Monday, May 2, 2016

Bloodline: A Han and Leia Fan's Perspective - Guest Post by Claire1976

Thanks to Claire1976 for taking the time to write this up for us!


Ok so I just got Bloodline. For some reason one of the big bookstore chains in the UK was selling it before they should have been, so I managed to grab one :) I've spent hours ploughing through it looking for all the important bits. I'm not totally sure on the overall plot, but I can give you all the nitty gritty concerning where Han and Leia are in their marriage. The book is all about Leia, she seems to be on practically every page and from what I can tell, she's written absolutely spot on. So there's tons of Leia on her own, and a big chunk of the story seems to focus on Leia's heritage being made public. It appears that the Galaxy at large had no idea that Leia is the biological daughter of Darth Vader, until now, when it threatens to ruin her chance to run for First Senator of the New Republic. I'm going to concentrate on what this book tells us about Han and Leia as a couple rather than what we learn about Leia as an individual. Because I'm sure that's what most of us want to know, right? Especially since The Force Awakens was such a gut wrenching experience for all of us.

 Thought I'd put this post out there to help ease the minds of anyone who was as scared about this book as I have been over the past few months. Just let me say that in the past week or so we've been trolled by certain people claiming various things about this book, good stuff and bad, and a lot of it was NOT true. It's not 100% ideal, but it's really not so bad either, and it's written by Claudia Gray, a former writer of Han and Leia fan fic (anyone out there know what her pen name was ?)

Let's start by shooting down various claims that have been made by people over the past few weeks. I'm sure most of you have heard some of the following.

1) Han and Leia bickered and argued SO MUCH in their early marriage that they decided to live separate lives, and would meet up and live together "occasionally". This is NOT TRUE folks. That was a little fantasy created by a Rey-Lo shipper.

2) Han and Leia live completely separate lives, and even have their own homes. NOT TRUE.

3) Han and Leia regularly go YEARS and YEARS without seeing each other. Lol, that's absolutely NOT TRUE. This one bothered me the most, and I was thrilled to discover that it's just total lies.

4) They lived on the Falcon for the first year of marriage. Sadly, NOT TRUE, and I was hoping that one would be. How cute would that have been?

5) Ben Solo was conceived OUTDOORS. Um, no, this is NOT TRUE. His conception IS mentioned though. More on that later.

6) Leia got pregnant because they were very careless with birth control. Lol, there's absolutely NO mention of this.

Some points of note about the story in general, and Han and Leia's lives.

1)    The book is set only 6 years prior to the events of TFA. And Han and Leia are STILL a couple :)
2)    Leia is a Senator based on the planet Hosnian Prime. This was the planet that looks exactly  like Coruscant and got destroyed by the third Death Star...er, I mean Star Killer base in TFA ;) She has an apartment that she shares with Han, which is described as "modest". It says she has no other residence.
3)    Han has already lost the Falcon, and it's mentioned he's had numerous ships since.
4)    Han owns a shipping company. He used to be a successful racing pilot, so successful that he's described as "legendary". When he's not shipping he trains younger pilots to race and nowadays even sponsors big races, some for charitable causes. During this book, Han is getting ready for a big tournament that he's sponsoring called the Five Sabers.
5)     Ben is off training with Luke. Leia keeps in contact with them via holocall, but we learn that she has been unable to reach them for some time. She's concerned, but it doesn't go into too much detail.
6)     There is no mention of Ben being a bad kid, or Leia and Han having concerns about him "going dark". Also of note is that they decided not to tell Ben of his ancestry. He has no idea that Darth Vader is his grandfather at this point, and he's already in his early twenties. This really surprised me. It says Leia couldn't find the right moment to tell him.
7)    Chewbacca has been living with his family on Kashyyyk ever since Han and Leia got married.


Ok, I've scoured the book for goodies and I've written down extracts from ALL of the Han and Leia scenes, and bits that mention their relationship. Most of them are here in their entirety, others have been edited down a bit. But all the important stuff is here for you to enjoy. I know I'm not the only one who would go into a book store and grab the latest SW book and stand their and read all the Han and Leia bits. Well, you don't have to with this one, because I've done all the hard work for you. I've included page numbers for easy reference.

