Dark Force Rising

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Dark Force Rising
DarkForce Rising.jpg
Author Timothy Zahn
Cover artist Tom Jung
Country United States
Language English
Series Star Wars: Thrawn trilogy
Genre Science fiction
Publisher Bantam Spectra
Publication date
June 1, 1992
February 1, 1993
Media type Print
Pages Hardcover: 376
Paperback: 439
ISBN 0-553-56071-9
Preceded by Heir to the Empire
Followed by The Last Command

Star Wars: Dark Force Rising is a 1992 Star Wars novel by Timothy Zahn, and the second book in the Thrawn trilogy.


The book continues a short time after the events of Heir to the Empire.

Prior to the Clone Wars, the Old Republic 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 insane. The madness caused the crews to "slave" the controls of all ships in the fleet to the Katana and send them all into hyperspace. The fleet was never seen again until veteran smuggler Talon Karrde discovers it through a lucky accident several years before the events of the first book.

Now having full access to Emperor Palpatine's private storehouse on the planet Wayland, Imperial Navy Grand Admiral Thrawn presses his advantage to marshal more forces for the battle against the New Republic. When his forces capture one of Karrde's colleagues who also knew where the fleet was, he assembles a clone army from the storehouse to take over the fleet.

Han Solo and Lando Calrissian try to recruit former Republic Senator Garm Bel Iblis to join the fight against the Empire. However, the two face stern opposition from him because he fell out with Mon Mothma in the early stages of the Rebellion and waged his own private war against the Empire. They also discover that Bel Iblis' fleet also has Katana warships.

Elsewhere, Jedi Master Joruus C’baoth uses the Force to summon Luke Skywalker. Luke responds to the summons and begins instruction with C’baoth on the planet Jomark. However, the presence of Mara Jade complicates things further, especially when it is revealed that she was a former agent of the Emperor.

With Noghri captive Khabarakh in tow, Leia, C-3PO and Chewbacca travel to Khabarakh's home planet of Honoghr. She learns of the Empire's deception of the Noghri and convinces them to support the New Republic.

After escaping C'baoth, Luke rejoins Lando and Han in securing the Katana fleet against Thrawn's troops. However, over the course of the battle, they find out that Thrawn has captured all but 15 of the Dreadnaughts. Mara is also knocked out during the fight when her fighter is shot down.



Like the other books in the series, West End Games created for this novel a role-playing game sourcebook that expanded on Zahn's characters, locations, weapons, and other facts.


The Thrawn trilogy is widely credited with revitalizing the Star wars franchise,[1] and also introduced the popular expanded universe characters Talon Karrde, Grand Admiral Thrawn, Mara Jade, and Gilad Pellaeon.[2][3]


  1. ^ "Timothy Zahn: Outbound Flight Arrival". StarWars.com. January 31, 2006. Archived from the original on February 4, 2006. Retrieved July 21, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Critical Opinion: Heir to the Empire Reviews". StarWars.com. April 4, 2014. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved December 14, 2015. 
  3. ^ Breznican, Anthony (November 2, 2012). "Star Wars sequel author Timothy Zahn weighs in on new movie plans". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 21, 2016. 

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