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Shadows of the Empire

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Shadows of the Empire is a 1996 "multimedia project" set in the Star Wars franchise. It takes place between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi and relates the adventures of the protagonists to rescue Han Solo, and also discover the Death Star plans. Meanwhile the new villain Prince Xizor seeks the death of Luke Skywalker in order overthrow Darth Vader, taking his place as second to the Emperor.

By the term "multimedia project" it means that Lucasfilm followed the marketing policy that goes with the release of a supposed new movie (novelization, audio book, comic, video game, soundtrack, children story, trading cards, action figures), but without the release of a movie. The project was followed by RPG sourcebooks that elaborated on the backgrounds of the characters and the planets mentioned in the story.

One of the major aspects of the franchise is that the main sources don't always follow each other, but each gives information not mentioned in the others. For example the comic book centers around Boba Fett and original character Wrenga Jixton, while the video game follows the adventures of original character Dash Rendar, the protagonist of the franchise. Of course at points the works introduce some inconsistencies.

The following summary narrates the full story of the Shadows of the Empire timeframe, composed by the novel, the comic and the video game.

Composite summary

The Battle of Hoth

Hotshot smuggler Dash Rendar, captain of the Outrider and mercenary-for-hire, agreed to deliver supplies to Hoth—in addition to the usual food supplies, Rendar's cargo also included assault blasters to be delivered to Princess Leia Organa. Rendar and his droid co-pilot Leebo took the Outrider to the system and were allowed to dock in Echo Base's hangar, where Rendar was surprised to run into Han Solo, who had become involved with the Rebellion since their last meeting.

However, Solo notified him that Imperial forces under the command of Darth Vader had entered the Hoth system and were moving to attack Echo Base. Unable to resist the battle (and still being paid) Rendar decided to help delay the Imperials while the Rebels evacuated. He instructed Leebo to load their cargo into the evacuating transports and to retrieve their payment. On Solo's recommendation, Commander Luke Skywalker agreed to let Rendar join Rogue Squadron for the upcoming battle. He took an unused T-47 snowspeeder into combat against the advancing Imperial ground forces.

In the ensuing battle, Dash flew in the Rogue Squadron against the approaching walkers, AT-ST and Viper probe droids, succeeding in destroying some of the AT-AT walkers before the Imperials destroyed Echo Base's deflector shield generator and the Rebels were forced to withdraw. The Rebels escaped, but Dash is left behind. Rendar returned to Echo Base, calling ahead to instruct Leebo to have the Outrider ready to leave, but by the time he arrived, Imperial snowtroopers had overrun the facility and destroyed the main generators. Leebo contacted Rendar to warn him that the hangar doors could not be opened to allow the Outrider to leave until power was restored. Fighting his way through the Imperial forces, Rendar proceeded to the base's lower level and activated the emergency generators, restoring power to the hangar door. As he made his way back to Bay 3, Rendar found his way blocked by an AT-ST. Destroying the walker with a rocket launcher, Rendar returned to the Outrider to find the ship had already been boarded by Imperials.

After killing the intruders, Rendar took the Outrider through the now open hangar door and away from the planet only to be stopped by one of the orbiting Star Destroyers, who launched TIE fighters and bombers. Leebo took control of the Outrider, leading it through the asteroid belt while Rendar used the ship's gun turret to fend off the attackers. After clearing the asteroids, the Outrider jumped to safety and Rendar rejoined the Rebels.

Later, as Empire Strikes Back narrates, Han Solo is captured on Bespin and frozen in carbonite, and then taken by Boba Fett to Jabba. Luke comes but fails to rescue them, and encounters Darth Vader. After losing his hand, he is told by Vader that he is his dead father, Anakin. Eventually the protagonists escape with the help of Lando Carlissian, who betrayed Solo in the first place, and join the renegade Rebel fleet. On the Redemption Luke has a new cybernetic arm. Lando and Chewie take the Falcon and leave for Tatooine to prepare the rescue of Solo

Search for Boba Fett

Aboard the Redemption, Leia is informed that an Imperial Strike Cruiser has spotted the fleet; Rogue Squadron led by Wedge Antilles begins defending the Rebels in a space battle that their point remains secret. Leia meanwhile understands that Luke is different after his encounter with Vader and wonders what happened between them.

On the Executor, Vader is contacted by Palpatine who chastises him for his failure to capture Luke on Bespin. He then orders Vader to conclude shipping arrangements of the Death Star plans with the Black Sun crimelord Prince Xizor, a discussion which Xizor oversees being a guest to the Imperial Palace. Xizor realizes that this young Skywalker who is hunted by the Emperor and Vader, might be related to Vader. On his way out, Xizor explains to Guri, that he intends to kill Luke and discredit Vader, while improving his prestige. Guri has made her arrangements with bounty hunters and Xizor is ready to meet Jabba.

