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The Courtship of Princess Leia by Dave…

The Courtship of Princess Leia

by Dave Wolverton

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1,840195,740 (3.28)13



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Thoughts about The Courtship of Princess Leia because WOW I was not expecting to get so much out of this book at all.

First of all: Han is a massive asshat and needs a couple dozen swift kicks to the balls for literally everything he has done in this book. I have a marginal amount of sympathy for him because he is in a really unfortunate situation and Leia really isn’t handling as well as she could. However, that does not in any way shape or form condone his response. Like he was tugging a little at my heartstrings with his desperation to find a planet to give to Leia in the somewhat misguided belief that if he gives her a planet then she won’t ever consider anyone else, as if he could buy her love. Which isn’t necessarily what he was going for; I think he more wanted to prove that he could be good for her in some tangible way, not just because they’re compatible and they love each other but because he can provide for her in some way. And while he was going about it kind of wrong, it was understandable why that’s the direction his thought process went. Especially as he knew he was acting jealously.

It was when she laughed at his gift and over the next couple of days made it really really clear that she was leaning more towards Isolder that Han started acting like an absolute fucking asshole. There is nothing in the entire universe ever that condones him using the Gun of Command on her to get her into the Falcon and then hide her in the hidden compartments in the floor until the effects of the Gun wear off. NOTHING AT ALL EVER CONDONES TAKING AWAY LEIA’S ABILITY TO THINK AND ACT OF HER OWN VOLITION. And then to coerce her to spend a week with you on some random ass planet because you think she might be able to fall back in love with you is fucking low.

I love the Leia/Han pairing quite a bit because it was one of my first so I’m always going to have a certain fondness for it but I willingly admit that in the movies it’s pretty damn problematic at times, especially in ESB and their first kiss. Why did you need to make the book where they get married into this giant problematic cesspool as well? Why was it necessary to completely taint this relationship? Because of course Han almost dies at some point and Leia flips her shit and realizes how much she’s always loved Han and of course she can’t marry anyone but him and blurgh it’s all kinds of fucked up.

And then there’s Isolder. I really really hate this guy. A lot. Because he is just as coercive and gross in his attentions to Leia as Han is. He comes in with this huge diplomatic marriage proposal that Leia HAS to consider because the New Republic desperately needs the Hapans help and their help is an all or nothing thing; if Leia doesn’t accept Isolder’s proposal for any reason at all, then they aren’t getting any aid from the Hapans at all. So despite the fact that Leia is already in a relationship and this whole thing is a complete surprise to her and she probably wouldn’t like to be in an arranged marriage at all, she has to consider it for the government that she has put everything into. And Isolder knows this. He has to know this. So he tries to sweeten her up by telling her he fell in love with her at first sight and became obsessed with her and asked his mother to please put out the proposal. And he’s sweet and handsome as fuck and rich and royal and seemingly the exact opposite of Han and Leia starts to fall for it. But Isolder is also a privileged little fuck who talks about possessing her and “stealing” her back at gunpoint, as if she’s an object to be won and not a sentient being with her own thoughts and emotions and desires who deserves to make her own god damn decisions.

So basically, Leia has no good suitors in this book AT ALL but of course the book has to end with her making a choice between the two and of course precedent means it will be Han but damn both choices SUCK ASS.

But then Leia kind of annoys me as well. Because I hate hate hate love triangles and all of the bullshit that goes into them. And what frustrates me with this one especially is that Wolverton has Leia falling in love with Isolder in the two weeks or whatever that she spends in his company. And it’s like, really? If Leia married Isolder for purely mercenary reasons, because she wanted to help the remaining Alderaanian’s find a new home and help the New Republic to establish itself more firmly then that is a perfectly valid choice for her to make. And I wouldn’t have had any trouble with it at all. But for Wolverton to write this really unconvincing love story thing between Leia and Isolder is just frustrating, because it’s like it’s there to make the idea of relationship okay, as if succumbing to mercenary motives would be the most horrible thing in the world, when really it’s not at all. I still remember the first time I read this book when I was thirteen and how little I believed that Leia would agree to just go away with Isolder on a fucking six month trip through Hapan territory without any thought at all. It didn’t make any sense and god I hated it then and I hate it even more now.

And then Isolder ended up falling in love with and marrying Teneniel? Are you fucking for real? Because nothing about that felt genuine to me either, even as a thirteen-year-old romantic who wanted to ship everything that came across her path. It was certainly a convenient ending to have Isolder fall in love with someone else so he doesn’t dispute Han and Leia’s marriage but come on, at least put in some actual build up to a relationship.

Basically Wolverton can’t write romance to save his fucking life and it’s disappointing.

What wasn’t disappointing for me was the two matriarchal societies who just unabashedly subjugate men and use them basically only for breeding and look down on them for everything else. That’s so much fucking fun. Too bad he ruined it by having Luke fucking Skywalker swoop in and be a great mystical Jedi Knight who chastises Tenenial for simply following her culture’s traditions because that’s literally the only thing she knows.

On the subject of Luke fucking Skywalker, can I say how much I HATE everything he did in this book? Except for his conversation with Leia right after she got Isolder’s proposal and she just wanted to talk things out with her brother and he pretty much told that he would support her in whatever decision she made and that she needed to do what felt right for her and he didn’t try to influence her decision because he’s friends with Han or anything. That was very very good. His entire mystical Jedi Knight thing that he was pulling on Isolder, treating him like he was an apprentice that willingly attached himself to Luke, was obnoxious as fuck. Because dude, this random ass person who is here because he wants to fucking steal Leia does not give a single rat’s ass about your teachings and the Force was not responsible for bringing him to you. Like why are you doing this you pretentious asshat? And then through the whole book he has this weird confidence in himself and his abilities that what? just completely disappear in the next year before the Thrawn trilogy happens? Nothing about Luke was well done in this book, I don’t think.

