Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

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Re: Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

Post by snufkin on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 10:39 am

Got it at the library and eh, did not think it was that great (sorry!). Biggest problem was Leia's personality, too sweet and earnest. Where's the Dorothy Snarker we all know and love? Be a smart a** is hard wired into you, you don't turn that way overnight. I liked Bail and the parts about her relationship with her parents. Can see that Bloodline has her try and do the same things with her son that her parents did to protect her and it backfired spectacularly with the line about a family being stronger with sharing the struggle together. Otherwise, didn't care about her tragic, boring boyfriend and thought the Laura Dern character was annoying. And it has the same quality which annoyed me to no end about Rogue One, confusing spot the Easter Egg for world building. I can appreciate Tarkin (which terrible flat bad guy character here) having a personal antagonism with her parents, which is why they end up getting destroyed by the DS. But I wasn't excited by Krennic turning up, more like "how many people are in this galaxy?" It feels a little too much like pleasing the completist tendencies a lot of fans have. Or because of the Jane Austen reference that gets dropped in there, like one of her novels where somehow every one knows everyone else. I really and sincerely hope that tendency is kept to a minimum in TLJ. So overall, fast read but not as good as Bloodline
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Re: Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

Post by Darth Dingbat on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 11:12 am

@snufkin, I haven't received my copy yet, but I felt the same way about Bloodline Leia - much too nice and much too soft.

(Actually, I felt the same about TFA Leia, but that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish...)

It probably takes a more acerbic writer to capture Leia's personality.

What's the Jane Austen reference, btw?
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Re: Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

Post by snufkin on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 11:25 am

@Darth Dingbat wrote:@snufkin, I haven't received my copy yet, but I felt the same way about Bloodline Leia - much too nice and much too soft.

(Actually, I felt the same about TFA Leia, but that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish...)

It probably takes a more acerbic writer to capture Leia's personality.

What's the Jane Austen reference, btw?
@Darth Dingbat

I liked her in Bloodline more but Leia is a b*tch and I mean that in the nicest way possible. This version is too wide eyed and earnest for me to take seriously. The Austen line is her mother telling her that she likes her boyfriend that's like Jane and Lizzy (now there's a smart a**) talking about Bingley. Which was cute, but Leia is a child of Dorothy Parker and Lillian Hellmann, so wrong tone.

Also the thing about this novel and the Han Solo movie is that while they have to come up with content for all the different corporate product lines (and you know there will be at least a YA tie in novel for him too), I tend to prefer keeping some parts of the story ambiguous. It's better to have the audience fill in the blanks with their imagination. Actual old school 1970s Han's back story is too gritty and adult for Disney, he's a drug smuggler for Christ's sake. The other thing after reading this, we're not getting an I am your father arc for Rey, but they're gonna mine the Hell out of her backstory and family for books.
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Re: Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

Post by Night Huntress on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 11:31 am

@Darth Dingbat wrote:@snufkin, I haven't received my copy yet, but I felt the same way about Bloodline Leia - much too nice and much too soft.

(Actually, I felt the same about TFA Leia, but that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish...)

@Darth Dingbat

Really? Interesting - I haven't received my copy either, but my impression was that CG did a great job capturing Leia's personality in Bloodline.
I remember her being quick-witted and hot tempered against Casterfo. I mean she isn't in her early twenties anymore and you did see things differently with more life experience. I'm a hot tempered person myself... but what drove me mad 10 years ago, i just shrug away now with 35.

One of my main complains about the old EU was, that the characters were written like they never age or mature- so I liked how Leia is different in Bloodline- still herself but further developed.
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Re: Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

Post by Darth Dingbat on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 11:40 am

@Night Huntress wrote:
@Darth Dingbat wrote:@snufkin, I haven't received my copy yet, but I felt the same way about Bloodline Leia - much too nice and much too soft.

(Actually, I felt the same about TFA Leia, but that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish...)

@Darth Dingbat

Really? Interesting - I haven't received my copy either, but my impression was that CG did a great job capturing Leia's personality in Bloodline.
I remember her being quick-witted and hot tempered against Casterfo. I mean she isn't in her early twenties anymore and you did see things differently with more life experience. I'm a hot tempered person myself... but what drove me mad 10 years ago, i just shrug away now with 35.

