The Empire Strikes Back (novel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Empire Strikes Back
Episodev empirestrikesback.jpg
AuthorDonald F. Glut
CountryUnited States
SeriesFilm novelizations
Canon G
SubjectStar Wars
GenreScience fiction
PublisherDel Rey
Publication date
August 21, 1995
April 12, 1980
Media typeHardcover & Paperback
PagesHardcover: 224
Paperback: 224
Preceded bySplinter of the Mind's Eye (1978) 
Followed byShadows of the Empire (1996) 

The Empire Strikes Back is a science-fiction novel written by Donald F. Glut and first published on April 12, 1980 by Del Rey. It is based on the script of the film of the same name. Along with the film, it introduces new characters, most notably Lando Calrissian and Boba Fett (though Fett had been seen in the earlier low-canon Star Wars Holiday Special, which was made completely apocryphal in 2014).

Glut's novelization was originally released in two forms; a standard edition and a special Young Readers' Edition that was condensed into 150 pages. Initial printings of both versions contained 8 pages of color photographs in the middle of the book.


Despite the destruction of the Death Star in the 1976 novel Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, the Galactic Empire stills retains an iron grip on the galaxy. Upon discovering the Rebel Alliance's secret base, the Empire strikes with massive force, sending the rebels scrambling across the galaxy. Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca ("Chewie") and C-3PO are slowed down from escaping with the rest of the group by collapsing ice on Hoth. Throughout the story, they remain within The Empire's reach.[1][2]

Luke Skywalker and R2-D2 flee to Dagobah, but not to regroup with the others. Instead, Luke seeks Yoda in order to be trained as a Jedi Knight. His development of Force sensitivity during his training gives him a sensation of the danger shadowing his friends. Subsequently, Luke's friends are captured in Cloud City. Han is frozen in carbonite and taken to Jabba the Hutt. Luke leaves Dagobah to save his friends. But it is a trap, as the unprepared Luke is drawn into an unsuccessful confrontation with the Imperial Sith Lord Darth Vader. He is left with a missing hand, near-death and reeling from the shocking revelation that Vader is his father. However, he is rescued by the Millennium Falcon.[3]

As in the film, the ending sees Luke, Leia, Chewie, 3PO and R2-D2 reunited, with Luke and Lando finalizing their plan to rescue Han Solo from Jabba's captivity.[3]

Differences from the film[edit]

The book has some differences from the film,[4] such as:

  • Yoda has blue skin in the novel, while in all other appearances his skin is greenish.
  • Luke Skywalker's training with Yoda is given more detail than in the film.
  • The Hoth battle is extended somewhat, such as when General Veers' AT-AT is destroyed by a Snowspeeder shortly after blowing up the rebels' shield generator.
  • Darth Vader's lightsaber blade is blue in the novel, whereas in the films it is red.
  • When Luke is attacked by Stormtroopers in Cloud City, he returns fire with his blaster, unlike in the film, where he does not fire a single shot.
  • In the Battle of Hoth, Dack can not get his harness done, as opposed to 'setting his approach vector'.


The book was followed in 1983 by Return of the Jedi, written by James Kahn. It is the third and final novel adaptation of the Star Wars classic trilogy.


  1. ^ The Empire Strikes Back. Internet Archive.
  2. ^ Glut, Donald F. (1999). The Empire Strikes Back. ISBN 9781857239393.
  3. ^ a b Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  4. ^ "Star Wars Episode 5 Empire Strikes Back".

External links[edit]