Friday, February 24, 2017

There's a New Book, is Anyone Reading it?

I find it interesting, or perhaps just telling, that nobody has requested we start talking about this. Perhaps it's just because it seems like commenting in general seems to have declined. Whatever the reason, since at the moment things seem to be quiet and I have no other stories to post here, we might as well bring this up.

For those of you unaware, or who have simply stopped caring, this is the third book in the new version of post-ROTJ canon that follows Aftermath and Life Debt. And apparently it includes the birth of baby Ben Solo. I think as Han and Leia fans you know you've really been beaten into hopelessness when there is a book where Han takes care of his pregnant wife and she has the baby and none of us are talking about it. Well, maybe some of you are talking about it somewhere, but it's not like with Bloodline where a few of you really wanted space to talk about it.

I'm 99% sure I will not be reading this book, just like I didn't read the two that came before it, or Bloodline. I'm just not particularly interested in this new version of things when we know where it leads. I know we kind of got something similar eventually in the old "legends" timeline, but we had years of definitely not expecting that where we could think it was cute to see Han and Leia with their kids. And to be fair I was really angry about that whole thing too, so I'm certainly not trying to argue that that option was generally better, although a few elements of it certainly were.

My issue to is that they seem to be making a lot of stupid little changes, just for the sake of changes, that don't add anything and just make it worse. I read like a paragraph excerpt on tumblr somewhere I think that said that Ben was a Solo, Leia kept her name. Why? I mean to be honest, if we're going to make some changes like that and we're talking about a galaxy we don't know everything about, why not say that Ben's last name was Organa too? And yeah, it bugs me that Leia doesn't take Han's name. It shouldn't, because frankly if by some miracle I were to get married I have strong feelings about keeping my own name, but Leia is someone who got married quite young, and really maybe shouldn't even have that much attachment to a last name that she was adopted into anyway. And also the kids thing. It just seems odd that she would keep a different last name from her husband (who may or may not be interested in being a "family man" anyway, that remains unclear in this ridiculous new version of events) and her son.

Anyway, I don't want to rant too much about it, because really I used up all my anger over the changes months ago, and they could tell me in this book we find out Han is a wife-beater and I'd kind of shrug my shoulders and be like, well, given everything else they've done, what more do we expect? I just find it really interesting that as Han and Leia fans this is a book where they have a kid and nobody seems to have brought it up. Can you imagine if the movie had included a heroic, kick-ass kid of theirs how much we'd want to read about them coming into the world?

So has anyone read it? Going to read it? Heard anything about it? I'd be interested to know if anyone can read it and kind of separate it from knowing how it turns out to actually enjoy reading about Han and Leia with their new baby. That's just not going to happen for me, but I guess I should maybe be grateful that it will save me a lot of time and money to never have to read another Star Wars book. Oh, and lastly, I also am kind of annoyed that they called it Empire's End, since that was a comic in the old timeline that included baby Anakin Solo, who totally did not grow up to murder his father.


  1. Doesn't sound too promising on the Han/Leia front:

    1. I saw at least one of those headlines, and I think they are probably greatly exaggerating. Because it seems a little far-fetched to decide that basically one line of dialog from this book explains why they split up, what, 25 years later?

      BUT I can see why people are drawing these conclusions. Because really, you can't show us in a movie that they've split up, and unless you actually look into it, you can't tell by the movie how long they've been split up, because it could really be anywhere between 2 and 25 years, and expect people to do anything but read into the tiniest details negatively. I saw that people like Jennifer Heddle said it wasn't meant to be read that way, but again, it cannot be surprising that people see one mention of Han being "bored" and just assume that he was clearly always unhappy and never wanted any of it and that's why he left.

      Does anyone have any idea how these books are doing in comparison with the old, Legends ones in terms of sales? I'd be really curious about that. See, back then we could just enjoy the books for what they were, we didn't have to look for "clues" that were foreshadowing things that would happen in a movie that occurs 30 years later. When everything about 30 years later is negative, everyone is going to look for things that lead to that negativity.

    2. I'm so tired of the mainstream media always ripping Han and Leia apart and talking about what a terrible couple they made and how Ben suffered because of it >:(

    3. Get used to it. You're going to see "articles" like this for every single book that comes out that has Han and Leia in it. Any book that portrays them legitimately disciplining Ben for something will go off about how mean and awful they were and no wonder he turned to the dark side. Every minor disagreement that they have will be why they were never meant to be together. It's not going to go away.

    4. I only recently got into the fandom but when did Han and Leia become the favorite punching bags of the media? Did this happen before JJ Abrams ruined them in TFA?

      Got the book BTW - It's not anywhere near as bad as those articles sound, but there is a lot of commentary that Han feels trapped and suffocated in his new life with Leia and expecting a baby. I read it more as someone who has been on the run his entire life finding it hard to adjust to a lifetime of peace and domesticity. The articles are definitely blowing it out of proportion.

    5. Well, welcome to the fandom! I'm not at all surprised that the book is nowhere near what people are saying. Like I said, they've just kind of set things up to jump to ridiculous conclusions.

      To answer your question, it is definitely more of a recent thing. Back when Mara Jade came along in the old books there was some battling there about how Luke and Mara were a "better" couple because they were SO bonded because of the Force, and Han and Leia could not compete with that. But really, I don't think general Star Wars fans were saying that it said anything bad about Han and Leia, I remember it more like the fans themselves, meaning us, were the ones who were annoyed that it had been turned into a competition and like Han and Leia couldn't be as close because Han didn't have the Force.

      I'm honestly not sure if it is just because of the movie or if it is a sign of the time. It has become the new thing to write "articles" to get people to click on them to make money. Outrageous headlines make money. There are thousands of web sites out there that do nothing but that, write "articles" that completely exaggerate something just to get people to read it.

      I don't know if you were around several months ago when there was a comic book where it is revealed that Han had a "wife" before Leia. The comics took place before Empire Strikes Back. This is a really, really common tactic with comic books, to have kind of outrageous story lines that turn out to be some sort of misunderstanding. But that didn't stop us from being inundated with articles about how Han had this wife before Leia, and that he cheated on this wife with Leia. I'm sure they said other crazy things too. Of course eventually this turned out to be a big misunderstanding, and they had only posed like a couple getting married as a distraction, and were never really married, because that's how comic books work. But, again, one little piece of information, and a hundred articles talking about what a bad man Han was for cheating on his "wife" with Leia.

      I do think that it is a very big deal to a lot of people that Han and Leia were not together in TFA, and that one of the greatest screen couples ever was split up. So I think a lot of people are looking for other reasons why it didn't work out or whatever. I'm not sure if there are similar articles about Luke based on things written before, I haven't looked. But I suppose there could be.

      So I guess to answer your question, no, I don't think they were always the punching bags. We DID have a rough patch during the New Jedi Order series when they were split up, but as fans we were upset by it, and I don't ever recall anyone saying that it was simply the inevitable happening, and they never belonged together before that or whatever. In fact, outside of actual Star Wars forums I don't remember seeing any discussion about it at all. But, again, news wasn't shared the way it is now.

      I'd be interested though if anyone else remembers any of it differently or has any other ideas about it.

    6. Funny though that the media didn't mention anything about Bloodline when that came out, a book that shows they were married for the entire 30 year gap between the movies and only became estranged less than 6 years prior to TFA. No they didn't mention them being a happily married couple, but any hint of anything bad and they are all over it. Typical.

    7. Claire, correct. Just like there also was not a single article that explained later how that whole wife thing was just a sham, not a real wife. And all those other articles they wrote were exaggerating.

    8. Okay, just because Zyra brought it and I have to cling desperately to the EU: I've always chosen to look at the early NJO less harshly because then comes BP and Recovery and from there, their relationship only strengthens. Chewie dies: they become estranged for a short while, but then make up! Anakin dies: relationship becomes stronger. Mara and Jacen die: they become closer.
      I think that's what bothers me most about the new canon and Han and Leia's relationship in the new canon. The EU showed a brighter side where they leaned on each other when things got bad (my favorite EU scene EVER is in Rebel Dream when Jaina and Leia have that talk and Leia insists that she needs to surround herself with friends and family to get through the hard times) whereas Disney displays a much more cruel and merciless image where bad things happen and it only goes downhill from there. I really can't stand that. That's what I hate most about all this.
      I guess it does bother me that the media has to jump on the train and sell the news that Han and Leia were an awful couple and would never have made it. Thinking about it now, it probably shouldn't bother me as much as it does because I've got my safe places within the fandom and our like-minded group of writers isn't really that small. So, yes, I hate it, too, but what can we do?

    9. Did you read those books as they were being released or did you only read them later? I just know that reading them when they were being released was scary, because we didn't know how long they were going to be split up, how far it was going to be taken (there were rumors that Han would, in fact, be cheating on Leia) and we had to wonder even IF they were going to get back together at all.

      So I totally agree with you that now that we know how it turned out, and that once they got back together they were more bonded than ever and basically inseparable for every book thereafter, it was definitely a scary time while it was going on.

      I do agree there isn't anything we can do, and that's also why I'm really not particularly worked up over this, as it's already become apparent they are going to make it mostly awful. I was just curious if anyone else was paying attention to it at all.

    10. I was a latecomer to the EU. My dad used to talk about how my uncle had some SW books, but I never knew anything about them until my dad got me a few. I read NJO first, and this was around the time half of Fate of the Jedi was out.

    11. Cool, I'm sure it was nice not having to wait for books to come out. So yeah, we were scared as it was all unfolding! I used to post a lot back then on the Jedi Council forums and there was a very, very long thread called "To LFL: Stop abusing Han and Leia's romance!" We really felt like they were getting unnecessarily trashed and ruined. Even before NJO there were times where Leia seemed kind of condescending toward Han. There was a lot of uproar then from Han and Leia fans about the split in NJO. I do wonder if the outcry had them tone it down and/or shorten the split. But whatever the reason, it was definitely nice that once they were back together, they were better than ever. And as you said, I think they would come together in tragedy, not run away from it. Neither one of them is a stranger to that. Han has witnessed Leia persevering in the face of losing her entire planet so he has to know that she is strong enough to get through it, and it would be incredibly selfish of him to leave her alone like that.

    12. Yeah, the reviewer clearly hasn't read Bloodline, in which H/L are a VERY happy couple.

    13. Zyra, I remember that thread on the JC Forums! God, I feel old.

      The NJO was a terrifying time to be a Han/Leia fan. I remember reading James Luceno's comments about wanting to obliquely write Han cheating on Leia and just about hit the roof ... and that was AFTER his books were published and we read nothing about any affair. It was awful.

      I agree with Jaina, though, whatever else you may think of the NJO, it brought us Troy Denning. And thank god for Troy Denning. That's all I have to say about that. :D

    14. And I'm just sitting here, snickering at you, KR, because this section of the comments falls right next to BP and Recovery on the sidebar, so I see Recovery and, in parentheses, yay!
      I can only imagine how awful/scary it must have been when the early NJO books were coming out. Now, living through this disaster fest, I guess all I can say is that I'm glad I didn't have to go through that (one).

    15. Yes, that was a VERY long and very active thread, because we had a lot to talk about. I absolutely remember too the comments from Luceno about how he thought Han should've cheated during that time. We were all like, NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! That would've been unforgivable. Both from the fans, and, frankly, Leia. Honestly, I'm not sure if then or now was a worse time to be a Han and Leia fan.

      I do think I remember though that they maybe shortened that split because of the fan outcry? Maybe? Maybe not. It's kind of interesting to me that looking back now it wasn't a whole lot of books that they were split up, but at the time it felt like 20.

      But yes, Troy Denning. Thank the gods for him. I was always excited when it was his turn to write a book and I was never disappointed by how he handled Han and Leia.

  2. Why on earth would we assume Leia takes Han's last name? Women taking their husband's name is based on a patriarchal Western ideal and isn't even the case in many other cultures, so why would we assume a GFFA adheres to Western patriarchal norms? In a lot of cultures (even patriarchal ones) women always keep their last name when they get married - Korean, China, Spain are just a few I can think of off the top of my head. Leia has much more attachment to her name (and it's offensive to adopted kids that you think an adopted father is somehow less a father than her real father so she shouldn't be that attached to her adopted name ) than Han has to his. It's assumed (don't know if this will change in the new Han Solo movie) that Han has no connection to his parents while Leia was raised for and loved by hers.

    Why is it a big deal if Leia has a different last name than her husband and son? I kept my last name (having already established a career under it) and my husband and daughters have my husband's last name. It's a complete non issue in our family. Leia's the last bastion of Alderaanian royalty - to me it'd make perfect sense that she'd want to keep her last name after the rest of her entire family was killed.

    1. Look, I admitted that it was somewhat hypocritical of me to say because it isn't even something I'd want for myself and I'd get pretty mad if someone told ME I "had" to change my last name if I got married. Just in this particular case it kind of feels like they are intentionally trying to almost "separate" them more than they ever were in the old Legends timeline. And also, as I said up there, if they are changing how things are done, and it's not typical for Alderaanians or people in Star Wars in general (I think aside from Luke's aunt and uncle we don't have a lot of "canon" examples of whether or not couples share last names) why not make Ben an Organa? Because frankly I have always thought it was sort of odd that children always get the father's last name, when the mother is the one who carries them. ESPECIALLY in situations where the father isn't as present. (like don't even get me started on the idiocy of the idea that in Indiana Jones when Marion has a kid he has no idea about she not only gives him Indy's last name, but actually names him after him? That makes less sense than interdimensional beings, quite honestly)

      I get that it doesn't have to be a definite thing because it's Star Wars, with probably infinite cultures and customs, it was more of a statement of a visceral reaction I had to that, because, as I said, it just feels like it is another way to separate them more and make them seem kind of like less of a solid couple this time around than they were last time. That is NOT meant to imply that that would be true of anyone in real life who keeps different last names for whatever reasons. It just seems like more of a symbolic thing.

      Again, not meant to say that everything in Star Wars must follow patriarchal ideas or anything, it was merely a reaction I had to what it seems like it maybe symbolizes in this case.

    2. Gotcha. I have a bit of a knee jerk reaction to assumptions that a wife who keeps her name somehow has less of a marriage than one who takes her husband's (yes I actually heard that BS when I got married), so I wanted to respond.

      I remember reading that the Alderaanian society was matriarchal and that Bail actually took Breha's last name since he was marrying into royalty and he was Bail Antilles before. In that case Ben Organa would make sense, but maybe Han's Corellian culture had something different and Leia wanted to honor the Corellian tradition? Who knows.

      What I really wanted to know was why they named their son after Obi-Wan. Why not Bail?

      I don't think we need to read anything into Leia keeping her name here - as one of a few hundred survivors of a planet that was genocided out of existence, I think it makes total sense and has nothing to do with her commitment to Han. How much attachment does Han have to his last name anyway? Maybe HE should have changed it to Organa LOL.

    3. Oh, I have no doubt you've heard that a lot about not taking your husband's last name. I've only generally heard people react negatively to that, except one instance where she married a guy with the last name "Dick" and people were like, ok, yeah, I see why you didn't take that on ;)

      I don't remember if I ever read about Bail and Breha and who took which last name. And of course now it matters whether we read that in the "old" canon or the new one, so everything is so needlessly complicated now! It reminds me though that I'd be very interested on a clearer story of how long Leia had with her mother. I mean they could easily change it now to her being on Alderaan when it blew up, couldn't they?

      Oh, I totally agree with you that naming their son Ben makes absolutely no sense. It made sense for Luke to name HIS son Ben in the old books, zero sense for this. I don't even know if Leia knew him at all, and Han spent a few hours with him being lectured about the Force. It's stupid. Someone told me that they originally had a different name for him, but Harrison wanted his name to be Ben. I haven't actually seen if that is true or not though.

      See, me reading into the name thing is the same really as people reading about Han being bored in this book and deciding that is why they split up 25 years later, even though RIGHT THERE IN THE MOVIE they say it's because of Ben. Every potentially negative thing gets seen as some sort of "clue" as to why they wind up how they do in TFA.

      Oh and for sure he could've just as easily changed his name to Organa. Or they could've combined their names and become the Orgolos or something.

    4. Orgolos, LOL! Or Sorgana?

      I looked up Wookieepedia and it looks like Breha was Queen and Bail took her name when they got married, although it isn't that super clear.

      It was Pablo Hidalgo who said that Harrison changed it because Harrison's son is named Ben and he thought it would give more emotion in the father son scene. I wonder what the original name was.

    5. I like Orgolos better ;) Sorgana sounds like it could be a fun Star Wars FIRST name.

      Ok, so he DID change it. Thanks. I'm not sure anyone knows what the original name was but I'm led to believe that it was a more Star Wars-y name.

      Also, not particularly sure why or how naming him after Harrison's own real life son was supposed to help make it all more emotional, but ok, whatever. More emotion for who, for HIM? I don't follow this logic at all. And I'm usually good at defending Harrison for stuff, but this one I can't get behind.

    6. While I was reading your thoughts on the whole Leia keeping her name thing, I actually kind of agreed with 'anonymous'. While I would love it more if Leia took Han's name, I considered how hard that might be for her when she's a "survivor" of her home planet and the last member of the Organa family. There won't be any after her and I can definitely see her wanting to keep her name to keep Alderaan and her family alive in that respect.

