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Star Wars: The Princess And The Scoundrel Book Review

‘Star Wars: The Princess And The Scoundrel’ nails the characters of Han and Leia.

Written by Beth Revis (who previously penned the deeply underrated Jyn Erso novel ‘Rebel Rising’) returns to the Star Wars universe with a Han Solo and Leia Organa centric novel set directly after ‘Star Wars: Return of The Jedi’ titled ‘Star Wars: The Princess And The Scoundrel.’ The Emperor is “dead,” the second Death Star has been destroyed, the New Republic is on the horizon, but the Empire is not gone yet. As for Han and Leia, they have decided to take their relationship to the next level by getting married on Endor (yes, there are Ewoks). For their honeymoon, they are embarking The Halcyon cruise line to Syntax, but as one might expect, the cruise isn’t just for pleasure as it also serves as a sort of publicity stunt to show how peace is coming about. For reasons you will discover, the cruise ends up taking a detour to the ice planet Madurs which may or may not have a secret Imperial presence. Will Han and Leia’s honeymoon take an unexpected detour itself due to this new development?

The first third of ‘The Princess And The Scoundrel’ is everything you could want from a Star Wars novel. Not only does the alternating Han and Leia POV chapters dig into the characters’ inner thoughts, but you get to see some gaps filled in here. There are numerous callbacks, post ROTJ moments, and lead-ins to other novels (like ‘Bloodline’) and the sequel trilogy (particularly with Leia pondering her Force abilities). You even get elements you never knew you needed like Ewok customs, Han’s PTSD from being frozen in carbonite, What really makes the novel work as well as it does though is that Beth Revis perfectly captures the voices of the characters. You can practically hear Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher saying the lines. Moreover, Revis really digs into the dynamic between the two characters as they make choices for their future, come to terms with a new life together, and struggle with balancing a personal life and a life bound by duties, war, and sacrifice. 

As much good content as there is in this novel, the book slows to a crawl once the couple boards The Halcyon. While Revis’s exploration of Han and Leia’s relationship in this section does keep it afloat, The Halcyon and Madurs elements feel like an ordinary Star Wars novel storyline. It’s a shame because that first third of the novel is so rewarding. It felt like a genuine continuation of ‘Return of the Jedi’ as we (the audience) get to follow up on characters like Han, Leia, Mon Mothma, Lando, Luke, Chewbacca and so on. The other two-thirds of the book feels like a sort of generic Star Wars yarn (not to mention a plug for the Star Wars hotel). It doesn’t help that the whole adventure feels a bit far fetched. Why would Han and Leia go on a very public cruise line without a security detail even if it was a publicity stunt? They’d be targets for Imperial remnants. Plus it was stated Leia has bounties on her. Seems like a disaster waiting to happen even though we know the character’s fates.

‘The Princess And The Scoundrel’ may not be perfect, but fans of Han and Leia will be thrilled to finally read about their marriage and see what happens directly after ‘Return Of The Jedi.’

August 2, 2022 - Posted by | Book review | , , , ,

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