Page 12

Note - Leia is day dreaming and thinks back to when Ben was first born

"Never imagined this," Han had murmured, sitting up in their bed late at night, Ben's tiny head resting in the crook of his father's arm. "Having a kid. Even wanting a kid. But now he's here, and -"

"And you're a dad." Leia leaned closer, unable to resist the chance to tease her husband. "Just think, hotshot. Someday you might even be a granddad."

Han's chuckle had warmed her. "Speak for yourself, sweetheart. Me, I ain't never getting that old."



Pretty much half of chapter two is a long holo chat between Han and Leia. It's too much for me to type up, but here are some of the most notable bits. Here Leia has just told Han that she's thinking of quitting the Senate.

"Don't take this the wrong way, but -what would you do with yourself?"

It was a fair question. Leia had given so much of her life to the Rebellion and then the New Republic that even she sometimes wondered if she had anything left. But she did. Of course.

"I've been thinking." She pretended to mull the question over. "What if I decided to go flying around the Galaxy with some scoundrel?"

Han raised his eyebrows and pointed toward his own chest.

Leia laughed. "Unless you had another scoundrel in mind."

"Hey, hey. I'm the only scoundrel up for the job." He shook his head in surprise? Disbelief? Leia wasn't sure. What mattered was the warmth in his smile.

........

They'd been apart too often in their marriage. Too long. Han's restlessness had been a large part of that, but he couldn't take all the blame. Leia had remained here, mired in political muck. Now she could finally do her part to change things for them.

.........

Han studied her for a few moments, then began to grin. "You do realise that after three months on the same ship, we're gonna kill each other."

Leia leaned closer to the terminal so he would see the wickedness in her smile. "But won't those three months be fun?"

She was thinking of a sublight run they'd undertaken together early in their marriage, which had begun with a great deal of bickering. However, all that time alone, with no one to interrupt them, had eventually led to much more enjoyable pursuits. Given the timing, she was fairly sure those enjoyable pursuits had led directly, some months later, to Ben's birth.

"Oh we'll have fun." Han brushed his fingers near the holocam, as if he could touch her face. "You better believe it."



Page 95

"Han, I'm sorry about the campaign. I really wanted something different for us." She thought of her day dreams of the two of them flying across the galaxy together, carefree at last. Already those dreams were fading into shadows. "But nothing ever changes."

"Hey." Han looked up from his work......"Don't apologise to me for taking this seriously, okay? You put duty first. Drives me crazy sometimes, but that's who you are. It's also probably why the Republic is still in one piece."

Leia couldn't quite smile. "Someday." The words sounded like a promise. But Leia couldn't make herself believe that day would ever really come...and she knew Han couldn't, either. Someday was the sun disappearing behind a cloud, a morning lost to darkness before night should have come.

Page 128

"I'm not dropping out....,but before all this I had been seriously considering retiring. I've wanted to spend more time with my family."

"I imagined living with my husband again. It's been a while since we were together, more than half the year."

She seemed to have a case of paranoia this morning, but she understood why an outsider might believe she was "available", which was proof that Han had definitely been gone too long.

Page 139

Note- Leia has been injured in a bombing. She leaves Han a voice message to let him know she's ok, and tells him not to rush home. It's not long before a concerned Han sends her a holo message back.

The first image that flickered into being was Han's face, he looked more stricken than she had seen him in years. "Leia, sweetheart, Greer tells me you're sleeping the bacta off...but when I heard somebody had bombed the Senate and saw those pictures...." He shook his head, as if trying to cast the images out of his mind. "If I hadn't gotten your message, I would've gone out of my head. I'm just glad you're all right. Contact me when you're up and around again and if you change your mind about me coming to Hosnian Prime, just say the word." Han gave her that smile that never failed to stop her heart. "I love you."


Page 141

"You have a lovely home, Princess Leia."

Leia chuckled. "You say that now. Come back when my husband has been home for a few weeks. Socks everywhere." Although she made a joke of it, Ransolm recognised in that moment that she missed her husband greatly.

Page 190

Note - Han sends another holo message, which Leia views later on.

