Star Wars Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader

Star Wars Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader

4.1 85
by James Luceno

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Throughout the galaxy, it was believed that Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker–the Chosen One–had died on Coruscant during the siege of the Jedi Temple. And, to some extent, that was true. Anakin was dead.

From the site of Anakin Skywalker’s last stand–on the molten surface of the planet Mustafar, where he sought to destroy his friend and…  See more details below


Throughout the galaxy, it was believed that Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker–the Chosen One–had died on Coruscant during the siege of the Jedi Temple. And, to some extent, that was true. Anakin was dead.

From the site of Anakin Skywalker’s last stand–on the molten surface of the planet Mustafar, where he sought to destroy his friend and former master, Obi-Wan Kenobi–a fearsome specter in black has risen. Once the most powerful Knight ever known to the Jedi Order, he is now a disciple of the dark side, a lord of the dreaded Sith, and the avenging right hand of the galaxy’s ruthless new Emperor. Seduced, deranged, and destroyed by the machinations of the Dark Lord Sidious, Anakin Skywalker is dead . . . and Darth Vader lives.

Word of the events that created him–the Jedi Council’s failed mutiny against Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, the self-crowned Emperor’s retaliatory command to exterminate the Jedi Order, and Anakin’s massacre of his comrades and Masters in the Jedi Temple–has yet to reach all quarters. On the Outer Rim world of Murkhana, Jedi Masters Roan Shryne and Bol Chatak and Padawan Olee Starstone are leading a charge on a Separatist stronghold, unaware that the tide, red with Jedi blood, has turned suddenly against them.

When the three narrowly elude execution–and become the desperate prey in a hunt across space–it’s neither clone soldiers, nor the newly deployed stormtroopers, nor even the wrath of the power-hungry Emperor himself they must fear most. The deadliest threat rests in the hideously swift and lethal crimson lightsaber of Darth Vader–behind whose brooding mask lies a shattered heart, a poisoned soul, and a cunning, twisted mind hell-bent on vengeance.

For the handful of scattered Jedi, survival is imperative if the light side of the Force is to be protected and the galaxy somehow, someday reclaimed. Yet more important still is the well-being of the twin infants, Leia and Luke Skywalker, the children of Anakin and his doomed bride, Padmé Amidala. Separated after Padmé’s death, they must be made safe at all costs, lest the hope they represent for the future be turned to horror by the new Sith regime–and the unspeakable power of the dark side.

Features a bonus section following the novel that includes a primer on the Star Wars expanded universe, and over half a dozen excerpts from some of the most popular Star Wars books of the last thirty years!

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Editorial Reviews

Picking up where Lucas's film Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith leaves off, Luceno's novel chronicles the story of Roan Shryne and Olee Starstone, two Jedi who escaped the Empire's termination order. Fleeing from Darth Vader, the Jedi set out in search of others who lived. Interposed with the Jedi's fight to survive, readers catch glimpses of Darth Vader as he struggles to abandon his life as Anakin Skywalker and come fully to the dark side of the force. Along the way, readers encounter Bail Organa, who adopted and is trying to protect one of Anakin's twins, Leia. Here favorite characters from the Star Wars universe, C-3PO and R2-D2, appear, as well as Chewbacca when the Jedi visit the planet Kashyyyk. There is no doubt that Star Wars fans will devour Luceno's novel despite its many weaknesses. Extensive descriptive passages detailing settings and technology break up the action, making the pacing extremely uneven. Excessive plot coincidences, such as when Roan Shryne encounters the mother he never knew, strain credibility. The new characters lack depth so it is difficult to care about them and their plight. Even the old favorites, including Darth Vader, are lifeless. In contrast, Luceno captures the flavor of Star Wars. The setting is vivid and builds on Lucas's prequel movie trilogy exceptionally well. Teen and adult fans will defiantly clamor for this novel so public librarians will find it a must-buy for their genre collections. VOYA CODES: 2Q 4P J S A/YA (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults).2005, Del Rey, 322p., Ages 12 to Adult.
—Rachel Wadham

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Random House Publishing Group
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Star Wars Series
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Murkhana. Final Hours of the Clone Wars

Dropping into swirling clouds conjured by Murkhana’s weather stations, Roan Shryne was reminded of meditation sessions his former Master had guided him through. No matter how fixed Shryne had been on touching the Force, his mind’s eye had offered little more than an eddying whiteness. Years later, when he had become more adept at silencing thought and immersing himself in the light, visual fragments would emerge from that colorless void—pieces to a puzzle that would gradually assemble themselves and resolve. Not in any conscious way, though frequently assuring him that his actions in the world were in accord with the will of the Force.

