“What if I told you that the Republic was now under the control of a Dark Lord of the Sith?”
On May 25, 1977, one of pop culture’s most recognizable villains appeared onscreen for the first time.
It began with Darth Vader, the more-machine-than-man who could end a person’s life without even touching them. His armies of white-armored soldiers were ruthless (though they had terrible aim) and his weapon of choice, a space station the size of a small moon, could destroy entire planets with a single command.
As fans would soon learn, every Sith Lord is either a master or an apprentice -- there are always two, never more, never fewer. The villain everyone thought was the worst of them all turned out to be nothing more than the servant of a much greater threat. The man, called Palpatine, could summon and disperse lightning at will, and he cared for nothing more than being the most powerful being who ever lived.
Fast forward to the heartbreaking story of how a hero becomes a villain -- a young Anakin Skywalker, innocent and powerful though possibly conceived from darkness, will not remain innocent forever. He would one day become Darth Vader, and once he did, he would do terrible things to prove his worth to his master, as all apprentices of the dark must do.
But the films were only the beginning. Pick up even one novelization from the original six Star Wars movies and you’ll quickly realize there is much more to the story. Star Wars books, since their start, have always served to fill in gaps, flesh out characters, and continue unfinished storylines. And no faction of characters benefits more from these enhancements than the villains.
Since the beginning, the list of Star Wars villains has grown. Each story poses a protagonist against their greatest enemy and forces them to confront their greatest fears. Some stories are even told from the villains’ perspective, painting the side we’ve always seen as the hero as the opposing force to be extinguished for the very first time.
From Vader to Palpatine, Krenic to Tarkin, and ancient lords like Bane to hardened warriors like Phasma, villains are just as crucial to the story of Star Wars as the heroes they fight against. Every tale has two sides, after all, and to understand the full picture, we must first examine the events from all sides.
Chances are, even if you’re a hero at heart, there’s at least one villain in a galaxy far, far away that you’re itching to learn more about. What was Vader doing as his children were growing up? Was Palpatine’s story of Darth Plageuis just a story, or something more? How did Thrawn become the only alien species to rise through the ranks of the Empire -- and where did he even come from?
The answers to many of your questions can likely be answered in a Star Wars book. Star Wars books about villains are plentiful, and once you begin exploring these stories, you’re going to have a hard time pulling yourself away from them.
Want to dive deeper into the stories surrounding the “bad guys” of Star Wars? Here’s your chance to read them all.
Our team is hard at work building out this collection. Stay tuned!
Books in this Collection
Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
Throughout the galaxy, it was believed that Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker–the Chosen One–had died on Coruscant during the siege of the Jedi Temple. And, to some extent, that was true. Anakin was dead.
From the site of Anakin Skywalker’s last stand–on the molten surface of the planet Mustafar, where he sought to destroy his friend and former master, Obi-Wan Kenobi–a fearsome specter in black has risen. Once the most powerful Knight ever known to the Jedi Order, he is now a disciple of the dark side, a lord of the dreaded Sith, and the avenging right hand of the galaxy’s ruthless new Emperor. Seduced, deranged, and destroyed by the machinations of the Dark Lord Sidious, Anakin Skywalker is dead . . . and Darth Vader lives.
Word of the events that created him–the Jedi Council’s failed mutiny against Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, the self-crowned Emperor’s retaliatory command to exterminate the Jedi Order, and Anakin’s massacre of his comrades and Masters in the Jedi Temple–has yet to reach all quarters. On the Outer Rim world of Murkhana, Jedi Masters Roan Shryne and Bol Chatak and Padawan Olee Starstone are leading a charge on a Separatist stronghold, unaware that the tide, red with Jedi blood, has turned suddenly against them.
When the three narrowly elude execution–and become the desperate prey in a hunt across space–it’s neither clone soldiers, nor the newly deployed stormtroopers, nor even the wrath of the power-hungry Emperor himself they must fear most. The deadliest threat rests in the hideously swift and lethal crimson lightsaber of Darth Vader–behind whose brooding mask lies a shattered heart, a poisoned soul, and a cunning, twisted mind hell-bent on vengeance.