On the other hand, I do like the Nightsisters and the implicit explanation for the Emperor’s and Vader’s physical deformities as the consequence of repeated use of the Dark Side of the Force. That was a really interesting twist. Also liked the idea that at some point the Jedi Order was more mobile and less centralized, and perhaps less reliant on the Old Republic government. Also interesting things to think about. Because when this book was written, all that had been written was the movies, the Thrawn trilogy, Truce at Bakura, and Splinter of the Mind’s Eye that ever talk about the Force or Jedi so there was a lot of room to speculate and these seem like good speculations.

I didn’t like the implication that the Dathomiri women’s lesser state of civilization was why they had more trouble accessing the Force and that Luke was this great savior/teacher thing who could make them better. Like fuck you dude. Though I LOVED when Teneniel first found Luke and Isolder and Luke had the thought that this woman could do whatever she damn well pleased and I was just thought “yes good give me more ladies doing whatever they pleased because fuck you Luke you suck” (I don’t like Luke much in this book, can you tell?)

Okay so despite all the ladies and the interesting stuff going on with matriarchal societies, overall I have a very negative opinion of this book but some of it is fun to think about so it’s not a total bust. ( )
  irasobrietate | May 28, 2018 |
Post-"Return of the Jedi," a powerful potential ally courts Princess Leia. Han, obviously rather frustrated by this, goes off on a wild adventure that proves his feelings and shows off his incredible piloting skills. Also, I believe Luke gets captured by witches. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
The Courtship of Princess Leia

Eight years have passed since the battle of Yavin. Han and Leia still on an on and off relationship. Until a delegation from Hapes comes bearing gifts, that include Star Destroyers and Prince Isolder as a consort for Princess Leia in an attempt to form an alliance with the New Republic.

Han becomes jealous for being a scoundrel not worthy for the leader of the New Republic and wins a planet that attempts to give to Leia as a gift to relocate the survivors of Alderaan. Han kidnaps Leia and during the travel to Dathomir, he asks Leia to give him a week if after the week she decides that she doesn't love him, he will return and face any disciplinary action that is to be taken towards him and stop pursuing Leia.

Luke and Prince Isolder follow Han and Leia and crash land on the planet. The planet, Dathomir, is actually on a region controlled by Imperial Warlord Zsinj and inhabited by the Nightsisters, a society of women adept to the dark side of the Force and considered by several species as Witches.

Luke and Isolder are captured by the Nightsisters and eventually Isolder falls in love with Teneniel Djo, who is next in line for leadership of the Nightsisters.

A battle ensues with Zsinj to liberate Dathomir, who is defeated by the combined forces of the New Republic and Hapes Consortium. The battle ends with Zsinj getting killed.

At the end Han and Leia get married by Mon Mothma.

The book served to explore the events that actually led to Han and Leia getting married, and to introduce the Nightsisters as being another species able to connect with the Force. Also having the Nightsisters as a female clan tried to balance the gender of Force adepts and heroes/villains since previously it was mostly males. In some ways, the Nightsisters was a hit with fans since they were used recurrently in following books and explored on the Clone Wars cartoon series, Asajj Ventress. Will be interesting to know how Han-Leia marriage is explained in the revised canon. ( )
1 vote Daalvarez23 | Mar 18, 2015 |
A Hapan prince proposes to Leia, and when he starts spending all his time with Leia, Han gets jealous, enough to Kid nap princess Leia and bring her to a mysterious planet named Dathomir. Just why had Dathomir been so deserted? Han and Leia quickly find out. Dave Wolverton’s Courtship of Princess Leia shows a tenderer, jealous side of Han along with an adventure worth reading. ( )
  Wuher | Aug 30, 2013 |
When I read this book in fifth grade, I thought it was the BEST THING EVER. I am now in search of a time machine so that I can go back and whap fifth-grade me upside the head, because this book is a hot mess.

Shortly after the events of Return of the Jedi, Leia is approached with a strategic offer of alliance from the Hapan Cluster--which is only valid if she marries the prince of Hapes and rules as queen. The problem is that she's in love with Han, although judging by his behavior in this book I have no idea why. Wacky hijinks ensue, including a mind-control device (which HAN USES ON LEIA--wuv, twu wuv), a planet full of rancor-riding Force witches, and a warrior woman who decides to take Luke as a mate. There's little logic here, and the best thing we get out of the book is the marriage between Isolder and Teneniel, which eventually produces the one-armed badass warrior-princess that is Tenel Ka Djo.

Skip this one. Read Zahn's Heir to the Empire trilogy instead. (Even if you've read it before.) Or if you want some good space battles, the X-Wing series. Both of those are well worth your time. ( )
  DeweyEver | Apr 30, 2013 |
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General Han Solo stood at the command console viewport of the Mon Calamari Star Cruiser Mon Remonda.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553569376, Mass Market Paperback)

Seeking rich, powerful allies to bring into the  Rebel Alliance and a new home planet for the  refugees of her native Alderaan, Princess Leia  considers a proposal that could tip the balance of power  against the evil Empire. The Hapes Consortium of  63 worlds is ruled by the Queen Mother, who wants  Leia to marry her son, the dashing and wealthy  Prince Isolder. Han Solo has always dreamed of  marrying Leia himself, and now he makes a desperate  last gamble to win her back. Soon he, Isolder,  Luke Skywalker and Artoo will be at the center of an  adventure leading to an awesome treasure, a group  of Force-trained "witches," and a  showdown with an invincible foe.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:38 -0400)

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When Han Solo learns that Princess Leia is to marry the Queen Mother's son, he flees with her to Dathomir. Luke Skywalker pursues them and makes an important discovery.

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