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"Heir to the Empire," by Timothy Zahn [Bantam, 1991]

Discussion in 'Literature Review Forum' started by dp4m, Feb 6, 2003.


Heir to the Empire (by Timothy Zahn [Bantam, 1991])

Poll closed Mar 22, 2012.
  1. 10 (Excellent)

  2. 9

  3. 8

  4. 7

  5. 6 (Average)

  6. 5 (Average)

  7. 4

  8. 3

  9. 2

  10. 1 (Poor)

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  1. Tremaniac

    Tremaniac Jedi Youngling star 3

    Feb 26, 2002
    I had to give it a seven. It may have revived the StarWars Universe, but that means it's also partially responsible for the dribble that came afterwards. At least Zahn didn't suffer from SuperWeaponitis. I got a good laugh out of the idea of a blue skinned Rommell though. Too bad more writers didn't follow his lead in writing with more emphasis on individuals over weapons. hint hint Kevin J Anderson wink wink.
  2. Asyr Handor

    Asyr Handor Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 11, 1999
    Simply fabulous....picking basically the "first" book off the shelf in the fourth grade was amazing. Plus, it's a great story.
  3. Knight-Ander

    Knight-Ander Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 19, 2002

    Because when I got it when it first came out I was so happy to see something new from Star Wars. :D
  4. Keyan_Stele

    Keyan_Stele Jedi Master star 2

    Oct 26, 2000
    I just want to say about the Clone Wars date thing that people have to remember, these books were written in 1991-1993 when a lot of the Clone Wars info. was really guesswork. It's easy in 2002 and 2003 to sit here and nit pick about it because of course now we know precisely when it all occured.
    In 1991, Zahn *might* have asked someone who might or might not have been close to Lucas or Lucas himself, and a number *might* have been thrown out for it, whether it was an estimate of Anakin's age, or a number of years, or whatever. Whatever it was, it was subject to change, as all EU material is if G.L. wants to change it. Now, 10 years later, GL is making the movies around the time Clone Wars and he's doing whatever he wants to in his galaxy. I'm tired of Zahn being blamed in these forums for this "mistake".
    Now for some speculation and a chuckle:
    It's pretty clear though that G.L. himself might have changed the timeframe for the Clone Wars somewhere along the line.
    It seems from the films, there are indications that possibly Jedi age slower than non Force users of the same species. Obi-wan is clearly elderly and very slow in A New Hope, although by the dates we now have for events and his age, he isn't even 60 years old at that point. Qui-gon Jinn was 60+ in Ep. I and he was toe to toe with Darth Maul. Clearly, originally, Lucas thought of Obi-wan being older than his mid-fifties in his duel with Vader in Ep. IV.
    10 years seems like a good round number, and it may even be a bit more than that.
    Seems to me that Lucas subtracted 10 years out of his estimates somwhere along the line.
    So, in 1992...someone asks when were the Clone Wars...Lucas say 30 years before IV.
    Then he's writing 1, 2, and 3, and he says to himself...that would make Luke's parents too old...let's change it to 20 years give or take. So he changes it.
    Granted, this is all very tenuous and not supported by reams of evidence, but it is possible, albeit remotely.
    As I said, just fun speculation.
    Of course special effects are beter now, allowing faster saber duels than in IV, and Liam Neeson was much younger than Alec Guiness during filming of their parts.

    Ultimately though, the original point holds. Zahn didn't have the kind of pre-quel era info. in 1991 that we have now. Criticizing him for not being a time traveller does not make sense.

  5. The_Sith_Prophet

    The_Sith_Prophet Jedi Youngling star 3

    Feb 22, 2003
    I'm the fiftieth person to give HttE a TEN!!!

    I think this is by far the best sci fi book ever written, and it truly does move with the pace of light!
  6. Errant_Venture

    Errant_Venture Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 21, 2002
    I gave it a 10

    It is certainly one of my favorite EU novels to date. It certainly has the SW feel to it, and I like how Thrawn is this super tactical genius, and can just run circles around the best officers the Republic can throw at him.

