With a little over a month away from the release of The Princess and the Scoundrel by Beth Revis, Star Wars shared the first excerpt – and it’s a doozy.
The novel, due out on Aug. 16, is set immediately after Return of the Jedi as the Rebels celebrate the victory at Endor, the destruction of the second Death Star, and the death of Emperor Palpatine. Luke Skywalker is now a fully-fledged Jedi after extensive training with Yoda and just brought his father, Anakin Skywalker, back from the depths of the dark side.
But for Luke’s sister, Princess Leia Organa, their father will always be Darth Vader, and the trauma she experienced at his hands is not something she can easily forgive or forget.
That’s the crux of the excerpt shared on StarWars.com – the celebrations have died down among the Ewoks on Endor and Vader’s funeral pyre is little more than ashes. Now in the quiet, the heroes of the Rebellion are taking a moment to understand the human cost of the war and what’s next to fully eradicate the Empire.
"“Leia’s hand trailed over the white and black helmets of the stormtroopers and Imperial fighters that the Ewoks had turned into an impromptu drum set. She had laughed and danced along with everyone else when the fires were bright and the drinks had flowed freely.But now her hand lingered over the scratches and dents on a previously gleaming-white helmet.A person, a living being, had been under this helmet.The enemy.”"
The excerpt also includes a moment with Luke and Leia uneasily talking about the death of their father and Leia’s burgeoning understanding of her own power in the Force.
"“She had told Luke that she didn’t — couldn’t — understand the power he had, but he seemed eerily calm and confident that she could actually wield the Force as he did. Leia might not have any real experience with the Force, but there was no denying the power Luke had… the power she felt, too, like a fluttering of flitterfly wings just on the edge of her consciousness. Waiting for her to seize it.”"
When Luke tries to tell Leia about Anakin’s last words to her, she stops him and says she doesn’t want to hear them and doesn’t care.
“He was good,” Luke insisted. “There was still good in him, after all…”
"My father was good, Leia thought, but in her mind she pictured Bail Organa, not Darth Vader. Thinking of Bail made her think of Breha, her mother. Of her home. Of everything she had lost.”"
The rest of the excerpt explores Leia’s thoughts about her connection with her parents, teasing the possibility that she had a connection with her biological mother, Padme, where Luke had one with Anakin. The two siblings also question what happens next, but neither of them knows for sure.
It ends with Leia watching Han Solo and knowing, at least, what she’s going to do that night.
Read the full excerpt here.
The Princess and the Scoundrel follows Leia and Han as they navigate their wedding, honeymoon, and seemingly star-crossed relationship in the midst of a continuing war to free the galaxy from the Empire. The book explores their days as newlyweds, including their honeymoon aboard the Halcyon – the same luxury starcruiser at Walt Disney World.
The Princess and the Scoundrel arrives Aug. 16 and is available to preorder now.