Mashable has our second excerpt from Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath: Life Debt, featuring a pregnant Leia Organa trying to commune with the Force.
We already knew Han Solo and Chewbacca played a part in the book – in addition to the title and the Millennium Falcon on the cover, they show up in the first excerpt – but this is our first look at Leia in the time period immediately following Return of the Jedi.
IGN has debuted four new posters for the upcoming Leia Organa-centric novel Bloodline that will be given out at C2E2 and “other upcoming conventions.”
The posters also give us some hints at the book’s plot. Leia is a candidate for First Senator, a position I’ll allow the more politically motivated to debate. What I find far more intriguing is the graffiti: Are we finally getting a book that actually explores the political ramifications of Leia’s parentage? It’s a ball the old Expanded Universe material dropped – Luke and Leia being twins and Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker’s kids became public knowledge somewhere along the line, but it was rarely treated as big deal, at least for Leia. (And she was Chief of State – aka Chancellor – for several books. Maybe we’ll even find out what she’s Senator of this time! Ahh, ’90s EU. I love you, but you had issues.)
We know, thanks to Before the Awakening, that the twin issue is already public – Leia refers to ‘my brother’ when Poe Dameron meets her for the first time, and he knows she means Luke – but nothing about the Vader connection until now.
Bloodline, by Lost Stars author Claudia Gray, is our first look at the galaxy at a midpoint between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Given where we end up in The Force Awakens, this is a pretty intriguing thread to pull…
Speaking of the New Republic and potential problems, some sample pages for Pablo Hidalgo’s Star Wars Propaganda have been spotted (via Jedi Bibliothek) on Edelweiss. It’s not the easiest thing to read at the size provided, but if you can manage the spread on the First Order is the clearest account thus far of how the underlying situation in The Force Awakens came to be.
Bloodline is due out in hardcover and eBook on May 3; Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy is currently scheduled for October 25.
USA Today has our first look at Bloodline, the novel by Claudia Gray that we learn will focus on Leia Organa “some years” before The Force Awakens. (We heard 6 years when the book was first announced.)
Read between the lines:
Leia is professionally at a good place, as a senator and leader in a peaceful New Republic decades after the fall of Vader and the Emperor’s stranglehold on the galaxy. However, Gray says that a new generation doesn’t remember the lessons of the Rebellion or recognize the wrongs of the Empire, and Leia begins to see the cracks in the foundation that could lead to a dangerous future for the galaxy.
Family is a major theme overall in the Star Wars films and it plays a key role in one of the book’s most significant events, “one that has pretty far-reaching repercussions for several characters,” Gray says. “However, this novel isn’t fundamentally about Leia as a wife, sister or mom; this is about the role she’s created for herself since the fall of the Empire, and the one she takes up by the time of (The Force Awakens).”
Some The Force Awakens characters will appear in the book – Korr Sella gets a mention in the excerpt – but there will be some new ones as well, including Ransolm Casterfo, a young senator who “collects artifacts from the Empire.”
It’s nice to see a Leia-centric book set in a pivotal point in the new era – and it looks like this may clear up a few questions left about the timeline and political situation leading up to The Force Awakens. Gray’s Lost Stars got a lot of praise – let’s hope she has similar success with movie characters.
Bloodline is due out in hardcover and eBook May 3.
Rebels returned last night with ‘A Princess on Lothal,’ and on Rebels Recon, Andi Gutierrez discusses bringing Princess Leia to the show with Henry Gilroy, Dave Filoni and Pablo Hidalgo. Also, a B-wing question!
Here’s some good news for fans hungry for more ladies in the toy aisle – There’ll be a Princess Leia figure based on her Rebels appearance from Hasbro. The 3¾ figure will be in stores this fall.
In less happy toy news, there’s a new report that lays the cause of the lack of Rey toys at the feet of Lucasfilm themselves. A purported insider described a January 2015 vendor meeting with the company to the blog Sweatpants and Coffee:
The insider, who was at those meetings, described how initial versions of many of the products presented to Lucasfilm featured Rey prominently. At first, discussions were positive, but as the meetings wore on, one or more individuals raised concerns about the presence of female characters in the Star Wars products. Eventually, the product vendors were specifically directed to exclude the Rey character from all Star Wars-related merchandise, said the insider.
“We know what sells,” the industry insider was told. “No boy wants to be given a product with a female character on it.”
Hasbro is releasing more toys with Rey and other female characters, like Leia, aren’t being left out entirely. (And note that while there are certainly far less Rey items, she wasn’t totally excluded from the first wave of products.) But the report does show there’s a lot of work to be done at every level.
Rebels will return later this month with ‘A Princess on Lothal’ – featuring Star Wars’ number one princess, Leia Organa herself.
“We thought we had an opportunity to show her learning to be a leader, experimenting with the personality that becomes the stronger more resolute character you see in A New Hope,” Dave Filoni told TV Insider. “One of the complex challenges of depicting Leia in Rebels is that we have to remind the audience that at this point she is part of the Empire. She doesn’t believe in the Empire, but she is acting the part, almost a double agent.”
Julie Dolan (Star Wars: Uprising) will voice Leia.
Lucasfilm has released a clip:
‘A Princess in Lothal’ airs Wednesday, January 20 at 9:00 P.M. on Disney XD.
In Variety, John Williams reveals that the motif for a new character in The Force Awakens is based on a Kipling poem translated into Sanskrit (which could give us something reminiscent of The Phantom Menace’s ‘Duel of the Fates’).
→ People sheds just a tiny it of light on Andy Serkis’ Supreme Leader Snoke – or at least, his height.
→ In Mexico City, Kathleen Kennedy revealed that exteriors for Episode VIII and Rogue One will shoot on location in Mexico, according to Excelsior (English) It’s a bit unclear, but she also may have confirmed Benicio del Toro?
→ Rolling Stone has posted their complete Carrie Fisher interview (only some of which made it into their cover story). She discusses her upcoming book, The Princess Diarist, the nature of fame, and not being surprised by Episode VII. Her dog Gary, meanwhile, now has his own Instagram.
→ “I couldn’t be more delighted to see the amazing fan response to Captain Phasma,” Gwendoline Christie tells ComicBook, where she also talks about the physicality of the character.
J.J. Abrams on why Leia hasn’t become a Jedi. “It’s never too late,” he said, but “it was simply a choice that she made” to lead the Resistance. We will see her Force sensitivity in play again; it’s “an intrinsic piece of her character.”