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Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire

Narrated by: Anthony Heald
Length: 3 hrs and 3 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

He is Xizor, Underlord of a galaxy-wide criminal organization, and he seeks to displace Darth Vader as the Emperor's right hand. To do so, he will hatch a brilliantly evil plan to discredit Vader in the Emperor's eyes. In the meantime, he will join the Dark Lord in an unholy alliance whose common target is Luke Skywalker.

Though he is cold and reptilian, Xizor has a certain predatory charisma that not even Leia can completely resist. Against the judgment of Chewbacca, who has promised the frozen 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.

And as the struggle between Xizor and Vader intensifies, Luke finds himself the potential prize of two of the most evil entities in the galaxy: one who wants him alive, and one who wants him dead.

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Critic Reviews

"Anthony Heald is a superb performer for the various Star Wars audiobooks. He slides in and out of distinctive Star Wars characters with such smoothness that the characters are instantly recognizable, as if the original actors were working in ensemble." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire

Average Customer Ratings
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Always enjoy this Star Wars story

I love this book since it was released. Unfortunately the performance is not as good as other books it it does do the job fine.

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A great story which will be made in future

Loved the game and this story, there are a few differences between them but that should not change any opinions

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kallie
  • 10-11-2012

Would have been better Unabridge

Any additional comments?

Great Star Wars book! Would of been better if this audiobook was unabridged full uncut instead of abridged. Oh well! Some of the best parts should of made it in full (not cut or shortened) like princess Leia's seduction. Still not a bad listen, good story line & performance. Always one of my Star Wars favorites.

13 people found this helpful

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  • McSwonder
  • 09-10-2015

Good but abridged

This is one of the best titles in the now legends series. I really liked this book. I just wish they made an abridged version.

9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Wade Walker
  • 17-01-2017

would be better as unabridged

considering the age of this audiobook, it isn't too bad. would be better if it was longer in duration and read be Marc Thompson.

5 people found this helpful

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  • John McGillis
  • 08-09-2017

An all-time classic, beautifully preformed.

Shadows Of The Empire is one of my all time favourite Star Wars novels (and comic, video game, etc) and it is wonderfully abridged and preformed here. My only minor gripe is a handful of mispronounced character and location names.
Highly Recommended to all Star Wars fans, especially 90's kids like myself.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Skip Walter
  • 28-01-2015

Tie up loose ends between Episodes 5 and 6

A must read at some point for all Star Wars fans. This is the book between episodes 5 and 6. Sort of like the Clone Wars movies for Episodes 2 and 3, but this one actually helps to tie things together. New villian.

Only problem is that the partial cast performance is definitely noticeable. It pulls you out of the story quite a bit, would have preferred it to remain a pure narration play rather than a partial performance, but that's just me.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Assault Raptor
  • 15-12-2017

The centerpiece to the game and comic's cornerstones

Shadows of the Empire is one the Star Wars EU's earliest pride of the litter. I've read the comic, played the game and nothing completes the experience like the audiobook. It's like watching a Star Wars movie without actually watching it. Let your imagination do the visuals while the authentic trademark sound effects provide the icing on your experience. In a nutshell, it's good writing, smooth pacing like hyperspace, all eargasm! Except for the fact that this is only the abridged version, hence the one star short rating. For those who love this awesome chapter in Star Wars history, I reccommend you binge on the aforementioned comic and games to literally see the "Shadows" of the Empire. While the comic tells the same story, it branches off into Bob's Fett's POV, showing how much of a hassle it was delivering Solo's popsicle butt to Jabba with rival bounty hunters you saw on the Executor out to Rob his meal ticket. And in the game you play as the resident, "substitute Solo" Dash Rendar who gets his day in the limelight, steamrolling over stormtroopers, thugs, several AT-STs, even Fett and Xizor's personal rumble robot. Spoilers, it took more than one thermal detonator down the garbage dump to turn the big bad's castle to concrete gravel, guess who set the stage for the fireworks to really bring down the house. All in all, this audiobook really gives off the swashbuckling vibes of Star Wars and another reason for Disney to commit seppuku with a lightsaber.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Scott C Atkins
  • 22-02-2018

Luke to the Rescue

Great action, plot line, and character development following the events after Empire and before Return

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 15-09-2010

It's abridged, but a great listen nonetheless!

Anthony Heald does a phenomenal job narrating this great book. The production value is very high as well, as it features sound effects, famous themes, and even new music composed for the Shadows of the Empire soundtrack. I really enjoyed listening to this, even though it sadly is an abridged version of the novel. Nothing vital is cut out, but it does feel rather short in contrast.

Nonetheless, this is definitely worth a buy. It's the closes thing you get to having a 7th Star Wars film in the palm of your hand!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Joseph J. Spagnuolo
  • 17-09-2020

Abridged somewhat

Great story, was abridged some from the book. a good narration after reading the book.

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  • David S.
  • 20-07-2020

Wish this was cannon

This a good book. I read it years ago. It was nice listening to it again. I wish this was still common and legends.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-05-2020

An explanation for the pause in Han Solos rescue

This novel takes place between episodes 5 and 6 and gives a proper tribute to our beloved characters from the original films while introducing some intresting new ones for them to interact with, meanwhile explaining the trials and travels of our characters that acts as a small break In the search for Han Solo. Making the movies more enjoyable knowing what happenes inbetween and setting up the ideas and themes even more so for Return Of The Jedi. I would greatly recommend listening.

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  • Sarah
  • 11-09-2019

In a Galaxy Far Far Away power struggles begin

Great story- abridged but it works well. The music and sound effects can be a little loud but I really enjoyed this. The chase is on for Boba Fett so Han Solo can be rescued but evil forces stir. Bounties for Luke Skywalker endanger the young jedi and trouble abounds. Add in the Rogue Squadron and plans for a major Empire building project its going to be a great ride.

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  • Chris B.
  • 29-10-2017

needs full version

needs full unabridged version as several parts were missing including important character development, action and important plot points but still enjoyable just too short

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • dave
  • 18-03-2017

please stop talking

read this years ago, thought I'd revisit it, story still holds up.
couldn't finish it, the narrator has quite possibly got the most annoying voice in the known universe, he sounds like mini-me.
his phrasing and timing were ok but the character voices were more annoying than his own (if possible)
I'll be avoiding any titles with his name on it.