One of my main complains about the old EU was, that the characters were written like they never age or mature- so I liked how Leia is different in Bloodline- still herself but further developed.
@Night Huntress

I did like Bloodline very much, and I liked Leia in it. And yeah, the Leia-Casterfo dynamic was my favourite part. Somehow I just felt like the Leia I knew from the OT would have been a lot more acerbic and temperamental, even if she would have learned to hold her tongue more over the years. But it would be hard for anyone to capture Carrie on paper, so I'm not faulting Gray for that.

But, yes, very good point about people changing as they mature.
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Re: Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

Post by snufkin on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 12:17 pm

@Night Huntress @Darth Dingbat - it's definitely in part not being able to get Carrie's voice on paper because that was her skill as a writer and she very much owns up to the style of writer (like Dorothy Parker and the screwball era) which shaped her voice/humor. I wasn't expecting something along the lines of Postcards from the Edge in Space, but it's also hard to turn off that voice if you've read the book/seen the movie. I do think in terms of ST era Leia, there's likely more of Debbie Reynolds in that characterization because she had a Never Say Die attitude thanks to the very public setbacks and disappointments she'd gone through.

One thing which I did wonder about after having read Bloodline are the parent-child recordings and will those be shown in TLJ. Because we know at some point Bail records the message to her about her actual paternity (and while it's one of too Easter Egg for my taste, I did appreciate Gray showing the anxiety/danger her adoptive parents had over her origins being figured out) and it's then the centerpiece of the Vader reveal which precipitates her exile from the NR and likely whatever happened to Luke's order/Ben's fall. And there's the message she records to Ben. So I am curious if both or either recording will be shown in TLJ. Especially because the Laura Dern character in one of the rumors supposedly turns on her for being Vader offspring.
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Re: Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

Post by IoJovi on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 12:40 pm

@snufkin I'm just over a third into the book. I admit I had a hard time getting into it at first. I had just finished Phasma, and the two stories are so vastly different I had a hard time changing gears. Phasma is very dark, while this one is almost fluffy, if that's a good word to use. As far as Leia's characterization, I'd chalk it up to her being young. I get the feeling something tragic happens to Keir, which I'm sure hardens her around the edges later on. Claudia Gray still highlights her temper and her boldness at going into dire situations without thinking, which is great because we know where her son gets it too...
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Re: Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

Post by SoloSideCousin on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 1:10 pm

@Night Huntress wrote:
@Darth Dingbat wrote:@snufkin, I haven't received my copy yet, but I felt the same way about Bloodline Leia - much too nice and much too soft.

(Actually, I felt the same about TFA Leia, but that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish...)

@Darth Dingbat

Really? Interesting - I haven't received my copy either, but my impression was that CG did a great job capturing Leia's personality in Bloodline.
I remember her being quick-witted and hot tempered against Casterfo. I mean she isn't in her early twenties anymore and you did see things differently with more life experience. I'm a hot tempered person myself... but what drove me mad 10 years ago, i just shrug away now with 35.

One of my main complains about the old EU was, that the characters were written like they never age or mature- so I liked how Leia is different in Bloodline- still herself but further developed.
@Night Huntress

Yeah, I really liked both characterizations.  It made a lot of sense to me that she wouldn't be so acerbic until bad stuff started happening to her. Unlike Carrie Fisher, it seems like Leia had the perfect upbringing for the first 16 years of her life. Being acerbic and funny is often a defense mechanism or a cover for pain.  Leia wouldn't have the need for that until the tragedies started. I also really liked how CG showed how sensitive Leia could be under it all. It helps show that super sensitive Ben didn't come out of nowhere. Even then I thought CG did a great job showing how zealous she could be, along with that Skywalker hubris and impulsivity and absolute need to prove herself. I also liked how she showed that Leia was already utterly driven by duty and how she put the galaxy's needs before any personal or family needs. Kier and Holdo try to teach her to find a balance and she never learns that lesson, and I think that lack of balance will prove devastating with her relationship with Ben, as she probably unthinkingly put the galaxy's needs before his and her own all the time.  I also think that plays into the fact that she repeats the same mistake with Ben that her parents tried with her.
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Re: Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

Post by jakkusun on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 2:23 pm

@SoloSideCousin wrote:
@Night Huntress wrote:
@Darth Dingbat wrote:@snufkin, I haven't received my copy yet, but I felt the same way about Bloodline Leia - much too nice and much too soft.

(Actually, I felt the same about TFA Leia, but that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish...)