Leia felt a pang of loneliness..... "Make sure you're taking care of yourself, all right? It's gonna be a while before I can get back and take care of you and I know how good you are at getting into trouble." Han's lopsided grin made him look, just for a moment, like the dashing young smuggler she'd first met. "That's what I like best about you, you know."

Page 269

Note - Leia sends Han a recorded holo message....

"Han, it's me. By the time you receive this I will have left Hosnian Prime for what the rest of the world thinks is my hiding away to contemplate my disgrace." (Her disgrace is being Vader's daughter)

Leia could be wry about it now. She'd poured her heart out to Han in a more heartfelt message yesterday, one so grief stricken she had hesitated before sending it, even to her husband. But if she couldn't have Han with her to help her through, at least she could tell him how she felt. Over and over Leia spoke into the void....she knew why it had to be this way, but never before had her separations from Han, Ben and Luke been more difficult to bear.....Leia smiled into the holocam, trying to envision Han's face. If her mission went wrong, her next words might be the last thing Han would hear her say. The first time she'd had to ask herself what to do in this situation had been on Cloud City, and she said the same thing now as she had said then. "I love you."

Page 291

Leia's feet slammed to the floor as she let the heavy tow drop. She ran for the cockpit, where the pilot was so hard at work he didn't even turn around.

"Sorry I'm late, sweetheart," said Han.

She slipped into the empty copilot seat beside him. "Honey, you're right on time."

Her husband had not only received her message, but dropped everything he was doing to rush here to help her....Leia let go of all the frustration she felt at Han's long absences, all the bickering they'd never grown out of. In the end, she knew, he would always come through.

Page 294

Han snuggled her closer against his chest as they lay together in their bed on Hosnian Prime. Moonlight slanted through the window.....Leia rested her head on his shoulder and shut her eyes, taking comfort in the tenderness in which he kissed her forehead.

.......Han stroked her hair, which spread across her pillow, off the far edge of the bed. ".....once your term's up, you're free. You can spend time flying around with an old scoundrel for a change."

"Han, that sounds like paradise." But she couldn't set aside all her worries so easily. "Has it been bad for you? When the sunlight relays ended, and you came to realise they knew my secret... (She's talking about Vader being her father)

"Everyone assumed I must've had no idea who I'd married. I made that clear that I'd known (about Vader) from the start, that I don't give a damn, and nobody with any sense wouldn't care either."

One of the best things about Han was that he boiled everything down to the essentials and disregarded the rest. Sometimes he simplified things too much, but mostly he helped her focus on what really mattered. He'd calmed her down about Ben,  more or less but even Han could only take her so far.

....."Hey, just for tonight, let it go. Not even you can save the galaxy before breakfast." Han smiled gently. "You take too much on yourself. Always have. And you've been through too much lately. So let someone else take care of you for a while."

She felt some of the tension drain away from her. "Do you have any idea how much I love you?"

"Yeah, I'd say I have a pretty good idea." Leia mock punched him in the arm, and Han chuckled. "C'mon, you know I love you, too."

"Yes," she said as she titled her mouth up for a kiss. "I know."


Page 302

"See? I told you things would turn around," Han said that evening, as they dined at home.

Han had brought back Bilbringi food, cheesy meat pies with peppers ; Leia liked Bilbringi, though not quite as much as he did. Tonight though, it hit the spot.

....Han, who could eat these things in the cockpit while flying, deftly rewrapped his own pie. "well, don't worry. You don't have to deal with this alone, all right?" I'm willing to be here as long as you need me."

Willing. That one word said do much. Leia never doubted Han's love for her, but she also knew that he would always be a wanderer at heart. He would stay with her on Hosnian Prime for a year or more if she asked him to, but she would feel as if she'd clipped a bird's wings.

She set down her food. "Han. It's all right. We both know you want to get back to the Sabers."

"It's just a race, sweetheart."

"Yes, but this mess I'm in...it shouldn't wreck your life too. Besides, I think the Galaxy would forgive me for being Vader's daughter faster than they'd forgive me for postponing the hyperspace championship round of the Five Sabers."

Han shook his head in wonder. "You can still surprise me."