For the handful of scattered Jedi, survival is imperative if the light side of the Force is to be protected and the galaxy somehow, someday reclaimed. Yet more important still is the well-being of the twin infants, Leia and Luke Skywalker, the children of Anakin and his doomed bride, Padmé Amidala. Separated after Padmé’s death, they must be made safe at all costs, lest the hope they represent for the future be turned to horror by the new Sith regime–and the unspeakable power of the dark side.
The Last Command
Grand Admiral Thrawn and his Imperial remnants make their final push to regain control of the galaxy with a strike at the very heart of the New Republic. As Leia struggles to hold government—and her family—together, Han and Chewbacca go on a mission to rally their fellow smugglers to the cause. As Luke returns to lend his help, it quickly becomes apparent that his most daunting challenge still lies ahead: confronting the darkness in himself.
Zahn rounds out this triumphant trilogy with a final chapter that worthy of its predecessors. Readers who have followed Thrawn’s story to this point will be riveted until the final pages that give a fitting end to one of the most formidable villains Star Wars fans have ever known.
The embattled Republic reels from the attacks of Grand Admiral Thrawn, who has marshaled the remnants of the Imperial forces and driven the Rebels back with an abominable technology recovered from the Emperor's secret fortress: clone soldiers. As Thrawn mounts his final siege, Han and Chewbacca struggle to form a coalition of smugglers for a last-ditch attack against the empire, while Leia holds the Alliance together and prepares for the birth of her Jedi twins.
Overwhelmed by the ships and clones at Thrawn's command, the Republic has one last hope: sending a small force, led by Luke Skywalker, into the very stronghold that houses Thrawn's terrible cloning machines. There a final danger awaits, as the Dark Jedi C'baoth directs the battle against the Rebels and builds his strength to finish what he had already started: the destruction of Luke Skywalker.
Heir to the Empire
Heir to the Empire is essential reading material because without it, the rest of the Expanded Universe might not exist. In this book, Zahn manages to construct a new type of Star Wars villain in Grand Admiral Thrawn who defeats his enemies with superior intellect that is every bit as overwhelming as Vader’s Force choke. Luke, Han, Leia, and the entire cast of the Original Trilogy make their triumphant return and must find a way to deal with this new threat who is poised to bring back the Empire even stronger than it was before.
Timothy Zahn has arguably crafted some of the most important books in the Expanded Universe and they all started with Heir to the Empire.
Dark Force Rising
The New Republic is already on the brink of collapse with Grand Admiral Thrawn’s plight to re-conquer the galaxy, but its problems are far from over. A traitor has found its way into the highest level of its leadership at the same time as Luke Skywalker has been lured away by the promises of the long-forgotten, unstable Jedi Jorus C’baoth. Just as things seem as dark as they can get, Han and Lando learn that Thrawn is on the brink of making a discovery that could bring an end to the New Republic altogether.
The second installment of the Thrawn trilogy manages to raise the stakes even higher than the first. Timothy Zahn—like Grand Admiral Thrawn himself—is in top form in this novel.
The dying Empire's most cunning and ruthless warlord - Grand Admiral Thrawn - has taken command of the remnants of the Imperial fleet and launched a massive campaign aimed at the New Republic's destruction. With the aid of unimaginable weapons long hidden away by the Emperor on a backwater planet, Thrawn plans to turn the tide of battle, overwhelm the New Republic, and impose his iron rule throughout the galaxy.
Meanwhile, Han and Lando Calrissian race against time to find proof of treason inside the highest Republican Council - only to discover instead a ghostly fleet of warships that could bring doom to their friends and victory to their enemies.
Yet most dangerous of all is a new Dark Jedi, risen from the ashes of a shrouded past, consumed by bitterness...and scheming to corrupt Luke Skywalker to the Dark Side.
The Force Unleashed II
In the second installment of this series, a new version of Starkiller returns! However, this Starkiller is desperate to break free of Vader’s influence, knowing that his master has no loyalty to him. With a head full of memories and Force visions that don’t add up, Starkiller escapes and searches for the comrades he once knew: Juno and Kota. With the right help, Starkiller has one mission in mind: to end his struggle with Darth Vader once and for all.