@Darth Dingbat

Really? Interesting - I haven't received my copy either, but my impression was that CG did a great job capturing Leia's personality in Bloodline.
I remember her being quick-witted and hot tempered against Casterfo. I mean she isn't in her early twenties anymore and you did see things differently with more life experience. I'm a hot tempered person myself... but what drove me mad 10 years ago, i just shrug away now with 35.

One of my main complains about the old EU was, that the characters were written like they never age or mature- so I liked how Leia is different in Bloodline- still herself but further developed.
@Night Huntress

Yeah, I really liked both characterizations.  It made a lot of sense to me that she wouldn't be so acerbic until bad stuff started happening to her. Unlike Carrie Fisher, it seems like Leia had the perfect upbringing for the first 16 years of her life. Being acerbic and funny is often a defense mechanism or a cover for pain.  Leia wouldn't have the need for that until the tragedies started. I also really liked how CG showed how sensitive Leia could be under it all. It helps show that super sensitive Ben didn't come out of nowhere. Even then I thought CG did a great job showing how zealous she could be, along with that Skywalker hubris and impulsivity and absolute need to prove herself. I also liked how she showed that Leia was already utterly driven by duty and how she put the galaxy's needs before any personal or family needs. Kier and Holdo try to teach her to find a balance and she never learns that lesson, and I think that lack of balance will prove devastating with her relationship with Ben, as she probably unthinkingly put the galaxy's needs before his and her own all the time.  I also think that plays into the fact that she repeats the same mistake with Ben that her parents tried with her.
@SoloSideCousin

I thought there were lots of instances of Leia noticing her temper beginning to get out of control, but she always stopped herself before she acted on it. She sure seemed to not have very much patience for other people in her head/thoughts though, even if she remained poised and confrontational on the outside. So I agree that it made sense to me that she grew more outspoken/confrontational/acerbic as she grew older and experienced more. That's how I evolved myself, anyway xD I was so much more polite as a teenager.

I thought the part where Bail tried to tell her that drinking caf as a teen would stunt her growth and she responded that she was already short, so might as well enjoy the caf was rather Carrie Fisher thing to say. idk it made me think of her. :)

Though I suppose I'm just biased cause I like easter eggs and comforting stories. :P Though I don't really personally like romance stuff (but it makes sense that Leia had lovers before Han) and I thought the ending was actually kinda harsh...
Spoiler:
the way she made that false promise to Kier when he died. And his death was so pointless...it just felt kinda nihilistic? idk... :P

And I didn't think about how her sense of duty and her sensitivity could connect to her future and Ben. Good points!
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Re: Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

Post by snufkin on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 2:37 pm

It's  a personal preference on my part. Because drop too many Easter Eggs into a story and it doesn't make everything feel more tied together. I just get distracted by "spot the reference." The interesting thing is that you have so many vocal fans of Rogue One saying it's better than The Force Awakens because of the Easter Eggs making it more part of that fictional universe. But to my mind, there's little or no difference between an Easter Egg or a callback. Both films have an equal amount and Rogue One's story is a 2-hour callback to the original movie. Just that some parts of the fan hivemind have decided that it's "more Star Wars." Or depending on what your personal favorites happen to be, the movie which has more references to that favorite thing (TV shows, books, games, comics, etc) is what you feel to be superior.

One thing about this type of detail in a movie is that the love for Rogue One helped make it easier for me to understand why a lot of fans have "X are Rey's family" theories. But these details are about making everything connected and tied together. So Rey must be Jabba's daughter because those are the "rules" of that fictional universe. Which I don't think is the case with the ST, unless they really are going to treat the world and characters like they're in a Dickens novel. Or given the Jane Austen reference in Leia, Princess of Alderaan, it'll be like one of her novels where everybody knows everybody else and the story is a sequence of fortunate coincidences.

I do think that the overarching themes of the book will play into TLJ about family history, keeping dangerous secrets with the intention of protecting your child can still blow up in your face, that a family which shares its burdens/hardships/secrets is a stronger group in the end, and when somebody young/idealistic takes the ideas of self-sacrifice and service to a point that's not healthy. It's also feeling more likely that any flashbacks will show Leia and Ben in terms of her trying to give him the same 'old school' type of upbringing she had from Bail. Which probably wasn't the right tack because he's got "too much of his father in him."  And while it's likely we'll get some an explanation of Rey's backstory and family in the ST, this book makes me think even more so that the meat of the story about what happened and her origins will be saved for publishing.


