- "A thrilling new adventure set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, and—for the first time ever—written entirely from Luke Skywalker's first-person point of view."
- ―Del Rey announcement
Heir to the Jedi is a canon novel written by Kevin Hearne. The book was originally intended for the Star Wars Legends novel series Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion, but it was published as a stand-alone story after Lucasfilm's continuity relaunch in 2014. Heir to the Jedi was published on March 3, 2015 by Del Rey, and a paperback edition was released on November 24, 2015. An unabridged audiobook was also released.
Luke Skywalker's game-changing destruction of the Death Star has made him not only a hero of the Rebel Alliance but a valuable asset in the ongoing battle against the Empire. Though he's a long way from mastering the power of the Force, there's no denying his phenomenal skills as a pilot—and in the eyes of Rebel leaders Princess Leia Organa and Admiral Ackbar, there's no one better qualified to carry out a daring rescue mission crucial to the Alliance cause.
A brilliant alien cryptographer renowned for her ability to breach even the most advanced communications systems is being detained by Imperial agents determined to exploit her exceptional talents for the Empire's purposes. But the prospective spy's sympathies lie with the Rebels, and she's willing to join their effort in exchange for being reunited with her family. It's an opportunity to gain a critical edge against the Empire that's too precious to pass up. It's also a job that demands the element of surprise. So Luke and the ever-resourceful droid R2-D2 swap their trusty X-wing fighter for a sleek space yacht piloted by brash recruit Nakari Kelen, daughter of a biotech mogul, who's got a score of her own to settle with the Empire.
Challenged by ruthless Imperial bodyguards, death-dealing enemy battleships, merciless bounty hunters, and monstrous brain-eating parasites, Luke plunges head-on into a high-stakes espionage operation that will push his abilities as a Rebel fighter and would-be Jedi to the limit. If ever he needed the wisdom of Obi-Wan Kenobi to shepherd him through danger, it's now. But Luke will have to rely on himself, his friends, and his own burgeoning relationship with the Force to survive.
The novel is written from the first-person perspective of Luke Skywalker. It is set in the aftermath of the Battle of Yavin when the Rebel Alliance was still searching for a new base. The inexperienced Skywalker lacks a mentor to guide him due to the death of the late Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Journey to Rodia
Following the Battle of Yavin, Luke Skywalker and his astromech droid R2-D2 are dispatched on a mission to Rodia by Admiral Gial Ackbar to open a secret supply line to the Rebel Alliance. While Rodia is under Imperial control, Princess Leia Organa suggested that the Chekkoo clan on the Betu continent might be willing to work with them due to their antipathy towards the ruling Chattza clan. The Chekkoo clan is also skilled at manufacturing weapons, armor and other hardware that the rebels need.
Luke volunteered for the mission and was assigned a yacht called the Desert Jewel. For that mission, Skywalker is accompanied by Nakari Kelen, the daughter of biotech magnate Fayet Kelen. The two chat about growing up on desert worlds: Skywalker's homeworld of Tatooine and Nakari's homeworld of Pasher. Nakari gives Skywalker a tour of the Desert Jewel's systems before taking off.
Unable to travel to Rodia directly, Skywalker gets R2-D2 to plot a course through several different hyperspace lanes. Their first destination is Llanic, a seedy crime haven world situated at the intersection of the Llanic Spice Run and the Triellus Trade Route. Entering the Llanic system, the Desert Jewel stumbles upon two TIE fighters pursuing a Kupohan vessel. Since the Kupohans are rebel allies, Skywalker destroys the pursuing TIEs. With Moff Abran Balfour's Imperial forces alerted to their presence, Skywalker gets R2-D2 to take a direct jump to Rodia.
Landing on Rodia
After entering Rodia's atmosphere, Skywalker lands the Desert Jewel on the continent of Betu, which is home to the Chekkoo clan. Skywalker is met by a female Rodian named Laneet Chekkoo. Laneet leads Skywalker and R2-D2 to Toopil, an underground marketplace which lies beneath the weapons manufacturer Utheel Outfitters. Inside Toopil, Skywalker meets the female Rodian Taneetch Soonta, whose uncle Huulik was a Jedi Knight who perished during the Clone Wars.
