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Tatooine Ghost by Troy Denning
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Shortly after Han and Leia’s marriage, a very valuable art piece of the New Republic resurfaces after being thought to have been destroyed along with Alderaan. The newlyweds themselves were chosen to recover this vital item found to be the key to a top secret New Republic communication code. It is Han and Leia’s goal to retrieve this artifact before the Empire can, although as an Imperial Star Destroyer appears seemingly on its way to Tatooine, things seem to get tricky. Troy Denning’s Del Rey masterpiece, Star Wars: Tatooine Ghost is an iconic must have novel for any Han and Leia fan with its mysteries and adventures. ( )
  Wuher | Jul 16, 2013 |
Would it be that Troy Denning had been writing Star Wars novels ten years earlier, because in many ways, this is the novel that The Courtship of Princess Leia should have been. Bridging the gap between Courtship and Heir to the Empire, Tatooine Ghost takes Han and Leia to Tatooine so that they can recover an important painting at auction. But what it ends up doing is confronting Leia with her past: the grandmother she never knew and the father she doesn't want to.

Tatooine Ghost links elements revealed in The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones into the original Star Wars characters to great effect: the sequences where Leia reads the diary of Shmi (surely one of the most underrated Star Wars characters) are excellent, even riveting, despite their flashback status. These are used to drive Leia's emotional journey-- which is paralleled with her physical journey. This is a harrowing escapade for Leia, Han, and Chewbacca. I doubt that any other Star Wars stories have revealed the harshness of Tatooine quite so effectively as this one.

What Denning also does well is write the Han/Leia relationship. I think this can be a tricky one to manage, because you have to be true to the films in depicting their characters-- which don't really show Han and Leia in a committed relationship very much. But Denning manages to get their characters spot on, and yet portray the depth of the commitment they have to one another.

There are a lot of things to like about this book: a good role for Chewbacca, random prequel characters like Kister and Wald, a Thrawn cameo, and best of all, the Squibs! Denning doesn't forget that Star Wars should be zany and funny. I loved it everytime they showed up and caused trouble, well-intentioned in their own way.

The pacing could maybe be better-- the second half drags a little bit as they travel through the desert so much-- but on the whole this is one of my favorite Star Wars novels.
  Stevil2001 | Sep 23, 2012 |
It is becoming clear to me that I am not part of the intended audience of the Star Wars Extended Universe. This episode is set immediately after Leia's wedding to Han Solo but there is no convincing emotional bond between the newlyweds. It may appeal to someone who cares about Leia's grandmother, Shmi, the progentitor of the Skywalker line whose story is expanded here. ( )
  TheoClarke | Oct 12, 2009 |
I really enjoyed the character development in this book. There is a requisite adventure where everyone almost dies. However, there is an interesting exploration of the importance of viewpoint. Leia is confronted by a whole different side of Anakin - which makes her have to see him as something more than just Darth Vader. Also fun is the relationship between Han & Leia as newlyweds. ( )
1 vote tjsjohanna | Jan 5, 2009 |
Set after The Return of the Jedi, Han and Leia return to Tatooine to buy a surviving treasure from Alderaan. Lots of danger and adventure ensues. Which all takes a back seat to their growing relationship.

There's a realistic issue with how they feel about having children and how things between them are still a little rough despite the smoochies. ( )
  maquisleader | Feb 17, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345456696, Mass Market Paperback)

SPECIAL BONUS INSIDE—the exclusive story "A Forest Apart," previously available in e-book format only!

Han and Leia struggle to keep the Empire at bay as stunning revelations from the past threaten to eclipse the future of the New Republic. . . .

The deaths of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine by no means spelled the end of the Empire. In the aftermath, the New Republic has faced a constant struggle to survive. Now a new threat looms: a masterpiece of Alderaanian art—lost after the planet’s destruction—has resurfaced on the black market. It conceals a vital secret—the code used to communicate with New Republic agents undercover within the Empire. Discovery by Imperial forces would spell disaster. The only option is recovery—and Han, Leia, Chewbacca, and C-3PO have been dispatched to Tatooine to infiltrate the auction.

When a dispute at the auction erupts into violence, the painting vanishes in the chaos. Han and Leia are thrust into a desperate race to reclaim it. As they battle against marauding TIE fighters, encroaching stormtroopers, and Tatooine’s savage Tusken Raiders, Leia’s emotional struggle over the specter of her infamous father culminates in the discovery of an extraordinary link to the past. And as long-buried secrets at last emerge, she faces a moment of reckoning that will forever alter her destiny . . . and that of the New Republic.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:27 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"The deaths of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine and victory at the Battle of Endor by no means spelled the end of the Empire. In the aftermath, the New Republic has faced a constant struggle to survive and grow. And now a new threat looms: a masterpiece of Alderaanian art - lost in transit after the planet's destruction - has resurfaced on the black market. Offered at auction, it will command a handsome price...but its greatest value lies in the vital secret it conceals - the key to a code used to communicate with New Republic agents deep undercover within the Empire. Discovery of the key by Imperial forces would spell certain disaster. The only option is recovery - and Han, Leia, Chewbacca, and C-3PO have been dispatched to Tatooine to infiltrate the auction." "But trouble is waiting when they arrive: an Imperial Star Destroyer is orbiting Tatooine on the lookout for Rebels; a mysterious stranger at the auction seems to recognize Leia; and an Imperial officer's aggressive bidding for the Alderaanian painting could foil the Solos' mission. When a dispute erupts into violence, and the painting vanishes in the chaos, Han and Leia are thrust into a desperate race to reclaim it - before Imperial troops or a band of unsavory treasure-peddlers get there first." "Dangerous as the chase is, for Leia it leads into especially dark territory. Already haunted by the specter of her infamous father, and fearful that his evil may infect future generations, she has suffered a disturbing Force-vision of Luke turning to the dark side. As she battles beside Han against marauding TIE fighters, encroaching stormtroopers, and Tatooine's savage Tusken Raiders, Leia's struggle with the warring emotions inside her culminates in the discovery of an extraordinary link to the past. And as long-buried secrets and truths at last emerge, she faces a moment of reckoning that will forever alter her destiny...and that of the New Republic."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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