Frequently but not always.

When he veered from the course on which the Force had set him, the familiar white would once again be stirred by powerful currents; sometimes shot through with red, as if he were lifting his closed eyes to the glare of a midday sun.

Red-mottled white was what he saw as he fell deeper into Murkhana’s atmosphere. Scored to reverberating thunder; the rush of the wind; a welter of muffled voices . . .

He was standing closest to the sliding door that normally sealed the troop bay of a Republic gunship, launched moments earlier from the forward hold of the Gallant—a Victory-class Star Destroyer, harried by vulture and droid tri-fighters and awaiting High Command’s word to commence its own descent through Murkhana’s artificial ceiling. Beside and behind Shryne stood a platoon of clone troopers, helmets fitting snugly over their heads, blasters cradled in their arms, utility belts slung with ammo magazines, talking among themselves the way seasoned warriors often did before battle. Alleviating misgivings with inside jokes; references Shryne couldn’t begin to understand, beyond the fact that they were grim.

The gunship’s inertial compensators allowed them to stand in the bay without being jolted by flaring anti-aircraft explosions or jostled by the gunship pilots’ evasive maneuvering through corkscrewing missiles and storms of white-hot shrapnel. Missiles, because the same Separatists who had manufactured the clouds had misted Murkhana’s air with anti-laser aerosols.

Acrid odors infiltrated the cramped space, along with the roar of the aft engines, the starboard one stuttering somewhat, the gunship as battered as the troopers and crew it carried into conflict.

Even at an altitude of only four hundred meters above sea level the cloud cover remained dense. The fact that Shryne could barely see his hand in front of his face didn’t surprise him. This was still the war, after all, and he had grown accustomed these past three years to not seeing where he was going.

Nat-Sem, his former Master, used to tell him that the goal of the meditative exercises was to see clear through the swirling whiteness to the other side; that what Shryne saw was only the shadowy expanse separating him from full contact with the Force. Shryne had to learn to ignore the clouds, as it were. When he had learned to do that, to look through them to the radiant expanse beyond, he would be a Master.

Pessimistic by nature, Shryne’s reaction had been: Not in this lifetime. Though he had never said as much to Nat-Sem, the Jedi Master had seen through him as easily as he saw through the clouds.

Shryne felt that the clone troopers had a better view of the war than he had, and that the view had little to do with their helmet imaging systems, the filters that muted the sharp scent of the air, the earphones that dampened the sounds of explosions. Grown for warfare, they probably thought the Jedi were mad to go into battle as they did, attired in tunics and hooded robes, a lightsaber their only weapon. Many of them were astute enough to see comparisons between the Force and their own white plastoid shells; but few of them could discern between armored and unarmored Jedi—those who were allied with the Force, and those who for one reason or another had slipped from its sustaining embrace.

Murkhana’s lathered clouds finally began to thin, until they merely veiled the planet’s wrinkled landscape and frothing sea. A sudden burst of brilliant light drew Shryne’s attention to the sky. What he took for an exploding gunship might have been a newborn star; and for a moment the world tipped out of balance, then righted itself just as abruptly. A circle of clarity opened in the clouds, a perforation in the veil, and Shryne gazed on verdant forest so profoundly green he could almost taste it. Valiant combatants scurried through the underbrush and sleek ships soared through the canopy. In the midst of it all a lone figure stretched out his hand, tearing aside a curtain black as night . . .

Shryne knew he had stepped out of time, into some truth beyond reckoning.

A vision of the end of the war, perhaps, or of time itself.

Whichever, the effect of it comforted him that he was indeed where he was supposed to be. That despite the depth to which the war had caused him to become fixed on death and destruction, he was still tethered to the Force, and serving it in his own limited way.

