|Star Wars: Dark Force Rising cover by Matthieu Lauffray|
Admiral Thrawn orders his troops on Myrkr to attack Talon Karrde's base.
|Grand Admiral Mitth'raw'nuruodo Thrawn|
Talon, Mara Jade, and crew, however, have escaped into space and are watching Thrawn's ship, the Chimaera, from behind an asteroid.
Thrawn figures out where Karrde is and gives chase. Mara punches their ship, the Wild Kardde, into hyperspeed and they escape.
On Sluis Van, Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian spot Niles Ferrier. They stop him and his crew from stealing ships for the Empire and send them out of the system.
Han Solo and C-3PO return to Coruscant and are greeted by Princess Leia, who ushers Solo into the trial Borsk Fey'lya is bringing against Admiral Gial Ackbar to testify about the Sluis Van attack. Solo tells them about Thrawn.
Luke is looking into who Jorus C'baoth is. He was a Jedi sent to look for life outside the galaxy and apparently never came back.
Winter then summons Luke to a meeting with Leia, Han, and Chewbacca. They are talking about Fey'lya and say that he joined the Rebellion after the battle of Yavin. He was then involved in a battle against the Empire on New Cov. Han says they'll start investigating Fey'lya by going to New Cov.
Chewbacca then tells them all about Leia agreeing to go meet Khabarakh. Han doesn't like it, but he allows her to go. She takes Chewie and C-3PO with her.
On Rishi, Talon tells Mara about the Katana fleet, also known as the Dark Force. It was a Republic fleet that got lost ten years before the Clone Wars. Talon found it fifteen years ago by accident, but was reluctant to sell. He still is, not knowing which side to sell them to.
When Mara goes out for supplies, she is attacked by a bounty hunter named Dengar Roth, sent by Admiral Thrawn. She is able to use the Force to fight and kill him.
Thrawn says that his ally, Fey'lya, is moving things along nicely. He sets a course for the Honoghr system to talk to the Noghri.
On Ilic, Han and Lando spot Breil'lya, one of Fey'lya's top aides, and Han decides to follow him. He is caught, however, by Irenez.
The Empire raids the place just as Han is taken before Breil'lya and Sena. Breil'lya wants to kill Solo, but Sena says her commander has ordered her to help Solo escape. Luke meets up with them while Lando is in the landing bay. Stormtroopers have placed a restraining bolt on R2-D2.
Sena Leikvold Midanyl
With Irenez's help, the four free their ships and escape Ilic with Irenez. She says her commander wants to see Solo again. It's someone he knows. Luke heads toward Jomark to meet Master C'baoth.
Meanwhile. Khabarakh meets Leia, Chewie, and C-3PO and takes them to Honoghr in his ship. When they arrive, however, they see Thrawn also arriving and divert to Khabarakh's village instead of going to the main city of Nystao. The Imperials notice Khabarakh turning back and wonder what he's hiding. Thrawn orders that they follow Khabarakh.
K and party land a few minutes ahead of them and K introduces Leia, the Mal'ary'ush to his clan's Maitrakh. When Thrawn and his team arrive, the Maitrakh hides the new arrivals while K goes and lies to Thrawn.
Irenez navigates Solo and Lando to her commander's base. When they arrive, Solo sees that it is former Senator Garm Bel Iblis from Corellia.
Garm Bel Iblis
Thrawn's officer captures Niles Ferrier and Thrawn threatens him unless he steals some war-class ships for him. His officers on Honoghr have also finished searching K's ship and have found Wookie hairs on board.
The Maitrakh asks Leia to leave Honoghr. She says they gave their allegiance to Lord Vader and the Empire when Vader sent troops, droids, and supplies to rebuild their planet after a battle with the Rebellion destroyed it.
It is at this point that Thrawn comes for another visit and arrests K for lying to him. The others are hiding inside the hut.
Luke lands on Jomark and meets Master C'baoth. After seeing C'baoth act violently in settling a dispute, Luke begins to suspect that C'baoth has gone insane.
