Valentine's Day arguably brings just as much disappointment as it does happiness - but for single Star Wars fans needing a fix of romance, there are plenty of stories to turn to. Han Solo and Princess Leia's relationship that blossomed in The Empire Strikes Back is iconic, and the satisfying through-line it has in Return of the Jedi set the status quo for love stories in the galaxy far, far away.
Though it's been eight years since the new canon was introduced, the current continuity is still young, all things considered. The Star Wars Legends stories existed for several decades, with the '90s era novels doing the bulk of the work in continuing the story post-Episode VI. What became of the original heroes was something fully fleshed out over the course of major stories like the Thrawn trilogy, standalone novels for character development, and mega-series such as the New Jedi Order.
One such tale depicts a significant moment in galactic history: the wedding of Han Solo and Leia Organa. The story was initially told in the novel The Courtship of Princess Leia, which was set four years after Return of the Jedi and follows a more complicated adventure that proves to the two that they do indeed love each other, culminating in their marriage.
That wedding was scrapped with the rest of the EU when the canon was declared, but a new novel is set to tell a different take on these events.
New Novel to Feature Han & Leia's Wedding
There's a wedding on the way - and everyone's invited, of course.
The official Star Wars website announced a new novel coming from Del Rey, Star Wars: The Princess and the Scoundrel. Written by author Beth Revis, the story will take place immediately following the events of Return of the Jedi on Endor. Following a proposal by Han after the defeat of the Empire, a wedding is held at the Ewok village victory celebration site before the newlyweds voyage on the Halycon starcruiser for a honeymoon - and encounter remnants of their Imperial foes.
In an interview with the Star Wars media team, Revis detailed her process for tackling the monumental story - with Empire viewings taking center stage:
"The first thing I did was watch all three of the original movies again (how am I lucky enough that this is my job?!). My initial instinct was to focus on Return of the Jedi since this book picks up right after it, but as I dug into the story, I found myself watching The Empire Strikes Back on repeat. The emotional beats of Han and Leia’s relationship start to spin out in Empire — it’s not just the famous 'I know,' line, but it’s the way Leia relates how she doesn’t trust Lando and Han responds with seriousness, the way their trust builds, all the moments that lead up to their confession of love."
The author noted that the time jump between Episodes V and VI allowed for the pair's relationship to evolve naturally, "help[ing] them both evolve so that they're on the same page by the time Han is unfrozen:"
"By the time Return of the Jedi picks up the story, Leia’s been left with that confession long enough to get comfortable with the idea of it. It’s one reason why the relationship between the two works — Leia was always going to be someone who had to think about something like love, and Han was always going to be someone who just followed his gut. The time lapse between those two movies helped them both evolve so that they’re on the same page by the time Han is unfrozen."
Revis spent a good amount of time studying Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford's performances to perfect the depictions of their characters:
"I took pages and pages of notes on their dialogue, their mannerisms, the subtle ways they interacted. Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are simply brilliant actors, and they gave me a lot to work with! I wanted this to be a story where the past was still present, but they were moving forward into new territory. It’s an emotional journey — the aftermath of war always is, but so is the new foundling steps of love."
Without giving anything away, Revis teased that the Ewoks were involved in some mayhem that ensues during the wedding:
"I don’t want to spoil anything as the wedding is possibly my favorite scene of the whole book, but I will say that when Ewoks are involved, nothing ever goes to plan!"
The most important aspect of the wedding is the ring ceremony, with Revis mentioning that "the rings become an important symbol throughout the book:"
"In all seriousness, though, what makes the wedding scene my favorite is the ring ceremony. The rings become an important symbol throughout the book — I’m being vague on purpose so I don’t spoil anything, but I think it’s true of all societies, whether they be on Earth or in a galaxy far, far away, that ceremonies become a necessary component of culture. We ascribe value to specific moments, and we bring up importance to symbols from those moments, including wedding rings. A wedding is like a bright star in a person’s life — a fixed point of light. And that’s true for Han and Leia as well."
Han & Leia Tie the Knot
It's been a while since the wedding between Han and Leia has been addressed, but the moment is the culmination of everything the two endured together in the original trilogy. While Harrison Ford and Lawrence Kasdan petitioned for Han to die in both Empire and Jedi, the character's growth wouldn't have been complete without his learning to be selfless through his love for Leia.
Fans aware of the Halcyon starcruiser will know that the vessel is actually the Star Wars hotel at Walt Disney World in real life. An extension to the story that visitors experience at Galaxy's Edge, the absurdly overpriced hotel takes "passengers" on a two-night adventure during the sequel trilogy era. Marketing for the site has been lampooned by fans on a universal spectrum, though hope prevails that the facility will be improved before opening.
The Princess and the Scoundrel will serve as something of a marketing tie-in to the hotel, akin to the Black Spire novel that introduced fans to Galaxy's Edge. In this case, however, the events of the story are completely unrelated to what hotel guests will be experiencing, instead being one of several narratives that take place on the ship over the span of hundreds of years.
There hasn't been a book that's focused solely on Han and Leia in the canon to this point. The closest things have come have been in the Aftermath trilogy and Last Shot, which spent some time with the two after their marriage. In the case of both, little Ben Solo was either on the way or already causing chaos as a toddler, and the latter book quickly parted the family as Han went on an adventure with Lando.
What exactly the couple will endure during the story should be a fun surprise. It's easy to imagine a stubborn Han rejecting an Ewok-crafted tux, and surely the scoundrel would much prefer a honeymoon on the Millennium Falcon to a classy starcruiser. Leia will have her hands full with the goofball and the remnants of the Empire that they endure, but their safety in the book can be assured - there won't be a mischievous son around to ram a lightsaber through his father's gut.
Star Wars: The Princess and the Scoundrel will be available on August 16, 2022.