Sean Williams manages to further enmesh Starkiller into the fabric of the Original Trilogy by pulling in even more familiar faces. Fans of Starkiller, Darth Vader, or avid video gamers who want to read the story they’ve already played should definitely pick this up.
As ruthless apprentice to Darth Vader, Starkiller was mercilessly schooled in the ways of the dark side, commanded to exterminate the last of the purged Jedi Order, and groomed for the ultimate Sith power play: assassination of the Emperor. He served without question, killed without remorse, and lost his heart without warning to beautiful Imperial fighter pilot Juno Eclipse, never suspecting that he was just a tool in the schemes of his masters—until it was too late to escape their lethal betrayal.
Juno mourned Starkiller as dead…but now he is back, purged of all memories and programmed to kill. And as fate brings Juno and Starkiller closer to reuniting, with Darth Vader determined not to lose his assassin a second time, they will both have to make a stand. The prize is freedom. The punishment for failing will be eternal enslavement to the dark side of the Force…
The Force Unleashed
What if Vader had taken on a forbidden apprentice with whom he planned to overthrow the Emperor’s reign? The Force Unleashed answers this question by following the story of the nameless apprentice as he carries out several missions at Vader’s bidding. However, as he explores the galaxy and builds new relationships with those other than his merciless master, the apprentice begins to question his own role in the fate of the galaxy.
In The Force Awakens, Sean Williams composes a brand new story perfectly wedged into a well-known time period complete with a full cast of refreshing new characters. As a stand-alone or a part of the larger saga, this story is a fun read for any fan.
The overthrow of the Republic is complete. Absolute power now rests in the iron fist of Darth Sidious–the cunning Sith Lord better known as Emperor Palpatine. But more remains to be done. Pockets of resistance in the galaxy must still be defeated and missing Jedi accounted for . . . and dealt with. These crucial tasks fall to the Emperor’s ruthless enforcer, Darth Vader, who in turn has groomed a lethal, nameless Sith apprentice to secretly dispatch the last of his masters’ enemies. This acolyte’s journey will take him across the far reaches of the galaxy and test him with shattering revelations that strike at the very heart of all he believes, stirring within him long-forgotten hopes of reclaiming his name . . . and changing his destiny.
Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? It's a sprawling tale that establishes several important origin stories for characters fans know well. Readers learn how Plagueis seduced Palpatine to the dark side and how their alliance led to the Sith apprentice’s ultimate betrayal of his master. This is how darkness truly began to rise.
Darth Plagueis: Like all Sith Lords before him, he craves absolute power. But like no Sith Lord ever, he possesses the ultimate power—over life and death.
Darth Sidious: In secret he masters the power of the dark side, while publicly climbing to the highest government office.
One desires to rule supreme; the other dreams of living forever. Together, they will destroy the Jedi and rule the galaxy. Unless merciless Sith tradition becomes their undoing. . . .
Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil
The final chapter of Darth Bane's legend allows the reader to witness just how magnificent and horrifying the ultimate power of the Dark Side can be. Decades have passed since Dessel escaped the Apatros mines to ascend to his rightful place as the Sith'ari, and as Bane begins to realize the true cost of such power, fear begins to fester within his mind.
Fear that he will run out of time. Fear that his apprentice lacks the ambition to continue his great work. Fear that his knowledge and passion will die with him.
But he is not the only one looking towards the future. Throughout this novel, Bane and Zannah transcend the titles of master and apprentice as they both attempt to ready themselves for the only end that the Rule of Two can offer them.
Will their dynasty continue? Or shall the Sith be lost to history?
Twenty years have passed since Darth Bane, reigning Dark Lord of the Sith, demolished the ancient order devoted to the dark side and reinvented it as a circle of two: one Master to wield the power and pass on the wisdom, and one apprentice to learn, challenge, and ultimately usurp the Dark Lord in a duel to the death. But Bane’s acolyte, Zannah, has yet to prove herself a worthy successor. Determined that the Sith dream of galactic domination will not die with him, Bane vows to learn the secret of a forgotten Dark Lord that will assure the Sith’s immortality–and his own.
