[ Star Wars Books ]

[Star Wars Books RSS Feed][Star Wars Books Twitter][Star Wars Books Facebook]

Page updated: 12th August 2015  
[A Guide to using Star Wars Books]
[Articles and Features]
[Release Schedule]
[The Old Republic]
[Rise of the Empire]
[The Clone Wars]
[The Rebellion]
[The New Republic]
[The New Jedi Order]
[The Legacy of the Force]
[Fate of the Jedi]
[Infinities Books]
[Book Reviews]
[Children's Books]
[Audio Books]
[Site Updates]
[Contact Us]
[] Bookmark and Share

[A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far, Far Away...]
Events that occur approximately 3 years after Episode IV: A New Hope.

[The Empire Strikes Back]

Paperback Novel
Check availability & pricing at:



Check availability & pricing via:


Comic Book series
Adapted by Archie Goodwin et al. published September 1980 thru February 1981 as Star Wars #39, 40, 41, 42, 43 & 44 by Marvel Comics:

[Issue 39][Issue 40]

Issue #39Issue #40

[Issue 41][Issue 42]

Issue #41Issue #42

[Issue 43][Issue 44]

Issue #43Issue #44

Republished August & September 1994 as The Empire Strikes Back #1 & 2 by Dark Horse Comics:

[The Empire Strkes Back - issue 1][[The Empire Strkes Back - issue 2]

Issue #1Issue #2

Comic Book series collected into Graphic
Novel published November 1995
(also published as Star Wars Trilogy box set):

[The Empire Strkes Back - graphic novel][Star Wars Trilogy box set]

Comic Book series collected into Special Edition Graphic Novel published February 1997
(also published as Star Wars Trilogy box set):

[The Empire Strkes Back Special Edition - graphic novel][Star Wars Special Edition Trilogy box set]

Comic story is included in:

[The Empire Strikes Back: Remastered Edition]

The Empire Strikes Back:
Remastered Edition

[The Original Marvel Years: Omnibus Volume 1]

The Original Marvel Years: Omnibus Volume 1

[Omnibus: The Complete Saga]

Omnibus: The Complete Saga

[Omnibus: A Long Time Ago... Volume 2]

Omnibus: A Long Time Ago... Volume 2

[A Long Time Ago... Resurrection of Evil]

A Long Time Ago... Resurrection of Evil

Comic Book series adapted by Toshiki Kudo et al. published January thru April 1999 as The Empire Strikes Back: Manga Edition #1, 2, 3 & 4 by Dark Horse Comics:

[The Empire Strkes Back (manga) - issue 1][The Empire Strkes Back (manga) - issue 2]

Issue #1Issue #2

[The Empire Strkes Back (manga) - issue 3][The Empire Strkes Back (manga) - issue 4]

Issue #3Issue #4

e-Comic Book
First published 2011 by Dark Horse Digital.

Radio Dramatisation
Adapted by Brian Daley, first broadcast 1983 on US National Public Radio:

[The Empire Strkes Back - The Original Radio Drama]

Included in The Complete Star Wars Trilogy: The Original Radio Dramas (audio CD):

[The Complete Star Wars Triliogy - radio dramatisation]

Check availability & pricing
of audio CD at:


Junior Novelisation
Original adaptation by Larry Weinberg
and published in 1995 by RandomHouse
Children's Books.
Special Edition adaptation by Ryder Windham and published in 2004 by Scholastic Books:

[The Empire Strikes Back Junior Novelisation (2004)]

Check availability & pricing
Special Edition Junior Novelisation at:


Photo Comic Book
First published 2005 by TokyoPop as Cine-Manga (restricted territories), republished in April 2008 by Dark Horse Books:

[The Empire Strkes Back - Photo Comic Book]

Check availability & pricing at:

[things from another world]

The Empire Strikes Back
aka Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Donald F. Glut (Novelisation);
Archie Goodwin (Comic Book adaptation);
Brian Daley (Radio Dramatisation adaptation);
Larry Weinberg (Junior Novelisation adaptation);
Ryder Windham (Junior Novelisation adaptation)
Novelisation first published by Del Rey
Comic adaptation first published by Marvel Comics
Story published as:
Paperback Novel (1980)
Comic Book Series (1980-1981, 1994)
Radio Dramatisation (1983, 1993, 1996, 2007)
Junior Novelisation (1995, 2004)
Graphic Novel (1980, 1995, 1997, 2002, 2010, 2011, 2015)
Photo Comic Book (2005, 2008)
Online Webcomic (2010)
e-Book (2011)
e-Comic Book (2011)

