As there seemingly isn’t already a thread for the overall Shadows Of The Empire ‘multimedia project’ on here…
An Index for this ‘Shadows Of The Empire’ (SOTE) thread…
About ‘Shadows Of The Empire’…
The Trading Cards
Reviews, Retrospectives & Fan Content
OT•com SOTE Discussion Threads
A few online articles on SOTE
• About ‘Shadows Of The Empire’…
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire is a 1996 multimedia project created by Lucasfilm. The idea was to create a story set between the films The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and to explore all commercial possibilities of a full motion picture release without actually making a film. The venture was intended to reinvigorate interest in the franchise ahead of the 1997 theatrical Special Editions of the Star Wars Trilogy released the following year.
Several products were released, including a novel, a junior novelization, a comic book series, a video game, a soundtrack, trading cards, role-playing games, posters, model kits, Micro Machines toys, and a series of action figures and vehicles.
The story introduces Rebel ally Dash Rendar, who aids the heroes in their attempt to liberate the frozen Han Solo from bounty hunter Boba Fett. Meanwhile, Darth Vader continues the search for his son, Luke Skywalker, whom crime lord Prince Xizor attempts to kill in his plot to replace Vader at the side of Emperor Palpatine.
It was sometimes referred to as ‘The Movie Without A Movie’.
The blurb / a would-be opening crawl…
“When Luke Skywalker was most vulnerable…
When a renegade hero became a friend in desperate need and a dark villain faced his greatest challenge…
When the Empire turned more and more to the forces of the underworld…
the underworld moved in to crush the Empire and the Rebellion in a single stroke…
After The Empire Strikes Back and before Return of the Jedi, there was a time when heroes and villains alike lived in the Shadows of the Empire.”
'Shadows Of The Empire Commercial’ (novel, comic & game):-
www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5sGUwWAxbc - a 75 second trailer at the Shadows of the Empire youtube channel
A HD remade trailer - Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire Commercial - at the editing sith lord youtube channel
Shadows of the Empire wikipedia page - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars:_Shadows_of_the_Empire
Shadows of the Empire wookieepedia page - https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Star_Wars:_Shadows_of_the_Empire
• The Book(s)
‘Shadows of the Empire’ is a 1996 novel written by Steve Perry. It describes the events between the films The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. It was part of the Shadows of the Empire multimedia project.
‘It is a time of crisis. Han Solo, frozen in carbonite, is being taken to the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt. As Princess Leia mounts a rescue mission and Darth Vader scours the Galaxy for Luke Skywalker, another sinister figure emerges. Cunning and ruthless, leader of a powerful crime syndicate, he will pit himself against Vader for the favor of their mutual master…the dreaded Emperor.’
From the Wikipedia page for the SOTE novel:-
'Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian hire the services of Battle of Hoth veteran Dash Rendar, who has located Boba Fett’s ship, which has the frozen Han Solo aboard. The heroes lead an attempt to liberate Han from the bounty hunter, but are outgunned by Imperial TIE fighters. Back on Tatooine, as Luke Skywalker constructs a new lightsaber, he is chased by swoop bike riders in the service of Jabba the Hutt and saved by Dash.
The two learn where they can intercept the plans for a new Death Star, which they obtain with the aid of Bothan fighters and bring to Kothlis to be decoded. Luke is briefly captured by the agents of Darth Vader and learns of the Falleen crime lord Prince Xizor, who plans to kill Luke in a plot to gain Emperor Palpatine’s favor. Meanwhile, Leia investigates the attempts on Luke’s life. She and Chewbacca meet Xizor’s human-replica droid Guri, who brings Leia to Coruscant, where Xizor tries to seduce the princess in an attempt to bait Luke.
Luke, Lando and Dash sneak into the crime lord’s palace to save Leia. As the Rebels engage Imperial fighters above Coruscant, Xizor is prevented from escaping by the vengeful Darth Vader, whose Star Destroyer shoots down his repulsor craft and Skyhook base. The debris from the explosion hits the Outrider, apparently killing Dash. Back on Tatooine once more, Luke records a holographic message for Jabba the Hutt.
