From Hugo Award winning author Timothy Zahn, whose unprecedented bestselling trilogy continued the saga of George Lucas's blockbuster films and became a landmark in the history of science fiction publishing, comes a dramatic new chapter in the greatest science fiction epic ever told. Now Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo must battle to safeguard the fledgling New Republic from a dead Imperial warlord and from itself.Once the unquestioned master of countless solar systems, the Empire is tottering on the brink of total collapse. Once commanding an invincible armada of Star Destroyers, its fleet has been reduced to a skeleton force. Day by day, neutral systems are rushing to join the New Republic coalition. But with the end of the war in sight, the New Republic has fallen victim to its own success. An unwieldy alliance of races and traditions, the confederation now finds itself riven by age old animosities.Princess Leia struggles against all odds to hold the New Republic together. But she has powerful enemies. An ambitious Moff Disra leads a conspiracy to divide the uneasy coalition with an ingenious plot to blame the Bothans for a heinous crime that could lead to genocide and civil war. At the same time, Luke Skywalker, along with Lando Calrissian and Talon Karrde, pursues a mysterious group of pirate ships whose crews consist of clones. And then comes the most startling news of all: Grand Admiral Thrawn believed to be dead for ten years is reported alive. The most cunning and ruthless warlord in Imperial history has seemingly returned to lead the Empire to triumph.As Han and Leia try to prevent the unraveling of the New Republic in the face of this fearful and inexplicable threat from the past, Luke sets out to track down the rogue pirate ships. To do so, he will team up with Mara Jade, with whom he will share his growing mastery of the Force and the ever present threat of the dark side. All the while, lurking in the shadows is the enigmatic Major Tierce, a disciple of Emperor Palpatine, sharing his long dead master's lust for power, schooled in the devious stratagems of Thrawn himself, and armed with his own dark plans for the New Republic and the Empire.Specter of the Past marks the triumphant return of Timothy Zahn to the celebrated Star Wars(r) universe in a novel that brings together all the trademark action, suspense, startling revelations, and brilliant spectacle worthy of the name Star Wars.Timothy Zahn is one of science fiction's most popular voices, known for his ability to tell very human stories against a well researched background of future science and technology. He won the Hugo Award for his novella Cascade Point and is the author of sixteen science fiction novels, including the bestselling Star Wars trilogy Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command, the novels Conquerors' Pride, Conquerors' Heritage, and Conquerors' Legacy, and three collections of short fiction. Timothy Zahn lives in Oregon.(r), TM & (c) 1997 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.