‘Star Wars: Bloodline’ — Claudia Gray’s Political Thriller Hit The Shelves To Rave Reviews

Star Wars: Bloodline emerged into the mainstream publishing world on Tuesday, May 3. It did so with stellar success, as it has rocketed to Amazon’s No. 57 in books overall on its first day of availability.

Bloodline is penned by the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Lost Stars, New Orleans writer Claudia Gray. The novel is set in the years before the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

What emerges is Leia’s story, as the book’s description encourages the reader to, “Witness the Birth of the Resistance.”

“When the Rebellion defeated the Empire in the skies above Endor, Leia Organa believed it was the beginning to a lasting peace.

“But after decades of vicious infighting and partisan gridlock in the New Republic Senate, that hope seems like a distant memory.

“Now a respected senator, Leia must grapple with the dangers that threaten to cripple the fledgling democracy—from both within and without. Underworld kingpins, treacherous politicians, and Imperial loyalists are sowing chaos in the galaxy.”

“Desperate to take action, senators are calling for the election of a First Senator. It is their hope that this influential post will bring strong leadership to a divided galaxy.

“As the daughter of Darth Vader, Leia faces with distrust the prospect of any one person holding such a powerful position—even when supporters suggest Leia herself for the job.

“But a new enemy may make this path Leia’s only option. For at the edges of the galaxy, a mysterious threat is growing…”

Entertainment Weekly said that the book “fixes Princess Leia’s wonky accent” and “reclaims the gold bikini.”

“But it’s another family connection, her relationship with the still-feared specter of Darth Vader, that is finally coming back to haunt her.”

Author Gray said she wanted to explore Leia’s reaction to the revelation that she was the daughter of Darth Vader.

“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?”

Entertainment Weekly said that Star Wars Episode VIII writer-director Rian Johnson offered some input into Bloodline.

Gray said, “Everybody works together on this team.”

“I knew there were some elements that would either be touched on in Episode VIII or may be touched on in the future. I can’t be too specific about what they are. They’re the kind of thing that will become clear when you see Episode VIII.”

IGN writer Jared Petty called the novel a “satisfying read.”

“Much of Star Wars: Bloodline is pure politics: clandestine meetings, senatorial speeches, and some cloak-and-dagger. The rhetoric and procedure should add up to a bore, but thankfully Claudia Gray’s simple, punchy style keeps things moving. The plot advances with the energetic pacing of a good young adult novel. Plots are continually revealed, thicken, and resolved in satisfying ways, and every now and then something blows up.”

The infamous gold bikini has now been renamed the “Huttslayer” outfit, Gray said.

“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.”

There has been no word on whether Gary the Dog gets a cameo.

Star Wars: Bloodline is available on Amazon.com.

[Photo by George Brich/AP Images]