17 years after ANH


October 1997


Somewhere in the galaxy, millions suddenly perish in a blinding instant of pain, anguish, and despair--a disruption of the Force so shocking, it is felt by Luke at his Jedi academy on Yavin 4 and by Leia at home on Coruscant. It is a deed that rivals the terrifying power of the Death Star, the long-destroyed weapon of the defeated Empire. But where did it happen? And how? And why?

Then death comes to Coruscant itself. As Leia, head of the New Republic, prepares to address the Senate, a massive explosion rocks the meeting hall, decimating the Senate's ranks. Leia survives and recovers, only to be faced with calls to resign from office. Even worse, some of the Senators lay the blame for the attack on Han Solo.

As Leia works desperately to clear Han's name, Han and Chewbacca journey to the lawless asteroids of Smuggler's Run to track down rumors of a secret plot against the New Republic. And Luke goes in search of Brakiss, a former Jedi Student who has turned his considerable talents to the dark side of the Force and might well have been involved in the unexplained deaths of millions that so disturbed Luke and Leia. But Brakiss is only a small part of the carnage taking place on Coruscant and elsewhere. Luke is being stalked by a master of the dark side who is determined to rule as the next emperor. Luke, Leia, and Leia's Jedi children are targeted to die. Then billions will follow, in a holocaust unequaled in galactic history.


An explosion rocked the Chamber, flinging Leia into the air. She flew backward and slammed onto a desk, her entire body shuddering with the power of her hit. Blood and shrapnel rained around her. Smoke and dust rose, filling the room with a grainy darkness. She could hear nothing. With a shaking hand, she touched the side of her face. Warmth stained her cheeks and her earlobes. The ringing would start soon. The explosion was loud enough to affect her eardrums . . . .

The tone had truly been set for this Senatorial term.

And for that, the Empire would pay.