Monday, February 27, 2012

Children of the Jedi: The Review

Okay.  This book is a bit of a contradiction for me.  Why?  Because I really, really liked it from a Han and Leia perspective, but have mixed feelings about it regarding probably all else.  But this is a Han and Leia blog, with a Han and Leia rating, so I’ll concentrate on what I liked because that’s what we do in the EU.  Am I right?  Of course I am. 
The great aspect about this novel is that I can honestly say that wherever Han and Leia appeared, their dialogue seemed spot on and just really enjoyable and they were together a lot and there was a lot of kissy time and implied ‘relations’.  All of that, in itself, will get me to recommend this book to any Han and Leia fan.  As for the story itself, I sort of know what went on but not really (especially so on the Luke storyline) – but the more you read some of these novels the more you just become a little bit accepting of that (or at least I do). 
First, there are two storylines throughout this book:  Han and Leia (mostly on Belsavis) and Luke on a ship named the Eye of Palpatine.   I’ll have to be honest and say that, although I read all the “Luke” parts on my first read of this book a year or so ago, on this time around, I chose to ‘scan’ through most of Luke’s storyline and for that reason, I understand what happened to him and his ‘girlfriend’ even less so than the rest of the novel.  Let me just say that it is the weirdest ‘love affair’ I have ever read about and it continues the nasty habit that Luke has of falling in love with any girl that says more than two words to him.
The book begins on Ithor, where Han and Leia and the entire gang (the twins, Anakin, Winter, Luke, Chewie, Artoo and C-3PO) are celebrating some big meeting that is also beautiful to look at.  Right off the bat I liked the way the author paints Han and Leia together in this setting (it’s a sort of mini-vacation for them).  She really gave nice little glimpses of their normal relationship that I devoured eagerly. 
For example, Han is getting dressed for the big event and Leia is surreptitiously watching him out of the corner of her eye.  The book then says, she saw him pose in front of the mirror, and carefully tucked away her smile.  A small tidbit, I know, but I liked it.  Han also asks her for the Smashball scores while she is going through her diplomatic update (as Chief of State) and she scans to the end and gives them to him.  I liked all these little things right away.  But of course, their vacation is short-lived because something needs to hit the fan soon, right?  Right.
Some crazy guy shows up during the meeting screaming incoherently:  They hid the children in the well.  Kill you all!  And there was a “Solo!” interjected in there intermittently for good measure.  Once the maniac is captured, they find out that he is an old smuggler friend (Drub McKumb) of Han’s that is emaciated and near death and could very well be giving him a warning instead of trying to kill him.  While researching the paperwork and other belongings of Drub McKumb, they begin to deduce that there may have been a hidden cache of Jedi children somewhere down some well called Plet’s well or Pletwell.
Here we are at the point in the book where all our characters are going to head their separate ways on their way to save the galaxy.  The good thing?  Han and Leia stay together (with Chewie and Artoo) and head to Belsavis to investigate this Plet’s well.  Luke goes off with Threepio (a welcomed change of pace) and two of his students (Cray Mingla and her fiance’, Nichos – a man who had a disease that led his “spirit” to be transitioned into a droid body to keep him alive – don’t ask for more explanation than that).   Oh, and Winter keeps the kids.
For the rest of the novel, Han and Leia are researching this ‘well’ and the missing Jedi children who were apparently hidden when Order 66 came down.  It reads exactly as how I would imagine Han and Leia living after they got married, working together or at least when they were apart, thinking about the other one and checking in or worrying about them after a while.  Luke, gets captured by a battlemoon, the Eye of Palpatine, and limps around and tries to escape for the rest of the book.
The planet Belsavis, from what I understand, has  some big biosphere dome thing erected over half the planet or something and the rest is a frozen tundra, maybe?  I’m grasping at straws here.  But under the biosphere dome it is very hot and humid and the planet exports exotic silks and coffees on some floating, rotating flower beds.  Anyway, while talking about the vine-silk made on Belsavis, Leia thought this:
Leia refrained from saying that a quantity of vine-silk sufficient to make a decent dress would cost enough to support a good thirty percent of any planet’s total economy.  Which was why Han’s gift to her of a gown and tabard of the stuff a short time ago had reduced her to speechlessness.  Her friend Winter had picked them out.  Han still had a weakness for clothing completely unsuited for the Chief of State, and had learned not to trust his own judgment on things to be worn in public.
Han gives her gifts!  And likes her to dress scantily!  Yes, yes he does.
There are so many embraces in this book I don’t know if I can mention them all, or fully explain their context, but who needs context, right?  This is the first embrace I have on record: 
A pair of strong arms encircled her from behind.  Han said nothing, just gazed out past her, and Leia leaned back into his strength, closing her eyes and letting her mind drift.
Throughout the novel, strange droid malfunctions keep occurring that perplex the Belsavis residents (it has been going on for awhile) and now the Solos.  Mainly they have been chalking it up to the humidity. 
Meanwhile, Luke is badly injured on that battle moon and he hobbles around and figures out that the thing has some set program to go from planet to planet and pick up stormtroopers and then head to Belsavis and destroy it.  (Yes, Belsavis is where Han and Leia are).  The only problem is that its program went into motion about 30 years late and instead of picking up stormtroopers, it picked up a myriad of weird aliens from Sand People and Jawas to Gamorreans and they have all been ‘programmed’ by the “Will” (the battlemoon’s main brain) and they are warring with each other onboard this ship.
Moving on…  So, in Chapter 8, our favorite couple goes out hitting some cantinas to find some smugglers who might know something about Drub McKumb and this well (because heretofore they cannot find any underground wells or caverns).  I highly recommend anyone to just read this chapter, Chapter 8.  It’s really fun.  I’ll be hard-pressed to quote everything I would like to quote from it.  But I’ll try.
Firstly, Leia thinks how she enjoys not being recognized and being out with Han like this:
Here they were just a lanky man with a scar on his chin and a smuggler’s habit of watching the doors, and a cinnabar-haired woman in a dress that Aunt Rogue would have locked her in her room before permitting her to wear in public.