Then, as if intent on foiling him, the thin clouds quickly conspired to conceal what had been revealed, closing the portal an errant current had opened. And Shryne was back where he started, with gusts of superheated air tugging at the sleeves and cowl of his brown robe.

“The Koorivar have done a good job with their weather machines,” a speaker-enhanced voice said into his left ear. “Whipped up one brute of a sky. We used the same tactic on Paarin Minor. Drew the Seps into fabricated clouds and blew them to the back of beyond.”

Shryne laughed without merriment. “Good to see you can still appreciate the little things, Commander.”

“What else is there, General?”

Shryne couldn’t make out the expression on the face behind the tinted T-visor, but he knew that shared face as well as anyone else who fought in the war. Commander of the Thirty-second air combat wing, the clone officer had somewhere along the line acquired the name Salvo, and the sobriquet fit him like a gauntlet.

The high-traction soles of his jump boots gave him just enough added height to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Shryne, and where his armor wasn’t dinged and scored it was emblazoned with rust-brown markings. On his hips he wore holstered hand blasters and, for reasons Shryne couldn’t fathom, a version of the capelike command skirt that had become all the rage in the war’s third year. The left side of his shrapnel-pitted helmet was laser-etched with the motto live to serve!

Torso markings attested to Salvo’s participation in campaigns on many worlds, and while he wasn’t an ARC—an Advanced Reconnaissance Commando—he had the rough edges of an ARC, and of their clone template, Jango Fett, whose headless body Shryne had seen in a Geonosian arena shortly before Master Nat-Sem had fallen to enemy fire.

“Alliance weapons should have us in target lock by now,” Salvo said as the gunship continued to descend.

Other assault ships were also punching through the cloud cover, only to be greeted by flocks of incoming missiles. Struck by direct hits, two, four, then five craft were blown apart, flaming fuselages and mangled troopers plummeting into the churning scarlet waves of Murkhana Bay. From the nose of one gunship flew a bang-out capsule that carried the pilot and co- pilot to within meters of the water before it was ripped open by a resolute heat seeker.

In one of the fifty-odd gunships that were racing down the well, three other Jedi were going into battle, Master Saras Loorne among them. Stretching out with the Force, Shryne found them, faint echoes confirming that all three were still alive.

He clamped his right hand on one of the slide door’s view slots as the pilots threw their unwieldy charge into a hard bank, narrowly evading a pair of hailfire missiles. Gunners ensconced in the gunship’s armature-mounted turrets opened up with blasters as flights of Mankvim Interceptors swarmed up to engage the Republic force. The anti-laser aerosols scattered the blaster beams, but dozens of the Separatist craft succumbed to missiles spewed from the gunships’ top-mounted mass-drive launchers.

“High Command should have granted our request to bombard from orbit,” Salvo said in amplified voice.

“The idea is to take the city, Commander, not vaporize it,” Shryne said loudly. Murkhana had already been granted weeks to surrender, but the Republic ultimatum had expired. “Palpatine’s policy for winning the hearts and minds of Separatist populations might not make good military sense, but it makes good political sense.”

Salvo stared at him from behind his visor. “We’re not interested in politics.”

Shryne laughed shortly. “Neither were the Jedi.”

“Why fight if you weren’t bred for it?”

“To serve what remains of the Republic.” Shryne’s brief green vision of the war’s end returned, and he adopted a rueful grin. “Dooku’s dead. Grievous is being hunted down. If it means anything, I suspect it’ll be over soon.”

“The war, or our standing shoulder-to-shoulder?”

“The war, Commander.”

“What becomes of the Jedi then?”

“We’ll do what we have always done: follow the Force.”

“And the Grand Army?”

Shryne regarded him. “Help us preserve the peace.”

From the Hardcover edition.