Soonta recounts how Luke's father Anakin Skywalker saved Huulik's life during the Battle of Sedratis. Soonta is also familiar with Skywalker's late master Obi-Wan Kenobi, who had rescued a kidnapped child from another Rodian clan. Skywalker gains Soonta's permission to visit her uncle's tomb. The two travel on speeder bikes through the tropical jungles of Rodia.
While visiting Huulik's hidden tomb on a secluded jungle island, a large predator known as a ghest destroys Skywalker's speeder bike. Sympathizing with Luke's ambition of becoming a Jedi, Soonta gifts Huulik's lightsaber to Skywalker. Armed with Huulik's lightsaber, Skywalker kills the ghest following a brief fight but sustains bite marks between his left shoulder and neck. The two then return on the remaining speeder bike.
Returning to Toopil, Skywalker studies Huulik's lightsaber before having a meal of cranker roots. While meditating, Laneet informs Skywalker that the Empire has issued a planetwide alert for the Desert Jewel. Lannet tells Skywalker he has to leave because they can't be seen as openly defying the Grand Protector or the Empire.
The Givin cryptologist
After returning to the rebel fleet by plotting a new hyperspace lane between Kirdo and Orto Plutonia, Skywalker meets with Admiral Ackbar, Princess Leia, and C-3PO. Skywalker apologizes for blowing his cover at Llanic by aiding a Kupohan starship. Leia reveals that the Kupohan starship has brought intelligence that the Empire is holding a Givin cryptographer named Drusil Bephorin captive on the planet Denon in an attempt to sway her to the Empire's side. The Givin cryptographer managed to pass a coded message to a Kupohan contact. The Givin is offering to work for the Rebellion if they can evacuate her family to Omereth beyond Hutt Space.
Since Leia has assigned Major Bren Derlin and his crew with relocating the Givin's family, she assigns Skywalker the mission of rescuing the cryptologist due to his piloting skills. Skywalker seeks Leia's help in installing new armaments on the Desert Jewel but the Rebellion lacks the funds for these upgrades. The Desert Jewel's pilot Nakari proposes searching for a lost collection crew on the Deep Core world of Sha Qarot and its moon Fex in order to get her father to pay the credits needed to upgrade the ship's weaponry. Admiral Ackbar consents to this plan but warns Luke not to lose track of his mission to rescue the cryptologist from Denon.
Expedition to Fex
Skywalker, Nakari, and R2-D2 travel to Nakari's homeworld of Pasher in the Inner Rim where they meet her eccentric father Fayet Kelen, who jokingly addresses his employees as minions. Nakari convinces her father, who is aware of their involvement in the Rebellion, to hire them for the job of finding the collection crew. Fayet outfits Skywalker and Nakari with new prototype armor suits. Fayet sends his daughter and Skywalker to the planet Fex, whose high silica and mineral soil content have resulted in its native fauna sprouting crystalline spikes or horns.
Fayet reveals that the first collection expedition lost three of their members to the planet's dangerous Fexian skullborer predators. Luke and Nakari watch a video recording of the three expedition members including Duros scientist Hafner being killed by skullborers, which feast on the brains of their prey. After watching the video, Skywalker decides to rule out Fex as a potential site for the new rebel base. The two take care to bring the armor and blasters that Fayet outfitted for them.
On Fex, Luke and Nakari land in the collection team's XS-800 light freighter Harvester where they find that most of the crew have been killed by skullborers. Luke and Nakari are attacked by several skullborers, who have broken out of their cages. They manage to kill the predators but one of Nakari's hands suffers serious tissue damage. Luke and Nakari manage to evacuate the last surviving crew member before returning to Fayet. Based on their encounters with the skullborers, Luke speculates that the skullborers are semi-sentient.
Returning to Pasher, Fayet deposits a large sum of money into an escrow account for Luke and Nakari. While Nakari's injuries are tended to, Luke stays at a luxurious hotel. Shortly later, Nakari returns and reminds Skywalker that they are buying weapons. At Utheel Outfitters, a male Rodian employee, who is unaware of their dealings with Taneetch Soonta, refuses to outfit the Desert Jewel with weapons. Luke tries a mind trick on the Rodian but it does not work.