Bel Iblis tells Han and Lando that he's been waging his own private war against the Empire and that Fey'lya gave them some ships once. Han and Lando recognize the ships as coming from the Dark Force Katana fleet. Sena asks them to offer Bel Iblis a position in the Republic. They do so, asking him to bring the Katana fleet and be a hero to the Republic. Bel Iblis says he'll think about it, but still holds a grudge against Mon Mothma for taking leadership of the Alliance when he also wanted the position.
Wedge Antilles meets Mara and gives her a ship. As she's leaving the planet, she is stopped by an Imperial Star Destroyer, sent from Thrawn. Mara gives the captain the code to identify herself as the Emperor's Hand.
Less than a day later, she is aboard the Chimaera, talking to Thrawn. She offers to find out from Karrde where the Katana fleet is if Thrawn will lift the warrant on Karrde. Thrawn agrees and gives her eight days to deliver the Dark Force's location.
Leia decides to leave Honoghr, but she needs to steal a ship from Nystao to do so, and she needs to rescue Khabarakh before he's tortured into telling Thrawn that his clan helped hide Leia and the whole clan is killed for it. Maitrakh offers to help.
Han and Lando get a transmission from Luke, asking them to meet him on New Cov. When they get there, however, they see that it was Ferrier who sent the mission. He says he knows someone who knows where the Katana fleet is and will give the Republic half of the ships with the option to buy the other half from him if they will help him find the person who knows where the fleet is. Han and Lando turn him down, not believing his story, but that's okay to Ferrier because all he really wanted to do was put a homing beacon on their ship.
Mara returns to Karrde and is surprised to find that Thrawn has followed her back. He apparently didn't trust her to find out where the Dark Force was. She attacks him, but Rukh stops her, putting her in a choke hold. Mara apologizes and Thrawn forgives her, saying that he will only keep Karrde prisoner until he gives up the location of the Katana fleet.
Mara leaves and makes plan to rescue Karrde, but feels she needs Luke's help to do it. She travels to Jomark to warn Luke that C'baoth is working with the Empire. C'baoth is about to attack her when Luke comes on them. C'baoth warns Luke not to leave, to bring Leia and her twins to him, but Luke has seen enough. When he decides to leave, C'baoth attacks them, but they are saved by R2-D2 shooting C'baoth from Luke's X-Wing.
Luke and Mara leave C'baoth unconscious and head for the Chimaera. They act as though they're making a delivery and then sneak on board, rescue Karrde from his cell, and escape with the Millennium Falcon.
On Honoghr, Leia realizes that when Vader came to help the Noghri, he was actually seeding the planet with a changed version of the native Kolm-grass that inhibited other plants from growing around it. She tells the Noghri and proves it with a demonstration. Seeing the truth, they then allow her to leave the planet with Khabarakh.
Han and Lando board the Coral Vanda casino submarine on Pantolomin. Ferrier has his wraith kidnap Solo. It is then that Thrawn attacks. Solo escapes the Wraith in the confusion and then he and Lando escape the casino in the lifepods.
When everyone gathers back together, Fey'lya sends Admiral Drayson to verify Karrde's information on where the Katana fleet is located. Karrde advises Leia to send her own team. She does so and Luke, Han, Chewie, Lando, and Wedge, along with a small team travel to the Dark Force fleet.
Admiral Hiram Drayson
Fey'lya arrives shortly thereafter with Leia and Karrde aboard the Quenfis, commanded by Captain Virgilio.
Captain Sarin Virgilio
Virgilio arrests Fey'lya and re-enters the fight. Thrawn is about to take the Chimaera into battle, but C'baoth arrives and demands an audience with him. Thrawn sends another ship to take his place.
Mara Jade and the rest of Karrde's crew then show up in ships and aid the Rebel forces. Bel Iblis and his army arrive next. The Rebellion wins the battle.
On the Chimaera, C'baoth says he is returning to Wayland to take over the Mount Tantiss project.
When Luke and Han examine the stormtroopers, they realize they are clones, which means the Empire has found a set of Spaarti cylinders and can raise an army quicker than ever.