Novel References

Shadows of the Empire

1 Prologue
5 Chapter 1
15 Chapter 2
26 Chapter 3
33 Chapter 4

Of course, out here in the middle of nowhere, nothing but sand and rocks and scrub, he could have seenthem coming for a long way.

flora: Some scrub is visible from Kenobi's hut on Tatooine. Perhaps these plants are similar to the shrubs that were visible from the Tusken raiders' clifftop in ANH.


Chewie brought the speeder to a stop. Dust kicked up by the repulsors floated around them for a moment before the nearly constant wind swirled it away. this climate could leach you dry if you stayed out in it unprotected for too long. The dunes shifted and revealed more than a few crisp white bones of those who had thought they could move around the desert with impunity.

technology: The repulsorlifts disturb dust on the ground, either directly or indirectly. This seems to imply that repulsorlifts do more than just apply an upwards force on the vehicle itself. Perhaps there is a volume of effect that perturbs gravity within some volume around the machine, including the nearest patch of ground?

location: In addition to scrub, some bones of sapients are visible from Kenobi's hut.


“We could have called,” Lando said, “but we didn't want to risk having our com overheard. Chewie saw a couple of those new Imperial codecracker slicer droids in town; he thinks they might be monitoring local calls. No point in taking unnecessary risks.”

technology: Codecracker droids monitor communications for the Empire. Apparently, they can crack some encryption schemes used for signals across a planet.


“... Wedge is in command of Rogue Squadron now, and he told me if I ever needed them they'd come running.”

character: Wedge Antilles has been promoted (perhaps to Squadron Leader) after the Battle of Hoth.


“Not so fast,” Lando said. “First what say we wait for the confirmation that Fett is actually on Gall before we take off? That's a long trip to make for nothing.”

location: This is the first mention of the moon Gall.

chronology: At this point in the story, Boba Fett is reported to be on Gall.


She hoped that Lando's informant — what was his name? Dash somebody? — would get the information to them quickly.

character: Dash Rendar, mentioned as an agent or associate of Lando Calrissian.


They had reason to be nervous, his lieutenants. By ascending to this level of Black Sun, they had each earned the honourific “Vigo,” from the old Tionese for “nephew.” It fostered the illusion that the top managers of the organisation were family and thus made them appear stronger to outsiders.

language: “Vigo” means a nephew in old Tionese.


Now, at the beginning of this meeting, he had nine lieutenants at this table, each of whom was responsible for several stellar systems.

At the end of this meeting, he would have eight lieutenants.


Lonay was a Twi'lek, sly, clever, and cowardly. He wore his prehensile head-tails wrapped and draped over one shoulder, his usual garish jewelry and decorative colouration toned down for this meeting.


Sprax, a Nalroni whose dark fur had begun to gray, though he dyed it to try to appear younger, began to rattle off his statistics.


Vekker, a Quarren, flashed a nervous smile and started his recitation.


One by one Xizor called for the Vigos to speak, and one by one the rest of them did: Durga the Hutt, Kreet'ah the Kian'thar, Clezo the Rodian, Wumdi the Etti, Perit the Mon Calamari, Green the Human.


Some of them had come up through the ranks — smugglers, thieves, businessmen — and some of them had been trained from birth and had inherited their places from their fathers, or, in the case of Kreet'ah, his biological mother.

There are 9 Vigos in Black Sun at this time:

  • Lonay (Twi'lek)
  • Sprax (Nalroni)
  • Vekker (Quarren)
  • Durga (Hutt)
  • Kreet'ah (Kian'thar)
  • Clezo (Rodian)
  • Wumdi (Etti)
  • Perit (Mon Calamari)
  • Green (Human)

Green tried to stand, but Guri was incredibly fast. She whipped her arm around the man's throat and locked it with her other arm into a choke hold.

character: Vigo, Green, is identified as a traitor to Xizor. He is killed. The motive and substance of his betrayal is left unexplained.


His organisation was huge, the people working for him numbering in the tens of thousands, but some things he had to deal with personally.

Xizor has >104 underlings in Black Sun. Why does a galaxy-wide criminal organisation have so few? Is this merely a count of those minions who do Xizor's personal bidding, in his castle, excluding those who are actually performing gang business throughout the millions of inhabited planets?


“Very well. Let the bounty hunters know the price for Skywalker's head. Black Sun's hand must be invisible. There must be no mistakes.”

Xizoe issues a secret bounty for Luke Skywalker.


“Oh, I would like to speak to Jabba the Hutt.”

“He will be online when you return from midday meal, my prince.”

“No. Have him come here by the fastest ship; I would speak to him personally.”

Xizor has sufficient influence to summon Jabba from Tatooine to Coruscant for a meeting. What is the Hutt's transit time? Double that time, as a lower limit on the interval between SOTE and ROTJ.