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Re: Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

Post by snufkin on Sun 17 Sep 2017, 1:09 am

Oh dang, one more detail that likely plays into TLJ. The Three Challenges Leia has to face in the book like wayfinding? That's why she sent Ben away to Luke. To have him go through something similar, except that it turned out to be a far different (and more deadly/tragic) outcome. So shall we take bets that she sent him off when he was 16 (old spoiler of Rey having a vision of a young man), so 6-7 years with Luke before he turned?
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Re: Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

Post by ISeeAnIsland on Sun 17 Sep 2017, 1:54 am

@snufkin wrote:Oh dang, one more detail that likely plays into TLJ. The Three Challenges Leia has to face in the book like wayfinding? That's why she sent Ben away to Luke. To have him go through something similar, except that it turned out to be a far different (and more deadly/tragic) outcome. So shall we take bets that she sent him off when he was 16 (old spoiler of Rey having a vision of a young man), so 6-7 years with Luke before he turned?
@snufkin

That would make sense and also fit in with the rumors that Ben fell in with a bad crowd/got involved with gangs before Leia sent him away.
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Re: Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

Post by snufkin on Sun 17 Sep 2017, 12:19 pm

@ISeeAnIsland - agreed. And if he was hanging out with "the wrong crowd," that likely means he was far more like Han in temperament and part of the family falling apart was Han gave in to Leia wanting to send him off. It's also made sense to me even before any spoilers/rumors came out that Rey finally having to admit to herself what happened with her parents would likely put her through an emotional crisis in the next movie and open up the door to sympathy between the two of them. It's also a minor wrinkle in difference between the two of them and Finn, he probably was stolen/kidnapped from his family versus how both of them were sent away.
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Re: Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

Post by Night Huntress on Mon 18 Sep 2017, 2:09 pm

just received a message from Amazon.de today. The delivery will be delayed- expected 24. October to 10th November... Censored  

I try to find it somewhere elsewhere and cancel my order.  Gnagnan

Found it in the UK (bookdepository.com)- will be delivered (for free) in 2 business days Cool
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Re: Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

Post by IoJovi on Fri 22 Sep 2017, 5:04 pm

Just finished this book about a half hour ago.  It was very good, but I have to say, I think I enjoyed the Phasma book a bit more.  It was definitely grittier.  I'll concur with @Snufkin, I missed the snarky, hot headed Leia.  I realize she's only 16 in this book, but she's still a bit softer than I imagine her.  That being said, I did enjoy it immensely.

Spoiler:
Yes, Director Krennic does make an appearance.  Although he's never named, the description is on point, and the author takes pains to say his white officers coat is extremely rare.  

The YT freighter that's mentioned is definitely the Millennium Falcon.  Interesting to think what could have happened had Han and Leia met earlier.  

I love that Claudia Gray has a greatness understanding of the "letting the hair down" trope.  It totally worked as a metaphor for what Keir and Leia were actually doing in that's garden.  Great way to let the readers know what was happening while still keeping it PG.

Grand Moff Tarkin is a scary man.  He made my skin crawl.

The scene of her parent's fake argument in front of Tarkin, followed with Leia sobbing, made me laugh outloud.

I knew of course Kier was going to die early on (no way out of that one), but how he died surprised me. I had anticipated him being taken away by the Empire and executed, probably for not clapping for Tarkin during his speech. I knew he and Leia weren't exactly on the same page as far as the Rebellion and Alderaan were concerned, but I hadn't anticipated that level of betrayal.

My utmost favorite though were the scenes on the moon of Naboo.  Leia meeting and befriending the queen, and wearing a dress that potentially could have belonged to her birth mother gave me all kinds of feels.  When Panaka said he had to tell Palpatine what he had encountered with Leia had me yelling outloud "Oh no!!!"  Sad they lost a potential ally, but still his death was for the best, I suppose.  Great scene overall.
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Re: Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

Post by SoloSideCousin on Fri 22 Sep 2017, 7:51 pm

@IoJovi wrote:Just finished this book about a half hour ago.  It was very good, but I have to say, I think I enjoyed the Phasma book a bit more.  It was definitely grittier.  I'll concur with @Snufkin, I missed the snarky, hot headed Leia.  I realize she's only 16 in this book, but she's still a bit softer than I imagine her.  That being said, I did enjoy it immensely.

Spoiler:
Yes, Director Krennic does make an appearance.  Although he's never named, the description is on point, and the author takes pains to say his white officers coat is extremely rare.  

