Star Wars: Imperial Commando: 501st

Star Wars: Imperial Commando: 501st

by Karen Traviss

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Original)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, December 18


The Clone Wars are over, but for those with reason to run from the new galactic Empire, the battle to survive has only just begun. . . .

The Jedi have been decimated in the Great Purge, and the Republic has fallen. Now the former Republic Commandos–the galaxy’s finest special forces troops, cloned from Jango Fett–find themselves on opposing sides and in very different armor. Some have deserted and fled to Mandalore with the mercenaries, renegade clone troopers, and rogue Jedi who make up Kal Skirata’s ragtag resistance to Imperial occupation. Others–including men from Delta and Omega squads–now serve as Imperial Commandos, a black ops unit within Vader’s own 501st Legion, tasked to hunt down fugitive Jedi and clone deserters. For Darman, grieving for his Jedi wife and separated from his son, it’s an agonizing test of loyalty. But he’s not the only one who’ll be forced to test the ties of brotherhood. On Mandalore, clone deserters and the planet’s own natives, who have no love for the Jedi, will have their most cherished beliefs challenged. In the savage new galactic order, old feuds may have to be set aside to unite against a far bigger threat, and nobody can take old loyalties for granted.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345511133
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/27/2009
Series: Star Wars: Imperial Commando
Edition description: Original
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 64,375
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.80(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Karen Traviss is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of three previous Star Wars: Republic Commando novels: Hard Contact, Triple Zero, and True Colors; three Star Wars: Legacy of the Force novels: Bloodlines, Revelation, and Sacrifice; as well as City of Pearl, Crossing the Line, The World Before, Matriarch, Ally, and Judge. A former defense correspondent and TV and newspaper journalist, Traviss has also worked as a police press officer, an advertising copywriter, and a journalism lecturer. Her short stories have appeared in Asimov’s, Realms of Fantasy, On Spec, and Star Wars Insider. She lives in Devizes, England.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Malcontents and troublemakers will always be with us. They exist to dissent. A galactic cease-fire is exactly what most of them don’t want, because it takes away the cover for the small and implacable grievances that give their lives meaning. If they happened to win—they would be lost in aimless despair.

—Emperor Palpatine, on being told that opposition to Imperial rule was continuing on a number of worlds, despite the end of the Clone Wars.

Commercial freighter Cornucopia, Mezeg Sector freight terminal; third week of the new era of the Empire

Ny Vollen had never broken her word to anyone, but now seemed like a sensible time to start.

I must be out of my mind. This is going to get me killed. And them, too. What was I thinking?

She didn’t even dare imagine the word; her two passengers were just them. The brief time she’d spent with Force-sensitives had made her nervous at a gut level, and she was now irrationally afraid that her thoughts, feelings, and anxieties were somehow broadcast to anyone with the skills to detect them. It was crazy, she knew . . . but she didn’t know.

She couldn’t be sure her mind was still private territory. And that was what bothered her.

Just keep your heads down and shut up, both of you. Is that so hard? You can do your Force stuff to make guards go away, right? Well, do it.

The Mezeg terminal smelled of lube oil, blocked drains, and those sickly sweet hot buns that were sold with near-undrinkable caf wherever freight pilots gathered. She gnawed unenthusiastically on a bun, trying not to imagine what the hard chewy bits were made of. The scent of artificial vannilan always made her feel sick. Now it added to the turmoil in her stomach, threatening to overwhelm her as she stood under Cornucopia’s fuselage waiting for her vessel to be inspected.

She rehearsed a convincing reaction in case her hidden passengers were discovered.

Never seen them before in my life, trooper.

These refugees get everywhere, don’t they?

Thank you, trooper—now get them off my ship.

But none of those lines would have convinced her, so she doubted they would persuade any of the Imperial stormtroopers searching vessels entering and leaving Mezeg. If the stowaways were discovered, then at least they had no idea where Cornucopia was headed. And she hadn’t yet programmed a course for Mandalore, so there was no data to extract from the new computer and lead the authorities to Kyrimorut.

At least the worst wouldn’t happen.

But I know exactly where we’re heading, all the names, all the places, so the worst that can happen . . . will happen to me.

She was far too old to be embarking on a life of lawlessness. If she was caught and interrogated, she had no idea how long she would hold out before she revealed what she knew of Kal Skirata’s refuge for clone deserters. Her chances of escaping from the search team of four fit troopers, a civilian guard, and an akk hound looked close to zero.

Come on. Are they really going to suspect me of anything? I’m a woman. I’m old. My ship’s even older than I am. As to which of us is in worse shape . . .

“Waste of kriffing time.” The Rodian pilot in the line next to her had a tiny courier shuttle that couldn’t have concealed a jackrab, let alone stowaways. He kept checking a chrono hanging from a fob on his jacket. “This is costing me.”

