I think we all knew that when it was announced they would be making a new set of ‘Star Wars’ movies, that something in the Force had changed. And when I say, “the Force”, I mean the ‘Star Wars’ canon.
In the newest ‘Star Wars’ comic book, which takes place between ‘A New Hope’ and ‘The Empire Strikes Back,’ we get a first glimpse of Han Solo’s wife.
Not Leia Organa…
I have tried very hard not be a bitch about the fact that the ‘Star Wars’ official canon has changed because I want to see new movies, but the development of Sana just cuts a bit too deep. So here I am. I’m going to be a (reasonable) bitch about this for two very good reasons:
- Like most of the people who grew up in the 80s and loved ‘Star Wars,’ we had an amazing series of book that were promoted to canon. I’m, of course, talking about the Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn (you can hear his thoughts on the new ‘Star War’s movie here).I hesitate to suggest The Thrawn Trilogy to you now, only because no matter how good they are, they have been relegated to the realm of fanfiction. Incredibly well thought-out, in depth fan fiction that engages in the ‘Star Wars’ universe better than the actual ‘Star Wars’ universe does, but fanfiction nonetheless (disclaimer: I read a lot of fanfic, this is not a comment on value of reading fanfiction, rather that if you’re into the universe and want something canon, these are no longer the books you are looking for).Still, you should read it if you haven’t. The trilogy follows Admiral Thrawn, a man half-exiled to the borderlands of the Empire because of his race, but promoted to admiral due to his strategical brilliance (have you noticed all the officers in ‘Star Wars’ are white men? It’s because the Emperor was a bit of a racist). As the rebels squabble with each other to try and reach a pre-Empire equilibrium that they never really had, Thrawn consolidates his power (because really, destroying the emperor doesn’t mean the rest of the fleet is destroyed) and threatens to overwhelm the recently freed rebel planets. Throw in evil Jedi clones and assassins intent on Luke’s life, and you have a damn good story.In the Thrawn Trilogy, we are treated to Han Solo finally sort of getting the idea that settling down was what he wanted, but having to go through several books of “oh shit, I’m going to be a Dad” to get there. It’s actually one of the realer moments of the series. Yes, we have the happy ending of everyone living ever after with Han Solo ostensibly with the princess at the end of ‘Return of the Jedi,’ but the Thrawn Trilogy really engaged with what that would actually mean for two people as independently minded as Leia and Han.
Essentially, giving Han a wife means that we can never ever hope to have any semblance of the universe that Timothy Zahn gave us. It means no more Mara (one future badass Jedi) and no more Luke fighting his own clone. More importantly, it means we can say goodbye to one of the most nuanced evil villains to ever grace Science Fiction, Admiral Thrawn.
It feels like a slap in the face to the fans who grew up with Thrawn being canon, and a slap in the face to Zahn, who wrote such a fantastic and beloved series.
- Giving Han a wife that he neglected to mention gives him a very black mark that changes his entire history of a character and his character growth. Before, we loved Han as a lovable scoundrel whose heart was in the right place… most of the time. Now he’s a philandering liar, and add that to his milieu of other flaws, and Han just isn’t that likable anymore.
Now, I’m aware that I may be (read: probably am) jumping the gun. There could be a whole host of reasons there is a wife that may not mess with Zahn’s canon or make Han a huge jerk. She could be lying. They could be estranged. They could have married for expediency or have been forced to. And honestly, maybe the addition of Sana will be a boon for the series. After all, she looks pretty awesome.
But really, I think this is the final nail in a long series of nails in the coffin of canon before the next three films were announced. This is just a first taste of how the world of ‘Star Wars’ is going to be changed, and there will be more.
Some of us (namely, me) are just going to have to realign our expectations.