Zannah knows that her ruthless master has begun to doubt her, and so she prepares for his downfall, plotting at last to wrest from Bane the title of Dark Lord of the Sith. Zannah pursues her Master from the grim depths of a ravaged world to the barren reaches of a desert outpost, where the future of the dark side will be decided by the final, fatal stroke of a lightsaber.
The Old Republic: Revan
Being a Jedi turned Sith and finding redemption, Revan has become one of the most powerful Force users by practicing balance between the light and dark sides. Learning how he broke free of the dark side but continuing to draw on its power of his own will puts powerful Force use into perspective.
This novel takes place after the Knights of the Old Republic video game, starting with Revan and Bastilla contemplating their future together. But a threat to the galaxy begins to reveal itself, forcing Revan to leave his wife and unborn child behind to make sure the world is a safe place for his family in the years to come. On the way he encounters Scourge, a Sith strong in the dark side of the Force who intends to break his willpower.
A storm is coming, and there is no escape.
Revan: hero, traitor, conqueror, villain, savior. A Jedi who left Coruscant to defeat Mandalorians — and returned a disciple of the dark side, bent on destroying the Republic. The Jedi Council gave Revan his life back, but the price of redemption was high. His memories have been erased. All that’s left are nightmares—and deep, abiding fear.
What exactly happened beyond the Outer Rim? Revan can’t quite remember, yet can’t entirely forget. Somehow he stumbled across a terrible secret that threatens the very existence of the Republic. With no idea what it is, or how to stop it, Revan may very well fail, for he’s never faced a more powerful and diabolic enemy. But only death can stop him from trying.
Darth Bane: Rule of Two
The history of the Sith was forever changed after Darth Bane's climactic victory at the end of the first book of his lauded trilogy. Decimated by the though bomb, the Order lay in ruins as a single master escaped the planet with his new apprentice, and thus, the Rule of Two was born. This novel continues the masterful legend of Bane as he simultaneously trains the newly appointed Darth Zannah and begins searching the galaxy for the most heralded objects of Sith lore: the fabled holocrons.
Bane's pursuit of this arcane knowledge is treacherous, to say the least, but his raw power and ironclad will encase him with an armor unlike anything the galaxy has ever seen. With his legacy at stake in the form of a brilliant young woman, Bane shows readers once again that he will stop at nothing to create the order that will one day destroy the Jedi once and for all.
As the last surviving Sith, Darth Bane promulgated a harsh new directive: the Rule of Two. Determined to put this policy into action, Darth Bane thinks he has found the perfect apprentice. Zannah, though young, possesses an instinctive link to the dark side that rivals his own. Under Darth Bane's tutelage, she will become essential in his quest to destroy the Jedi and dominate the galaxy.
But there is one who is determined to stop Darth Bane: Johun Othone, Padawan to Jedi Master Lord Hoth, who died at Bane's hands in the Sith War. Though the rest of the Jedi scoff at him, Johun's belief that there are surviving Sith is unshakeable. But not even Johun could foresee the astonishing new knowledge and power that Darth Bane discovers through Force–induced visions—power that will alter him in ways he could never have imagined.
The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance
Tassaa Bareesh, a matriarch in the Hutt crime cartel, is holding an auction that’s drawing attention from across the galaxy. Representatives of both the Republic and the Sith Empire are present, along with a Jedi Padawan sent to investigate, a disenfranchised trooper drummed out of the Republic’s elite Black Star Squad, and a mysterious Mandalorian (Dao Stryver)with a private agenda. But the Republic’s envoy is not what he seems, the Empire’s delegate is a ruthless Sith apprentice, the Jedi Padawan is determined to do the right thing and terrified that he can’t, the trooper hopes to redeem her reputation, and the Mandalorian is somehow managing to keep one step ahead of everyone.
None of these guests—invited or uninvited—have any intention of participating in the auction. Instead they plan to steal the prize, which is locked inside an impregnable vault: two burned chunks of an exploded star cruiser, one of which may hold the key to the wealth of an entire world.