"The worst is over, I'll be fine."

Simply knowing he'd soon be back in his ship, flying free, had brightened Han's mood. "I Gotta admit, I wouldn't have known what to do with all the political mumbo  jumbo anyway. Fighting blasters is fairer, and if you ask me it probably causes a whole lot less damage."

She sighed in fond exasperation. "Some things never change."

His expression grew more serious and he ra he'd across the table to take her hand. "That's right, somethings will always be the same."

"Is that a promise?"

"You better believe it."

Page 330

Later that evening Leia changed out of her senatorial robes into an overall and one of Han's leather jackets. It hung big on her, but smelled comfortingly of him, even so long after he'd gone.


So there you have it. I'll conclude with some of my own thoughts and a few concerns. Firstly the bad stuff. Even though Han and Leia don't decide to live separate lives, it's very clear that they spend an awful lot of time apart, and that Han isn't really content to sit around in a domestic set up. To be fair, in all honesty, I don't think Han would be content to sit at home the whole time. He would need to do something just for him, so I can see him pursuing these things. Being a racing pilot, and training others seems like the perfect post war job for our fav scoundrel, and the shipping business is also something I can see him doing. It's like smuggling, only legal ;) So I think he would have SOME time away from Leia, as long as it's not TOO long. I really hate the idea that he might be away more often than he's with her, because it definitely shouldn't be like that. As we don't really get any time frame for his absences, let's assume it's not that bad. Unfortunately the fact he is away from home a lot will undoubtedly give the twisted Rey-lo shippers plenty of ammo to fire back at us, about Han never being there for poor ickle Benny and how he's such a dead beat dad. So there's that. I'd like to think though that Han WAS there for Ben. He certainly seemed thrilled to be a father in that adorable little flash back. Maybe Han only started being away a lot after Ben had gone to train with Luke? We don't have enough info to know at this point. Also the Rey-lo's are sure to comment on the "bickering", but as any Han and Leia fan knows, bickering is what makes them. It's like foreplay. And it doesn't have to be bad, it can be sweet and tender too.

On the plus side, I think it's very clear that they do have a strong marriage. They are still deeply in love and you do wonder how they could have become estranged not long after when they seem in such a good place after 23 years of marriage. Despite comments made by JJ Abrams about them being ill suited, and that they would have a bad marriage, there certainly isn't evidence of this. Leia missing Han so much and wanting to give up the only life she has ever known to be with him, is more than enough to tell us that they had a good marriage, and that Leia wants to give herself entirely to Han so they can grow old together. If their marriage sucked she wouldn't want to do that. It just makes me so sad that this never happened :(

So mostly, this is a book that heals a fair amount of the hurt caused by TFA. It shows us our fav couple haven't been apart for years and years as some led us to believe and their estrangement has only been a fairly recent thing. They were happily married for at least 23 years, even if they were apart for some it. But is it any worse than the Bantam era,  when Leia often lamented that she never saw Han? And Luke was amazed that they had managed to have three kids as they were never in the same place at the same time? Not really, and for that, at least, I am grateful.

Now, I can go read the book properly :)


31 comments:

  1. Thanks for the thorough review, Claire, and for clearing up a lot of the misinformation. I'm glad that a lot of the bad reported stuff simply wasn't true.

    I of course love that it seems they go out of their way to show the deep love those two share. But I don't know, just knowing the undertone of sadness even already here, let alone knowing where it's all going, I just don't know if I'll be able to read it or get behind it. I will also add I think it is very cool that a book this important to Leia's character was left in the hands of a Han and Leia fan.

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  2. Thanks Claire for providing the review. I don't know if I'll make it to the book or not so this helps to know what I am getting into.

    I do think it's great they've been married quite some time. Pretty stoked about that. So it’s canon now the princess got her scoundrel? :) But it makes it harder for me to believe they'd separate because of what happened with Ben then. That much time together I would think they’d be more apt to help each other through it. And the book seems to support that as he’s clearly supporting her at times. So how bad did it get then?

    Sounds like they are away from each other quite a bit. That's a bummer. I wonder how long those absences go on for. And what did they mean when Han calmed Leia down about Ben? I'm wondering what that was about.