Vader wanted Skywalker, wanted him alive to give to the Emperor. Xizor's memory of that conversation he'd been privileged to overhear some months back was that the Emperor very much wanted the young man alive and in his control.

chronology: Months have elapsed since the Battle of Hoth in TESB.


The Emperor was capricious. He had been known to have whole cities destroyed because a local official defied him. He'd once had a wealthy and influential family banished from the core systems because one of the sons had plowed a ship into one of the Emperor's favourite buildings, damaging it — and not incidentally killing the pilot responsible.

Xizor recalls what seems to be the accident that led to the exile of the Rendar family.

41 Chapter 5
50 Chapter 6

A man sat sprawled in one of the one-piece cast-plast chairs, looking as if he were asleep.

He didn't really look anything like Han — he had red hair and pale skin — but something about the way he sat...

He might have been asleep but his eyes flicked open fast and he looked awake by the time they got there.

He was tall, lean, had green eyes. He wore freighter togs, a gray coverall, and a holstered blaster slung low on his hip. He looked to be about Han's age, Leia figured, and he had that same lazy, insolent look about him.

Character: Dash Rendar, physical description.


“You might have seen me on Hoth,” Dash said. “I was delivering a shipment of food stores when the shield went up. I flew a snowspeeder during the battle while waiting my turn to leave.”

Luke nodded. “That's right. You took down one of the Imperial walkers, I remember now. You were pretty good.”

Dash Rendar is acknowledged for destroying a walker on Hoth. This passage does not specify what type of walker it was.


Wedge said, “... moon has some bad atmospheric conditions, big cyclonic storms that get real mean, mostly in the southern hemisphere. You wouldn't want to fly through one of those.”

The planet Gall has a rough atmosphere, with violent cyclones preferentially in the southern hemisphere. Evidently, the trees encountered in the rebels' overfligh [later] are resilient to or safe from these storms.


The Imperial Enclave was home base to two Star Destroyers — turned out the carrier was just a rumour — but that was plenty.

Starship: Gall was rumoured to be the base to two destroyers and a carrier, but the carrier is absent. How big is the carrier? This passage implies that it would have been the main combatant.


Luke knew that a standard Destroyer carried a wing of TIE fighters, each wing made up of six squads, which meant seventy-two TIEs per Destroyer. A hundred and forty-four of them against the twelve of Rogue Squadron.

Starships: Luke expects the star destroyers near Gall to have 72 fighters each. They're probably Imperator-class destroyers.


“Not to put a governor on your drive or anything,” Dash said, “but if we're going to sneak in the back way, it'll take some pretty fancy flying. Treetop-level stuff to avoid local sensors. Might have to drop into the Grand Trench canyons.”

Location: Gall has a geographic region called Grand Trench canyons.


Chewie said something.

“That right?” Dash said. “Where's you get sublight engines that fast?”

Note that Dash Rendar understands wookiee speech.


A ship perched on the cheap plastic flooring. It had smooth lines, heavy cannon mounted above and below, and it shined with a dark gleam, like chrome. It was almost the size of the Millennium Falcon and had an offset cockpit module, but that was as close as it got. This ship was a top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art craft; Leia had seen enough ships to recognise that it was something special.

A droid stood next to it, a stripped-down skeletal model with a tool bag slung over one shoulder.

“The Outrider,” Dash said. “And my droid, an LE-BO2D9 — he answers to &sdquo;Leedo,&sdquo; when he bothers to answer at all. He thinks he's funny.”

Starship: the Outrider, elsewere documented as a Corellian model newer than the Falcon.

Character: LE-BO2D9 = Leebo.

59 Chapter 7

Darth Vader held his lightsabre firmly, wristed locked, and watched the killer droid circle to its left. The droid was a new model, one of a dozen identical units constructed to his personal specifications. Like Vader, it also held a lightsabre. It was tall, spindly, looked something like the general-purpose Asps to be found all over the Empire, but with a number of special modifications. The unit was faster than an ordinary man, stronger, programmed with the knowledge of a hundred sword masters and a dozen different fighting styles.

Technology: A specially constructed duellist droid, used by Lord Vader for lightsabre practice. Lord Vader contributed to the design; he continues to prove his aptitude as an engineer.


The slight ache in Vader's shoulder where Luke had cut through his armour during their fight was definitely better. He hardly felt any soreness at all with that series [of actions against a duellist droid].

Lord Vader's right shoulder remains organic, since it heals. He was lightly cut or burnt by one of Luke's strikes late in their fight on Bespin [TESB].


“Here they come,” Rogue Six said. That was Wes Janson, an old hand.

character: Rogue Six = Wes Janson, who flew as gunner in Wedge Antilles' snowspeeder in the Battle of Hoth [TESB].