A female bartender calls Han “sugardrawers” and “angelpants”.  No, I am not lying.  And Leia was called “pretty eyes” and told that she was “way too good for the likes of him” in reference to Han.  To which she replied, “I know.”  Later, when they are on their way back to their room, Leia calls Han “angelpants” playfully.  I can’t reiterate enough how much fun this entire exchange was for me to read.  It really was.
So then we have the first ‘missing moment’ opportunity that happens in this book.  When Han and Leia arrive back at their bungalow after imbibing in drinks all day long at the bars:
“You know, Han…” Leia paused at the top of the wooden ramp that climbed the high, broken stone of their house’s foundations to the wide front door.  “That’s the first thing that drew me to you.  The childlike innocence of your heart.”
He caught her arm, grinning; she tried to duck away to open the door but he pinned her, a hand on either side of her shoulders, their eyes, laughing into one another’s, his body warm against hers.  “You want to see how innocent I can be?”  (Yes!  Yes, I do!)
She reached to touch the scar on his chin.  “I know how innocent you are,” she said, meaning it, and their lips met, isolated in the still cloak of the mist.
And then Chewie and Artoo show up!  But, I will say, that there is already a fanfic written that leaves a little time (and action) between the kiss and when that inevitable interruption occurs…
Now they are back in the bungalow and Leia is going to go research the hall of records.  I really wonder just how scantily clad Leia was dressed at that bar when this passage says this:  Leia hunted out a dark green-and-violet tunic slightly more respectable than the garment she’d worn to go touring the bars of the Row – she owned underwear more respectable than that particular outfit, for that matter – and more comfortable shoes.
I love that Leia would ‘dress for the occasion’ and not be above that, you know?  And I’m sure Han loves it, too.
Before Leia left to go off on her own, she said goodbye to Han.  What a novelty!  (and what a little goodbye):
Leia asks if he’ll be alright and he ensures her he will and then:
He made a show of checking his pockets.  “And I know I picked up a card in the bar for order-in dancing girls.”
“Just make them sweep up the confetti when they’re done.”
They kissed again, and Leia strode down the ramp to street level.
Wasn’t that so fun and cute?  Maybe it’s just me, but I doubt it.  Anyway, that was all in Chapter 8!  Seriously, just go to the bookstore and read Chapter 8.
While Leia is gone, they even mention that Han calls and checks in with Winter and talks to the kids on the holo.  Wow!
Also, it seems everybody gets lucky in this book, apparently.  Because at one point, Mara Jade calls late on the holo and Leia notes:  She wore a gold chain around her neck and a shirt Leia recognized as belonging to Lando Calrissian. 
Now that I think about it, this may be the most ‘sexy time’ book in the entire EU.  Somebody disagree with me?
This was another interesting wardrobe note:  Han crossed his legs and pulled the dark-patterned native sarong he wore up to cover his knees.  What?  What is he wearing?  A short dress?  Is that right?  Regardless, that’s a mental picture I wouldn’t mind puzzling out for a while to come…
I will also say that Leia has A LOT of childhood memories and references in this book and some nightmares related to the Death Star.  Some of it was due to the fact that several of the scientists that had created the Death Star had recently been hunted down and murdered and some people were blaming Leia – saying she got her ‘smuggler friends’ to do it for her (which isn’t true). 
Anyway, I thought that this was all handled exactly as how I would think Leia would be assaulted by random memories and thoughts and how she would deal with them or be haunted by them, etc.  I really liked this small subplot that was woven throughout the book.  I don’t think enough EU authors address her memories and loss of her planet and how it would affect her every day.
This is one occasion where Leia was deep in thought and Han came to check on her: 
“You okay?”
Leia turned sharply.  She’d folded back one of the metal shutters to step out onto the balcony, and the diffuse light from the orchard fell in a muzzy bar into the room behind her, picking out the hard edge of Han’s arm muscle, the sharp points of collarbone and shoulder, the small scar on his forearm.  The dark print of the sarong (again, is he in a dress?) he wore was like the black-on-black mottling of a trepennit’s hide, lost in the shadows of the room.
She didn’t answer.  She wasn’t sure what she could have said, and she’d long ago learned that lying to Han was impossible.  In the sticky warmth of the night his hand, dry and cool from the air-conditioning of the house, was a welcome strength on her bare arm.
Very little dialogue, but so much said there – I think.  There was lots of hugging and talking following that exchange where Leia shares some of those feelings/memories that have been stirring up and about her nightmares.  I’ll give some excerpts:
Leia sighed, feeling as if it had been years since she’d last relaxed enough to breathe.  It was good beyond words to feel his arms around her, his body pressing into her back.
Then a short bit later:
She pulled his arms more closely around her, closing her eyes and drifting in the scents of soap, and his flesh, and the thick, slightly sulfurous murk of the night.
Oh, yeah, and yes - we are going somewhere here folks, so strap yourselves in:
His grip tightened around her, holding her fast against his body.  He knew she had dreams.  He’d waked her up from them, and held her against his chest while she cried, too many times to count.  She felt the breath of his lips move the hair at the crown of her head.  “There was nothing you could have done.”
“I know.  But at least once a day I think:  I couldn’t save them, but I can make those who did it pay.”  She turned in his arms, looking up at him in the misty apricot light.  “Would you do it?” (this is referring to killing those Death Star scientists)
Han grinned down at her.  “Like a shot.  But I’m not the Chief of State.”
“Would you do it to please me?”
He laid his hand along her cheek, leaned down to kiss her lips.  He said softly, “No.  Not even if you asked.”
He led her inside.  As he stopped to close the shutters behind them, Leia paused by the room’s small table, where a half dozen shallow cakes of colored wax floated in a great glass bowl of water.  She flicked the switch on the long stem of the lighter, touched in turn each wick.  The drifting lights painted wavery circles of amber and daffodil on the ceiling and walls.  Her eyes met Han’s over the floating candle flames; she let slip the shawl she’d worn over her shoulders, and held out to him her hand.
END OF PARAGRAPH.  FADE TO BLACK.  Now, that’s what I call a missing moment!  Anyone feel free to fill that one in!
