• Star Wars: Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader

  • By: James Luceno
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (5,382 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

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, Padme Amidala. Separated after Padme'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.

©2005 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM; Random House Audio, a divsion of Random House, Inc. (P)2005 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM; Random House Audio, a divsion of Random House, Inc.

Featured Article: Remembering Carrie Fisher with Our Favorite Quips and Quotes from Her Writings


Actress, writer, and advocate Carrie Fisher, best known for her performance as the bold, intelligent, and morally-grounded Princess Leia Organa in the Star Wars film franchise, was a hero to so many—an outspoken, brilliant, and, quite frankly, hilarious film icon who stood out from the Hollywood crowd. The late Star Wars star's legacy lives on forever in her candid memoirs and incisive fiction. Read on for Carrie Fisher's best quotes.

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What listeners say about Star Wars: Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader

Average Customer Ratings
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Abridged

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

No. It's in abridged form. I didn't see that before I hit the buy button. Why would I recommend an incomplete book? Why did Luceno agree to abridge this book? It ruins the story.

What did you like best about this story?

It was an interesting look at at Vader's personal world, but not near enough. I kept wanting to delve deeper into what makes him tick, but we'd just scratch the surface. I like Luceno and his character point of view stories. I'm looking forward to Tarkin. Also, I'd like a longer shot of each character's history instead of a short period. Plagueis was good because it spanned so much time, and the reader got a broader view of the characters life and motives.

44 people found this helpful

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Why abridge this story

Why abridge so many of these books grrrrrrrre I hate that they do that bah bah bah bah bah at bah

101 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The story needed to be told

For all the star wars fans who were left with an empty feeling after Revenge of the Sith. Dark Lord gives you an inside look at Darth Vader! His Feeling his towards his new self and the jedi. Includes sound effects, a must for all star wars fans.

16 people found this helpful

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Solid, wish it was Unabridged though.

Would you listen to Star Wars: Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader again? Why?

Yes. Luceno didn't disappoint. Would like the unabridged version.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Star Wars: Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader?

The best part of the book was the inner dialogue of Vader. I never realized how much pain he was going through inside the suit.

Any additional comments?

Narrator was fantastic.

42 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Force Lives!

As one of the premier authors of the Star Wars series, James Luceno is known for the depth of his insights and the skill of his storytelling. In "Dark Lord" he demonstrates his skills at their finest. The story brings the Star Wars fan into new revelations about the development of critical characters and the abridged story moves smoothly, holding the listeners interest throughout. The production value of the story is a treat, providing plenty of "extras" to enhance the listeners enjoyment of the audio and nothing to get in the way.

"Dark Lord" is a true triumph in the Star Wars pantheon.

18 people found this helpful

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This should have been unabridged.

I am really enjoying Jonathan Davis's narration of the Star Wars galaxy. This should have been included in the official Star Wars Cannon.

7 people found this helpful

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The bridge between Anakin and Vader

I know some didn't like how whinny Vader was in this story and to be honest at first I didn't either, however, Vader has only existed a short time when this story starts and this story shows Vader going from the whinny Anakin Skywalker to the infamous Darth Vader many have come to fear and love over the years.

I do like the bridge stories because they fill in the gaps when cannon throws a wrench into everything many authors wrote and I am sure The Force Unleashed will throw even more wrenches into things we have all come to accept as fact within the star wars universe. Expect more bridges. To date my favorite bridge books are the Darth Bane trilogy.

7 people found this helpful

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Favorite Star Wars Audiobook

Would you listen to Star Wars again? Why?

I have listened to I think 80% of all the available SW Audiobooks and this is my favorite book. I don't know exactly what it is, but I just LOVE it! I got this audiobook when it came out in 2005 and I have listened to it at least a dozen times since then. Whether it was at college, commuting/road trip, or at work this book is just so entertaining. It has everything I love about the movies and what I love about the clone war. The time between Episode 3 and 4 is my favorite time period in Star Wars. I just love this book!

Have you listened to any of Jonathan Davis’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

When I first. Heard this I couldn't imagine anyone else doing Star Wars books. I love Marc Thompson but Jonathan Davis is fantastic.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

It's about time!!!

For years, I yearned for Star Wars audio to be added to Audible and noticed that finally, they are. The narrator is clear and conscise; sound effects are as always, "Lucas approved perfection" and James Luceno has written another great addition to the saga. For those listeners who are not avid Star Wars readers, this book is a great listen. However, people like me who have read just about every book, the abridged addition is a bit of a disappointment. The numerous characters, weapons and "other stuff" in this book can be confusing to some, since there are many but it is a definite must listen especially with the cool sound effects.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable

I downloaded this book as a casual Star Wars fan simply wanting to be entertained while I exercised. I thought the story line sounded pretty interesting and this book certainly delivered in that respect. For me, the sound effects and "radio-play" feel of the reading worked. It helped me escape and lose myself in the SW universe.

I would recommend this for someone who simply wants to be entertained, pure and simple. No deep thinking necessary. Just sit back and enjoy it.

By the way, it seriously whetted my appetite for the next book in the series, if there is to be one. Something to fill the gap between the end of Dark Lord and the beginning of A New Hope would be great.

8 people found this helpful

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  • JPG68
  • 03-15-16

A disappointing collage of prior Star Wars moments

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Many Star Wars fans might enjoy this story - especially those who have not yet seen Revenge of the Sith. There are some interesting moments between Vader and Palpatine, but that was it.

What was most disappointing about James Luceno’s story?

There was so little originality in it. It was mostly a rerun of much of Revenge of the Sith, from the moment order 66 took place, but featuring different characters in slightly different situations.