“Can’t argue with the Empire,” Ny said. “Suck it up.”

The white-armored stormtroopers didn’t scare her. She knew they should have. They weren’t Kal Skirata’s adopted sons, the special forces clones she knew, like A’den, Mereel, and Corr. They might have looked identical under those helmets, but if she thought they were friends—that was all wrong, deadly wrong. These men had their orders. They probably didn’t include being kind to old women who thought they were all nice boys at heart. Anyone aiding fugitive Jedi was an enemy of the Empire by definition.

And why am I doing this, anyway?

The freight port security guard held his search akk on a choke chain as he went from vessel to vessel, letting the animal snuffle around cargo bays and hatches. Four stormtroopers waited to pounce if the akk reacted to a scent or a sound.

“I suppose they’re bored now they haven’t got a proper war to fight,” the Rodian said. “Nothing better to do with their time. And how much has Palpatine spent on all that new armor? What was wrong with the old style? More taxpayers’ credits wasted.”

“They’re looking for Jedi,” Ny said. And my friends, like A’den . . . and Ordo . . . and Kal. She wondered if the Rodian actually paid any taxes at all. “We don’t know how many escaped the Purge. Enough to worry Palps, obviously.”

But Etain Tur-Mukan was one of the many Jedi who didn’t get away, although she hadn’t been executed in the Purge. She’d died stupidly. She got herself killed. Ny was used to the angry phase in bereavement, and the guilt that followed blaming the dead for being dead and leaving you so lonely that it wasn’t worth taking the next breath, but she hadn’t even known Etain before she took her body home to Mandalore.

Crazy kid. If she’d just walked by instead of getting in the way, defending that clone trooper, then she’d be alive now. And Darman would have a wife to come home to, and their baby would have a mother. What a waste. What a terrible, terrible waste. A war for absolutely nothing except a corrupt old barve’s ambition. Or a whole bunch of corrupt barves, if Kal’s right.

My Terin should still be alive, too. Stang, I miss you, baby.

The pain was at a manageable level these days, although she wished she hadn’t found out the details of how her husband died. But if she hadn’t, she would have imagined worse. Her old man was dead, gone in a matter of minutes, and that was all there was to it. He wasn’t the only man in the merchant navy to die in the war; she wasn’t the only war widow in the galaxy. Her grief was nothing special.

“I hope they find all of them, fast, and then we can get back to normal business,” the Rodian muttered.

“Who?” Ny was miles away, walking with the dead and trying to resist asking them why they’d done such uselessly brave things that hadn’t made the slightest difference to the course of the war. “What?”

“Jedi. I never trusted them anyway. My buddy—he lost his ship once, no compensation, nothing, when one of their fancy Masters commandeered it for some getaway. No please, thank you, or here’s some creds to tide you over, friend. Just took it. Higher authority. Mystic and righteous work. Piracy, more like—government-backed thieves. Well, they got theirs. Good riddance.”

Ny thought of Jusik and Etain, and bit back a defense. “Would you turn them in if you found any?” she asked.

“Even without a reward.” The Rodian snapped his fingers. “Like that.”

Ny wondered what he would have thought if he knew that it was another Force-user still running the show anyway. But she wasn’t even sure she could blame it all on this . . . Siff? Shith? Sith, that was it. Whatever kind of saber-jockey Palpatine was—if he’d engineered the whole war, like Skirata said—then he hadn’t needed to encourage some worlds to fight each other. Old enemies were just waiting for an excuse to start.

Ny hadn’t even heard of Sith before she met the renegade clone clan. Bardan Jusik had explained the ancient feud between Sith and Jedi, as pointless as the sectarian war on Sarrassia, where two factions of a religious cult had been fighting for thousands of years over the proper ritual for handling some holy relic—a goblet, a statue, a set of bones, Ny forgot which. They just seemed to define themselves by not being the other faction. She didn’t understand any of it.

Osik. That was the word. Mandalorians knew how to cuss, all sibilants and explosive consonants. It was all a load of osik.

There were plenty of other things Ny didn’t know or understand that were much closer to home. She hadn’t known Etain, so she couldn’t fathom the depth of Skirata’s guilt about the girl. She hardly knew Darman, come to that. She didn’t understand why Mandalore had allowed an Imperial garrison on its home turf. And she didn’t know how she fitted into the gathering of misfits that was Clan Skirata, only that she now thought of Kyrimorut as her home base and that it had happened almost overnight.

But that didn’t matter now. She was doing this for two reasons, two good reasons, but the second one was starting to trouble her more the closer she got to Mandalore.

I gave my word. And . . . stang, why do I trust Kal Skirata so much?

