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Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire




Release date

1996 (N64), 1997 (PC)


First-person, Action/Adventure, Flight simulator, Fighting


Single Player


ESRB: T for Teen


PC, Nintendo 64

Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire (SOTE) is a mostly action/adventure game for the N64 and PC. You play as the smuggler Dash Rendar. Most of the game is land battle, but there are some space battles. The game was part of a project created by Lucasfilms.

Story Edit

The game is divided in four parts (or chapters). The first chapter takes place during the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back. Dash Rendar is trapped on Hoth when the Imperial forces attack. As the player, you have to pilot a snowspeeder in the Battle of Hoth destroying AT-ATs, AT-STs and probe droids. Then you must fight your way through Echo Base back to your ship, the Outrider. After escaping Hoth you must fight your way through the Hoth Asteroid Field and the several waves of TIE Fighters before escaping into hyperspace.

In the second chapter, Dash tracks down some of the bounty hunters that were dispatched to capture Han Solo, confronting IG-88 on Ord Mantell and Boba Fett on Gall.

In the third chapter, Boba Fett has escaped and the player's mission changes: you must now protect Luke Skywalker from an assassination attempt ordered by the Black Sun's Prince Xizor, by fighting a deadly gang of swoop bikers through Mos Eisley and Beggar's Canyon. Dash then recovers Imperial secret plans of the second Death Star, that are being carried aboard the freighter Suprosa.

Finally, in the last chapter, Dash, along with Luke and Lando Calrissian, travels to Imperial Center to rescue Leia Organa from Prince Xizor's stronghold by infiltrating Xizor's Palace through the sewers below Imperial City, fighting their way through the palace and eventually engaging in a space battle above the planet. The game's greatest surprise comes at the end, when Xizor's Skyhook is destroyed. The reader of the book and the comics is lead to believe that Dash Rendar dies in the battle that follows, but his real destiny is only revealed in the game.

Levels Part I: The Battle of Hoth It is a time of crisis. Imperial probes, scouring the galaxy for the hidden Rebel base, have discovered their outpost on the remote ice world of Hoth.

Darth Vader, obsessed with finding Luke Skywalker, has sent his forces to engage the Rebels in battle.

With the dreaded Imperial fleet approaching, a lone freighter has entered the Hoth system....

Battle of HothEdit

"Battle of Hoth": Dash pilots a snowspeeder in the counterattack against the AT-ATs.Here, the player is introduced with the famous Battle of Hoth, and this is the only time the player will use the airspeeder in the game.

Story Dash Rendar, captain of the Outrider and mercenary-for-hire, has arrived with a supply shipment for Echo Base. After landing he meets up with his long time friend Han Solo.

The two could not have met at a more opportune time. The Empire is on its way and the Rebels could use another good pilot. Dash has never been one to say no to a good dogfight. Han talks to Luke and gets Dash a spot in Rogue Squadron.

Mission Objectives Destroy Imperial probe droids, AT-STs, and AT-ATs, giving the Alliance the time they need to evacuate Echo Base.

Escape from Echo BaseEdit

"Escape from Echo Base": Dash runs through the hangars of Echo Base as the Millennium Falcon takes off.The wampas make their first appearance of this game here. This level introduces the game's most numerous 3rd/1st person shooting levels, along with its first boss: an Imperial AT-ST.

Story While Rogue Squadron has been able to give most of the Rebels adequate time to escape, they have not been entirely successful. The main generator has been destroyed and Imperial troops have entered the base. Han, Leia and Luke have escaped, but Dash is left behind. With the generator down, the shield to Bay 3 (where the Outrider is docked) is closed. If Dash is going to get off Hoth alive, he had better find a way to open that bay door!

Mission Objectives Locate and activate the emergency generators, then make it to the Outrider. Watch out for wampas! They can be either friend or foe.

Asteroid ChaseEdit

"Asteroid Chase": The Outrider flees from a star destroyer in the Hoth asteroid field.This level introduces the flying aspect of the game, where players take control of the Outrider's gun turrets to destroy asteroids and TIE fighters.

Story Dash has escaped Hoth in one piece, but he's not quite in the clear. An Imperial Star Destroyer has been spotted just off Hoth. As if things weren't bad enough, the Outrider is approaching an asteroid field. With his co-pilot droid Leebo at the helm, Dash mans the gun turrets to fend off incoming TIE fighters and TIE bombers. Only when the TIEs are destroyed can the Outrider make the jump to lightspeed and escape the Empire.

