Dark Force Rising was published in June 1992, an entire year after Heir to the Empire and a mere month before I first saw the Star Wars Trilogy in its entirety. As soon as I finished HttE I rushed to the bookstore and purchased my very own copy of the new Star Wars books. I was one of the lucky ones who didn’t have to wait a year to find out what happened next. (I wasn’t so lucky when it came to The Last Command, but that’s another story.) DFR might even have been the first piece of Star Wars merchandise I purchased all by myself, even before getting VHS copies of the films. (While HttE originally belonged to my father, it soon “magically” made its way onto my bookshelf.) And thus my status as a SWEU follower first and foremost was solidified early on in my fandom.
DFR is my least favorite book of the series, and the installment I’m least familiar with. I’ve read HttE more times, and I’ve skimmed TLC more times than I can count because of all the Luke and Mara stuff. But there are parts of DFR I really, really love. Garm bel Iblis is a great character, and while 11-year-old Nanci didn’t go quite so far as to ship him with Mon Mothma, 34-year-old Nanci totally picks up on that implication (and kind of wants to write a tragic fanfiction about them). I love that Mara Jade is willing to drop everything and ask for help from Luke kriffing Skywalker, the man she’s sworn to kill, in order to rescue Talon Karrde. I love Leia Organa Solo being the badass Lady Vader on Honoghr. And I love that by the end of this book, Luke is absolutely despondent at the idea of losing Mara, so much so that Han picks up on it. (Like I said before, Han Solo was the first L/M shipper.)
There’s not much else I can tell you about the book. I remember the basic plot beats, and being really interested in the Katana fleet mystery, but I can’t recall much more than that. Other than I liked it a lot and waiting several months to read TLC was absolute torture.
I’m really looking forward to revisiting DFR and seeing what I remember and the parts I’d completely forgotten. I hope you’ll enjoy the ride!