    7. JainaDurron, I agree when you point out the "Alderaan survivor" thing it makes more sense. But simply because they seem to have gone out of their way to ruin it all, it just feels symbolic. Like, how can we find some good ways to have them seem even less connected than they were in the Legends books since this has to be different and they are wrong for each other? That kind of thing.

    8. Oh, I definitely get that. I see what you mean and I agree, but I just thought I'd say what I was thinking because I can see both sides of it.
      Honestly, the name thing eats at me, too.

    9. (Different anon than the one above). Totally random comment, but it's funny that you've only heard generally negative comments about women not taking their husband's last name. I wonder if it's a geographical thing - I live in NYC and I don't know ANYONE who changed their name to their husbands when they got married. I think I'd dump a guy who insisted I took his last name lol!

    10. I thought the "Harrison changed it to Ben" was apocryphal - but I do remember apparently JJ and Kasdan couldn't agree on the name? I guess we're lucky Harrison has a son whose name would work for Star Wars - and I'm sure Willard (I think Malcolm his son with Melissa is the punk rocker kid?) is happy that Ben got the honor ;-) (poor Ben and Willard - named before the 70s rat movies came out but their childhood in the 70s...)

      I guess Harrison pushed for it because how in the hell was he supposed to play that scene without ever having met Driver before the day of the shooting? He had to make an emotional connection with an actor he'd never met (I could make a few comments about Driver's performance...)

      And according to the Going Solo podcast (which if you aren't listening to it, you should!) Kasdan's son actually wrote the scene. So JJ "my whole plot revolves around turning Han and Leia's child bad" Abrams couldn't even write the scene. No wonder Harrison was trying to find any way into it he could.

      As I go over TFA more and more, I find more and more to hate about it...

    11. I guess I'm so far removed from it all that I didn't even think about the fact that it wasn't just their big scene, but it was their only scene together. Which is yet another reason why it's such garbage. What MAYBE could've been a big, emotional moment completely falls flat because we have absolutely no context of what the relationship is like between those two. I mean, sure, we know that it is a father and son, but then so were Luke and Vader, and in their first meeting in ESB there was no big emotional connection between those two. We don't know what they were like, if they had good times, how long it's been since they've seen each other (it could've been 25 years for all we know) whether or not Han really WAS a horribly disappointing or bad father, because if he was, then he probably deserves this. We know NOTHING about that relationship. And we never saw those characters interact before that moment with the exception of Han watching him walk away with Rey, which barely counts. They took the elements of a scene that should be a big, emotional moment and more just left us scratching our heads along with being angry for taking away our favorite character for no good reason. It's like that cheap drama, "oh, have him kill his dad, that's emotional!" Well, sure, I guess, but without any sort of context to it, your audience isn't going to feel much.

    12. Ugh...I didn't think there was even MORE information that could come out that would make me realize yet again hat the new Emperors are completely sans apparel, but there it is. I guess there is really no bottom to the pit that is being dug, is there?

      I didn't know that Harrison Ford came up with "Ben", Silly me thought there was an actual reason the writers chose that reflected back on a major character in SW history and we'd find out later that Han and Leia chose a name that nearly everyone thinks makes no sense for those two characters for a very specific raeson. When am I going to learn that there is no planned-in-advance reason for anything here? When will I stop believing that they have done even the minimum work that would be required in any legit MFA program's Screenwriting 101? So I guess at some point in the future (or maybe in this book, for those of you who will read it, as I won't), they come up with some reason for the name "Ben," and it will likely not link up very well with things we already know. I had always figured Bail made the most sense - and I still believe that, although I'm glad the ridiculous character of Kylo wasn't "Bail" as we don't need to stick another knife through the Leia character's heart (actually, now I'm suprised it didn't happen).

      And, while it's all well and good for an actor to make suggestions, and I get why Harrison Ford would suggest "Ben" as a way to make it easier for him to get into the scene as he could call up a relationship of his own (although Ben Ford seems to be the coolest guy around and if I were him I'd be a little miffed that Darth Emo bore my name), if anyone at Disney/Lucasfilm - and particularly Kasdan and the Harrison-fanboy directing the film cared at all about Star Wars dramaturgy, THEY SHOULD HAVE SAID NO. I get it, it helps Harrison Ford as an actor and as someone who has in the past worked with actors in film and in theatre, I have all sorts of sympathy for an actor trying to find something to ground a scen, but it makes no sense in the world of the film.

      I mean, come on, a lot of us around here seem to have worked on entertainment projects, from the small to the big. There are times when an actor comes up with an idea that works for him/her and his/her performance, but you have got to tell them NO when you are in a writer/director position, as while the actor is properly focused on their character, your obligation is to a larger view. And in the larger view, Han and Leia having a kid named Ben, without a very specific and agreed-upon reason for it, does not make sense for Star Wars, no matter how much sense it made for Harrison Ford's ability to play the (badly-written) scene.

      And speaking of the badly-written scene...I can't believe that Kasdan and Abrams didn't even bother to write the scene that was the climax of the film. Killing off probably one of the most-loved characters in SW, we got a scene that Harrison Ford needed to go method to play and totally defeated Adam Driver (I don't blame him), and it wasn't even written by the guy who was apparently given waaaaay too much credit for The Empire Strikes Back and the guy who swears he's a big Star Wars nerd but apparently never saw TESB and ROTJ. It was written by a guy who is best known for tv directing (no slam on him for that, he's a good tv director, but it's a very different thing than writing THE scene on which a whole film hinges). And now the serious writing problems in that scene, and the fact that the scene relies TOTALLY upon the audience's feelings for Han Solo instead of anything in the writing, makes complete sense.

      But as someone who in my youth had some experience as a screenwriter/playwright before I chose a more stable career, it all kind of disgusts me even more.

    13. Sorry, Kels. I know this always gets you riled up. I agree, I'm sort of mad at myself for continuing to be surprised that they didn't think any of it through. I mean, didn't they write the script in like 3 months? WHY did they not have more time? WHY did they take something that was SO HUGE and important and rush it all? Oh, right, because we were chasing a release date. Which they wound up not having to chase anyway because they pushed it from May to December.

      I guess maybe the only good news is that now that Carrie is gone, any good they could've done would've eventually been ruined anyway, so now we're just not missing out on anything because of that.

    14. S'alright. It gives me more impetus to pick up my pen, both as a fan fic writer and on some of my own stuff, and prove exactly how wrong they are.

    15. Every new thing I learn about TFA only makes me more infuriated, myself. Learning they had this whole "oh we're going to kill Han, it'll be so bold!" idea and then "hey, kid, you write it"?

      That's why the scene is completely tin eared and there's that whole line about Snoke draining his power or wtf ever that makes no sense. Not that the rest of the movie isn't even more tin eared but...

      Now JJ is raving that Mark will get an Oscar for Last Jedi. Right, JJ, didn't you say that about Harrison?

      Every time I think I can't detest these punks any more, I find a new level.

    16. I'm sorry, nothing against Mark Hamill, who is a great voice actor and did a lovely job with Luke - which was probably the hardest role to play among the Bigh Three - in the OT, but Mark Hamill has never given an Oscar-level performance. Again, I like him and I respect what Mark Hamill has done with his career, but if he is giving an Oscar-level performance, I'll be gobsmacked.

    17. Another anon here. Thanks for pointing out the cultural stuff about taking the last name, etc, as I was about to do so. I married young and hyphenated, attempting to balance "this is who I've always been, separate from who I'm married to, thank you very much" and "wow I love my husband and I'm getting maaaaaarrrrriiiiied and I have to take his name or it doesn't count!" Bonus: my husband is from a culture where women keep their maiden name, and kids take the father's, so hyphenating was a non-issue.

      As for the bit about Leia keeping her name, you have to take the writing in context. I just finished reading the book a short while ago, and although that point did stick out -- no doubt having been primed from all the discussions here over the past year -- it also worked within the context of the passage in which it appeared. It's not just some standalone sentence inserted for no reason, or without proper attention. The style of the explanation fit in with the overall style of the rest of the passage. If you want to read "they're forecasting future doom" into the writing you can, but it's just as easily a sweet, almost nostalgic/wistful way of explaining things. (So stop knocking something until you've checked the primary source! ;) )


      Wow... the reason for Ben's name is so... so... flipping stupid. Why. I already thought it made no sense. It makes even less sense now.

      I think Breha's last name is actually Antilles?? Or is it supposed to be Bail's "maiden" surname? I've always found it pretty confusing.

  3. All I need to know is if there is a kiss between them in the book. That is all...

  4. I am not the least bit interested in reading this book. I will not read it. I don't want to know anything about the "Han and Leia" who exist in that horrid universe. I certainly do not want to read about Leia's pregnancy and the birth of a child whose ultimate (awful) fate is already known. The whole damn thing is a shambles and I have finally washed my hands of it. As a lifelong fan of SW and an absolute nut for Han and Leia, I find that so sad. But there it is. :(

    1. It is sad, isn't it? I mean it's sort of freeing to have gotten to the point where I don't care anymore, but it's also sad, because it had to get so bad to bring me to that point.

    2. It shouldn't never have gotten to that point by the way that it did, though...

    3. and... that's why I read your fan fiction. :) because it is Right

    4. #TeamErinDarroch. Shambles is the word. To quote the real Luke Skywalker (not whatever new character bearing the name of Luke Skywalker that those of you who see Episode VIII will meet in Ep VIII), "There's nothing for me here now." The real characters live on in the old EU and in fan fic, but they're not to be found in the new canon.

    5. Hey, someone posted the actual birth scene on Tumblr - it doesn't exist. It's the biggest mish mash of BS description of his birth that you've ever read. Chewie and Luke are there or maybe they aren't, the accounts aren't clear - the book literally says that. Leia took three days or no time at all - they advertised it with a birth announcement and then completely whiff it!

      Shambles is right and yes, Kels, there's nothing for us here now.

  5. My friend read this book and said HanLeia are very cute together.

    About Leia's last name: Poe Dameron's mom, Shara Bey, kept her surname even she is married to Kes Dameron and Poe just has his father's last name. Apparently it's very common in a galaxy far, far away

    1. It wasn't bad. Not as good as Life Debt. Han is for sure not very happy about being in the situation he's in, settled down and about to be a father and is craving adventure and wandering so that was a bit hard to read. Though I think it's in character that after the kind of life Han led he WOULD have some difficulties adjusting to a completely different life where he goes home for supper every night and he's living in an apartment instead of the Falcon.

    2. See, it's a shame that because of how things turned out, people are only going to read everything the worst possible way. You're right, it DOES make sense for Han to take some time to adjust to this new life. I mean, I imagine it would take some time for Leia as well. It's not going to be a natural state for either one of them right away. It's actually an interesting thing to explore.

      But, again, because of how it all turns out, everyone is just automatically going to be like, well, Han was NEVER happy and he was always miserable and that was not the life he wanted and everyone resents each other and this is why he's a terrible father and his son was inevitably going to turn out to be the worst human in existence.

      Of course none of that is true, but like I said, they've set it up so that of course everyone is going to think those things.

  6. It's been a while since I was allowing anonymous posters, could those of you posting anonymously just kind of end each post signing with a name or at least an initial? I don't care really if the initial even means anything, just pick a letter or two and stick with it so we can tell if we're talking to the same person or a different one.

  7. I added it to the stack of Star Wars stuff to read when I feel better about it. This series will still be near the bottom of the pile because of the odd writing style - in second person perspective, rather than first or third (I think - the real writers here might understand it better). I skimmed the Leia parts in this book. Apparently Artoo is off with Luke and has not been in this whole series, making it of less interest. Threepio seems to not be in this one and they now have "Elsie" the new protocol droid.

  8. Kylo/Ben is like the last mixed drink of one too many before becoming violently ill. Then, for the rest of your life, you can't even stomach the smell without being painfully reminded of an experience you'd rather forget. So no on the book.

    1. lol @ Knitzkampf. I absolutely adore the way you look at the world. Yes, it's exactly like that.

      Reminds me of a painful run-in I had with a rather large (44-oz Big Gulp) cup full of rum and orange juice when I was around 19 years old that utterly ruined plain orange juice for me for YEARS afterwards. (Okay, it was more like two 44-oz Big Gulp cups, and I may have had a cup full of lukewarm beer afterwards... Hey, it was nickel beer night...! Aaaaanyway.....)

      Yes, having been made "violently ill" by TFA, I can no longer stand even the mildest whiff of official canon. To quote my Scottish husband, it gi'es me tha boak.

  9. I'm going to play a bit of devil's advocate here and disagree with the whole concept that Han Solo, by nature, had wanderlust and a constant craving for new adventures.

    There's very little in the history of the character (relying only on what is left of "young" Han Solo canon, which is now basically just the OT) that would say that he's a roaming adventurer by nature as opposed to by necessity.

    In fact, I'd say that the OT gives pretty strong evidence that he's NOT roaming adventurer by nature, because every single time he could leave, he chooses to stay in his "new home" with Leia, Luke, and the Rebels. From the end of ANH, to the fact that when TESB opens he's been with the rebels for 2 years, to the fact that when he's free of the carbonite, not only does he not leave, but he chooses to become a general. What I see is a character who is portrayed as wanting something other than what life has forced on him. We can argue that what he wants is Leia, but we don't see any conflict between this alleged desire for wanderlust v. Leia in the OT at all. It's just not there.

    Do I think it makes total sense that both would be a bit at sea after the war? Yes. It's all Leia has ever known, and if Han's not a general anymore (is an officer position in the Alliance someting you can take and drop at will, like a drop-in yoga class? it seems to be), then he's got to figure out a new life.
    That's interesting to look at for both of them, but assigning that challenge to an innate wanderlust on Han's part seems to be unsupported by evidence from the OT.

    I'd object a smidgeon less to all these things if Disney just came out and admitted that they know the Han, Luke, and Leia characters are not based on much of the character bearing the same name in the OT, instead of insisting that somehow any of this is supported by the characters as they were conceived of and developed over the OT.

    1. I do agree with you that Han does not, like, innately seem like someone who needs to be off flying all over the galaxy and never sitting still. For all the reasons you said, based on the actual movies we all saw and nobody can disagree about whether or not they are canon or his "real" character.

      Lol to "drop-in yoga class" because yeah, that's kind of true, isn't it? I mean, you only just now made me realize that at the end of ROTJ, even Lando was a general.

      So yes, I think it would take both of them some time to adjust to a new life where there wasn't a war going on, and getting used to coming home to the same place most of the time. Of course I think they would both love that once they got used to it.

      And yes you are correct, the characters in the new movies really only resemble the old ones in name only. I have no doubt that the young Han Solo movie will find new ways to make me angry about them ruining his character, and probably ways I can't even conceive of.

    2. Excellent point, Kels. Everything HS does in the OT shows that he's not consumed by wanderlust -- not at all! At the beginning of ANH, he's just a guy playing the hand he's been dealt, and trying to make a living. If he'd been itching to roam around the galaxy, he could have (and would have) done that after the Battle of Yavin and his character wouldn't have (shouldn't have) appeared in ESB.

      The fact he's still with the Alliance, two years on, shows that he's not averse to attachments. In fact, the filmmakers go to some lengths to show that Han Solo has indeed grown rather attached to certain Rebels (e.g. the way he risks his life without hesitation to save Luke, and his impassioned confrontation with Leia in the South Passage).

      I also think HF's portrayal conveys genuine regret when Han goes to tell Rieekan he's leaving, as well as when Leia reminds him (when they're in Cloud City) that he'll soon be gone. That's not a "love 'em and leave 'em" face he's wearing. And when he says "I know" to Leia, there's deep sorrow and regret there, too. Those elements aren't accidents. They were chosen by the actor and the director for a reason --- to show the development of the character! To demonstrate how he has grown from a self-serving mercenary into a true friend and someone capable of love and commitment.

      Sure, "happily ever after" is boring, I guess, but I still contest that they could have had their drama in TFA without erasing all character development and basically rendering all of the events in the OT completely meaningless.

    3. I'm working on a story now with the three of them having their own version of House Hunters (because I've seen way too much House Hunters International) trying to find a place to live. It makes total sense they would be a sea at first - I have Leia musing that none of them have lived in a house that they chose so how can they even decide what they like?

      But yeah, I never get the "Han wanderlust" characterization. He sticks around between SW and Empire and he's only leaving because of what happened on Ord Mantell. You're right, Erin, look at him at Cloud City and when he says goodbye to Luke - he does not want to go. He's finally found people who care for him, who give a damn if he comes back from a mission in one piece. He wants to stay but he can't. He's trying to convince himself they'll be fine without him but it isn't going well.

      Then in Jedi, he signs right up to be a general - because they came for him, because he realizes that his home is with Leia (I also say Luke ). He's a smuggler because he has to pay the bills and keep body and Falcon and Wookie together.

      But since JJ wants Han to always be "cool Han" from the start of ANH (which frankly, is busted about the time he starts shooting at the stormtroopers in the docking bay), he gets dragged right back to that characterization. Just like "Jedi knights are always hermits" ignoring why Obi Wan and Yoda are that way, so Luke gets to struggle with the Dark Side and go be a hermit, which is NOT his character.

      They easily EASILY could have set up TFA without the drama. Luke could be out searching for stuff and they haven't heard from him in awhile and he finds Rey. Han comes to pick him up. The Republic did start to fall apart but the three of them founded the Resistance. Kylo Ren isn't their kid - and hey, I've got you pretty much set up for TFA without destroying their characters.