And just to solidify things, early that morning, Artoo mysteriously attacks them.  Han and Leia both slip some boots on and this is said:
Looking a little ridiculous – he wasn’t wearing much besides the boots – Han crossed the bed in two strides to her side.
Yep, they were naked and now Han is standing naked in his boots being nearly electrocuted by Artoo.  Another nice mental picture…
So, Artoo is now malfunctioning like the rest of the mechanicals on Belsavis.  In order to keep him from killing them, Han has to mess him up pretty bad and Chewie spends a great deal of time rewiring him and fixing him but they have to put a restraining bolt on him because they don’t trust him now.
There’s a really good chunk of introspection from Leia about when Alderaan was destroyed and what time of day it was and what her family might have been doing at the time.  I can’t quote it all, but it’s in Chapter 13 if you are interested.  I will quote this:
She wondered what they’d think now, those aunts, if they could see her married to a man who’d started life as a smuggler, whose parents had been nobody-knew-who.  If they could see her as Chief-of-State, after years of dodging around the galaxy in the company of a ragged gang of idealistic warriors with a price on her head.
She honestly didn’t know if they would have been aghast or proud.  When she was eighteen, she hadn’t known them well; hadn’t known them as an adult knows other adults.
And they had all died before she could.
So, now Leia is heading back to the hall of records to research more of these droid malfunctions.  She asked Han if he wants to go with her, but he says he is going to go off to do some further research at someplace called the “Jungle Lust”.  When he asks Chewie to join him, he asks with a ‘suggestive wiggle of his hips”.   Before they go their separate ways, Han makes sure that Leia doesn’t plan to take Artoo with her (since he had tried to kill them the night before).  Then Leia thinks this:
Leia hesitated.  She had had it in mind as a matter of course, but then, it hadn’t been her scantily covered anatomy Artoo had been firing bolts of electricity at not twelve hours ago.
Okay, just what part of Han’s anatomy was Artoo firing at?
Anyway, Leia agrees not to take Artoo and Han gives her a ‘quick, hard kiss’ before he departs and then Leia goes back and gets Artoo any way.  She feels a bit guilty for lying to Han but she is trying to ‘trust her feelings’ like Luke had been teaching her.  And she thinks this:
Han would choke. (If he knew she was taking Artoo)
But then, she thought, her love for Han was the greatest triumph she’d ever seen of ‘looks wrong, feels right.”  So he didn’t have any room to talk.
Of course, Leia never makes it to the hall of records.  Instead she recognizes a few members of the Ancient Houses and decides to follow them out to the frozen tundra instead.  There are a few references to some things she picked up in the Rebellion, like when she muttered a word she’d picked up from the boys in the old Rogue Squadron and when she assembles some weaponry swiftly, deftly, as the boys in the Hoth dugout had taught her when it looked as if they weren’t going to get out before the Imperials came in.
There’s something I like about showing that side of Leia, you know?  The last thing she does is tell Artoo that his final command is to go and find Han no matter what happens to her.  And then they descend into the tunnels of Belsavis.
I guess I should get back to Luke.  So, there is this female Jedi (Callista) that sacrificed her life 30 years ago to stop this battlemoon from doing what it was designed to do.  Somehow her spirit was sucked into the computers of the ship and Luke allies with her to stop it from destroying Belsavis while he somehow falls in love with her.  I’m still confused as all get out as to how this could happen and if Luke was dreaming or what, but this is what the book says:
After Callista had left – or perhaps while she still lay in his arms, her head pillowed on his shoulder in the aftermath of loving – he had drifted into deeper sleep.
Okay.  So, Luke got lucky with the ship’s computer system somehow.  Can you see why I really don’t want to expel much energy into trying to figure out this part of the novel?  Ew.
Okay, so basically there is this Force-adept boy (that may or may not be Palpatine’s heir – probably not) that can control droids with the Force.  Together with some of the members of the Ancient houses and some corporation big wigs, the boy’s mother plans to take control of the Eye of Palpatine and restore the Empire and control the galaxy or something.  Leia is captured down in the tunnels and they sedate her heavily.  Artoo escapes because the boy can’t control him.  Seems like the boy (Irek) has to memorize the droid’s wiring to control them and of course, Chew had rewired Artoo to fix him.
There’s a cute part when Leia (while heavily sedated) rises out of her body to go and take a look around.  When she looks down at herself she thinks:  Cray’s right, she thought.  I really do have to be more diligent about applying that Slootheberry Wrinkle Crème around my eyes.
I just thought that was cute that she would think of that while in the middle of all this other stuff.
Well, the Eye of Palpatine finally arrives, but Irek is unable to control it because of what Luke has been up to during his time aboard (maybe it’s because Luke had relations with it).  Anyway, Leia is trying to escape and things get very tense but Han and Chewie show up right in time.  Irek and his mother get away.  Luke escapes with all the refugees but Cray Mingla, Nichos and Callista all perish when the Eye of Palpatine explodes over Belsavis.
 While getting ready to leave the planet, Mara (yeah, Mara showed up – but that was another story – not really relevant) spots an escape pod and reels it in.  Luke thinks that it is Cray Mingla.  Cray had wanted to die with Nichos but Luke thinks she must’ve changed her mind.  When they open the escape pod it is discovered that somehow Callista was able to transfer her soul into Cray’s body (with Cray’s help/permission) and he is beside himself with happiness and they kiss and hug and cry and such.
While Luke and Callista are talking and holding hands, Han tries to hurry them up so that they can leave on the Falcon.  Leia says:
“Let them be for a while.”
“He can kiss her on the ship,” said Han good-naturedly.
I love that line from Han.
In the end, Callista finds that she no longer has the Force but she agrees to accompany Luke to Yavin because they love each other so much.  Double ew.
I guess that’s about it.  Like I said, the Han and Leia time in this book was well-worth the read in my opinion and I would give it a Han and Leia factor of 4 at least.  Maybe 4+.  [EDIT:  Zyra and I were divided on this rating, but due to several comments, we're going to go with a 5 star on this book as far as Han and Leia fans go.] 
And if anyone is interested in tackling either one of those missing moments – knock yourself out and send it/them to me or Zyra!


