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Before her planet was destroyed, before a new life of purpose found him, before the force filled him, they were a princess, a scoundrel, and a farm boy. Star Wars: A New Hope - The Princess, The Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy give a new telling to the adventures of the movie it is named for.
We open up the section dedicated to Princess Leia. Yes, no matter what happens, no matter where she goes, even with Alderaan destroyed and the Imperial Senate dispersed, she will always be a senator and she will always be our princess. We learn more about the life she had on Alderaan, being forced to be prim and proper by her aunts, but also the woman she wanted to grow up to be. A woman of change, someone who could create good in a world of bad, bring light to the darkest of places. She held her head high in the midst of adversity, and did everything she could to prove she was more than just a pretty face. What is so fascinating about this section is that we learn more about who Leia is. We see into her heart about the love she has for justice, but also her family whom we never get to meet. She is more rounded than the first Star Wars movie gives her credit for as we adventure into her past as it meets up with her present. We learn her fears, her hopes, her desires. We see past the princess and to the woman who would one day become a general.
Though her story must come to a quick halt as we turn to Tatooine to meet the rugged scoundrel, Han Solo. He doesn't disappoint for he is everything I expected. A playboy with a girl in every space port. A pirate and a smuggler with no regard to the future or the past, just the hear and now. He sees nothing past the next job and why shouldn't he? The Rebellion keeps him smuggling and the Empire is fine so long as they stay out of his way and off his ship. Of course the story as we know picks up when Han is in need of a good paying job to repay the crime-lord Jabba the Hutt. What is nice about this books is seeing the evolution of Han. How he tries so hard to act as if he doesn't care and is a lone wolf when in fact his is a pack wolf. His curiosity often gets the best of him and he finds himself more intrigued by Luke and Old Ben than he is willing to admit. And his undying loyalty to Chewbacca is more prevalent here in this book. We are able to see more of how their friendship goes beyond just pilot and co-pilot, but to two people who actually care about each other. Chewbacca is the only one that sees the good in Han and what Han can become. Han on the other hand, hides who he really is out of something that isn't seen in the films. Fear. He doesn't want to be left alone and yet he does. He doesn't want to risk his life and yet he hopes that he could for his friends. He is a smuggler and yet he wants to start an honest business with Chewbacca so that the Wookie can tend to his family as well. Han proves to be a more complex character than originally portrayed.
And finally when Han, Luke, and Leia finally we meet, we reach the last chapter of this story. Luke's story. Luke as expected is the green farm boy who thought of battles and war as something extraordinary. He wanted to see what was beyond his little ball of sand world and explore the galaxy. At times it seemed like he didn't care how it was done so long as he didn't have to stay on the moisture farm for the rest of his life. And he is so naive that he doesn't even know what he is doing half the time. Yes, he shows quick thinking and good instincts, something that is often praised throughout his story by more than just Ben Kenobi. We get to see how the others thought of him, from Leia and Han, to Wedge, General Dodonna, even the brief moments we get with Biggs Darklighter. We see Luke for more than who he is. Someone who has to learn to cope with tragedy in a world that was so innocent for him. A world that would never have been touched by the empire had two droids never made their way to the surface of Tatooine. Luke goes through a series of emotions and trials in a matter of days that this book only just scratches the surface of but shows more than in the films.
This book was a very quick read, not because it was well written, but because the story is so familiar. It gave me a chance to look further into the characters were all know and love and see further into their hearts and minds. While some things came as a surprise like how Luke and Leia are so much alike even if their worlds were so different, other things like Han being a playboy was nothing new. In fact I think I would have been a little disappointed if he didn't live up to that expectation. I would suggest the book to anyone who loves Star Wars as it is a quick read but also because it gives you a chance to really learn more about these characters that we can't help but love.