Mission Objectives Man the Outrider's gunnery controls and destroy incoming TIEs and asteroids. Shoot the red asteroids for challenge points!

Part II: In Search of Boba FettEdit

A rival bounty hunter has forced Boba Fett into hiding before he could deliver his prize, the carbonite-frozen Han Solo, to the vile gangster, Jabba the Hutt.

As Luke Skywalker and rogue mercenary Dash Rendar search for Boba Fett, a sinister new figure emerges from the underworld.

This cunning and ruthless head of the powerful crime syndicate Black Sun plots to ensnare young Skywalker and replace Lord Vader as the Emperor's right hand....

Ord Mantell JunkyardEdit

"Ord Mantell Junkyard": Dash rides the trains through the junkyards of Ord Mantell.Another running around mission, made much more difficult with the addition of a narrow moving train and a difficult boss: IG-88

Story After escaping the asteroid field, Dash discovers that IG-88, the bounty hunter trailing Boba Fett, is on Ord Mantell. He's in a junkyard looking for parts to repair his ship after it was damaged by Boba Fett. Dash has landed on Ord Mantell hoping to track down IG-88 and find out where Boba Fett is hiding. He knows that Princess Leia would pay handsomely for news of Han's whereabouts.

Mission Objectives Move from train car to train car until you reach the end. Watch out for turns in the track! Jumping while the train is turning can be dangerous! A magnetic field surrounding the train disables all of Dash's weapons, except his blaster. He will be able to access other weapons once he reaches IG-88.

Gall SpaceportEdit

"Gall Spaceport": Dash prepares for his journey ahead through the canyons of Gall.The wampas make their second appearance of this game here appearing brown. This level introduces the jetpack and pits the player against three bosses, an Imperial AT-ST, Boba Fett and the Slave I.

Story Before destroying IG-88, Dash finds out where Boba Fett is hiding; he's sought refuge at the Imperial moon base on Gall. With the Empire on his tail, the only way Dash can get into the base is on foot through the back entrance in Smuggler's Canyon. Once inside the base, Dash hopes to locate Boba Fett and reach Solo before it's too late.

Mission Objectives Infiltrate the Imperial base, locate the jetpack and reach Boba Fett before he has a chance to escape.

Part III: Hunting the AssassinsEdit

The Rebels locate Boba Fett, but with help from an Imperial escort, the bounty hunter escapes from Gall.

Above the planet, an assassin nearly kills Luke. Princess Leia, fearing for his safety, asks Dash to follow him to Tatooine.

There, at the abandoned home of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke refines his Jedi skills while Dash keeps an eye out for trouble in a familiar Mos Eisley cantina....

Mos Eisley and Beggar's CanyonEdit

"Mos Eisley and Beggar's Canyon": Dash rushes against swoop riders at dangerous velocities.The player is challenged with another variety in the form of a race/chasing stage, and they must negotiate narrow paths at breakneck speeds or face death.

Story While hiding out in Mos Eisley, Dash overhears a discussion. Jabba the Hutt has hired a swoop gang to kill Skywalker. The mercenaries speed away towards Kenobi's old home.

Why does Jabba the Hutt want Skywalker dead? Dash had better reach Luke before the swoop gang does, or he may never find out!

Mission Objectives Race through the streets of Mos Eisley and Beggar's Canyon. You must destroy the other swoop bikers by ramming them into walls or obstacles, then get to Kenobi's place at the end of the canyon.

Watch your speed! If you go too fast you might crash! On the other hand, you need to go really fast to clear the Eye of the Needle.

Imperial Freighter SuprosaEdit

"Imperial Freighter Suprosa": Stormtroopers are around nearly every corner of this large freighter.Back on his feet, Dash must make his way through strange terrains consisting of hallways, offices and engine rooms, finally ending with a dual with the level's boss: the loader droid

Story With the swoop gang thwarted, Dash meets up with Luke. He tells Luke that Leia is meeting with Black Sun to find out who wants him dead. Spies from Black Sun recently gave Luke the location of a freighter carrying secret Imperial construction plans. Dash warns Luke to stay away from Black Sun, but Luke knows that he can't afford not to check it out.

Mission Objectives Dash must make his way through the freighter and find the supercomputer containing the secret plans.

Part IV: Lair of the Dark PrinceEdit

Princess Leia has met with the mysterious Dark Prince Xizor. When she discovers his plan, she is held captive deep within his lair beneath Imperial City.

Xizor is unaware that both Darth Vader and the Rebels have learned of his treachery and race to confront him.