But the truth about the treasure is dangerous and deadly. And in the end, Sith and Jedi, Republic and Empire, must do something they’ve never done before, something that all the agents of good and evil could never make them do: join together to stop a powerful threat that could destroy the galaxy…
The Old Republic: Deceived
Darth Malgus is a testament to how the Sith embrace emotions to fuel their power, as opposed to the Jedi who shun those feelings altogether. He will do whatever it takes to keep his power in check, even if it tears him up inside. But that’s how the Sith operate. Pain and anguish only makes them stronger.
With Revan no longer an obstacle, the Sith move in on the Jedi temple on Coruscant to eradicate the enemy with Darth Malgus leading the attack. When Malgus learns that the Sith Empire and Galactic Republic were planning a peace treaty, he takes matters into his own hands to prevent such a disgraceful act that would only cease their growing strength.
Malgus brought down the Jedi Temple on Coruscant in a brutal assault that shocked the galaxy. But if war crowned him the darkest of the Sith heroes, peace would transform him into something far more heinous—something Malgus would never want to be, but cannot stop, any more than he can stop the rogue Jedi fast approaching.
Her name is Aryn Leneer—and the lone Knight that Malgus cut down in the fierce battle for the Jedi Temple was her Master. And now she's going to find out what happened to him, even if it means breaking every rule in the book.
Darth Bane: Path of Destruction
Every great story has a great villain; or, in the case of Star Wars, a great band of villains. Darth Bane: Path of Destruction focuses on one of the most indispensable Sith Lords in history and chronicles his rise to power as well as its reverberating effects on the future of the galaxy that culminate in the Emperor and Darth Vader.
Karpyshyn manages to flesh out a story that fans didn’t know they needed. It provides a better understanding of what it truly means to be a Sith. Even the most fervent fans of the Light Side will find themselves cheering for one of the most power-hungry villains in all of Star Wars as he claws his way from humble beginnings into a position of ultimate power. By the end of the first book, you’ll be scrambling to pick up the sequel.
On the run from vengeful Republic forces, Dessel, a cortosis miner, vanishes into the ranks of the Sith army and ships out to join the bloody war against the Republic and its Jedi champions. There, Dessel's brutality, cunning, and exceptional command of the Force swiftly win him renown as a warrior. But in the eyes of his watchful masters, a far greater destiny awaits him.
As an acolyte in the Sith academy, studying the secrets and skills of the dark side, Dessel embraces his new identity: Bane. However the true test is yet to come. In order to gain acceptance into the Brotherhood of Darkness, he must defy the most sacred traditions and reject all he has been taught. It is a trial by fire in which he must surrender fully to the dark side — and forge from the ashes a new era of absolute power.
The Old Republic: Annihilation
The Sith Empire is in flux. The Emperor is missing, presumed dead, and an ambitious Sith Lord’s attempt to seize the throne has ended fatally. Still, Darth Karrid, commander of the fearsome Imperial battle cruiser Ascendant Spear, continues her relentless efforts to achieve total Sith domination of the galaxy.
But Karrid's ruthless determination is more than matched in the steely resolve of Theron Shan, whose unfinished business with the Empire could change the course of the war for good. Though the son of a Jedi Master, Theron does not wield the Force—but like his renowned mother, the spirit of rebellion is in his blood. As a top covert agent for the Republic, he struck a crucial blow against the Empire by exposing and destroying a Sith superweapon arsenal—which makes him the ideal operative for a daring and dangerous mission to end Ascendant Spear’s reign of terror.
Joined by hot-headed smuggler Teff'ith, with whom he has an inexplicable bond, and wise Jedi warrior Gnost-Dural, Darth Karrid’s former master, Theron must match wits and weapons with a battle-tested crew of the most cold-blooded dark side disciples. But time is brutally short. And if they don’t seize their one chance to succeed, they will surely have countless opportunities to die...
The Force Awakens introduced Star Wars fans to a new kind of villain -- a female stormstrooper commanding her troops behind reflective chrome armor. Through the end of the film, Captain Phasma remained mostly a mystery. Who was she? Where did she come from? And why did she look different than all the other stormtroopers?
Delilah S. Dawson managed to answer all of our burning questions about this antagonist in her adult novel, Phasma. Throughout the book, readers learn the ruthless extremes the character takes in order to survive, and how she finds herself among the high ranks of the First Order, despite never having heard of them before.
