The Empire Strikes Back
A Youtini Collection

Star Wars books you should read if you like
The Empire Strikes Back

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The Empire Strikes Back
"Never tell me the odds!"

The Death Star was a monument to everything that the Empire stood for. When the Rebel Alliance succeeded in obliterating the battle station against all odds, Imperial forces craved to see the terrorist group stomped out for good. That required the best the galaxy had to offer, albeit coming from the least glamorous of worlds.

In 1977, Star Wars rocked the box office and formed one of the largest fanbases in history. It had everything you could hope for in a space opera and the rest was open to interpretation. A sequel was not guaranteed, and Splinter of the Mind’s Eye was even written as a follow-up in case another film was unable to happen. But the fans’ dreams came true a couple years later when The Empire Strikes Back was released and expanded on the Star Wars universe in so many ways.

Empire Strikes Back introduced Jedi Master Yoda, Emperor Palpatine, Lando Calrissian, and a handful of unique bounty hunters. Many aspects that we love about Star Wars came from this highly-anticipated sequel which is still praised by fans to this day. The novels below capture the elements that made this film one to remember for ages.

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Books in this Collection

The Youtini Collections team has hand-selected the books in this collection
Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Splinter of the Mind's Eye

Written by
Alan Dean Foster
Artwork by
Mediocre
6.3
6.3
6.3

Alan Dean Foster’s Splinter of the Mind’s Eye—written as a potential sequel to A New Hope—is a fascinating look at the direction the Star Wars saga may have gone. After crash landing on a jungle planet, Luke and Leia once again find themselves pitted against the Empire. But before they can escape, they must investigate local rumors of something known as a "Kaiburr crystal"—an object in which Darth Vader also has great interest.

Mediocre
6.3
6.3
6.3
Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Written by
Donald F. Glut
Artwork by

You’ve probably seen the movie a hundred times, so why not give the novelization a try? You just might enjoy the story in a whole new light, especially if you keep in mind that the novel came out shortly before the film’s release so this is how some fans experienced Empire Strikes Back for the first time. Imagine finding out about THAT spoiler through the book!

Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

The Lando Calrissian Adventures

Written by
L. Neil Smith
Artwork by

Hello, what have we here? Why, it’s a collection of novels specifically about Lando Calrissian! If you just can’t resist the smooth-as-silk gambler, smuggler, and entrepreneur, don’t even try to pass up The Lando Calrissian Adventures. This book includes Lando’s best shenanigans in the time before he lost the Millennium Falcon to Han Solo.

Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Shadows of the Empire

Written by
Steve Perry
Artwork by

The Empire Strikes Back was a big hit, as was Return of the Jedi. But many fans wondered what our heroes were up to in preparation for Han’s rescue at Jabba’s palace. Shadows of the Empire fills the blanks in between the two films and gained enough popularity to be released in various media like comic adaptations, video games, and action figures.

Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Tales of the Bounty Hunters

Written by
Various Authors
Artwork by
Part of the
Tales Series

Since their debut in Empire Strikes Back, bounty hunters have taken the Star Wars fandom by storm with costumes and figurines expressing their love for the popular space profession. If you fit in with those fans and your favorite characters include Boba Fett, Bossk, IG-88, or dare I say, Dengar, then you will find plenty of joy in this timeless classic.

Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Choices of One

Written by
Timothy Zahn
Artwork by

After being forced to evacuate its base on Yavin, the Rebellion is in turmoil. Its pledge to overthrow the Empire's iron-fisted rule is dependent upon finding a new headquarters for their operations. So, when an unlikely source approaches Rebel leadership offering the perfect location in exchange for Rebel protection from an invading alien war force, it seems the Force may be working in the Rebels' favor.

Unbeknownst to Luke, Han, Leia, and the rest of the fledgling Rebellion, Mara Jade, the Hand of the Emperor, and five stormtroopers called the Hand of Judgement, are on their way to that exact prospective base location, looking to destroy the Rebellion once and for all.

Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Scoundrels

Written by
Timothy Zahn
Artwork by

Scoundrels is a classic heist story involving none other than Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian.

After Han’s reward for helping the Rebellion at the Battle of Yavin is stolen, he finds himself in desperate need of credits. So, when he is approached about a job stealing back hundreds of millions of credits from a crime lord on the planet Wukkar, he jumps at the chance. However, more than a few twists and turns along the way threaten to derail the entire operation and leave Han wondering which of the people standing by his side can be trusted…

Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Empire and Rebellion: Razor's Edge

Written by
Martha Wells
Artwork by

After their victory in the Battle of Yavin, the Rebel Alliance make plans to set up a new base on the planet Hoth. Han and Leia set off to gather supplies for the base, but Leia is troubled when she encounters a group of Alderaanians who survived their planet’s destruction but had resorted to living as pirates. Razor’s Edge is a great Leia-centered story leading up to The Empire Strikes Back.