The dayside Destroyer lay dead ahead, and by now its long-range sensors would have spotted the incoming X-wings, and the commander would have started scrambling his fighter force. The lastes TIE fighters were a couple of sublight units faster than an unmodified X-wing, TIE interceptors faster still, but they couldn't get to top speed immediately, so Rogue Squadron would get one relatively free pass at the Destroyer before the TIEs got clear and moving. Not that they'd be able to do much to the Destroyer with fighter-wattage laser cannons or proton torpedoes; Destroyer shields and armour were too thick. But a lucky shot might do a little damage, and it would make the Imperials keep their heads down — they couldn't know if the Alliance might have outfitted its snub fighters with some new weapon. It would make them sweat a little.

TIEs were faster but no more maneuoverable, and the X-wings had the advantage in shielding — TIEs didn't have any, save for a few of the specially equipped interceptors, like the one Vader had.

Starships: This passage discusses the rebels' intention to harrass the destroyer, though they don't expect significant effects. The mission is a distraction to cover the Falcon's incursion on Gall.

Capabilities of X-wings are broadly compared to those of TIEs. This book repeates the commonly printed contention that TIE fighters lack shields. However there are occasions in the movies when shield effects occur around TIEs, apparent in the splintering or splashing of incident laser cannon fire.


Luke had to smile. He really should tell whoever it was — sounded like Rogue Five, that was Dix — to bottle the unofficial commspeak, but he knew jsut how the pilot felt.

character: Rogue Five = Dix.


... Lando continued. “Dash was at the Imperial Academy, a year or so behind Han. His family was wealthy and highly placed. Dash's older brother was a freighter pilot working his way up through the family shipping company. There was an accident. A control system blew out, not the pilot's fault, and the freighter crashed on liftoff from the Coruscant spaceport. Killed the crew, destroyed the ship.”


“So, the building the freighter hit was the Emperor's private museum. Had a lot of his mementos in it. Most of them were lost in the ensuing fire.

“The Emperor was not happy. He had the Rendar family's property seized, then had them banished from Coruscant. That included Dash. They kicked him out of the Academy on Carida and off that planet too.”

Abbreviated tale of the downfall of the Rendar family and its shipping company; tragedy of Dash's career.

chronology: Dash Rendar trained in the Academy about 1yr behind Solo. If Solo entered at the normal age, then Rendar may be slightly younger.


Luke yelled at Wedge. “Rogue One, look out! On your port, bearing three-oh-five!”

character: Rogue One = Wedge Antilles


character: Rogue Two, Rogue Four converse.


“Break off and return to base, Rogue Two,” Luke said.

“Hey, I can still shoot and I got manual.”

“Negative, Will, there's too many for that. Take a walk.”

“Copy, Rogue Leader. Rogue Two returning to base. Good luck, guys! I'll put the kettle on for tea.”

Rogue Two = Will, has withdrawn from the battle because his X-wing is damaged.

Note that he refers to the rest of the pilots as “guys” (masculine). At this point in time, everyone in Rogue Squadron is male. This places logical constraints on the possible casualties from Hoth, and chronology of post-Hoth induction of new pilots.

Luke is addressed as “Rogue Leader” despite the fact that Wedge Antilles is Rogue One.

67 Chapter 8
75 Chapter 9
86 Chapter 10
95 Chapter 11
102 Chapter 12
110 Chapter 13
119 Chapter 14
126 Chapter 15
131 Chapter 16
138 Chapter 17
146 Chapter 18
155 Chapter 19
162 Chapter 20
170 Chapter 21
180 Chapter 22
189 Chapter 23
198 Chapter 24
204 Chapter 25
212 Chapter 26
221 Chapter 27
230 Chapter 28
238 Chapter 29
248 Chapter 30
257 Chapter 31
267 Chapter 32
270 Chapter 33
276 Chapter 34
284 Chapter 35
287 Chapter 36
293 Chapter 37
304 Chapter 38
314 Chapter 39
322 Chapter 40

A hard green beam of light flashed between the two ships. The sighting ray of a big ship's cannon — you couldn't see the laser itself in vacuum, of course, but it followed the ionized marker you could see precisely.


More laser and charged particle bolts blinked, none really close.

technology: Gives emphasis to the fact that the visible bolt of turbolaser fire is merely a byproduct or minor aspect of the shot, and that the damaging component is invisible.

338 Epilogue

Anu Nevalainen observes:

Since the first time I read Shadows of the Empire I have been wondering about one thing. My mother language is Finnish, and among the English text of the book there are two Finnish words “teräs käsi”. They are translated as steel hands. It is supposed to be a bunduki martial art or something.

Have you any idea how my mother language ended up in the Star Wars Universe? Is there perhaps a Bunduki people, the Star Wars Equivalent for us Finn? If you cannot answer this question, do you know anyone who could?

The fictional martial art first appeared in a computer game of the same name, by LucasArts. Perhaps one of the authors of that game knew the Finnish language?

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