Welcome aboard the Han and Leia Solo looooooooove boat. We provide music and history lessons at the low low cost of only two books. And possibly your sanity unless you just roll with the ridiculousness. Someone cue up the Bollywood soundtrack because here we go!
The Courtship of Princess Leia
Why yes. This book is the Star Wars equivalent of a Bollywood musical. You’ve probably heard us at Tosche Station repeat Dunc’s declaration a time or two. Honestly though. This book comes complete with a musical break where Threepio serenades the group with “Han Solo! What a man, Solo!” complete with orchestration and a tap dance routine. You only think I’m making this up. Of course, we can’t forget the opening number where the Hapans enter the grand audience chamber and make an elaborate presentation of gifts with women singing “Hapes Hapes Hapes” over and over again in the background. If they were to film this, I would expect it to end much like Mirror, Mirror with a giant wedding Bollywood number. Bonus points if they managed to get Sean Bean to play some role and just look miserable in the back ground. But anyways. Let’s be clear: this book is indeed ridiculous but it’s still entertaining and somewhat endearing in its own strange way.
Not that any of this excuses the characterization of Han or Leia. It’s all just… off. Very off. Han is crazed and obsessed and Leia is just… yeah. It’s just all so very very very wrong. Also, I’m pretty sure that at this point in the timeline? Han still finds Threepio irritating and even if he didn’t, I’m fairly sure that he is the LAST person or droid you should go to for love life advice.
Aside from the ridiculous characterization and strange plot, there are some good things about this book. First and foremost, we get the planets of Dathomir and Hapes which I shall always insist are wonderful additions to the Expanded Universe. Are they somewhat strange societies? Sure but they make for fascinating reads. Not only that but this book lays the foundation for one excellent character in the Expanded Universe: Tenel Ka who shall forever be my favorite warrior princess/queen but more on that in a few weeks. Honestly, I wish that we’d gotten a chance to see more of both worlds in canon.
Also, this book gives us the infamous “Kiss My Wookiee!” line. Come on, how can you not find that in the least bit amusing?
I am honestly convinced that Winter must have been off on some sort of mission for Intelligence while this was happening. When she got back and Han and Leia told her the whole story, she listened calmly without comment and then smacked them both over the head, confiscated all of their spice, and gave them a stern lecture about the dangers of drugs.
(Editor’s Note: I was overly harsh on this book when I did this original write up for the Waru Express. I did my reread while in a bad mood and that clearly bled over to my enjoyment so let’s clear a few things up: I actually like this book. I really do. I acknowledge that it’s ridiculous but I like it anyways. A piece of entertainment doesn’t have to be a great work of literature for me to get a kick out of it. I freaking love Dathomir and Hapes and yeah, Han has some serious issues in this book but I don’t care because the ridiculousness was worth it. I am 100% here for the Witches of Dathomir. In fact, I am so here for Dathomir and Hapes that my Mary Sue OC that never left my head was a child of both worlds like Tenel Ka. tl;dr: I like this book. Haters to the left, I don’t care.)
Tatooine Ghost is part of what I like to refer to as the ‘Whoooooa look at all the new information we got from the Prequels! Let’s work it into EVERYTHING from now on!’ wave.
This book is one part ‘explore Anakin Skywalker’s past,’ one part Han/Leia, and one part Leia working through her Vader issues. The good news is that while the themes feel a bit heavy handed at times, it works for the most part. It’s an entertaining enough book that doesn’t feel like a chore to read. Han and Leia are spending their honeymoon retrieving a piece of artwork titled the Killik Twilight because not only is it a nice reminder of Alderaan but because it contains the code key to a Rebel spy ring. Obviously, it would be very bad if the Empire were to get their hands on it although I question why someone didn’t think to remove the key before they lent it to a museum on Coruscant.
I really don’t have much to say about this book. (I know. Brevity from me. Shocking.) Like I said, it’s a good enough read as long as the continuous Skywalker-Family-Storytime doesn’t bother you too much. The book does make me a little sad that Shmi never got to meet her grandchildren. She would’ve been the best grandmother ever.
I do appreciate Denning’s little comments towards continuity. The despicable Threken Horm appears in this book again and continues to be awful. We also get some foreshadowing for Thrawn and company in the next trilogy. Oh. And we get a mention of the Wraiths. You know how much I love even hearing about my favorites.
Okay. Getting off this love cruise now. Thankfully. Fine, I’m being dramatic again but if you got to read the Thrawn Trilogy next, wouldn’t you be excited too?
Originally posted to Tosche Station on February 12, 2013