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Dark Force Rising

Novels > Post Original Trilogy Novels > Thrawn Trilogy

Dark Force Rising

Timothy Zahn

Bantam Spectra

Release date:
May 1, 1992

Thrawn Trilogy

Star Wars Saga Timeline:
9.25 ABY



The dying Empire's most cunning and ruthless warlord—Grand Admiral Thrawn—has taken command of the remnants of the Imperial fleet and launched a massive campaign aimed at the Republic's destruction. With the aid of unimaginable weapons long hidden away by the Emperor on a backwater planet, Thrawn plans to turn the tide of the battle, overwhelm the New Republic, and impose his iron rule throughout the galaxy.

Meanwhile, dissension and personal ambition threaten to tear the Republic apart. As Princess Leia—pregnant with Jedi twins—risks her life to bring a proud and lethal alien race into alliance with the Republic, Han and Lando Calrissian race against time to find proof of treason inside the highest Republic Council—only to discover instead a ghostly fleet of warships that could bring doom to their friends and victory to their enemies.

But most dangerous of all is a new Dark Jedi, risen from the ashes of a shrouded past, consumed by bitterness…and thoroughly, utterly insane. Now he schemes to use his awesome mastery of the Force to summon young Skywalker, allay his misgivings, cunningly enthrall him, and ultimately corrupt him to the Dark Side.

A tale of brilliant spectacle, startling revelations, and tumultuous action, Dark Force Rising moves with the speed of light across a dazzling epic landscape of galactic proportions, from world to world, from adventure to adventure, as Good and Evil clash across the vastness of space "a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.…"


Prior to the Clone Wars, the Old Republic (precursor to the Empire) had constructed a fleet of 200 Dreadnaughts (huge forerunners to Imperial Star Destroyers) that were highly automated. This reduced their crew complement from 16,000 to 2,000 without diminishing their firepower. The flagship of this fleet was the Katana and hence became known as the Katana fleet. Unfortunately, a virus infected the crews of the entire fleet and drove them mad. The madness caused the crews to "slave" the controls of all the ships in the fleet to the Katana and then send the entire fleet into hyperspace towards some unknown destination. The Katana fleet was never seen again.

Through a lucky accident, which occurred years ago, Talon Karrde may be the only person alive who knows where the Katana fleet is located. Unfortunately, he and his smugglers have double-crossed the Empire and are currently under a death threat. Will Karrde sell the secret of the Katana fleet to Grand Admiral Thrawn to save his life and the lives of his staff? Or will he be noble and turn the location of the Katana fleet over to the New Republic who also desperately needs the warships?

Meanwhile, Thrawn works to make use of the storehouse of weapons and technology that the Emperor had hidden on the planet Wayland. The cache even includes a set of Spaarti cloning cylinders left over from the Clone Wars. No matter how Thrawn makes use of this technology, it will not bode well for the New Republic!

Elsewhere, Joruus C’baoth, the evil Jedi master, uses the Force to summon Luke Skywalker. Luke responds to the summons and begins instruction with C’baoth. Will Luke recognize that C’baoth follows the path of the Dark Side before C’baoth can turn Luke down that evil path?

Leia shows the Noghri how they have been exploited by the Empire, and convinces them to support The New Republic.

A great deal is revealed about Mara Jade and her dealings with the Emperor. We also begin to see an attraction developing between Luke and Mara that will not be carried to its conclusion until the Hand of Thrawn Duology that takes place years after the events in this novel. Naturally, there are a great number of barriers to overcome in any such relationship since Mara is still pulled by the Emperor’s final command, "Kill Luke Skywalker!"



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