Author Steve Perry was commissioned to write the novel—the backbone of the multimedia project—after writing the novelizations of The Mask for Bantam, and Aliens based upon graphic novels by Dark Horse Comics, which had been licensed by Lucasfilm to create Star Wars comics. In addition to studying the original Star Wars trilogy, Perry read the first spin-off novel in the franchise, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, to get an idea of how to write for Vader.
The publishers wanted a ‘substitute’ for the incapacitated Han Solo, and Perry came up with the character of Dash, noted by fans as being mainly a vehicle for Solo-esque dialogue. The publishers also instructed Perry to make Xizor’s attempt to seduce Leia successful, but the author refused as he feared fan backlash.
Steve Perry has expressed his support of adapting the story as an animated film. A prequel novel was planned, to be written by author Charles Grant, but was cancelled due to a Lucasfilm Licensing move from Bantam to Del Rey Books.’
^ by Hugh Fleming
Wookieepedia page for the SOTE Novel - https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Shadows_of_the_Empire_(novel)
Amazon page (for info only) for the SOTE Novel - www.amazon.co.uk/Star-Wars-Shadows-Steve-Perry/dp/055350472X
Audible page for the SOTE Novel - www.audible.co.uk/pd/Star-Wars-Shadows-of-the-Empire-Audiobook/B004EXE4RO
The SOTE Junior Novel…
‘The junior novelization of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire was written by Christopher Golden and published by Bantam Doubleday Dell in October 1996. It is based on the story and novel of the same name by Steve Perry. The target audience of the junior novelization is kids 8-12.’
^ Wookieepedia page for the Jnr Novel - https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Shadows_of_the_Empire_(junior_novelization)
RebelScum info page for the SOTE Junior Novel - http://www.rebelscum.com/soteBKjrnv.asp
Amazon page (for info only) Jnr Novel - www.amazon.co.uk/Shadows-Empire-Novelization-Christopher-Golden/dp/0606118357
The Secrets of The Shadows Of The Empire book…
The book blurb: ‘The minds behind the Star Wars galaxy have created a phenomenon of epic proportions, designed to unfold in nearly every medium at their disposal. This intensely researched volume guides you through this Star Wars event–as its creators reveal the secrets behind the multimedia release of the year. The tendrils of this dark drama will reach throughout the Star Wars galaxy’.
‘The Secrets of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire is a 1996 reference book written by Mark Cotta Vaz. Structured like a “making of” book typically written for a film, the book covers the Shadows of the Empire multimedia campaign. It explains the origins and development of the novel, comics, video game, and soundtrack.’
^ from the Wookieepedia page for ‘The Secrets of Shadows Of The Empire’ official book:-
Amazon page for the book (for info) - www.amazon.co.uk/Secrets-Star-Wars-Shadows-Empire/dp/0345402367
FantasticFiction page for the book - www.fantasticfiction.com/series/star-wars/secrets-of-star-wars-shadows-of-empire.htm
• The Comics
'Shadows of the Empire was a six-issue miniseries that was part of the Shadows of the Empire multimedia campaign.
While the events of the comic coincide with the events of the novel, the comic does not follow much the exploits of Leia, Lando and the mysterious villainess Guri, who here plays only a minor supportive role; on the other hand it includes a generous amount of what Boba Fett was up to during that time, the rivalry with his fellow bounty hunters, and Jix’s mission on Tatooine.’
Shadows of the Empire (comics) Wookieepedia page - https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Shadows_of_the_Empire_(comics)
SOTE comics; Marvel website page - https://www.marvel.com/comics/series/20219/star_wars_shadows_of_the_empire_1996
RebelScum website info page (with cover art) for the SOTE comics - www.rebelscum.com/sotedhcomics.asp
Graphic Novel info - Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire : Graphic Novel - an amazon link; with images of the 2001 release.
Shadows Of The Empire: Evolution info…
‘The story is set in 4 ABY, which sets it one year after The Empire Strikes Back, and more or less shortly after the events of Return of the Jedi. Xizor, the leader of Black Sun, has been killed by Darth Vader, and Guri, a beautiful Human replica droid and Xizor’s personal assassin, is left wondering what her future will hold now that she no longer has anyone to answer to. Throughout the ongoing struggle for underworld supremacy, Guri endeavors to uncover hints of her Human side—if it even exists. But in her quest to alter her programming and gain Humanity, Guri becomes the quarry of both bounty hunters and Rebels (led by Luke Skywalker). Secrets lay buried in her android mind that make her a valuable prey.’
