It’s not only the first Star Wars Summer Read of the year, but it’s also a very special one! The fifth installment in Paul and Hollace Davids’ Jedi Prince series, Queen Of The Empire, was among the first SW books I ever read. And sometime this month, it will officially have been FIVE YEARS since I first read it! Yeah I was dumb and read the series a little out-of-order, but that didn’t take away from how much I enjoyed it. If you want to refresh your memory on the last four adventures, read my previous posts on The Glove, The City, The Revenge, and The Mission, right here. And now let’s find out what this whole Queen deal is all about… ’cause in all technicality, wouldn’t the official term be “Empress”? I guess Empress Of The Empire doesn’t sound as cool though… who cares let’s just read already.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VI, Episode VII, The Glove Of Darth Vader, The Lost City Of The Jedi, Zorba The Hutt’s Revenge, Mission From Mount Yoda, and Queen Of The Empire.
(Image credit: Amazon.com)
Project Decoy, we haven’t heard a lot about it at this point. But as our Rebs head to the secret labs in the bowels of the Mount Yoda base, we readers are about to get some answers at long last. Scientists Fandar and Fugo are happy to introduce Leia Organa Mark II, an exact droid replica of our favorite previous-princess-future-general! Everyone is impressed, though Han is all “Well this is just creepy” XD Leave it to SW to perfect the perfect human droid! For all we know they might be running around the Resistance now and we’d never even know it O.O Hmm that’s actually kinda a scary thought. So maybe it won’t catch on as a normal everyday droid in the galaxy, but it can be useful when you’re as… um… popular as Leia is right now. And by “popular” I mean she’s been captured or nearly killed three or four times lately. So yeah I can approve the decision. Takin’ a note from her mom’s book 🙂 So yeah Mark II’s got Leia down right to her voice and gestures, except for the small fact SHE CAN SHOOT LASERS OUT OF HER EYES. A useful feature, unless of course it misfires and hits you in the chest. Yeesh poor Fandar. Ho’Din boss healer Baji gets him stabilized, but a heart transplant is absolutely needed. With little time to lose and the Falcon the fastest way to the Chandra-Fan homeworld, Han’s got this, and Leia’s going with. And they make it there 22 standard timeparts later. Sooo is a standard timepart like a minute? I’m assuming something like that. Ahsoka coined the great term “mynock minute”, so I guess that makes “minute” the official-canon term, but either way it works. Hehe the conversations we have here at Padawanline 😛 Though problem, you would not believe the weather they have out here on Chad. They have a pretty bad amount of methane going on and that leads to some pretty bad hurricanes. Oh goody more ship repair bills for Captain Solo… not to mention the fact that landing in a hurricane is incredibly dangerous. Oh, and Threepio got a dent in his arm! Oh heaven forbid! Yes because the perilous landing is the least of our worries right now XP But yeah they made it juuuuust barely, thanks to Han’s mad skillz and a little help from the Force. Leia is all “A little help?” XD Whatever the case, Fandar now can get the medical help he needs and that’s the most important thing here. Oh and then one thing led to another and Han basically got caught in a rockslide. Thank you, no thank you stormy atmosphere and your lightning. It just gets better and better out here! Also, new great SW-ism “…like a drunken alien on hoverskates” yep makes all the sense in the world. Use that one often XD
So anyway, by the time Leia got the security guard out of her hair she turned around and found that rockslide mess. She can sense he’s still alive (always cool seeing the Princess making quiet use of the Force), but for how long is the question. So Leia doesn’t waste a second before she takes control of a boulder-dozer. The image of her at the controls of this massive machine, which is really just a laser cannon with treads, is too awesome. NO DUMB ROCKSLIDE’S GONNA MESS WITH HER MAN! Miraculously, Han comes out relatively unscathed. He’s all “Dang that rockslide ’bout ruined my plans for us!” to which Leia raises an eyebrow “What plans?”. YEEEES, WHAT PLANS CAPTAIN SOLO?? Then he derps out “Oh cool a boulder-dozer! Corellian-made isn’t it?” Pfff a little nervous maybes? Also not that anyone cares but Artoo’s OK. Except for the fact he’s still short-circuiting from the incident earlier that led to the rockslide thing. That’s still a problem.