Above Tatooine, Boba Fett who carries Han Solo' carbonite block, exits hyperspace but discovers that a signal beacon -installed when he was on Cloud City- was activated; he has a dangerous encounter with IG-88D who intended to claim the bounty of Solo. Fett energizes the inertial dampers and finds himself behind the IG-2000, and Slave I responds with a barage of fire; Fett having sustained some damage, is forced into hiding. While Fett thought that IG-88D was destroyed, the droid managed to limp off to Ord Mantell to search for spare parts for his ship in the planet's scrapyard.

1

Meanwhile Luke and Leia have already move on Tatooine, and reside in the abandoned hut of Ben Kenobi. Leia has a nightmare, remembering the capture of Han and their last kiss. Outside, Luke had performed a Jedi mind trick to the guard of a circus tent, and practiced his abilities on the acrobat string, while contemplating his training with Yoda, the Force, and meeting with Vader.

On Coruscant, Xizor is in his office and we are introduced to his wealth and power and plans to overthrow Vader. Xizor orders Guri, his human replica droid, to hire the Pike sisters and then meets his lieutenant, Mayth Duvel who gives him a precious rare ruby from Nezriti Organization, which did not impress Xizor the least.

Vader tests his injured hand with an ASP-series droid while briefing his agent, Jix about his foresight that Luke will approach Jabba to rescue Han; Jix is sent to Tatooine to join Jabba's gang both to capture Luke, and ensure his survival.

Meanwhile, Rendar had learned that IG-88 was on Ord Mantell and was sent there by Lando to learn more about Fett. Leebo used the Outrider's scanners to determine IG-88D's exact location, in a salvage plant connected with a hovertrain. Boarding the nearest hovertain, Rendar rode it until the tracks ran parallel to those of the train that led to his destination. As the two trains moved alongside each other, Rendar leaped across the gap and made his way to the front of the new train. The salvage plant's loading door was closed but, once Rendar reached the engine car, Leebo was able to remotely disable the hovertrain's auto-brakes, causing it to crash straight through the door. Inside, Rendar met IG-88D who revealed that he had indeed tracked Fett to the Zhar system. Unwilling to let Rendar stop him from taking Solo from Fett, the droid opened fire. Rendar fought back and was able to defeat it.

Rendar headed to the Imperial moon base on Gall in the Zhar system to confirm Fett's location. Landing the Outrider safely out of sight in Smuggler's Gorge, Rendar proceeded on foot to the base's observation tower, hoping to access the central computer and find which hangar bay Fett was in. Making his way along the cliffside, Rendar encountered Imperial patrols, before reaching the entrance to the base through which he fought his way until the observation tower. Accessing the computer, he learned that Fett was docked in the second tower, on the other side of the nearby canyon. Stealing a jetpack, Rendar crossed to another section and came upon a large hangar containing an AT-ST and succeeded in felling it. Using a switch he opened the facility's ventilation system, which he followed until near a waiting hoversled. Rendar finally reached the landing pad where Slave I was docked. Fett and Rendar opened fire until the bounty hunter fled into his ship. Slave I took off and Fett tried to use its weapons against Rendar, but he was able to damage the ship with his rocket launchers, leaving Fett stuck on Gall.

2

When Lando Calrissian learned from Dash that Fett is on Gall, he told Leia and Chewie to wait for him in the Mos Eisley cantina. After Leia was harassed by several males, but defended by Chewie, Lando showed up with Threepio and Artoo and told about Rendar's findings.

On Coruscant, Vader met Xizor and had a diplomatic debate. Xizor attempted to look superior and more polite than Vader. Finally, the two arranged 300 ships from Xizor Transport System (XTS) for the construction of the Death Star on Endor.

3

Luke is in Kenobi's hut on Tatooine attempting to construct a new lighsaber following a book left for him by Ben, and ponders his memories from him, and the adventures in Cloud City.

Later, Xizor walked in a luxury hall while a man, Hoff, made an assassination attempt against him; Xizor managed to kill him single-handedly. The event is watched by Palpatine and Vader. It is suspected that Palpatine orchestrated the attempt, only to test Xizor.

4

Luke is visited by Lando, Leia, Chewie and the droids, who tell him that Fett was tracked; while thinking on how to get there and approach the bounty hunter, Chewie proposed to ask help from the Rebellion.

On Coruscant, Xizor is in a meeting of Black Sun "Vigos". Several agents are present, Durga the Hutt, Kreet'ah the Kian'thar, Clezo the Rodian, Wumdi the Etti, Perit the Mon Calamari, Green the Human. Knowing that Green's ambitions and network of double agents, Guri strangles him, intimidating the other Vigos, in order to make a point that Xizor does not tolerate ambitious cooperatives. When the meeting is concluded, Xizor summons Jabba to meet him.

