Shadows of the Empire
Shadows of the Empire is a 1996 "multimedia project" of the Star Wars franchise. The story takes place between the movies Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi and relates the adventures of the protagonists to rescue Han Solo and acquire the Death Star plans. Their antagonist is the original villain, Prince Xizor, who seeks to overthrow Darth Vader and take his place as second to the Emperor; his means is to kill Luke Skywalker and discredit Vader.
The term "multimedia project" refers to the Lucasfilm 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; 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 video game follows the adventures of original character Dash Rendar, the protagonist of the franchise; the comic book centers around the character Boba Fett and original character Wrenga Jixton. 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.
The subtitles are named after the video game chapters; these are further subdivided by chapter numbers which correspond to the novel.
- 1 Composite summary
- 1.1 The Battle of Hoth
- 1.2 Search for Boba Fett
- 1.3 The Battle of Gall
- 1.4 Hunting the Assassins
- 1.5 Capture of the supercomputer
- 1.6 Lair of the Dark Prince
- 1.7 Epilogue
- 2 Appendix
- 3 External links
The Battle of Hoth
Hotshot smuggler Dash Rendar is the captain of the Outrider and mercenary-for-hire, with his droid co-pilot Leebo. He agreed to deliver supplies to the secret Rebel base on Hoth — in addition to the usual food supplies he carries some assault blasters for Princess Leia Organa. When he docks in Echo Base's hangar, he is surprised to run into Han Solo, who had become involved with the Rebellion since their last meeting.
However, Solo notifies him that Vader's forces have entered the Hoth system and were moving to attack Echo Base. Unable to resist the charm of the fight (and still being paid) Rendar decides to help the Rebels' evacuation by delaying the Imperials. He instructs Leebo to load their cargo into the evacuating transports and to retrieve their payment as he joins Rogue Squadron for the upcoming battle. On Solo's recommendation, Commander Luke Skywalker agreed to give Rendar an unused T-47 snowspeeder into combat.
In the ensuing battle, Dash flies against the approaching walkers, AT-ST and Viper probe droids, succeeding in destroying some of the AT-AT walkers before the Imperials destroy the Base's deflector shield generator and the Rebels are forced to withdraw. The Rebels escape, but Dash is left behind. As he returns to the overrun empty Base, he calls ahead to instruct Leebo to have the Outrider ready to leave. Imperial snowtroopers have destroyed the main generators and Leebo warns Rendar 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 proceeds to the base's lower level and activates the emergency generators, restoring power to the hangar door. As he makes his way back to Bay 3, Rendar he ends up before an AT-ST, which he manages to destroy with a rocket launcher.
Eventually he returns to the Outrider to find the ship had already been boarded by Imperials. After killing them, Rendar takes the ship outside and away from the planet only to be stopped by one of the orbiting Star Destroyers, who launches TIE fighters and bombers. Leebo takes control of the Outrider, leading it through the asteroid belt while Rendar uses the ship's gun turret to fend off the attackers. After clearing the asteroids, the Outrider jumps to safety and Rendar rejoins 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.
Boba Fett on board Slave I, who carries Han Solo' carbonite block, exits hyperspace above Tatooine hoping to deliver Solo to Jabba, but discovers that a signal beacon -installed when he was on Cloud City- was activated. He has a dangerous encounter with IG-88D who intends to claim the bounty of Solo. Fett energizes his ship's inertial dampers, finds himself behind the IG-2000, and responds with a barrage of fire. Slave I has sustained some damage, and thinking that IG-88D is destroyed, Fett retreats to planet Gall for repairs; but the droid also managed to survive and limps off to Ord Mantell to search for spare parts for the ship in the planet's scrapyard.
Meanwhile Luke and Leia have already moved to 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.
Xizor is in his office on Coruscant and ponders on his plans to overthrow Vader and his other underground business. He orders Guri, to hire the Pike sisters and then meets his lieutenant, Mayth Duvel who gives him a precious rare ruby from Nezriti Organization; which does not impress Xizor the least.
In his castle, Vader tests his injured hand by battling an ASP-series droid with a lightsaber, while briefing his agent, Wrenga 'Jix' Jixton 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, Lando, who wanted to redeem himself of his treachery, sent Rendar to discover traces of Han Solo. Rendar learned that IG-88 is on Ord Mantell and is sent there to learn Fett's whereabouts. Arriving on the planet, Leebo scans and to determine IG-88D's exact location in a salvage plant connected with a hovertrain. Rendar rides a hovertrain until the tracks ran parallel to those of the train that led to his destination. As the two trains move alongside each other, Rendar leaps across the gap and makes his way to the front. Leebo then manages to remotely disable the hovertrain's auto-brakes, causing it to crash straight through the closed door of the salvage plant. Inside, Rendar meets 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 opens fire. Rendar fights back and defeats the droid.
Rendar then heads 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 proceeds 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, he encounters Imperial patrols, before reaching the entrance to the base through which he fights his way to the observation tower. Once there, he accesses the computer and learns that Fett was docked in the second tower, on the other side of the nearby canyon. Stealing a jetpack, Rendar crosses to another section until a large hangar containing an AT-ST. After disabling it, he opens the facility's ventilation system, which he follows until near a waiting hoversled. Rendar finally reaches the landing pad where Slave I is docked, but Fett is also there. The two mercenaries open fire until Fett flees into his ship. Slave I takes off and Fett tried to use its weapons against Rendar, who is able to damage the ship with his rocket launchers.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Xizor hosts Leia and Chewbacca, then provides them each with appropriate commodities.