The YT freighter that's mentioned is definitely the Millennium Falcon.  Interesting to think what could have happened had Han and Leia met earlier.  

I love that Claudia Gray has a greatness understanding of the "letting the hair down" trope.  It totally worked as a metaphor for what Keir and Leia were actually doing in that's garden.  Great way to let the readers know what was happening while still keeping it PG.

Grand Moff Tarkin is a scary man.  He made my skin crawl.

The scene of her parent's fake argument in front of Tarkin, followed with Leia sobbing, made me laugh outloud.

I knew of course Kier was going to die early on (no way out of that one), but how he died surprised me.  I had anticipated him being taken away by the Empire and executed, probably for not clapping for Tarkin during his speech.  I knew he and Leia weren't exactly on the same page as far as the Rebellion and Alderaan were concerned, but I hadn't anticipated that level of betrayal.

My utmost favorite though were the scenes on the moon of Naboo.  Leia meeting and befriending the queen, and wearing a dress that potentially could have belonged to her birth mother gave me all kinds of feels.  When Panaka said he had to tell Palpatine what he had encountered with Leia had me yelling outloud "Oh no!!!"  Sad they lost a potential ally, but still his death was for the best, I suppose.  Great scene overall.
@IoJovi

@IoJovi wrote:Just finished this book about a half hour ago.  It was very good, but I have to say, I think I enjoyed the Phasma book a bit more.  It was definitely grittier.  I'll concur with @Snufkin, I missed the snarky, hot headed Leia.  I realize she's only 16 in this book, but she's still a bit softer than I imagine her.  That being said, I did enjoy it immensely.

Spoiler:
Yes, Director Krennic does make an appearance.  Although he's never named, the description is on point, and the author takes pains to say his white officers coat is extremely rare.  

The YT freighter that's mentioned is definitely the Millennium Falcon.  Interesting to think what could have happened had Han and Leia met earlier.  

I love that Claudia Gray has a greatness understanding of the "letting the hair down" trope.  It totally worked as a metaphor for what Keir and Leia were actually doing in that's garden.  Great way to let the readers know what was happening while still keeping it PG.

Grand Moff Tarkin is a scary man.  He made my skin crawl.

The scene of her parent's fake argument in front of Tarkin, followed with Leia sobbing, made me laugh outloud.

I knew of course Kier was going to die early on (no way out of that one), but how he died surprised me.  I had anticipated him being taken away by the Empire and executed, probably for not clapping for Tarkin during his speech.  I knew he and Leia weren't exactly on the same page as far as the Rebellion and Alderaan were concerned, but I hadn't anticipated that level of betrayal.

My utmost favorite though were the scenes on the moon of Naboo.  Leia meeting and befriending the queen, and wearing a dress that potentially could have belonged to her birth mother gave me all kinds of feels.  When Panaka said he had to tell Palpatine what he had encountered with Leia had me yelling outloud "Oh no!!!"  Sad they lost a potential ally, but still his death was for the best, I suppose.  Great scene overall.
@IoJovi


This is so funny because you and I are almost always on the same page, but I came out the opposite of you on a couple of things. Very Happy

Spoiler:
I liked Phasma okay, but I have to admit that it was a bit of a tough slog for me.  Things just kept getting more depraved and/or gross as time went on, and after a while, it just felt kind of relentless.  I also thought that there was going to be more to it than Phasma and Hux conspiring to kill Brendol.  That was kind of letdown for me.  I also started to really pity Cardinal because he was so naive/ignorant, when I really wanted to have a lot of respect for him, because he seemed like he was a very good man who seemed to really care about the kids he taught.  It just made the stormtrooper program (programming being the optimal word) seem even more horrible.  I was glad I read it, because it did give details on Phasma, Brendol and the brainwashing techniques of the stormtrooper program (again with the mind meddling in the new canon).  I also really liked how Cardinal considered Kylo Ren a person that he could go to with regard to Phasma's history, because once again, it sets Kylo apart from Phasma and Hux, but I wouldn't break my neck to read it again.

On the Leia book, I actually really liked how Leia was pretty sensitive.  I liked it because it made me think that Ben was probably that way and that underneath it all he and his mother were alike.  It also made sense to me because her life seemed to be pretty perfect up to that point.  I also liked it for psychological reasons because it shows how steely and jaded and basically hard she had to become to survive all the tragedies. It gave her character a trajectory.  Had she come out of the egg snarky and hard it would seem like these tragedies had no real effect on her, when they did, and they should have, because people don't survive that stuff without changing. It made it so poignant for me to see how even at the end she had this belief that her family, friends and world couldn't be taken from her .... when all of them would.

