Star Wars Darksaber

Star Wars Darksaber

by Kevin J. Anderson

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Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, cloaked by the Force and riding with the hostile Sand People, have returned to the dunes of the desert planet Tatooine in hopes of finding what Luke so desperately seeks: contact with Obi-Wan Kenobi.  Luke is hoping the old Jedi Knight's spirit will tell him how to help his  love, Callista, regain her lost ability to use the Force.  Tormented and haunted, Luke cannot rest until Callista is a Jedi in the fullest sense, for only then will the link between their minds and souls be restored. Yet brewing on Tatooine is news that will shake Luke and Han and  threaten everything they value.

The disturbing piece of information is that the evil Hutts, criminal warlords of the galaxy, are building a secret superweapon: a reconstruction of the original Death Star, to be named Darksaber. This planet-crushing power will be in the ruthless hands of Durga the Hutt -- a creature without conscience or mercy.

But there is worse news yet: the Empire lives. The beautiful Admiral Daala, still very much alive and more driven than ever to destroy the Jedi, has joined forces with the defeated Pellaeon, former second in command to Grand Admiral Thrawn. Together they are marshaling Imperial forces to wipe out the New Republic.

Now, as Luke, Han, Leia, Chewbacca, Artoo and Threepio regroup to face these threats, they are joined by new Jedi Knights and Callista. Together they must
fight on two fronts, outshooting and outsmarting the most formidable enemies in the galaxy. In Darksaber the Jedi are heading for the ultimate test of their power--a test in which all the temptations of the dark side beckon.  And Luke Skywalker must draw upon his innermost resources to fight for a world in which he can not only live, but dare to love.

Features a bonus section following the novel that includes a primer on the Star Wars expanded universe, and over half a dozen excerpts from some of the most popular Star Wars books of the last thirty years!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307796417
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/28/2011
Series: Star Wars Legends Series
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 213,973
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Kevin J. Anderson has written many bestsellers and has been nominated for the Nebula Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and the SFX Reader’s Choice Award. He also holds the Guinness World Record for largest single-author signing.

Read an Excerpt

The time is eight years after the battle of Endor.

Grand Admiral Thrawn and the resurrected Emperor have been defeated and their forces scattered, leaving only bickering warlords to fight over the scraps of Imperial war machinery deep in the Core Systems, far behind enemy lines. The renegade Admiral Daala is believed dead, but with her lone remaining Star Destroyer she has limped back to the shelter of the tattered Empire, where she hopes one day to return to the fight for lost Imperial territory....

On Yavin 4 Luke Skywalker has formed an academy to reestablish the Jedi Knights, former guardians of the Old Republic. He has already taught many students how to use their powers with the Force; more candidates come, while others decide to go forth and help safeguard the fragile alliance of the New Republic.

In recent months Luke has destroyed the automated Dreadnaught, the Eye of Palpatine, and rescued the spirit of the Jedi woman Callista, who was trapped in the Dreadnaught's computer for decades. Luke has fallen deeply in love with her, even as she inhabits the body of one of his lost students. Though Callista is now alive again and free to love Luke Skywalker, she has inexplicably lost all of her Jedi powers in the ordeal.

Luke is desperate to find some way for Callista to get her abilities back. No matter where the search may lead him....


The banthas plodded in single file, leaving only a narrow trail of scuffed footprints across the dunes.

Twin suns hammered down on the procession. Waves of heat rippled like cloaking shields, blurring the distance and making an oven of the Dune Sea. Indigenous creatures took shelter in whatever shadow they could find until the firestorm of afternoon trickled away into the cooler dusk.

The banthas moved with no noise other than the muffled crunching of their footsteps in the sand. Swathed in strips of cloth, the Tusken Raiders astride the shaggy beasts looked from side to side, keeping watch.

Wrapped entirely in bandages, yet still uneasy about the disguise, Han Solo looked out through narrow metal tubes designed to shield the eyes from blowing grit. His mouth was covered with a corroded metal filter for the sand; the filter contained a small internal moisturizer to make Tatooine's fiery air more breathable. The other Sand People had tiny ventilators studded around their desert coverings. Only their strongest survived to adulthood, and they prided themselves on it.

Han rode on his bantha, hoping to remain inconspicuous in the middle of the procession. The hairy beast swayed as it walked, and Ha tried not to clutch its scalloped, curving horns more often than the other Tusken Raiders did. The bantha's sharp back ridges were covered with matted fur, and the disconcertingly thin saddle made the ride excruciatingly uncomfortable.

