Fans of Padmé Amidala and the Star Wars prequel films are in for a treat later this year when Queen’s Hope, the third book in E.K. Johnston’s trilogy, is published.
Star Wars announced the novel during an episode of This Week in Star Wars, saying the book concludes the trilogy following Queen’s Shadow and Queen’s Peril. Queen’s Hope is set during Padmé’s time as a Galactic senator during the Clone Wars, chronicling events between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.
StarWars.com shared more details on the book:
"In her new book, Queen’s Hope, author E.K. Johnston will complete her trilogy exploring Padmé’s life during her early years on the senate floor, on the throne of Naboo, and ultimately entangled with Anakin Skywalker, Jedi General, during a dark time in the galaxy’s history. While Anakin excels at leading the clone soldiers on battlefronts across the galaxy, Padmé is horrified by the repercussions left behind on war-torn planets."
In an interview with Johnston, Star Wars said Queen’s Hope will also “explore the marriage of Anakin Skywalker and Amidala like never before.” In the book, we see Padmé employ her loyal handmaiden Sabé for a secret mission that sees her once again doubling at the senator and “witnessing the war from the political arena.”
Of course, as this is set during the Clone Wars, Chancellor Palpatine is scheming even more behind the scenes, continuing his plans that will eventually give rise to the Galactic Empire and the dark side downfall of Anakin.
"This is the start of the downward arc and I was a little bit nervous approaching it. But there’s still a lot of really good things to get into in this part of Padmé’s story. She’s kind of established herself as her own powerful senator… as someone who has power and someone who is good at it. And then, of course, in her personal life things are getting rather complicated."
When it comes to exploring Padmé’s marriage to Anakin, Johnston says he’s not the main character of Queen’s Hope but rather the “romantic interest” in some of his happiest moments, like being married to the love of his life. But as fans of The Clone Wars animated series know, Anakin’s and Padmé’s marriage struggles because of his combat duties as a Jedi Knight and her responsibilities as a politician. Not to mention, their relationship is still a closely-guarded secret.
But, Johnston says, there are moments showing their “genuine love”:
"They like each other so much, they just never have any time and that’s their tragedy. They never have any time to talk, they never have any time to work things out, and I got to write a very, very small sliver of that time, which is something I think people have been looking forward to seeing for a while now."
Though we all know how the story of Padmé ends, Johnston says the book is titled Queen’s Hope because of the hope she instilled in other people, including her children Luke and Leia, who all carry on without her. All the people she worked with and had a relationship with during her life were touched by her and carried on her legacy of hope and endurance, including Bail Organa, Mon Mothma and her handmaidens.
“…I know that hope endures, that good endures,” Johnston said. “And Padmé believed it even right up to the end. I like to think I do, too.”
Queen’s Hope publishes on Nov. 2, shortly after Queen’s Peril gets a paperback release on Sept. 8.
Read more of StarWars.com’s interview with Johnston here.