^ from the Wookieepedia page for ‘SOTE: Evolution’ - https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Shadows_of_the_Empire:_Evolution
Marvel page for SOTE: Evolution: www.marvel.com/comics/issue/54549/star_wars_shadows_of_the_empire_-_evolution_1998_1
Dark Horse page for SOTE: Evolution: www.darkhorse.com/Books/49-378/Star-Wars-Shadows-of-the-Empire---Evolution-TPB
A short interview with author Steve Perry: https://starwarsinterviews.com/various/authors/steve-perry-author
A video info review on ‘SOTE: Evolution’ - a 35 minute video from the RaD Adventures Network youtube channel.
^ Guri - from the Dark Horse Comic ‘Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire - Evolution’
• The Game
'Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire is a video game developed and published by LucasArts. Primarily a third-person shooter, the game also utilizes multiple types of vehicular combat sequences. It was released for the Nintendo 64 on December 3, 1996, and a version for Windows 95 was released nearly one year later on September 17, 1997. The game was re-released for Windows systems on May 3, 2016 through Good Old Games. The re-release allows the game to play properly on 64-bit Windows installations.
In the game, the player controls the mercenary Dash Rendar in his efforts to help Luke Skywalker and rescue Princess Leia from Prince Xizor’s hands. It is part of the Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire multimedia project and takes place as a backstory between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Tracks from the multimedia project’s soundtrack are used as the game’s musical score. The game received mixed to positive reviews from critics. Shadows of the Empire was the third top-selling Nintendo 64 game for 1997, with more than 1 million copies sold.’
^ the blurb is taken from the youtube video below.
The official Lucasarts website for the SOTE game (via the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine):-
‘Nintendo 64 Longplay: Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire’:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aFMsFdYCRw - a 162 minute playthrough video from the N64 Archive youtube channel.
‘Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire | PC | Playthrough’:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGONy9FLcE0 - a 152 minute video from the Stranno youtube channel.
‘Star Wars: Shadow Of The Empire All Cutscenes Movie’ (PC; cut scenes differ from the N64 version):-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfSrTImTOyg - a 12 minute video at the NeedleMouse Productions youtube video.
As well as the official SOTE Soundtrack, the N64 & PC SOTE game also had an appreciated soundtrack of its own…
‘Shadows of the Empire Complete Soundtrack OST- Nintendo 64’:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yr0XVj7ZuxY - a 27 minute video at the Video Game Tracks youtube video.
‘Star Wars Shadows of the Empire Nintendo 64 Commercial 1996’ - www.youtube.com/watch?v=llFRAFSgqFw
‘Shadows of the Empire (Nintendo 64\N64\Australian Commercial)’ - www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByvPcWmsvs8
‘Shadows of the Empire (Nintendo 64\N64\UK Commercial)’ - www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikvqHhXTVoA
GameFaqs.com page for the SOTE N64 game - https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/n64/198789-star-wars-shadows-of-the-empire
GameFaqs.com page for the SOTE PC game - https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/pc/53840-star-wars-shadows-of-the-empire
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire: The Official Strategy Guide…
As was the norm back then for ‘big gaming titles’ (in a time before fast broadband and video playthroughs) there were official guide books published for many top video games. The ‘Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire: The Official Strategy Guide’ was a strategy guide published by Prima’s Secrets of the Games for both the PC and Nintendo 64 versions of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, by Bart Farkas.
The book blurb: ‘With Shadows of the Empire: The Official Strategy Guide, you’ll learn how to defeat Boba Fett and IG-88, blast Imperial baddies, and get the secrets you’ll need to ultimately destroy Prince Xizor and his Skyhook, inclooding:All the locations of the secret Rebel challenge points, Step-by-step walkthroughs for every mission, Jet-packed flight skills that will propel you to victory, Maps for selected levels About the Author.’
