Home > Book Reviews > The Courtship of Princess Leia

The Courtship of Princess Leia

I recently reread The Courtship of Princess Leia (Star Wars) in order to refamiliarize myself with the ultimate fate of the warlord Zsinj. The X-Wing Wraith Squadron books, although written after this novel, introduce Han Solo’s relentless pursuit, and I had just finished them.

Since I hadn’t read the novel since Episodes I – III were released, I wondered whether there were discrepancies with the movies, or just plain oddities not seen elsewhere:

* Like many novels, Wolverton assumes that all Jedi bodies “dissapate” after death. The movies (and related lore) seem to indicate that only some Jedi learned to become one with the Force as a “force ghost” who is able to interact with the living.

* The long dead Jedi for whom Luke searches is described as the “curator of records for the Jedi at Coruscant”, a striking prediction of the librarians of the Jedi Archives in the Jedi Temple complex on Coruscant. The holographic recordings in the novel certainly reflect the types of recordings shown on the library “shelves” in the movie.

* The recording discovered in the ruins describe Yoda and other Jedi giving reports to the high master in a throne room. Similar to the Jedi Council?

* Wolverton several times describes a Jedi ability to use the Force to translate alien languages (and even Droidspeak) into Basic. Both Luke and the witches of Dathomir appear to do this — I don’t recall this ability in any other novel….

* The deed to Dathomir is described as “a registry chip, one of the old kind with a holo cube built in. She thumbed the switch, watched the planet materialize in the air before her, a scene from space showing the planet.” Reminded me of the holographic device that Qui-Gon Jinn used on Tatooine to project the image of the Naboo ship.

* A Jedi academy on board a roving starship in not contradicted by the movies to my knowledge.

With so few people strong enough to master the Force, the ancient Jedi would have needed to scour the galaxy hunting for recruits. In each star cluster they might have found only one or two cadets worthy to join. (page 165)

* At the end of the novel, the Hapan Navy launches “pulsemass generators” to keep the warlord’s ships in realspace, preventing them from entering hyperspace. In other novels, the Alliance/New Republic relies on maneuvering their enemies into the gravity wells of planets and stars or use Interdictor cruisers or destroyers for this purpose. If these pulsemass generators were available, why aren’t they used in other situations? Seems like a one-off.

Plot-wise, not the most impressive Star Wars novel. Luke’s character feels right, but Leia is waaaay off.

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  1. May 7, 2009 at 1:49 am

    The first sentence of this post is the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. I have been trying to remember since the movies came out which of the books had that detail about the jedi library, and about the recording found in the ruins. Mystery solved. Is this also the book in which Luke learns, from the recording, about making his own lightsaber?

  2. May 11, 2009 at 2:07 am

    No, I think that was Shadows of the Empire.

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