    I realize that Thrawn is the bad guy, but I just could not stop rooting for the Imperial Grand Admiral, and I seriously wanted him to destroy the Rebellion once and for all.
  7. neeldawg66

    neeldawg66 Jedi Master star 8

    Mar 21, 2002

    Excellent read, with excellent use of prior established characters and intriging new ones (Thrawn & Mara Jade).
  8. Earthknight

    Earthknight Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 3, 2002
    I liked this book alot. It's really cool book, but the only reason I didn't give it a 9 was mostly because since it is part of a major trilogy I was hoping it would have at least one lightsaber battle. Because having Luke go up against a few stormtroopers with blasters isn't really a challenge. But the space battles are spectacular in this book. If it were made into a movie, the space battles alone would make it worth seeing.
  9. Jbrewster1012

    Jbrewster1012 Jedi Youngling star 1

    May 9, 2003
    I read Heir to the Empire several weeks ago. I'd read several SW books before it but this one was the best one yet. I didn't like Mara at the beginning but as the book went on, she developed more. Zahn is a great author and Thrawn was an awesome bad guy.
  10. I-poodoo

    I-poodoo Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 1, 2001
    9 Great but not quite excellent.

    The thing that makes this such a good book is that it's not an expansion as alot of the other novels are but rather a continuation of the movies. All the characterisations are dead on from what you saw in the movies. That's why so many people say this was the book that got them into the EU. It's such a flawless transition. Everything is as you'd imagine it would be like a couple years later after the end of RoTJ. So you could go from watching the movie and reading the book without missing a thing.

    The one thing that keeps the book from getting a perfect score from me is that there's hardly anything about Thrawn the man. Oh there's plenty about Thrawn the Imperial Grand Admiral, the tactical juggernaut. He revives the dying Empire and gives the rebellion/New Republic a good deal of strain, but that's what he does not who he is. I was curious about him, his motivations, his background, his oppinions. Yet Zahn seemed content to force an intriguing 3-dimensional character into a 2-D frame, and I think that caused a great story not to be the perfect story I really wanted it to be.
  11. skywalkerfreak2000

    skywalkerfreak2000 Jedi Youngling

    Jul 15, 2003
    I have'nt seen a very recent reply, but here I go anyway. I thought this book was excellent. I was quite interested with the spiteful Mara Jade. The way she was extremely forcefull made the book more interesting.
  12. Jedi_Scooch

    Jedi_Scooch Jedi Master star 1

    Nov 29, 2001
    Absolutely my favorite EU book. I love Thrawn, Karrde, and Mara. Zahn's style fits perfectly in the GFFA. A must read for any SW fan.
  13. Daemonicus

    Daemonicus Jedi Youngling star 1

    Aug 8, 2003
    This book is and still remains one of my fav books of all time. The entire Trilogy is brilliant and introduces 2 excellent characters in Mara Jade and Thrawn.
  14. Grand_Duchess_Olga

    Grand_Duchess_Olga Jedi Knight star 5

    Jun 28, 2002
    Well, some poeple, when they say, "too bad this story doesn't jive with the prequel that came out 7 years after the book came out" usually mean "too bad this good story has to be contridicted." I think the new and old characters are well written. Considering before this book came out, we pretty much only had Marvel Star Wars comics to read to see what happens to the Empire and the Rebellion, I think this book was realistic on how hard it is to get politicians to agree (much like the Prequel movies show with the Republic).
  15. Grand_Duchess_Olga

    Grand_Duchess_Olga Jedi Knight star 5

    Jun 28, 2002
    Another thing, when Mara was introduced, I thought, "oh, Luke's new love interrest." In fact, I thought that Luke and Mara will reconsil their problems in the forest and she would be head over heels with him. I'm glad they didn't do that, it would have been rediculous in this book and in the other 2 books.

    YODA_SITH Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 11, 2003
    Everyone said it was soooo great and that you have to read it. Well it didn't live up to my ecxpectations thrawn was great and he made me give it a 8 but everything else was just so so.
  17. scrotus

    scrotus Jedi Youngling

    Aug 21, 2003
    I wonder if I'm the last person to start reading any EU stuff. :) I picked up the Thrawn Trilogy 5 days ago and I've already finished 1 and 2 and started Vol 3.

    I have to agree that I'm immersed in this version of Star Wars. I can't put the books down. Zahn does an excellent job with new character development and continuing the characters from the OT.