SOTE: PC Version: ‘The Official Strategy Guide (Secrets of the Games Series)’ - amazon link - (for info)
SOTE: N64 version: ‘Shadows of the Empire - Game Secrets’ - amazon link - (for info)
• The Soundtrack
'The Shadows of the Empire soundtrack is a musical score by Emmy Award-winning composer Joel McNeely which was inspired by author Steve Perry’s 1996 novel of the same name. The score, much like classical program music of the past, is based on a piece of literature rather than a motion picture.
The 51-minute score, conducted by McNeely, was performed by the 90-piece Royal Scottish National Orchestra and a 150 voice chorus in Glasgow, Scotland in early 1996. The album was released by Varèse Sarabande Records on April 23, 1996. In addition to the score, the CD contained exclusive CD-ROM features with behind-the-scenes content.’
^ from the Wookieepedia page for the SOTE Soundtrack
The SOTE soundtrack info at Discogs - www.discogs.com/Joel-McNeely-Star-Wars-Shadows-Of-The-Empire/master/260806
‘Shadows of the Empire Complete Soundtrack OST’:-
www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSaXhrimzs0&list=PL52216F97F15A201A - SOTE playlist at the Mast3rFr3aky youtube channel
Shadows of the Empire Is Back With a Very Special Release - a 2020 article at CBR
Soundtrack Review – “Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire” (Vinyl Reissue) - a 2020 review at Laughing Place
Review: Joel McNeely, ‘Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire’ - a 2020 review at The Second Disc
• The Toys
Wookieepedia page for SOTE toy line - https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Star_Wars:Shadows_of_the_Empire(toy_line)
Wookieepedia page for SOTE Micro Machines - https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Star_Wars:_Shadows_of_the_Empire_Micro_Machines
‘Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire (Toy Commercial)’:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aj-GjJfi94c - a 32 second video at the Shadows of the Empire youtube channel
• a few articles / sources of info on the SOTE toyline…
• Shadows of the Empire Action Figures - article at Gentlemen Of Leisure
• Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire Collectibles - at Battle Grip
• SOTE Collections - at Jedi Temple Archives
• SOTE Checklist & Info - at RebelScum.com
• SOTE Figures 1996-97 - at JediBusiness.com
• SOTE Toys Photo Archive - at RebelScum.com
• SOTE Micro Machines Info Page - at RebelScum.com
• The Trading Cards
The Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire trading card set is a collectable series of trading cards produced by Topps in 1996, as part of the Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire multimedia project. The set, comprising 100 cards, features original color illustrations by artists Greg Hildebrandt and Tim Hildebrandt.
Each card features a color illustration on the front and detailed narrative text on the back, relating the entire Shadows of the Empire novelized story, written by Steve Perry. Linda Siegal and Greg Hildrebrandt’s daughter Mary were among the models who posed for the card illustrations.
^ Wookieepedia page for SOTE (trading cards):-
RebelScum info page (with images) for the SOTE Topps trading cards: http://www.rebelscum.com/soteTCcards.asp
JediTempleArchive page for SOTE cards: www.jeditemplearchives.com/topps-trading-cards/1996-shadows-of-the-empire
Wookieepedia page for the SOTE ‘Embossed Metal Collector Cards’:-
RebelScum info page (with images) for the SOTE embossed metal cards: http://www.rebelscum.com/soteMIcards.asp
Facebook MarketPlace page (with lots of images & info): https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/158186845516103
• The RPG (Role Playing Game)
'The Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook was a roleplaying guide published by West End Games for the second edition of the Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game. It was written by Peter M. Schweighofer and was first published in June of 1996.
The book summarizes and details the events of the novel Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire.’
^ from Wookieepedia page for ‘SOTE Sourcebook’ (RPG) - https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Shadows_of_the_Empire_Sourcebook
Wookieepedia page for ‘Star Wars Roleplaying Game’ - https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Star_Wars:_The_Roleplaying_Game
Wikipedia page for the ‘Star Wars Roleplaying Game’ - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars:_The_Roleplaying_Game
‘Retro RPG: Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire’:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLYnKFpyEpQ - a 15 minute video at the RPGGamer youtube channel.
The blurb: The book summarizes and details the events of the novel Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire.
The Official Companion to the Novel ‘Shadows of the Empire’.
