'Star Wars: Bloodline' Author Claudia Gray Says New Novel Tackles Leia's Dark Secrets, Relationship With Darth Vader

Bestselling author Claudia Gray's "Star Wars: Bloodline," which hit store shelves this week, tells the story of Princess/General Leia Organa in her various roles and titles in the Star Wars universe.

The novel, which is set roughly in the time gap between "Return of the Jedi" (1983) and "The Force Awakens" (2015), finds Leia, a senator in the New Republic, in charge of investigating a new threat to the fledgling government. As she deals with this criminal/terrorist menace, her husband, Han, a starship racer, jets off with Chewie to distant galaxies. Ben, her son, is elsewhere with his uncle Luke, Leia's twin brother, from whom he is learning the ways of the Force.

On top of all these familial connections, it is Leia's relationship with her late father, Darth Vader, that the popular senator must deal with in "Bloodline."

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gray said that Leia's connection with Vader was one of the things she most wanted to explore in her latest novel. Apart from the scene before the Battle of Endor in "Return of the Jedi," in which Luke (Mark Hamill) tells Leia (Carrie Fisher) that Darth Vader is their father, the Star Wars films never really show Leia's reaction to knowing who her real father is.

"You see Luke struggle with this, be tempted to darkness, and he gets to see his father leave darkness behind," Gray said. "But these are not experiences Leia got to have – and if anything she suffered more from Vader than Luke did."

According to the "Bloodline" author, there were several questions she 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?"

Gray also spoke about Leia's new nickname, "The Huttslayer," a title she was bestowed after she strangled Jabba the Hutt in "Return of the Jedi."

As Gray told EW, while Leia has gained popularity for defeating the villainous alien, she's not exactly proud of what she did.

"She doesn't regret doing it, but it's not like something she took a lot of satisfaction in either," the author explained. "It was just an ugly thing she had to do."

"Star Wars: Bloodline" is available in hardcover and ebook from Del Rey.

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