One of the most cunning and merciless officers of the First Order, Captain Phasma commands the favor of her superiors, the respect of her peers, and the terror of her enemies. But for all her renown, Phasma remains as virtually unknown as the impassive expression on her gleaming chrome helmet. Now, an adversary is bent on unearthing her mysterious origins—and exposing a secret she guards as zealously and ruthlessly as she serves her masters.
Deep inside the Battlecruiser Absolution, a captured Resistance spy endures brutal interrogation at the hands of a crimson-armored stormtrooper—Cardinal. But the information he desires has nothing to do with the Resistance or its covert operations against the First Order.
What the mysterious stormtrooper wants is Phasma’s past—and with it whatever long-buried scandal, treachery, or private demons he can wield against the hated rival who threatens his own power and privilege in the ranks of the First Order. His prisoner has what Cardinal so desperately seeks, but she won’t surrender it easily. As she wages a painstaking war of wills with her captor, bargaining for her life in exchange for every precious revelation, the spellbinding chronicle of the inscrutable Phasma unfolds. But this knowledge may prove more than just dangerous once Cardinal possesses it—and once his adversary unleashes the full measure of her fury.
Battlefront: Twilight Company
Deep in the trenches of the Galactic Civil War, there is no more time for games. Rebel Alliance troops must run headfirst into Imperial territory in order to gain ground, risking everything for even the smallest chance of victory.
The fiercest of them all, a group of soldiers bound by loyalty and their collective hatred of the Empire, is known as Twilight Company. Always eager for a fight, they embark on a mission that could jeopardize everything the Alliance has worked for. But if Twilight Company emerges victorious, their efforts could bring new recruits to the cause and increase the Rebellion’s chances of winning the war.
The bravest soldiers. The toughest warriors. The ultimate survivors.
Among the stars and across the vast expanses of space, the Galactic Civil War rages. On the battlefields of multiple worlds in the Mid Rim, legions of ruthless stormtroopers—bent on crushing resistance to the Empire wherever it arises—are waging close and brutal combat against an armada of freedom fighters. In the streets and alleys of ravaged cities, the front-line forces of the Rebel Alliance are taking the fight to the enemy, pushing deeper into Imperial territory and grappling with the savage flesh-and-blood realities of war on the ground.
Leading the charge are the soldiers—men and women, human and nonhuman—of the Sixty-First Mobile Infantry, better known as Twilight Company. Hard-bitten, war-weary, and ferociously loyal to one another, the members of this renegade outfit doggedly survive where others perish, and defiance is their most powerful weapon against the deadliest odds. When orders come down for the rebels to fall back in the face of superior opposition numbers and firepower, Twilight reluctantly complies. Then an unlikely ally radically changes the strategic equation—and gives the Alliance’s hardest-fighting warriors a crucial chance to turn retreat into resurgence.
Orders or not, alone and outgunned but unbowed, Twilight Company locks, loads, and prepares to make its boldest maneuver—trading down-and-dirty battle in the trenches for a game-changing strike at the ultimate target: the very heart of the Empire’s military machine.
Asajj Ventress did not deserve the pain she endured as a child, but she endured it all the same. While most know her as the relentless, hardened Sith apprentice who will stop at nothing to please her master, there’s a much less sinister side to her -- one that may even be capable of falling in love.
There were many stories originally meant to complete The Clone Wars that never got their chance to be told. But Ventress’s journey deserved a proper ending, and it got exactly that. In this story of love, loss, and triumph, watch as the villain you thought you knew transforms into a celebrated hero of the Republic.
The only way to bring down the Sith’s most dangerous warrior may be to join forces with the dark side.
In the war for control of the galaxy between the armies of the dark side and the Republic, former Jedi Master turned ruthless Sith Lord Count Dooku has grown ever more brutal in his tactics. Despite the powers of the Jedi and the military prowess of their clone army, the sheer number of fatalities is taking a terrible toll. And when Dooku orders the massacre of a flotilla of helpless refugees, the Jedi Council feels it has no choice but to take drastic action: targeting the man responsible for so many war atrocities, Count Dooku himself.