Back at the DRAPAC Luke, Ken, and Chewbacca were keeping an eye on their dear guest, Triclops. The seemingly decent human being who just happened to have Palpatine for a dad. It’s soon evident why the Empire kept him around despite seeing him as a threat — he sleep-invents terrifying weaponry. Good guy by day, potentially dangerous evil genius by night. Also it seems he knows things about the Reb’s Project Decoy in his sleepy mumblings. One thing for certain, the man is an enigma. Is he Force-sensitive? Just crazy? Super-talented? Who knows. And I’m serious I haven’t read these in a while so I don’t remember the answers to these questions or if these questions are answered at all. Either way, as I’ve said before, much mysterious…
Back on Chad things were looking up. The skies cleared and Fandar was good as new and it looks like R2-D2’s up and running. What next? “WE’RE GOIN’ TO HOLOGRAM FUN WORLD!” is Han’s answer. Leia’s like “Um… no we’re not” to which Han replied “Well if we’re goin’ to elope we are!” and then Leia’s all “WHUT.” I could totally see this happening for reals. Han’s confidence mixed in with his feelings with a little nervousness thrown in makes for one awkwardly adorable proposal that’s so cute I don’t dare rehash it my own words. *Dies fangirling* ❤ Once Leia gets where he's coming from, she's all good though. Soooo good. THreepio walks in on that PDA and he’s all “NOPE” XD Though the princess has no questions about marrying her prince, she was sorta hoping for a more grandiose wedding (hey, what girl doesn’t?). Han assures her they can have an official party later, but for now, with no idea what the future might bring… THEY’RE GOIN’ TO HOLOGRAM FUN WORLD! And there’s an astonishingly gorgeous ancient Corellian wedding band awaiting her, too :3 AHH I CAN’T. IT’S TOO PRESH. I’ll be honest when I first read this I dropped everything and drew a pic of them. Still have it too. ‘Cause AHHHHH DANGIT THEY’RE ADORABLE. *Cough* OK hitting pause on the fangirl button.
So you guys remember Zorba right? Jabba’s dad with a vendetta, current governor of Cloud City, has crazy head of hair? You know him. Well, since he became governor things haven’t been going that well. Business has dropped like a billion times, mainly on the fact that the city’s become a dump next to Hologram Fun World. I don’t think it’s necessarily just the fact that people want cool virtual world experiences over casinos, but probably a lot to do with the fact it’s controlled by a Hutt. So now he’s heading to said Fun World with a handful of bounty hunters, ready to make it look like a dump next to his turf. NUUU WHY YOU GOTTA TAKE IT OUT ON THE INNOCENT HAPPY PEOPLE?!
So Hologram Fun World sounds like a blast. May sound kinda far-out but hey, a galaxy without theme parks wouldn’t be much fun now, would it? Thrilling VR experiences through state-of-the-art holograms. You want to go hoverskiing down the side of an exploding volcano? You can do that! As someone who loves to hunt out cool vacation spots and collects travel brochures everywhere she goes, I most definitely want to take a visit there. Unfortunately, it’s popular enough that one particular show’s been sold out for six months. Dude if there’s a magician out there who’s that good, let me know ’cause I’m not sure anything is worth being sold out for that long. Except SW stuff, anyway 🙂 Also the line to the droid repair shop’s pretty cray. But Han’s more than OK with this, and actually pays a little extra to keep the droids out of his hair. Threepio will not interrupt them again — at least not tonight, anyway. Also, we get to see our good buddy Lando again, now the baron administrator of HFW! Maaaan he done well for himself. The Force most defs be with him considering it wasn’t that long ago when he lost his governor’s position. And he gives them quite the grand tour. THAT STAR DRAGON RIDE SOUNDS AMAZING. I NEED TO RIDE IT. ESPECIALLY IF A STAR DRAGON IS ANYTHING LIKE A VARACTYL. ANNDDD NOW I’M SHUTTING UP ABOUT THIS. And they even get to walk down the streets of a virtual Alderaan. OH SWEET MERCIFUL HEAVENS THE FEELS…! After the fun, the power couple just about had everything together for their exchanging of vows… except for their birth certificates. D’oh. Ugh can you imagine the paperwork you’d have to go through if your certificate was destroyed along with your homeworld? Lando promises he’ll get things set up by the next rotation, and until then, he’ll continue to give them the best Fun World experience he can muster, including front-row tickets to that sold-out magic show I mentioned earlier. #Benefits But while they’re having fun… lo and behold Zorba stepped into HFW (or sloshed into, I guess) and had his own kind of “fun” with his scoundrel crew. Theft, destruction, graffiti, the whole dang shebang. He was having an absolute wonderful time until one of his hunters mentioned seeing Leia — and she’s very much alive. So Zorba’s done; he’s gonna personally take to ending her this time. OmO
Gotta say as slow as the Hutts are they sure work fast. He gets a bounty hunter to disguise himself as the magician and quite literally makes Leia disappear. Once again another nice pleasant day ruined by a bad guy. Han and Lando are on the move.
I don’t need to tell you for you to know that Leia’s negotiating skillz are on-point. Too bad she was negotiating with someone who can’t be negotiated with. What the law states and what she was in her right to do don’t matter a centimeter to Zorba, you kill his son you pay the price. Regardless it didn’t get her anywhere I still applaud Leia for defending her honor and throwin’ sass all over that jerkface like she did. But yeah how she’s gonna get outta this one? She’s not entirely alone though… look it’s carbonite Trioculus! Remember him? Wait OMG TRIOCULUS?? EX-EMPEROR WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD? Zorba wins at everything, evidently. At least when it comes to revenge anyway.
