Star Wars: Heir to the Empire: Behind the Scenes is a special recording that features new commentary by author Timothy Zahn and editor Betsy Mitchell, written for the 20th anniversary edition of Heir to the Empire, read by Zahn and Mitchell. Each annotation includes audio from the new unabridged recording of Heir to the Empire to enhance their comments. The biggest event in the history of Star Wars books, Heir to the Empire follows the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia after they led the Rebel Alliance to victory in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi.
Five years after the Death Star was destroyed and Darth Vader and the Emperor were defeated, the galaxy is struggling to heal the wounds of war, Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting twins, and Luke Skywalker has become the first in a long-awaited line of new Jedi Knights.
But thousands of light-years away, the last of the Emperor’s warlords—the brilliant and deadly Grand Admiral Thrawn—has taken command of the shattered Imperial fleet, readied it for war, and pointed it at the fragile heart of the New Republic. For this dark warrior has made two vital discoveries that could destroy everything the courageous men and women of the Rebel Alliance fought so hard to create.
The explosive confrontation that results is a towering epic of action, invention, mystery, and spectacle on a galactic scale—in short, a story worthy of the name Star Wars.
This is an enjoyable look at Zahn’s process in writing the book, although I wish they’d gone through the whole trilogy. I also would have liked more content on the development of Mara Jade’s character - she’s really only briefly discussed. (Zahn suggests that’s because people want to keep her origins more mysterious - maybe, but I would have loved to know how she went from the idea he talks about to such a central and beloved character.)