If you have read this story, please rate it:
Not yet reviewed [Be the first]

It is a dark time for the Rebellion. Although the Death Star has been destroyed, Imperial troops have driven the Rebel forces from their hidden base and pursued them across the galaxy.
Evading the dreaded Imperial Starfleet, a group of freedom fighters led by Luke Skywalker have established a new secret base on the remote ice world of Hoth.
The evil lord Darth Vader, obsessed with finding young Skywalker, has dispatched thousands of remote probes into the far reaches of space…

An Imperial Star Destroyer dispatches probe droids, one of which lands on Hoth and begins its survey of the planet. Luke Skywalker, on patrol astride his tauntaun, discovers the probe, which he mistakes for a meteorite. After reporting to comrade Han Solo, he is knocked unconscious by a deadly wampa creature. When Luke does not come back to Echo Base, Han Solo goes out on his tauntaun to search for him in an encroaching storm. Luke escapes the wampa's cave but finds himself a long way from the rebel base without transport and proper clothing. As Luke begins to succumb to the cold, he sees the Force ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi appear before him. Ben tells Luke to go to Dagobah to undergo training under Yoda, a Jedi Grand Master. After the spirit disappears, Han rides up to an almost unconscious Luke, who is mumbling indistinctly about Ben, Yoda and Dagobah.
Han hastily creates shelter for both of them from his dead tauntaun. Both Luke and Han survive the night and are rescued in the morning although Luke later requires bacta treatment.
Meanwhile, the probe droid has spotted signs that indicate Hoth is occupied and sends a signal to the Imperial fleet, shortly before being destroyed by Han Solo and Chewbacca. Aboard the Executor, Admiral Ozzel dismisses the information as evidence of smugglers, nothing more. However, Darth Vader knows better and orders the fleet to Hoth. General Rieekan, realizing the Empire is probably aware of their location, orders the evacuation of Echo Base to begin.
Darth Vader and the Imperial forces set course for the Hoth system to set up the attack. The rebels load whatever equipment they can onto transports and plan a rear-guard action to secure their escape. Luke, now fully recovered from the Wampa attack and subsequent exposure, says farewell to Chewbacca and Solo, who have decided to leave the Alliance to resolve their debt to Jabba the Hutt. As the Imperial forces enter the Hoth system, General Rieekan orders full power to the energy shield that is protecting the base from orbital bombardment.
Aboard the Executor, Vader realizes Admiral Ozzel has emerged from lightspeed so close to Hoth that the Rebels have been alerted to the fleet's arrival. Via video communication, Vader Force chokes Ozzel to death for his actions, then appoints Captain Piett the new Admiral. Vader orders the Imperial ground forces to land outside the Rebels' shield and march overland to destroy the shield generator. Overwhelmed by superior weapons, the rebels are forced to fight a retreating action as the evacuation continues. Han and Chewbacca rescue Leia and C-3P0 from the command center as Imperial forces penetrate the rebel base and leave in the Millennium Falcon. Meanwhile Luke and Wedge Antilles are forced to abandon their defence of Hoth and retire the field of battle in their X-Wings. But instead of heading for the agreed rendezvous, Luke sets course for Dagobah.
The Millennium Falcon's hyperdrive has failed meaning that it and its passengers cannot escape the orbiting Imperial starfleet. So Han sets course for a nearby asteroid field hoping to hamper their puruit by Darth Vader. Failing to fix the hyperdrive unit, Han successfully escapes the asteroid field and "hides" the Millennium Falcon by clamping it to the side of the leading Star Destroyer. Believing that the Millennium Falcon has escaped into hyperspace, Darth Vader enlists the bounty hunters, Boba Fett, Dengar, IG-88, Bossk, 4-LOM and Zuckuss to find the Millennium Falcon. In his private quarters, Vader receives a holographic message from the Emperor, who alerts the Dark Lord to a "new enemy who could destroy" the Empire - Luke Skywalker. Vader suggests that if Luke could be turned, he would be a "powerful ally". The Dark Lord declares Luke will join the Empire "or die".
Meanwhile Luke lands on the marshy planet Dagobah, swamping his X-Wing in the process. There, he discovers the diminutive and eccentric figure of Yoda. Yoda begins to teach Luke the way of the Jedi and to beware of the dark side of the Force. That particular lesson is driven home when he is told to enter a cave that is strong with the Dark Side's power. Ignoring Yoda's counsel to leave his weapons, Luke enters the cavern armed. Once inside, he has a vision of himself angrily confronting Darth Vader and beheading him. However, the severed head's mask bursts apart and reveals Luke's face underneath; it is a warning that if Luke battles Vader with no emotional control, he will become Vader himself, seduced by the Dark Side.