    I also think the bit that no one knew Leia’s parentage and they didn’t tell Ben was interesting. How did they manage to hide that? And did Snoke use that information against Han and Leia? Like see your parents lied to you, didn’t tell you how powerful you are. I could see it being used to turn Ben against them. But I certainly don’t see much that explains why he turned or how things were going. Was there any mention of that?

    I do love that e came back to help her. That was really sweet. And how much in love they still seem to be. Just makes it harder that they didn’t get to retire together like Leia wanted.

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    1. Thought I'd pick up on something you said there, Amara. About Han calming Leia down "about Ben". I interpret this as her worrying about not having told Ben about Vader being his grandfather, and now it's been made public knowledge she is flipping out about what that revelation might have done to him, especially as it didn't come from her. So I'm guessing when Han got home he calmed her down.

      Certainly, Ben finding out like this gives him a reason to be angry with his parents. He would feel they lied to him.

      But you're right, it's very hard to see how they could soon break up after they seem so strong in this book. I think if they do a book about the split it will be very hard to read. Not sure I could read it.

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    2. I don't think I could either. And I think we were lucky to get a Han/Leia fan to write Bloodline. We might not get so lucky for the author doing their separation - remember how poorly James Luceno did it in the NJO?

      My worst fear would be that they pair them up with other love interests during their separation. I could see some "JJ bro" author writing the "Han as a kewl smuggler!!" books and throwing in an Indy girl love interest in there because Han's so much cooler as a single womanizing smuggler amirite?

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  3. I'm glad to hear all the nice things about them in the book, but it still just...well, kind of makes me feel sad. I just kinda wanted to see these two get old together and hand off saving the galaxy to their (multiple) children as Lucas had intended. If they'd just been cameos in TFA saying to their kids "May the Force be With You," and then walking off into the sunset together, I would have been so happy and Star Wars could have gone on for me, whatever it held for the next generation...

    Now it's just all kind of sad and messed-up.

    I will probably get around to reading the book at some point, and I'm glad it points to the blame being on their little shit of a son, but I won't be reading it soon because I'm working on my own fanfic timeline which involves Leia revealing to the galaxy the truth of her parentage not long after her marriage because she decides that secrets and lies can only destroy (yes, I've had that in mind since before TFA). So I don't want to read "Bloodline" and be impacted by its reveal.

    And because I kind of have the same problem with all of the books they're going to cram into the timeline between ROTJ and TFA as I did with the whole prequel trilogy: They're just telling backstory, and I know how this ends. (Granted, right now I don't really know how it ends in the ST, but I know a lot and I'm not sure I want to know more of how this turns out).

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    1. Kels,

      You really write what I think about this.

      However, I caved in and bought the book. I'm looking forward to reading your fanfic mentioned above.

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    2. Kels,

      You really write what I think about this.

      However, I caved in and bought the book. I'm looking forward to reading your fanfic mentioned above.

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    3. Thanks, koalas. Working on the fanfic...bought the book for a friend who is going through a rough time and will like it, as she is less perturbed by the TFA outcome than I am, and maybe at some point in the future I'll read it, but not soon....

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    4. Kels you keep up with your awesome fanfics. I will be reading and enjoying them thoroughly. As much as I loved Bloodline I can't shake the melancholy now that I've finished it. I totally need a fanfic bender where it's all AU and fluff goodness, all the time.

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  4. I've been reading the book and enjoying it thoroughly, because it shows how much Han and Leia truly love each other. But, I have been feeling a certain sense of melancholy throughout. It's mostly me, wishing that these two did have their happy ending, but also because there is just so much love and longing between these two, but they're apart so much. Mixed feelings for sure.

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  5. My review:

    Damn. It's time for the Resistance to rise...I got chills. There's my childhood heroine.

    Definitely one of the best characterizations we have of Leia in the EU to date. Claudia Gray GETS her so well, you can hear Carrie speaking every word (and Harrison in his brief scenes). She's got her trademark qualities of being smart, compassionate and competent that we always see, but Claudia nails the other aspects of her personality that are so often forgotten - being feisty, quick-witted, sarcastic, and FUN. Love, love the scene of her cleaning house at Sabaac and sitting around with the pilots drinking hooch. I mean that's why Leia's so awesome - she's just as comfortable being a speaker in the house as she is getting her hands dirty with the boys.