    He really does an excellent job with the dialogue of Han, Lando, Leia and Luke (along with the other OT characters). I can imagine them saying all of the lines they have. He captures their spirits well.

    One huge annoying thing I have noticed about Zahn is that he really needs a thesaurus. I lost count on the number of times these were said.

    1. His lip curled, twisted or was bitten
    2. He said sardonically (is this the only adjective Zahn knows?)
    3. He felt a shiver up/down/across through his spine. (it must be cold everywhere they go).

    Seriously, after the 20th time seeing the same expressions I really got tired of seeing them. And this trend continues on through the rest of the trilogy.

    Other than that, I've caught myself laughing out loud at Han and Lando's bantering and squirming in my chair hoping that Wedge makes that important final laser blast.

    I absolutely love Thrawn's character. He completely fits into the SW universe and he is the genius that he's supposed to be.

    I'd give it 8 out of 10. (mostly because of the annoying repetitive descriptions).
  18. handzik

    handzik Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 20, 2002
    I give it 10, for most of the same reason stated in this thread, it got me into SW books and it's the only EU book I can read over and over again.
  19. Corran10584

    Corran10584 Jedi Knight star 5

    Oct 8, 2002
    10 - This is the book that started it all. The EU wouldn't be what it is today if it wasn't for the Timothy Zahn. This book was extremely well written and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through, always wanting more. Timothy Zahn introduced to some of the greatest EU characters ever o grace our pages, Mara Jade, Talon Karrde, Gilad Pelleaon, Thrawn and the list goes on. The events of Thrawn's rule were great to read, and you never knew what was going to happen next. It's easy to see why Timothy Zahn is the best there is.

  20. therebelforce

    therebelforce Jedi Youngling

    Sep 15, 2003
    The book is the best, and I have read moust of the EU. I give it a 10
  21. DarthJDDavis

    DarthJDDavis Jedi Youngling

    Sep 15, 2003
    Like so many other fans, this book restored my interest in Star Wars. I give it a solid 9. My only gripe with the book is Admiral Thrawn's obsession with art. "I knew you were going to do that because I studied your art." got kind of old after a while.

    I loved Zahn's characters of Talon Karrde and Mara Jade. And the way he continued to build on the characters from the OT was great.
  22. GrandWarlordMcneely

    GrandWarlordMcneely Jedi Youngling star 1

    Oct 2, 2003
    I really highly enjoyed this book, and the entire series. I kinda wish they would make a movie out the series. Grand Admiral Thrawn is, and always will be, one of my favorite charectors out of all the Star Wars universe. Thrawn was a genious, and so level headed and calm during battle situations. :D

  23. Eternal_Jedi

    Eternal_Jedi Jedi Grand Master star 3

    Sep 12, 2001
    I give it a solid 8. Still one of the best SW novels, even 12 years later. I dock a full point for the creation of the ysalamiri though. Too bad the third book didn't live up to the first two in the series.
  24. LaYa_

    LaYa_ Jedi Knight star 5

    Jul 21, 2003
    I gave it a 8.

    Really good book!
  25. Gross-admiral_Thrawn

    Gross-admiral_Thrawn Jedi Youngling star 2

    Jan 12, 2003
    Nop. It's not getting any better. Thrawn's Trilogy is the BEST of ALL EU, the best SW BOOKS EVER, they are!

    HttE is equal to TLC... it's just great from all points of view. It's not falling into the trap of overusing Lucas' ideas or movie characters, has the best stylekeeping of all SW books, has the best Original Character development (Jade and Thrawn - most famous from EU, Pellaeon, C'Baoth and Karrde also developed greatly!). All because it has the best SW writer EVER, Tim Zahn! This book starts from the scene we all know.
    Thrawn smiting the Rebels to dust. And this one is the most striking scene of all the EU - how one uses the power of mind to win. Not your usual "superweapons" freak or a newly-forged one-minute DarkSider like Kueller and few others... Thrawn is a smart guy. And he's not made a BAD guy, if you know what I mean. TT is great. It also introduces Jade, beloved Emperor's Hand. What would we do without her? ;)

    HttE rules, Thrawn Trilogy rules. That's it. And it's not getting any better!
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