  1. This was, until Tatooine Ghost, my favourite EU book. I loved all the H&L bits in there, especially the ones mentioned. It portrayed them as a normal couple in a not so ordinary situation.

    The part with the floating candles was always my favourite and the pages of my copy were especially worn out at this bit.

    I definitely agree with the missing moment potential of this part.

  2. I can understand why this book is so often slated by SW Fans, because to be honest, if you are not a big Han and Leia fan then there really isn't much here to get excited about, at all. Fortunately because we ARE Han and Leia fanatics there is absolutely tons to love about this book.

    I agree with what wilfbird says above, this for me comes second to Tatooine Ghost, in terms of H/L awesomeness and just ahead of Shadows of Mindor. Barbara Hambly does a wonderful job with our fav couple. There's teasing, joking, comforting, tenderness, lots of affectionate moments, a whole bunch of kisses and some implied sexy time thrown in for good measure. This is a couple still madly in love, without question. It's just a joy to read them portrayed this way.

    It's worth noting how Hambly has no trouble coming up with a story that sees them together for the entire book, it's a shame other writers didn't do the same. It's also a shame that Hambly didn't continue with this in her other SW novel Planet of Twilight, but that's a story for another time.

    I love all the references to Han wanting Leia to wear revealing outfits. That is so Han! I can picture them having a few disagreements over what is appropriate for her to wear to a state dinner or something like that.

    Also love the divine visions of Han in nothing but a Sarong (yes it really is a skirt) and nothing but his boots. Bring it on. :)

    I am going to re read bits of this book now, as I haven't looked at it for a while, and I need to read all these good parts again. What a chore that will be. Love this book.

    I would rate this a 4.5 easy, its essential reading for any Han and Leia fan, but it would fall just short of the 5 for me because the Luke parts are really boring and just very odd!

  3. This was an interesting book. I agree with all of your review points. I tried reading the Luke parts, but couldn't get into it either. Han in a sarong, hmmmm I'm thinking of one of those Luau fire knife dudes, Han could pull it off. Ok, I'm talking about the look, not the sarong, though I have no doubt about that either. Oh, I'm in trouble if my husband reads this, moving along. I liked the parts where Leia is thinking about what would her family think of her life. I find that very true to life. The part towards the end where Leia is having the "out of body" experience was a bit suspenseful, especially when the evil kid starts hunting her "mind". That mind chase always gave me the shivers. Over-all I enjoyed the book.

    1. Yes, I forgot to mention that, but I remember when I first read this book I was on the edge of my seat during this part and was greatly relieved when Leia made it back to her body!

  4. Well damn, I've completely overlooked this book then. I seem to recall reading some trashed reviews and the name turned me off so I never looked at. Not that I don't doubt the rest of it is boring as hell, but who cares when the Han and Leia parts are awesome?

    Hehe, angelpants.

    I'm going to the friggin' bookstore and they'd better have it.

    Another pretty decent cover. But Luke looks slightly feminine...again.

  5. Elivager, you definitely need to check this one out. Not sure it will be available in a book store though, I always find the older books aren't around very much, so somewhere like amazon is probably your best option.

    I like this cover too, you know why? It depicts Han wearing something different for a change, and I think that black shirt totally suits him! Not sure why they've gone for Hoth Leia though, she couldn't be more covered up if she tried, in stark contrast to the skimpy outfits described in the book.

    Just re read chapter 8, it's a really fun read! And I believe contains the only reference that I can recall in anything SW of a character ( Leia in this instance) answering the call of nature and taking a trip to the ladies room! And what a vile sounding place that bathroom is!

    1. Very good point about the ladies room and kudos for Leia for braving that experience!

      Seriously, Chapter 8 is AWESOME!

    2. I guess it was a case of when you gotta go, you gotta go!

      Another thing I liked in that great chapter was the cute little paper spaceships in the drinks, equivalent of an umbrella in a cocktail I suppose.

    3. LOL Claire that is one of my favorite bits too, where Leia was sitting around drinking drinks with little paper spaceships in them. while "angelpants" talked to everyone in sight.

      and I always love the idea of Han in a sarong.

      I also enjoyed the bits where Luke is picking Nichos' brain and they're trying to decide how much of his human memory remains.

