That's right, we're back in high school. Your resident nerd is here to give you a run down on one of the many novels that have the Star Wars branding.
We'll start off with basic details about the novel, and then move into spoilers. (Don't worry, I'll warn you just in case you want to go read it.)
Published: 1994 by Bantam Books
Canon or Legend: Legend. When it was published, it was canon, but was later demoted to a legend.
Time Period: A few years after Episode IX: Return of the Jedi
Setting: Coruscant (home of the New Republic) and Dathomir (notable for being the planet Darth Maul, Asajj Ventress, and the Night sisters are from).
Characters You Already Know: Princess Leia (as the title indicates), Han Solo, Chewbacca, Luke Skywalker, C3PO, and R2-D2
Synopsis: Princess Leia is busy helping the New Republic get rolling and has no time for love. That is, until the Queen of the wealthy Hapes system comes bearing gifts and the offer to join the New Republic... if Leia marries the Hapan prince, Isolder. Leia is instantly attracted to the gorgeous prince and knows than an alliance with the Hapans would be huge for the New Republic. But her heart-strings pull at her desire for Han solo, who won't give the princess up without a fight. Who will she choose in the end?
Okay, if you're intrigued, go grab a copy of the book. If you're impatient or just want the meat of the story, read on for spoilers.
Let's dive in.
So obviously given the fact that Kylo Ren is Leia and Han's son, Leia picks the scoundrel over the prince in the end. Uhh, I mean she chooses love over duty. Either way, it's fun to see Han work for it when he gets jealous that Leia is kissing another guy (who isn't her brother this time).
Like all Star Wars stories, the action between the lovers is more romantic than it is spicy. Interpret that how you will.
It's a fun book to read because you know the characters and it's a continuation of the original Star Wars saga. Wolverton does an excellent job of staying true to George Lucas's characters and universe. He also nailed giving a voice to the characters who don't speak "Basic" like R2-D2 and Cherie.
The cool thing about this book is that it actually introduced the planet Dathomir. Although the book isn't
canon, they did take the concept of Dathomir and run with it, making the planet and its inhabitants canon in the clone Wars series. So if you're an Asajj Ventress fan, you can thank Dave Wolverton.
The Night sister time line is a bit funky if you think about it too much in context with The Clone Wars. My brain automatically bridged the gap by saying "the Night- sisters were wiped out during the Clone Wars and reborn again through Gethzerion. (Artist rendering below.)
Although I knew Han and Leia would end up together, what I did not expect was for Prince Isolder to fall in love with a Dathomirian witch.
There are other tribes of witches on Dathomir, and it's revealed that the magic they do is really just Force-wielding on a small scale. One of the more powerful witches, Teneniel Djo captures Isolder to make him her slave, and out ofnowhere (maybe through Stockholm syndrome) Isolder and Teneniel fall in love in the end, Isolder decides to marry her instead.
Luke is there too! We get to see him be a more trained and balanced Jedi. He was there to save everyone with his powers honestly. But at one point he did something that Rey and Grogu are able to do in the newer Star Wars additions: he is able to heal with the Force.
I've heard multiple people ask how Rey and Grogu possessed such immense power, and according to legend, Luke had it too. Although Rey and Grogu used their abilities to heal others, Luke uses it to heal himself. Luke is nearly killed in a face-off with Gethzerion and uses the life energy from the Force- inhabited objects around him to heal himself. This process takes like three hours compared to the three seconds it takes on screen, but you gotta keep things moving on camera. My point is: it's possible.
Back to Han and Leia. Leia falls in love with Han all over again because he is who he is: a reckless, daring scoundrel who goes after what he wants. He’s willing to give his life so that Leia can live and towards the end, he realizes that Leia is bound by duty and is ready to sacrifice their relationship for the good of the galaxy. Of course, he doesn’t have to die or lose Leia, but by being more than prepared to do so he was able to get her back. The moral of the story? If you act like a child, the girl will marry the prince; if you act like a man, you get to marry the girl.
We also get a shriek-worthy moment when Leia tells Han she loves him. And you guessed it, he says "I know."
I personally enjoyed this romance and am looking forward to my next read in the Star Wars extended universe.