But the ever-elusive Dooku is dangerous prey for even the most skilled hunter. So the Council makes the bold decision to bring both sides of the Force’s power to bear—pairing brash Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos with infamous one-time Sith acolyte Asajj Ventress. Though Jedi distrust for the cunning killer who once served at Dooku’s side still runs deep, Ventress’s hatred for her former master runs deeper. She’s more than willing to lend her copious talents as a bounty hunter—and assassin—to Vos’s quest.
Together, Ventress and Vos are the best hope for eliminating Dooku—as long as the emerging feelings between them don’t compromise their mission. But Ventress is determined to have her retribution and at last let go of her dark Sith past. Balancing the complicated emotions she feels for Vos with the fury of her warrior’s spirit, she resolves to claim victory on all fronts—a vow that will be mercilessly tested by her deadly enemy . . . and her own doubt.
Compared with other villainous characters in the Star Wars universe, very little is known about Grand Moff Tarkin. Yet he remains one of the most hated Imperials of all time. He’s the one who gave the command that left Alderaan in ruins. He is unsympathetic and menacing. A man of true evil.
Leave it to James Luceno to craft a Wilhuff Tarkin origin story audiences never knew they needed. Five years after the birth of the Empire, we meet a man who has yet to rise through the ranks to become the tyrant we know he will become. Tarkin’s refusal to let anyone or anything stand in his path will get him exactly where he wants to go … but not without cost.
He’s the scion of an honorable and revered family. A dedicated soldier and distinguished legislator. Loyal proponent of the Republic and trusted ally of the Jedi Order. Groomed by the ruthless politician and Sith Lord who would be Emperor, Governor Wilhuff Tarkin rises through the Imperial ranks, enforcing his authority ever more mercilessly . . . and zealously pursuing his destiny as the architect of absolute dominion.
Rule through the fear of force rather than force itself, he advises his Emperor. Under Tarkin’s guidance, an ultimate weapon of unparalleled destruction moves ever closer to becoming a terrifying reality. When the so-called Death Star is completed, Tarkin is confident that the galaxy’s lingering pockets of Separatist rebellion will be brought to heel—by intimidation . . . or annihilation.
Until then, however, insurgency remains a genuine threat. Escalating guerrilla attacks by resistance forces and newfound evidence of a growing Separatist conspiracy are an immediate danger the Empire must meet with swift and brutal action. And to bring down a band of elusive freedom fighters, the Emperor turns to his most formidable agents: Darth Vader, the fearsome new Sith enforcer as remorseless as he is mysterious; and Tarkin—whose tactical cunning and cold-blooded efficiency will pave the way for the Empire’s supremacy . . . and its enemies’ extinction.
Throughout all Star Wars stories, you’d be hard-pressed to find two villains held in higher regard than Darth Vader and Grand Admiral Thrawn. Though they operate entirely differently, both are incredibly effective tools of the Emperor. When they’re sent to the planet Batuu on the same mission, they must find a way to work together. However, sparks fly as memories of a mission long past involving a younger Thrawn and Anakin Skywalker resurface…
Timothy Zahn weaves together the prequel era with the rebellion era in this novel that manages to pull together some of the biggest names that Star Wars has to offer. While attempting to balance the prowess of Vader with the intellect of Thrawn, it manages to offer a glimpse in the characters’ futures as well as their pasts.
"I have sensed a disturbance in the Force."
Ominous words under any circumstances, but all the more so when uttered by Emperor Palpatine. On Batuu, at the edges of the Unknown Regions, a threat to the Empire is taking root—its existence little more than a glimmer, its consequences as yet unknowable. But it is troubling enough to the Imperial leader to warrant investigation by his most powerful agents: ruthless enforcer Lord Darth Vader and brilliant strategist Grand Admiral Thrawn. Fierce rivals for the emperor's favor, and outspoken adversaries on Imperial affairs—including the Death Star project—the formidable pair seem unlikely partners for such a crucial mission. But the Emperor knows it's not the first time Vader and Thrawn have joined forces. And there's more behind his royal command than either man suspects.