      And how Han notices that Cray is "the blonde with the legs" and Leia teases him about it but you can tell it's in a loving way. like he looks at other women, sure, what do you expect from a scoundrel? but she knows where his heart is.

    4. I always wondered if maybe bathrooms didn't exist in star wars, LOL! ;)

  6. Man, some of these book reviews are such a trip! I haven't read this book since it came out in the mid 90s, yet in reading these reviews, I'm like, "yes!! I remember that line!" And the sarong, I remember Teen Historyland pondering that. What's wrong with a robe? Lounge pants? And now, Grown Historyland has the same questions...

  7. Just re-read some choice parts. I really like how loving, supportive and protective Han is of Leia when she is telling him about her dreams/nightmares that he already knows all about. I also like how Leia loves watching Han work the bar crowd. This book shows how nicely they have grown together as a couple, all those little things in life that they notice, love, and admire in each other. I think the author did a nice job of bringing out their softer sides.

  8. I loved this book, for all the reasons you mentioned above, but you missed one of my favourite Han quotes: "The blonde with legs" just to make Leia a little bit jealous.

    I have a Missing Moment on the backburner for this story right now, but now that I read this, there are A LOT of Missing Moments to have fun with!

  9. Okay, I'm behind on my commenting. I was 16 when I first read this book and didn't have the outlet of fanfic because I didn't know it existed yet. So I totally remember when I came to that part about the shawl slipping off her shoulders, the candles and taking his hand I probably read it like 10 times just to fully commit it to memory. I was like, are they implying... OMG, they are! I was so deprived back then that this was incredible to me.

    I think it helps when a woman writes these books because they tend to throw in some random bits of them being affectionate and loving throughout the course of the story rather than just being, like, co-workers or something. I think I forgot how many random little things were sprinkled throughout to make me smile. Plus one of the top three moments between Han and Leia in all of the EU. I just love that they act like they genuinely care for each other and think of each other often, unlike so many other books out there. Although honestly, now that we're re-reading these I am wondering if maybe we've all been too harsh on the EU in general. Even though some books are awful.

    There is one story I know of that fills in the missing moment after Han tells Leia how innocent he can be.

  10. This is definitely going on my reading list! Sounds like some really nice moments between Han and Leia. Cool comment that Han likes Leia in skimpy clothes. But, ugh, that Winter picked out something flor Leia. Doesn't she have life of her own yet?

    Han in a sarong? Ohhhh, I would love to see that. I do hope that he was shirtless too.

    I don't blame you for skipping over the Luke parts. Is it sacrilege to feel that way about Empire? Vader, Han, and Leia were just so much more interesting in general.

    1. Of course he's shirtless, he has to be, I can't picture him any other way :)

      Don't worry, I've fast forwarded Luke on Dagobah more times than I can remember, I know exactly what you mean. I don't do it now, but I've been guilty of that in my youth. I just wanted all the Han and Leia goodness!

  11. Zyra, you pose a good question, but my answer would be no, we aren't too hard to the EU books, at least not the earlier ones.
    The books they are turning out now seem to almost be geared toward a different audience, or perhaps, more appropriately, a wider audience (TG, Shadows of Mindor - for a couple of examples). One that WANTS them to be in love. The book they are publishing now are entire worlds better then them not even kissing in the Thrawn trilogy, especially the first one, gag!

    I am currently in the process of re-reading the New Jedi Order and they are a surprisingly great number of really great Han & Leia moments in them - taking into account of course that the series really focuses on their children (ps, i'm still totally in denial re: the Ani & Jace's fate).
    Rebel Stand and Rebel Dream are so far the best as far as H&L are concerned, which is good. I'm almost finished Destiny's Way and I came across this little gem that I thought needed to be shared:
    Then he turned to her.
    "Do you know, I'm not sure I need any food right now."
    "Really? She frowned down at the stove. "Normally you're ravenous at this time of day."
    "What I just remembered," Han said, "Is that we had hoped to be alone together on this voyage. And now that Grand Admirals and Imperial spies are off the ship; we 'are' alone."
    "Oh." She blinked at him. "Oh may." the look in his eyes made her skin flush with warmth.
    He took her in his arms. " I think we deserve a little alone time together," he said, "don't you?"
    !!! I know right! It made me smile. (if you have this book, and want to read the whole passage, which is quite cute, it's page 151 of the hardcover, the very end of Chapter 12)

    1. Thanks for the quotes. I've said it before, but the only good thing that came from Han and Leia's FIVE-BOOK-LONG separation in NJO was that once they reconciled they have been far more the Han and Leia I'd imagine them to be than in almost any book prior. I didn't remember that quote though. I do remember one from one of the last books where they're watching a sunset and Leia gets all seductive and it just ends with her patting the seat next to her and Han saying, "Well, you've seen one sunset, you've seen 'em all."

    2. That's from one of the Force Heretic books isn't it? Cute scene.

      Yes, there's a lot to like in the NJO once they sort out themselves out.

      I haven't read any of the books where they are "estranged", I know all about it, and know what caused it, and haven't ever had the desire to read all the gory details. So I've still got books missing in my NJO collection. I've got Vector Prime, then my next one is Balance Point, which didn't exactly thrill me that much. Haven't decided yet whether to be brave and take the plunge when we get to them in book club.

  12. Rebel Dream and Rebel Stand are great, I agree.

    Yes, I think we are hard on the EU in some ways. From what we've looked at so far with this book club there's been lots of nice moments. Truce at Bakura has it's problems, but has a few nice moments. Mindor is just fabulous, as is the mighty TG. There are loads of cute scenes in the Jedi Academy books and sackfulls in Children of the Jedi. The Thrawn books are very well written, but out of what we've read so far, they are the ones that portray them the least like a married couple (no kisses, give me a break! Even Courtship had some nice kissy moments).