Canon
Canon
YA Novel

Smuggler's Run: A Han Solo & Chewbacca Adventure

Written by
Greg Rucka
Artwork by

After the destruction of the Death Star, Han & Chewie are more than happy to take their promised reward and head off to pay back Jabba the Hutt, but Princess Leia Organa has something else in mind for the duo. A quick rescue mission to help the burgeoning Rebellion - what harm could it do?

Bounty hunters and Imperials, alike, repeatedly chase the pair across the planet Cyrkon, and by the time it’s all over, Han finds himself deeper than he ever thought possible in a cause he tried so long to avoid.

Canon
Canon
Graphic Novel

Star Wars (2020) Vol. 01: The Destiny Path (Trade Paperback)

Written by
Charles Soule
Artwork by
Jesús Saiz
Marvel’s relaunch of their flagship ongoing Star Wars series takes place in between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Luke deals with the loss of his hand and the crushing news that Darth Vader is his father. Leia looks for a way to rescue Han. Lando tries to fill Solo’s shoes and navigate the team dynamics of having just betrayed Han to the Empire—while also looking for a way to get even and reclaim Cloud City! A spectacular start to a great series.
Canon
Canon
Adult Novel

From A Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back

Written by
Various Authors
Artwork by
The first iteration of this tubular collab was so well-received that readers were eagerly anticipating its sequel. The From a Certain Point of View series welcomes so many new authors to the Star Wars Expanded Universe in a way that allows them to extend their reach to other parts of the galaxy while also treating us with stories from well-known authors of the beloved franchise. To all of the new contributors making their debut in this book, we will be watching your career with great interest.
Canon
Canon
Adult Novel

From A Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back

Written by
Various Authors
Artwork by
The first iteration of this tubular collab was so well-received that readers were eagerly anticipating its sequel. The From a Certain Point of View series welcomes so many new authors to the Star Wars Expanded Universe in a way that allows them to extend their reach to other parts of the galaxy while also treating us with stories from well-known authors of the beloved franchise. To all of the new contributors making their debut in this book, we will be watching your career with great interest.
Press Release:On May 21, 1980, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back made its theatrical debut. To celebrate the classic film’s landmark 40th anniversary, StarWars.com presents “Empire at 40,” a special series of interviews, editorial features, and listicles.Forty years of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, 40 authors retelling its stories? Sounds good to us.The anthology series From a Certain Point of View is set to return with From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back, celebrating 40 years of Episode V and arriving November 10. Like its predecessor, From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back will feature 40 stories by 40 authors reimagining the classic sequel through the eyes of background characters — heroes, villains, droids and creatures. Check out the cover below!All participating authors have generously forgone any compensation for their stories. Instead, their proceeds will be donated to First Book — a leading nonprofit that provides new books, learning materials, and other essentials to educators and organizations serving children in need. To further celebrate the launch of this book and both companies’ longstanding relationships with First Book, Penguin Random House will donate $100,000 to First Book, and Disney/Lucasfilm will donate 100,000 children’s books — valued at $1,000,000 — to support First Book and their mission of providing equal access to quality education.Always in motion is the future…but follow the hashtag #FromaCertainPOVStrikesBack to get an early sneak peek at some of the authors participating, and come back to StarWars.com on Monday, June 16, for a reveal of the entire author roster.Authors:Tom Angleberger Sarwat ChaddaS.A. Chakraborty Mike ChenAdam ChristopherZoraida Córdova Delilah S. Dawson Tracy Deonn Seth DickinsonAlexander Freed Jason FryChristie Golden Hank GreenRob Hart E. K. Johnston Lydia KangMichael Kogge R.F. Kuang C.B. Lee Mackenzi Lee John Jackson Miller Michael MoreciDaniel José Older Mark OshiroAmy Ratcliffe Beth Revis Lilliam Rivera Cavan Scott Emily Skrutskie Karen Strong Anne Toole Catherynne M. Valente ​Austin WalkerMartha WellsDjango Wexler Kiersten White Gary Whitta Brittany N. WilliamsCharles YuJim Zubkavich
Canon
Canon
Graphic Novel

Star Wars (2020) Vol. 01: The Destiny Path (Trade Paperback)

Written by
Charles Soule
Artwork by
Jesús Saiz
Marvel’s relaunch of their flagship ongoing Star Wars series takes place in between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Luke deals with the loss of his hand and the crushing news that Darth Vader is his father. Leia looks for a way to rescue Han. Lando tries to fill Solo’s shoes and navigate the team dynamics of having just betrayed Han to the Empire—while also looking for a way to get even and reclaim Cloud City! A spectacular start to a great series.