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Star Wars Dark Lord 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 79 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Star Wars The Rise Of Darth Vader is another Star Wars classic by James Luceno. The in depth emotions of the Dark Lord among the other characters are so well described that you feel as if you are watching this book as a movie. The book gives you the experiences of Lord Vader after order 66 and his mission to track down a few Jedi such as Jedi Master Roan Shryne and Bol Chatak and Padawan Olee Starstone. It follows the mission and escape from the planets of Murkhana during the famous Clone Wars to the wild world of Kashyyyk. The story is well rounded accounting the actions of subordinate characters from Clone Troopers, Storm Troopers, and even Senator Organa. If your a Star Wars fan this is a must have.
harstan More than 1 year ago
After turning his back to the light, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker devastated his former compatriots Jedi Knights, but ¿died¿ during his confrontation with his friend and teacher Obi-Wan Kenobi. Out of Anakin¿s ¿death¿ arose Darth Vader, whose loyalty is to the Dark Lord Sidious as the former heir apparent has become the Emperor Palatine¿s prime executioner. --- While the Imperial forces destroy what is left of the failed Jedi insurgency, Vader goes after the three surviving Jedi Roan Shryne, Bol Chatak and Padawan Olee Starstone. As the trio flees, they know that when their former friend catches them, they will die. Still they elude the clone soldiers and stormtroopers as they search for a ¿safehouse¿ to hide the twin infants, Leia and Luke Skywalker, from their father in hope of improving the odds when the inevitable confrontation between light and dark occurs. --- DARK LORD ¿ THE RISE OF DARTH VADER is a terrific follow-up to the novelization of the third movie. The key to the story line is the deep look inside Darth Vader, who comes across as a tragic figure struggling between what is left of his ever darkening soul and the seemingly unrestricted power of the force that tightens its addictive control over him. While the Jedi look to the future with protecting the next generation, the dark threesome wants to eradicate all resistance now. Fans of Star Wars will treasure James Luceno¿s latest entry as one of the best in the long running multiple series. --- Harriet Klausner
Fred82 More than 1 year ago
This was an enjoyable read. It was interesting reading about the events between episodes 3 and 4 and seeing how tense the relationship between Vader and Palpatine was. My only complaint is that the character development sucked. I honestly didnt care at all about the jedi characters and they were a big part of the book. All in all though a worthy read that earns 4 out of 5 stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Where 'Star Wars: Episode III- Revenge of the Sith' may have left little loose ends concerning minor Jedi characters, and where an era of Star Wars- the 19 years of absolutist Empire rule before a band of rebels takes a stand against a galaxy-wide iron grip- has been relatively unexplored, comes a fantastic read, 'Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader.' The title of the novel says it all. Yep, this book is very dark. The relatively few Jedi Knights and some of their apprentices who survived Order 66 or are in the Outer Rim where the command hasn't yet come full-force struggle to survive in a galaxy that is getting turned around under totalitarian rule for the next two decades. Darth Vader, the uprising of a once-good but nearly dead soul of Anakin Skywalker, struggles to accept his new place as Dark Lord of the Sith as more machine than man, having spawned from the ashes of tragedy on a distant molten world. In his own sorrow, and struggling to control his own now-cybernetic body, the newly self-appointed Emperor sends Vader on his first extermination mission, to find these remaining Jedi. While the Jedi Knights throughout the bulk of the book are not seen in the films, the readers can easily connect with the two foremost characters (outside of Vader), Roan Shryne and his apprentice Olee Starstone. Particularly Starstone. If this book is viewed as average by readers throughout the main plot, then they will for sure be surprised and more than happy by the book's wonderful and intriguing final chapter that connects so well to the original trilogy. James Luceno has done another fabulous job writing a 'Star Wars' novel, seamlessly taking his audience through the grim mood left us in Episode III and by its end providing us with hope that is born again in the original film. This is a great read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A must read for any Stars Wars fan as it answers many questions and ties up some loose ends. Very entertaining, compelling novel that should satisfy most Darth Vader enthusiasts like myself. This sequel does a very nice job of bridging the gap to the first Star Wars movie 'A New Hope.' Thrilling ending keeps you riveted until the last word of the very last page. That's good writing in my book.