    Han showing up to rescue her at the last minute!!! God dammit JJ, WHY couldn't we have gotten them fighting side by side in TFA? They make such a kick-ass team together!

    Despite what Reyloers will undoubtedly say, Han and Leia are strong and in love here as ever. This isn't some marriage on paper or a marriage of convenience - they make every effort to communicate - sounds like their holocalls are a daily thing - and support each other across the distance. The only thing I don't like is that they are apart so much. The way Leia misses Han so much makes me think that their long separations are a relatively recent thing - I hope that they didn't spend most of their marriage living apart. Han coming through when Leia needs him the most, Leia thinking of him often and missing him - it's clear they're passionately in love with each other. So great seeing them just being "married" - cuddling in bed together, eating take out food together in the kitchen - little moments like that made me smile. Their sex life is definitely still hot - Leia thinks about their "sentimental reunions" and gets distracted in the Senate thinking about all the sex she and Han are going to have later - and that's after they've been married for 23 years. You KNOW all their reunions after those months apart would be non stop sex LOL.

    Their last scene is so heartbreaking when Han makes a promise they'll be together forever, when you know it isn't true....But at least this book shows us for 23 years they had a good marriage where they were madly in love with each other. In fact, it really made me hate Kylo more when you see how happy they were and how much Leia loved Ben and how he ripped them apart.

    Little things I loved: Claudia Gray ret-conning why Carrie FIsher spoke in an English accent to Tarkin that disappears later. Fantastic.

    Claudia taking all the sexist BS about how Leia's character is degraded by being put in a slave bikini and turning it on their heads - No, that scene isn't about Leia being degraded. It's about her then freakin' strangling the gangster that held her captive in it. Huttslayer - awesome. Also love that at no point does Claudia Gray put some cliche phrase like "Leia wished she still looked like that" or "Ransolm ogled Leia's younger body" - it's all about her taking down Jabba.

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  6. Ewokkey and those who have read the book -

    Can I also confirm that it's made clear in the book that Han also loves Ben? I read somewhere, I think it was you, ewokkey, who posted - that Han still holocalls regularly with Ben and also that Leia has a moment where she's sad that Han has to turn to his racing protegees to teach them all the thing that he really wanted to teach Ben.

    True?

    Thanks.

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    1. Yes, it's mentioned that Han is in holocall contact with Ben. And yes, it also says that about Han wanting to teach those things to his son. The question is, it sounds like it was something he longed for but didn't get to do, so why? Maybe Ben wasn't interested in flying and wanted to do his own thing, and Han just couldn't convince him.

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    2. Or maybe Snoke worked on Ben to dislike his father from a young age...even if Ben didn't want to learn to fly, I can't imagine him not wanting to go places with Han flying unless he was a little shit from the day he learned to walk.

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    3. Because really, learning to fly is kind of like learning to drive in that universe. Even if you don't love it, you mostly have to learn it...

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    4. And thanks, claire and ewokkey, for all the info

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  7. Everyone go read Mandy Q's awesome Bloodline fic now!

    Imagine the Future in the Night: extended flashback with newborn Ben: http://bit.ly/1Y7Rifq

    Commitment: Han and Leia on the sofa discussing the Bail Organa statue unveiling: http://bit.ly/1OdY2D0

    How Soon We Forget: Emotional exchange coming home from Sibensko: http://bit.ly/1rmXTIp

    Off to the Races: Chapter one of the three-chapter Origin Racer!Han fic: http://bit.ly/1Y7UbwY

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  8. I'm in the middle of reading Bloodline. I really enjoy how different it is from the literary style of the Legends books. Both of the new Canon books I've now read have been a breath of fresh air from the Legends books, which were mostly poorly written, incredibly dense, and treated our OTP quite horribly. Bloodline is certainly written to be mainstream and marketable. I wouldn't imagine Disney to take any other approach to a novel that focusses on one of the OT heroes, and true be told, I think the adventure/soap quasi-YA style is fitting for our OT heroes. That said, I can't help but wonder if we'll ever get another hardcore scifi book in the Star Wars universe. Can you imagine how incredible it would be if a powerhouse of the scifi/fantasy genre got to write a Canon book? Anyway...

