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Star Wars: Heir to the Empire

(20th Anniversary Edition), The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 1
Narrated by: Marc Thompson
Length: 13 hrs and 9 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (538 ratings)

Non-member price: $46.14

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Publisher's Summary

Here is a special edition 20th anniversary release of the number-one New York Times best-selling novel that reignited the entire Star Wars publishing phenomenon - unabridged for the first time. The biggest event in the history of Star Wars books, Heir to the Empire follows the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia after they led the Rebel Alliance to victory in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi.

Five years after the Death Star was destroyed and Darth Vader and the Emperor were defeated, the galaxy is struggling to heal the wounds of war, Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting twins, and Luke Skywalker has become the first in a long-awaited line of new Jedi Knights.

But thousands of light-years away, the last of the Emperor’s warlords - the brilliant and deadly Grand Admiral Thrawn - has taken command of the shattered Imperial fleet, readied it for war, and pointed it at the fragile heart of the New Republic. For this dark warrior has made two vital discoveries that could destroy everything the courageous men and women of the Rebel Alliance fought so hard to create.

The explosive confrontation that results is a towering epic of action, invention, mystery, and spectacle on a galactic scale - in short, a story worthy of the name Star Wars.

More in the Thrawn Trilogy we have. And listen to all of our Star Wars titles you can!
©1991 Timothy Zahn (P)2011 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Paul
  • Adelaide, Australia
  • 04-07-2014

Excellent Production

This is a production work, meaning you get sound effects like laser fire, various droid beeps, space ship noises etc.
There is one narrator, and though his voice doesn't match the original cast actors, he performs brilliantly, with each character having an unique and recognizable voice.
The story is my favorite of the expanded universe, introducing Grand Admiral Thrawn and Mara Jade among other greats.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Tim
  • 10-10-2015

Listened to it every chance I had

A highly polished production. The sound effects, music and engaging narrator made this a very cinematic experience. I have never read a star wars book before, and this one was an excellent start for me. Highly recommended.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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not a big star wars fan but this book is good

had a mate recommend this series while I was looking for some other sci-fi to read. it's my first dip into the expanded universe and very interesting. worth picking up even if you don't have a huge star wars knowledge

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Thoroughly Enjoyable

Always loved this story and was looking to read it again, so figured I'd give the audio book a go. Was plesantly surprised by the great performance of Marc Thompson, but on top of that the added music snippets and sound effects made this a truly fantastic and enjoyable experience that really feed on nostalgia from the original Star Wars trilogy. If you are a fan of Star Wars especially of the EU and this trilogy would absolutely recommend this audio book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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amazing book and an amazing narration!

loved this book, really helped me bear through my work while I was listening to this.

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Partial review couldn't finish.

I could put up with the random bleeps and bloops of the backgroud "atmosphere " even though it was kind of distracting when Thrawn is having a serious strategy discussion and it's augmented by background of " bleep bloop bleep bleep bloop". The thing that killed me, was Leia and the wookie who a spech impediment that allowed it to speak english... unlistenable. I would still read the book so it has that going for it but I can't listen to this any longer.

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A Great listen

Come for the great story ; stay for the man imitating a while with a speech impediment.

100% would recommend.

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Awesome first audio book for me!

Loved it! Well narrated :) Such an intriguing story captured by Zahn and voiced by Thompson. I will be listening to this title more than once for sure!

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The best sequel to Return of the Jedi

A really well written and amazingly performed audio book! This is a perfect sequel to the original trilogy, with the voices and sound effects done to perfection in the audiobook. Would recommend to any Star Wars fan

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A great yarn, expertly performed.<br />

Loved the story and production overall. This is how Star Wars should have continued :-(

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  • Jt
  • 25-10-2011

At last!

Very entertaining read. Marc Thopson wow. You just cant beat this guy as far as readers go. He took a really good book and made it that much better. If your a star wars fan this is a must read and if not read it anyways you might become one.

35 of 36 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan
  • 06-09-2011

It's about time!

Marc Thompson is a fantastic narrator. I've listened to many of his books, and loved every one. I encourage everyone to buy this book immediately. We need to show that if they release unabridged star wars audio, then we'll buy it! It appears they've stopped making the horrible abridged releases already. However, I really hope this starts a new trend of releasing old star wars books unabridged. Hopefully it's not a one time thing.

As for the book, it's also fantastic. There are plenty of reviews of the material in the book on Amazon. Buy it. You'll love it.

105 of 114 people found this review helpful

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  • Real Buyer
  • 08-09-2011

Thank you for this AMAZING production.

What made the experience of listening to Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition) the most enjoyable?

It being a fully produced (soundtrack, effects and all) unabridged version.

What did you like best about this story?

A continuation of the saga

What about Marc Thompson’s performance did you like?

Overall good, only nitpick is that Han could have sounded a little more like Harrison. but overall it was great!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

We need to get the other two books re done like this.

