Going into this novel I was hesitant. I have always found the dark side to be more fascinating and as a result, all of my readings up until this point were based on the dark side or Imperial characters and events. Star Wars Bloodline was mentioned to me a few times as a must-read. My husband gave me a brief synopsis of the story, which did sound interesting, but the central character was Leia Organa. That fact kept me from reading the book. That was definitely a mistake. Bloodline is a fantastic read that provides incredible insight into one of the most famous characters in all of Star Wars.
Redefining Leia Organa
My only exposure to Leia was in the movies. I saw her as a strong female character with sassy lines and quick comebacks, but I never really saw her for what she was. After reading this novel I must say my opinion of her has changed drastically. I also never really saw for myself the connection between Han and Leia. Even though that was not a central plot line of this book it was clear to see how those two felt about one another. In my eyes, Leia’s character grew from being a strong female lead to a driving force in the reshaping of the galactic government after the collapse of the Empire.
Bloodline gave me a glimpse into the person Leia grew up to be. In the original trilogy, Leia is young and just starting to get involved with galactic politics. This novel picks up about 20 years after Return of the Jedi. She is in her mid-40’s and married to Han Solo. Ben, her son who you may also know as Kylo Ren, is training to be a Jedi with his uncle, Luke Skywalker. Leia at this point has been in the Galactic Senate for many years and has built a glowing reputation among her peers. As a result, Leia is asked to run as the Populist candidate for the new position, First Senator.
Galaxy at a Crossroads
This novel gives the reader an in-depth look into how the Galactic Senate operates. I could not help seeing a parallel between Leia and her biological mother, Padme Amidala. Padme started off being the Queen of Naboo at an early age and later became a Senator. Leia, much like her mother, wants everything to be fair and just. It was very clear to see where Leia gets her work ethic and her empathy for others.
The Senate is at a crossroads and has to decide whether or not to elect a chancellor-like position called the First Senator. Most of the Senators are nervous to do this because of what happened with Palpatine. I felt like this was a scary place to go for many senators. Palpatine left deep scars on the Galactic Republic. In my opinion, the senators had every right to hesitate when it came to creating this new position.
Leia is the most likely candidate for the Populist Party. She has the experience and the know-how to work both sides of the aisle. But, before her campaign can officially begin, Leia along with other senators attending an event at the Senate building are involved in a bombing. This event sets into motion an investigation by Leia and another senator, named Ransolm Casterfo.
They stumble upon an intricate plan to develop a paramilitary force like no other. I found this part of the book to be the most fascinating. There were several people involved in the plot, a lot of money exchanged, and a massive plan in place. As the story continued and Leia got closer to discovering what was actually going on the ones pulling the strings figured out a way to stop her and Casterfo in their tracks.
A Secret Revealed
At this point in the timeline, only a few people know her true parentage; Leia, Luke, and Han. Leia keeps this secret quiet for obvious reasons. I knew this going into the book. It was insightful to see how she felt about her father. She had no idea who Anakin Skywalker was; Leia just knew that after a series of events Darth Vader was all that was left of him.
I have always found it to be upsetting that Luke and Leia never really knew their biological parents. I think there are many parallels between Luke and Anakin and Leia and Padme. The two most obvious ones are that Luke is an incredible pilot much like Anakin was and Leia has a promising political career much like Padme.
If Leia’s secret were to come out, Leia’s career in politics would be over. Lady Carise, one of the driving forces behind the secret paramilitary build-up which is the beginnings of the First Order, needs to stop Leia and Casterfo from finding out too much too soon. After finding out Leia’s true identity she debates within herself what she should do with this information.
Leia realizes the Galactic Senate is corrupt and she is powerless to help her once-close ally. I admire Leia at this moment. She can see that the Senate is corrupt and that changing things politically isn’t going to work. She and her trusted allies take action and begin the resistance movement. What else can I say except that, the rest is history.
I have a newfound respect for Leia Organa. She had been through more than I was aware of. Leia overcame many challenges including torture by her father, Darth Vader. She dedicated her life to serving others and truly helped make the galaxy a better place. Leia sacrificed a lot to serve in Galactic politics and this book really shows that to the reader. She misses out on time with her family and doing the things that make her happy. Leia is selfless and that really shines through in this book.
I give Star Wars Bloodline 8/10. It started off slow with simply introducing how politics in the galaxy work. Once I got through the first few chapters it picked up speed and kept my attention. I became invested in the characters and couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen.
I knew what the big plot twist was going into the read, but I did not know who was involved or how it would take place. If you want to learn about the ins and outs of the Galactic Senate this book is a good one to start with. I also gained a new respect for Leia Organa as a character. This book takes Leia’s character to places that the movies just don’t go.