That's actually why I don't see Kier's point of view as a betrayal ... because in the end ... he was right.  That's one of the reasons that I really loved the book because through Kier, Claudia Grey turns all your assumptions about the rebellion being so perfect and righteous and having had to be carried out only in the way it was, when maybe it actually could have been carried out in a smarter, more thoughtful way that would have caused less destruction.  The destruction of Alderaan seems insane and arbitrary in ANH ... but this book actually shows that the Bail and Breha had actual warning of what the Empire would do to planets on which they could directly trace rebellion.  Of course they didn't know the Empire could blow a planet up, but they knew that the Empire could wreak havoc on rebellious planets and make its people into slaves.  In that sense Bail and Breha were extremely reckless in carrying out rebel business on Alderaan.  They should not have been just about fighting the Empire. They also had a duty to not subject their people to imperial wrath.  Certainly overthrowing the Empire would be good for the people in the long run, but they needed to be much more mindful of the consequences of their actions than they were.  

Had they had their rebellion meetings in a variety of places and never carried out any of that business on Alderaan, and did a bunch of stuff to not let it be traced to Alderaan, they would have created a buffer zone and the Empire might not have traced rebel activity to Alderaan.  In fact, Bail and Breha should have ingratiated themselves to the Empire as a cover, while simultaneously helping efforts to bring it down while getting inside information and giving cover to fellow rebels.  Instead, they had meeting after meeting with all the "usual suspects" of rebellion friendly politicians at their house.  That was a major error, and Kier saw that.  Leia and her parents did not because they were so idealistic about the cause that basic practicalities seemed to be forgotten.  Kier had no love for the Empire and thought it should be defeated, but he thought the way Bail and Breha were doing it was dangerous, and he was right.  

I also really sympathized with his belief that Alderaan would have been a good safe haven for refugees.  They might have had to walk an ugly tightrope, similar to perhaps some neutral countries in WWII, but they would have saved refugees lives and the lives of their own people and would have provided a place where people could escape to and where rebels could regroup in hiding.  I also don't believe that Kier intended to betray Leia or her parents at all.  He actually wanted to save Leia and her parents in that I think he wanted to reveal the rebel activity he saw to take the Empire's eyes off of Alderaan.  His actions would have forced the rebels to rebuild under a new paradigm, but it might have been a smarter paradigm.  Had they gone Kier's way Leia might have still had her parents, friends and planet.  It's certainly not a guarantee, and maybe something other unexpected terrible thing would have happened, but I really appreciate Claudia Grey making us consider it.  And I really appreciate how she didn't make Bail and Breha perfect by showing that despite their very valid principles, their operational security was horrendous and very negligent with regards to their own people.

Another thing that found awesome about the book is that you could have two good people, Leia and Kier, both with legitimate viewpoints on how to handle a pretty bad, pretty no-win situation. I liked that aspect because it continues the pattern of complexity and grey that we have seen in the new canon, but I *really* liked it because I think it could turn out to be an analogous situation with Ben Solo and his mother.  It remains to be seen, but in some way Kylo and Leia might have the same long-term goal, but have completely diverging paths on how to get there.  Kier hated the Empire and knew what it was, but he thought the Organa path was bad.  Did Ben fundamentally agree in a similar way?

Now back to what I agree with you on :-), I thought the garden scene was extraordinarily well done.  That was one of my absolute favorite moments in the whole book.  I loved the trembling hand, the slow, suggestive undoing of the braids, the hands in the hair, the whole idea of "letting go".  It was completely awesome. Very Happy I also found it very interesting that the new canon went that far with Leia and an earlier lover.  Leia was pretty young and with the Rebellion it would be pretty believable that she might not have time for boyfriends, thereby making Han the guy she lost her virginity with ... so to have her be with someone else before Han was a decently brave move IMO, because I think there are a set of hardcore fans who could get mad at that.

