the disguises of of the Ubese bounty hunter Boushh, and Snoova. Meanwhile Lando is told by Dash that Luke remains on Kothlis and moves there.
Palpatine sends Vader to Kothlis, both to take Luke, and also pretend that he is there to reclaim the supercomputer. Once more, this order foils Vader's plans to watch over Xizor. Meanwhile Luke in his cell manages to control the mind of his guard who is get to lock himself in the cell and take a nap. Luke exits and takes his lightsaber and comlink.
On Coruscant, after "Boussh" and "Snoova" had made it through the customs of Coruscant, Leia meets Spero, a Ho'Din who owed her a favor, and gives some information about Black Sun.
On Kothlis, bounty hunters discover Luke who wards them off. Then Lando shows up in an explosion and escapes with Luke on a stolen landspeeder. They depart on the Falcon for Tatooine, as the Executor has just arrived. Meanwhile the Death Star plans managed to reach the Razor over the planet.
Arrive at Xizor palace Leia arrives at Xizor's Palace. Skywalker is gone and Vader learns from Skahtul that someone wants Luke dead, with suspicions that this bounty comes from Black Sun. Leia and Chewie meet Guri again. They follow Howzmin and enter a maglev car that will bring them to Xizor's palace. Xizor hosts the visitors and provides them each with appropriate commodities.
Meanwhile, Fett fixes Slave I's lasers and tells Zuckuss his plans on delivering Solo to Jabba.
The Falcon's hyperdrive has failed to start and Vader feels Luke somewhere near an asteroid and sends pilots to investigate as Lando tries to repair the problem. However Luke feels him approaching. The Falcon manages to leave the field and is ready for hyperspace, three dozens of TIEs come in. The ship enters hyperspace in the nick of time for Tatooine. Angered that his prey was lost, Vader orders to bomb a 'suspected Rebel base' on one of the Kothlisian moons.
In Jabba's Palace, Jix gets past security and makes contact with Vader on the Executor in order to inform him of the swoop bike incident with Luke. Vader learns that Jabba, too, had a bounty for Luke dead, put by someone who used Vader's name.
Xizor and leia
Howzmin brings Chewie to Leia's room. Chewie looks strangely at Leia who prepares for him, and she excuses herself, claiming she is on a diplomatic mission. All that while Xizor was preparing his pheromones for meeting her in meditation. While the Falcon is en route to Tatooine, Luke feels Leia is in danger, despite Lando's reassurance. Leia attempts to negotiate with Xizor about business between the Alliance and the Black Sun, and then reveals that she is there for Luke, as Xizor kisses her. After an intense seductive experience, Leia is interrupted by Chewbacca who shows her microphones and cameras; she then instructs him to escape and notify Luke. Meanwhile Vader's returns to Coruscant and reports to the Emperor about the loss of Skywalker. He mentions that Xizor might be the one who wants him dead. Palpatine gives him a leave to look for Skywalker.
Leia eventually retakes control of herself, and after she buys some time to let Chewie escape, she knees Xizor between the legs. He is outraged, and sends her back to her room. Chewie is intentionally let to 'escape' (although not so easy) hoping that he would lead Luke to rescue Leia; and into Xizor's hands. He is not worried at all that Luke escaped Kothlis or Vader's bidding. Luke insists contacting Leia and receives a message from Chewie who tells that she is in danger. They change course for Coruscant. With some flying tricks they manage to evade sensors and hid in 'sensor shadow' and land on the planet uneventfully.
Lair of the Dark Prince Luke, Dash, Lando receive a message from Chewie and head for Coruscant where they meet; Chewbacca stealthily make their way through the sewers of Black Sun in order to enter Xizor's palace. Using the Force, Luke and his thoughts inform Leia that he and the group are close by and will soon rescue her from Xizor. After much blasterfire with security guards with Luke integrating his increasingly advanced lightsaber skills, the group finds Leia and begins to lead her out of the palace. They enter a hallway with Xizor, Guri, and several more of his aides, and a battle soon commences wherein Xizor and Guri are impressed with Luke's skills as a Jedi. Luke and Lando soon threaten Xizor with thermal detonators that they send down the garbage chute, causing everyone to frantically panic and scatter out of Xizor's palace.
