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Star Wars: Dark Lord - The Rise of Darth Vader (Star Wars: The Dark Lord Trilogy #3)

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,510 Ratings  ·  269 Reviews
The newly created Darth Vader flexes his Force-muscle as the Emperor's enforcer to maintain order and obedience in a galaxy reeling from civil war and the destruction of the Jedi Order.

To the galaxy at large, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker - the Chosen One - died on Coruscant during the siege of the Jedi Temple. And, to some extent, the was true - Anakin was dead.

But from th
Published June 1st 2006 by Arrow (first published November 3rd 2005)
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Jonlesada It serves as an excellent sequel to EP III. But beware there are some slight contradictions as this novel is not considered canon. Most people…moreIt serves as an excellent sequel to EP III. But beware there are some slight contradictions as this novel is not considered canon. Most people wouldn't notice, but it mostly deals with the awareness of certain characters. I have only read the first Dark Lord title, can't comment on the rest....(less)
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REVISED: 4/19/12

When you think about Darth Vader, many things come to mind. Dark Lord of the Sith. Bane of the Jedi. Throat-Crusher Supreme.



Of all my complaints about the new trilogy – and there are many – the biggest one has to do with how Anakin Skywalker was handled. I grew up loving Darth Vader. He was a vicious bastard, but by gods he was awesome about it. He was a hard-ass who inspired terror wherever he went, and he was a man who overcame insurmountable evils to ultimately redeem h
As a punishment I had to read this book. It is the only Star Wars novel I've ever read. It's possible that this book makes those crimes against my childhood that Lucas calls Episodes 1 through 3 look like masterpieces compared to this.

The saving bit that earned this book a star?

The author felt it was necessary to explain in detail how Darth Vader urinates and defecates. Yup, if you ever wondered how he does then this book will teach you that most secret of all Jedi tricks. If you are like me an
Crystal Starr Light
Jul 19, 2010 Crystal Starr Light rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-wars
Several Jedi, including Roan Shryne and Olee Starstone, are fighting a fierce battle on Murkhana when Order 66 arrives. Commander Climber, the clone leader amongst the Jedi, defies orders and allows the Jedi to leave. The three Jedi must then leave the planet and flee to safety, avoiding Darth Vader and his wrath.
NOTE: Based on novel and audiobook.

I Liked:
I was surprised how much I actually enjoyed this novel. If you've read my review for [[ASIN:0345442970 Cloak of Deception]], you learned how d
Did you know that Darth Vader is actually a whinging, emo sook? Neither did I until I read this book. I knew Anakin was pretty pathetic but I was hoping his transformation was the end of it. No it wasn't. He doesn't like his helmet or his prosthetic limbs or his gloves or sand. He thinks Palpatine is a big meanie. And so goes the first part of this book.

The other part revolves around Jedi Master Roan Shryne and his attempts to flee the Empire with a group of Padawans. It was interesting and serv
Mar 07, 2009 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ron by: Wendell Andrea
A necessary chapter in the expanded history of the Star Wars universe. While focused on Darth Vader's growing into his role as Sidious' apprentice and hatchet man, it also opened themes which will blossom into Episode Four.

Well-written, if pedestrian. I believe this is the first four chapter long epilogue I've encountered.
Mar 21, 2016 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Plucky Protagonists Overcoming Ruthlessly Crush Dissent
I enjoyed this one.
Luceno handles Vader with a deft touch, his transformation is made much more plausible here. For one thing, the author directly addresses how nimble young Anakin becomes the lurching techno-Franken-monster of the Original Film Trilogy.
Somewhat surprisingly, perhaps, more pages are dedicated to a plucky band of Jedi survivors who are Vader's quarry as opposed to the Big Bad himself, but this structure works well. As in the films, Vader is scarier the less we see of him.
Tyler Hurst
Feb 13, 2010 Tyler Hurst rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Had Katie and me listening earnestly as they described Vader from a perspective that we've never see in the movies.
Nov 22, 2015 Fluvia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
(English review below)

Me ha gustado muchísimo, aunque menos que El laberinto del mal , quizá porque me ha costado un poco reconocer al misterioso y tenebroso Darth Vader en el conflicto interno que se nos ha presentado, pero entiendo por qué el personaje reacciona así, con su transformación tan presente. Lo mejor de este libro es seguir el camino interno que debe librar Darth Vader contra los restos de Anakin Skywalker, y cómo va progresivamente asumiendo su papel en el Lado Oscuro y con respec
Chad Warner
Jan 13, 2010 Chad Warner rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Star Wars fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dustin Gaughran
This will be a fan boy rant, but I don't care.
For a book that's supposed to be solely about Darth Vader's rise to prominence and power after becoming the towering figure in black he's most known for, he hardly plays any role in this book. Disappointing is easily the best word to describe this book. I was expecting brutal exploits that bridge the gap from the last crappy prequel to the first original, and there were none. Hell, the entirety of this book basically covers a few month span shortly a
Oct 28, 2011 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So far, I am not impressed with this book. I'm about a third of the way through the book; so far we've had an introduction of a variety of uninteresting characters [most of whom we can assume will die by the end of the book, and thus will have no impact on the greater Star Wars story], and Darth Vader being emo. To be fair to Mr. Luceno, Anakin Skywalker was portrayed as painfully emo in the films.

