Novel References

Return of the Jedi

  • IE: Illustrated Edition
  • RD: Radio Drama Transcript

At the feathered edge of the galaxy, the Death Star floated in stationary orbit above the green moon Endor — a moon whose mother planet had long since died of unknown cataclysm and disappeared into unknown realms. The Death Star was the Empire's armoured battle station, nearly twice as big as its predecessor, which Rebel forces had destroyed so many years before — nearly twice as big, but more than twice as powerful. Yet it was only half complete.

The gas-giant planet Endor is missing, leaving its life-bearing moon in a heliocentric orbit.

Implies that Death Star II would have been over four times the size of the original, if it had ever been completed. The meaning of "size" is unclear in this context. it probably means diameter rather than surface area or volume.
Chapter 1

He was, understandably, disoriented, after having been in suspeded animation for six of the desert planet's months — a period that was, to him, timeless. It had been a grim sensation — as if for an eternity he'd been trying to draw breath, to move, to scream, every moment in conscious, painful asphyxiation — and now suddenly he was dumped into a loud, black, cold pit.

chronolgy: In his frame of reference, Solo has been in the block for six Tatooine months. But how long is a month defined to be on Tatooine? Is it based on the orbital period of one of the planet's moons? It is unclear whether this quote applies to his entire time since freezing on Bespin, or just the time spent on Tatooine (ie. the end of Shadows of the Empire). Have time dilation effects associated with Boba Fett's difficult journey from Bespin meant that Solo's block underwent less time between the movies than was experienced by the heroes, who had the advantage of hyperdrive transport?

Chapter 2

Leia! The star captain's stomach dropped at the thought of what must be happening to her now.
Money? Jabba had more than he could ever count. Pleasures? Nothing would give Jabba more pleasure than to defile the princess and kill Solo.

In Jabba's dungeon, Han Solo reflects grimly on his situation and the certain sexual molestation of Princess Leia by the Hutt.

Chapter 3
Chapter 4


THREEPIO: Good gracious, look at the size of that capital ship. It must be a hundred times as massive as the rest.
HAN: Super Star Destroyer. What a monster.

C-3PO remarks at the size of the Executor. The writer cleverly avoids falling to the five-mile fallacy by referring to the possible mass of the ship rather than its length.

Chapter 5

All her life she'd lived among giants of her own people: her father, the great Senator Organa; her mother, then Minister of Education; her peers and friends, giants all...

Does this suggest that Leia's real mother was "Minister of Education" or is this an adoptive mother? In what government was she Minister of Education: the planetary government of Alderaan, a sector government or the entire Old Republic?

Chapter 6
Chapter 7

The vast rebel fleet hung poised in space, ready to strike. It was hundreds of light-years from the Death Star — but in hyperspace, all time was a moment, and the deadliness of an attack was measured not in distance but in precision.
The calculations required to launch such a meticulously coordinated offensive at lightspeed made it necessary to fix on a stationary point — that is, stationary relative to the point of reentry from hyperspace. The point chosen by the Rebel command was a small, blue planet of the Sullust system. The armada positioned around it, now, this unblinking cerulean world. It looked like the eye of the serpent.

The distance between Sullust and Endor is at least several hundred light-years. One of the planets of the Sullust system is blue.


Lando pulled back the conversion switch and opened up the throttle. Outside the cockpit, the stars began streaking by. The streaks grew brighter, and longer, as the ships of the fleet roared, in large segments, at light-speed, keeping pace first with the very photons of the radiant stars in the vicinity, and then soaring through the warp into hyperspace itself — and disappearing in the flash of a muon.
The blue crystal planet hovered in space alone, once again; staring, unseeing, into the void.

The rebel ships jump to hyperspace. The passage refers to the starline effect visible from within the ships, and to the transition to hyperspace being marked by a muon flash. Whether this is just poetic language or whether muons are genuinely created by the jump process is not clear.

Chapter 8

The captain left. An aide approached.
"Forward ships have made contact with the Imperial fleet, sir."
"Concentrate your fire on their power generators. If we can knock out their shields, our fighters might stand a chance against them."