After his defeat on Cloud City, Luke Skywalker finds himself a pawn in a deadly game between Darth Vader and the mysterious and dangerous leader of the criminal organization Black Sun. Confronted by bounty hunters and his own worst fears, Luke must must [sic] lead a daring rescue mission to Emperor Palpatine’s throne world of Coruscant, where he will confront the foes who lurk in the Shadows of the Empire…’
• Reviews, Retrospectives & Fan Content…
‘Could Shadows of the Empire Fit Into Star Wars Canon?’:-
www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGKcSvi9P_o - a 4 minute video from the Star Wars Explained youtube channel
‘Shadows of the Empire Lore Play’:-
www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1E873sPZ0PNd5vth_ZcVRmBSIowf5AOo - a 10 video playlist from the Star Wars Explained youtube channel
‘Shadows Of The Empire - A Star Wars Retrospective’:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vO5_Br-Oonc - a 35 minute video from the Mr Sunday Movies youtube channel.
The blurb: 'Shadows of the Empire was a 1996 Star Wars multimedia Lucasfilm project which offered all the fanfare of a movie release without the movie. Consisting of a N64 video game, a book, comic series, toy line, role playing game, soundtrack and more it paved the way for modern Star Wars projects and marketing. ’
‘The Making of Shadows of the Empire’:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gsmE_hoNsI - an 85 minute video from the Saintmillion youtube channel.
The blurb: ‘A deep dive into the creation of a Star Wars multimedia project that takes place between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. We look into the story, comics, toys, soundtrack, and even ideas for a Boba Fett video game.’
‘Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire - The Motion Picture 2018’:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgQ_JJh-WVQ - a 95 minute video from the Kazuya Hartless youtube channel
The blurb: ‘For more info, see FAQ at the end of this motion picture’… (audio book reading set to SOTE / OT era artwork)
‘Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire by Steve Perry Book Review’:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2V7a8a4S_jw - a 10 minute review video at the Mike’s Book Reviews youtube channel.
The blurb: ‘Mike shifts gears in talking about the original Star Wars EU to give another recommendation for a starting point for beginners; Shadows of the Empire by Steve Perry.’
• OriginalTrilogy•com threads on Shadows Of The Empire…
• Shadows of the Empire - a TV show idea? - a 2005 thread
• Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire soundtrack - a 2017 thread
• ‘Shadows Of The Empire’ soundtrack - help wanted accessing the cd-rom part - a 2006 thread
• Help: looking for… Shadows of the Empire OST Enhanced CD features? - a 2019 thread
• Help Wanted: ‘Shadows of the Empire’ N64 Game Trailer - a 2005 thread
• Help Wanted: a hi-res image for Shadows of the Empire (N64 game) - a 2009 thread
• Shadows Of The Empire - Source Book for the RPG? - a 2005 thread
• Feedback Wanted: Shadows of The Empire - Movie Project (youtube video) - a 2011 thread
• Idea & Help Wanted: Star Wars Dark Empire: The Movie - a 2008 thread
• A few online articles on Shadows Of The Empire…
• Star Wars: The forgotten history of Shadows of the Empire - a 2019 article at The Irish Times
• 20 secrets of Shadows of the Empire - a 2020 article at Force Material
• How Shadows of the Empire Became a Gritty ’90s Epic - a 2019 article at Den Of Geek
• The Story of ‘Shadows of the Empire,’ the Star Wars Spinoff Movie That Was Everything but a Movie - a 2016 article at Thrillist
• Star Wars: Why Shadows of the Empire Isn’t Part of Disney Canon - a 2020 article at ScreenRant
• Star Wars: Why Was Shadows of the Empire Such a Big Deal? - a 2019 article at CBR
• SOTE: A Movie Project Without A Movie - a 2018 article at Tatooine Times
• SOTE: Remembering Star Wars’ Most Audacious Video Game Adaptation - a 2018 article at Game Informer
• Classic Postmortem: Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire - a 2009 article at GamaSutra
• The Classics: ‘Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire’ - a 2012 article at The Verge
• Shadows of the Empire - Tropes Of… - info page at TV Tropes
As ever, if you see any mistakes or broken links please let us know - or have anything for inclusion to the above info too. 👍
Last Updated: 24th March, 2021.
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