      But oh no, we couldn't push Luke off to the end of the movie and make Kylo the bestest villain evah! We have to do all this...sigh.

    4. Someone I respect on tumblr read the book (so I didn't have to lol) and wrote a nice write-up about this. The sad thing is in the book it seems like it could be a almost normal adjustment to this new life and waiting in the limbo of expecting a child and being in-between jobs (an impatient, restless time naturally) but of course because of The Way It Turns Out it WILL be read as "Han Solo can't be domestic due to his raging wanderlust" (or at least that's generally how it will be taken).

  10. I'm with you, Knitzkampf, lol! You guys are making me laugh about a subject that used to make me cry, so I am *good* without reading this book (or any book in which my beloved characters are doomed). Seriously, this is why I have you guys now: to provide me with a happy universe! (If I could only get you to write a script for the real world too...) Erin, I have no idea what that means, except maybe, "I'm going to vomit?"


    Could you at least spell Han's name correctly? (I know I shouldn't expect any better from FOX).

    Who wants to be in this new canon Emilia Clarke is the real love of Han's life and that's why he and Leia never worked out, she was his second choice.

    - H

    1. Ever since this was announced I have basically 100% expected that they would have some relationship in there for him that they will have be way more wonderful and easy and great than things ever were with Leia. It will for sure add fuel to the fire about how Han and Leia would never work out. I can see the hundreds of articles popping up now...

      Oh, JJ thinks we should be excited? Well I already wasn't excited, and just knowing he said that makes me feel even more dread than before.

    2. Anonymous H wrote: Emilia Clarke is the real love of Han's life and that's why he and Leia never worked out, she was his second choice.

      Ack! gags

      This thread is threatening to revive all of my post-TFA PTSD symptoms. I guess I'm gonna have to go write something to counteract that wretched storyline and calm my nerves. :P

    3. Lol about Han's name not being spelt's spelt H-A-R-R-I-S-O-N-F-O-R-D...that's not difficult is it?

      Yeah and if JJ is saying we should all be excited for this Non Solo film then that's a very good indication that we should be running for the hills because it will suck with a big fat capital S!

    4. Too true claire1976! That's the first thing I thought too!

      And Lord, we have now had the cinematographer, JJ and someone else talk about how this is the best SW script EVAH!

      Which means it must be a dog of epic proportions!

    5. I believe they've now called each of the four movies that Disney has done/has in production "the best SW script/movie EVAH" and on the evidence we currently have, they've lied twice so far. Maybe they think if they keep saying it, it will become true.

    6. Well, it made money, so that's the only true they need...

      Having seen people unironically list TFA ahead of everything except New Hope and Empire - and some even at the best SW movie...someone believes it somewhere.

      Not me.

      It's interesting, I've seen a lot of "75th anniversary" bits on Casablanca. And when Force Awakens is a footnote, Star Wars, like Casablanca, will still be remembered (and the rest of Lucas' saga, but for sure Star Wars). I'm sure that keeps Abrams up at night and that makes me happy.

      The people who say "Well Force Awakens is now the number one grossing SW movie" - uh, not if you adjust for inflation. SW is still ahead - and always will be. I don't think you're going to be seeing any "40th anniversary" editions of Force Awakens. I don't think you're going to see John responding to pictures of he, Daisy and Oscar the way Mark Hamill was yesterday about a 40 year old picture of the three of them goofing on the SW poster. (not that I don't think those three will have careers, but those characters are not iconic).

      That time has come and gone. By 2020, SW will be like Marvel or DC, one more franchise and it won't be special to have been in it or part of it.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Can't say I was a fan of the book. The whole part about Han dreading being a father and feeling trapped and caged and longing for a different life? It really seemed like the author was trying waaaay too hard to be like "HAN AND LEIA BREAK UP AND HAN IS A LOUSY FATHER" with the foreshadowing. I guess I'm not sure why Han is so dead against having kids as he is in this book - maybe if they gave us some insight from his POV we'd know, but all we get is "he has a restless spirit and doesn't want to be tied down to marriage and a kid but Leia got knocked up accidentally so oops!"

    - Amy

    1. To give context, the bit about Han dreading becoming a father and feeling trapped is from another character observing how unhappy Han seems and Leia who's feeling deeply insecure about their relationship and that Han doesn't want to settle down and be a husband and father. We actually never hear anything from Han's POV on how he feels about being a father, just POV from other characters that he doesn't want to.

    2. So Ewokkey - basically, it sounds like this book and "Bloodline" don't really line up very well. Wasn't the point of this whole book thing to fix all the inconsistencies in the EU? They're about a year in and it sounds like a sloppy mess of inconsistent characterizations. COLOR. ME. SHOCKED.

      They are married here, yes? Pablo tweeted back to a snarky tweet of mine last year when I said, "Seriously? Leia finds out she's Darth Vader's kid and a year later she's irresponsible enough to be accidentally pregnant?" saying something last year about it not being irresponsible for Leia to want to have a child with her husband, and now we've got (1) Han doesn't want to be tied down (so why did they marry) and (2) an oops baby (but it seemed not to be an oops baby in Bloodline), which doesn't make sense given you'd think birth control would be pretty failsafe in a galaxy WITH LIGHT SABERS and you'd also think that Leia, given her lineage, would not 'accidentally' get pregnant.

      Oh, and by the way, who are these characters? They certainly aren't Han and Leia, although they've assumed their identities.

    3. Yes they are married when Ben got pregnant - they got married on Endor and Leia got pregnant about 3 months into their marriage.

      And Han definitely appears to be more of a manchild in Life Debt than he was in Bloodline. Maybe because Bloodline was written by a huge Han/Leia fan?

      I didn't really care for this book much, for the reasons above. Han dreading being a father just odds with what I was used to his old EU characterization as someone who was thrilled to be a father. The father/son relationship is fairly doomed from the beginning of the dad never wanted to have kids in the first place and is already completely miserable about being a husband and dad before the kid is even born.

    4. Sorry, when Leia got pregnant with Ben, not Ben got pregnant LOL.

    5. Also, it's hinted that Snoke made Leia's birth control fail so he could get Ben and start manipulating him. He's already controlling him in the womb in this book.

    6. ErmaW, aka the Anon from above (who hyphenated when getting maaaaarrrrriiiiieeed)

      Agree with Kels about the overall sloppy mess of character inconsistencies. This shouldn't happen because there's a story group. Then again, were things truly consistent in the EU?

      The one inconsistency I'm worried about is that it doesn't seem like Bloodline and Empire's End's description of Ben's, ahem, true beginning line up. ;) (When did they do it!? :D )

      And Anon and Ewokkey, I'm not getting that Han dreaded becoming a father. More along the lines of, he was just completely out of his depth. There's nothing to shoot at, no danger to run towards or away from, etc. It even seemed that something as simple as being a bit more mobile, not setting up a stationary home, might have been more suitable to Han, which is pretty similar to the tension explored in much of the fanfiction: "run away" together on the Falcon, or "settle down" on a planet?

    7. - Ewokkey here on my phone - It's important to remember the lines about how unhappy Han is about becoming a father and how trapped he feels are not written from his POV but from a character who has just broken up with his boyfriend so it's unclear how much his observations are accurate or if he's projecting. Leia is worried that Han doesn't want to be a husband and father, but that may just be her insecurity talking. But if we're supposed to take them as face value, well that doesn't bode well for Han and Ben's relationship. I'm thinking the author included them for a reason and like someone said above the author I felt was trying to hit the audience over the head with foreshadowing that Han and Leia break up eventually and that Ben ends up disappointed in Han as a father.

  14. I really just have to keep reminding myself that when a new lion kills the old lion and takes over the pride, he makes it his business to kill the offspring of the old lion, even if his own offspring are not nearly as likely to be able to carry on the pride...and that's exactly what's happening here.

    A whole bunch of new lions with weak offspring running the pride, and trying to make sure that what came before doesn't win in the end.

    1. Kels, that's a perfect description. Except I'd rather they just killed them than, like Scar, ran a herd of buffalo on them to do so.

      I will never understand why Disney, still determined to make money on the OT, decided to destroy their characters on the way. But having seen so much meta about how strong and feminist Leia is now that she's a general and her whole life has been ruined, I see I missed the point. It's okay for her to be a busy mom who let her son go dark - all the better to shame those moms into Disney properties with their kids.

      I'm sure what's going to happen is that, because 9's director wanted to do more with Luke and Leia, they will get off scott free for everything Ben becomes and they'll redeem his sorry ass. It'll be pushed off on dear ol' dead Han, oh, the poor smuggler trash out of his depth, never was going to amount to much, didn't have the Force, y'know. See, here's our funny comedy about how he was never much of anything and certainly not good enough for a princess and a Jedi knight....right before they kill of Luke in some doomed bid to stop Ben - because he never believed in Ben either, but he was so blinded by his evil father's deeds and of course, he never redeemed his father. He just thought he did.

      Then they'll recast Leia ("Carrie would have wanted it") and redeem Kylo before he dies too. And as I was discussing with someone else, Rey won't be a Skywalker so that the bloodline is all wrapped up and they can make SW movies until the end of time, with just the outward indicators of Star Wars because that's all most fans care about anyway.

      Cynical, me?


    2. Okay, so I saw this video that basically mocked Jar Jar Abrams and all the stupid things he did in 7. It was 'George Lucas telling JJ his dying wishes for the franchise' and he's telling him to do all these ridiculous, stupid things, but it's clear that it's making fun of the whole situation. I just thought it was really funny.

    3. They are going to have movies of Skywalkers in the future - Episode IX is most likely going to end with a redeemed Kylo and Rey getting married and then the sequel episodes will be about their children.

      Hands up if no one would care about Kylo and want to redeem if he wasn't a white male? Notice how fans go out of their way to demonize the only black male as being unworthy of Rey because he "aggressively grabs her hand" while they want to pair Rey with the white male hero who strapped her to a chair against her will and mind raped her.

    4. There is no sane, rational person who wants Rey and Kylo to wind up together. The level of maturity for anyone who looks at that and thinks it's a good idea is a good deal below anyone who thinks that Twilight was a good love story and one anyone should idolize. And that was already pretty low.

      The problem is that immature people who think it's a good idea are the same people who tend to have the most time to post about it on the internet.

      HOWEVER, I will say it wouldn't surprise me if they DID wind up together. I am not yet in a place where I'd want to bet any money on it, but because we seem to be moving in the direction of doing all the worst things, I'll just say that it wouldn't shock me if it wound up happening. Which is only one of the MANY reasons I already had on my list of why everyone in charge is incredibly stupid.

    5. I don't think anyone here is looking for a get out of jail card. Far from it. I can't speak for everyone on the redemption side of aisle, but I don't anyone here is looking for the happy ever ending where he gets the girl, 2.5 kids, the house, dog, cat and white picket fence.

      But we are looking for a meaningful story and journey. He is, after all, the last in a line of Skywalkers. I kind of want to see that family not totally get crapped on for perpetuity. Even if there isn't a Leia past TLJ, part of me wants her kid to come home so to speak. The Skywalker family seems cursed, and his redemption would help balance the scales.

      Besides, there is enough doom, gloom and bloodlust for retribution in real life, that redemption is an escapist approach to reality where one can move past mistakes and work towards reconciliation and atonement.

      But that doesn't mean a happy ending for Ben Solo. That means learning to live the next 50-60 years on a constant walk of atonement. It means spending the rest of one's life likely a pariah, always on the fringe, never quite trusted or welcomed into the fold. It's about making conscious decision to remain in the light from that point forward.

      And whether that involves imprisonment, banishment, conscripted servitude or encasement in carbonite, there will be some sort of discipline in his future. That is only right for someone with his crimes.

      Yet the need for him to die for the sake of killing him off to make ourselves feel better? No thanks. I've said this several times over, that is what Cormack McCarthy is for. You want gritty realism where every character is irredeemable and everyone gets what he/she deserves in a very mortal way, then he is the author for that.

      As for me, no thanks. I have always been drawn to the optimism of Star Wars, where a scoundrel/petty thief/murderer (let's not pretend otherwise, Han murdered Greedo, and likely others) can find love with a princess, where a farm kid can rise up from a backwater planet and save the Galaxy, where stormtroopers can break free, where little girls can become the most powerful force users out there, and where villains such as Vader or his grandson Kylo Ren can have a chance to come home. Star Wars is about Hope, acceptance, forgiveness and redemption.

      Life is too full of retribution. I want the escapism of hope.

    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. I'd hate to say there isn't ANY rational sane person who ships Rey and Kylo because Claudia Gray who I adore has is a self admitted shipper and Daisy Ridley has said she likes the ship, but I'm not sure how well accepted it would be if it happened in Episode VIII...barring some kind of huge sacrificial gesture on Kylo's part to redeem himself. The mainstream media is largely critical of crap like Twilight and 50 Shades so I imagine a fairly vocal backlash if it happened in Star Wars.

    And yes, no one would give a crap about Kylo and want to woobify him if he wasn't white. There was some bullshit article from the Guardian a while back about how Kylo should be with Rey because he respects her while Finn treats her like a damsel in distress. Er, if by respsect you mean he kidnapped her and interrogated her against her will then I'll take the guy who doesn't respect me thanks.

    - K

  16. The Guardian had some BS this week about how great SW has become once they ditched that pesky George Lucas. I just want to be ill.

    No one would want Kylo's redemption if he wasn't white, based on the garbage I've seen flung at Finn on Tumblr. Based on the fact that the two most popular characters in SW on AO3 are Kylo and Hux. We're the only top twenty-five fandom who have a villain as the most popular character.

    And like Zyra, I don't put it past TPTB because Kennedy and Abrams LUV Driver. Just love him, and the character that they find so contemporary and nuanced.

    They are a canny bunch. They've set it up so that if you dislike the new canon, you're a hater. If you wanted to see Luke, Han and Leia together and happy, well, you just don't want a "real" story. There's a whole cadre of folks who see their mental issues mirrored in Kylo and if you dare say you don't want him redeemed, you attack them. Newsweek saying that Han "had to die" so we could have new heroes. We've always been at war with East Asia...ooops.

    I read comment threads and I'm just gobsmacked at the same people who will pillory Lucas for the prequels, will turn right around and say "oh, they had to make Ep 7 like Ep 4, to get people back into the saga." "Oh of course Han and Leia would break up and Luke would run because of Kylo. Of course there will be a Kylo because Skywalker. Oh, you don't want conflict in a story. This is real and relatable." "You're weird" if you don't want a Young Han Solo movie. "Episode 8 will fix everything - the trilogy isn't over!" "Leia needs to be recast so she can redeem Kylo." "If you don't want Kylo redeemed, you're wrong - Han and Leia want him redeemed."

    I could ignore the books if I didn't want my characters to be "done like that." But you can't ignore this when it's in your face and all over every cheap news aggregating site.

    1. Ewokkey here. The racist rhetoric flung against Finn by Kylo fans is really disturbing. They can't deal with a black SW hero so they do whatever mental gymnastics necessary to make Finn the bad guy and Kylo the real hero - Han was an abusive father so he deserves to die, the villagers deserved to die because they were a religious fanatical cult, he tried to kill Finn to protect Rey, etc. Meanwhile Finn is the villain because he lied to Rey about being in the Resistance and grabbed her hand, but Kylo is a total gentleman because he was gentle when he interrogated her! Eyeah...if you're that desperate to have a white hero and romantic interest that you're willing to completely demonize the black hero because he's black and twist yourself into pretzels to make the white villain a hero you've got serious racial issues.

    2. Yes! The racist stuff flung at Finn is horrific and appalling.

      Then there's the other rationalizations of Kylo's deeds make me wonder what world I'm living in. There's a racist undertone that slides right into Olympic level victim blaming.

      The very latest - the villagers on Jakku were armed, so the First Order was justified in wiping them out. Yep, and since they were facing worse being captured by the First Order, it was better they were all shot instead.

      The person who posted that gem also noted that the Resistance blew up a planet. Yes, you remember - Starkiller Base. And they were happy about it!

      The amount of rationalization about what Kylo has done by some fans is so mindboggling, it's like I've been dropped in an alternate reality. I am honestly frightened these people are in society.

      What makes me even more infuriated is that they've sold this villain by making him related to Luke, Han and Leia. If he was just like Hux, just another villain, it would be bad enough. But no, he gets this pass because he's their relation and wouldn't Luke, Han and Leia want him to live?

      And that's what the movie has done. I don't see people saying Vader should have lived and had Jedi babies with someone - in fact, because we were okay with ROTJ, we're now supposed to want Kylo to come back and be free. Despite the fact Kylo's done worse in six years than Vader in 20, and came from privilege. Poor woobie.

      I would like to set the junior novelization, that has Han thinking that maybe one day Ben would forgive him, on fire. Forgive him for WHAT?

      I can't stand what's been done to these characters I loved, because TPTB want the baddest villain evah so that when he's redeemed we'll....something. I'm thinking be violently ill all over the nearest rep of Lucasfilm I can find.