The real magician heard everything, so Han and Lando know where they need to go to get Leia back. The Pit of Carkoon on Wonderful ol’ Tatooine! But they’re not alone on their mission, ’cause Luke and Ken popped in with Leia II. The Alliance could tell that the Falcon and the Zorba Express in the same place was trouble. Also everyone knows about the Haneia engagement now so Luke wouldn’t miss a chance to say congrats 🙂
So what do you get when the Grand Moffs have a conference? A MOFFERENCE! No seriously that’s what they’re calling it. Pffff sounds so dignified don’t it? Yeah the Moffs decided to discuss some business right outside of Tatooine so you know things’ll get interesting later. The business they’re discussing is their problem with new Emperor Kadann, who not only killed Trioculus but is planning on demoting all the moffs. The Moffs no likey, especially not Hissa, who was left to die by one of the dark side prophets and now bears two mechanical arms and is permanently confined to a hoverchair. So once they see Zorba heading their way, they decided to play the revenge game themselves. So now the number of people Han and crew have to save Leia from has doubled. Wonderful. Basically all heck broke loose in the moffship. Somehow with enough stormtroopers, they managed to apprehend Zorba. And wow man Zorba looks absolutely huge in the illustration. Comparably it looks like he could sit on four Hutts and hold Rotta in the palm of his hand. Granted, Mama The Hutt could probably still skoosh him (I believe she’d be Zorb’s aunt, if my memory serves me well), but still! He’s a monster! Somehow didn’t stop the Imps though. The Grand Moff and his crew were quite happy to see Trioculus frozen, but alive. Zorba was pretty smart to only keep a decoy in public. But now… oh boy… the dark, scarred ex-Emperor rises, and he’s got some unfinished business to attend to. But first he takes a walk down memory lane with Hissa as he looks at their lovely weapon stash. Ah, the countless lives he’s destroyed! Slaves, settlers, tourists that took a wrong turn… such good times! Yeesh. GET. A. HOBBY. TRIO. And then Zorba makes a deal he knows the three-eyed gent can’t refuse: his freedom for Leia. Trioculus couldn’t seal that deal soon enough. Once again, Leia fearlessly speaks her mind to the dark dude, but somehow all that doesn’t sway the dark dude’s feelings. Trioculus offers her all the power and position as his bride and the opportunity to watch Zorba eaten by the sarlacc, but she just keeps negotiating like a boss (seriously they wrote amazingly for her). So Trio makes an offer she can’t refuse — to stay with Zorba or with him. Leia finally says “yes”. But only ’cause she’s buying time to look for a way out. ‘Cause bro Princess Bosslady is taken mkay?
As the Falcon crew prepared the rescue, Trioculus put on his show and sent the old Hutt to the mouth of the Sarlacc. Trio’s pretty sure he saw Leia smile, though it could’ve been a grimace… he’s not really good at understanding emotions. He uses it an excuse to convince her the Dark Side’s a done deal, and even pulls out the “your dad’s Darth Vader” card again, but Leia’s still all kinds of NOPE. Which for him means it’s time to start the wedding! Poor guy has no clue what social cues are, does he? Being engaged to two guys in two days might sound kinda cool like “wow I’m so fabulous everybody’s fighting over me”, but for Leia, it’s really really not. Especially when she only loves one of those two guys. But surprise! Said guy and company were waiting in the wings and they’re goin’ home! And now four more stormtroopers are gonna wake up in garbage today. Hehe XD
Now it’s time for the royal Imperial wedding!! Squeeeeeeee!! Well, I’m pretty sure the talk dark dork was the only one squeeing today, but that’s all that matters to him right now. Oh, the wedding was beautiful, you should’ve seen it… the black zinthorns, the turbolaser access shaft they used as an altar, all the moffs abuzz with the belief that Leia’d gone to the Dark Side, and of course, the wonderful moment where it turned out to be the replica droid and her gaze literally pierced his heart. Aww I told myself I wouldn’t cry but… that was a beautiful plan! Trioculus died with the knowledge he’d been played… with the destroyed Leia II by his side. Fitting. Verrry fitting. Though whoo I bet the Grand Moff’s not gonna be happy about this…
So our heroes head back to Mount Yoda alive and well. And the conversation turns to new wedding plans and whether “best man” can apply to someone who’s not human (politically correct, that should be “best male being”). But there might be a small problem they don’t know about yet… and by “small problem” I mean BIG because look who crawled his way out of the Sarlacc? Zorba The Hutt, and he’s still gettin’ the last laugh…
Ohhh myy that was fun! Theme parks, lots of villainy, and HanXLeia sweetness! So many fun memories reading this, and I’m thrilled I was able to read along with you now. Until the next post is up…
Keep The Peace,