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Luceno delivers! Another one of his books that I could NOT put down! Another must-read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lord Vader Arise Revenge of the Sith was how Anakin fell, and Vader was born. This is the story of how Vader rose. In the beginning Vader is appalled and exasperated by the Life Support Suit and Prosthetic limbs. Not seeing his existence as living. Consumed by claustrophobia and Isolation and unaccustomed to the suit Vader was slow, clumsy, and unsure of himself. Through out the book Vader pursues Jedi survives and terrorizes civilians. Goes from seeing the suit as a prison, to a macober costume, and finally little more than a set of cloths. His mind goes from confusion, self doubt, and blaming others for his fate - to willingly embracing the Dark Side. In the end of this book, Vader sees the Jedi and the Universe as incidental. The only reason he lived was to topple Sidious from the throw. Killing his master. and taking his place, was all Vader had left.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I first got this book and started reading it, I just couldn't put it down! James is such a great author, and I already plan to pre-order his new book coming in the beginning of next year. If you're debating whether you should get this or not, listen to the smart side of yourself and BUY THIS BOOK!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was really looking forward to this book as a read into Anakin/Vader's tortured soul, to bring more substance to the Star Wars storyline and make it somehow even cooler than it already is. And because I want to read about Darth Vader's combat skills. The story is basically about a handful of Jedi who survive Order Sixty-Six and then somehow escape his wrath when he investigates. So he chases them across the galaxy, and finally smothers them. Don't be sad when characters die ... it's not like you couldn't see it coming. *** I really recommend this book for any Star Wars fan, fascinated by Vader or not, because it brings more definition the main character of the entire Star Wars universe, Anakin Skywalker, except here he is coming to life as Darth Vader. His dark times are beginning, and he is embracing it ... setting up for the events of the Trilogy. I can't wait to read the next book between RotS and ANH, Outbound Flight!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is excellent. It really explores Vader's initial struggles as he begins his long career as the Emperor's emissary while being trapped in the life-sustaining suit. Continues to show how lost and confused Anakin was and how the Emperor took advantage of him. Finally, its got a great plot.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book greatly. I think many Star Wars fans will also. The book delves into how a group of Jedi, masters, knights and padawan, are trying to cope with the implementation of Order 66 and how they have to come to grips with the changes. It was interesting to see how Darth Vader and Darth Sidious interact with each other. Not a warm and fuzzy relationship by any stretch of the imagination. You also see that the new Sith Lord, Darth Vader, is trying to build and assert a new personality for himself while suppressing and distancing himself from his other self - Jedi Anakin Skywalker. A little internal problem for Vader with future ramifications. Also in the book are the revelations to Bail Organa and Obi Wan concerning Darth Vader and the implications this bit of news has as they tend to the infants in their care. The Droids are in the book also. Poor C3PO - his memory has been wiped and he has no understanding why R2D2 has the reaction he does concerning Darth Vader and Leia. All in all a wonderfully satisfying reading experience.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dark lord is a very good page turner with many interesting views between characters. The book gives great insight into what darth vader is feeling within in his new realm of dark aprenticeship. The book also has great action sequences and good dilogue among the most popular cahracters. Great ending as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Am i the only one who thought vader was bit of a wimp here? And his little journey to getting used to his cybernetic body was a bit dumb. First its like, oh poor me anakin skywalker blah blah blah then for no reason he is all cool about it. There is no oint for this book other than to fill the star wars timeline
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never before this book read anything by James Luceno but after I read it it was amazing Irecmend all of his other books as well as he is one of my favorite authors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sensei k. What does k stand for
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kills 100 nindroids in one strike Omg i shout
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not so cool
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am gonna build myself a nindroid army out of the stone soldier material and yall gonna need a new kinda weapon. Whats it gonna be? Your sensei knows.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Me too. It was a great movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
" sup
Revan97 More than 1 year ago
Star Wars Dark Lord The Rise Of Darth Vader is among the most entertaining Star Wars novels I've read. There is a great story to be told about Darth Vader and the events unfolding just after (and some actually at the time of) Revenge of the Sith and James Luceno tells that story. Although this novel has a higher number of typos than any other Star Wars book I've yet read, I believe that simply doesn't deduct from the excellent story. Over all, this book is an easy read, contains a highly enjoyable story, and has an ending that couldn't be more perfect. I hugely recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read if u love star wars