    3. I know we've all said this before a million times, but, seriously, how are we supposed to forgive that?! And I find it laughable that we're expected to forgive it, too. Like, because TPTB have decided that Leia and Han can (quite literally) go die in a hole and we're supposed to have the same respect for these new guys as we did for the originals.
      I find it mind-boggling when I try to understand what kind of reaction they were expecting from the original fans when they tore apart H/L, made their son a psychopath, and, well, the list goes on.
      So, yeah, everyone loves Vader, so let's make a guy like him, but worse than anyone could imagine. I'm trying to think. The original trilogy started with Vader as the big bad guy, but that really is different, right? I mean, it's not like he killed anyone let alone, I don't know, SOMEONE THAT PEOPLE CARE ABOUT!!


    4. Oh, please, the one thing that the powers that be did on TFA that was absolutely MAGIC was make it look like Adam Driver has decent hair, and that's why all the millennials (excluding the smart ones who hang around here) love him.

      I don't hang around on the boards you all are talking about - my only source of info is this board -- but look on the bright side, if Rey does end up with Kylo instead of the immeasurably better Finn, then everyone who doesn't post racist crap on the internet (i.e. the vast majority of all humans) will go "hmmmm, I'm not real sure about that. The black guy was a much better choice than the evil hair guy." And the media will suddenly change their tune as they will be able to create a new "HOW DARE YOU" story, and will completely trash the outcome. And TPTB will be surprised. And I will sit back, have a Margarita, eat some chips and guac, and enjoy watching JJ, KK, and the rest of the whole sorry bunch trying to wriggle out of people yelling "racist!"

      But frankly, they could blow up a planet that Rey, Kylo, Poe, and Finn are all on and I'd still shrug and yawn, because they're just weak rehashes of characters we've already seen.

    5. Well, to be fair, Vader already DID have Jedi babies ;)

      Also as far as people like Claudia and especially Daisy commenting on these possible scenarios, you have to remember that people who actually work for the company and have these public faces have to be really careful about what they say so as not to alienate any of the fans. So I don't necessarily take what they have to say at face value. If someone went up to Daisy and was like, "Rey and Kylo should be together!" I would expect her to be like, well, sure, why not? Just like I'd expect her to say the same if someone suggested her and Finn, or her and Poe, or even Poe and Finn. Also partly because she isn't allowed to say or confirm anything. Maybe someday we'll hear her give more of an opinion, but mostly I'd just expect her to let everyone think what they want and leave open all possibilities.

    6. Claudia Gray wasn't asked about Reylo, she volunteered that she's a fan:

      She writes primarily Young Adult Fiction, so love-hate romances like Reylo are right up her alley.

    7. Good lord, that thread on Tumblr about the villagers on Jakku not being just "poor innocent villagers" and Kylo killing them for mercy was so... GAH. I'm so glad Tumblr wasn't around when I was younger. It can be very toxic.

      I agree that Claudia Grey said all by herself she ships Reylo. All I found on Daisy, though, was this:

      It's a vague Daisy answer, like when she was asked about being a Solo. She's not talking about the ship at all, just the phenomenon, yet Reylos took it to mean she loves the ship. Okay. I agree that she probably has to be careful with what she says, and also to not push any fans with her opinions (which is why I totally wouldn't be a popular famous person... "Reylo?? Are people blind?? Guy was practically mind-raping me, ugh, y'all are disgusting, go to church")

      I seriously hope the romance they're hinting at in Ep. VIII isn't Reylo or I will RIOT. I don't care if Finn ends up with Poe and Rey ends up with someone new or alone, just not Kylo Ren.

    8. Co-signed re Reylo. I'm for FinnRey or FinnPoe myself ;-)

      And yes, that thread about the villagers of Jakku might have been the worst thing I've seen so far on Tumblr. It was amazing in its awfulness...

      I give Daisy credit, she can vague it up well - but she worked with Harrison, CArrie and Mark - the masters of the non answer answer ;-)

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Why did you delete your comment? I pretty much agree with you.

    2. My friend edited it and I was going to add to it, but lost my internet so I'll just post what I had again.
      I'm probably going to regret this, but I feel like it has to be said.
      I'm easily the youngest one here and I think this is ridiculous.
      It frustrates me. We've had nearly the exact same conversation over and over for over a year! Yes, TPTB has destroyed everything we love about Star Wars, but I don't think this is the way to go about it. Rather than repeating the same things over in different ways, we should keep up writing stories about Han and Leia as we should be- discussing what we love about them, etc. I get that we're all upset and a bunch of books and movies are being published that only make things worse, but . . .
      When this is supposed to be a safe place for H/L fans, I just feel like our constant hate rants dampen that impression.

    3. Ok, I'm glad you weren't retracting it for some reason.

      I DO agree with you, and it does get to a point where I realize, wow, we're just saying the same stuff AGAIN. It's a new book, so there is some new stuff, but it also churns up a lot of the old feelings we've said again.

      I think we do need to talk about new books and things like this when they come out but I agree we do always get to a point where we start saying a lot of the same stuff. I realize we want this to be our safe place, but we also do need to keep talking about things because, well, sometimes there isn't that much else to say and if we don't talk for too long, people start to forget it even exists. So things like this have to come up from time to time, but I agree we need to be careful about getting too far dragged back into the same discussions.

    4. I was going to add that I like ranting as much as the next person and I agree that it's nice we get to talk together about how this all upsets us, but, like I said, I feel like we've been having the same conversation since December of 2015 and no matter what the post is about, we always end up at the same point.

    5. I agree with you, Jaina...

      ...even though I am one of the prime violators of the "stop angrily rehashing the same stuff" rule. I know I do it because, as someone said above, it's like having TFA PTSD, and I just said to someone this morning that I really need to find a more productive way to channel this artistically instead of rantily.

      But the challenge for me is that every time I read here that these characters got shredded a little more, it's a further destruction of the one thing from my childhood that for a long time felt like it was safe. After 38 years, I felt like this would be the only thing from my youth (I was 6 when Star Wars came out, it was the first PG film I ever saw) that I could really hold onto for my whole life as something wonderful that I had experienced from the start, and could continue to hold onto as a great, great thing that happened in my childhood and was just pretty much altogether wonderful all the way through, because as a film story that had been completed, it would not in any significant way change, die, get destroyed, shrivel, droop, move, or get lost to time (because God knows, in middle age, a heck of a lot of that starts to happen).

      …And then it did, and it still hurts. Star Wars was the one thing that let a little piece of childlike wonder still live in me, and now it doesn't. So every time a new thing comes out that rips it all up some more, and rips up a series of movies that I loved so much it actually impacted what I do for a living, it bugs me more than I thought it would, and it makes me angry and frustrated because they aren't even the smart kind of changes that allow me to say, "well, I hate that entirely, but I get how that is good storytelling."

      All that said, the way to combat it is really not to rehash it too much, but to write our little fingers off and grow an alternative fanbase to the extent that's possible by reading, writing, and bringing others to our work. Also, to support other things in the entertainment industry that are more hopeful, life-affirming and love-affirming than Star Wars has become (huh. That’s something I did not think I’d ever write. I always found SW to be so full of both). But I think it’s also kind of relevant to point out to others how NOT life- and love- and good-affirming SW is now. The problem is that I suppose we point it out to each other on this blog a lot…and we all basically agree…and that’s just preaching to the choir.

      My ten cents,

    6. So I guess I now know understand why the people in Brooklyn felt as hostile as they did to the Dodgers. LOL. - Kels.

    7. I have to echo Kels' thoughts here because it's very similar to how I feel about everything that's happened since TFA.

      It's weird. I was out of SW fandom. I never really got into the books, the last writing I'd done in it was the 80s, and I remember looking at all the shots of the old guard with the new crew and thinking "well, they won't be in it much, it'll be the way I felt about the Prequels - I watched them but they weren't my story." (also I have a history with Abrams re: Star Trek).

      Then I saw TFA - and it was reluctantly. I just wasn't that enthused, because Abrams and I didn't think I'd see my people...but never in my dreams did I expect what I saw, even when people had spoiled me Han dies. I thought they were just trolls.

      I literally felt like I'd been hit in the face. And then I came home, logged onto the Internet and saw all the love for the movie and I nearly cried.

      But I got noisy on Tumblr and other places - do you know how happy people are to find other people who didn't like TFA? It's like...well...the Rebellion!

      And out of nowhere, my writing muse came back. And I was a hardcore OT fan again.

      I have found new fans who saw TFA, went back to the OT...and now disregard everything in TFA.

      I would LOVE to be happy about Star Wars. I would love to be excited about 8 and 9. I live 3 hours away from Celebration and could attend - except I couldn't bring myself to see all this new canon celebration knowing my favorite character was killed and all the rest that was done to the three characters and a story I've loved since 1980.

      I'm happy that people love new canon or like some of it or are interested in Rey, Finn and Poe. If it had only been them, I would have been fine with 8, with Rogue One and so on.

      I really hate being negative. I lived through 9 years of X-Files and the last two years were nearly open warfare. I get it. I'm sorry I'm on the negative side this time....

      But like Kels said in the end, it is relevant to point out how the life and love affirming message of SW just got thrown aside. How easy it was to just rip Luke, Han and Leia apart to set up the new villain. You thought they loved each other? Well, hey, no they didn't. That's real, that they broke up and their kid turned out bad - why don't you like it?

      Well, because to me, Star Wars is about these people who came together to stop evil, these three crazy people at its heart, who became a family of their own.

      And now, because nothing is ever over, it's reboot after remake after reboot, evil is back and those three people you thought loved each other? Well, hell no they didn't.

      All because they know no other story to tell but the same one over and over again.

      They could have left them together. I would have still been sad that evil had risen again, but okay. Let Luke, Han and Leia be together to fix it. They have 40 years of friendship and experience with the three actors now - how more poignant that those characters never could stop fighting but they stayed together, the Jedi Master now old when we saw him once so young, the Princess still fighting on behalf of those beings who are oppressed, the smuggler turned general who loves the Princess and the Jedi, still there with his falling apart spaceship. What a message of hope in the midst of hell - that they never gave up.

      But instead, they get blamed. Oh, Luke ran and Han ran and isn't it awesome that Leia is a general not a princess now, but you know, she and Han were bad parents so their son went bad but he'll be redeemed after he murders his father. Your heroes? They weren't heroes. These new people are!

      So I guess I can't stop yammering...

      But I will try and be a more positive yammerer...

  19. I've largely stopped coming to this site because of how frequently the conversation turns to TFA bashing. I thought this was a blog about celebrating fan fiction and providing resources for creative writing, not endlessly ranting about pro fiction. The Valentine stories were a nice change, but not nearly enough convo in those posts. It's like, what gets you guys pumped about Han and Leia these days? Your love of what they could be in fanon? Or your hate of what they've become (according to some interpretations) in canon?

    1. I can understand your frustration. I think for a lot of us this remains in the forefront of our minds because this is what is happening in Star Wars right now.

      And just for myself, I'm trying my best here to have a good place for Han and Leia fans to gather and discuss things. It's maybe more difficult than you might think to try and come up with things to talk about. And as you mention up there, the Valentine's stories were great, I loved people getting into them, but then we post that stuff and not a whole lot of people say much. Same goes with a lot of other posts that discuss other Han and Leia stuff.

      I just went back through recent posts. It's been kind of a strange stretch, because between The Princess Diarist, Rogue One, Carrie's death and then the Valentine's challenge, there haven't been a lot of like, "regular" posts about general stuff. The last sort of normal post was Carrie Fisher's birthday (which of course is extra sad now) and that generated 9 comments, 2 of which were from me.

      And if you were here before, when Bloodline came out I wasn't necessarily planning on bringing it up, but a few people here requested that we talk about it, so I did a post for it, and it was talked about at length.

      So maybe you can see that it would be great to just discuss the fun side of things and the Han and Leia fanfics, but coming up with topics is often not just difficult, but doesn't even get much attention when stuff like that IS posted. I am and always have been open to suggestions for post ideas. And while I know you want this to be a safe place, remember I've also been accused of wanting to ban any discussion about TFA or anything like that. I don't want to "ban" any sort of discussion either, although of course I certainly have stopped things when we were talking about something COMPLETELY different and then we got dragged back somehow into talking about Reylos or something and I had no idea how we got there.

      I keep the blog going because I want a good place for Han and Leia fans to come together and discuss, well, Han and Leia things, and as far as I know there is nowhere else for people to do that, aside from Nerfherder's Playground where pretty much nobody even posts anymore. I'm kind of on my own here trying to come up with topics and keep people interested AND happy. I am and always have been open to suggestions on things people want to talk about. And yes it makes me sad to think that people would start steering clear of here because we talk about TFA or whatever too much. That's not what I want the blog to be about either. But if we want to talk about other things it'd be nice to see more participation in talking about other things. About the only other topic in recent memory that has gotten a lot of attention was discussion of adult writing, and I'd also like to not have to only rely on talking about sex in order to keep people interested in commenting here.

      I want this to be a good place for Han and Leia fans, and I certainly don't want to spend most of the time bashing TFA. But I do recognize that sometimes it's going to come up, like with this new book. The good news is that as far as I know there are no new books coming out anytime soon, so we won't have much to say there. I'm sure we will have more to say when Episode 8 comes out, and also during Celebration in April. If you aren't interested in anything having to do with those, you don't have to read every post.

      Maybe part of it is not knowing what gets us pumped about Han and Leia these days? Or maybe anyone who feels like you do has already decided to leave here and not come back? I really have no idea. I'm just trying to keep the conversation going at all somehow.

    2. It isn't true that this blog is the only place for Han/Leia fans, there's two very active threads on the Jedi Council forums:

      The negativity here can get a bit wearisome, which is why I don't post much as someone who doesn't mind the new canon. It does seem like a lot of the regular posters here are determined to hate anything that comes out, even non ST stuff like Rogue One. I remember the Bloodline discussion being relatively positive though.

      - Jessie

    3. Zyra, you're so right about what topics get the replies and discussion. I'm certainly guilty of staying quiet on many posts, mostly because I simply enjoy them, and I don't think that simply saying "I enjoyed that, thanks!" adds much to the conversation. It feels to me like the equivalent of multiple "reply all" responses that just say "ditto!" But I see your point that even a simple "thanks" comment would let you know that people are engaged.

      At the same time, as with any other group that's ever existed anywhere, the people that know each other tend to respond to one another, and it takes awhile for infrequent voices (like me) to feel like they're fully a part of the conversation. So, vicious cycle, it just exacerbates the hesitancy to post.

      I think Jessie the Anon put a finger on another reason I personally read more often than comment. It seems the frequent (and long-time) posters are mostly voicing negativity. Which is of course completely fine. But the tricky part is that there doesn't seem to be any room leftover for those who feel differently about the new canon. For example, as I mentioned elsewhere here, the way Empire's End handled Leia keeping Organa as her last name was a style I enjoyed. It would be awesome to explore that passage with others, to talk about the writing style, or what it says about the characters, etc. But, as Jessie said, because it feels like there's such determination to hate anything that comes out, I don't know where that space is to talk about what IS liked. So -- I stay quiet.

      So maybe there's a suggestion for a new post? "For those of you who are OK with the new canon, or who at least tolerate it, what do you like?"


    4. Alright, so I'm not completely innocent either, so I apologize. I have had a tendency to join the hate ranting too.

      As for the thing about people replying tot eh people they know, I feel like I've associated with that maybe until most recently. The fanfic community is tight and I found it felt awkward when I found this place and left random messages on a few boards.

      To respond to Zyra, I get that it must be really difficult to maintain a discussion we're all interested in, but I do think we need to find some better way for us to preserve what we love about SW/HL rather than completely bashing what's out there. Again, I know I'm guilty, too.

      I guess that's all I have to say about it.

    5. Ok, you're correct that there are a couple of threads on the JC forums. I haven't posted there in years. The Han and Leia appreciation thread doesn't look like it gets a whole lot of traffic, and the other one is only about the books, which is somewhat limiting. But you're right, this isn't the only place.

      And I really get that if you are of the opinion that you feel more positive about the new canon or anything, it would make it hard to post here. I mentioned NHP up there, and when there was finally some activity up there for the first time in a very long time and we started talking, a lot of us were talking about our negative reactions to TFA and how they treated Han and Leia. Well, those in charge felt differently about the whole thing and requested we keep our negative chatter confined to one thread, and at that point I think most of us who felt like we did just stopped posting there in general, and soon after things kind of died there. So I'm familiar with how having a contrary opinion can make you feel like you don't really want to stick around somewhere and say much. And I also see how shutting down certain conversations entirely or confining them to one place can also be alienating.

      What I would hope is that nobody on either side of the fence would give up on the blog entirely. If there is a post that you can tell is going to get into stuff that you'd rather not read about, then come back later and hopefully you will see something that you DO want to comment on. I appreciate the suggestion on a post, although it sounds like something that could still be kind of divisive, so maybe something at least to start off with that we would agree more about? Or at least might not spark so much opposition.

      I also do get the thing about feeling like you're too new, or an "outsider" or something. It's interesting to me because of course I've been there myself. And also funny is that more currently I don't really have like, an "inner circle" group of Han and Leia fans or anything. I talk to a few people here and there, never collectively, and many of those never or hardly post here anyway. If there is a group of Han and Leia fan "cool kids" I'm certainly not part of it, haha.

      I for one love when new people show up and post, I'd love to see more of it. I try to be as welcoming as I can. I try to reply to people as much as I can.