5

Vader is naked in his medical chamber and ponder his meeting with Luke. He attempts to Force-heal a part of his body and succeeds but the satisfaction cuts his tie with the Dark Side and the healing collapses.

As Luke continues tampering the lightsaber jewel, his friends stay in the hut. Lando arrives bringing confirmation by Rendar that Slave I is on Gall.

Xizor meets Jabba who came from Tatooine. Jabba confirmed that Solo was an affiliate to Skywalker, and his delivery was delayed. Xizor supposed that Luke would be after Fett sooner or later. He orders Guri to put out the information that the bounty hunters after Skywalker would be advised to locate Boba Fett.

Meanwhile, the rebels are on board the Millennium Falcon on their way to Gall's moon, Kile, as Chewie plays a game with Threepio (probably dejarik), and Lando makes an attempt to prepare "Giju stew" for dinner.

The Battle of Gall

6

The Falcon enters the Gall system and they contact Rogue Leader Wedge Antilles and they soon Luke, Leia, Lando and Chewie meet the Rogue Squadron on Kile and are reintroduced to Dash Rendar. Wedge briefed the new arrivals on the layout of the Imperial base and two Star Destroyers, each with a wing of starfighters. Skywalker proposed that he and Rogue Squadron would attack, drawing off the defending TIE fighters, while Rendar led the Millennium Falcon and its crew to Fett's ship to retrieve Solo.

On Gall, Fett visits a cantina, where the bounty hunters Bossk and Zuckuss attempt to bring Boba to their side and work together in order to share the bounty of Han. He firmly refuses and shoots a sniper placed to shoot him, then his system warns him that Slave I has been breached.

7

Vader is in his castle and trains on lightsaber fight with an ASP droid; he feels that the slight ache in his shoulder where Luke had cut through his armor during their fight was feeling better.

Meanwhile the Rogue Squadron attacks the Star Destroyers above Gall, and Luke hones his Force skills during the dogfight; the Falcon follows the Outrider on the planet. Rendar dares Lando's piloting skill, as Lando tells to Leia about Rendar's past.

8

On Coruscant, Xizor has just ended the relationship with his until-then mistress, and goes to dine at Menarai, one of the restaurants he owns.

Meanwhile Luke and the Rogues fought one of the Star Destroyers. Dix Rivan was killed, and the second Star Destroyer started to approach. To avoid Imperial sensors, the Outrider and the Falcon flew few meters above the trees and then to the Grand Trench.

Lifting out of the canyon after passing the sensor station, Rendar led the group towards the shipyard where Slave I was. Less than a minute away from the target, however, Rendar bid them farewell and left. Cursing, Leia and Lando man the turrets to fend of the TIEs as they approached Fett.

9

Above the planet, as the Rogues retreated in a mock hyperspace jump, Wes Janson's malprogrammed R2 seizes control of his X-wing and attempts to shoot Luke down. After avoiding it, Luke manages to shoot Wes' R2. Meanwhile, Fett arrived at Slave I to see who breached it, and saw droid 4-LOM with other bounty hunters attempting to steal Solo's slab. After shooting them and disabling 4-LOM, he takes off.

On Kile, the Rogues examine Wes' Artoo and realize it was malprogrammed by an agent. Rendar arrived on the base explaining to Luke and Wedge that he had been forced to withdraw in the face of greatly superior numbers, had only been paid to lead them to Fett, not to engage in fight. On Gall, the Falcon, having sustained too much damage and seeing that Slave I takes off, retreats. Eventually Luke and Wedge find that Janson's droid had been programmed by their technician.

10

The mechanic is shot by Wedge saving Luke's life. As Luke welcomes Leia, Lando and Wedge investigate her account and discover 10,000 credits paid by dummy corporations, tracing to Saber Enterprizes, a front organization for the Empire's secret undercover antiespionage operations. They believe that she was paid by Vader.

Meanwhile Xizor sends Guri to a meeting with Ororo transportation, a rival to Black Sun, and arranges a second meeting with Vader.

On Kile, Leia decides to make contact to an underground organization in the hopes of finding out who who wants Luke dead. Unfortunately she decides to make contact with the Black Sun, unaware that Xizor is the one who does. Leia also asks Luke to go to follow Fett on Tatooine, not knowing that Xizor expects so; she also secretly hires Rendar to follow and protect him.

11

Xizor visits Palpatine's Skyhook and meets Vader. Presenting as a faithful servant to the Empire, he gives the largest Vergesso asteroid in the Lybeya system, as a secret Rebel shipyard. In reality Vergesso belongs to Ororo Transportation.