Determined to rescue Leia and destroy Black Sun, Luke, Chewie, Lando and Dash slip unnoticed into the depths of Imperial City's underworld....

Sewers of Imperial CityEdit

"Sewers of Imperial City": Dash enters the sewers of Coruscant with his handy jetpack.The jetpack returns for this level and is put to good use as Dash must navigate through the maze of pipes and creepy dionogas, including the boss: the Giant Dianoga.

Story Following Xizor's advice, Emperor Palpatine has allowed the plans for the new Death Star that were on the freighter to fall into Rebel hands.

While the Alliance works to decode the plans, Luke, Chewie, Lando and Dash travel to Coruscant to locate Leia. Dash must travel alone through the sewer system and find a way into the palace.

Mission Objectives Help Dash get through the sewers to get to the entrance of Xizor's palace. Watch out for the dianogas that lurk underwater!

Xizor's PalaceEdit

"Xizor's Palace": The building is teemed with guards, booby traps and strange cliffs...This strange level forces the player to negotiate poor building planning with the jetpack, as the entire level is teeming with enemies and the final boss: the Gladiator droid.

Story Dash has now penetrated Xizor's palace. Leebo informs Dash that there is a way to cut off Xizor's skyhook space fortress from the palace.

Mission Objectives Place explosives on the service panels to the space elevator that connects Xizor's palace to the skyhook in orbit.

Skyhook BattleEdit

"Skyhook Battle": The Outrider engages in a dogfight with several Star Vipers.The final level ends with the dogfight over Coruscant.

Story Imperial and Rebel forces have descended upon Xizor's skyhook. X-wings, TIE fighters and Xizor's Star Vipers fill the sky. The skyhook must be destroyed.

Mission Objectives Dash must destroy Xizor's fleet, penetrate the skyhook's reactor, destroy the core and try to make it out in one piece.

Dramatis personaeEdit

Boba Fett Guri, IG-88D, LE-BO2D9, Max, Leia Organa, Dash Rendar, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Xizor

Creatures Dianoga, Wampa, Cliff wampa,

Droid models Assassin droid, Dogbot, Black Sun gladiator droid, Human replica droid, IG-88 combat droid, IG drone, IT-0, Loader droid, Seeker AS-M12, Sentry droid, Viper probe droid,


Planets Coruscant, Imperial City, Xizor's Palace, Hoth, Echo Base, Hoth Asteroid Field, Ord Mantell, Tatooine, Beggar's Canyon, Ben Kenobi's hut, Mos Eisley,

Moons Gall Imperial Enclave, Smuggler's Canyon,

Spacestations Falleen's Fist,

Organizations Black Sun , Galactic Empire, Rebel Alliance, Rogue Squadron,


Capital Ships Imperial II-class Star Destroyer,


Freighters Millennium Falcon, Outrider, Suprosa,


Starfighters TIE Bomber, TIE Fighter, Slave I, StarViper-class attack platform , Virago, X-Wing ,

Species Falleen , Human, Twi'lek ,

Weapons Blaster Pistol, Seekers , Flame , Pulse , Disruptor, Stunner,

Behind the scenesEdit

As this is an action/adventure video game, some of its elements must be taken as parts solely of the game and not be considered Star Wars canon. There are many notable differences between the game, novel, and comics. For instance, in the game Dash makes his way through the canyons of Gall and fights Boba Fett, damaging his ship, but being unable to stop him. But in the novel and comics, Dash merely guides the Millennium Falcon over the treetops to the Imperial Enclave, but leaves the Falcon to fight it out with the Imperials. So though there are some elements that merge correctly between the three mediums, the video game must be considered simply a video game, a "what-if" perspective from Dash Rendar, made to have more action than his smaller role in the story. Though Dash has only a small supporting role in the comics and novel, it was the video game that propelled his character to "stardom". If the player plays the Tatooine level in Jedi difficulty mode it takes place at night, substancially increasing its difficulty, whereas the other difficulty modes cause the level to be set during the day. If the player beats the game on medium difficulty, the game reveals that Dash Rendar escaped the skyhook via a jump to hyperspace and decided to lay low for a while. He remarks that it is good to be known as a martyr while still being alive. Inputting a secret debug code allows the player to gain invincibility, all weapons, 50 lives, and play as other characters (wampas or stormtroopers) among other things. On the most difficult setting Dash will not shoot in the same location twice if the controller is not moved. A realistic circle of fire recreating a natural falibility of a shooter's hand is used.