Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (formerly titled The Empire Strikes Back) is the novelization of the film of the same name. It was written by Donald F. Glut and based on a story by George Lucas. It was first published in paperback by Del Rey on April 12, 1980.

Publisher's summary[edit | edit source]

Luke, Han and Princess Leia's story didn't end with the destruction of the Death Star—it continues in The Empire Strikes Back.

Though they had won a significant battle, the war between the Rebels and the Empire had really just begun.

Now, several months later, the Rebels have established an outpost on the frozen wasteland of Hoth. But even on that icy, backwater planet, they could not escape the evil Darth Vader's notice for long.

Soon, Luke, Han, the princess and their faithful companions were forced to flee, scattering in all directions—the Dark Lord's minions in fevered pursuit!

Continuity[edit | edit source]

The novelization has a number of differences from the film:

  • The novel has more scenes with the probe droid and its journey to locate the Rebel base on Hoth. One of them is the droid's encounter with a wampa, which attacks it. The probe droid reacts by disintegrating the creature with its blaster.
  • Han Solo never says, "And I thought they smelled bad on the outside." He does however mention that if he doesn't get the shelter built in time, "Jabba won't need those bounty hunters."
  • The novel featured more wampas emerging from within the walls of the Hoth Rebel base, codenamed Echo Base, and attacking Rebel personnel and killing a couple Tauntauns. The Rebels managed to capture and contain the wampas in a secure room. During the Battle of Hoth when Han, Leia, and C-3PO are trying to reach the Millennium Falcon, C-3PO stops and walks towards the door which leads to the room where the wampas are contained. He tears off a large portion of the door's warning label and rushes back with Han and Leia. When the Imperial snowtroopers stop by the quarantined room, they are attacked by the wampas.
  • Yoda has blue skin, which was originally intended for his character design, instead of his recognizable green skin.
  • Han and Leia's kiss is not interrupted by C-3PO, but Chewbacca witnesses part of the scene.
  • There are only five bounty hunters aboard the Executor; 4-LOM is omitted, and Zuckuss is a "human type" instead of a Gand.
  • When greeting the Millennium Falcon on the landing platform, Lando Calrissian's entourage includes aliens.
  • The Ugnaughts are throwing scrap into a pool of molten metal instead of putting them onto a conveyor belt that carries them into an incinerator. Chewbacca also has far less trouble in forcing them to relinquish Threepio's parts.
  • Vader's lightsaber during the cave scene on Dagobah is blue rather than the usual red.
  • Han does not say "I know" in response to Leia's "I love you." Instead, Han reassures Leia that he will be back.

Reception[edit | edit source]

The novelization sold two million copies within the first week of Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back's theatrical run.[1]

Media[edit | edit source]

Editions[edit | edit source]

American[edit | edit source]

International[edit | edit source]

Cover gallery[edit | edit source]

American[edit | edit source]

International[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

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Star Wars film novelizations
Original trilogy
Episode IV A New Hope · Episode V The Empire Strikes Back · Episode VI Return of the Jedi
Prequel trilogy
Episode I The Phantom Menace · Episode II Attack of the Clones · Episode III Revenge of the Sith
Sequel trilogy
Episode VII The Force Awakens · Episode VIII The Last Jedi · Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
Other
The Clone Wars · Rogue One · Solo
[edit]
Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
Books
Full adaptations
Novel · Junior novelization (Updated Edition) · So You Want to Be a Jedi? · A Storybook · Choose Your Own Star Wars Adventure · Golden Book · Illustrated Screenplay · Mighty Chronicles · A Pop-Up Book · Classic Star Wars · Read-Along · Shakespeare · Step-Up Movie Adventures · Script fascimile · Storybook · Golden Book · The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight · Star Wars in Pictures: The Original Trilogy · The Original Trilogy Stories · Star Wars Treasury: The Original Trilogy · The Power of the Dark Side · Studio Fun
Partial adaptations:
The Hoth Adventure · I Want to Be a Jedi · Meltdown on Hoth · Use the Force! · AT-AT Attack! · 5-Minute Star Wars Stories · 5-Minute Star Wars Stories Strike Back · The Chewbacca Story · A Leader Named Leia · From a Certain Point of View
Comics
Legends Comics:
Marvel: 39 · 40 · 41 · 42 · 43 · 44 · Marvel Illustrated Version
Marvel Special Edition 2 · Marvel Super Special 16 · Annual 1980
Classic: 1 · 2 · (TPB) · The Special Edition
Infinities: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · (TPB) · Manga: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · PhotoComic
Canon Comics:
Cinestory · Graphic Novel Adaptation · The Original Trilogy – A Graphic Novel · Screen Comix
Video games
Arcade game · 1982 video game · 1991 video game
Mobile · Super
Activity books
Book-and-record · Classic Star Wars book-and-tape · Read-Along Storybook and CD · 1980 Coloring Book · 1982 Coloring Book · Mix or Match Storybook · Ultimate Sticker Book · Activity Book
Behind the scenes
Annotated Screenplays · The Art of · The Making of · Notebook
A Journal of the Making of
· Portfolio · Sketchbook · Behind the Magic · Official Collector's Edition · Empire Building: The Remarkable Real Life Story of Star Wars · Chronicles · Star Wars Storyboards: The Original Trilogy
Guide and reference books
The Movie Trilogy Sourcebook · Trilogy Sourcebook, Special Edition · Who's Who
The Visual Dictionary (Complete · (Updated Edition)) · Incredible Cross-Sections (Complete
The Complete Saga · Star Wars in 100 Scenes· Complete Vehicles) · 20th Anniversary Commemorative Magazine
100 Defining Moments · The Best of · Galaxy Guide 3 (Second Edition) · Super Official Game Secrets
Other material and merchandise
Funfax · Official Collectors Edition · Panorama Book · Radio drama (NPR Dramatization)
Soundtrack · LEGO · Toy line · Trading card game · Widevision · Illustrated · Who's Who
Customizable Card Game: Hoth Revised Unlimited · Hoth Limited · Dagobah Limited
Cloud City Limited · Special Edition Limited · Dagobah Revised Unlimited · Enhanced Cloud City · Introductory Game

Official Poster Monthly: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5
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