The Princess and the Scoundrel takes place right when Return of the Jedi ends, when our main rebel heroes are still on Endor celebrating a huge victory against the Empire. It’s there that Han and Leia decide to get married — and there’s no way the Ewoks are going to let them do that without incorporating a few of their own traditions into the ceremony.
During the ceremony, Han and Leia are given rings made of vines from a special tree at the center of the village. The vines are coated in hardened sap that gives them a shimmering gold appearance. But this isn’t the ring Leia wears in the sequel trilogy — and the story behind that is actually both heartwarming and heartbreaking.
The Endor rings may be beautiful and highly symbolic, but they’re also not invincible — just like all relationships, even the deeply-rooted ones, are a little bit fragile when things get tough. Throughout The Princess and the Scoundrel, both of the rings break. Han ends up giving Leia a replacement ring because he knows how much the first one meant to her. That’s the one she can be seen wearing in the sequel trilogy.
Some might say the breaking of the Endor rings in the book foreshadows the tragic end of Han and Leia’s love story. But their ending, though sad, is filled with much more hope and unconditional love than many realize.
It was the fall of Ben Solo that tore them apart. But it was the deep desire to save him — the belief he could be saved — that brought them back together again. The war made their lives very difficult, but Han and Leia, even in their separation, probably never stopped thinking about one another. Leia could have removed her ring entirely once Han was gone. But she didn’t; she simply moved it to her opposite hand where she would always see it.
The novel explains why their love was so powerful, even when, for a long time, it wasn’t enough to bring their son back to the light.
The Princess and the Scoundrel by Beth Revis is available now wherever you get your Star Wars books.
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