“At last,” said the Rodian. The akk handler was heading his way. The Rodian turned to her and nodded in a way that seemed to transcend species, the gesture of an exasperated pilot on a tight schedule whose timetable had been messed up by idiots. “I’m going to lose my on-time bonus thanks to this.”

Ny stood with Cornucopia’s manifest in one hand. That was the drill; to have your admin data ready on your ’pad for inspection, stand clear of your vessel, and wait for the security guy to talk to you.

Speak when you’re spoken to. Some things never change.

“Don’t point that out to them, will you?” she said. “Or else they’ll keep you here until Mustafar freezes over.”

She realized her pulse was racing. If the akk got a whiff of her two passengers, she’d be finished. It was a huge gamble. But then her passengers had everything to lose, too, and she knew they could make themselves a lot harder to find than the average stowaway.

Ny waited. She concentrated on feeling impatient, imagining the time and creds she would have been losing if this had been a real delivery, and hoped it was enough to disguise her fear from both akks and humans.

She wouldn’t have been the first freight pilot to find illegal stowaways in her vessel, or the first to deny all knowledge. And sometimes that was true; illegals knew all the tricks when it came to slipping past security checks. But what had once been routine and occasional searches by assorted authorities for a variety of reasons—like Boriin not wanting skilled metalsmiths leaving its territories, or Mil Velay not allowing anyone with a criminal record to enter its space—was now a matter of life and death.

The akk strained on its leash as it came toward her. Both of its front legs lifted clear off the ground as the handler leaned back against the animal’s weight to restrain it. He slackened the leash, and the akk raced up Cornucopia’s open ramp and vanished inside.

Ny handed her datapad to the stormtrooper. She couldn’t see his eyes behind that visor, but she was used to guessing where folks who wore helmets might actually be looking, and he seemed to be reading the ’pad.

“Name, ma’am.”

“Nyreen Vollen.”


“Food and basic supplies, bound for LodeCorp Mining asteroid Nine-Alpha-Four, Roche system.”