The Millennium Falcon, being driven by R2-D2 and C-3PO, wildly careens toward Luke and company, allowing them to escape onto the vessel above Coruscant.
Xizor boards his skyhook, then sends four of his own starfighters at the Rebels, with Dash defending them with flak from the laser turrets of the Outrider. The X-wing starfighters of Rogue Squadron soon join in, along with many TIE fighters, and a big space battle commences. Guri, Xizor's assassin human replica droid, manages to escape using a paraglider. Vader, via hologram on the Executor over Coruscant, confronts Xizor. Vader warned Xizor to stay away from Luke, but he willfully disobeyed those orders, and he thus orders the Imperial fleet to destroy Xizor's skyhook.
There is a great explosion wherein the Outrider is thought to be destroyed when Dash actually makes a jump to hyperspace at the last moment, as he is convinced that his experiences with the Rebels have been too dangerous while there is too much money to be made elsewhere.
On Tatooine, Fett fools the stalking bounty hunters with a disguised Zuckuss and a covered up 4-LOM that would seem to be himself and a carbonite block speeding away from the Slave I. The real Fett gives the actual carbonite block of Han to Jabba, and he receives his payment. Meanwhile, Luke, Leia, Lando, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO prepare to rescue Han from Jabba the Hutt. Luke prepares his holographic message to Jabba and puts his lightsaber into R2.
The main plotline is told in Steve Perry's novel, Shadows of the Empire, published by Bantam Books. It introduces Prince Xizor, the alien overlord of the largest criminal organization in the galaxy. His goal is to take Darth Vader's place at Emperor Palpatine's side. The novel also resumes the storylines of the usual characters. Han Solo is still frozen in carbonite, being taken to the gangster Jabba the Hutt by the bounty hunter Boba Fett. It shows Princess Leia's secret search for Boba Fett, the construction of Luke Skywalker's new lightsaber and Darth Vader's search for his son. It introduces a new character to the saga, Dash Rendar, a Han Solo-type smuggler, who acts primarily as a replacement for Han Solo and as a part of the action sequences.
|Shadows of the Empire|
The comic book emphasizes the destiny of Boba Fett and his fellow bounty hunters, first seen in a brief scene on The Empire Strikes Back. It also tells the story of Jix, Darth Vader's assistant, who infiltrated Jabba the Hutt's gang of bikers to prevent that band's attempt to murder Luke Skywalker. The series was written by John Wagner and illustrated by Kilian Plunkett.
The comics were written and drawn at the same time of the novel, so the first issue could be released immediately after the book. However, the story told by the comics has many differences. The first, and most important one, is that the comics tells what happened to Boba Fett and his "friends", the bounty hunters hired by Darth Vader to find the Millennium Falcon in The Empire Strikes Back. Steve Perry, author of the project's novel, was a consultant of the comics. While the stories in the book and comics seldom intersected, it was necessary that characters, scenes, and dialogue match when they did come together.
There was another mini comic published in Nintendo Power Magazine.
LucasArts's Shadows of the Empire was one of the first games available for the Nintendo 64, and later for Windows. The most commercial product in the Shadows of the Empire line, the game was first released in December 1996 as an exclusive N64 title 4 months after the console's launch. The PC version came nearly a year later in September 1997.
In the game, players control mercenary Dash Rendar in his efforts to help Luke Skywalker and rescue Princess Leia from Prince Xizor's hands. It is divided into four parts (or chapters):
- Chapter 1: Dash is drawn into the Battle of Hoth.
- Chapter 2: Dash Rendar confronts bounty hunters from the original films — IG-88 and Boba Fett — in an attempt to reacquire Han Solo.
- Chapter 3: Boba Fett has escaped and the player's mission changes: you must now save Luke Skywalker's life by fighting a deadly gang of swoop bikers in Mos Eisley, then recover secret Imperial plans for the second Death Star with Luke's help.
- Chapter 4: Dash Rendar, with Luke and Lando Calrissian, travels to Coruscant to rescue Princess Leia from Prince Xizor's stronghold.
Certain parts of the game contradict elements from the book and comic book, but the overall story remains the same.
