Star Wars: Bloodline Reveals a Ton of Backstory for The Force Awakens

Thursday, 05 May 2016 - 11:28AM
Star Wars
Thursday, 05 May 2016 - 11:28AM
Star Wars: Bloodline Reveals a Ton of Backstory for The Force Awakens
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Claudia Gray's Star Wars: Bloodline hit book stores this week, marking a welcome return to the franchise for the author of last year's best Star Wars book, Lost Stars. Told from the point of view of Leia Organa, Gray's second Star Wars novel is set just six years before the events of The Force Awakens. Given its close proximity to the turbulent events of JJ Abrams' movie, it was hoped that Bloodline would provide some much needed backstory for some of the movie's key characters and organizations. With it's release this week, we can now confirm that Bloodline is absolutely loaded with interesting tidbits and easter eggs, from major galactic scandals to insights into the lives of some of Star Wars' biggest names.

Spoilers for Star Wars: Bloodline follow

All is Fine With the Solo Family

With the book's perspective centered solely on Leia, we're naturally able to gain a lot of insight into one of the galaxy's major power families. As we wrote last week, Bloodline throws up the surprise that just six years out from the catastrophic events of The Force Awakens, all is seemingly well and good with the Solo family. Leia might have her concerns over Ben, and she's not all that happy about Han swanning off around the galaxy, but it's a far cry from the clusterfudge we saw on the big screen.

Dirty Laundry is Aired

(20th Century Fox)

Arguably the biggest moment of the book comes when the identity of Leia's biological father is revealed before an aghast Senate. This is gossip on a galactic scale and it sends Leia (and her career at the Senate) into something of a tailspin. The revelation comes by way of a leaked video message that Bail Organa left for Leia explaining her parentage. That same video message goes on to reveal that Darth Vader was the Jedi Knight once known as Anakin Skywalker. 

The news that Leia is the daughter of of the most reviled figures in the galaxy provokes suspicion and even disgust from her fellow Senators. However, the revelation gives Leia a more pressing source of concern than her political standing.

Han and Leia Never Told Ben Who His Grandfather Was

Yes, if you think the Senators of the New Republic were shocked to learn who Leia's father was, you can only imagine what her son must think about the situation. Leia and Han (and to a certain extent, Luke) have taken the decision not to tell Ben about the identity of his grandfather. Leia's concern about telling her son the truth might have been somewhat warranted. After all, finding out that you're directly related to a man as infamous as Vader is certainly cause for some soul-searching. But, delaying the decision until after it is public knowledge is the kind of thing that might just tip a volatile force-wielder over to the dark side, especially if there's a chap like Snoke looking for an opportunity. You can read more on this bad parenting here

Han is a Pro Racer

Bloodline might be told from the point of view of Leia, but there's not a great deal time dedicated to her husband, Han Solo. What we do know is that after their married life began (they were wed shortly after events on Endor), they soon found out their lives weren't compatible. At this point, though, the pair are still very much in love and they live a happy, long-distance relationship. So, what's Han doing that keeps him away from his wife? Well, he's a professional racer of starships, of course. He also dabbles in a bit of freight shipping, but the idea of Han participating in a pro-racing circuit is exactly how we would all like to imagine our favorite scoundrel in his twilight years.

Chewie is Back on Kashyyyk

As for Han's right-hand Wookiee, we learn that Chewie has returned to his homeworld of Kashyyyk. What isn't explained, though,  is what brings Han and Chewie back together. Perhaps Han seeks the companionship of his best friend after Ben falls to the dark side and his marriage falls apart? Or, perhaps there's just no keeping a good comedy duo apart?

Leia's Intern

Bloodline gives some background to one of The Force Awakens' fringe characters, a young woman by the name of Korr Sella. Korr Sella's time in The Force Awakens was consumed mostly by getting blown up, but as The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary tells us, she played a key role in galactic affairs. In Bloodline we learn that the makings of her career began with the time she spent as Leia's intern at the Senate, and she would eventually go on to lobby Senators on behalf of Leia's Resistant, pleading with them to take direct action against the First Order.

The Formation of The Resistance

The reason Korr Sella is left to do all the lobbying of the Senate is because, as Bloodline tells us, Leia is forced to turn her back on the political machine that once signaled hope for the Galaxy. After her parentage is exposed, Leia finds herself without any allies in the Senate and starts to see how increasing corruption is causing the galaxy's elite to lose sight of their original goal. With the threat of the Empire long gone, political power plays and bargaining are rife in the New Republic. But when the threat of The First Order emerges, the political machine is unable to react, forcing Leia into the decision to retire and form a new organization that can help combat this new threat. Leia recruits trusted friends like Admiral Ackbar and Korr Sella, and thus the beginnings of The Resistance are set in place.

The First Order

In many ways, Bloodline is a tale of how The First Order and The Resistance came to be. But while we get a first-hand look at the formation of the latter, the former's emergence is steeped in mystery. In previous books, we've been told that after the Empire's collapse, key figures from the Imperial elite retreated to the fringes of known space to regroup and rebuild. But Bloodline gives us our best look yet at how the First Order slowly emerged from the shadows.

One of the reasons behind Leia's rejection of the Senate is her discovery of a First Order spy working high up in the New Republic's ranks. However, this is just one of many red flags that occur throughout the book. Another warning sign is the discovery that some of the bigger crime cartels that have sprouted up across the galaxy are actually just a front for a larger, more organized military that has been created with the sole purpose of destroying the New Republic. 

The final blow comes when a number of the Senate's members opt to break away from the New Republic, putting their significant financial resources behind the mysterious organization that would become known as The First Order.

Hux's First Order Origins

We obviously know that General Hux is First Order through and through, but Bloodline dives deeper into the fact that the his family are key players in the evil organization. As the Visual Dictionary first mentioned, after the Battle of Jakku General Hux's father (a high-ranking Imperial official) fled with the remnants of the Imperial forces to regroup and create a new organization. It was from this unchartered space that the First Order would emerge, with General Hux having been brought up truly believing that the New Republic needed to be eradicated. That Hux spent his formative years with a group of hardcore Imperial officers goes some way to explaining why he is so maniacally obsessed with the destruction of the New Republic. You can take the boy out of the Empire, but you can't take the Empire out of the boy.
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