Fortunately, Skywalker and Nakari's predicament is resolved when Taneetch contacts the Rodian employee and tells him to bring Skywalker and Nakari to her. Taneetch apologizes that their illicit commerce was kept on a need-to know basis. Using the reward money paid by Fayet, Skywalker gets the Desert Jewel outfitted with weapons.
After traveling to a neutral planet to have the Desert Jewel and its computer scanned for tracking devices and worms, Skywalker and Nakari rendezvous with the Alliance fleet in the Pantora system. Admiral Ackbar informs Skywalker and Nakari that they have a Kupohan contact named Sakhet who runs a small noodle hut on the ecumenopolis world of Denon. The Kupohan does contract work for the Bothan Spynet and other intelligence services.
To signal that they are from the Rebellion, Ackbar instructs them to order Corellian buckwheat noodles with rancor sauce. Sakhet will provide them with files and scouting reports on Drusil Bephorin. Skywalker and Nakari will be tasked with formulating an extraction plan. Ackbar and Leia also inform Skywalker and Nakari that Drusil wants her family to be evacuated to the remote oceanic world of Omereth. Before leaving, C-3PO also briefs Skywalker and Nakari about Givin etiquette; explaining that they greet each other with mathematics and object to approximations.
While traveling to Denon, Nakari tells Skywalker why she joined the Rebellion. Her mother's band Hakko Drazlip and the Tootle Froots had made a song mocking Darth Vader called "Vader's Many Prosthetic Parts." In response, the Empire had sent the entire band to the spice mines of Kessel. Nakari believed that her mother perished there. While her father disliked the Empire, his company Kelen Biolabs still had to honor its contracts with the Empire. However, Kelen allowed his daughter the freedom to oppose the Empire.
In return, Skywalker confiders that the Lord Vader was responsible for his father's death. He tells Nakari that his mother had died when he was an infant and that he had been raised by his aunt and uncle. Skywalker says that his relatives hid his father's Jedi parentage from him. Skywalker takes offense when Nakari suggests that there was a grain of truth to what the Empire says about the Jedi. However, the two quickly mend bridges with Nakari offering to help Skywalker find someone to teach him how to be a Jedi after their mission.
Mission on Denon
On Denon, Skywalker and Nakari head to Sakhet's noodle stall where Skywalker orders the Corellian buckwheat with rancor sauce. The waiter delivers Corellian buckwheat with nerf nuggets along with instructions to return tomorrow at 0900 hours. While eating noodles, Nakari takes an interest in Skywalker's Force powers. Luke demonstrates his Force powers by using the Force to change the position of the noodles in his carton.
The following day, Skywalker and Nakari meet Sakhet, who briefs them about Drusil Bephorin's movements and the Imperial surveillance around her. While Drusil is allowed freedom of movement, Drusil is monitored by several plainclothes Imperial Security Bureau agents. After scouting Drusil's movements, Skywalker and Nakari leave a message at an Alliance dead drop that Major Derlin's team needed to move Drusi's family to Omereth, the rebel operatives launch their operation.
After R2-D2 disables the ISB security droid tailing Drusil, Skywalker makes contact with Drusil while Nakari takes out the two ISB agents tailing her. After reassuring her of her family's safety, Skywalker leads Drusil through a sewer, which are inhabited by creatures which feed on the refuse. Skywalker wounds one of these creatures with his lightsaber. Several ISB agents pursue Skywalker and Drusil. He tries to fend them off with his lightsaber but is stunned in the hand. Fortunately, Nakari comes to his aid and takes out the agents.
Emerging from the sewers, Skywalker and the team take a rented speeder to the Desert Jewel. Skywalker tells R2-D2 to prepare a course for Omereth via the Hydian Way to Exodeen and the Nanth'ri Trade Route. Before they can leave, Artoo receives news that the Empire has imposed a system-wide blockade to seize rebel spies and dispatched interdictor cruisers.