Han swallowed, taking another sip of his precious water and biting back a complaint. This had, after all, been his own crazy suggestion. He just hadn't expected Luke Skywalker would be so eager to agree, and now Han was stuck. The mission was vital to the New Republic, and he had to follow through.

With a muttered command, the lead raider urged his bantha to greater speed. The procession trudged through fine sand, winding along the crest of a shifting dune that stood like a towering sentinel in the arid ocean. Han did not grasp the dune's great size until they had ascended for the better part of an hour without reaching t-he top.

The suns grew even hotter, if that were possible. The banthas coughed and snorted, but the Sand People were focused on a mission.

Han swallowed, trying to ease his parched throat. Finally, he could remain silent no longer and whispered into the short-range transmitter implanted in his breathmask. "Luke, what's goin' on?" he said. "I've got a bad feeling about whatever they're up to."

It took Luke Skywalker a moment to respond. Han watched the thin rider two banthas ahead of him sit up straighter; Luke seemed far more comfortable in his disguise than Han felt. Of course, Luke had grown up on Tatooine--but the young man's voice now sounded bone weary as it came over the voice pickup in Han's ear.

"Nothing to do with us, Han," he said. "A few of the Sand People have vague suspicions, but they haven't centered on us yet. I'm using the Force to distract anyone who pays too much attention. No, this is something different entirely. A great tragedy . . . you'll see." Luke heaved a long breath through his breathmask. "Can't talk now. Have to concentrate. Wait until they're preoccupied, and I'll explain more."

Up ahead, Luke slumped forward in his Tusken disguise. Han knew his friend was expending an incredible amount of energy to lull the Sand People into ignoring their two unwanted guests. Luke was able to use his abilities to muddle the minds of weak individuals, but never before had Han seen his friend manipulate so many minds at once.

The trick was to keep the Sand People from noticing them; then it was easy for Luke to divert a few stray thoughts. If someone sounded an alarm and all the Sand People focused on the intruders, though, not even a Jedi Master would be able to keep up the charade. Then there would be a fight.

Tucked under his tattered robes, Han carried his trusty blaster pistol. He didn't know if he and Luke could take on the entire band of raiders--but they would make a good accounting of themselves if circumstances ever came to that.

The lead rider reached the peak of the sand mountain. The bantha's wide feet trampled the wind-sharpened edge atop the dune. The air was still, as if stunned. The sands glittered like a billion miniature novas.

Han adjusted the corroded filters over his eyes. The other banthas plodded up, surrounding their leader, who raised his cloth-wrapped arm, brandishing a wicked-looking gaffi stick. Behind the Tusken leader, his single passenger sat slumped and sullen, though it was difficult to understand the body language of these masked and alien people.

Han sensed somehow that this withdrawn passenger was the center of the ceremony. Was some kind of honor being bestowed, Han wondered, or was this man being exiled from the tribe?

The passenger slid off the lead bantha, letting himself drop from the shaggy beast. He clung to the woolly fur as if in desperation, but no sounds came from his bandaged face, not even the guttural grunts and snorts the Tuskens used as language. Head down, his eye tubes pointed toward the churned sand where bantha footprints had trampled the pristine dune, the passenger stood dejected in front of the lead rider.

The leader waited beside his mount, holding the upraised gafm stick; the other Sand People climbed down from their banthas. They thrashed their own weapons in the air. Han and Luke copied the gestures, trying to blend in.

In his disguise Luke moved slowly and wearily. This mission was taking a heavy toll on the Jedi Knight, and Han hoped they would reach their destination soon.

The forlorn passenger hesitated at the edge of the dune, gazing across the sweeping ocean of loose sands that spread to the horizon. The Sand People stood at attention and raised their gafm sticks high.

While they concentrated on the intensity of the moment, Luke's voice buzzed in Han's ear. "All right, they're distracted," he said. "I can explain. The lone Tusken Raider lost his bantha three days ago. A krayt dragon killed it, and unfortunately our friend there got away."

"What do you mean, unfortunately?" Han mumbled, hoping his voice wouldn't carry over the restless sounds of the Sand People.

"The Tusken Raiders have a very close relationship with their banthas," Luke said. "It is a mental bonding, a symbiosis, almost like a marriage. They become part of each other, bantha and Tusken. When one member of the pair is killed, the other is incomplete--like an amputee." Unconsciously, Luke flexed his cyborg hand. "He has no place in Tusken society though he is more an objea of pity than of hatred. Many believe he should have died beside his bantha, no matter what the circumstances."

"So, are they just going to kill him?" Han asked.