      What I may do is something I'd been thinking about doing for a while, which is go through some old posts and basically bring some back and see if we can get more comments on them, because we had a lot of interesting posts about writing and stuff in the beginning that hardly got any comments. It may not help at all, but maybe it will get some more conversation going. Or maybe it won't. That's tricky too because I never want to feel like I'm being preachy about writing, and I think sometimes people see something they're doing in their own writing and feel like maybe they are being personally picked on. The point is just to make people better writers, hopefully it isn't something anyone would take personally.

      It's definitely difficult to keep things interested and keep people engaged and posting. For anyone holding back for whatever reason, keep in mind that if people aren't talking then it gets kind of old to keep coming up with things to post if nobody is saying anything. It's like when you're writing something, and if you get a bunch of reviews you get excited about posting the next chapter, but if hardly anyone says anything you feel a whole lot less motivated about getting the next part out there.

    6. Zyra, I love that idea! I've been going back in the older posts and there are things I'd love to discuss (the book reviews have been great to go back and read!) but since the posts are long gone...

      I'd be all for that and yammer positively.

      (my two cents)

    7. I also like the idea of bringing back some older posts. I've read through some of them, but felt awkward posting when so much time has gone by. As someone newly back into the fanfic world, I feel like I've missed a lot. So yeah, let's talk writing! And books! And whatever!

  20. Forgive me for not reading all 96 messages in this thread, and I hope this hasn't been said. I read Aftermath: Life Debt, and I had to skip a lot of it, since I was mostly hunting for Han and Leia. But I was rewarded at the end with a very sweet scene between them. If you are in a bookstore and have a few minutes, scan the last couple chapters until you find it. "You're going to make me walk the whole way, eh?" (Or something like that)

  21. Hi Erma I agree...It often doesn't feel like there's any space on this blog for those of us who don't completely hate the new canon and the voices are often drowned out in opposition. I watched Rogue One, thought it was a brilliant, moving film and left the theatre in tears only to see most posters on this blog predetermined to hate it before they even saw it because it was from Disney. People were wishing for it to fail before it had even been released and then even after they hadn't seen it were bashing it based on what they had "heard". That endless negativity can be wearisome and it can really turn off people who are mostly lurkers at this blog which allows the blog to devolve into an echo chamber of sorts of those who hate the new canon. I'd like to see more welcoming of diverse opinions...I know when this blog is discussed by Han/Leia fans who don't post there the knee jerk reaction to hate anything in the new canon is often brought up as a reason why they don't. The threads I mentioned at the Jedi Council seem to have a more diverse group of Han/Leia fans over there.


    1. There were people on here who did not like Rogue One, including those of us who were NOT determined to hate it or excited to see it fail (myself being one of those people. I didn't have high expectations but I wasn't hoping that it would be terrible) and stated our opinions afterward. If you go back to the comments on the post, there were people who liked it and who said so and who certainly were not attacked. I asked someone for clarification on something they liked about it, that's about as close to an an argument we had over it.

      Anyway, I think as time goes on we will mostly stop talking about it because we won't have more fuel for the fire as with comes with this book. As you mentioned yourself, the conversation about Bloodline was largely positive. For a time we seemed to devolve into TFA bashing on almost any post, and I tried to rein that in as much as possible. I think it's going to be difficult to NOT talk about it for some of us when we are reading stuff about the new canon. But as I said a bit ago, without any new books coming out anytime soon, it's likely to be a while before that happens.

      All I can say is I hope everyone can be respectful of people's opinions. And I'd also hope that anyone would be able to back up their own opinions as well. I haven't blindly disliked anything here, I'd always had reasons for how I've felt. I'm not being negative just for the sake of it.

      I'm rambling now. I probably haven't convinced you or anyone else who apparently won't come here anymore because of this to start hanging out here more. Possibly just another one of the sad casualties of what has happened over the last 14 months. Then again, it's not like we had much action here BEFORE that either, when there wasn't all of this to talk about.

    2. I think perhaps it's that the very negative voices tend to be er, more vocal that it gives the impression that maybe more positive voices aren't as welcome? There's also been posters who've been shut down for even mentioning the new canon in a fanfic post and told that universe doesn't exist. I only really remember reading one positive review of Rogue One by one of the commentators and I just found the bashing of a movie that many of the posters had not even seen kind of wearisome, and for many of the ones who had seen seemed to go in with a preconception to dislike it again like a knee jerk reaction to hate anything in the new canon.

      Same thing with Bloodline which I thought was a wonderful book written by one of us that before it came out people were already predicting it was going to be horrible for Han/Leia and that they would be split up for 20 years.

      I didn't like how Nerfherder's Playground banned dissenting opinions either. I feel like when it gets to that point the forums become an echo chamber. I also found the moderators distaste for anyone who disliked TFA as naive a real turn off. So I guess my proposed solution is, instead of having this be an anti TFA or pro TFA blog why not have it be a diverse fullsome discussion group both for those who like or dislike the new canon? I like the suggestion above of having a blog post for those who do like the new canon and what they like about it to tone down the endless negativity.

      Because there are Han/Leia fans who loved what they saw in TFA and the books that have come out so far...quite a few of them actually (I guess they used to post at NHP until it died). And I think this blog would be a nice place for all of us to engage in our Han/Leianess instead of scaring away those who didn't think TFA was the worst thing ever.

      My two cents for what it's worth.

      - J

    3. There were a few people who had favorable reactions to Rogue One, definitely more than one when I went back to check.

      I don't want to have a post that is ONLY for positive reactions to it all either, because that's just going in the opposite direction and I don't want anyone on either side to feel like they can't post an actual opinion because it doesn't fit the slant you're "allowed" to post about. Frankly I'd rather we talk about completely different things regarding Han and Leia than to tell people that they are only allowed to post things they liked. And it based on what was linked above on the JC forums there is already a place where people are posting their favorable reviews of the new canon stuff based on Han and Leia.

      I mean, based on what we were shown in the new movie I'm not sure you can really blame people for being more than a little concerned that Bloodline wasn't going to show Han and Leia in a positive light. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was the opposite and did a great job with them and Leia in particular, but I'm not sure that it's fair to assume that our fears were coming from nowhere. I had high hopes for TFA, and I was really disappointed with what I saw. So I'd just rather not have high hopes for anything going forward. I'd much rather have the pleasant surprise as I did with hearing about Bloodline.

      You know what else is new canon? The Marvel comics that are covering the timeline between ANH and ESB. I'm about through the first hardcover collection of those, and I've really enjoyed it so far. So, no, we're not all completely determined to hate every new thing we see or read.

      I don't know what else to tell you. We absolutely DID get out of control at one point with going back to bashing it all on posts that really almost had nothing to do with it. I tried to address it and keep it on topic. Sometimes with a post like this it's kind of bound to come up. Again, really no matter what I try and do some people are going to feel alienated. Some people have a lot to say about bashing TFA, those same people wouldn't have anything to say if we had a post where we could only say positive stuff. Some people want to talk about the movies and the books but if I posted about fanfic writing and stuff they wouldn't jump in on the conversation because they have nothing to say there. It's really difficult to try and find the right balance and what might get conversations going. There have been many times I've posted certain things thinking we might get people talking, only to get very few responses. I try to be as inclusive as I can, but I am also going to have my opinions about certain things.

    4. Another example of the endless negativity of the new canon is that we now have a super cute new ANH novelization that is a million times better than the original one in terms of Han/Leia moments yet when it's raised the response is more a "How dare you do a new novelization when one existed already" than any discussion about the Han/Leia moments in it (which are very nice). Again, it just seems like there is a reflective response to hate on anything in the new canon even if it's positive for Han/Leia and it makes people who like the new canon feel unwelcome...

      - J

    5. Can you please link me or remind me where we got annoyed about the new ANH novelization? Because I don't remember ever having that conversation. I remember the mention of one thing from it, the idea that Han had a woman in every port, that we maybe didn't love the idea of. But beyond that I don't remember hearing anyone talking about how there were all these other great moments for Han and Leia or anyone trashing it at all.

    6. I don't have time to go through all the posts as there's hundreds of posts and I don't remember which blog post it was but the gist of the convo was a poster commenting positively on the Han/Leia parts in it and then another poster saying "There already WAS an ANH novelization, why are we doing another one?" and you said "a new ANH novelization? George must be like WTF are you guys doing?" Again, it just looks like a knee jerk reaction to hate anything in the new canon even if it's cute for Han/Leia.

      Why not a post about the new Marvel comics then if you don't hate them? I've seen very little discussion about them in this blog and I've really enjoyed the Han/Leia moments in them.

    7. Found the post where someone tried to bring up the ANH novelization positively and people responded with negativity:

    8. So then tell us about the great stuff in it, then. Also I get the annoyance about a knee-jerk reaction to it, but at the time we were probably neck-deep in our anger about everything, and it DOES sound redundant to redo the novelization for it again. But maybe if someone explained WHY it was good, we might be more inclined to be interested in it.

      I got the comics last week and haven't finished reading them yet and I'm sorry that I can't write about everything I read the moment I finish reading it. I'm only one person, trying to keep the blog alive, trying to keep people happy and interested and apparently failing at both.

    9. Someone DID post on that post I linked to above what was good about the new ANH novelization in terms of Han/Leia. They were met with negativity. I'm just trying to explain why people who like the new canon feel that their opinion is not very welcome here, because that's the kind of respond they tend to get.

    10. Ok, thank you for linking the mention of ANH novelization. The negative reaction was after only the mention of Han having a woman in his lap and thinking about having a woman in every port. Nobody reacted negatively to any mention of how there are great Han and Leia moments in it. The conversation moved on to other things by that point and we didn't discuss it at all.

    11. Not to nitpick, but there were two negative reactions to the fact that they were doing an ANH novelization at all and no positive reactions to the Han/Leia good stuff in there. I'm just trying to point out that a lurker like me reading things like that makes me very wary about posting anything positive about the new books coming out because of responses like that where any mention of the new canon is met with negativity.

    12. I guess I’m on the firing line here as well as my comment was:

      "What is this "new canon ANH novelization"? There was a novelization that came out in 1977. Is Disney trying to rewrite the original movies as well? - kels"

      I think it's important to note that I was responding to someone (Ewokkey) who at that point had only disclosed something negative about the Han character in the revised novelization - that he had a girl in every port and couldn't keep their names straight. Maybe that’s “real” (a word I object to in general when it comes to Star Wars), but it is definitely a less flattering and more explicit look at the character than one would perhaps want in a novel that 10 year olds will read. I do still hold to the opinion that the only reason to have a new novelization of a film made 40 years ago is a crass one. I really have nothing to say when I hear that a “cute Han and Leia” scene in a new novelization of an old movie and I’m not sure what good things I can find to say about a cute scene given the overall existing arc.

      I’d also have to note that the idea that when someone was “met with negativity” after posting something positive about the new novelization (assume that was Ewokkey’s post after mine) that it was more like no one responded. I didn’t see any negativity about the novelization itself, just Zyra saying that George must be thinking “what the heck!?”

      As for me, I've both freely admitted that my rants are half true annoyance and half ranty-internet persona (although my post above about how I feel like I lost what mattered to me for 40 years about Star Wars is absolutely true and from the heart), and I've freely admitted that there's little about new canon that I like - I find all of it to be nihilistic when SW used to be life- and love- and hope-affirming, as cv and I have both noted.

      Do I want to be this negative? No, I'd like them to find a way to fix it, but each time something comes out and it has all of these at-best equivocal takes on Han/Leia/Luke and their world, I am more unhappy as it feels like they won't fix it - that they really are committed to this path, so I revisit all these emotions.

      But more, I've been watching all this unfold over the last day, and the thing that I do think is just wrong is people suggesting to Zyra publicly and unbidden. It’s her board – we’re guests here, and it feels a little like walking into someone’s house and saying to everyone within earshot, “you know what you should do to make your living room nicer?” Zyra seems to work quite hard on this place and we (myself included) don’t give her a lot of help sometimes by not responding to the blogposts that are NOT about new canon. And then we tell her how to change her living room, because it’s not what WE want it to be. I’m guilty of doing this too - and I get that since there are so many around here that also don't like new canon, I'm in the posting majority on this blog, which makes it a happy place for me - but I don’t think it’s right when any of us tell her, publicly, how to fix her living room when she hasn't asked us.

    13. Oops, sorry, should say "HOW TO FIX HER BOARD" after "PUBLICLY AND UNBIDDEN."

    14. I guess my question is: you've admitted you like nothing in the new canon and not much will ever make you change your mind. So what's the point in responding negatively to people who do like some of the new canon coming out? Someone posts that they like the new ANH novelization you find the very idea that there is a new ANH novelization crass. Instead of spreading negativity, why not just ignore it and talk about the stuff you DO like like fanfic in another thread? Because when people post about stuff they like and are feeling positive about only to be met with negativity it tends to turn off the posters and lurkers who were considering posting something similar. I guess I don't get the point of focusing so much on something you hate so much?

      - J

    15. On the plus side I've posted more today than I have all year lol.

      If the owners of this blog want it to be an echo chamber of people who only hate the new canon that's their right. I'm just pointing out that the current echo chamber dynamic is turning away a lot of potential posters like me who've stayed away because of the constant negativity. I'd love to discuss the new canon but I feel that opinion isn't welcome on this blog and I'm not the only one.

    16. I am feeling like we are not going to get anywhere with this conversation. What I'm about to say doesn't mean I don't understand why someone might be reluctant to post a positive thing about the new canon. You've made that point clear, I can understand why you would feel that way and can't really blame you or anyone else who does. But I do think it is a natural reaction when someone posts an opinion that you might disagree with, that you post your own opinion if it's contrary. I wouldn't expect anyone to ignore rather than disagree in this case any more than I'd expect anyone who disagrees with my opinion to ignore what I'm saying rather than offer their contrary opinion. It's kind of the nature of discussion.

      I get that it's tougher when there is one side of the argument that is more vocal than the other. I can't really say I have a solution to that, but I don't know that simply ignoring something is going to be a better way to go. I mean if you offer your positive reaction to something and people ignore it, do you even feel heard?

      Like I said, I don't think we're going to come up with a good solution to this problem. Unless we just never speak of new canon, positively or negatively, ever again, but that's not really fair to anyone either.

      As for focusing on something we hate, I don't go out of my way to focus on this aspect of things. Last time a new book came out I wasn't going to start a post about it, for this very reason, and it was very strongly requested that I offer a space for people to talk about it, so I did. So rather than wait until people started making off-topic comments on other posts, I went ahead and posted something about it. Again, it is not easy to try and figure out what people want to see here or what they're going to wind up being angry with me about.

    17. I have never responded negatively TO a person or about their feelings. I have responded negatively ABOUT the information contained in their post and yes, ABOUT something that I feel has gone very, very wrong.

      There is a huge distinction between these two things and it's never fair to personalize a negative response to information and then say you are made to feel unwelcome because someone didn't like the information presented. And you can't really blame people for not responding nicely to posts that weren't made by posters who didn't post because they were afraid someone may not respond nicely.

      I regularly post in other non-controversial threads; I have repeatedly posted fan fics here in challenges. I'm not sure why you think I can’t change my mind about new canon - you're correct that I find the current state of affairs in new canon to be something I won't support. And I did find Rogue One to be dull all on its own (and said I don’t like action/adventure movies like that anyway). Do I think they could turn it all around on us? Of course they could. There could be a real reason Harrison Ford grew that beard this spring and shaved it off before Blade Runner. We could find out that Kylo's memories are all wrong. We could find out that the commentary in Empire’s End that implies Han doesn't want to be a father is all misdirection.

      And I think I was pretty clear in my previous post a little ways up why, given my history with Star Wars, information contained in threads like this one set me off. I'm not sure why people would expect a thread about a book that says something potentially quite awful about a major long-term character would not contain negativity. The book implies something I find ethically abhorrent: that SW would allow people to think even for a moment that a character who was set up for 40 years as a hero to kids, adults, everybody would NOT want to be his own kid’s father. It’s something that I find merits negativity.

      Your opinion likely differs. So say it. Maybe others agree with you. Who the heck cares if I don't?

    18. And if you have a specific problem with me, feel free to email me at so we can get past it instead of bickering on this board and making Zyra feel like all her work is for naught. - kels

    19. (Different anon here) this is back on topic, but I don't feel it necessarily diminishes Han's character that he doesn't want to be a father. I don't have kids, have no intention of having them, and I don't think that makes me an awful person or less of a role model. The book gives a very clear explanation why Han doesn't want kids - he's a free spirit, used to coming and going as he pleases and living a life on a ship having adventures. And it's important to note that while he doesn't want to be a father he DOESN'T take off and leave Leia on her own. He sticks around and once Ben is born it's clear he loves him.

      - Laurie

    20. To clarify, if I wasn't clear: Nothing wrong with choosing not to have kids. I have no kids either.

      But once the kid is on his way, different story. If you were pregnant, you wouldn't want to present in such a way that people would go around talking about how much you didn't want the kid.

    21. Yeah I don't think anyone would imply that simply not wanting kids makes you a bad person, I'm one of those people as well.

      I DO think it doesn't say a lot of positive things about a character if he gets himself into that situation and goes along with all of it if it is truly something he doesn't want. I think based on what I've read of others from the book, because I haven't read it, it's actually not ENTIRELY clear whether Han wants it or not, or whether there was some sort of decision making process.