    There have been fans over the years who complain that Han and Leia never have sex in the EU, and their kids must have come from the stork! Did those people actually read Children of the Jedi? They couldn't have done! There's also implied sex in the Dark Empire audio drama, and you could argue in Truce at Bakura too (I'm a believer in that one, oh yes!) and we will see another sex reference soon in Planet of Twilight. And I'm sure there are a few more later on, so you see, there ARE good moments.

    My main beef with the EU has always been how little time they spend together in the early books, because the time they ARE together normally has at least one or two really nice moments. We just need more of it.

    Zyra, I think I know the missing moment you mean. They do it standing up against the door, am I right? And I believe there is a drawing, by Kate (I think) to accompany it, with Leia in a rather skimpy number and her legs wrapped around Han. I have that pic on my hard drive, but don't remember which fic it's from, and now I'm pretty sure it's this one. The name "amongst the flowers and the trees" rings a bell, or is that a totally different story? Apologies since I lost most of my stored fan fic when my old pc died.

    1. Ooh, where is that fanfic? Would love to read...

    2. I would love to know too! I've got a copy of that picture. It's a good one.

    3. Glad someone else knows the pic I'm on about, its a definite fav of mine. As I said, I don't know which fic its from, but I'm now pretty sure its this one. I also have a feeling that this fic is probably by Dant Solo, who I believe did a series of missing moments fics. I'm sure Zyra knows and can fill us in!

    4. As far as I know the fic can only be found on the wayback machine now, but the link should work:

      But for those of you who had never seen it before, the pic doesn't show up. There might be a few of us who have it on our hard drives...

    5. Most definitely thanks. Looks like a good site.

    6. Zyra you rock! Thanks for finding that little gem, I remember it well, and its just as good now! Just a shame the rather naughty pic that goes with it didn't make it!

      Now hoping that link will link to other fics on the same site.

    7. You can get to all of the other stories on that site, at least last I checked you could. For some reason I remember when I tried to get to the dge web site on wayback it didn't work, but if you went to dg2e and just clicked through the links back to dge, everything came up fine. Not sure if that's true anymore or not, but either way it's all there somewhere, minus the artwork.

      And as I said before, some of us MIGHT have that pic on our hard drives. I wouldn't post it here though because it's not my artwork to post.

    8. Cool, I will check out the links in a mo. That was such a great site. Hope I can rediscover some old favs on there.

      I'm glad I saved that particular pic and a load more brilliant Han and Leia art on my laptop, because most of that has vanished off the net now too. Such a shame. Just wish I had saved all the fan fic on that same laptop. :(

    9. Claire, Leia had one shoe dangling in that pic right? Now you have me wondering about the other pics. :)

    10. Yup, that's the one!!

      There are a few other hot drawings of them out there, a lot of them by the same artist as the one we're talking about.

      Another of my absolute favs is based on the pic we had as the background here on valentines day, don't know if you remember which pic that was? It's a pic of Harrison and Carrie from a Vanity Fair photo shoot, they are pressed up against each other, looks like they are about to kiss. Well, take that pic, flip it horizontal (Leia on top) and take off their clothes....get my meaning??? :). Love that one! Don't know which fic it's from, but it's great. Do you know this one?

    11. Man, that's a hot one. I had to grab that one. Kind of neat to know which story it goes with.

      I think I know that one too. Basically shows all the way down to Han's hips? If she wasn't covering him, we might be seeing a full monty. Another good one. I saw one that I think is for 40 Days. They're about to kiss, Leia's corset strap falling off her shoulder.

      The missing moment fic for this one was a good one. Always like some new smut. :)

    12. I always wondered what that piece of art was about. Now I know...oh yes.

      Actually, I'd like to do something art-wise with the floating candle scene. At least it looks cool in my mind. :P

    13. That would be awesome! Go for it.

    14. Yes, more Elivagar art work!

      I may have that pic of them amara is talking about too. There are some others you used to be able to see on Leela Starsky's password protected section of her site before that section stopped working. And there are some others that come up on image searches but are posted on web sites you probably don't want to go to that also contain other images I'm positive you don't want to see.

    15. You are not kidding, Zyra. I found that out the hard way.

    16. OMG, I don't even wanna know what that's all about!!!

      There's a few more naughty ones in the boudoir at nerfherders playground if any of you have access, and amara, there's even a "full monty"of Han over there :)

    17. No, you really don't.

      I don't have access to the boudoir yet. Will have to see what I can do.

    18. Elivagar: I'd love to see what you could come up with for the floating candle scene... Lots of opportunities for shadows (which I know you like).

  13. Right, this had definitely gone on my reading list. This has some absolutely AWESOME H/L in it! I really,really want to hear more of what happens in the bar scene, and of course the 'fade to black' moment... (By the way, the comments on what part of Han's anatomy R2 was shooting at made me nearly fall over laughing ;) )

    Some nice mental images in the book - Han in only his boots, and the sarong. LOL!

    Um... so Callista didn't have a body when she and Luke first had sex? Ok... I'm just not even going to bother trying to work that out in my mind. Moving on...

    I also loved the part where Leia's thinking about what her family would have thought of her life - that's something I think about a lot, so it's nice that the EU addressed it.

    amara, I'll admit it too: I skip over the Luke bits in Empire. I hope it's not sacrilege...