"Yes and no," Luke said. "They believe the spirit of the dead bantha must decide. If the spirit wishes for him to bond with another mount, our friend will find a free wild bantha in the desert, join with it, and return in triumph to the tribe, where he will be fully accepted-- even highly revered. However, if the bantha's spirit wants his rider to join him in death, then the outcast will wander hopelessly in the desert until he dies."

Han barely shook his head. "Doesn't sound like his chances are too hot."

Luke said, "Probably not--but that is their way."

The Sand People waited for the exile to make the first move. Finally, with a single anguished cry that might have been triumph or challenge, he plunged down the steep and shifting slope of the dune. The Sand People tilted their heads toward the burning sky and let out a loud ululating cry that made Han shudder.

The Tusken Raiders thrashed their gaffi sticks to wish their com-

panion well. The banthas raised up their squarish, shaggy heads and bellowed in unison, a rumbling, growling cry that shook the Dune Sea.

The lone raider waded down the steep slope. Dusty golden sand flew up around him as his feet and legs sank in. His robes flapped behind him as he plodded on. He tripped and tumbled, flailing his arms, and finally jabbed his gaffi stick deep into the uncertain surface, one arm thrust out to gain balance, leaving a swath of disturbed sand behind him.

The exiled raider heaved himself to his feet again. Sand trickled from his flowing cloaks, but still he marched ahead, not looking back. A few of the banthas bellowed again. The sound was swallowed up in the empty vastness. The outcast's drab garments soon made him disappear into the landscape.

The lead raider turned and, with a single energetic leap, mounted his bantha. The other Sand People climbed into their saddles. The banthas snorted and stomped on the loose sand.

Han got back to his seat. Luke was the last to balance himself again, and by that time the lead raider had already turned the hairy beast to the side and began to plunge down the shallower slope at the back of the dune. The other Sand People followed, marching closely in line to mask their tracks.

Han risked a glance behind him. He could just make out the single exiled raider dwindling in the distance, moving with slow determination as ripples of heat blurred his tiny figure. Soon he was swallowed completely by the unforgiving jaws of the Dune Sea

The heat of the day seemed to last forever, and Han rode in a fugue state, barely aware of his surroundings, self-hypnotized by a litany of rocking footfalls. Ahead, Luke continued to sit upright on the bantha saddle, though he wavered from time to time. Han wondered what sort of energy the Jedi Knight was tapping into.

The group camped in a thick maze of rocky badlands punctuated by pockmarked stone needles rising out of the windblown sand. Darkness fell quickly with the double sunset, and the temperature plummeted. For a while the rocks continued to throb with stored heat, but they quickly cooled.

Grunting and chufmng to each other in their baffling language, the Sand People pitched camp. Each knew his or her own duties--Han could not tell whether the individual Tuskens were male or female. Luke had said that only assigned mates were able to see each other with faces unwrapped.

Two of the younger people encircled a flat area with smaller rocks, and piled bricks of what Han realized must be dried bantha dung, the only fuel source available out in the barrens.

Han and Luke moved about, trying to appear busy. The banthas, not corralled or tied in any way, were simply led to a side canyon where they could rest for the night. Other raiders broke out packages of stringy dried meat. Han and Luke took their share and squatted on boulders.

Carefully, Han lifted his metal breathmask and jammed a piece of the meat into his mouth. He chewed and wasted several drinks of water as he tried to make the jerky palatable enough to swallow. "What is this stuff?" he muttered into the voice pickup.

Luke answered without looking at him. "Dried and salted dewback flank, I believe."

'Tastes like leather," Han muttered.

"It's more nutritious than leather . . . I think," Luke said. He turned his metal eyetubes toward Han, who could detect no expression on the wrappedup face. Han became disoriented if he swiveled his head too fast while looking through the small holes in the eyetubes.

As the Sand People finished their meal, they gathered around the blaze as a tall raider hunched near the brighter part of the fire. From the careful way he moved, the slow placement of limbs--not to mention the silent reverence the other Tuskens granted him--Han got the impression that this was a very old person.

"The storyteller," Luke's voice said in his ear.

Other raiders brought out long poles and unfurled bright clan banners marked with jagged slashes, some sort of violent written language. These must be totems, symbols not seen by the outside world at all.

A young, wiry raider sat next to the storyteller. Others came back from their bantha saddles with trophies, visual aids for the story. They

held out scraps of rough cloth, a bloodied banner. Han saw battered and cracked stormtrooper helmets like the skulls of fallen enemies; a luminous milky gem the size of his fist, which Han recognized with a start as a krayt dragon pearl, one of the rarest treasures ever to come from Tatooine.

The old man raised up his bandage-wrapped hands and began to speak. The other raiders sat enraptured as stories spilled out in low grunts and barely recognizable sounds that might have been words.

