BBY/ABY is used to position items along the Star Wars Timeline. BBY refers to Before the Battle of Yavin. ABY refers to After the Battle of Yavin. The Battle of Yavin in Episode IV: A New Hope occured in 0 BBY/ABY.
The Youtini Expanded Universe Ranking system is a 1-5 scale that ranks EU book quality, difficulty, and importance. Books closer to Level 1 are easier to read and understand, more important, and of higher quality.
The New Republic is already on the brink of collapse with Grand Admiral Thrawn’s plight to re-conquer the galaxy, but its problems are far from over. A traitor has found its way into the highest level of its leadership at the same time as Luke Skywalker has been lured away by the promises of the long-forgotten, unstable Jedi Jorus C’baoth. Just as things seem as dark as they can get, Han and Lando learn that Thrawn is on the brink of making a discovery that could bring an end to the New Republic altogether.
The second installment of the Thrawn trilogy manages to raise the stakes even higher than the first. Timothy Zahn—like Grand Admiral Thrawn himself—is in top form in this novel.
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 New 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 battle, overwhelm the New Republic, and impose his iron rule throughout the galaxy.
Meanwhile, Han and Lando Calrissian race against time to find proof of treason inside the highest Republican Council - only to discover instead a ghostly fleet of warships that could bring doom to their friends and victory to their enemies.
Yet most dangerous of all is a new Dark Jedi, risen from the ashes of a shrouded past, consumed by bitterness...and scheming to corrupt Luke Skywalker to the Dark Side.
Dark Force Rising continues the story of the struggle against Grand Admiral Thrawn as he continues to play with the fate of the galaxy like one would play holochess. As he continues to stay one step ahead, more events come to light that make the fate of the galaxy seem even more bleak. Dark Jedi, warship fleets, and potential traitors to the New Republic all find their way into this book. Definitely pick this up once you've finished Heir to the Empire.
Zahn's continuation of the original Thrawn trilogy introduces another epic piece of Star Wars lore: the Katana fleet. Fans of Heir to the Empire will feel right at home with this second novel in the series that, much like the Empire Strikes Back, explores somewhat darker tones and finds our main gang in slightly more peril. Thrawn's evolution as an all-time villain continues as his overall scheme begins to reveal itself even more, despite the somewhat dense writing at times, the book has enough momentum to keep you racing through to the next entry in the series.
The Original Thrawn Trilogy is hallowed ground when it comes to Star Wars books. Specifically, Dark Force Rising is a true masterpiece, following the vein of the Empire Strikes Back as the second in a perfectly cohesive trilogy. The plot points with the search for the Katana fleet, Joruus C'baoth training Luke, and Leia's time on Honoghr with the Noghri perfectly balance the action/adventure, suspense, and battle of light and dark that make Star Wars what it is. He commands both the Original Trilogy characters and his massive cast of proprietary characters with incredible skill—I especially love both Lando and Garm Bel Iblis in this book. On top of all that, Thrawn stands out as one of the greatest villains in all of Star Wars! One thing's for sure: don't stop after Heir to the Empire.
The embattled Republic reels from the attacks of Grand Admiral Thrawn, who has marshaled the remnants of the Imperial forces and driven the Rebels back with an abominable technology recovered from the Emperor's secret fortress: clone soldiers. As Thrawn mounts his final siege, Han and Chewbacca struggle to form a coalition of smugglers for a last-ditch attack against the empire, while Leia holds the Alliance together and prepares for the birth of her Jedi twins.
Overwhelmed by the ships and clones at Thrawn's command, the Republic has one last hope: sending a small force, led by Luke Skywalker, into the very stronghold that houses Thrawn's terrible cloning machines. There a final danger awaits, as the Dark Jedi C'baoth directs the battle against the Rebels and builds his strength to finish what he had already started: the destruction of Luke Skywalker.
It’s five years after the Rebel Alliance destroyed the Death Star, defeated Darth Vader and the Emperor, and drove the remnants of the old Imperial Starfleet to a distant corner of the galaxy. Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting Jedi twins. And Luke Skywalker has become the first in a long-awaited line of Jedi Knights.
But thousands of light-years away, the last of the Emperor’s warlords, Grand Admiral Thrawn, has taken command of the shattered Imperial fleet, readied it for war, and pointed it at the fragile heart of the New Republic. For this dark warrior has made two vital discoveries that could destroy everything the courageous men and women of the Rebel Alliance fought so hard to build.