Everything you need to prepare for The Last Jedi

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Bloodline (novel) Claudia Gray

Era: Approximately six years before The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. 

Darth Vader. Need I say more? If you were to read just one book before The Last Jedi, this would be the one. Once again, Claudia Gray delivers, with another fantastic Leia novel. I would also recommend reading both stories back to back, where you see the growth of Leia over that 37-year gap.

Gray pays attention to detail, where you will notice subtle Easter eggs connecting both novels together.

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Darth Vader has a strong presence in this story. No, he doesn’t return from the netherworld of the Force, but he might as well have. His impact, even decades later, still affects the state of the galaxy.

Kylo Ren 

The reason for Ben Solo’s decent deep into the Dark Side, and taking the name of Kylo Ren, is hinted within the novel.

Leia, who is nominated for the position of First Senator — the same as the former Supreme Chancellor in the prequel era — is a shoe-in to win the political race. However, one of Leia’s rivals, Lady Carlise, gets a hold of a vital hologram, revealing the origins of Leia.

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

Now, this knowledge is nothing new to Star Wars fans, being revealed in both the prequels and original trilogies.  Leia discovered this truth on the sanctuary moon of Endor when Luke revealed to her their true identities.

However, hearing the words come from Bail Organa himself brings all of the feels. Can you handle it?

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"Leia, the story of your origin is one you must know. You were hidden with us, for your own safety. You have a twin brother, though you must not seek him until the war has ended, and both Palpatine and Lord Vader have been defeated."

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Anakin Skywalker was returning from the depths of the Dark Side within Darth Vader. A moment that brought balance to the Force, and left all of us with tears of joy. The chosen one had returned.

Organa shifts gears to Leia’s mother, her real mother, one who she has more in common with than she could imagine.

"I never told you that she was Padmé Amidala, former queen, and senator of the planet Naboo."

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"Nor could I share that your father was Anakin Skywalker, one of the last Jedi Knights and a great hero of the Clone Wars. I must tell you what became of Anakin Skywalker. Your father has become Darth Vader."

Imagine the footage of Bail Organa revealing these truths, to the entire galaxy. Yep, Darth Vader’s identity and connection to Luke and Leia were leaked by the media. Up until this point, only Luke, Leia, Han, and (maybe) Chewbacca knew of any of these truths.

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

Ben Solo, age 23 at this point, learned of his grandfather’s true identity from the Holonews, which must have sent him over the edge of the Dark Side. Like his father, Han Solo said in The Force Awakens, “He has too much Vader in him.” I bet that was even true before he knew of his rightful birthright.