    I'll save my big Bloodline thoughts for when I finish, but can I indulge you all in a nerdy question that keeps distracting me while I'm reading?

    So.... what planet does Leia represent in the senate?

    It isn't directly addressed and Wookipedia is also vague. I think most people would assume she represents Alderaan — but Alderaan doesn’t exist anymore, and I would assume that 30 years post-ANH, most Alderaanian survivors would have resettled on other planets.

    I realize that I’m making an assumption that senators represent planets/systems/territories/worlds (as opposed to non-territorial entities, like species or trade sectors, etc.) and that they are elected by the “will of the people” (Wookipedia) of those planets, but that seems like a reasonable assumption given that the senate is composed of “member worlds” (Wookipeedia) and that planetary sovereignty vs. centralism is what divides the senate’s two primary factions.

    So, what planet does Leia represent? Who are her constituents? And if Leia does represent the Alderaanian diaspora, then are survivors represented twice in the senate — by Leia as well as by representatives of their new home planets? That doesn’t seem egalitarian.

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  9. I agree that this is kind of a puzzler, and has been for me since they said she was formerly a Senator in TFA. And, assuming they aren't Senators as reps of some organization, don't they have to be a citizen of some form of the world they represent? So Leia is a citizen where?

    Haven't read Bloodline, will do so at some point in the future likely (still not in a giant rush), but yes, this question puzzles me and has always puzzled me. I don't remember how the EU handled this either...

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  10. Interview with Claudia Gray:

    Leia is such a towering character in Star Wars and you were able to fill in some key events between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. How did you approach writing such tender moments as Bail Organa’s message or the touching scenes between her and Han?

    One of the things we never see more than a hint of in the original trilogy is the incredible price Leia’s had to pay. She lost her family, lost her world. She endured capture and torture. By the time we catch up with her in The Force Awakens, she’s effectively lost her son and is separated from her husband. It felt important, to Bloodline, to acknowledge that price. The only way to do that is by honoring what she had. Her relationship with Han was unconventional in some ways, but they made it work. They loved each other. And the message from Bail Organa was one of the things I enjoyed writing most. It helped me feel like the entire destruction of Alderaan was more real.

    Knowing what happens in The Force Awakens, was it important for you to show how strong the relationship between Leia and Han was right up until Ben’s seduction by the dark side?

    Yes, definitely. I’ve shipped Han and Leia since 1980, when I was just a kid. In fact, I remember that the novelization of Empire Strikes Back by Donald F. Glut was printed with several completely blank pages in the back, so I cut pictures of the characters out of magazines and Scotch-taped them back there, writing captions of my own. Holy cats, I think I remember some of the Han-Leia caption verbatim: “Members of the Rebel Alliance, opponents in a never-ending battle of wits, and… in love with each other!”

    What I’m saying is, I’ve been preparing for this gig for a while.

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    1. Okay, so what I find funny about this interview is that so many fans are gloating and celebrating that Bloodline proves Han and Leia had some kind of awful, dysfunctional marriage that scarred Ben to the point he went to the Dark Side..yet the AUTHOR HERSELF says that the book is supposed to show that their marriage was strong and loving. LOL

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  11. I am not planning on buying the book, but wanted to know what happened, and I'm glad I know now. Makes me feel better. And JJ Abrams couldn't be more wrong about Han's character, so I don't really trust him with it. But that's over now, I guess. Don't really care what happens in the following movies, but this book review is like salve on a wound. Thanks!

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  12. I liked the book very much, although it almost went a little far on the other side of love and tolerance (really, you cant come see your concussed wife after the Senate bldg blew up?). And it takes away some of the sting of TFA. But. it does not erase the essential despair and ultimate meaningless that is the end of the H/L storyline in TFA. Their love story, which survived against all odds, is actually empty because after all they went through, they simply created a horrible person who kills innocents and murders his father. And tortures young women, which apparently is very romantic now.