I am hoping that, by the end, we'll see actual character growth out of Anakin - *something* has to
Aug 12, 2015 Jim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Of course this book is not good. I can no more blame this book for being what it is than I can blame a bird for flying. I can blame only myself, and then also blame The Star Wars Minute for dragging my mind into these nooks and crannies.

If you like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you will like.
So dissapointed with the end of my favorite character in the book (view spoiler) but still, i really liked it.

The last characters that appeared right at the end, gave me goosebumps! Won't spoil but it was great to see them. Now this Cudgel guy... (view spoiler) gave me to something to think about, that's for sure but haven't read that many Star Wars books to know more a
Apr 10, 2014 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i loved the confliction between vader and his former self. you can see throughout the book him starting to become more and more of a vader. the wanting to forget who he was before. just brilliant.
Mar 28, 2012 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since his creation, Darth Vader has made a footprint and rightfully received his place as one of the greatest villains of all time. However as the years have gone on writers and even video game creators have turned this once imposing Dark Lord of the Sith into a joke. And it's not fair. This book however made me believe in Vader's power once more. His overcoming of his handicap and truly earning his place as the second most powerful being in the galaxy was a great load off of me, a dedicated Sta ...more
Mark Armstrong
I loved two of James Luceno's other books, Darth Plagueis and Tarkin. Luceno seems like a very gifted writer, and I gave him a raving review for Plagueis and even said it should be canonized. And so should Tarkin. But he could have done better in Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader. After I finished, I saw that this book came much earlier than the aforementioned books, so I guess that's why; Luceno was still learning. Still, it's weird that there are so many good reviews.

The Darth Vader parts ar
Dec 11, 2015 Harry007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi
This is one of those mediocre 'Star Wars' novels that relies on the hype of a good idea rather than actually delivering anything significant. This is an extremely disappointing book in my view because it barely has a plot to speak of. Instead, the story is loaded with exposition rather than action scenes, meaning you're reading about history or people's thoughts and expectations and other stuff that is happening off-screen. Since I try to imagine books as movies and video games, this time it was ...more
Sep 09, 2014 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found Darth Plageous to be a much more engaging book than this one was. I found this book just didn't have the same pace or feel that Darth Plageous did. Lastly for a book that's titled after Darth Vader he played a surprisingly small role in the entire book. I guess I wish that the book had just delved more into Anakin's mental state as it depicts the events that happened in the weeks after Episode III. I mean here is a fallen hero who played a major role in destroying the order that the majo ...more
Callie Rathjen
May 06, 2011 Callie Rathjen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was a very good book. It summed up everything that happened after Star WarsIII Revenge of the Sith. It told me what Darth Vader was thinking after his makeover. It also told me what happened to other Jedi just not Obi-Wan. I give this book five stars because it kept me interested til the end It also me interested because it expanded on what I like to watch the Star Wars movies. If you love Star Wars and readin, you should really read this book.
Apr 16, 2014 Daniel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The third book in the Dark Lord trilogy doesn't suffer from the confusion of the first, but it's still a story that didn't need to be told.

Luceno jumps characters a lot, and it doesn't quite give us enough time to get to know them. Shryne would've been a good main character, but we didn't every stay on him long enough to find out. The arcs of the supporting characters are either too short or cut off. Since we already know the fate of the Jedi, the characters need to be written well so we can car
Phil Bova
Jun 04, 2015 Phil Bova rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-wars-shelf
This was a fantastic look into the world of Darth Vader following the events on Mustafar. The story line fills in nicely pre-New Hope, and author James Luceno's contextual resonance of the Star Wars universe is brilliantly displayed. His inclusion of the working dynamics of Darth Vader's suit serves as further evidence in the nature of Vader's pain along with his personal journey into the Dark Side. I enjoyed how closely related the events taking place were in the realm of the Wars mythology. Th ...more
Andrew Beet
Oct 15, 2015 Andrew Beet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book was a great read and it was good to find out how anakin skywalker became darth vader but i don't think the book needed to explain how he takes a piss and a number 2.
Jan 29, 2016 Emma rated it liked it
Originally posted on