      I think there is a difference between being nervous about adjusting to it all, and genuinely not wanting that. And again, not a bad person simply for not wanting it, but I don't think it would make any sense for Han to get married and choose to have a child with Leia if he didn't want to. It wouldn't be fair to himself OR to Leia.

    22. Wouldn't it make Han MORE of a jerk though to take off when he finds out Leia is pregnant instead of sticking around and trying to make the best of a bad situation? The impression I got from the book was that Han's line of thinking is more like "Oops Leia accidentally got pregnant, crap I never really wanted kids because it would impede on my free spirit lifestyle but since we're having one I'll try my best, even though I might resent giving him my freedom." Sure that's not ideal but it makes Han human. And let's be honest, he's not the only guy in the galaxy who accidentally knocked up his partner and has to face the consequences but he's trying to do the honorable thing and be there for the kid.

      Thanks for the clarification, I didn't think you were implying that anyway.

    23. I can't really comment a lot on the situation, because we know I didn't read the book and I'm not really sure just how "unhappy" Han really is. Of course it would be terrible for Han to take off on Leia if she got pregnant. But I haven't seen really anything that clears up whether it's more normal new dad jitters or whether he truly doesn't want any of it.

      Does it make him a bad person? No. But, if he is truly really against the whole family idea, then it definitely does not put them in a very good place right from the very beginning. Yes, I agree it makes Han "human." But it's just a pretty dark setup if it's true he was never happy there and never wanted any of it. And I've said this before, but if it is foreshadowing that what Ben said was true and Han was a really disappointing dad then perhaps he deserved what he got in the end. (again though, I really have no idea based on the information we know so far, and I haven't seen anything yet that truly, clearly tells me how Han felt because from the information I've been given here, all we really know is based on someone else's observations of Han in the book, not on Han himself, but I could be wrong)

    24. Thanks Zyra - since you haven't read the book I can say the book does not actually have anything from Han's POV on whether Han wants to be a father or not. Han is observed from another character to look completely miserable about the fact that he's going to be a dad. The character compares Han to a trapped animal in captivity, always longing for a different life but trapped in the one he's doomed to. He thinks about how men like Han who crave adventure and freedom the way an alcoholic craves brandy aren't meant to be fathers.

      There's also Leia who observes Han to be trapped, unhappy, bored and restless in his new domestic set up and she thinks he's afraid of settling down with her and being a husband and father. He can't sleep and he's constantly pacing their apartment, restless and agitated.

      So nothing specifically from Han's POV but from a narrative perspective you don't include those observations for no reason. Also the author gave an interview where he did say he specifically foreshadowed Han and Ben's difficult relationship and Han and Leia's marriage breakdown in his book.

      I agree it's a far cry from happy house husband Han in the old EU. But I think it make a more interesting story to see Han and Leia as flawed individuals who have a complicated relationship with each other and with their son than a picket fence set up.

      - Laurie

    25. I agree on some level it makes no sense to include those details if it isn't foreshadowing something. But I'm not ready to outright say just how bad Han's restlessness and NOT wanting this life is until we actually get inside his head. Bored and restless is natural. And given Leia's current state I can see her maybe jumping to the worst conclusion there and having insecurities about it all.

      I guess my objection to all of it is because in terms of story, Han and Leia's love story came to its conclusion in ROTJ. And to me it feels like what the new canon has done is only looked at ANH Han and not ESB and ROTJ Han. This guy has stuck around for years to help out his friends and Leia, when he didn't have to. And I guess I don't see him as valuing his freedom so highly over everything else when first, he already stuck it out for so long in the first place, and second, he CHOOSES to marry Leia and kind of accept that life in the first place. A kid does make things more challenging there, but just by getting married he's going to have to settle down a bit more. I just don't think he would make any of those decisions lightly. I'm also totally unclear on whether or not Ben was planned or not. Already it's contradicted when he was even conceived. We've had people involved in the story group tell us he was planned, but I'm not sure if anything in any book has told us if he was a choice or if it happened accidentally.

      They can be flawed individuals, sure. I guess I'm not sure why our choices now are kind of limited, and why it wouldn't be ok to be upset by the idea that Han is only in this situation because he's stuck in it, not because he wants to be in it. I also have a hard time believing that if he was truly so unhappy that Leia would've even let him stick around. Leia is not a pushover, and I don't think she would want her son's father to be around if he was only doing it begrudgingly. And I think there could be other ways to make it "interesting" without going down the road of making them or at least him miserable from the beginning.

      It doesn't feel like it would line up with what I know of Bloodline, either.

    26. I'm probably being too negative, right? So, I'll let it go from now on.

    27. I think Bloodline makes clear he wasn't planned? Han makes a comment that he never imagined having or wanting a kid before Ben which makes it sound like he was a surprise. I can't see Han or Leia wanting to have a baby before the war is even over and so soon after Endor anyway.

      I also think there's a shift you see once Han has the kid. Before he's dreading becoming a father but then once Ben is in his arms he seems to relax. Which is how I think it works a lot of the time in the real world with "oops" babies.

      You're right Han does seem to change in ROTJ and he seems to have reverted back a bit to his ANH personality. I guess it's looking at which is more realistic - because realistically, people don't change for the good - to put an extreme example, how many women go back to abusive boyfriends again and again thinking they'll change? That Han would ever change at his core as to the wandering free spirit he is in ANH is unlikely. I think Aquarius did a great fic about this where Han WANTED to be this really great guy that was worthy of Leia who could fit into her world and Leia wanted him to be that guy to, but he never really lived up to this expectation. I guess we could look at it as him signing up to be a General in ROTJ as his peak and then him sliding down from there?

      I think by Bloodline we see that Han and Leia have figured out what works for their marriage with Han having to crave his wanderlust by being gone half the year on adventures and Leia staying to do her duty. There's a bit of growing pains in Empire's End where they haven't achieved that balance there. I don't think Han is completely miserable either - on one hand he has Leia whom he loves, but on the other it's not "him" to be settled down and complacent. So he's torn between this domestic life and the life he really wants of flying around having adventures but without Leia.

      I don't think you're being negative. I welcome discussion on this!

      - Laurie

    28. Part of what doesn't work for me in this whole scenario is the underlying idea that SW should now be "real," which basically means stripping it of its innocence and its fairly black and white morality.

      This was a story where a farmboy learns about magic saves the galaxy and a princess and a pirate fall in love. There was nothing particularly "real" about it - it was a fairy tale that allowed the good to win, the bad to get theirs, and the heroes to grow into their best selves.

      By their nature, fairy tales have a beauty in their innocence. They're classical, simple, and pretty traditional. The Han/Leia relationship - no matter how much we as fan fic writers load it with sex - had all of this innocence in the films.

      Now it seems to have been decided that SW is going to be a fractured fairy tale, which is by its nature post modern, adds layers of irony to the fairy tale, and non-traditional in having a morality that deals in shades of gray. Nobody is really, truly good and nobody is really, truly bad.

      So the "real" comes in, but the real devalues the fairy tale (think "Into the Woods") and tells you on some level "don't think in that silly childish way, this is what reality is about."

      I'm not sure at all that's a good thing in escapist fare. I'm especially not sure that it's a good thing in a story that's aimed at an audience significantly younger than those of us on this board.

      Psychologists tell us we need fairy tales; it is important that we hold onto a place for innocence and heroes and people finding their best selves and exploring anger and negative emotions in a clear-cut way that is safe and "true love" in a way that's not shaded by the mess of the real world. We can never achieve that level of innocence and simplicity and perfection, but there's value in seeing fairy tale characters strive for it, achieve it, and live it because it resonates with us. Fairy tales allow us to heal from the real and to hope for better.

      Nobody strives for a fractured fairy tale. it's messy and ugly, and it's real. It's where we live, in a world where men may not want to be fathers of the kids their wife is expecting and where people you thought were heroes turn out to have horribly clay feet. They don't heal and they don't teach you to hope - they intend to do the exact opposite, to say "hey, this is reality."

      So I think turning what was our pre-eminent modern fairy tale into a fractured fairy tale where things feel "more real" because people are "less good" ultimately doesn't do us any favors, but encourages us to identify with the "less good" of the fractured fairy tale because "hey! That seems like my life" instead of striving to make things better, as we're taught by actual fairy tales.

    29. I do understand the sort of fundamental "people don't change" idea. But it's one of the most basic elements of storytelling that if your characters don't grow and change, then you don't really have an interesting story. Leia spent all this time fighting her feelings and not giving into love, but we're not talking about how she would continue to hold back and not want to be with Han, are we? And I still don't entirely buy the idea that the man Han was in ANH was who he really was at his core, or just who he was by necessity given his present situation.

      I guess this is partly just a problem of how stories really are meant to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. They all changed by the end of ROTJ in different ways and were meant to just, like, be happy. But then by deciding that the story must continue, I guess you are kind of forced to undo a lot of things that happened in order to keep it interesting. Which just reverts your characters and takes away all the growth and development they experienced.

      And Han was not abusive. He was quite devoted even before she admitted she had any feelings for him. He was incredibly devoted to Luke as well.

    30. I admit, I am having trouble, reality or not, with Leia having an "oops" baby within a year of finding out that she's Vader's daughter. It seems tremendously out of character for her to not think the whole "is it safe for me, given who my father is, to have children" through and be scrupulous about NOT having an "oops" even if that means that she's pretty much wearing a chastity belt until she figures it out.

      If she does have an "oops," I would think her whole pregnancy -- and Han -- would be consumed with worry about this child and whether she was making a terrible mistake. But no one has said a word about that. Is that not a factor in this book?

    31. And Zyra, I'm with you on the "people don't change" conundrum. The rule in filmwritin' :) school was

      "In serials (that meant TV back then), characters CANNOT change. In real life, people MIGHT change. In movies, characters MUST end the film irrevocably changed."

    32. Actually, that's a huge part of the book. Leia spends a great deal of time worrying about her son's future and his potential for Darkness based on her heritage. In Empire's End, Snoke has already started to manipulate Ben in the womb and Leia is increasingly concerned about the Dark Forces she feels coming from Ben, although she doesn't know what is causing them at this point. She chooses not to tell Han anything (as we see from the TFA novelization) because he's not comfortable with the whole Force thing.

      I think Snoke made her birth control fail as well as he wanted a Skywalker to manipulate, which explains why Ben is an oops baby.

    33. Thank you, Kels, I thought the same thing! She is adjusting to having a father who is a supreme villain. At this point, they only have Obi Wan and Yoda's word that he was good and went bad - and neither of them have any problem with let's say shading the truth. She has no idea who her mother is. Do the new books say anything about Han's parents?

      And not only the Vader issue, but also she's in the middle of a war. At the risk of offending people - they don't have abortions in a GFFA? That's one issue I just can't put aside.

      Also I have some issues on how she gets do we know that Han comes out of carbon freeze fertile, for lack of a better term. He's been FROZEN - hibernation for six months, just after being tortured. Leia's been tortured too - did those mind drugs from the Death Star do a number on her reproductive system?

      I mean, if they want to be all "real" - where's that realism?

    34. Follow-up question: "Leia is increasingly concerned about the Dark Forces she feels coming from Ben, although she doesn't know what is causing them at this point."

      But she still decides not to learn about her own Force powers? Is that explained in the book?

    35. "At the risk of offending people - they don't have abortions in a GFFA?"

      CV, DUDETTE, way to take my comment about being concerned how Star Was is becoming a story that maybe is not so great for kids due to its increasing "shades of gray" and magnifying it x 10. LOL.

    36. Yes - she was in the middle of learning from Luke but he left suddenly and she has no idea where he is. In Bloodline it's explained she wanted to focus on her duty as a politician instead of focusing on learning the ways of the Force.

    37. Also I never meant to imply Han was abusive. The only people who think that are Reyloers! LOL. What I meant was it's very very difficult for people to change the fundamental core of who they are, especially after they're past the age of 30. I get that Star Wars is a fairy tale so maybe realism doesn't apply - I think that's the conflict you're seeing with the ST v. OT.

      I also think that a lot of people involved in the ST (JJ, Kasdan) just plain don't like ROTJ and are trying to forget it exists.

    38. Also, let me co-sign Kels' whole post on fairy tale vs realism first, which underlies a lot of my problems with what's done in the ST. Yes, it's a fairy tale and a myth, with meaning and message behind it.

      I will maintain that if they wanted to upend the universe - fine. There were many ways to do it without wrecking Luke, Han and Leia's relationships. If I were directing 7, I would have been salivating - you've got three actors coming back after 30some odd years, returning to iconic parts. They're better actors now, with a wealth of different experiences, one of whom is a terrific script doctor. You've got a whole audience who remembers them young and now sees them old - and if you want to run us through another Empire... Look at those faces! You don't have to write any exposition - put in the crawl what happened and go from there.

      People wanted to see THEM. Why the hell else do you hire all 3 of them? I'll say it again - if they were all so fired up to kill Han, have him reunite with the three of them and kill him in the middle of 8, in front of Luke and Leia (Mark Hamill pretty much says that in the Nerdist interview). Don't kill him before that, in front of strangers.

      There is enough drama with the three of them (or four if y'know, you managed to remember Lando) still fighting, still together despite everything.

      Can you tell me what the point of having Kylo be their child is? Anyone? Other than a cruel betrayal of Han and Leia's love, Luke's redemption of Anakin, and a retread of that whole plot one more time, because six movies wasn't enough? Why not make Ben one of the casualties when Luke's academy is wiped out?

      My point is there are easy ways to create drama without what was done. What was done was what Kels says - destroy the myth, destroy the fairy tale. Like every other misery in this current pop culture - everything is bigger, everything is one long tease for the next thing and the next thing. Don't like this Spiderman, wait three years, there'll be a new one!

      But that's not Star Wars. Or it wasn't. Luke's redemption of Anakin was a shocker in Jedi. Now every thread I read is "oh, Kylo will be redeemed" - a foregone conclusion.

    39. Ha, Kels, you're right! re: abortion. I was thinking more in terms of it happening off stage - as Ben ;-)

    40. Thanks. These still seem to me to be characters other than the ones who ended ROTJ, just using their names, but if that's the story they're's their story until the copyright expires on ANH.

    41. "I also think that a lot of people involved in the ST (JJ, Kasdan) just plain don't like ROTJ and are trying to forget it exists."

      I agree with you on that, they do want to forget that it exists. But the fact is it does exist, it closed these arcs in pretty convincing ways DESPITE its shortcomings as a film, and they can't really make everyone forget about it - we have the DVDs. It feels uncomfortably arrogant for them to say "pay no attention to that third act behind the curtain" while not even having the cojones to say, "we didn't like it, so we're ignoring it and changing the third at of the OT." It's a little too much "We Have Never Been at War With East Asia" for me.

    42. Yes. And there's the whole discarded story about Anakin's Force Ghost being caught between Anakin and Vader, as if Luke hadn't redeemed him. Way to throw out the whole point of Jedi.

      And frankly, the things done with their characters ignore Empire too. The Han who saves Luke and Leia on Hoth just leaves? Luke, who came across the galaxy to save Han and Leia just leaves?

      If any of this made sense with their characters, I might buy it but I tried and I just can't go from Jedi to TFA. When Han says to Maz take this map to Luke to Leia, I can't - that is when the movie completely fell apart. I made it through him losing the Falcon, and not wanting to really help Rey and Finn, and talking about Luke as if he wasn't one of the people who knew him best (even though Harrison's performance is completely not that).

      But not take a map to LUKE to LEIA? I should have walked out of the movie right then.

    43. I bet Leia is regretting she didn't abort Ben now! Hahaha

      To give more context to the character who thinks Han is miserable about becoming a father - that particular character is going through a breakup with his boyfriend of his own so I'm not sure if we're supposed to think he's projecting. That said, a little more balance the other way of any sort of hint Han was looking forward to being a dad would have been nice, but we didn't get that.

      Frankly, I think a lot of male writers prefer ANH because he was their cool dude bro idol growing up, like JJ, while female writers like Claudia Gray are more likely to see Han as an equal and loving partner to Leia. That's where the difference may lie.

    44. Kels - I read that Kasdan was deeply unhappy with how Lucas finished ROTJ with a happy ending and that he wanted it to end on a bittersweet note with the war over but all three heroes going their separate ways and/or Han dying. With Lucas out of the picture he finally got what he wanted. He's also said repeatedly that Han and Leia were bad for each other, like Rhett and Scarlet. So it's no wonder he doesn't see them as working out in the long term.

      I'm curious what the Arndt script based on Lucas' treatments would have looked like - I feel he's a much more talented writer than Kasdan.

    45. I can only be amused at this point that the guy who actually created the stories and intentionally based them on myths and fairy tales is being superseded by someone who just gets to decide he doesn't like it and disagrees with what was done.

    46. I know about his Rhett/Scarlett Han/Leia thing - since he ripped off GWTW novel dialogue for the first kiss scene, but he's actually just showing himself to be ignorant about both GWTW and the characters he was hired by Lucas to write for by saying that.