Admiral Ackbar orders fire patterns designed for reducing power to the enemy ships' shields. This is intended to make the warships vulnerable to strafing by rebel fighters. The destruction of one of the Executor's scanner globes later in the battle is an indicator of the success of this approach. It demonstrates the command ship's vulnerability; it shows that the shields have already dropped. It is not the cause of the shield loss.


He put the Falcon into a controlled spin, and careened around the belly of the Imperial leviathan.

starship: The accompanying picture in the Illustrated Edition shows the scene in which Calrissian takes his ship across the surface of the movie's example of the interesting [anonymous destroyer #5], which lacks hangar facilities and ventral bulb. A minority of viewers watching the movie hoped to rationalise it as a dorsal region of the Executor or some other ship, despite the exact match to the peripheral ventral details of a star destroyer. The identification in the illustrated novel clearly places the scene on the ventral side of the ship, thus confirming the existence of a hangar-less warship of size similar to a destroyer.

Chapter 9

Lando, Wedge, Blue Leader, and Green Wing went in to take out one of the larger Destroyers — the Empire's main communications ship. It had already been disabled by direct cannonade from the Rebel cruiser it had subsequently destroyed; but its damages were reparable — so the rebels had to strike while it was still licking its wounds.
Lando's squadron went in low — rock-throwing low — this prevented the Destroyer from using its bigger guns. It also made the fighters invisible until they were directly visualised.
"Increase power on the front deflector shields," Lando radioed his group. "We're going in."
They went into a high-speed power-dive, perpendicular to the long axis of the Imperial vessel — vertical drops were hard to track. Fifty feet from the surface, they pulled out at ninety degrees, and raced along the gunmetal hull, taking laser fire from every port.
"Starting attack run on the main power tree," Lando advised.
"Stay clear of their front batteries,+ warned Blue Leader. "It's a heavy fire zone down there."
"She's hurt bad on the left of the tower," Wedge noted. "Concentrate on that side."
Green Wing was hit. "I'm losing power!"
"Get clear, you're going to blow!"
Green Wing took it down like riding a rocket, into the Destroyer's front batteries. Tremendous explosions rumbled the port bow.
"That opens it up for us!" yelled Wedge. "Cut over. The power reactors are just inside that cargo bay."
... pulling the Falcon into a sharp bank that caught the horrified reactor personnel by surprise. ... They all did their worst.
They pulled up hard and fast, as the Destroyer was enveloped in a series of ever-increasing explosions, until it looked just like one more small star.

starship: A distinctive design of Imperial warship, implicitly larger than the star destroyers, though probably smaller than the Executor. It has noteworthy docking bays and forward gun batteries. This vessel and the scene of its destruction were not included in the movie, possibly because the special effects modellers lacked the time needed to build or complete the model.


On the Rebel command ship bridge, smoke and shouts filled the air.
Ackbar reached Calrissian on the comlink. "The jamming has stopped. We have a reading on the shield."

The large Imperial communications ship evidently was the source of the sensor jamming. The jamming was mentioned in the movie, but this distinctive vessel was omitted.


Threepio: (MOVING ON) Pardon me, Master Luke? The Ewoks' victory celebration will be starting momentarily.

Luke: I'll be right along, Threepio.

Threepio: But first you're going to light Lord Vader's — that is, your father's — funeral pyre, sir?

Luke: What could be morefitting? It's a night of lights. Ewok victory fires. Rebel fireworks. Even the last pieces of the Death Star burning up in the atmosphere.

Threepio: Put that way, Master Luke, it does sound appropriate.

There are several interesting and important points to note here.

The moon of Endor is not protected from debris of the Death Star; its pieces have fallen to ground. There are some rebel fireworks, but in the movie how could be distinguish them from the smaller pieces of meteoric debris of the Death Star exploding in the air?

C-3PO acknowledges Lord Vader as Luke's father. He may have kept this secret, as a duty of confidentiality to a former owner, since the time of the Clone Wars. Now that Anakin has died, and Threepio is faced with his creator's body at the pyre, the droid may speak with slightly more freedom.

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