  14. Interesting question regarding the EU. I read many of the books when they first came out in the early-mid '90's (I was newly married) and only remembered the times they weren't together. I didn't start to get back into reading the EU until August of this past year (which is how I came across your blog). Now that I am in my mid 40's and married for twenty plus years, I see the stories through very very different eyes. Real life doesn't always allow a couple to be together all the time and life does present trials and tribulations. i am devouring the EU books as fast as I can. Unfortunately in the mid '40's I forget things I just read a week ago. I'm currently listening to the Fate of the Jedi series on audio (which is cool to listen to in the car, you almost feel like your in a spaceship with all the sound effects). I'm also reading the Dark Nest Trilogy, of which Han and Leia are fantastic thus far. I'm also reading the bookclub books. I agree with Zolo77 regarding New Jedi Order. There were so many good parts that I wrote them down in my journal. This time around the EU my husband is interested in the stories, which is nice to be able to say "you have to read this part....". Our whole house are Star Wars fans in one fashion or another, so I am not alone in fandom. Thank goodness for this blog. It's been a fun outlet.

    1. Oh I agree, there would certainly be times that they would be separated, because that's life, but when you read something like they only see each other a few days every other month (think that's in the new rebellion) it just seems ridiculously over the top, its like some writers just don't want them to be together, thats what pisses me off.

    2. Perhaps COPL soured us. Hadn't Han been gone for months when that book started? Oh and the Thrawn books. They should at least be written to show they want to be together (which we know they do).

      That's good to know about NJO.

    3. I refused to re-read COPL. That book pissed me off so much the first time around, I couldn't do it again and after reading all the comments on it, I was glad I did not re-read it. As far as couples being separated for longs periods of time, I can't help but think of our military families, my heart goes out to them. I think I have become too damn philosophical lately. I think I need to go back to thinking just how "innocent" Han can be. I agree with you Push, "yes, yes I do" want to see that.

    4. I get ya. I'm fortunate not to be in that situation.

      Go find that fanfic! It looked pretty good from a quick browse.

    5. Just finished reading the fanfic. I have intense desire to go smoke a cigarette and I don't smoke. Ahem, they aren't so innocent:)

    6. Tell me about it! It's absolutely shocking behaviour for the Chief of State.....hee hee :)

  15. I have to agree about a woman writing it. I think it helps with the mushy parts.

    Glad I'm not alone on the Dagobah fast forward. :) I do like when Yoda pulls the x-wing out of the water though. Good scene visually.

    I'm not sure we've been too hard on the EU. Probably not when we get to the Vong. Even my husband stopped reading those and he had read every book until then.

    1. Oh yoda levitating the x wing is a truly magical moment, enhanced by the wonderful musical score. I wouldn't forward that bit either.

    2. I'm a chronic fast-forward through the "Yoda parts" watcher. Although I do like the X-wing scene and I like when Artoo gets spit out by the swamp creature and screams through the air over Luke's head. That one never gets old!

  16. That's a good one too. Isn't that right before the kiss? :)

    I think my 5 yr old son loves R2. He certainly recognizes him.

  17. now you have me all interested and I can't get the waybackmachine to show me that link. boo.

    1. wayback machine is finicky sometimes. It's not working now for me and yesterday it was fine. Try again later and it will probably come up.

    2. The link worked fine for me, and I was able to go back to the dge website also and read a few more fics, but couldn't get the links to dg2e to work at all.

      Those of you after more fan art, a couple of the stories on dge DO.have some artwork still showing in them. Unfortunately the hot pic we've discussed in this thread still doesn't show up.

    3. Stupid question but what's the difference between dge and dg2e?

    4. dge was "don't get excited" and contained only adult stories. dg2e, don't get too excited, was for your everyday, sex-free stories ;) You know, so as not to alienate anyone who maybe wanted to read some other stuff.

    5. Ah, got it. Thanks. I wouldn't mind getting to dg2e just to read some of that as well.

    6. the url is just so you should be able to read anything there. Actually, just looked at it and apparently there are plenty of sexual situations there, too, so...

    7. Thanks heaps! Now going through all the due/dg2e stuff.

    8. Am I imagining things or didn't Dont Get Excited have loads more stories than that in it's heyday? There's only a few, yet I seem to remember a lot more good stuff over there.

      Of course I could be confusing it with You Could Use a Good kiss, which was also a great site.

    9. I only remember them ever having what we can see there now on wayback. Pretty sure that's always been the case.

  18. glad it's not just me.

    I love the line about she had underwear more respecatble than that particular dress.

  19. the wayback machine is fickle but it's working fine for me today. how is it I've never read that story?

    1. Well, it was only ever there and I've never seen it anywhere else. So if you didn't know that site existed, how would you know to read it there?

  20. You know, we really didn't comment enough on when Mara answered the call wearing Lando's shirt. I guess I hadn't forgotten that she and Lando had a thing, but I just didn't think about it much. Luke gets Lando's sloppy seconds? That's pretty rough. Although it's also kind of indicative of why Luke and Mara didn't really make that much sense to me. Except for the fact that she was the only other female in the galaxy who wasn't his sister or Mon Mothma.

    1. Lol, Zyra! That is rough. Maybe it's because Luke and Mara are both Force sensitive.

    2. Well, also she wasn't all mushy and sentimental and definitely didn't seem like the kind of person who would've called someone "Dear Husband" all the time, either. I don't think Luke would be that way, either. Oh, well, they killed her, too. So we don't have to worry, do we? I want flow-walking to bring back all those who have died. I know it's a cop-out. I don't care.

    3. Bring back Chewie, Anakin and Jacen ( a non Sith Jacen), but I'm not too bothered about Mara.

      I agree, Mara's soppy dialogue is totally not in character.