The N64 and PC versions of the video game differ somewhat. The PC version has sharper and smoother gameplay graphics when using a 3D card. Both versions have slightly different cutscenes - the PC version has full-motion cinematic cutscenes with sound effects and voices, while the N64 version utilizes artwork with text at the bottom of the screen.
|Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire|
|Soundtrack album to the novel Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire by Joel McNeely|
|Released||April 23, 1996|
|Recorded||City Hall; Glasgow, 1996|
Varèse Sarabande published a score composed by Joel McNeely, after a suggestion by John Williams, and performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Chorus. Themes from the movies can be heard in tracks one (Main Theme from Star Wars,"Carbon Freeze") and eight ("The Imperial March", "The Force Theme"). The tenth track also contains credited appearances of "Imperial March". The disc also includes an interactive track for personal computers, containing concept art and additional information about the project. The multimedia track includes an overview of the Shadows of the Empire project; a creative team gallery; information about McNeely, the orchestra, and the efforts to put together a soundtrack for the novel; and information about the book, the game, the comic series, and the toys based on the characters. The liner notes give plot summaries for each track's corresponding section of the novel. McNeely wrote, "Unlike with film music, I have been allowed to let my imagination run free with the images, characters and events from this story. I have also had the luxury to loiter as long as I like with a character or scene. Every passage represents some person, place or event in this story."
- "Main Theme from Star Wars and Leia's Nightmare" – 3:41
- "The Battle of Gall" – 7:59
- "Imperial City" – 8:02
- "Beggar's Canyon Chase" – 2:56
- "The Southern Underground" – 1:48
- "Xizor's Theme" – 4:35
- "The Seduction of Princess Leia" – 3:38
- "Night Skies" – 4:17
- "Into the Sewers" – 2:55
- "The Destruction of Xizor's Palace" – 10:44
Kenner was one of the companies that made the toy line for the Shadows of the Empire project. Their line contained action figures (including new characters such as Xizor and Dash Rendar), vehicles (from the Outrider to swoop bikes) and "two-pack" pairings of new and classic characters (such as IG-88 and Boba Fett). The classic characters figures were given a new spin with Chewbacca disguised as Snoova, a Wookiee bounty hunter, and Luke Skywalker costumed in an Imperial uniform (all the better to infiltrate Imperial City).
Lewis Galoob Toys, famous for their line of "Micro Machines" miniature toys and playsets, also developed a full Shadows of the Empire toy line. It included three sets of miniatures and a boxed Action Fleet set with two swoop bikes and riders and four miniature articulated figures. Also included in the sets are the classic Star Wars characters (Luke, Vader, the Emperor) as well as the new Shadows characters (Xizor, Dash Rendar, Guri and Leebo).
Kenner action figures
- Boba Fett vs. IG-88
- Chewbacca in Bounty Hunter Disguise (with Vibro-Axe and Heavy Blaster Rifle)
- Dash Rendar (with Heavy Weapons Pack)
- Leia in Boushh Disguise (with Blaster Rifle and Bounty Hunter Helmet)
- Luke Skywalker in Imperial Guard Disguise (with Taser Staff Weapon)
- Prince Xizor (with Energy Blade Shields)
- Prince Xizor vs. Darth Vader
The model making company Ertl released several plastic model kits of Shadows of the Empire, including the Virago (Xizor's spaceship), Prince Xizor, and the Emperor.
Collectible and gift company Applause released two vinyl figures, of Dash Rendar and Prince Xizor as well as a cold-cast resin statuette of the villains: Xizor, the Emperor and Darth Vader.
The Topps company developed the Shadows of the Empire trading card line. The 100-piece Shadows of the Empire card set from Topps represents all three platforms that tells the story - the book, the comic series and the game. The cards are the work of Greg and Tim Hildebrandt, the twin artists who painted one of the more popular original Star Wars release posters. The 100 card set featured double UV-coating and an extra-thick 20 pt. card stock, all with full-bleed painted images on a 21/2" x 31/2" card. The Shadows of the Empire card series is highlighted by 72 cards that virtually storyboard the events in Steve Perry's novel. The series also contains six cards dedicated to vehicles, another six to the comics, and six more keyed to the video game. Each pack came with nine cards.
