By Graeme McMillan
As Star Wars: The Force Awakens demonstrated, sometimes happy endings don’t stay happy forever — but for those heartbroken that Han Solo and Leia Organa Skywalker couldn’t make their relationship last, a new excerpt of upcoming novel Star Wars: Aftermath — Empire’s End might offer some relief, showing the two together in happier times.
The excerpt from Chuck Wendig’s novel, which debuted on the official Star Wars site Tuesday afternoon, sees Han and Leia discuss the two most important things in their lives together: her pregnancy (Ben — or Kylo Ren, as he’s better known — hasn’t been born yet) and the need for more military strikes against what remains of the Empire. Needless to say, it’s a somewhat strained conversation at times.
Indeed, Wendig makes a point of demonstrating the pressure points in the two’s relationship that would, eventually, take them to where they were in The Force Awakens: Leia’s dedication to what she sees as her duty, and Han’s conviction that there’s a better life elsewhere, freed of that same duty and able to travel through space in search of adventure… or, at least, profit. Reading the scene knowing how things turn out makes for an especially bittersweet experience.
(Not least of all because the two jokingly refer to their future son as both a “little bandit” and a “little angel,” illustrating the dichotomy that would eventually lead to Han’s death.)
Star Wars: Aftermath — Empire’s End is the third and final installment of Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy, which charts the immediate aftermath of the events of 1983’s Return of the Jedi and sets up the relationships and status quo of The Force Awakens. The novel, published by Del Rey, will be released Feb. 21.