When the battle lines are drawn, and the enemy engaged,
pledging your loyalty may mean laying down your life.…
After the destruction of the first Death Star, our adventure begins. Timothy Zahn has created the novel foundation that is the creation of Mara Jade. We begin our journey with Mara investigating corrupt politicions with potential rebel involvement. Mara Jade is referred to by Palpatine, Vader, and the rest of the Empire as the Emperor's Hand. She is force sensitive and is the emperor's hand of judgement through the galaxy. She is an associate, but not equal to Vader, and if she would have only known that the man behind the helmet would eventually be her father-in-law. As most SW stories, this carries the same three sides told at once. Five storm troopers kill a superior officer in the beginning of the story and hijack an Imperial Luxury ship and roam thru the galaxy known as the Hand of Judgment. They are known as deserters to the Empire, but still try and live by their sworn oath to serve the Empire. Leia is held captive on a planet seeking their support for the alliance, and being hunted down by none only, Darth Vader. Han, Luke and Chewbacca are investigating pirate activity when their journeys meet with the five renegade storm troopers and work in harmony towards the princess's rescue.
The story is mostly based on the storm troopers and their teetering Allegiance to the Empire, but also their assistance to the aid of the Rebel Alliance. Mara Jade and the Rebel's never cross each others paths, but more or less runs on the parallel path in our story. I enjoyed this novel more than I've enjoyed any other of Timothy Zahns and would highly recommend this book. Mara Jade, although serving the Empire, has a more humane approach to justice and peace, compared what the Emperor and Darth Vader have turned the galaxy into.
Star Wars Hitchhiker