Then there is the whole thing about how Ben Solo-esque Kier is.  I certainly don't want take that connection too far, lol, because sexual partner and son shouldn't cross ... but I did like how she had this very serious, devoted and sensitive guy in her life, who she cared about deeply (and perhaps loved) and who seemed to really love her, who at the same time she disagreed with in some pretty fundamental ways ... this pattern of mutual love but seeing the world in a very different way seems to be repeating itself in her relationship with Kylo/Ben.  So it makes we wonder how this caring/disagreement will shake out this go around, especially when the stakes are higher.  It's not just a boyfriend, it's her son.

I was really taken aback to see Captain Panaka.  I had always liked him in the PT, and it was a great tense moment how he seemed to sense Padme in her and how he was going to tell the Emperor! (AAAAAGGGHHH!!!) Though I have to admit that it made me sad that he ended up being an ally of Palpatine, when he was so devoted to Padme (and probably thought he was honoring Padme by being Palpatine's ally) ... but again we're getting that similar thing that we have gotten with Cardinal and perhaps Kylo/Ben, where naivete or mind meddling or lack of information turns a person down a wrong path.
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Re: Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

Post by IoJovi on Fri 22 Sep 2017, 8:48 pm

@SoloSideCousin
Spoiler:
What an absolutely fantastic post.  You hit on so many points I hadn't thought of, particularly how sensitive Leia is, and how we see that in Ben as well.  I don't think you and I are so different in our thinking.  I think betrayal is a strong word, but I used it because on the surface that's what it was, and if Kier had gone to the Empire with what he had seen, there would be no salvaging the fates of Leia's parents and probably Leia herself.  Still, it was easy to see his motivations behind it, and even Bail himself couldn't find fault with it as he saw where those motivations were coming from as well. It would have meant both he and his wife's destruction, if not Leia, and still there was no ill feelings towards Kier for it at all.  In the end, it was to save Alderaan.  Had Kier actually gone to the Empire, Leia's family may have been wiped out, but Alderaan would probably have remained intact.  That's a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things.

Still, the treachery of the Empire is laid out so crystal clear, and you can see from the Rebellion's point of view that sometimes violence is justified if it means regaining the freedom of the people.  The book raises some very excellent questions of when is it appropriate to cross that line as it's usually never a clear choice.

Panaka aligning with Palpatine makes sense, if only the fact he's from Naboo.  He never had a reason to doubt the man.  He never saw the evil that lay underneath, and ultimately, like Leia and her family, his loyalty is to Naboo itself and having Palpatine as Emporer can mean only good things for the planet.

It also never dawned on me how it might make certain factions clutch their pearls that Leia has been physical with someone else prior to meeting Han.  Even though nothing sexual is ever stated, clearly the subtlest is there and you exactly what is happening.  I personally think it's brilliant and makes Leia feel like much more real of a person - not just as a woman.  I think @snufkin said a couple of months ago that ANH Leia has an air about her that she in fact has been around the block once or twice, and this reflects that.

Anyways, thank you for your post.  It's made me love the book that much more.  
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Re: Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

Post by snufkin on Fri 22 Sep 2017, 9:12 pm

@IoJovi - I always figured that she had a boyfriend or space prom date prior to whatever happens in the first movie. I mean, look at all that make up and hair!
It is funny given how puritanical Disney/LF can be about these things (sure she got pregnant with Ben only after she got married), it's likely as close as any of they can get to showing that trilogy leads engage in pre-marital sex.
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Re: Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

Post by Night Huntress on Tue 26 Sep 2017, 10:21 am

My copy finally arrived today and I can't put it down! I devoured ¼ already and it's gonna be a long night study bounce
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Re: Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

Post by BB-Rey on Mon 22 Jan 2018, 6:03 pm

I really want to read this book!! It looks so good. Currently I'm reading the Ahsoka novel which is great so far.
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Re: Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

Post by Cowgirlsamurai on Wed 21 Feb 2018, 10:10 pm

This made me think of Rey’s attraction to Ben in TLJ:

“Don’t let your head be turned by the most dangerous substance known to exist.”
“Which is?”
“A pair of pretty dark eyes.”

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Re: Leia, Princess of Alderaan Novel Discussion

Post by MrsWindu on Wed 07 Mar 2018, 7:53 am

I've not read this novel but I'd me intrigued to see this version...

'Star Wars' Announces New Manga Starring Princess Leia...In a few months, Lucasfilm will usher in May the Fourth with a round of celebratory projects, and one of them will be a manga focused on Princess Leia.

Thanks to LINE, the digital manga will make its debut on May 4 online.

http://comicbook.com/anime/2018/03/07/star-wars-manga-princess-leia-anime/

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