I will admit, I am not fully knowledgable about the workings of the Star Wars Expanded Universe (aka the “EU”) nor am I fully versed (yet) in the new canon, so there will be some out there who will be unhappy about what I am about to write. For others, many will point to Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath novel and say that the first introduction into the post Return of the Jedi galaxy was a dud (I personally enjoyed the book), and perhaps this was due to also fail. That perhaps we should throw away Aftermath and the other two books in the series and go back to the EU (I currently have only read the first leg in what is known as the “Thrawn Trilogy” aka Heir to the Empire, which everyone should read. Yes, I promise I will go back and read the remaining two books in the series when I find the time). However, I can tell you that, even with the limited amount of Star Wars books I have read and enjoyed thus far, no one has come close (at least in the “new canon”) to be able to write as good a Star Wars novel as Claudia Gray has.
Her first Star Wars book, Lost Stars, was part of the “Journey to The Force Awakens” campaign that started in September 2015 to get fans excited about the forthcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. To put it simply without giving too much away, Lost Stars follow two characters throughout their lives and how the events of the original trilogy (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi) were seen by them and affected them.
In Bloodline, we focus on Princess Leia six years prior to the events of The Force Awakens. She is a Senator in the New Republic Senate and she could not help but feel that this government has begun to fall apart. However, there are forces outside and within the New Republic that threaten to topple theinfancy of the democracy that the Rebellion fought hard to create. I do not want to spoil the book; however, I will say that this book will provide two things: first, it will provide more clarity to certain points in The Force Awakens, including why Princess Leia felt the need to start the Resistance and how the First Order was able to rise in power in the galaxy. Second, the book explores the effect of family and personal histories onto the two central characters of the book and how they effect them in the story. In this case, how the rise and fall of the Empire affected both Princesses Leia and Senator Ransolm Casterfo, who Gray describes 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.'”
Also, if you need any more incentive to pick up this amazing book, other than showing how the stage is set for the First Order to rise in power in the galaxy, the director of the untitled Star Wars: Episode VIII film, Rian Johnson, had input into the story! Who knows, maybe there are some details within Bloodline that will be mentioned as plot points in Episode VIII?
Greg was born and
raised with a love for wanting to
understand how life, the universe and
everything worked, so you can say his mind would always want to be in
far, far away. He also has a love for most things nerdy, including Ghostbusters,
Lord of the
Rings, Marvel, DC Comics and Harry Potter. He is very excited to
have found a “home” to express his various
views on Star Wars and everything
else that can be found on Jakku. Hope it earns him more than one quarter
portion. Darn you Unkar Plutt!