Despite being called ‘The Rise of Darth Vader‘ he isn’t actually in this all that much. However the little insights you do get are very interesting. This takes place 2 weeks after the events in Return of the Sith and it’s interesting to see the amount of conflict going on in Anakin’s mind because even after the events on Mustafar he isn’t totally Darth Vader yet. In this you see him fully turn to the dark side (and part of the reason why he doesn’t go bac
Noah Eldreth
Dec 16, 2015 Noah Eldreth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a major Star Wars fan. This book gave me a lot of Vader I have always wanted to see in the movies. We don't see him fight many jedi, well ever besides Luke and Obi wan. It was fun to see him take on 7 or 8 jedi at once. He might have had a hand cut off, but he won!

I also enjoyed the relationship we see get expanded upon between Palpatine and Vader. His teacher really doesn't take any crap! :/ He wants Vader to overcome the emotional turmoil he has, the loss of much of his force power, the
Stephen Smotherman
This was an interesting story of Anikin Skywalker's transition to Darth Vader and having to deal with the new droid like body parts, new role as apprentice to Darth Sidious (Palpatine), and other limitations his new body gave him. It was interesting reading the first reactions to this new "Lord Vader" and how he was able to gain the fearful reputation he owns by the time Star Wars A New Hope begins. This was the perfect follow up to the Revenge of the Sith movie. I listened to the audio version ...more
Jared Mayes
Dec 03, 2015 Jared Mayes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-wars
Luceno knows how to deliver a well-rounded Star Wars novel. This is a compelling follow-up to Revenge of the Sith - even after being relegated to “Legends” status. In fact, this novel’s fall from canon is a good thing, from a certain point of view. Now it’s simply an interesting “what if” story. What if a few Jedi didn’t quite get taken out with Order 66? What if Vader isn’t real happy about his bulky black armor? Through this story frame-work, Luceno crafts a well-written but far from perfect c ...more
Lance Goff
James Luceno's Dark Lord is an okay read for the most part. If anything, it does get inside Vader's head a little so the reader can understand the turmoil Anakin/Vader is still dealing with right after the events in Revenge of the Sith. The rest of the story, while necessary to give Vader something to do, is just a little forced. The surviving Jedi who Vader is hunting, specifically Shryne, are given equal amounts of print even though their fate is pretty obvious from the beginning. In sum, the ...more
Oliver Hodson
Mar 13, 2016 Oliver Hodson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book, mostly because it had the time to flesh out vader's change to the dark side and conversion to sith. I guess we probably expected too much of the movies and it does make sense that even as he becomes Vader in the end of episode 3, he's still not completely transformed and not fully convinced. I guess I would have liked the movie to do a bit more of this character work, and even tell us more about how sith relationships work. It still kind of annoys me how in star wars al ...more
Some jedi escape Order 66 and try to work out what their role is now. Do they go against the Empire or find their own way? Meanwhile, Vader is getting used to his new body and coming to terms with his betrayal. Hunting jedi seems to be a way to guide him to the dark side.

This novel is as much about the jedi as it is Vader. So don't read this thinking its all about Vader. I grew to like the jedi and their struggles. There's some nice twists, and some great snapshots of how different planets are r
Feb 15, 2015 Steven rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was.... okay. I feel guilty that this was my first Star Wars novel. I thought it was going to be a Vader exclusive novel, but ended up being an insight on the whole Order 66 ordeal with snippets of Vader complaining about his suit. I actually didn't mind the fact that he disliked his new suit, but the entire novel lacked anything Force related. None of the characters can utilize the force in any way except for one single lightsaber throw. Really? No force-push attacks at all? It was Star Wars ...more
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hi 2 10 Aug 25, 2013 01:52AM  
Disapointed and Good 2 38 Nov 22, 2011 12:29PM  
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James Luceno co-wrote a lot of books with Brian Daley as Jack McKinney.

He is a New York Times Best-Selling author currently living in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife and youngest child.
More about James Luceno...

Other Books in the Series

Star Wars: The Dark Lord Trilogy (4 books)
  • Labyrinth of Evil (Star Wars: The Dark Lord Trilogy, #1)
  • Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
  • The Dark Lord Trilogy (Star Wars: The Dark Lord Trilogy, #1-3)

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“The time had come to give the rest of the galaxy a look at Darth Vader.” 0 likes
“Good." The Emperor sat back. "And, tell me, what is your opinion of Lord Vader's handling of the occupation of Kashyyyk?" "He proved very capable, my lord. No one involved in the operation will soon forget his ... sense of commitment, shall we say?” 0 likes
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