Leaping into hyperspace
The rebel spies and Drusil manage to flee the Imperial blockade in the Denon system. Upon exiting hyperspace in the Exodeen system, the Desert Jewel is pursued by twenty pirate starfighters including CloakShape fighter but Skywalker manages to ward them off using the ship's modified Rodian weaponry. Nakari is startled by the chase but Skywalker, who has experienced combat, is not too alarmed.
While traveling through hyperspace, the Desert Jewel is pulled out of hyperspace in the Daalang system by an Immobilizer 418 cruiser, which is equipped with four gravity well projectors. The Desert Jewel engages in a dogfight with the interdictor cruiser and its TIE fighter escorts. Guided by the Force, Skywalker flies the Desert Jewel over the cruiser's portside, firing concussion missiles at the portside gravity well generator's deflector shield.
With the shields down, Skywalker then releases an Utheel Rockcrusher Compact Seismic Charge over the cruiser's rearmost gravity projector, causing an explosion that destroys the ship and the TIE fighters. Skywalker's piloting impresses Drusil, who asks if he is a Jedi. Drusil thinks that the Force is a "fulcrum variable." Skywalker enlists Drusil's help in plotting a safe landing to the planet Kupoh.
Stopover on Kupoh
Skywalker and the team travel to the planet Kupoh, a planet with howling winds and a white a noise that interferes with hearing. After decrypting a file using the code Rancor Sauce, Nakari directs Skywalker to the city of Tonekh on the eastern continent; which is home to a contact named Azzur Nessin, the founder and head of Nessin Courier & Cargo. Nessin sends them a series of coordinates.
Not fully trusting Azzur, Skywalker enlists Drusil's help in slicing the computer systems to obtain some accommodation. R2-D2 discovers and neutralizes a malicious code. Luke confronts Drusil, who reassures him that she is not a spy but that she worked out the location of the Alliance fleet through mathematical calculations.
After descending into Kupoh's atmosphere, Skywalker, Nakari, and Drusil confront Azzur. Knowing that there is hefty Imperial reward on Drusil, Skywalker and Nakari manage to convince Azzur to outfit them with a new engine, concussion missiles, and fuel by offering Azzur access to one of her father's moons. Drusil also convinces Azzur to allow her to hack into the communications of his employees to ensure that they will not sell them out to the Empire.
During their time at Tonekh, Drusil discovers that one of Azzur's employees, Migg Birkhit, has been secretly communicating with the Empire. Skywalker and Nakari track Birkhit down outside a cantina, stunning him. The two also capture his Gotal Imperial Security Bureau (ISB) handler Barrisk Favvin with the help of R2-D2. The rebels imprison the informant and his Imperial handler in their hotel room with R2-D2 guarding them.
Laying low on Tonekh
While waiting in the hotel room for the new engine, Skywalker spends time with Nakari. Luke reassures Nakari that he does not have feelings for Princess Leia, opining that he is just a farmboy and that she is a princess. Luke also tells Nakari that he used the Force to help him destroy the Death Star during the Battle of Yavin. While they both want Vader defeated, Luke does not share the same level of hatred for Vader that Nakari, who lost her mother to him, harbors. Skywalker confides that he pities Vader despite all the evil he has wrought on the galaxy.
While Birkhit seems content with his "comfortable" imprisonment, Favvin attempts to attack R2-D2 only to be shocked. At Nessin Courier & Cargo facility, Skywalker and Nakari help the Kupohan Ruuf Waluuk, the Duros, and a Wookiee crew to remove the Desert Jewel's totaled engine in order to make way for the new engine.
While sharing a meal with Drusil, Skywalker and Drusil discuss meditation. While Skywalker meditates with the Force, Drusil explains that Givin meditate on experimental geometry. The scientifically-minded Drusil is baffled by the notion of a mystical Force, which has not been mathematically described. Skywalker learns that while there were Givin Jedi, they refused to share their insights with the rest of their species. To demonstrate his Force powers, Skywalkers uses the Force to move a noodle a second time.
Running the blockade
Though the Desert Jewel's repairs are almost complete, Drusil, who has been monitoring Imperial communications, learns that the Empire has blockaded all outgoing traffic from Kupoh. The Empire has also deployed interdictor vessels in the Kupoh system. Realizing that the Empire is on their tail, Skywalker, Nakari, and Drusil decide the risky move of plotting an entirely new hyperspace lane between Kupoh and Omereth.