Palpatine sends Vader and Admiral Okins to Vergesso and destroy the "Rebel" base, an order which is a setback to Vader's plans to watch over Xizor.

Hunting the Assassins

12

As Luke settles in Ben's hut to conclude constructing his lightsaber, Lando and Leia travel to Rodia, where they meet Avaro, uncle to Greedo, who promises them to bring a contact of Black Sun.

In Mos Eisley, Tatooine, Big Gizz with his buds is challenged by a mysterious stranger, Jix. When Jix steals Spiker's swoop, Gizz is impressed with his willingness to cheat and takes him to Jabba for a job; Jabba got a transmission that Vader (actually Xizor) now wants Luke dead. This interfered with Jix's instructions to ensure Luke's survival. After a discussion in Chalmun's cantina that Dash overhears, Jix and the gang race over to kill Luke. Dash steals a swoop and runs after them.

13

Luke was testing his lightsaber with Artoo when he sees the bikers arriving. Skywalker was able to take out one of the riders, kick one off and take his swoop to flee towards Beggar's Canyon. Jix who was among the bikers, managed to stop Big Gizz from hitting Luke. When Spiker gets a clear shot at Luke, Jix rams his swoop into his. By the time Rendar arrived, the pursuers were halved, and Luke had and passed through the Needle's Eye to lose them heavily outnumbered and running out of options. Dropping his swoop into the canyon, Rendar opened fire on the gang as he fell, causing them to scatter and flee. Dash explains Luke he was sent by Leia, and the gang belonged to Jabba. Meanwhile Big Gizz attempts to shoot Luke, but Jix hit his head with a stone.

14

Vader closes to the Vergesso asteroid, while Xizor visits Palpatine and reveals that he was the generous informant of the secret "Rebel base". Vader concludes the battle in his Interceptor of Vergesso and contacts the Emperor as he returns. Enraged, he sees Xizor beside him.

15

Xizor is informed that Leia is on Rodia trying to contact Black Sun. Charmed by her beauty, and wants Guri to bring her to him. After that, Xizor watches a recording of Guri's meeting with the heads of Ororo Transportation, Z. Limmer, Tuyay and Dellis Yuls; killing them after denying to cooperate with Black Sun.

16

Luke and Dash were discussing how to react to the bounty hunters when Artoo, detected the approach of a message droid. Rendar and Skywalker went to investigate and discovered that the droid had a message from Koth Melan to Leia. The Bothan claimed to have vital information for the Alliance and requested that Leia meet with him as soon as possible on Bothawui. Skywalker decided to go there and Rendar chose to accompany him in the interests of protecting his fee.

On Coruscant, as Vader expresses his concerns on giving the Death Star plans to the Rebels, Palpatine says that he knows best. (according to the comic)

17

Leia gets tired waiting for Black Sun and Avaro explains that it's not up to him. Xizor tells Guri to send the route of Suprosa to their Bothan double agent, before going to Rodia.

Meanwhile Fett hides in an asteroid field when 4-LOM resumes operation. Before Fett disables him once more, Bossk picks up 4-LOM's signal and finds Slave I stranded. Zuckuss and his team board the ship and apprehend Fett attempting to capture the carbonite slab. Furlag leads Fett to his cell but Fett opens a trapdoor under his feet. He keeps Zuckuss alive to communicate with Bossk and sends the shuttle back to him; when Bossk's colleague looks inside he sees his fellows dead, along with a detonation device, when Fett jumps to hyperspace.

Luke and Dash make their way to the Intergalactic Trade Mission on Bothawui. Rendar bribed the building's guard to let them pass. In Melan's office on the 16th floor, protocol droid, R0-4, refused to let them in without an appointment; Rendar pulled his blaster and it reluctantly allowed them to enter the office. The Bothan welcomed the pair and accepted them as Leia's representatives, explaining about a new Imperial military project. Its exact nature was unknown, but a secured supercomputer containing the plans was being transported from Coruscant to Bothawui aboard the Suprosa, a Mobquet Medium Transport masquerading as a fertilizer freighter. Melan planned to capture it and had put together a team for the mission. Skywalker and Rendar were invited to lead the attack; Rendar was reluctant but Skywalker suggested that the Alliance may be willing to reward him for the supercomputer's capture.

18

On Coruscant, as Vader expresses his concerns on giving the Death Star plans to the Rebels, Palpatine says that he knows best (according to the novel).

Dash and Luke followed Melan to a hidden base outside the city and were introduced to the Blue Squadron of Bothan pilots he had assembled.

Lando, Chewy and Leia passed their time in Avaro's casino. Lando gambled and played and won most of his games while Leia was fed up waiting. Eventually Avaro told her that Guri would meet them shortly.

