New audio excerpt released for Queen’s Hope, the last book in E.K. Johnston’s Padmé trilogy

Queen's Hope book cover. Photo: Disney Books.
Queen's Hope book cover. Photo: Disney Books. /

Come April, Star Wars fans will be cordially invited to the wedding of Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala when E.K. Johnston’s next book Queen’s Hope is released.

The final book in the YA Padmé trilogy was supposed to come in November 2021 but was pushed to April 5, 2022, because of pandemic-related print publishing delays. Still, anticipation for the novel continues to mount, especially as the first two books were hits with fans of the prequels, the incredible queen of Naboo turned senator and her star-crossed relationship with the charming and powerful Jedi.

Youtini, a hub for all things Star Wars books, recently shared the first audiobook excerpt from Queen’s Hope, with Catherine Taber voicing Padmé as she reflects on her impending wedding to Anakin. The excerpt was first shared last year on Gizmodo, but this is the first time we get to hear this part of her story.

The audio excerpt is directly from the beginning of Chapter 1 and shows Padmé grappling with the weight of her impending secret wedding to Anakin and feelings of being alone because of this secret. These particular passages detail Padmé’s methods in trying to make her wedding dress in a hurry and grappling with whether or not to enlist her handmaidens’ help.

"“For one of the very few times in her life, Padmé Amidala had no idea what to do. She kept secrets all the time, but this one was different. Usually, the girls she shared her secrets with also helped her keep them. They weren’t just her confidants; they held her web of secrets together. And this time she was alone.”"

As fans know, Padmé and Anakin’s wedding happened in the final moments of Episode II: Attack of the Clones, the prequel film that kickstarted the galaxy-spanning Clone Wars. The sunrise wedding happened in the Lake County on Padmé’s home planet of Naboo, and the only “beings” who witnessed the nuptials were the officiating holy man and the two droids C-3PO and R2-D2.

Queen’s Hope is set during the earliest moments of the Clone Wars and explores “Padmé at her happiest.” Despite their secret love and marriage, there’s never a doubt of how much Padmé and Anakin leave each other. And their dedication to making their relationship work amidst war is a testament to their passion.

"“It was SO NICE to write them when they’re happy,” Johnston told in November 2021. “Obviously, the spectre of death hangs over their entire relationship, and it turns toxic because they never talk about their feelings, but these early days are light and optimistic, and I deeply enjoyed ushering them through it. Also there’s a thing at the end. That I like. A lot.”"

The first two books in Johnston’s trilogy, Queen’s Shadow and Queen’s Peril, followed Padmé during the early part of her reign as queen of Naboo and then her journey as a young senator for the Republic.

Despite this being the last book in the trilogy — and knowing how the story of Padmé and Anakin ends — reading about key moments in Star Wars history from Padmé’s point of view adds so much depth and heart to not only her personal journey but also to the overall story of the Republic era.

Star Wars readers would be remiss if they skipped out on these stories.

Related Story. New Star Wars: Queen's Hope excerpt disrupts Anakin and Padmé's wedding plans. light

Queen’s Hope will be available on April 5 and is now available for preorder. Keep up to date with Star Wars book news through Dork Side of the Force.