After securing their prisoners in the hotel room for the hotel staff to find them, Skywalker and his team make preparations to leave. At the hangar, Azzur Nessin informs Skywalker that he has changed their transponder signal, allowing them to pose as the diplomatic couriers Polser Couriers. However, Nessin is killed by the mechanic Waluuk, who is accompanied by a Devaronian bounty hunter. Skywalker realizes that Waluuk was the second informant and had enlisted the bounty hunter's help. During a brief gun battle, Skywalker shoots Waluuk while Nakari finishes off the bounty hunter.
With the Empire alerted to their presence, Skywalker, Nakari, R2-D2, and Drusil escape aboard the Desert Jewel into space. They find an interdictor cruiser and six Star Destroyers bottling up outbound space traffic. Drusil uses her slicing skills to hack into the Imperial ship communications, allowing the rebels to stay ahead of their Imperial pursuers. With the Imperial commanders divided over what course of action to pursue, Nakari takes the opportunity to care a new hyperspace route using Drusil's equations.
For the next eight hours, the Desert Jewel travels through both realspace and hyperspace, making several shot jumps into several new systems in order to lose their Imperial pursuers. They encounter a terrestrial planet in one uncharted system. Having cast the Empire off their scent, the rebels travel to Omereth.
A watery landing
After entering Omereth's atmosphere, Skywalker and Nakari find that the Desert Jewel is being pursued by several bounty hunting ships including a toast-shaped ship and a vertical needle ship. With the bounty hunters closing in on them, Skywalker convinces Nakari to make an emergency water landing. The needle ship open fires on the Desert Jewel, provoking a gun battle with the toast-shape ship. Skywalker realizes that the two bounty hunters are at odds with each other; with one wanting to capture them alive. The toast-shaped ship destroys the needle ship.
Skywalker lands the Desert Jewel in a lagoon within a sheltered cove. Skywalker, Nakari, R2-D2, and Drusil evacuate the Desert Jewel in a raft. The second bounty hunter ship attempts to pursue them but is devoured by a Omereth giant eel Skywalker and his team make it ashore but discover that six other bounty hunting ships are still searching for them.
Eliminating the hunters
Since Drusil is a valued target, Skywalker and Nakari run ahead of her. Nakari tells Skywalker to stay with Drusil and to head for the high ground while she flanks his side and deals with their pursuers. While Skywalker heads south with Drusil, Nakari and R2-D2 travel southeast. A Dresselian bounty hunter on a skimmer approaches Skywalker and Drusil but Nakari shoots him down, earning Drusil's praise. Skywalker clarifies that Nakari is not his mate.
While navigating their way through the forest to an outcropping boulders, R2-D2 uses his ion blaster to deactivate a Rodian bounty hunter's stealth-field generator. The Rodian fires three shots at R2-D2 but Nakari shoots him dead. With R2-D2 damaged, Skywalker and Drusil decided to work with Nakari to ambush the four remaining bounty hunters which include two Weequay.
Working with Nakari, Skywalker draws the fire of the Weequay bounty hunters, allowing Nakari to eliminate them in a gun exchange. An Aqualish bounty hunter attacks them with a grenade launcher, firing several volleys at them. Skywalker attempts to use the Force to locate the grenades and divert their paths away from Nakari. The other remaining bounty hunter is a Trandoshan, crouching in the ferns by the lagoon. Despite Skywalker's efforts, Nakari is killed by a grenade.
Tapping into the Force, Skywalker is able to home in on the locations of the Aqualish and Trandoshan hunters. He realizes that the Trandoshan is planning to kill the Aqualish hunter in order to claim the bounty. Due to his grief at Nakari's death, Skywalker briefly feels the dark side of the Force tugging at him. Sensing through the Force, Skywalker allows the Trandoshan to eliminate his Aqualish competitor.
At the advice of Drusil, Skywalker shoots at the thicket of shrubbery between the two tree six degrees left of the y axis from their position. She deduces that the remaining bounty hunter is there based on available cover, spatial geometric, and his prior movements. Heeding her advice, Skywalker shoots at the target, eliminating the threat posed by the Trandoshan bounty hunter.