  21. I looked up Barbara Hambly and Kevin J Anderson on Wookieepedia the other day, and there was a link at the bottom of Kevin's page to an interview. This interview actually states that Luke and Mara were NOT originally intended to end up together. Anderson had spoken to Tim Zahn whilst writing the Jedi Academy books and Tim said he only saw Luke and Mara becoming friends, and nothing more. This is one reason given why Anderson was hooking up Mara with Lando in Jedi Academy. Then of course Hambly develops it further in this one.

    Hambly says her task was to create "the love of Luke's life", and that's who creepy Callista was intended to be. It was actually fan reaction to Mara that turned the tables and convinced Lucasfilm that Luke should end up with Mara, and so they decided to pull the plug on Callista in Planet of Twilight.

    I didn't know any of that, but then I have very little interest in Luke's lovelife, but it's a useful bit of info, and quite surprising.

    I think Lando and Mara would actually have made a better couple. Mara was always better as a smuggler type than a Jedi I thought. It's clearly implied here with the shirt business that she and Lando are intimate, but apparently Tim Zahn wrote something in Vision of the Future that indicates she never slept with Lando and that she has "saved" herself for Luke. I don't know the exact quote but apparently it's in there!

    1. Wow, I really don't get how she would save herself for Luke. She does NOT seem to be that sort of person...

    2. I don't get it either. It's perfectly believable to say that Leia was a virgin before Han, but Mara....I have serious doubts about that.

    3. Did anyone actually ever think that Mara was a virgin? Didn't she and the Emperor.... uh, wait, I have to go throw up.... Still, given her shady past there is no way she is still pure and innocent by the time Luke gets to her. I do not mean to imply that premarital sex is shady, just that if you grow up under her circumstances you're probably not saving yourself for anyone. I am as adamant in my belief that Mara was NOT a virgin as I am that Han wasn't or Leia was.

    4. I don't believe it for a second. And for some reason hearing Mara did that just sounds creepy to me. Not to imply saving yourself is bad. It's just insinuating that about her.

    5. Lots of hardcore Luke and Mara 'shippers do think Mara was a virgin, but I think it's mainly just them. I can't see how it can be a popular theory amongst fans in general, because you really have to go out on a limb to believe it.

      As Zyra says, her background is incredibly seedy. Plus she's supposed to be so amazingly beautiful, who could resist? Also she's what, pushing 40 when she gets together with Luke. Now I'm not saying that there aren't 40 year old virgins out there, but they must be in the minority. Plus all that gross stuff about Palpatine. What does an Emperor's "hand" actually do anyway??? Ok, don't answer that!

  22. yeah I do remember later on when Mara and Luke get together Mara tells him the whole Lando thing was a cover story for this whole thing and that she never really had a thing for him and how embarrassed she was one time when Han called and she answered the holo thinking it was someone else and who knew what he thought about her. and much as I find Luke a whiner and all, I have to say I was glad to be able to ditch the sneaky suspicion that he was getting Lando's leftovers. Or the highly creepy mental question of how the same woman could fall for both Lando and Luke.

  23. That is a creepy question.

    This is off topic, but has anyone watched Star Wars Robot Chicken? I've seen some of it and some is on the blu-rays. Funny stuff. There's a 3 DVD set coming out on Tuesday I'll probably go get. And then then hopefully on my iPad.

    1. I love Robot Chicken. Very funny. They are worth getting.

      It's a shame they didn't do more with Han and Leia, as they don't feature all that much. They tend to focus a lot on bounty hunters, stormtroopers and the Emperor. Fortunately the Emperor is seriously funny, and you should probably buy them just for him.

    2. Yes, Robot Chicken is great. They don't really use Han much at all but I just think of it as there's not really much to make fun of there because he's just so awesome. It is the only Star Wars thing in which the Emperor is my favorite. He's amazing. I mean, stupid little stuff like the Emperor riding an escalator through the Death Star is hilarious. For anyone who hasn't seen these, I am pretty sure you can watch the episodes on line perfectly legally. I have to go investigate this again because it might be time for a viewing.

      And a little bit of trivia: Mark Hamill does Luke's voice on some of the stuff, same as Carrie for Leia. Harrison, of course, said no.


      You're welcome.

    4. I noticed Mark's name in the credits. True about Han, but there was that creepy moment between Han in carbonite and Boba. Shudder....

      I loved it when Vader called the Emperor after first Death Star is blown up? And Empire on Ice. Hilarious!

  24. Oh, yeah, Fett and Han. I liked in the 3rd one when Han goes with Chewie to meet his family and the door opens and his wife and kids are all clothed and Han turns to him and says, "So, you've been naked all these years?" Or the carbon freeze platform, Leia says, "I love you." Han: "I know." Chewie then grumbles something that sounds like I love you and Han says, "That, I did not know."

    1. Ooh, I remember watching some of those. Need to go find those ones!

    2. I love all the Emperor's scenes, but especially the on phone to Vader one, the one where he gets a hair cut and that one with all the construction work going on in the background.

      Oh and I love Jar Jar (never thought I'd say that) visiting Vader and still calling him Annie!

    3. Oh Robot many great skits I could mention. My favorite is probably Empire on Ice.

      On the last DVD, there are deleted scenes, which are basically just animatics with the recorded dialogue. One I wish they would have kept basically went:

      'I love you...'
      'I know.'
      'And I'm pregnant!'

      Then Han jumps into the freeze chamber.

    4. Went on a robot chicken spree last night. They are AWESOME!!! Especially all the Emperor/ Vader ones. Luke's pretty good too.

    5. Now I'm bummed. I think I'll have to order the three disc set. Man. I think it's on iTunes, but DVDs are much easier to use around the house.

      The link was awesome, Zrya. Thanks.

  25. I read this after rereading the book and laughed out loud so many times. Thanks for the great review!