Capture of the supercomputer

On Bothawui, a Bothan agent brought the route plans of the Suprosa, sent earlier by Guri, and the Bothan Blue Squadron, joined by Ace Azzameen of the Rebel Alliance, move to the coordinates.

The Suprosa arrived as expected and Luke ordered its captain to surrender. When his request was refused, Skywalker ordered the Y-wings to disable the engines. The Suprosa's weapons opened fire, destroying one of the Y-wings and causing Skywalker to break his squadron off to regroup. As they pulled back, the freighter fired a Diamond Boron Missile at a group of four Bothan Y-wings. Rendar attempted to shoot it down but the missile destroyed all four Y-wings, killing eight Bothans and another two. Despite their losses, the Rebels were soon able to disable the freighter and Rendar took the Outrider in to conduct the boarding operation. He docked the Outrider with the Suprosa and boarded it personally to look for the supercomputer.

Following Leebo's directions, Rendar worked his way towards the main cargo hangar where the supercomputer was located, encountering heavy resistance from the Suprosa's crew. Upon reaching the cargo hangar, Rendar was attacked by a loader droid which used its spring-loaded arms, but was able to destroy the droid and locate the supercomputer. After Rendar disabled the hangar force field, Leebo brought the Outrider into the hangar to collect the smuggler and the supercomputer.

19

Meanwhile, Leia meets Guri at the Next Chance casino with Lando and Chewbacca nearby. The initial meeting achieves little, with Guri claiming that she has business to attend and has to cut the meeting short, however it does leave the Rebels with the distinct impression that there was something unusual about her.

On the Outdrider, Koth and Luke discuss about the computer while Dash blames himself for missing the missile. Luke sends Dash to Rodia and meet Leia. Himself he moves to Kothlis with Koth. En route to Kothlis, the party is attacked by Claw and Hunter, driven off by Blue Squadron.

20

On Coruscant, Guri says to Xizor that Leia looking into Black Sun is dangerous and advocates killing the Rebels. However, Xizor has other plans for Leia and tells Guri to bring her to Coruscant. He then shows Palpatine recordings of how successfully the plans entered Rebels' hands. With the success of the battle, the Alliance secures the plans and gains trust in Xizor. The plans are in truth, outdated, and the second Death Star is fully operational, unlike what the schematics read.

Lando installs a doppraymagno scanner in their hotel room waiting for Guri. His comlink notifies him that Dash arrived on Rodia and they welcome him. Meanwhile Luke meets Koth

21

Luke and Koth move to the safehouse with a special decryption team of Bothans. As the operation proceeded, bounty hunters break in and attack the Bothans

Meanwhile, Guri returns to Rodia. During their meeting, the scanner quickly confirms Leia's suspicions: Guri is not Human. C-3PO puts a sleeping potion in Guri's tea, so that they can conduct a closer examination but that as well fails; the two continue to trade diplomatic small-talk until Guri, tired of proceedings, attempts to abduct Leia only to be restrained by Lando, Chewbacca and Dash.

During the skirmish on Kothlis, a Bothan takes the supercomputer and hides it from the bounty hunters. Koth is killed, and Luke is captured. It is revealed to Luke that there are two rewards on his head, as he is wanted alive and dead. Unknown to him, it is Vader who wants him alive and Xizor who wants him dead.

22

After much discussion and contacting Xizor, Leia agrees to go to Coruscant with Guri in the Stinger, taking Chewbacca with her. To allow the two to make it onto Coruscant without being identified, Guri helps them into disguises. Leia takes the guise of the Ubese bounty hunter Boushh, and Chewbacca is disguised as Snoova. Meanwhile Palpatine sends Vader to Kothlis, both to take Luke, and also pretend that he is there to reclaim the supercomputer. Once more, this order foils Vader's plans to watch over Xizor

23

Luke in his cell, meditates and concentrates and influences the mind of his guard who is get to lock himself in the cell and take a nap, while Luke exits and then proceeds out of the stronghold. He takes his lightsaber and comlink but he is discovered.

On Coruscant, after "Boussh" and "Snoova" had made it through the customs of Coruscant, meet Spero, a Ho'Dan who owes Leia a favor, and gives some information about Black Sun.

24

On Kothlis, Bounty hunters get out and Luke wards them off. Then Lando, being there with information from Dash, makes an explosion and rescues Luke with a stolen landspeeder. They depart from Kothlis on the Falcon for Tatooine, and in a hurry, as the Executor has just arrived. The plans managed to reach the Razor over the planet.

25

Vader finds Skywalker gone and learns from Skahtul that someone wants Luke dead, with suspicions that this bounty comes from Black Sun. Meanwhile the Falcon's hyperdrive fails to start.

