Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars novel Heir to the Empire was first released in hardcover on May 1, 1991. It was the first Star Wars novel to be released since L. Neil Smith’s Lando Calrissian and the Starcave of ThonBoka dropped in November 1983, and the first Star Wars novel to actually take place after Return of the Jedi. It was a lot of firsts, actually.Continue reading “Heir to the Empire is 30 years old”
Wednesday, October 17 brings two comics and a Legends trade collection of some interest. The spooks continue with IDW’s Tales from Vader’s Castle #3, while Marvel has Darth Vader #22. And we’ve got a pretty noteworthy edition of the Legends epic collection – The New Republic volume 4 contains the complete comic adaptations of The Thrawn Trilogy: Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command.
Jedi Bibliothek noted a listing saying that Timothy Zahn’s original Thrawn trilogy – Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command – will be getting new cover art in the fall. (The listing may only be visible to logged-in users – here’s a screenshot.) The new art hasn’t been revealed, but it certainly makes sense to give them a refresh, particularly given that this information appears in a listing for Zahn’s upcoming Thrawn novel. The new book will be canon and tied to the character’s Rebels appearance, but his Legends origins aren’t exactly a secret.
In short: Whatever the covers are, expect Grand Admiral Thrawn to be much more prominent.
(And will we finally see ‘The Thrawn Trilogy’ as an official designation?) Which has apparently already happened, my bad.
The current cover art has been the same – with occasional design and typography tweaks like the Legends banner – since the books were released in the early 90’s. A 2011 anniversary edition of Heir introduced a more graphical look, but proved to be a one-off.
The editions with the new art are due out on September 27, but will maintain their current ISBNs and may be slow to find as stores restock.
Personally, I’m happy to see the Thrawn books get a cover update – the old ones are extremely dated and among the worst covers of the old Expanded Universe – a real pity considering the novels themselves are among the best of Legends. Bring on the new look! (Perhaps something in the vein of the Brazilian covers?)
Last night, after the announcement that Rebels S3 would debut at Celebration Europe, Dave Filoni tweeted “I’m looking forward to seeing you all at #SWCE 2016! And remember, there’s always a bit of truth in legends.” He included the above picture, the spine of a Star Wars novel, which Pete on Twitter believes to be Heir to the Empire.
This could line up with a rumor that sent a lot of excitement through fandom… (And yes, I do hope it’s that character, not another candidate.) I guess we’ll find out for sure in July! (Or earlier, if there are toy leaks.)
If it is indeed a character, this could turn out to be the biggest port from Legends to the new canon yet.
Heir to the Empire and Darth Bane: Path of Destruction eBooks on sale for $1.99. A May the 4th special!
I’ve been a Star Wars fan since I was barely 13, and became an Expanded Universe fan only days later. My entire experience of falling in love with Star Wars was prompted and is because of the Expanded Universe; I ‘first’ saw the movies on VHS over Christmas break in 1991. And we wouldn’t have even had those copies in the house if not for the release of Heir to the Empire in the spring of that year.
I owe my entire fandom to Heir to the Empire and the Thrawn trilogy. The Expanded Universe, which was pretty much all there was back in those days, formed the nucleus of my fandom. They hooked me, and they hooked me well enough that I sit here, 22 years later, running a fairly popular blog devoted to the franchise, with those same worn copies of Heir, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command not four feet away.
I love the Expanded Universe. It’s a weird kind of love that you get with this sort of fandom; I kept with it through some of the absolute worst fiction I have ever read, and many books that could I barely bring myself to call mediocre and, yes, even those rare gems that make it all worth it.
But I’m also okay with letting it go.
Critical reaction to Heir to the Empire. At the StarWars.com blog, Mark Newbold takes a look back at how the first Star Wars novel of the modern era has been received over the years.
StarWars.com has been featuring a number of important dates on both the site and through social media – and today’s is one particularly relevant for our purposes! The Facebook numbers are pretty impressive, even for the official account – More than 13,500 likes, more than a thousand shares and almost that many comments.
And, of course, without the Thrawn Trilogy, would there be a Club Jade? Probably not.
The tweet’s doing pretty well, too!
#ThisDayInHistory – 1989: Timothy Zahn gets a call confirming that he has been hired to write the novel that will become Heir to the Empire.
— Star Wars (@starwars) November 6, 2013
Why don’t these guys have a Tumblr yet? (If you want to reblog it there, we did the honors.)
If that’s not quite your thing, they also have 50 pages of Tuesday’s new release Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void by Tim Lebbon.
Have a Kindle? Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire – the book that started the modern Expanded Universe! – is only $1.99 today. Buy it! Buy it like the wind! (Okay, Darth Plagueis, Path of Destruction and Tatooine Ghost are also $1.99 – and a bunch of comics are deeply discounted too – but trust me, it’s Heir to the Empire you should be
voting for with your wallet buying.)