Goody’s Publication Audit: A Review of Star Wars: Bloodline!
Greetings Huttslayers!! Bloodline is written by Claudia Gray. Now, this isn’t her first Star Wars novel, she also wrote the young adult book Lost Stars which was really good!
The story line focuses on Senator Leia Organa and her involvements with the New Republics Senate, which is roughly 6 years before Episode 7 – The Force Awakens. Now, something that hasn’t been addressed in any of the new canon books/novels is Han and Leia’s relationship in regards to if they are or are not married. In the old canon they did tie the knot. But, as you can see above, Leia still goes by her maiden name of Organa. There was a brief story line in the comics that really caused a stir in that it initially showed that Han had indeed married someone else and that this so-called wife had come back looking for him. In the end, it turned out she wasn’t really his wife at all. She was just after Solo for some bad blood between them. So, the question remains. Are Han and Leia ever going to be married? By this point in the canon they already have a son. It’s an interesting question because it does show how diverse and culturally updated the Star Wars universe is becoming under the leadership of Disney. Anyone else have some speculations?
Ok, back to the audit. Like I stated above, most of this book focuses on the inner politics of the senate. I personally grew up in a political household, my parents were very open about discussing politics and I learned how our government really worked from an early age. So for me, this book was slightly entertaining, but for someone who doesn’t enjoy that arena or is looking for a lot of Star Wars action then this book might be a bit of a bore. With that said, there is a lot of information that we are exposed to within this novel and that alone is worth the read. Also, the Director for Episode 8 (Rian Johnson), was also allowed to give his input for certain details within the story. Which is really cool, because this means some of the new information we’ve been exposed to will possibly transfer to the new movies.
Gray’s writing about the inner politics is superb. She introduces us to the two different factions within the senate. First we have the Populists group who believe that all the individual planets within the New Republic should govern themselves with very little involvement of the senate. The other faction is the Centrists who believe that one central government should rule all of the individual planets, much like the old Galactic Empire. Now, there are also a handful of Liberal planets too that haven’t joined either faction. The system mirrors much of our own political parties here in the United States. We have the Democratic, Republican, and Liberal parties within our Congress and just like our system, the Star Wars Senatorial factions tend to bicker at each other far too much and not get too much done.
The supporting cast is sublime. We’re introduced to some new characters that have had some influence into future story lines and some that did really well in this one.
First up in Greer Sonnel. A former space racer for Han Solo, she came to work for Leia as her personal assistant and pilot when she couldn’t race anymore. She’s fiercely loyal to Leia and Captain Solo. I’m hoping we see much more of her in the future, I think she has a lot to offer.
Joph Seastriker is a lieutenant and X-Wing pilot in the New Republic who gets assigned to Senator Organa for a mission and eventually also develops a fierce loyalty towards Leia. It’s a common theme throughout the book. Those who get close to Leia tend to grow to love and respect her.
We have a couple of newcomers in the senate who are on the opposing faction of Princess Leia. Leia is a Populists, these are Centrists. First we have Lady Carise Sindan who believes her heritage and senatorial titles are just another form of celebrity status. She reminds me a lot of a certain reality TV family that starts with a Kar and ends with Dashian. Very materialistic and is out to better her social standing constantly. True politics are not what she’s there for. The last character of note is Senator Ransolm Casterfo, also a Centrists. The big difference between these two is that Ransolm seeks out the truth in all he does, a true wholesome patriot for the galaxy. He’s trying hard to make the galaxy a better place. He has a strange love for the old Galactic Empire. He collects old true memorabilia from the Imperial days like old Tie fighter helmets and displays them within his office. This obviously causes tension between he and Leia and causes them both to reflect on their hate for Darth Vader, even to the point that Leia explains the tortures that he put her through in Episode 4 – A New Hope.
The major turn of events in the plot is when Luke and Leia’s parentage is exposed during a senatorial meeting. Most of the senate turns on her immediately learning that their father was none other than Darth Vader. Any authority she had been almost immediately stripped from her. Her word or opinion from then on meant nothing. It was truly devastating to her and you could feel it in the way Claudia Gray wrote it.
After the unmasking of their parentage, Leia takes a different turn in how she plans on dealing with the galaxies enemies. We see what is to be the formation of “The Resistance” at the end of the book and who’s truly there to support her and her cause. It’s much like the formation of the old Rebel Alliance from the original trilogy.
We’re also exposed to how “The First Order” is initially funded and why it’s being secretly constructed. The reasoning behind it all is fascinating and yet so simplistic. Some things are just hard to kill off.
The tempo of the story has some slow parts to it, but also amps up in several spots with some mediocre action sequences.
One of the other observations that I observed was what I’m calling the beginning of the separation of Han and Leia that we all saw in Episode 7. Han runs a space racing event which keeps him away from Leia on almost a continuous basis. Granted, he makes an appearance when he’s truly needed and they express their love for one another verbally through communications but you can tell that the separation between the two is taking a toll on the relationship.
This is a great piece of work, I feel Claudia did a great job in her writing. She does a stellar job at writing Leia herself, by who she is, what and how she thinks, and the way she conducts herself. I’m not a hug fan of the story, but this novel contains enough intrigue and back story to Episode 7 that it’ll keep you reading. This is a must read!
As always, I’d love to hear what you all think. Let’s talk, leave a comment, don’t be scared I don’t bite.