Leia and Chewie meet Guri again. They follow Howzmin and enter a maglev car that will bring them to Xizor's palace.

Meanwhile, Fett fixes Slave I's lazers. He talks to Zuckuss about his plans on delivering Solo to Jabba. In Jabba's Palace, Jix gets past security and makes contact with Vader on the Executor in order to inform him of the swoop bike incident with Luke and learns that Jabba, too, had a bounty for Luke dead, put by someone who used Vader's name.

Xizor hosts Leia and Chewbacca, then provides them each with appropriate commodities.

26

Near Kothlis, Vader feels Luke somewhere near an asteroid and sends pilots to investigate; it is where Falcon had stopped and Lando tried to repair. However Luke feels him approaching

28

After an intense seductive experience with Xizor, Leia is reinforced by Chewbacca who shows her microphones and cameras; she then instructs him to escape and notify Luke. Meanwhile Vaders returns to Coruscant and reports to the Emperor about the loss of Skywalker. He mentions that Xizor might be the one who wants him dead. Palpatine gives him a leave to look for Skywalker.

Leia eventually retakes control of herself, and after she buys some time to let Chewie escape, she knees Xizor between the legs. He is outraged, and sends her back to her room. Chewie is intentionally let to 'escape' (although not so easy) hoping that he would lead Luke to rescue Leia; and into Xizor's hands.

29

Luke and Lando receive a message from Chewie and head for Coruscant where they meet;

Lair of the Dark Prince

30

The Falcon lands on Coruscant and Luke tells the droids to wait for his messages. Lando's "business associate" who owed him a favor, allows them to hide the Millennium Falcon in a warehouse in the Hasamadhi district. They hid in a building and dress up as beggars. They start to move for the Southern Underground of Coruscant.

Meanwhile as Xizor is having a bath preparing for Leia, he receives a call from the Emperor about to leave for Endor. He inquires Xizor about his interest on Skywalker, which he denies.

Luke and Lando visit a maglev station and decide to neutralize two stormtroopers and steal their uniforms; meanwhile Leia waits in her room thinking about Xizor's advances and receives a rich plate. Luke and Lando dressed as stormtroopers, leave the station and continue their journey.

Palpatine departs for Endor for three weeks and leaves the Imperial tasks to Vader, who is content that he will have the freedom to take care of his personal enemies.

31

Lando guides Luke to Spero's shop who would help them. There they meet Chewie who recognizes them. He tells that Spero is tied up in back; in case anybody spotted Chewie coming in, they wouldn't think he was helping. He also told that Black Sun wants Luke dead.

Suddenly the trio are attacked by 4 unknown men. As they retreat to the back of the shop, Dash Rendar shows up and saves them. As he explains that he wanted to take revenge for his disaster, Vader's agent brings evidence that a freelance agent bribing the Rebel crew chief to kill Luke.

Xizor talks to Leia and he reveals that he let Chewie escape, and she is but a bait to have Luke come to him.

As the Rebels go to hide in an abandoned hotel building, Xizor is informed by Guri that the Falcon has been detected and Luke is probably on the planet. He then proceeds to his appointments with Sendo, Mayli Weng, Bentu Pall Tarlen, Wendell Wright-Sims and the representative from the Jewelers' Guild.

32

In their hiding place, Luke changes clothes to a black cloaked attire, and contacts Leia through the Force, who understands he is on the planet for her, and stronger. Vader also senses his presence.

33

Chewbacca stealthily make their way through the sewers of Black Sun in order to enter Xizor's palace. Using the Force, Luke and his thoughts inform Leia that he and the group are close by and will soon rescue her from Xizor. After much blasterfire with security guards with Luke integrating his increasingly advanced lightsaber skills, the group finds Leia and begins to lead her out of the palace.

38

Xizor and Guri arrive at the security node. From the destroyed sensors Xizor deduces they are on level 17 and takes the turbolift to 20 and wait for them. There the quintet, as explain to Leia that they plan on reaching level 50, meet Xizor, who attempts to shoot at Luke, who stops the beam with his lightsaber. Guri throws a heavy chair at them, shot by Chewie. Xizor and Guri retreat and call the guards. Chewie breaks the door into an office as Luke protects them. They arm themselves with thermal detonators.

Luke exits threatening Xizor with the TD, who orders them leave without interference. Lando however throws a timed TD in a garbage chute next to him, leading to the recycling bins in the sub-subbasement. Chaos erupts causing everyone to frantically panic and scatter out of Xizor's palace.

39

As the rebels take the lift to level 50, Luke gives Lando back the TD. The team gets past frightened bunch of people who seek to abandon the doomed building. They followed Lando who remembered the way to the platform, but Luke was stopped with Guri who challenged him in an unarmed fight.