In what seems like a lifetime ago, General Anakin Skywalker of the Galactic Republic, and Commander Mitth'raw'nuruodo, officer of the Chiss Ascendancy, crossed paths for the first time. One on a desperate personal quest, the other with motives unknown…and undisclosed. But facing a gauntlet of dangers on a far-flung world, they forged an uneasy alliance—neither remotely aware of what their futures held in store.
Now, thrust together once more, they find themselves bound again for the planet where they once fought side by side. There they will be doubly challenged—by a test of their allegiance to the Empire…and an enemy that threatens even their combined might.
Battlefront II: Inferno Squad
It’s not often we get to see conflicts in the Star Wars saga from the other side’s point of view. In most Star Wars stories, the heroes are Jedi, rebels, the “good guys.” We forget that from the point of view of an Imperial, the rebels are the evil ones, the ones that must be stopped: the “bad guys.”
In Christie Golden’s Inferno Squad, the attack on the first Death Star is an offense that must be avenged. Iden Versio and her team of special Imperial agents must go undercover to infiltrate Saw Gerrera’s group of Partisans and eliminate their threat. A prequel to Battlefront II, this book offers a new perspective on the aftermath of the events of A New Hope and what remaining Imperial troops were forced to endure in order to survive.
After the humiliating theft of the Death Star plans and the destruction of the battle station, the Empire is on the defensive. But not for long. In retaliation, the elite Imperial soldiers of Inferno Squad have been called in for the crucial mission of infiltrating and eliminating the Partisans—the rebel faction once led by notorious Republic freedom fighter Saw Gerrera.
Following the death of their leader, the Partisans have carried on his extremist legacy, determined to thwart the Empire—no matter the cost. Now Inferno Squad must prove its status as the best of the best and take down the Partisans from within. But the growing threat of being discovered in their enemy’s midst turns an already dangerous operation into a do-or-die acid test they dare not fail. To protect and preserve the Empire, to what lengths will Inferno Squad go . . . and how far beyond them?
The Rebellion may have heroes like Jyn Erso and Luke Skywalker. But the Empire has Inferno Squad.
Lords of the Sith
The most iconic Sith duo is that of Darth Sidious and Darth Vader. When it comes to the films, the immense power of their strengths combined remains to be seen. Lords of the Sith offers the display of unrivaled power that we deserve, and Paul S. Kemp delivers those brutal moments in vivid detail.
The magnitude of chaos and destruction unleashed by the Sith Lords is emphasized alongside the sheer terror and hopelessness of the rebels attempting to fight against them. Their despair is even more apparent through the eyes of Cham Syndulla, Hera Syndulla’s father and rebel leader of Ryloth, showing that even the most courageous minds are no match for the dark side.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. . . .
When the Emperor and his notorious apprentice, Darth Vader, find themselves stranded in the middle of insurgent action on an inhospitable planet, they must rely on each other, the Force, and their own ruthlessness to prevail.
“It appears things are as you suspected, Lord Vader. We are indeed hunted.”
Anakin Skywalker, Jedi Knight, is just a memory. Darth Vader, newly anointed Sith Lord, is ascendant. The Emperor’s chosen apprentice has swiftly proven his loyalty to the dark side. Still, the history of the Sith Order is one of duplicity, betrayal, and acolytes violently usurping their Masters—and the truest measure of Vader’s allegiance has yet to be taken. Until now.
On Ryloth, a planet crucial to the growing Empire as a source of slave labor and the narcotic known as “spice,” an aggressive resistance movement has arisen, led by Cham Syndulla, an idealistic freedom fighter, and Isval, a vengeful former slave. But Emperor Palpatine means to control the embattled world and its precious resources—by political power or firepower—and he will be neither intimidated nor denied. Accompanied by his merciless disciple, Darth Vader, he sets out on a rare personal mission to ensure his will is done.
For Syndulla and Isval, it’s the opportunity to strike at the very heart of the ruthless dictatorship sweeping the galaxy. And for the Emperor and Darth Vader, Ryloth becomes more than just a matter of putting down an insurrection: When an ambush sends them crashing to the planet’s surface, where inhospitable terrain and an army of resistance fighters await them, they will find their relationship tested as never before. With only their lightsabers, the dark side of the Force, and each other to depend on, the two Sith must decide if the brutal bond they share will make them victorious allies or lethal adversaries.