Though Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a thrilling movie experience that gave us plenty to look forward to in a galaxy far, far away, it also left us with lots of questions about what came before. Three decades passed between that film and Return of the Jedi, and while certain things just required a little logical dot-connecting to understand, other elements of the film's backstory remain a massive mystery.
Thankfully, we've got the budding Expanded Universe 2.0 to look to for that. The official Force Awakens novelization has already brushed in some details, the Star Wars comics are also helping, and Chuck Wendig's novel Aftermath provided us with the first taste of post-Jedi war. Now, the next Star Wars novel is here, and it's about Leia's place in the Senate before she went off and started her Resistance against The First Order. This is Bloodline, by Claudia Gray.
The novel is set "some years" (the report doesn't specify how many) before The Force Awakens, and in it, Leia is still a senator working proudly in the New Republic she helped build, but a new generation of officials doesn't necessarily understand everything she went through to achieve this. In the shadow of her father, and surrounded by new political opponents, Leia must deal with a new threat that sets on her the path to The Force Awakens.
Among the tidbits unveiled by Gray is a new senator named Ransolm Casterfo, who's described as "an ambitious young senator who's Leia's political opposite in virtually every way. He even collects artifacts from the Empire, like pro-Palpatine banners, pieces of armor, and so on." That sounds like a fascinating start to a divide between Rebellion veterans and New Republic power players that could lead us in some very interesting places.
Check out a couple of paragraphs from Bloodline below:
The conference building of the New Republic senatorial complex contained multiple rooms appropriate for every kind of auxiliary function imaginable, from memorial concerts to awards ceremonies. Leia Organa and Tai-Lin Garr headed toward one of the smallest banquet rooms. The breakfast meeting had been organized by VarishVicly, who couldn’t imagine a bad time for a party.
Varish came loping toward them now on all fours. “There you are! I was worried you’d be late.”
“We’re still early,” Leia protested as both she and Tai-Lin were wrapped in quick, long-limbed hugs.
“Yes, but I worry. You know how these guys get.”
“Now come along and be introduced to everyone,” Varish insisted. Soon Leia found herself shaking hands and paws, murmuring greetings; thanks to some review holos Korr Sella had prepared for her, she recognized each senator in attendance and could even ask a few pertinent questions about their families and worlds.
To read the rest (and you should, because the ending is cool) head over to USA Today.
Bloodline will hit bookstores May 3.