Luke fights with Guri and successfully evades her attack, hearing Ben's voice and being guided by the Force, but also distracted by Leia who was shouting for him. Seeing everything in stretched time, he throws Guri down, who dares him to destroy her. Luke offers her to follow them and eventually be reprogrammed, but Guri denies, letting him leave.

The five make it outside to the platform, as Xizor arrives to the top level with his personal express turbolift and boards his personal ship, the Virago, being surprised at how its faithful guards still lingered to it. After a minute to bring all the systems online, he flies away the doomed palace. A few hundered meters away, he sees an old freighter flying clumsily towards him (the Falcon) which he evades, and flies to his skyhook, complete with corvettes, frigates, hundreds of rebuilt surplus fighters to continue his revenge.

The rebels see the Falcon coming in, as Threepio hits and shatters a Doppler sensor array. On his tension, Luke notices a pair of paragliders and for a moment considers escaping with those, should Threepio take too long to land the ship. Eventually Threepio manages to stabilize the ship above them and open the hatch; looking behind, Luke and notices that one paraglider is missing; presumably Guri escaped. Lando with Dash man the cabin in time and fly away as they see the palace collapsing.

40

As Xizor flies away, he guesses that the ship he encountered was of the Rebels' and orders his commander to destroy or disable it, but he also mumbles to himself the name 'Skywalker'. In the meantime Vader's officer intercepts the transmission and delivers it to Vader, who understands that Xizor neglected his order and is still after his son.

Dash had completed the jet onto his ship (complaining all the while about how bad the borrowed suit smelled) and dared Luke to race to the jump spot, when unmarked StarVipers and corvettes start attacking them. Chewie and Leia man the Falcon's guns.

Black Sun commander report to Xizor, that the described Corellian freighter has been located and engaged, but Dash makes the surprise and the Outrider returns fire protecting the Falcon, while Luke struggled to avoid both enemy fire and hitting the civilian vessels around.

Suddenly one of the attackers explode in front of the Falcon; it was Wedge, just arrived with a dozen of the Rogues, complying to Leebo's distress call.

Meanwhile Xizor inquired why his navy still hadn't stopped the enemies; they outnumber the X-wings 20 to 1, and his frigates are standing by in case they get past the corvettes and fighters, not knowing that Vader is on the bridge of the Executor, minutes before coming in range and speaking with him.

The Rebels are overwhelmed by the ships, still outnumbering them 15 to 1, not having room to run or maneuver. 3 X-wings have been lost and the net was closing in.

Vader then commands to deploy a dozen TIEs against the fray, which, to the Rebels's surprise, take out two of the unmarked attackers. Vader then contacts Xizor and tells him that he has 2 minutes to recall his vessels and surrender to his castle. Xizor never responds and as the the deadline closes, Vader hears to Xizor's commander demanding permission to offer their surrender. Then, he commands the Executor to destroy the skyhook.

The Rebels wait for the debris to clear before reaching the jump point, but again Dash jokingly dares Luke to follow him. The last thing his friends see of the Outrider is a big block of the skyhook closing to it, and an actinic flare of light. The Outrider was gone, not knowing that Dash had secretly hyperspaced out of their view.

Now Luke, Leia with Lando, Chewie and the droids are found in a secret Rebel asteroid base. Wedge delivers a message from the Bothans for Dash, saying that the Bothan loss in the earlier capture of the Suprosa was not his fault: the bomb was an indestructible diamond-boron-armored missile and Dash had no way stopping it from destroying the Bothan ships. Luke and his friends all feel sorry about Dash, thinking him for a dead hero. He then says that his next move will be to rescue Han, even if that means entering Jabba's palace.

Epilogue

In the Emperor's most private sanctum, Vader apologizes to Palpatine disobeying him, but the Emperor's replies that he was all the time aware of Xizor's schemes, working for his own personal ambitions. Xizor was presumed dead, and they should not fear the next Black Sun leader who will be equally dangerous. The plan to ensnare the Rebels was as the Emperor has forseen, since the new Death Star will draw them in.

On Tatooine, Jabba interrogates Jix about the death of his henchman and the unauthorized call from his palace. Then Fett's arrival is notified. He fools the stalking bounty hunters with a disguised Zuckuss and a covered up 4-LOM that would seem to be himself and a carbonite block speeding away from the Slave I. The real Fett gives the actual carbonite block of Han to Jabba, and he receives his payment.

Meanwhile, Luke, Leia, Lando, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO are back on Tattooine and prepare to rescue Han from Jabba the Hutt. Luke with Leia are outside Ben's hut; he prepares his holographic message to Jabba and puts his lightsaber into R2.

Dash Rendar has escaped the skyhook via a jump to hyperspace and decided to stay low for a while. He remarks that it is good to be known as a martyr while still being alive.