      Rhett and Scarlett weren't bad for each other - Margaret Mitchell created one of the very first relationships of equals there. The problem with the Rhett/Scarlett relationship was that Scarlett did not grow up until it was too late and Rhett could never come out and tell Scarlett he loved her. Rhett, who had loved Scarlett for ages, had tried, and tried, and tried to show her that he was the one for her, and she just wouldn't see it as she was so blinded by her childish love for Ashley. And once she finally did realize that it was Rhett she loved -- and not Ashley - Rhett had finally given up, despite how much he loved her.

      Han does change, does admit he loves her, and Leia does learn that she has to love a person as well as a cause.

      So there's really no good comparison between the two couples, and he's wrong about Rhett and Scarlett being bad for each other, but he has done a bang-up job in convincing people that he's right.

      I agree with you about Arndt.

    47. One of the saddest things I read about TFA was Mark Hamill saying he was really excited by what Ardnt was going to write.

      Kasdan missed the point of GWTW so badly...gah!!

      I so hate the idea of breaking them up at the end of Jedi - what a horrible ending that would have been - Han dead, Luke gone Dark and Leia alone. People would have burned down the theaters! Way to miss the point, Larry.

      Well he got his revenge now... I know Luke fans who are scared Luke will be Dark in 8, are dreading what will happen. They should after TFA.

      The point of the OT is the myth - the farmboy, the pirate and the princess come together and take down the evil empire and live happily ever after. The farmboy's love redeems his father and the farmboy and the princess bring the pirate over to the light too. The love the three of them have - platonic, familial and romantic - is what drives the trilogy. One of the things I hate about the new ending of Jedi is that it breaks up my favorite sequence - Luke coming back and hugging Leia while Han smiles, then she throws him at Han - repeating Yavin. Their love keeps the whole thing going - Luke loves them and comes for them in Empire. He and Leia love Han and ride to his rescue. Luke loves his father and in the end, Vader finds his love for his son so he can break free of the Emperor. Han and Leia find their love despite impossible odds.

      But hey, it's all "real and relatable" that all that ends. That's all that matters.

    48. Just a note to Jessie/Anon - I noticed that I made a mistake in my email addy above. It's, not Photonmail...must have had sci fi instead of biology on the mind. No need or pressure to email me, but I didn't want you to think I had given a dummy address had you emailed and received a bounceback.

  22. I'm out of it for a little while and everybody gets delusions of....

    Wait. Wrong line! Wrong time!

    I have been out of it for a little while (moving home, losing my mind with stress), but I've been reading this thread on-the-fly and itching to get a free moment in which to reply.

    I'm so glad this topic has come out into the open. I've corresponded with Zyra about it privately, just because I didn't want to gripe publicly on the blog and possibly have my comments misconstrued as a personal attack on anyone.

    But I, too, am weary of the endless ranting about TFA. Admittedly, for several months after it came out, I did little else but wail and tear my hair in grief. I was 7 years old when ANH came out and it had long been my happy place, my little oasis of positivity and love. I was in agony c. 1983 when I realized it was going to be a long, long time before I found out what happened to Han and Leia and Luke and Chewie.... After TFA, I couldn't believe how horribly tptb had botched the thing I'd waited nearly 40 years to see, and this blog was a haven for me where I could hear from others who felt the same.

    However, as time wore on and I got a little distance from it, I started to find the continual rehashing of the same old points almost as upsetting as the thing itself. Just when I managed to put it out of my mind and retreat to Erin-land where the OT3 are heroes and live happily ever after (ish), someone would start from the top and detail all of the horrible things JJA & co did to them in the new canon. It felt like being traumatized all over again! (I'm using this term loosely; I'm not really traumatized, of course. I'm sure everybody knows what I mean!)

    Anyway, chatting with Zyra about it helped me get a little perspective. She pointed out that some fans only found this blog six or eight or ten months post-TFA, and it was only natural for them to give vent amongst friends in the same way I'd given vent already. So I just started opting out of conversations that moved past my personal tolerance threshold for mentions of "Kylo Ren". ;) No harm, no foul.

    Now I think I just need to move on and stop letting the new canon hurt me so much. It's done. This is the new reality (until the reboot, that is, which I think now may happen sooner rather than later, given Carrie's passing). I need to just accept it and take whatever steps I need to take to hang onto the aspects of SW that I love (and will always love). It's compartmentalizing, I guess, but it gets me through the day. ;) There's the SW and H/L that I know and love, and then there's the new alt-reality that is going along on a different track. I've stopped loathing it as much as I used to, partly because it's becoming ludicrous now and partly because (to paraphrase the Fresh Prince), I recognize that hate in my heart will consume me, too.

    I've made my peace with it, I guess, and I don't mind discussions about TFA here (or anywhere) now, but neither do I want to wallow around in it. I like the suggestion of revisiting old blog topics, Zyra, and I like the other suggestions (e.g. that we focus more on writing; that if we're talking about new canon, we talk about the things we like and appreciate). I think if we get out of the problem and into the solution then perhaps those who lurk or who used to post but felt chased off by all the negativity will eventually drift back and make this place a livelier haven for all fans of Han and Leia.

    1. Thanks for the comments, Erin. I do remember at the time we discussed that there were a few people who hadn't really had their chance to vent their annoyance with TFA, which was why there was kind of a resurgence of those sorts of posts. I could only imagine myself being sad about it for months and stewing about it and wanting someone to share it with only to finally find a group of people who felt the same. And a lot of us here are easily re-riled up on the subject.

      To a point I've made my peace with it, too. I've just decided it doesn't really count for me, which helps make me a lot less likely to get worked up about it. But then I read things about a new book and it kind of brings me down again and reminds me how sad I am about it.

      But anyway, as I said above, there isn't going to be anything new to get riled up about for a while I don't think. So I suspect that will make it easier not to get too far down this road for a while. It's going to happen again when the next movie comes out, I'm sure.

      In the meantime I'll try and post some other stuff that is completely unrelated but don't forget that I'm going to need some help because without any discussion on any of the topics I post, there isn't really much to come here for.

  23. Really I should probably stop commenting on this now. Because to a lot of you I probably just sound like a jerk, and there is no way to NOT come off poorly when you're trying to make sure everyone is happy or whatever. I've been accused of making people feel "unwelcome" in the past because I wanted to tone down some of the talk about TFA or Reylos or whatever. And now I'm being accused of making people feel unwelcome if they want to say positive things about it all. As you can see, there is really no way to reconcile those things.

    1. Ahhh....there are such great limitations inherent in text-based communication, alas. I'm sure if we were all sitting 'round the table together at the pub or a café there would be less uncertainty, and the things we're trying to say would be much easier to express and explain without fear of either causing or taking offense. Everything goes better with wine (or coffee); so my theory goes.... ;)

      I don't think you come off poorly, Zyra. Nor do you, Anon. Nor Kels, nor anyone else who has commented here. On the contrary, I feel a kinship with everyone who posts here. We all love these characters and that's a good fact to hang on to.

      I can understand why lurkers or first-time visitors who loved TFA might run a mile from one of those threads where we were crying our hearts out over it. Certainly in the early part of 2016, I took every opportunity to pour scorn and vitriol over their treatment of Han/Leia. I was so angry and sad! (In fact, I'm probably one of those Anon mentioned who said "la-la-la that universe doesn't exist". Although I meant that to apply strictly to me.) Anyway, I think most of us are getting there, in terms of moving on from that level of anguish.

      I'm never going to love the new canon, simply because, well, [insert everything that Kels said here]. She articulated it all far better than I can, so I'll just say "ditto". However, for my own sake, I'm now trying hard to avoid veering into fruitless wailing and gnashing of teeth. No, I don't like the new canon AT ALL, but that doesn't mean I want to keep talking about how much I don't like it. I'd rather talk about Han and Leia fan fiction....

      The cool thing is, this is a blog about Han and Leia fan fiction, which is the medium through which we can make anything at all happen, right all "wrongs" and generally have a blast making things go the way we want them to go, and cheering on each other's efforts. I love that it exists and I hope you will keep it going Zyra, through the highs and the lows, as you've done for so many years now. It is much appreciated.

    2. As we say on Tumblr, THIS (to ErinD above). I am having a harder time working through it, but I may make it some day. In the meantime, I'm writing ::g::

    3. Finally able to get back online for fun instead of work... wow, what conversation!

      Zyra, you are doing amazing work here. Keeping everybody happy is impossible, and even trying to keep most people happy is nearly so. And it seems that, despite the inevitability that someone will find fault with something, you ARE doing so very many things right, and providing a space that is appreciated by so many, myself included. Ditto Erin Darroch: I love that this site exists, and that you keep it going, and that I hope you continue to do so.

      Related, a humble thank you for even bothering to address some of the things that were raised. It's really appreciated. As Kels said, there's a bit of the sense that we walked into your home to give input on how you should redo your living room. And you've been an incredibly gracious hostess to hear out what's been said. Indeed, you've made extra space available in your living room when needed for people to offload some of their grumbles, whatever they may be (TFA, people are negative, etc etc), which is just ridiculously welcoming. Thanks for sharing your living room.

      My apologies if the suggestion of a post (what people like about new canon) was one of those unsolicited pieces of advice about how to redo your room. I read your earlier comment about the difficulties of coming up with ideas, and that some people have asked for posts on certain things, and thought that it was therefore OK to offer suggestions for posts. But as was pointed out, this was a public forum, so perhaps that wasn't the best place to do so, or perhaps my understanding was incorrect. Whatever the case, my apologies.

      Finally, just, well, wow. Now that this conversation ensued, I actually feel more comfortable about posting in the future. It's pretty awesome when there is disagreement and people come together to try and work through it.


    4. Thanks for the nice response, Erma. It's always difficult to address stuff like that without coming off badly, so I'm glad it seems that you're feeling a bit more like you can express some other opinions if you have them.

      And I don't think she was referring to the suggested post when mentioned telling me how to do things. I DID say that I was always open to suggestion. No need to apologize for suggesting a possible post.

      Hopefully we can move on and still keep things interesting. Tomorrow I'll likely pull up an old post about writing, which will probably bore everyone, but we'll try it anyway ;)

    5. Zyra, cool, looking forward to the new old post! :)

  24. My approach to the new canon is to judge everything on an individual basis rather than assume it's all going to be terrible. Bloodline was a fantastic novel and I couldn't have been happier with how Han and Leia were portrayed, lots of good stuff, and hey, I even reviewed it on this blog.. ;) Life Debt was good, and had some nice moments, but I'm not overly thrilled with Empire's End. But on the plus side, Moving Target was a great Leia story, and I've also recently started reading the marvel comics and I'm enjoying them. So there's good and bad, but so far I've liked more than I disliked. Yes, I'd much prefer we had the old canon back, but I'm trying to make the most of what we're getting now.

    What I dislike more is how the media are twisting everything in the new canon and presenting Han and Leia as a mismatched couple who wouldn't last when they clearly haven't read any of it, because that simply isn't the case. Sadly, this is what the general audience are reading and BELIEVING rather than the books themselves.

  25. be positive, especially after reading the various bits and bobs of this book and the author going on about how he's foreshadowing things, and to talk fic...

    I'm going back to working on my House Hunters Coruscant/Luke, Han and Leia start their civilian lives together story, where there is no baby Ben, Han doesn't feel trapped, and Luke doesn't disappear...

    1. I'm writing too. New chapter on its way tomorrow.

    2. And, suddenly, I have overwhelming inspiration to get to work on 'Closed Quarters'!

  26. from the original post: "... has anyone read it? Going to read it? Heard anything about it? I'd be interested to know if anyone can read it and kind of separate it from knowing how it turns out to actually enjoy reading about Han and Leia with their new baby. "

    Read it. It, along with the other two books, felt like a believable next step to have taken after ROTJ. As we know, Han's a bit impulsive, needs action -- Endor? Bunker? "Be careful down there/Hey, it's me!" Anyone? -- and Leia's smart enough to recognize this, accept this about him, and love him all the same, which is reflected in the book. He loves Leia and would do almost anything for her; there's a funny bit about him trying to help out with something, but he goes a bit overboard, so it becomes an enjoyable subtle recurring gag. There are some moments between H/L that are just plain sweet, and gave me warm fuzzies just thinking about where they were just 1-2 years prior.

    And I didn't feel like I needed to "separate it" because the story is already separated from TFA -- by THIRTY YEARS! :) Seriously. Thirty years is a long time. My husband and I have only been married half of that, and I am so keenly aware of all the ways in which we've changed. We're in such a different place now than when our son was born and we were scared/nervous/excited, or when we first got together and we were all in luuuurve. Struggles and joys and life decisions and responsibilities all add up over time. When we have rough patches now it doesn't at all diminish our love story, any more than later problems between H/L diminishes theirs. So, yeah. The separation in time between the book and TFA allows me to separate the two, and seeing them happy together in the book also "separates" it from TfA by softening the blow from TFA; H/L DID have happy times together! We're finally getting to see some of them.

    ErmaW (I think I'm logged in now! Finally!)

    1. Some of my thoughts...

      I sort of felt like Han's character changed a lot from Life Debt to Empire's End? In Life Debt he seemed like he was looking forward to starting a family and then in Empire's End it seems like he wants to run away from it all. The inconsistency was strange.

      Also, I'm not a huge fan of the way Han and Leia are constantly lying to each other in these books. Like in Life Debt Han going away for months and months and not even messaging Leia so she's worried out of her mind and in Empire's End Han signing up to go on a dangerous mission while Leia is heavily pregnant and hiding it from her. Then you have Leia keeping all the Snoke stuff from Han..I dunno. It doesn't lay the foundation for a solid marriage for sure.

    2. Erma, what a great review! I will definitely read it now.

      Ewokkey, sometimes in reading, pro or fanfic, I just have to tell myself "that didn't happen". Because *my* Han or Leia wouldn't do that. I hate that they would have Han and Leia lie to each other. I'll get the book from the library, but if I owned it I would cross it out!

      (Forgive me if this reply doesn't end up in the right place. This format is really weird on my phone.)

    3. Ewokkey, dang, I read Life Debt too long ago to clearly recall the characterization there. But yeah, Han did seem more antsy in Empire's End. And oh yeah, the face got the palm several times in Empire's End, like when Han signed up for the dangerous mission.

      But it was interesting how he got to the point of signing up don't you think? At first he refused, even pointing out he's got a kid on the way so he can't go. Then when he was called out on the double standard of his resistance, he really struggled, the "war" between his thoughts playing out on his face. But it was his sense of integrity, his sense of being respectable if you will, that won out, leading him to sign up. (The sense of integrity that Leia herself recognized in ANH, and that she loved.) And he was totally right that Leia would understand; she was hardly surprised when she finally did find out he signed up, and even gave her approval. I agree that their actions aren't typically the foundation for a solid marriage... but I'm not sure it's a bad foundation for them. H/L are two strong willed, competent, independent people, used to making life/death decisions -- and they totally understand each other and are working on figuring out how to move on to the next phase of life together.

      This tension between moving on to be "settled" and act "responsibly" versus risking a lot to do what's "right" even came up for Wedge (and other characters), which I thought was really interesting. How do you let go of years of doing something you've been good at, something that was exciting at times and made you who you are, for something completely different? How do you balance honoring your responsibilities to others in your life with the fact that in doing so, you may not be able to honor your internal drive to do what's right? Because none of our heroes would be where they are, in ROTJ or this trilogy, if they hadn't chosen to risk it all to do what's right.

  27. Here's a pretty lengthy review on it from a Han/Leia fan perspective:

  28. For some reason I can't reply directly to your comment/link. Thanks for that, good to read a thorough breakdown from a Han and Leia fan. I am envious of this person's ability to separate TFA from this. I'm sure I still won't read these, only partly due to the context but also because it sounds like there just isn't very much of them anyway. Also good to read the whole passage about Han apparently not being interested in holding his kid, and it does make it sound like he hasn't yet, which is just insane. I like that he seems to immediately bond with him once he DOES pick it up, but still not thrilled with him acting like a 12-year-old at the idea of Leia telling him to pick up his own son.

  29. omg there are so many comments here!! I wanted to read them all but it's really. A lot. So first off, since I finally found a way to interact here instead of lurking, hi, I'm Dessi, I'm on Tumblr and I've been a fan and writing fic since TFA came out. Literally had never watched SW before, but the anticipation for TFA reignited people's love for it so I finally made myself watch the six movies before TFA came out and ended up becoming a fan. Although I don't like what the did there, I suppose a benefit of being a new fan is that I'm a) hungry for more content, and b) more willing to wait and see what's going on. My policy is "I take what I want from Disney's crops and discard the rest", though at the same time I know it's fucked up because like it or not, what Disney is doing is "official" now. And it sucks a lot that some of these things will be canon for some people.

    Anyway, because of this, I do like to keep up with any new material involving Han and Leia. I've read the comics, Bloodline, and all three Aftermath books even though the writing isn't very good. I liked what Wendig did in "Empire's End" with them: Han thinks that he needs to find Chewie and liberate Kashyyyk because he's the one who has a life debt with Chewie, but also because he thinks he won't be a good father unless he finishes this; he clearly /wants/ to be a good father, and even as his mission gets complicated he sends a message to Leia saying he will be there for the birth. Meanwhile, Leia is angry at first because he's in danger and he didn't listen to her, but she also realizes /why/ Han is doing this and understands. Then, she goes and rescues Han, they liberate Kashyyyk. And the reunion is really lovely. However, I was dreading "Empire's End" after that excerpt was released--mostly because of the articles, that of course had blown it up.

