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SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE
by Steve Perry

Place in timeline - Between Empire and Jedi

Published - April 1996

It is a time of crisis. Han Solo, frozen in carbonite, is being taken to the vile gangster Jabba the
Hutt. As Princess Leia mounts a rescue mission and Darth Vader scours the galaxy for Luke
Skywalker, another sinister figure emerges. Cunning and ruthless, leader of a powerful crime
syndicate, he will pit himself against Vader for the favor of their mutual master...The Dreaded
Emperor.

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 Rebel fleet and some intriguing new allies, if they are to prove victorious. In
Shadows of the Empire, Steve Perry adds an exciting new chapter to the Star Wars saga and
introduces important new characters and situations no Star Wars fan will want to miss.