Vader is on board the Executor recollecting his memories of Xizor and the plans to capture Luke on his way to the Death Star, right before the Return of the Jedi begins.

Appendix

Discrepancies

While the sources narrate the same story and frequently tie-in, some details contradict or conflict each other.

  • In the novel the holo-communication between Palpatine and Vader is about luring Luke to their side. In the comic, the discussion concerns mainly Vader coming to Coruscant and talk with Xizor.
  • In the comic, Xizor orders Guri to contact Jabba early as he exits the Imperial Palace. In the novel he first mentions Jabba much later, after the meeting of the Vigos.
  • The novel says that the Imperial Conclave was on the nightside of Gall when Rendar and the Falcon attempted to steal Solo from Fett. In the video game and the comic, the above mission takes place during day, perhaps for visual.
  • The novel mentions that Luke and Dash flew with Bothan pilots against the Suprosa and it was Luke who disabled the ship. In the later video game Star Wars: X-wing Alliance the squadron was accompanied by a human pilot, Ace Azzameen who incapacitated the freighter.
  • Suprosa in the Trading Card has an appearance wholly different from all other appearances in the comic and games. The novel identifies Suprosa as a a Corellian freighter although canon established it is a Mobquet medium transport; Mobquet is not Corellian
  • In the comic and also the trading cards, Luke's abductors on Kothlis are only Barabels. The novel mentions humans and other aliens also.
  • In his cell, Luke is visited by Skahtul twice. In the comic and audio drama the lines of these two discussions are merged into one.
  • When Luke escapes, in the comic he is stopped by a Barabel, whom he slays with his lightsaber; in the novel he is a Nikto and Luke simply ricochets his blaster fire to his foot with his lightsaber.
  • While Vergesso is an asteroid, the Model Kit Mini-Comic portrays it as a planet.
  • In the novel, after the swoop chase, Luke hosts Dash in Kenobi's hut and sometime later they hear the message droid falling. In the comic they see the droid falling as they still ride their way back.
  • There is some inconsistency of timing between the comic and the novel. While Luke was on Kothlis, in the novel Leia, Chewie, Lando and Threepio were still on Rodia meeting Guri; in the comic, Chewie and Leia are already taken by Guri to meet Xizor.
  • In the novel Leia wears a green dress given to her by Xizor, in the comic it's blue
  • In the novel Luke and Lando steal Stormtrooper outfits until Dash gives Luke the dark outfit he is seen with in the beginning of RotJ. In the comic Luke wears his normal outfit however Lando wears the top part of a Stormtrooper uniform although no explanation for this is given in the comic.
  • In the game, Dash plants bombs to destroy Xizor's castle, however in the novel and comic we only see Lando dropping a thermal detonator down the garbage chute. An explanation would be that Dash' bombs did the job, and Lando threw the detonator simply to scare Xizor and to make a point that his palace will indeed explode.
  • In the comic, the appearance of Falleen's Fist differs from all other appearances, being red and vertical, lacking the long shafts that extend from its core.
  • In the game, Dash's role in the battle above Coruscant was entering the shafts of Falleen's Fist and destroy the skyhook's reactors, causing it to explode. He is 'killed' by failing to exit the tunnel in time. In the novel, the skyhook is destroyed by the Executor fire, and Dash is 'killed' later, hit by exploding debris. In both cases, Dash has secretly hyperspaced away, preferring to be remembered as a dead hero.
  • Battle of Bounty Hunters shows Fett vanquishing IG-88 above Tatooine and right after he lands to deliver Solo to Jabba after encountering Stormtroopers, Krayt dragons and other bounty hunters. In the other sources Fett went to Gall after his battle with IG-88, and when he returned to Tatooine he did not have any of these adventures.
  • Guri in the Trading Cards appears wearing a yellow outfit (based on early designs by Jon Knole); in the comic she wears a red-grey dress.
  • The timeline between ESB and ROTJ was already covered in Marvel Star Wars comics series, and also feature some adventures attempting to regain Solo from Fett. As SotE covers the whole timeframe, it obsoletes the Marvel adventures.

Other trivia

  • The novel slips in two THX 1138 references.
  1. In Chapter 21, when the Bothans are slicing the Death Star II plans. One of the Bothan techs says "Look at this, boys! Scan sector Tarp-Hard-Xenon."
  2. In Chapter 37, after some of Xizor's guards are dispatched in the sewers, a voice is heard coming over the comlink saying, "Thix? What is going on down there? Thix, come in, sector one-one-three-eight, come in -"
  • The frequent motto "I have a bad feeling about this" is heard twice.
  1. Lando says it once escaping from Gall.
  2. In Chapter 26 Lando promptly cuts Luke from saying it when sensing Vader.

External links