Last week, details were revealed about the next Star Wars graphic novel, Star Wars: Bloodlines, written by Claudia Gray. The story follows General Leia's backstory leading into The Force Awakens, and the book sheds new light on how the Resistance was founded, Han and Leia's relationship, plus the reveal of a huge secret about Darth Vader. Star Wars 8 director, Rian Johnson even collaborated with the author on this new story. Now that the book is available for purchase, Claudia Gray shed some light on the story in a new interview. There will be SPOILERS for this book below, so read on at your own risk if you plan on picking up Star Wars: Bloodlines.
This latest novel story revisits an iconic part of Leia's on-screen history, her time spent in the infamous gold bikini when she was enslaved by Jabba the Hutt. Leia encounters a character that refers to her as the "Huttslayer," after she used the massive chain to choke Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi. You may recall, back in November, we reported that the Slave Leia bikini was retired from all Star Wars merchandise. When asked why she wanted to revisit this part of Leia's life, the author had this to say.
"Right around when I was working on this part of the book there was a movement that went around in some Star Wars fan circles - a lot of talk about how much people don't like the 'Slave Leia' outfit. That's her most powerless moment in the entire thing. It was a dancing girl outfit, but it gets called a slave outfit. I believe it was a young lady named Angie P, who said, 'I petition that we call it The Huttslayer outfit,' and I was like, 'That is a great name and that is going to happen right now. Not only did I like recasting that outfit as a memory of Leia being really strong and kick-ass, but think about it - for a human being to kill a Hutt with her bare hands? That's unbelievable. Anybody who would be able to pull that off would be remembered for it. That would be legend."
This novel is set in the years before Star Wars: The Force Awakens, following Leia, who is now a respected Senator, as a movement is born to elect a First Senator, to bring leadership to the galaxy which has become more divided than ever. Entertainment Weekly spoke with author Claudia Grey, who reveals that this story actually corrects a flaw from the original movie, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, involving Leia's accent. Here's what the author had to say below.
"In interviews, Fisher laughs at herself for that scene she has with Grand Moff Tarkin in A New Hope, because Carrie Fisher has an English accent in that scene, and she doesn't in any other scene in the movie. She sort of laughs at her younger self for being so influenced by Peter Cushing. But I thought: I'm gonna use that. So there's an explanation in [Bloodline] that she's actually making fun of Tarkin. She's mocking his accent in that moment. She remembers that's what she was doing. So that moment has been explained. It's no longer a problem. It's never too late to fix a plot hole. Hopefully, Carrie Fisher would be pleased by that. It had a meaning the whole time."
As we all know from the original trilogy, Leia is the daughter of Darth Vader, although Leia's connection to her father hasn't been addressed too much in any of the movies. While the author wouldn't reveal the big Darth Vader secret from the book, she did touch upon why she wanted to delve into her heritage. Here's what the author had to say below.
"That was one of the things I wanted to delve into the most. We see so little of Leia's reaction to this knowledge in the movies. We see her find out right before the Battle of Endor, she's clearly very upset. But they have a war to fight. You see Luke struggle with this, be tempted to darkness, and he gets to see his father leave darkness behind. But these are not experiences Leia got to have - and if anything she suffered more from Vader than Luke did. I really wanted to delve into: How much at peace is she with this? How conflicted is she? What does she think about when she thinks about the times she encountered Vader?"
As for Rian Johnson's contributions, the author did tease that there will be some elements of this story that will be touched upon in Star Wars: Episode VIII and in future movies, but she wouldn't reveal any specifics. The movie is currently in production at Pinewood Studios in the U.K., with a December 15, 2017 release date currently in place. We'll keep you posted with more updates on how this book ties in to Star Wars: Episode VIII.