Luke translated for Han. "They're telling of their exploits, how they took an entire stormtrooper regiment many years ago. How they slew a krayt dragon and took the pearls out of its gullet. How they defeated another Tusken clan, slaughtered all their adults and adopted their children into the clan, thereby increasing their numbers."

The storyteller finished his tale and squatted lower, gesturing to the young apprentice who glanced around. Two Tusken Raiders stood on either side of the boy, holding their gaffi sticks with the axheads pointing down at the apprentice. The storyteller raised a trembling hand and turned it sideways like a knife blade. The apprentice hesitated for a moment and began to speak slowly.

"Now what?" Han said.

Luke answered. "That boy is being trained as the dan's next storyteller. The Tuskens believe very much in inflexible tradition. Once a story is set down as an oral path, it must remain forever unaltered. This boy has learned the story he is now telling about a raid on a moisture farmer who attempted to bring peace between humans and Jawas and Sand People."

"But why the weapons?" Han said. "Looks like they're ready to snuff the poor kid."

"They will, if he makes so much as one mistake. If the boy alters a single word, the storyteller will chop down with his hand, and the Raiders will kill the apprentice immediately. They

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Star Wars Darksaber 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As in all star wars novels we have the leia, han, and of course luke. In this book the hutts are in collaboration with remnants of the empire to build a super weapon. Luke, han, chewy and leia must find a way to stop them as is expected. What i liked best in this book is the reintroduction of one of the characters from return of the jedi. In rotj we only see general krix nadine for the briefest seconds. In this book we find out about his background and how he came to be with the rebellion. Best of all we a privileged to witness his immense courage and undying commitment to the cause of freedom. Read as he, along with two of his fellow agents infiltrate and sabotage durga the hutt's gigantic super laser codenamed 'darksaber.' named thus because of it's uncanny resemblance to a jedi light saber it is the size of a superstar destroyer. When finished the hutts plan to use it to force the galaxy to pay for protection. In this way they will become true galactic gangsters. General nadine it captured and tortured in an attempt to find out what the rebellion knows. He endures the pain and suffering knowing he will die within minutes as will all onboard the super weapon when it explodes. Unknown to the general han solo, luke skywalker and chewbacca are on their way to save him if they can? in 'the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.' nuff said!!!! read it or miss out.
madieraman More than 1 year ago
After reading the first couple of chapters I thought this was going to be a really good book. Unfortunately the rest of the book was pretty bad. My suggestion is to spend your money on one of the hundreds of other Star Wars books that are so much better than this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story was okay till the end and then it just got stupid.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book, but I think that there are better Star Wars Books out there. Read The Thrawn Trilogy By Timothy Zhan first, then the story line of this book makes a little more sense, and I happen to like Zhan's writing style better than Anderson's, but I would sill whole-heartedly recomend this book, it is a must-read for Star Wars fans everywhere
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like star wars or any si-fi and looking for something good, here it is!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Years have passed since Luke Skywalker turned Darth Vader back from the Force's dark side. The Rebel Alliance has recaptured Coruscant, where Leia Organa Solo (now married to Han, and mother of three small children) leads a sometimes weary life as chief of state. Luke spends most of his time on Yavin 4, training a new generation of Jedi knights in the ways of the Force. Yet as DARKSABER opens, Master Skywalker leaves his 'Jedi Academy' for a return to Tatooine, the desert planet of his boyhood. He wants to contact his dead mentor, Obi-Wan 'Ben' Kenobi, one more time and he's desperate enough to attempt this despite Ben's warning that it cannot happen again. His motivation? Callista, the woman he loves. This former Jedi knight from the old era now inhabits a new body, but somehow transferring into it from the computer core of the dreadnaught Eye of Palpatine robbed her of her powers. Luke hopes that Obi-Wan may know how those powers can be restored, because until that happens he and Callista cannot share their lives fully. What follows is a galaxy-spanning romp, with the narrative's viewpoint switching from character to character in frequent (but never disconcerting) transitions. Sometimes we're looking through the eyes of Bevel Lemelisk, designer of both the Death Star and a new, under-construction superweapon called Darksaber. Sometimes we're inside the head of Admiral Daala, Empire loyalist commander. Sometimes we're with Luke, sometimes with Leia, sometimes with cloned Jedi knight Dorsk 81. While there were a few awkward moments for me, since I only dip into the Star Wars novels occasionally and this book is a sequel to its author's earlier Jedi Academy Trilogy, I nevertheless enjoyed the adventure. The characters that were new to me, introduced in earlier Star Wars novels but not present in the films, fit into the established universe quite seamlessly and the characters I already knew stayed true to their personalities. My one real criticism is finding some passages a bit 'over the top' in the sadism department. That's a matter of taste, but - in my mind, at least - it does mean this isn't a suitable book for younger Star Wars readers. The author does have some interesting things to say, with all the subtlety I expect from really well written science fiction, about the nature of mortality and the doubtful benefits of transcending its limits. Overall? Well worth the price of admission.