In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Star Wars today announced a new novel that is coming this year, telling a love story about Leia Organa and Han Solo. The Princess and the Scoundrel is written by Beth Revis wrote Rebel Rising) and releases on August 16, and in it readers will experience Han and Leia’s wedding on Endor, and then be pulled into an adventure they find themselves in while on their honeymoon on the Halcyon Starcruiser.
We knew that Han and Leia got married on Endor in the immediate aftermath of Return of the Jedi, and that it was a small, intimate ceremony with some of their closest friends. But we’ve never actually learned about that wedding – until this book. In a Q&A with Revis (who previously wrote Rebel Rising) on the StarWars.com site, the author mentions that the wedding is maybe her favorite scene from the whole book. She was therefore hesitant to give anything away about it, but did mention two things: first, when Ewoks are involved “nothing ever goes to plan,” and second, that the rings are the reason it’s her favorite scene and go on to be important symbols throughout the whole book.
It sounds like most of the book will center around their honeymoon, however, as they decide to vacation aboard the Halcyon luxury liner. The description for the book says that, “Their marriage, and the peace and prosperity it represents, is a lightning rod for everyone in the galaxy—including Imperial remnants still clinging to power.” The Imperial remnants, in the wake of their defeat at Endor, disperse across the galaxy, and as the Halcyon travels the galaxy, “one thing becomes abundantly clear: The war is not over. But as danger draws closer, Han and Leia find that they fight their best battles not alone but as husband and wife.”
The idea of a book centering around Han and Leia and their relationship is something I’m super excited about, as well as a story about the familiar heroes set in the aftermath of Endor (which we’ve gotten surprisingly little about in the last eight years, all things considered). So consider me really pumped about this… although I’ll be honest that, when I was reading the description and came across the part about them honeymooning on the Halcyon, I was thinking, “c’mon, you’ve got to be kidding me.” My first response was that this is just a shameless tie-in to the hotel at Galaxy’s Edge, and that a story like this deserves better than getting shoehorned into that. And I’ll say that a big part of that is because, like I said, for whatever strange reason stories about our original heroes in this time period have been extremely rare. I hope that changes, and I hope that this story about Han and Leia gets the treatment it deserves.
But here’s the reality: Star Wars publishing has handled similar Galaxy’s Edge tie-ins well in recent years. There have been a great deal of books and comics taking place on Batuu in recent years (far more than stories about the original heroes post-Endor… but I’ll let that one go), and it’s been handled well and treated like any other Star Wars story set on a known planet. Maybe the most pertinent example is Thrawn: Alliances (by Timothy Zahn), which told a story about familiar characters like Thrawn, Anakin Skywalker, and Padmé Amidala and managed to tie-in strongly to Batuu. In other words, I’m confident that this can work. Plus, I’m guessing that this probably wasn’t forced into the story as much as it just made sense: for example, maybe Revis already imagined Han and Leia taking a trip aboard a cruise like this, and it made sense to make it the Halcyon?
So despite my initial reaction against it, I think it can work. I’m still quite wary about its inclusion, but I trust it’ll be a fun story about two of the most beloved Star Wars characters, and the love they share. A love story about Han and Leia in the final year of the War, and how they are stronger together than they are apart? Yeah, sign me up for that!