Sequel to Heir to the Empire in this continuation of the Star Wars movie saga. Here, Leia Organa Solo, carrying twins, goes off (accompanied by Chewbacca and C-3PO) on a diplomatic mission to convince the Noghri to give up their indenture to the Empire and join the New Republic. Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker pays a visit to the Jedi Master C'baoth to continue his training, ingenuously not realizing that C'baoth is insane and headed toward the Dark Side. Meanwhile, Han Solo and Lando Calrissian are searching for evidence that Admiral Ackbar is not a traitor after all. Meanwhile, Grand Admiral Thrawn of the Empire is stamping out rebel enclaves and searching for the legendary Dark Force, 200 state-of-the-art battle cruisers that vanished years before. Meanwhile, smuggler Talon Karde and his second-in-command, Mara Jade, potential Jedi, may know where it is.... Despite stereotyped characters, supervillain posturing, last- instant escapes, and overall predictability, this is thundering melodrama, with a satisfyingly complicated plot. Still, it adds nothing of its own to the tradition of media-driven fiction.