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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Zahn Expands Star Wars Universe

Written by Jon Williams

For a period of time following the 1983 release of Return of the Jedi, the Star Wars phenomenon went into hibernation. Fans who wanted more than the movies provided didn’t have many options.

That changed in June of 1991 with the publication of Heir to the Empire, the first in a trilogy of new Star Wars novels. Acclaimed sci-fi author Timothy Zahn picked up the story five years after the films left off, continuing the story of the familiar heroes and pitting them against a ruthless new enemy. Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia are trying to form and maintain a new government system when a military genius takes over the remnants of the Galactic Empire and sets his sights on re-establishing its former glory.

Fans and critics alike raved about the new story, and the Star Wars Expanded Universe was born. Since then, hundreds of novels have been published. The story of Luke, Han, and Leia has been pushed decades into the future following the events of Return of the Jedi. With the release of the prequels, other books have explored the era of the Old Republic, before the fall of the Jedi. No matter your taste, there’s bound to be a Star Wars book or series to your liking; a couple of recent titles (Death Troopers and Red Harvest, both by Joe Schreiber) have even introduced zombies into the mix.

Timothy Zahn himself has published several Star Wars novels since his first trilogy reawakened the slumbering beast, and his tales are consistently among the best that the Expanded Universe has to offer. On January 1, he returns to a galaxy far, far away with Scoundrels, a tale of Han Solo and Chewbacca that falls in between the events of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back.

With the recent announcement that more Star Wars movies are on the horizon, interest in the series is as strong as ever. Make sure you have plenty of Star Wars titles in your audiobook collection for patrons to check out.

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