The Princess and the Scoundrel, by Beth Revis, releases next week, but we’ve already been able to read quite a bit from it.
The first excerpt from the book focused on Luke telling Leia about Vader’s redemption. The second excerpt saw Luke and Leia talking about what the future might look like for them. A third excerpt was then released, about Han proposing marriage to Leia. And now there’s been a fourth excerpt released, just days ahead of the book’s release, by StarWars.com.
This one is the only one of the four to take place after Han and Leia leave Endor, after their wedding, as they begin their honeymoon on the Halcyon. Their first stop leads to some suspicion about a strange tower and a potential Imperial presence, and Leia wants to investigate. And as Han talks with Leia, she confesses that part of the reason why is because she wants to make a difference while she still can – explaining that, once the galaxy finds out she is Vader’s daughter, everything will change.
“Once the galaxy knows my secret, people will see me differently,” Leia says at one point. “It will limit what I’ll be able to do to help others; they’ll question, at the very least, my motives.” A little later on, she adds, “I know I will no longer be trusted if . . . once people know. If I have a position in the new government, it will be recalled. Any work I’ve done will be criticized, possibly dismantled. I’ll lose everything.”
The excerpt mentions that when Leia says all of this Han gets a strange feeling, like he got when Leia confidently said Luke had survived the second Death Star explosion, and it’s clear that Han believes this statement from Leia is also because of her connection with the Force. Which is true, since Leia’s statements are eerily prescient of what is to come.
In Claudia Gray’s excellent book Bloodline, set around 25 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, Leia’s secret is finally revealed. In a move designed to discredit Leia’s nomination for First Senator (the replacement for the Galactic Chancellor), the news is made public to the galaxy, and it effectively ruins any political future for her. Instead, as she continues to stumble upon more and more concern about the First Order, Leia breaks away from the New Republic government and forms the Resistance to counter the rising threat.
So, of course, Leia is right. When the secret is revealed her political career is ruined. But what she doesn’t see is that when it happens, her life’s work won’t collapse with her career. The Resistance will be born, and Leia will remain the beacon of hope the galaxy needs as the storm nears and darkness overtakes the Republic. In the end, the Republic is wiped out – and only Leia remains to stand in the way of the resurgent evil.
Because, as Leia tells Han, “I can’t stop helping others. I can’t just quit being myself. And part of it is because this is the way I believe I should live my life. This is the work I love.”