Star Wars Vol. 1: The Destiny Path

A trade paperback compilation of Marvel Comics Star Wars (2020), collecting issues 1–6 from the ongoing series.

"No…I am your father."

In the wake of the events following The Empire Strikes Back, it is a dark time for the heroes of the Rebellion. The Rebel fleet…scattered following a disastrous defeat at the Battle of Hoth. Han Solo…lost to the bounty hunter Boba Fett after being frozen in carbonite. And after being lured into a trap on Cloud City and bested in a vicious lightsaber duel against the evil Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker…learned the horrible truth about his past. Vader did not kill Luke's father, Anakin - Vader is Luke's father! Now, after narrowly escaping the dark lord's clutches, and wounded and reeling from the revelation, Luke, Princess Leia, Lando Calrissian, the Wookiee Chewbacca and the droids C-3PO and R2-D2 must fight their way back to the Rebel Alliance - for the fate of the entire galaxy is at stake! After so many losses, is victory still possible? But, what Leia, Luke and their ragtag band of freedom fighters do not realize is that they have only traded one Imperial trap for another! Enter the cunning and vengeful Imperial Commander Zahra, at the helm of the Tarkin's Will! Writer Charles Soule (DARTH VADER) and artist Jesús Saiz (DOCTOR STRANGE) are taking us all to the galaxy far, far away!

COLLECTING: STAR WARS (2020) 1-6

Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Written by
Donald F. Glut
Artwork by

You’ve probably seen the movie a hundred times, so why not give the novelization a try? You just might enjoy the story in a whole new light, especially if you keep in mind that the novel came out shortly before the film’s release so this is how some fans experienced Empire Strikes Back for the first time. Imagine finding out about THAT spoiler through the book!

The adventures of Luke Skywalker did not end with the destruction of the Death Star.

Though the Rebel Alliance won a significant battle, the war against the Empire has only just begun.

Several months have passed, and the Rebels have established a hidden outpost on the frozen wasteland of Hoth. But even on that icy backwater planet, they cannot escape the evil Darth Vader’s notice for long.

Soon Luke, Han, Princess Leia, and their faithful companions will be forced to flee, scattering in all directions—with the Dark Lord’s minions in fevered pursuit.

Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Shadows of the Empire

Written by
Steve Perry
Artwork by

The Empire Strikes Back was a big hit, as was Return of the Jedi. But many fans wondered what our heroes were up to in preparation for Han’s rescue at Jabba’s palace. Shadows of the Empire fills the blanks in between the two films and gained enough popularity to be released in various media like comic adaptations, video games, and action figures.

His name is Xizor, Underlord of a galaxywide criminal organization called Black Sun. He seeks to displace Darth Vader as Emperor Palpatine's right hand. To do so, he will hatch a brilliantly evil plan to discredit Vader in the Emperor's eyes. But in the meantime he will join the Dark Lord in an unholy alliance whose common target is the young Rebel hero, Luke Skywalker.

While Vader and Xizor bait their trap for Luke, Han Solo is being held captive, flash-frozen in a carbonite slab. Mourning the loss of the man she loves, Princess Leia mounts a rescue mission to free Han. She enlists the aid of Luke, who is sharpening his skill in the Force at Ben Kenobi's home on the edge of Tatooine's Western Dune Sea. Skywalker organizes a crack fighting force, including Wedge Antilles and his famous X-wing squadron; Lando Calrissian; and the mercenary Dash Rendar. Yet the fierce battle that ensues to rescue Han will not go according to plan. For the Empire's spies are everywhere.

What's worse, though he is cold and reptilian, Xizor has a certain predatory charisma that not even Leia can totally resist. Against the judgment of Chewbacca, who has promised Han to keep her from harm, Leia walks willingly into Xizor's lair in a dangerous play of passion and willpower to get the information she needs to defeat him. At the same time, Luke stands in the crosshairs of a conspiracy of assassins and bounty hunters recruited by Xizor's lieutenant, the beautiful but lethal Human replicant Guri. As the struggle between Xizor and Vader intensifies, Luke finds himself the potential prize of the two most evil entities in the galaxy — one who wants him alive, and one who wants him dead.

In a final, explosive showdown, the Rebels must infiltrate Xizor's impregnable stronghold and fight the combined forces of Black Sun and the Empire in deep space. With death and betrayal looming on every side, Luke, Leia, Lando, and Chewie must use every weapon and resource at their disposal, including the Rebel fleet and some intriguing new allies, if they are to prove victorious. In Shadows of the Empire, Steve Perry adds an exciting new chapter to the Star Wars saga and introduces important new characters and situations no Star Wars fan will want to miss.

Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Splinter of the Mind's Eye

Written by
Alan Dean Foster
Artwork by
Mediocre
6.3
6.3
6.3

Alan Dean Foster’s Splinter of the Mind’s Eye—written as a potential sequel to A New Hope—is a fascinating look at the direction the Star Wars saga may have gone. After crash landing on a jungle planet, Luke and Leia once again find themselves pitted against the Empire. But before they can escape, they must investigate local rumors of something known as a "Kaiburr crystal"—an object in which Darth Vader also has great interest.

Stranded on a jungle planet, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia found themselves desperately racing Imperial Stormtroopers to claim a gem that had mysterious powers over the Force.

Luke Skywalker expected trouble when he volunteered to follow Princess Leia on her mission to Circarpous to enlist their Rebel underground in the battle against the Empire. But the farm boy from Tatooine hadn't counted on an unscheduled landing in the swamplands of Mimban…hadn't counted on any of the things they would find on that strange planet.

Hidden on this planet was the Kaiburr crystal, a mysterious gem that would give the one who possessed it such powers over the Force that he would be all but invincible. In the wrong hands, the crystal could be deadly. So Luke had to find this treasure and find it fast.

Accompanied by Artoo-Detoo and See-Threepio—his two faithful droids—Luke and the Princess set out for the Temple of Pomojema…and a confrontation deep beneath the surface of an alien world with the most fearsome villain in the galaxy!

Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Empire and Rebellion: Razor's Edge

Written by
Martha Wells
Artwork by

After their victory in the Battle of Yavin, the Rebel Alliance make plans to set up a new base on the planet Hoth. Han and Leia set off to gather supplies for the base, but Leia is troubled when she encounters a group of Alderaanians who survived their planet’s destruction but had resorted to living as pirates. Razor’s Edge is a great Leia-centered story leading up to The Empire Strikes Back.

Times are desperate for the Rebel Alliance. Harassment by the Empire and a shortage of vital supplies are hindering completion of a new secret base on the ice planet Hoth. So when Mid Rim merchants offer much-needed materials for sale, Princess Leia Organa and Han Solo lead an Alliance delegation to negotiate a deal.

But when treachery forces the rebel ship to flee into territory controlled by pirates, Leia makes a shocking discovery: the fierce marauders come from Leia’s homeworld of Alderaan, recently destroyed by the Death Star. These refugees have turned to pillaging and plundering to survive—and they are in debt to a pirate armada, which will gladly ransom the princess to the vengeful Empire... if they find out her true identity.

Struggling with intense feelings of guilt, loyalty, and betrayal, Leia is determined to help her wayward kinspeople, even as Imperial forces are closing in on her own crippled ship. Trapped between lethal cutthroats and brutal oppressors, Leia and Han, along with Luke, Chewbacca, and a battle-ready crew, must defy death—or embrace it—to keep the rebellion alive.

Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Choices of One

Written by
Timothy Zahn
Artwork by

After being forced to evacuate its base on Yavin, the Rebellion is in turmoil. Its pledge to overthrow the Empire's iron-fisted rule is dependent upon finding a new headquarters for their operations. So, when an unlikely source approaches Rebel leadership offering the perfect location in exchange for Rebel protection from an invading alien war force, it seems the Force may be working in the Rebels' favor.

Unbeknownst to Luke, Han, Leia, and the rest of the fledgling Rebellion, Mara Jade, the Hand of the Emperor, and five stormtroopers called the Hand of Judgement, are on their way to that exact prospective base location, looking to destroy the Rebellion once and for all.

The fate of the Rebellion rests on Luke Skywalker’s next move. But have the rebels entered a safe harbor or a death trap?

Eight months after the Battle of Yavin, the Rebellion is in desperate need of a new base. So when Governor Ferrouz of Candoras Sector proposes an alliance, offering the Rebels sanctuary in return for protection against the alien warlord Nuso Esva, Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie are sent to evaluate the deal.

Mara Jade, the Emperor’s Hand, is also heading for Candoras, along with the five renegade stormtroopers known as the Hand of Judgment. Their mission: to punish Ferrouz’s treason and smash the Rebels for good.

But in this treacherous game of betrayals within betrayals, a wild card is waiting to be played.

Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Scoundrels

Written by
Timothy Zahn
Artwork by

Scoundrels is a classic heist story involving none other than Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian.

