PrintE-mail Written by Ed Fortune

Disney’s takeover of the Star Wars franchise has been a bit of a boon to the tie-in novels. Until recently, the shelves were cluttered with decades of books about Han, Leia, Chewie, and chums, and it was all a little bit intimidating. Now that the Galaxy Far Far Away belongs to the House of Mouse, however, most of those old stories have been consigned to the label of ‘Legends’, which is a nice way of saying that they’re not canon.

Star War Bloodline is part of Disney’s new canon; it is one of the books that is meant to form a backbone of tales about everyone’s beloved heroes. In this case, Bloodline focuses on what Leia Organa got up to after Return of The Jedi. If you’ve seen The Force Awakens you know a chunk of it already, but Bloodline focuses on Leia’s political career rather than her relationship with Han Solo.

On the face of it, this should be a gripping read. Star Wars meets House of Cards by way of Game of Thrones would be the most obvious route, putting the heroically hairstyle princess up against the sort of people who allowed Palpatine to become Emperor. Sadly, the story doesn’t quite go that far.

What we get instead is an intergalactic murder mystery of sorts. Leia is frustrated that the New Republic’s senate is mostly in a sort of deadlock, with the more right-wing Centrists refusing to budge on any motion that the more liberal Centrists put forward. Leia is a Centrist, of course. If we ignore the clumsy parallels to American politics, what we have here is a pretty boring set-up. Leia herself is bored and when the chance to investigate shenanigans off-world presents itself, she takes it, dragging along a Centrist politician in the process for ‘balance’.

The investigation is a pretty by the numbers mystery, and the main reason you’ll keep reading is for the little snippets of information about Leia’s life post Jedi. There are some cleverly thought out insights into her role as a Rebel hero after the war, and the small amount of information about herself, Han and Luke is particularly satisfying. There are also a few throw away lines that debunk some of the worst excesses of the pre-Disney books, and Leia’s relationship with The Hutts is particularly satisfying.

Overall, Bloodlines fills a gap, but feels too much like a wasted opportunity; there could have established a tense political/espionage thriller, (and still kept it Star Wars in feel) instead what we have is a fun throwaway read.



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