    I wrote a rather long review of it in my blog, if anyone's interested:

    Basically, no, nothing in the book hints at "why Han and Leia split up years later". That's bullshit and I wish people stopped with that. There are a couple of things that bother me, but overall, they're shown as a GREAT couple and parents to be. Han isn't dreading to be a father. That's not at all what I got from the book. He's very attentive to Leia and tells her he'll do anything for her and their son. What is said is that he feels unsettled, and as I wrote in my review... I understand that it raises our hackles in light of everything Disney is doing, but at the same time, it is understandable, to me, that Han feels this way at this time. Maybe he isn't innately wanderlust-y... but living on a ship, flying around, having Chewie as the only other being he can rely on besides himself IS the only thing Han knows. So yeah! It's not OOC for me to see Han feeling a bit restless and having trouble figuring out what he's supposed to do when he has all these major lifestyle changes going on: no Chewie, no Falcon, no job, a wife and a son coming. (cont.)

    1. (cont.) And yet, the really big part for me that I really think needs to be acknowledged, is that the books make a point of showing Han CHOOSING all this. Especially if you read Life Debt before, he chooses to go back home with Leia when she has to leave prematurely, he chooses to say goodbye to Chewie, and at no point is he shown to regret living with Leia (not to mention that they got married before Leia getting pregnant, so obviously, he also chose to marry her). The parts that describe Han behaving as "trapped" or caged or whatever are from a different character's POV--and even so, this character recognizes what the real problem is: Chewie is gone. This is also what Leia herself notices. The problem isn't that Han doesn't want to be a father or settle down. He's just trying to adapt to something that is completely new for him, and he really misses Chewie. So, yeah. At first I really thought, ugh, but if I'm being honest, this is a feeling I would explore in fic. And again... neither Han in "Life Debt" nor any character in "Empire's End" think that Han is afraid of being a father and settling down. In "Life Debt" there's the question of "is he running away?" thrown around about twice after he disappears, but that is very firmly shut down by Han himself, and Leia doesn't think it, either.

      --oh I just saw someone linked to my review, lol. Zyra, yeah, I had a problem with that scene, too... though I don't see it as him not being /interested/ in holding the baby, just not being really confident that he can do it. But still, it baffles me to think that he wouldn't have held his son sooner?? Even if this scene is happening hours later, it's still... wow.

      Like I said above, even if I dislike TFA I'm still interested in seeing the whole "puzzle", and I need to consume material that includes Han and Leia to see how they're being treated. Call it benefit of the newbie :P Also, it makes for good fix-it writing. So, I think, like claire1976 said above, I try to see each new material released as separate things and to not pay attention to those "winks" to TFA that, really, if TFA wasn't a thing (oh I wish), they would be regular things nobody would pick on. Like, for example, I get that if you think of TFA you're going to read the scene of Han telling his baby he'll do anything for him as "oooh my god!! that's why he died!!" or whatever, but if we didn't have TFA that'd be a perfectly sweet thing to do, and that's how I choose to see it (but I also understand why it's fucked up and why it enrages a lot of you.)

      Another thing, in reply to something I saw someone write above: where does it say that Snoke made Leia's birth control fail?? Leia feels a certain "darkness" when she Force-connects with her son (yeah, TFA link, and it sounds bad, but it's not /as/ bad in the scene), but at no point in the book is said anything about how it was a surprise baby or anything. And it's not in any of the other released material that I've read, so... it's not an official thing. I hadn't even heard it until now.

      I hope all this made sense. I have a lot of words. Sorry if some of them have mistakes.

    2. I'd forgotten to add something else: I'm pro-women who don't change their names after marriage. Not even hypenating them. And I think it makes sense for Leia to keep the one legacy from the Organas she has left. I would have hypenated Ben's last names, that's for sure, but naming him just Organa? Idk about you guys, but THAT would have felt like another slap to Han, so I'm glad they didn't go there.

      (Also... wow, it's shocking how many people thought Han was afraid of being a dad from the book?? That's not at all what I got from there, and I promise I'm not being obnoxious about this)

    3. ::waves at OtterAndTerrier:: I'm the one who saw the birth control thing - I saw people referring to it in threads on our fave hellsite. Glad to know that's NOT what is in the book.

      Thank you for your detailed and excellent review of what actually IS in there!!

    4. @cv73 Hi!! Oh, I saw the comment in passing and didn't see it was yours. I'm willing to bet real money on that notion coming from a Crylow Rent fan looking for excuses to put the blame on the parents--it wouldn't be the first time. I remember reading such a post before actually reading Bloodline myself that claimed Han and Leia didn't live together because they bickered all the time. Then I read the book and... huh? What did they read?? In this case, if it was a surprise baby and they were taking measures for it not to happen, chances are higher that the parents didn't really want it and will end up abandoning it, right? Yeah, too bad that's just vile wishful thinking. The /only/ two times where conception is mentioned are:

      - in Bloodline, Leia thinking it happened during "a sublight run they’d undertaken together early in their marriage"

      - in Empire's End, Han reflecting that it happened on "a night under the stars in the canopy of Endor trees"

      (Which it sort of puzzling... couldn't Wendig have just followed Bloodline on this instead of making it confusing??)

      But there's no mention, ever, of it being either a decision or an accident, and anyone who claims that is not even reading, but WRITING between the lines. I'd really like to know what part of the book gave them that impression, because I can't figure it out.

      Lol, no problem, it was good to put my thoughts into words!

    5. Hey, thanks for joining us over here, and thanks for the great and thorough review. I was so glad to see someone write something like that for the Han and Leia fan.

      Also so interesting to hear from someone who is truly a new fan and didn't grow up with these movies, but also isn't like, 9 years old, haha. (or maybe you're 9, but if you are, you are obviously the most intelligent and articulate 9-year-old I've ever come across!) It does explain how you have an easier time separating things. It's like, for me, I have heard people say how they expected all of this because of what JJ had already done to ruin Star Trek. I'm someone who saw I think one Star Trek movie when I was so young I don't even remember anything about it, and then saw the new one and was like, huh, cool movie. I had no other context and no emotional attachment to any of it, so I could just like, sit back and watch the movie. Same goes I'm sure for any comic book movies I have no background on. Well, I DO have an issue with making Superman all dark and stuff, but I can just shake my head at that and not watch it rather than feeling quite the same level of betrayal I do at what has happened to Star Wars. But, as I said, I'm envious of your ability to separate those things.

      And I so appreciate your ability to read things for what they are instead of jumping to all the crazy conclusions. I think that's the big problem with what they have set us up with and made us believe. We read one line in a book where Han is with Leia and it might say, "Han frowned" and people will be like, SEE? He hates his life and he wants out and no wonder he was a bad dad and husband and ran away!!! The other "funny" thing is that really, everything about Han's not being able to settle down, etc, is from INTERVIEWS. It's not from the movie, it's not from any books, it's from things people said about the character. If we did not have those interviews to reference, I'm not sure these things would even be talked about.

      And I'm only just now realizing that Harrison totally got out of addressing any of that stuff because all of his interviews came before the movie came out, and then didn't contain spoilers. So he couldn't discuss Han leaving. I'm not sure if I want to hear what he has to say about it at this point, although the man PLAYED it like a broken man who hated what had to do and was still completely in love with Leia and lost without her. I think this is what drives me the most insane, that the movie shows us something entirely different than what these interviews say. But for some reason these interview comments are what everyone bases their opinions on.

      Ok, I'm done now. Again, I'm glad you're here and posting!

    6. ::waves:: One of the long time Trek fans - I was a Trek fan first. Like with TFA, there are long time Trek fans who love what was done and there are long time Trek fans who HATE everything done (that would be me!).

      I agree with you on how everything played onscreen was different than even the dialogue in cases! I keep coming back to Han talking about Luke...that "people who knew him best" line always throws me. I've never seen an interview with Harrison getting into that at all and Carrie apparently just made jokes about it at Celebration, etc. Mark talked about two minutes on the Nerdist about how he felt the death scene lacked resonance because neither Luke nor Leia was there - but that's all I've seen anyone address the actual plot.

    7. @Zyra lol, no, I'm 26 I swear. It'd be real weird if I was reading smut at 9. Yeah, basically my parents aren't really into sci-fi/fantasy stuff (though I've managed to drag my mum through the HP, LotR and Hobbit sagas, and she even went to see Rogue One with me!), I don't live in anyplace where stuff like this is a big thing unless a movie is released, it wasn't often on tv and if it was it wasn't something I would have chosen to watch. I became interested after seeing thousands of gifsets and fanart of--you guess--Han and Leia on Tumblr. I thought, hey, that's really cool, I need to see it in context. And of course, seeing that they were going to be together onscreen again years later?? Wow!! (ha, that went well)

      Well, like I said I understand if actual Han/Leia fans read into this sort of stuff and see more than there is, because TFA doesn't give us an ideal scenario. Of course you'll read something and think, hey, fuck your foreshadowing! even if it wouldn't be foreshadowing anything if you read it in a fic. Which is sad because, like you said, in other circumstances I assume a lot of you would be happier to read new official stuff about them, even if afterwards you said "yeah, I liked this, but not this part".

      But I truly HATE what the media is doing with all this. And what the people responsible for Star Wars now is doing, publicity-wise. It's one thing for Carrie to joke that Leia and Han broke up because they had problems in bed (even if the media doesn't get that as a joke), and another for the director and an actor to give us out-of-text reasons why X character did something. It definitely has more weight, because it implies that's the idea with which they worked. But ever since 2014 when something ugly happened in my other major fandom, I've decided that interviews are not canon, have no weight in canon, and if the creator wants something to be on the text they should put it on the text, otherwise they can go suck it.

      Tbh I'm very glad Harrison or most of the other actors did a lot of the promotion before it was released, so they couldn't talk about spoilers, and didn't speak a lot about it afterwards, either. I understand they care about the characters, but they don't care about them the way we do, and their reasons for something narratively making sense for them aren't the same as ours, so...

  30. Hi OtterandTerrier!! So glad you made it over here!

    Oh, yeah, gotta be a Crylo fan (my favorite name for KR so far as been Kookobura Roomba).

    I'd say it was odd that Wendig and Bloodline don't match since that's all they promised when they dumped the EU - everything would! Bloodline is supposed to sync up with 8 better but...

    I wish I could separate out the good from the bad...sigh.

    1. OtterandTerrier...welcome! Thanks for sharing your wonderful review!

      Regarding baby Ben's conception, I'm sure all us hardcore H/L fans spotted the contradiction with the timing immediately. I even tweeted Lucasfilm's Jennifer Heddle about this slip up and judging by her response it seems that the continuity people made a bit of a balls up and she didn't even realise, which kind of shocked me because she's a H/L fan herself! But anyway, she also said in her tweet that we should treat the Bloodline version of the conception as canon as it was published first. Then later on Leland Chee (the keeper of the holocron no less) tweeted that "neither Han or Leia know for sure exactly when it happened".

      Thought you ladies would be interested in that :)

    2. As Han and Leia fans, the only logical thing we should assume is that neither one of them has any idea when it happened. Because it could've been that night, or the next night, or the following morning, or that afternoon, or again that night, or the night after that, or later that night, or.... you see where I'm going with this ;)

      I do think it's dumb that they already missed something like that, but it just kind of proves to me that they aren't paying as much attention as we'd like. If they simply employed a small handful of nitpicky fans like ourselves they could avoid these problems.

    3. Or, again as cv mentioned, they said they weren't going to do.
      I've read Bloodline and that's it. I haven't looked into the new canon books any more than that, but it really makes me angry when (as small a detail as this may be) they've already messed up and this was the specific reason they gave for dumping the EU. I know I'm repeating you, cv, but- grr! I'm sorry. I will never let go of the EU. Never.

      Other than that, I don't know what to make of this slip-up other than what's been said and that I wish someone was in charge of things who cares half as much as we do.

    4. Thanks for that, Claire! Someone on Tumblr suggested that maybe their sublight trip took them back to Endor, so they're both right with the timing, but frankly, that's reading too much into it. It was a slip-up, period, and I agree that if the whole point of this revamp was to make things fit better they're not doing an excellent job of it. Come on, they have a storygroup for this, don't they?

      I'm happier with Bloodline's version because of what implies. If you reference Endor, your immediate line of thinking is going to be "shortly after the end of RotJ --> frenzied love-making --> no protection --> accident baby". Not "yeah, so they went back to Endor and took the decision to make a baby there". While saying it happened during a trip into their marriage implies they've been married for a while, and maybe it was an accident, but since I believe there's better contraception in a galaxy where you can shoot lasers and make things hover, they weren't on it at that time on purpose. The only thing I like about Han's idea is that something like Erin and Justine's Endor fic is officially completely plausible ;)

      Speaking of Bloodline, does anyone know where the idea that Ben was conceived # months into the marriage come from?? I was convinced the book said "months into their marriage", but it doesn't, and I've seen people speaking of three months?

    5. I prefer the Bloodline scenario too, for that very reason! And also I have this thing in my head that they went on that sublight trip WITHOUT Chewie....just the two of them, holed up on the Falcon, so lots of free time, and not much need for clothes ;)

      The conception must have occurred around 3 months after Endor because the Battle of Jakku was pretty much exactly one year after The Battle of Endor, and Ben was born days after, so from that we can determine the approximate time of conception. The question is though, when exactly did they get married? Was it literally RIGHT after ROTJ the same night as the Ewok party? Days later? Or did they stay on Endor a while and it was weeks later? We know it happened on Endor "after everything" to quote Leia, but what that actually means is still open to interpretation. I'm hoping the sketchy details of the marriage mean they are planning a book or comic later on that will give us all the info.

  31. Okay, OtterandTerrier, I can't find your last comment,s o I'm just going to put my reply here.

    They gave an actual reason for his name! What! Where? I'm kind of interested in this. Or was this a comment I missed?

    As for Breha, I'm positive Breha's maiden name was Antilles because Bail had three sisters and they were all Rouge, Celly, and Tia Organa. I've always wondered about that, though. Breha Organa is of no relation to the Corellian Antilles. Who are Corellian. But share a last name with the Alderaanian Antilles. No one ever argued that? Um, okay.

    1. No, I mean, what you guys were saying that they named Han and Leia's child Ben just because Harrison suggested it, because his son is called that and he thought it'd help him connect with the character, instead of it being an actual narrative decision. This comment thread is long, lol.

      Right! Yeah, I was very confused about that, too. Maybe it has to do something with colonies? But at first impression that isn't clear, so... a name that is different than a rather famous rebel pilot would have worked better.

    2. Ahh, I see. Yeah, I remember a comment or two about that now. Tbh, I don't think I've ever read all the comments on one post.

      Honestly, what made them think that was a good idea. Don't tell me that someone 'forgot' someone already had that name.

    3. Actually two someones - not only Wedge Antillies but the captain of the Tantive IV is an Antillies. Someone said it's like Smith? ;-)

      I guess we should all be happy that Harrison had a child whose name fit in Star Wars (his other sons are Willard and Malcolm!). I don't get why they couldn't just let Harrison call him Ben for those moments to make that scene work - since that was the only time Ford and Driver had a scene together - and then just dub in a new name after shooting.

      I remember reading that the name was really odd or that Kasdan and Abrams couldn't agree? Hell, for all we know, Harrison threw it in as a nod to the fact he thought the whole thing was nuts? His real son Ben seems to be a nice guy...

    4. Oh, yeah! I for got about Captain Antilles. Wait, wasn't he Breha's cousin or . . . I know that Breha had a cousin. Hang on. I need to visit the trusty Wookieepedia

    5. Oh, also, Bail Antilles is a joke, too.

    6. Lol, yeah, I remembered the captain... I was very confused at first because I thought it was Wedge, but how did Wedge survive the Tantive?? And then I found out it's a different Antilles. And Bail Antilles is definitely too much.

      Well, it'd make more sense if they'd gone for Willard so we'd take it as a wink to the SW Willard, instead of Ben, a name they have no connection with. Except maybe because the OT trio met thanks to Ben, I guess?? I don't like the EU's babies' names either, though, so Idk what name I'd choose.

    7. Well, towards the end of the EU, I started to feel like the new names were becoming more and more "real world".

    8. Names are tricky, especially for such key characters that are also related and therefore named by other key characters. Naming him Bail would've made sense, but then maybe they didn't like the idea of having Bail be a bad guy. Or maybe they never even thought of it, which is probably even more likely.

      Anakin was a dumb thing to have Leia name her kid, for sure. I got used to it and just kind of went with it though. And I was used to Jaina and Jacen as well, although it was always sort of unclear if Jaina was named for Han's mother or what, or if he even knew his mother. Or how he knew he had a cousin! There were several questions I wanted answers to in that whole scenario.

      And yeah, come on guys, why so many people with the last name Antilles? Is it really that hard to come up with other names?!?

    9. I don't think the GFFA should have "Smith", "Johnson" kind of last names.

      Honestly, I liked the whole thing with Anakin's name. I'm glad they didn't name Ben Bail. If they named him Bail, I would throw a holy conniption.

    10. I've seen so many fanfics where they name him Ben because they all met due to Obi Wan - that at least makes sense, kind of.

      I never understood Jacen and Jaina? Anakin makes no sense either (and that's why he died, so far as I read!) I can see Luke naming his kid Ben.