The characters were neither original nor particularly interesting or easy to care about, sticking to very established Star Wars types.

It added almost nothing to the Star Wars Universe, preferring to rehash what had already been seen.

Have you listened to any of Jonathan Davis’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I've heard his narration of Star Wars 'Kenobi' where the story allowed him much freer reign. it's because of his narration of that story that I bought this one. His narration is the one highlight of an otherwise overly familiar tale and I would happily seek out more work by him.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

See above. Disappointment. 'Dark Lord :The Rise of Darth Vader' was little more than a collage of previous phrases, characters and situations.

Several books in the Expanded Universe also suffer from this syndrome, preferring to give authenticity to their story by echoing what has gone before, rather than creating something new in the same spirit.

If you've watched Revenge of the Sith, you really do not need to read this book.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-13-20

The Abridged Menace

After listening to the unabridged Darth Pagueis book, I enjoyed a decent Star Wars book so much that I wanted more. So I bought this book. Normally, I would have checked if it was abridged, but I have found that with Audible, none of the books I have chosen in several years have been adridged, so I failed to check.
I found the story to be light weight and unsatisfying, as many reviews state the book to be and hiw I always feel after reading the adridged version of any book and sadly there doesn't seem to be an unabridged version available.
I'm sure an unabgridged version would be better.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-22-19

Star Wars: An Average Story

This story has some good parts in it, but not nearly enough about Vader and his early days as a Sith. It starts promisingly and brilliantly describes how Vader struggled to cope with his suit and inabilities. Also the memories and understanding of what he done in his last day as Anakin. But this personal torment kind of fizzles out and leaves a pretty standard and predictable story. It’s more a book on uninteresting Jedi’s really. They pretty much dominate the book. While some may enjoy this, I think the author passed up on a good thing which was the early turmoil of Darth Vader.
The narrator is spot on as he always is in these Star Wars books.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Megabiblion
  • 09-10-18

The Bane Legacy Fulfilled

Just finished "Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader" and, man, do I enjoy James Luceno’s Star Wars storytelling. I recommend reading John Jackson Miller's “Kenobi” either after or before this because they tie in neatly. Excellent story writing and characters easily worthy of a movie. I love the subtle links back to the Darth Bane legacy and the motives of the scarred Anakin to serve Sidious even though he knows his plotting. It’s not all spelled out like painting-by-numbers, rather it’s all woven carefully and unfolds very nicely. A book written for fans and not to placate Hollywood’s lowest common denominator. Superb entertainment.

1 person found this helpful

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  • JPks
  • 05-26-16

meh

Pretty poor story. No real thrust towards a decent climax. Unimaginative with very few m9ments of interest. I'm glad it's not canon.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr. OJS
  • 05-14-16

Good but abridged

Fun but lightweight. Gives a taster of the Darth Vader transition. Would have liked a bit more.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nick Morris
  • 02-07-16

Really enjoyable!! well read and good story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

yes, adds a bit more depth to the story

What was one of the most memorable moments of Star Wars: Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader?

the struggle of Vader

What about Jonathan Davis’s performance did you like?

Excellent

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

over 2 days

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-06-22

Amazing

Loved the book and loved the characters. Listened too a good few of these now and love how when you start the book you think it’s not gonna be as good as the last one you listened too and it just gets better in its own way. Amazing

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-27-22

A Dark Lord Rises

Great way to lose a few hours at work. It could of been more about the internal conflict of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. But I did enjoy it.
Well read, good sound effects and they weren't over used.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 06-12-22

boring naff

this review is better than the book. random sound effects silly voices disappointing naff chaff

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  • Rupert
  • 03-06-18

slow start but epic finish

my first EU novel. slow start but builds momentum as the story grows with Vader's own personal journey of discovery. sound effects were a little much at times but also appropriate at other times. reading was professional and engages the listener.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 01-18-17

mediocre

It might be just that I had just listened to a vastly superior book: 'Dune' by Frank Hurbert that i feel disappointed by this work.

I found this book to be uncaptivating. Uninteresting. it has the flavour of run-of-the-mill starwars books with little depth and strong predictability.

This book serves as a spin-off of the movies. which tries to produce congruence between the canon of the classic trilogy and the prequal trilogy.

I suggest you save your audible credits for other EU books. The thrawn trilogy, the darth bane trilogy & darth plagueis to name a few gems.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-05-20

not much Vader

for a book witb this title there was hardly any Vader in it disappointing

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gav
  • 01-24-20

Loved every minute of it

I've listened to quite a few Star Wars books now and this one is up there with one of the best. It provided a great insight into how Anakin became Darth and coming to terms with his situation.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-22-22

Great!

Great story that is very well narrated.
Only issue i have is that it could have used more Vader given that's what the book is about.

Ending and Prologue was fantastic.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-18-21

Absolutely Amazing

Amazing book, loved it. Great explanation of after ROTS. Cudos to Jonathan Davis for the great narration.

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  • winston
  • 02-28-21

your lack of faith disturbs me

back story into some of the battles and missions of anikin..i mean Vader. not 100% about vader but more of the picture is painted. little bit of chewy, kenobi and others in there. awesome reading performance as always.

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  • Beejay
  • 07-22-20

Make this into a TV series

This should be a Disney plus series Vader is a bad ass an I want more

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  • K-2
  • 12-26-19

Good narration

The story does not ad much to the Star Wars lore but offers some glimpses into Anakin's mind and how he accepts his role as Darth Vader, Sith apprentice and empire enforcer but makes Shryne a much better character.It is entertaining but not the best from James Luceno. On the other hand, the narration is excellent, really enjoyable from the sound effects to the characterization of the narrator.