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Star Wars: Imperial Commando: 501st 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 92 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The Clone Wars may have ended (see Star Wars Republic Commando quartet), but hostilities remain as the new Empire that emerged from the conflict presses the offense against the remnants of the Republic and the elimination of the surviving Jedi. Former allies face each other in combat as Republic Commandos are either in support of or opposed to the Empire. Many fled to Mandalore to join the resistance led by Kal Skirata, but Delta and Omega units converted into the Imperial Commando killing force under Vader's leadership with the mission to hunt and kill Jedi and Commando clone deserters. On Mandalore, the Republic Commando clone deserters, mercenaries, and natives distrust the fugitive Jedi who they blame for the catastrophe. Especially angry at the Jedi are the Commandos who know they will soon be fighting their brothers at arms. However, although they loathe the Jedi, they know they must set aside their hatred because the Imperial Empire is coming to eradicate all of them. To fully grasp what is going on, the reader needs to have read the four book Republic Commando series first; especially the last tale Order 66. The story line is a transition plot that sets up the changes in the galaxy with the Clone wars being over. No one stands out though Darmen the former Republic Commando is perhaps the most representative as he has no time to grieve and must choose which band of brothers he will fight alongside of against his former band of brothers. Fans of the saga will enjoy Karen Traviss' exciting entry, but newcomers will be lost in that far away galaxy. Harriet Klausner
Seeker_OWAT More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the whole series, but I feel frustrated. I want to know how things turn out for these characters
jackryan08 More than 1 year ago
Much like Episode II & V were transitional episodes for the movies, Imperial Commando provides the same action, suspense and drama that we have come to expect from the Star Wars Universe in that same transitional package. Order 66 (Book #4 Clone Commando) closed the chapter on the Clone Wars but served as a beginning to life in the Galactic Empire. Skirata & his band of clones, Jedi & others are attempting to settle in when their lives are constantly disrupted. An old "friend" returns, the homestead is getting crowded, there are growing concerns w/ the local community & Skirata might finally settle down (love interest there). Elsewhere Darman & Niner are teamed w/ new squad mates to seek out the remaining Jedi while they plan their final extraction. Darman is constantly pounded by the desire to be w/ his family & Kad, the loss of Etain & the mission of the new regime. The story concludes w/ "To Be Continued." Similar to Episode V which left our heroes broken & futures bleak but set the stage for an amazing new adventure, Imperial Commando does the same. Our heroes are in turmoil, their futures cloudy but great excitement & adventure lie ahead. Harstan provides an exceptional review of this book should you be looking for more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The series itself is a great one, but there is no proper ending I feel. I need to know what happens to Darman and all of the gang. So I love the books but I feel let down in the end because I (as stated in the title) need closure in the end!
Stumpyboner More than 1 year ago
The Republic Commando series is one of the most captivating series that I have ever read, and the best in the Star Wars Universe. With that said, 501st is the first among the books that seemed to bank on your love for the series, rather than your love for the story. I give the series my highest recomendation, but this book should defenitely be read after the predecessors.
Nightshade_XS More than 1 year ago
If you've read the previous Republic Commando Novels, than this Imperial Commando novel is a must. The twists and intense action that occurs will leave you at the edge of your seat. If you haven't read the previous books yet it is highly suggested that you do so otherwise it will leave you confused to what is happening without knowing the events that occured.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic book. I only wish there was another one. The ending left hundreds of unanswered questions and open ends. By god, there better be another book coming.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a really good and I can't wait to read Alliegence.
Darcy Fausz More than 1 year ago
Great novel. Shows wut the commandos act like when they are really behind enemy lines. Never a dull moment. Great, no wait strike that, superb writing from the seemingly magical writer who brought you true color, order 66, triple zero, and hard contact, brings you 501st.
3greatkidsjsd More than 1 year ago
With the end of the Clone Wars comes a new era; the Empire. In this excellent continuation of the Republic Commando series, the characters face even more trials and tribulations than before. With family and friends dead, and others lost behind enemy lines, Clan Skirata faces some of the most important decisions it will ever make. I found this book to be fantastic. The plot was page turning, the characters intriguing, and the action fast-paced and thrilling. You will not be disappointed. To truly understand 501st, however, you must read the original series. The four books preceding this one all tie in to this new chapter in a great saga. Others who do not read those book will find themselves confused and wishing they had taken my advice. At the end of the day, though, no one will regret reading Imperial Commando: 501st.
TK-7236 More than 1 year ago
The story of the Republic Commandos of Omega and Delta squad, after Order 66 is initiated by the self proclaimed Emperor. For the majority of citizens, life hasn't changed much under the Empire, but for a few Mandalorian raised commandos, life has been chaotic. Niner and Darman are now Imperial Commnados and life on Mandalore with the clones is anything but dull with a few unexpected guests, and the clock of life still ticking down at an excelerated pace! Karen Traviss is one of the most talented authors I have ever read. She has the ability to get a reader involved in the story in a way that makes it hard to put the book down. Book 5 in the story of Omega squad and their brothers, is just as engaging as the first one, and I look forward to the next!
StarWarsNovelReaderTK-421 More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful continuation of the Republic Commando series. You might feel a bit lost if you haven't read the books preceding it , so go check out those first. It dives into the mind of a certain character , and it was nicely done. I really got choked up at a few parts , and was shocked when someone did something. It could have had a bit more action , but it was filling enough. Fans of this series and newcomers should love it. I'm looking forward to the sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I need another commando book!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series has been amazing and gives you a better idea of what it kind of between episoide 3 and 4. This serise has had really good drama, action, adventure, some "a ha" moments and many more things. I am sure that Karren Traves is not making another book due to star wars the clone wars tv show and also because of the new star wars tv show star wars rebels. Yes I was very sad to know that this series was over, I do also know that there was going to be a little more to this book but karren had to stop short because of the star wars tv shows. By Duncan Kusant
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DARMAN IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That was an amazing book, but COME ON!! I NEEDMORE OF DAR!!! If Karen Traviss is working on the next book, I needit fast!! The series is amazing in action, comedy, and drama (the drama might be a lot for some people like myself) and it needs to be spread to others who love Star Wars. I think they would love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Does this series continue? If so please tell me what the next book is. I want to see more of Dar.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a story about the clones because all the jedi stories ar getting old this is a great series. These books focus on a close knit group of special ops clones their training sergent Kal Skirata and a couple of the first clones known as the Null Arcs. Over all great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bad and poor.
Soti More than 1 year ago
Expanded universe novels are some of my favorite pastimes. I have read quite a few novels written by Karen Traviss and I feel this is her best. She has created characters that you grow to care very much about. I couldn't tell you how well she portrayed the life of a soldier, what I can tell you is that you will consider ideas and situations that most of us will fortunately never know. This series is full of emotion, and I look forward to the continuation. Make certain you start at the beginning, it can be confusing since the first four books in the series are titles Republic Commando however Barnes & Nobel helpfully titled this one RC #5.
craig139 More than 1 year ago
This was a fun book to read as are all the other books in the series. Be aware that THIS IS THE LAST BOOK! Due to differences raised in the tv series "The Clone Wars", Ms. Travis was unable to continue writing about these characters. This decision is from 2009 and I am writing this in 2014. Sigh. Enjoy these books anyway!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Only thing tthat stops five star rating is the cliffhanger ending. First book in the series, Hard Contact had least cliffhanger ending in all five books. Karen Travis actually great at ending a book- sucks at ending a series