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
As the Falcon leaves the field and is ready for hyperspace, three dozens of TIEs come in. The ship enters hyperspace in the nick of time for Tatooine.
Vader is angered that his prey was lost. He then ordered to bomb a 'suspected Rebel base' on one of the Kothlisian moons.
Howzmin brings Chewie to Leia's room. Chewie looks strangely at Leia who prepares for him, and she excuses herself, claiming she is on a diplomatic mission. All that while Xizor was preparing his pheromones for meeting her in meditation. While the Falcon is en route to Tatooine, Luke feels Leia is in danger, despite Lando's reassurance.
Leia attempts to negotiate with Xizor about business between the Alliance and the Black Sun, and then reveals that she is there for Luke, as Xizor kisses her,
Meanwhile, Fett fixes Slave I's lazers and tells Zuckuss 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.
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.
As Chewie escapes, Xizor is notified about Luke's capture on Kothlis; he learns both about Vader's bidding and Luke's escape which doesn't worry him at all.
Luke insists contacting Leia and receive a message from Chewie who tells that she is in danger. They change course for Coruscant. With some flying tricks they manage to evade sensors and hid in 'sensor shadow' and land on the planet uneventfully.
Lair of the Dark Prince
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.
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.
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.
As Xizor is in his Palace, he has a bad feeling of danger approaching. Dash suggests to the Rebels using the sewers to reach Xizor's palace.
Vader performs another failed healing meditation experiment.
Meanwhile Leia works out locked in her room, waiting to be rescued.
The Rebels meet Dash's contact, Benedikt Vidkun and arrange to guide him into the sewers.
Meanwhile Xizor stares at the night skies thinking about Leia, telling Guri how challenging she is, not knowing that Luke is ready to enter the sewers. He contacts Threepio who waits in the Falcon
Vader's agent shows him the hologram with Xizor's family who were killed during Vader's sterilization of Falleen. He then realizes that Xizor has a personal feud against him.
The band of Rebels prepare to leave and find gear. Chewie has managed to find a bowcaster (which he also carries in RotJ). Dash meanwhile warned them of his distrust about Vidkun and advised not to lose him from their sight.
Meanwhile, Vader receives a call from the Emperor via the holonet, warning him that he felt a disturbance in the Force. Vader wonders if it was Luke. Vader then contacts Xizor and tells that he knows his attempts to kill Luke Skywalker and orders him to stop; he will be held personally accountable if Luke is harmed. Xizor reacted nonchalant. After the connection ends, Xizor considers altering his plans by capturing Luke alive.
Leia in her room, exercises and prepares for the things about to happen.
Having hired the mechanic Benedict Vidkun, he leads the rebels in the sewers leading to Xizor's Palace. Chewie notices movements in the sludge and a dianoga shows up, which Luke slays with his lightsaber. He then tries to contact Leia and inform her on their arrival.
Vidkun opens a grate with his mechanic's card and leads them to the right pipe. Then with a black box he deactivates a zap field. He leads them to the entrance to the building leading into the recycler in the sub-subbasement and gives them the key to the rat-grate.
As the band is ready to enter, they insist that he stays there and wait for them. After an argument, Vidkun pulls a blaster and injures Dash. Lando hits him.
In the sewer, the Rebels enter sector 1138 and attempt to surprise 6 guards. They blunter but manage to neutralize them (the last one is called Thix). Guri detects problem in the subsubbasement and sends 2 squads down to investigate; she tells Xizor (as he bribed the cultural minster) that she suspects Luke has arrived and is .
Four levels up, the Rebels stumble upon 4 guards, as Threepio tells him that armed men approach the Falcon. As Luke downs the last of the guards, he orders Threepio to fly the Falcon suborbital and under the stratospheric security scanners.
Guri puts security on full alert and reports to Xizor about the loss of the squad. He orders her to fetch Leia to the strong room. However Leia has felt Luke's presence and wears the Boussh suit.
The Rebels ascend another eight or ten floors before they run into another group of guards. Dash kills 3 with 3 shots, Chewie stops the last one who tries to flee.
As Guri goes to bring Leia to Xizor, she has already prepared herself and hits her as she enters the room. She then escapes to the hall.
Chewie leads the band to a stairwell a dozen levels above. Threepio reports to Luke that the Falcon left the building. Luke breaks a magnetically sealed door with his lighsaber and Lando suggests to them to destroy the boxes containing security breakers. Guards arrive and they run. Eventually they meet Leia. Guri has reported Leia's escape and Xizor arms himself.
Threepio then reports that the Falcon is pursued by a robotic police vessel but they lose it.
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.
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.
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.
In the Emperor's most private sanctum, Vader apologizes to Palpatine for 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 foreseen, 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. As the bounty hunters are busy trying to stop him, 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, as the Death Star draws nearer on the viewports, right before the Return of the Jedi begins.
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.
- The novel slips in two THX 1138 references.
- 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."
- 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.
- Lando says it once escaping from Gall.
- In Chapter 26 Lando promptly cuts Luke from saying it when sensing Vader.