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  13. Oh, and I assume that Leia is a senator from some sort of Alderaan at large remnant.

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  14. Thanks to everyone that commented on my review :)

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  15. Agreed ReallyRuby and McKak.

    Here's another odd thing: I'm going to have to watch the whole PT for a fanfic I'm writing (because I really can't remember much of the PT). But here's the amazing and kinda shocking thing that happened: it really doesn't seem that bad anymore.

    The other thing: If I can't remember the PT, I figure in a few years I won't remember the ST much either, but the OT is happily burned in my aging brain.

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  16. Just rewatched TFA on plane ride, post reading Bloodline. The Han in TFA is definitely incongruous with the picture in TFA. Difficult to see how Han could have fallen into such a level of disrepute, and dumbness (ie the rathtars/death gangs scenes) in just a few years. Also, the adult book b=version went even harder at the feeling of long separation//disrepute, in particular thinking of Han laughing and agreeing with Ben/Snoke assessment of him as a small time thief.

    So it is interesting to see JJ's vision of Han being retrograded so much. The novelization contains more of that vision and would have been based on the script pre final cut, the film walks it back a bit, and then Bloodline really undercuts it. this is in a matter of months. How did this level of disconnect occur? Did Disney not understand JJ's vision? or is all the walking back a result of the fan reaction?

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    1. This is just speculation, but my guess is that a large part of it had to do with all of the secrecy surrounding everything and how nobody could know anything they didn't NEED to know, nor did they know it until they absolutely had to. The novelization really wasn't very good. It felt incredibly rushed. I actually don't know that we can even blame the author for that, as he was probably given the minimal of what he needed to know and only given just enough time to turn it into a book. Novelizations are supposed to contain more than they could fit in the movie, because you are not bound by the rules of film narratives and can get a little more sidetracked and cover more things without worrying as much about losing the audience's attention. ANH delved into a lot of stuff we didn't see in the movie, that in the movie wouldn't really have worked but was interesting to read. TFA only has pretty much exactly what is in the movie, minus some stuff they deleted from the movie but did in fact film.

      Overall, my point is, I just don't think any of it was all that well thought out in advance, and perhaps sometimes people had to kind of guess at motivations or timelines. I mean I think we still don't quite know exactly when certain things happened.

      I do agree that Han seeming THAT far gone in the movie doesn't seem to really fit with what seems to be an incredibly in love couple in this book. But I guess we still have no idea. But like I said, I just don't think they thought a lot of this through. That's what happens when you just outright drop the whole mythology aspect which is largely why the overall story was so compelling in the first place, and then just write what you think might be "cool" to see. Hint: not cool, guys.

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    2. Hmm, it's interesting isn't it? I would agree that the characters in Bloodline don't really gel with how they are in TFA. It is almost like they are trying to do some retconning to distance themselves from JJ's messed up vision.

      What's really interesting is that the release date for Bloodline was pushed back by a couple of months because of alterations that had to be made. This was AFTER TFA came out. In hindsight, it really does make you wonder if they changed something due to negative fan reaction to what JJ did to Han and Leia.

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  17. Yeah, after reading Bloodline and seeing how close it is to TFA it really makes you wonder how everything could have gone to hell so fast. Like Han is rich and famous in Bloodline so how did he go from that to being deeply in debt and being chased by criminal gangs in TFA? How did he manage to be a smuggler when he's a celebrity both as a war hero and famous racer in Bloodline? How did Han and Leia fall so far apart when they seem so solid in Bloodline?

    It does make a few lines in TFA seem out of place, because some of the dialogue along with JJ's comments made it sound like Han and Leia's marriage was dysfunctional and not good before Ben even went Dark and that their volatile marriage was a major factor in Ben going Dark. Also, Han's line of "I went back to the only thing I was good at" makes no sense since it seemed he sucked at smuggling both times he did it and he was a legendary racer.

    I did like that Han had his own career and accomplishments in this EU though. In the old EU it seemed like he never had any kind of job title beyond Leia's pilot and going on various missions when he wasn't being a househusband.

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