After Han’s reward for helping the Rebellion at the Battle of Yavin is stolen, he finds himself in desperate need of credits. So, when he is approached about a job stealing back hundreds of millions of credits from a crime lord on the planet Wukkar, he jumps at the chance. However, more than a few twists and turns along the way threaten to derail the entire operation and leave Han wondering which of the people standing by his side can be trusted…

Han Solo should be basking in his moment of glory. After all, the cocky smuggler and captain of the Millennium Falcon just played a key role in the daring raid that destroyed the Death Star and landed the first serious blow to the Empire in its war against the Rebel Alliance. But after losing the reward his heroics earned him, Han’s got nothing to celebrate. Especially since he’s deep in debt to the ruthless crime lord Jabba the Hutt. There’s a bounty on Han’s head—and if he can’t cough up the credits, he’ll surely pay with his hide. The only thing that can save him is a king’s ransom. Or maybe a gangster’s fortune? That’s what a mysterious stranger is offering in exchange for Han’s less-than-legal help with a riskier-than-usual caper. The payoff will be more than enough for Han to settle up with Jabba—and ensure he never has to haggle with the Hutts again.

All he has to do is infiltrate the ultra-fortified stronghold of a Black Sun crime syndicate underboss and crack the galaxy’s most notoriously impregnable safe. It sounds like a job for miracle workers . . . or madmen. So Han assembles a gallery of rogues who are a little of both—including his indispensable sidekick Chewbacca and the cunning Lando Calrissian. If anyone can dodge, deceive, and defeat heavily armed thugs, killer droids, and Imperial agents alike—and pull off the heist of the century—it’s Solo’s scoundrels. But will their crime really pay, or will it cost them the ultimate price?

Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Tales of the Bounty Hunters

Written by
Various Authors
Artwork by
Part of the
Tales Series

Since their debut in Empire Strikes Back, bounty hunters have taken the Star Wars fandom by storm with costumes and figurines expressing their love for the popular space profession. If you fit in with those fans and your favorite characters include Boba Fett, Bossk, IG-88, or dare I say, Dengar, then you will find plenty of joy in this timeless classic.

In a wild and battle-scarred galaxy, assassins, pirates, smugglers, and cutthroats of every description roam at will, fearing only the professional bounty hunters-amoral adventurers who track down the scum of the universe...for a fee. When Darth Vader seeks to strike at the heart of the Rebellion by targeting Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon, he calls upon six of the most successful-and feared-hunters, including the merciless Boba Fett. They all have two things in common: lust for profit and contempt for life... Featuring original stories by Kevin J. Anderson, M. Shayne Bell, Daniel Keys Moran, Kathy Tyers and Dave Wolverton.

Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

The Lando Calrissian Adventures

Written by
L. Neil Smith
Artwork by

Hello, what have we here? Why, it’s a collection of novels specifically about Lando Calrissian! If you just can’t resist the smooth-as-silk gambler, smuggler, and entrepreneur, don’t even try to pass up The Lando Calrissian Adventures. This book includes Lando’s best shenanigans in the time before he lost the Millennium Falcon to Han Solo.

For the price of one, you get three Lando Calrissian novels: LANDO CALRISSSIAN AND THE MINDHARP OF SHARU, LANDO CLARISSIAN AND THE FLAMEWIND OF OSEON, and LANDO CALRISSIAN AND THE STARCAVE OF THONBOKA. You know him as a gambler, rogue, and con-artist; Lando's always on the frontier scanning his sensors for easy credits and looking for action in galaxies near and far.

Canon
Canon
YA Novel

Smuggler's Run: A Han Solo & Chewbacca Adventure

Written by
Greg Rucka
Artwork by

After the destruction of the Death Star, Han & Chewie are more than happy to take their promised reward and head off to pay back Jabba the Hutt, but Princess Leia Organa has something else in mind for the duo. A quick rescue mission to help the burgeoning Rebellion - what harm could it do?

Bounty hunters and Imperials, alike, repeatedly chase the pair across the planet Cyrkon, and by the time it’s all over, Han finds himself deeper than he ever thought possible in a cause he tried so long to avoid.

It is a period of civil war. The heroic freedom fighters of the REBEL ALLIANCE have won their most important victory thus far with the destruction of the Empire's ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR.

But the Rebellion has no time to savor its victory. The evil Galactic Empire has recognized the threat the rebels pose, and is now searching the galaxy for any and all information that will lead to the final destruction of the freedom fighters.

For the MILLENNIUM FALCON's crew, who saved the life of Luke Skywalker during the Battle of Yavin, their involvement with the rebels is at an end. Now HAN SOLO and CHEWBACCA hope to take their reward and settle some old debts. . . .