In 1996, to promote the release of the project, Lucasfilm released a trailer showing clips from The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. A voiceover was provided that explained the events of the new story and how they connected with the two films. The trailer was meant to give the project the feel of an actual film and film release. The trailer, which was originally broadcast on QVC, was also shown several times at fan conventions, including the 1996 Wondercon convention, each time by the head of Lucasfilm fan relations, Steve Sansweet. However, Lucasfilm quickly pulled the trailer, fearing that people might think the project was actually a film. Since the pull of the trailer, many fans searching for it to view have found the trailer extremely difficult to locate, even on the internet. From the book The Secrets of Shadows of the Empire, this is the complete text from the trailer, as originally read by an unknown narrator:
- When Luke Skywalker was most vulnerable...
- When a renegade hero became a friend in desperate need, and a dark villain faced his greatest challenge...
- When the Empire turned more and more to the forces of the underworld...
- The underworld moved in to crush the Empire and the Rebellion in a single stroke...
- After The Empire Strikes Back and before Return of the Jedi, there was a time when heroes and villains alike lived in the Shadows of the Empire.
- from The Secrets of Shadows of the Empire by Mark Cotta Vaz
Original Trilogy Special Edition
In the 1997 Special Edition re-release of A New Hope, Shadows swoop bikes and ASP labor droids make an appearance, as does Dash Rendar's ship, the Outrider. Though originally developed for the Special Edition of A New Hope, the Sentinel-class landing craft (also known as the "Imperial landing craft") also made its first appearance in Shadows of the Empire. This is the craft seen lifting off in A New Hope when the stormtroopers are roaming Tatooine on the Dewbacks.
A sequel was written to the original story by Steve Perry, the author of the Shadows of the Empire novel. The project is known as Shadows of the Empire: Evolution, and was created in the form of a series of five comic books. These books were later combined to create a graphic novel.
The story is set around the time of Star Wars—Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Xizor, the leader of the Black Sun criminal organization, has been destroyed, and Guri, a beautiful human-replica droid and Xizor's personal assassin, is left wondering what her future will hold now that she no longer has anyone to answer to. Throughout the ongoing struggle for underworld supremacy, Guri endeavors to uncover hints of her human side-if it even exists. But in her quest to alter her programming and gain humanity, Guri becomes the quarry of both bounty hunters and Rebels (led by a Jedi-to-be named Luke). Secrets lay buried in her android mind that make her such valuable prey. Shadows of the Empire: Evolution was Perry's first foray into comics.
There were five comic book installments that made up the overall story:
- Chapter 1: After the Fall
- Chapter 2: The Journey of a Thousand Light-Years
- Chapter 3: Dark Fires of a Black Sun
- Chapter 4: Metamorphosis
- Chapter 5: Reincarnation
A prequel novel was planned to the original Shadows of the Empire story. The book was to be written by author Charles Grant. The novel was cancelled, apparently due to a Lucasfilm Licensing move from Bantam to Del Rey.
A tie-in comic book series was released from writer Ryder Windham in January 2000. The comic book series was known as Star Wars: Shadow Stalker, and was a prelude to the original Shadows of the Empire story. The new comic expanded on the adventures of the character, Jix, from the original story. The series also incorporated characters from the Archie Goodwin Star Wars newspaper strip story "Iceworld", reprinted by Dark Horse comics in Classic Star Wars.
Several missions in the X-Wing Alliance computer game refer to the Shadows timeline, including the missions to acquire the design schematics of the Death Star II. The game depicts assisting Dash Rendar in the capture of the Imperial freighter Suprosa, which was carrying the secret plans to the second Death Star. Also, Dash Rendar's YT-2400 Outrider can be seen in the game. The Outrider can also be seen very very briefly in the GameCube and PS2 game Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, in the sequence after the opening crawl and after The Dooku/Palpatine conversation. Once the space arena comes into view, the Outrider flies from the bottom middle of the screen towards the lower right side.
- Representatives from Lucasfilm first approached John Williams to provide an original score. Williams declined, but instead personally recommended Joel McNeely for the job.
- At one point, the Shadows of the Empire video game was actually going to be centered around Boba Fett, but this decision was changed when Lucasarts thought to instead make a Boba Fett game (later made a Jango Fett Game), freeing Dark Horse to claim exclusive rights to center their version around Boba Fett.
- Site with complete list of products produced for the project
- A site reviewing the project from its initial release
- A review of the soundtrack
- Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire at MobyGames