When the Imperial fleet disperses to search for the Millennium Falcon, the rebels wait for the ship to do its standard dump of refuse before jumping, then detach to float away with it. The Falcon's hyperdrive needs repairs, so Han decides to make their way to Cloud City, a gas-mining colony run by his "old friend" Lando Calrissian. Unfortunately, the bounty hunter Boba Fett had deduced the Falcon's escape method and had his ship jettisoned with the waste to stealthily follow the fugitives.
Yoda reminds Luke of the things the young Jedi will see in his mind, the future, the past, and of friends he recognizes. Luke breaks concentration again and has a vision of his friends in danger. He wants to leave Dagobah to rescue them. Yoda reminds him that if Luke leaves now, everything his friends fought and suffered for will be destroyed. Luke and Artoo prepare themselves to leave Dagobah, but are warned by both Yoda and the spirit form of Kenobi not to end training so soon for a fight Luke is not ready for. Ben declares that should Luke decide to face Vader, he will have to face him alone without interference. Luke understands this, and his ship takes off from Dagobah. Yoda is disappointed, declaring Luke reckless.
Upon arrival at Cloud City, Han's party is welcomed by Lando. However, there are numerous elements that make the rebels suspicious, not the least of which being C-3PO being found deactivated, dismembered, and almost recycled. Han and company find themselves betrayed by Calrissian who was approached by the Empire before the Rebels' arrival and threatened him and the city unless he cooperated. They became the captives of Darth Vader, who proceeds to torture Han to create a disturbance in the Force for Luke to detect.
Intending to carbon-freeze Luke Skywalker when he arrives on Cloud City to rescue his friends, Vader tests the carbon-freezing device on Han Solo. Han says goodbye to Leia with a passionate kiss before he is escalated into the carbon freezing chamber. When he is successfully entombed in carbonite in a state of suspended animation, Vader hands over Han to bounty hunter Boba Fett for transportation to Tatooine and Jabba the Hutt.
Luke makes his way to Bespin safely. He quietly walks down the corridors of Cloud City. He spots Boba Fett who is taking the now-frozen Solo back to his ship. Luke runs after his captured friends, hoping to save them, but wanders into the carbon-freezing chamber. There, he meets with Vader and the two fight in an epic lightsaber duel, where Luke's undeveloped Jedi skills are no match for Vader. In the final phase of the lightsaber duel, Vader manages to cut off Luke's right hand, which then falls into an abyss. Vader reveals to Luke the truth about his father and attempts to persuade Luke to join him and embrace the Dark Side to defeat the Emperor. However, Luke chooses suicide over being corrupted and throws himself down a deep shaft. Luke is sucked into an air vent, exits the underbelly of the city and catches an antenna beneath Cloud City. Facing clear death, Luke calls out to Ben Kenobi in vain. Then, he calls out to the only other one who could help, Leia.
The Imperials escorting the Rebel prisoners out of Bespin are overpowered by Cloud City security, setting Lando and company free. Lando and company arrive too late as Fett's ship takes off, then engage in a fierce battle with stormtroopers. Lando orders an evacuation of Cloud City as he, Leia, Chewbacca and the droids manage to find their last hope of escape, the Millennium Falcon.
Leia mysteriously senses Luke's telepathic distress signal. The Millennium Falcon turns around and comes back to Cloud City and rescue Luke before the wounded Jedi falls helplessly to the planet. On a Nebulon-B Class Medical Frigate at the Rebel fleet's rendezvous point, Luke is outfitted with a prosthetic hand. Lando and Chewbacca begin their parts of a most dangerous mission, rescuing Han. Lando promises to Leia they'll bring her back the man she loves. Luke, Leia, and the droids look on as the Falcon departs for unknown territories.

This story occurs approximately 3 years after Episode IV: A New Hope.
NB: This story's novelisations and adaptations form part of the Star Wars Saga* only in so far as events depicted within the story match those seen on screen, the rest of the story is considered Legends.

Related Stories (in chronological order):

Read this story? Did you like it or loathe it? What was good? What was bad?
Write a short review (max. 500 words) and Star Wars Books will publish your review.
Click here to send your review.
[ www.swbooks.co.uk ]

Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Contact | Print this page