39 of 42 people found this review helpful

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  • Eric
  • 10-09-2011

Perfect

This book is one of the best Star Wars books that I have ever read and when it became available on audible I jumped at the chance to experience this riveting story again. The audio version of this book is excellent. Marc Thompson portrays every character very well in distinct voices. This rendition also contains music and sound effects. At first I found the sound effects very jarring and would take me out of the story. Fortunately I got used to these sound effects and instead of detracting from the story they reinforced the performance. After I listened to Heir to the Empire I was excited to continue listening. I looked up when Dark Force Rising would be released in anniversary edition, and discovered that it will only be released if Heir to the Empire preforms well enough. I hope that Marc Thompson narrates that version if it comes out or if it doesn't then he narrates the the complete trilogy anyway.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • G. Grimsley
  • 08-09-2011

Finally! Unabridged after 20 years!

Would you consider the audio edition of Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition) to be better than the print version?

Heir to the Empire was the very first book that ignited my passion for literature as a teenager. Imagine my disappointment when this wonderful book could only be found as an abridgment in audio format. Now, with the 20th anniversary, the fans are rewarded by an unabridged version of Heir to the Empire. I would highly recommend to anyone who has ever loved the Star Wars series, that they read/listen to this story. Fans of the SW saga will be delighted by the same level of action and intrigue Timothy Zahn placed into this book as George Lucas put into the series. Whether you are a life-long SW fan or new to the series, you will not be disappointed by this series. Hopefully, the fans will not have to wait too long for the rest of the Thrawn trilogy to be available in an unabridged format.

What did you like best about this story?

The interaction between the original characters was wonderful and true to the movies. The new characters were also marvelously developed and wonderfully complex. This book does indeed read like the 7th episode in the SW saga.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

They may have defeated the Emperor and Darth Vader, but the Empire may not be as defeated as they think.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Long Shot Review
  • 08-09-2011

Excellent

I hope they do this for the rest of the Thrawn Trilogy. Hell I hope they do it for the rest of the Star Wars books

28 of 32 people found this review helpful

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  • Unger
  • 14-09-2011

Beware of this book!

This audiobook feature promises many annotations from Timothy Zahn and much more, to which is true to a very slight degree, but nothing like what is promised in the Product Summary. I downloaded this audiobook as it's finally available in unabridged formatting, and the promised novella isn't in the download, so I strongly suggest those wishing to read that novella to either purchase the hardcover edition of this book, or to contact Audible's customer support and request an explanation. Because selling a product or service and not delivering on a promise is blatant false advertisement. So I urge true fans of Zahn's work to beware, and get this resolved.

47 of 57 people found this review helpful

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  • Princeps P
  • 09-09-2011

Finally!!!!!!!


This is a great addition! Like a previous reviewer mentioned we need more Star Wars books that are unabridged and Marc Thompson as the narrator. This is the book that started it all for the expanded universe and is a must read for any Star Wars fan. I just hope they continue the series with the following books. Truly a great production with sounds and Thompson at the helm.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt
  • 29-07-2016

So Good Feel Guilty I Did Not Read It

The only Star Wars book I have read was, " Shadows Of The Empire." With my job, using Audible is a perfect way for me to get caught up while I work. It is nice to hear sound effects and voice over, sort of feeling like I am listening to the audio of a movie. I am excited to start the next in the series, " Dark Force Rising." I am incredibly intrigued to see where the storyline leads as well as the new version that Timothy Zhan will be writing as well as how Disney will tie all of this new extended universe together. If you are at all of a Star Wars and or Star Trek fan I can with full confidence already recommend this trilogy. If you are like me and have a hard time trying to find time to sit and read and are constantly on the move a.k.a. walking and public transportation, as well as a busy work day in your cubicle but have access to headphones,, I personally believe this is a must buy, or perfect for your first free download already convinced me to purchased the next.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • M. Sweat
  • 09-05-2016

A decent addition to the Star Wars stories

I don't typically enjoy a TON of sci-fi/fantasy for adults but I am a HUGE Star Wars fan. This book has all the old characters you know and love and plenty of the action you'd expect from the Star Wars universe. While some aspects of the story were a bit cheesy or melodramatic, overall it was enjoyable and held enough interest to convince me to seek out the other books. Admiral Thrawn as a character was that menacing/mysterious combination that I can't wait to learn more about. The narration was mostly spot on with two glaring exceptions. I could not take the Leia voice Marc Thompson used, and Luke's voice also seemed quite passive and without emotion.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Josip Domsic
  • 26-01-2018

Sound effects made this audiobook my favorite

Random House Audio is from now on my first choice. Sound effects plus multiple voices created unique experience

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Joseph Berwick
  • 05-01-2018

Fantastic from start to finish

This is the first time I've listened to any audio book. Highly recommended to any Star Wars fan.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Alan Hughes
  • 02-07-2019

excellent

just as good as when i read them 20 years ago. the narrator does a fantastic job.

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  • Gavin
  • 21-04-2017

great read! cant wait for the next one

was enjoyable and interesting! definitely a great fit into canon. next one please... a long time ago....

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  • Lars Eirik Holte
  • 11-05-2015

Amazing

Everything you would want from an addition to the Star Wars universe. Great story, good written dialogue, all coming together with a great performance!