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this book! Kevin J. Anderson has once again created another spectacular addition to his collection! If you are new to reading Star Wars books beyond Return of the Jedi, read this book IMMDEIATELY. I read this book for a book report for English class, and I finished my book before anyone else it was so good! The main plot throughout this book is that Durga the Hutt is building a reconstruction of the Death Star called Darksaber. Enjoy this time and time again! RECOMMENDED FOR ALL STAR WARS FANS!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Don't get me wrong I did enjoy the book. Yet I agree with the comment that there was too much 'goofiness' going on throughout the story. On the positive side though, I enjoyed reading about Bevel Lemelisk. It is interesting to read into some of the unseen characters behind such creations as the Death Star (like Qwi Xux), and reading the details of some of Bevel's executions at the hands of the Emperor was enjoyable. I like this aspect because it gives you a better idea of how the Empire worked from within, rather than just via massive space vessels and constant laser fire. I disagree with the statement about the Hutt's plan to dominate the galaxy being unrealistic (not that Star Wars is actually realistic). The author made it a point to state that Durga would use the Darksaber as a tool to extort 'protection' money from whole planetary systems, just as many organized criminal groups do today. He didn't want to be the Emperor, he wanted to be a 'Don!'
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the perfect example of why more Star Wars movies should be made. I read this when I was in 5th grade. I didn't speed read, and I really didn't like reading that much. But this book was too good. I read the thing in three hours. I literally did not take my eyes off of it. I don't think that there is another Star Wars that can top this book. EVERY STAR WARS FAN MUST MUST MUST READ THIS BOOK!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It seemed to have gone by so fast (even though it took me a while to read it) because I enjoyed it so much. I like it that it had a lot of things going on at once, which all met and became one in the end. I also liked the original ways which the jedi trainees defended their temple. I recomend this book to anyone who likes SW.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is an excellent book. it tells how the hutts are building another death star
Guest More than 1 year ago
Details are amazing. Really awesome. Can't get much better than this!
mpfredrick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this book not to live up to Kevins other work. It was far too political and not enough story involved to engage my interest.
okdavy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
You've got to be kidding. Yet another Star Wars story where a planet busting super laser threatens the peace of the galaxy and a small group of good guys has to stop it...snore....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book looks so lame. What a dumb concept. Dont even bother its not worth it:p <br> 0 Stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read for laughs about funny hutts
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you must, get from the library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Luke rules the star wars galaxy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First off let's begin by saying Kevin J Anderson is quite possible the worst Star Wars author ever and this book is a shinning example why such an argument can be made. Let's begin, the Hutts build a death star, they do it quicker than the empire did, but are so fat they struggle putting there finger into a blaster trigger guard and waste most of a page stuggling to put it on just so they can personally shot the guy who tried to blow up there death star rather then just have a guard do it. This is the logic that floats around thoughout this book. Oh and let's not forget Jedi students force pushing a super star destroyer across a solar system in a fraction of a second (that's right they broke the speed of light while doing it too) but don't worry though there was a consiquence for this, the super weak jedi died but all the others where fine due to his sacrific... I mean really how does that respect me as a reader and not just insult my intelligence.
vlad63 More than 1 year ago
A young man named Luke Skywalker roams the galaxy in desperate need of help. Luke contacts his old friend Han solo to help him arrive on the planet Tatooine. With the help of the fastest ship in the galaxy, &ldquo;The Millennium Falcon&rdquo; they arrive to the dunes of the desert planet to help Luke&rsquo;s love Callista regain her Jedi power.  My favorite character is Luke Skywalker because he&rsquo;s like the ladies man in the book the one who takes his girls side, &ldquo;he smiled in a wistful sigh as he found his target. &ldquo;All right,&rdquo; he said and turned to Callista.&rdquo; Looks like we&rsquo;ll go to Dagobah first.&rdquo; Honestly if you&rsquo;re that type of person who loves romantic, sci-fi, action books this is a great book from beginning to end. The message the author is getting by is that no matter how far the journey you&rsquo;ll make it as useless as you are powerful. It was a great book but in my opinion I would have lowered the level of adventure and heightened the love behind this story spiraling from Luke to Callista. 
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