Following the elimination of the bounty hunters, Skywalker recovers Nakari's body. He retrieves a body bag from one of the bounty hunting ships, resolving to return her to her father Fayet, who has already lost his wife. Skywalker also finds that R2-D2 has lost his ion blaster, part of the socket where it had been attached, and that he has some blaster damage. After promising to fix R2-D2, Skywalker grieves beside Nakari's body; the third time he has experienced the loss of a loved one since the deaths of his uncle, aunt, and mentor Kenobi. Skywalker regrets not pursing a relationship with her.
Skywalker, Drusil, and R2-D2 evacuate with Nakari's remains aboard the Dressellian hunter's sleek ship. They then travel to the coordinates where they would be reuniting Drusil with her family: an island with a park CR90 corvette. After R2-D2 transmits Alliance clearance codes, they are greeted by Major Derlin, who informs them that Drusil's family is well and alive.
Landing on the island, Drusil reunites with her husband and two children, who exit the CR90 corvette. Major Derlin informs Skywalker that he and his forces successfully managed to evacuate Drusil's parents but were pursued by the Empire and bounty hunters; losing three men in the process. Major Derlin is saddened to learn about the loss of Nakari, who had taught him and his men how to wield firearms.
Drusil's son Pentir Bephorin attempts to ask Skywalker a mathematical question but Drusil tells him he can dispense with the pleasantries; knowing that most humans regard Givin mathematical questions as complex. In payment for rescuing her and reuniting her with her family, Drusil provides the Alliance with intelligence on Imperial codes and search patterns including slicing programs for low-level Imperial encryption. Before transferring the data to R2-D2, Drusil gets Skywalker's permission to commander the captured bounty hunter's ship for her family.
Derlin says he can arrange a dead drop site to maintain communications with Drusil. After evacuating Nakari's remains, Skywalker departs with the rebel team from Omereth. In the ship's mess, Skywalker has a bowl of noodles, using the Force to telepathically roll the noodles around his fork. Though Nakari showed that progress is possible without a teacher, Skywalker longs for a mentor. He resolves to become a Jedi like his father though it may take him many years.
Hearne's novel, unnamed at the time, was first announced in August 2012 at Celebration VI. According to Senior LucasBooks Editor Jennifer Heddle in January 2013, the outline for the novel was very funny when turned in. The title was announced in a StarWars.com press release on April 25, 2014.
As of May 18, 2014, Hearne reported that he was in the process of editing the novel. On June 23, Del Rey announced that the book's release date had been moved from January 13 to February 17. On October 24, it was announced that the novel would be released on March 3.
The novel was composed with input from the Lucasfilm Story Group, making it part of the new Star Wars canon. As one of the first releases in the new canon, the story's title was partially a homage to author Timothy Zahn's 1991 novel Heir to the Empire, which some consider to have begun the Expanded Universe.
- ISBN 9780345544858; March 3, 2015; Del Rey; US hardcover
- ISBN 9780345544872; March 3, 2015; Del Rey; US eBook
- ISBN 9780345544865; November 24, 2015; Del Rey; US paperback
|Organizations and titles||Sentient species||Vehicles and vessels||Weapons and technology||Miscellanea|
Organizations and titles
Vehicles and vessels
Weapons and technology
- "Launch Pad" – Star Wars Insider 150
- "Editing the Galaxy" – Star Wars Insider 155
- "Blaster" – Star Wars Insider 155
Notes and references
- In Heir to the Jedi, Luke Skywalker states that he has not heard from Obi-Wan Kenobi since the Battle of Yavin, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas establishes as the starting point of 0 ABY. Since Skywalker hears from Kenobi in the first issue of the 2015 Star Wars comic series, Heir to the Jedi must take place between the battle and Star Wars 1. Additionally, that comic takes place before the fourth issue of the 2015 Star Wars: Darth Vader comic series, the events of which are dated to 0 ABY by Galactic Atlas. Therefore, Heir to the Jedi must also take place in 0 ABY.