Novel References

The Courtship of Princess Leia

1Chapter 1

... five months hunting the warlord Zsinj's Super Star Destroyer, Iron Fist... Maybe now, with the Iron Fist gone, warlord Zsinj would be crippled and things would go smoother.

Solo's reflections imply that the Iron Fist has been either destroyed or put out of action. This is interesting since another large vessel with the same name appears later during the Battle of Dathomir.


Across the blue velvet of space... were dozens of enormous, saucer-shaped starships that Han recognized immediately as Hapan Battle Dragons. Among them were dozens of slate gray Imperial Star Destroyers.

Hapan fleet in orbit around Coruscant.


"[The Hapans have] come to negotiate a treaty of some sort with the New Republic. The accompanying Star Destroyers are theirs, captured from the Imperials."

The Hapans have captured dozens of star destroyers. This gives emphasis to both the impressive power of the Hapans and the commonplace status of destroyers.


Captain Onoma nodded up toward a a Star Destroyer in another quadrant, and Han recognized its markings. Leia's flagship, the Rebel Dream. It seemed so huge, so vast when they'd captured it from the Imperials...

The New Republic has acquired a sufficient number of star destroyers for some to be assigned as flagships for its non-naval dignitaries.


The Grand Reception Hall was an anormous building, more than a thousand metres long, with fourteen levels for seating, ....

Perhaps five hundred thousand beings had gathered on the main floors, eager to catch a glimpse of the Hapans. Tens of thousands of security guards had cleared the gold carpet between the shuttle and Leia, and Han looked up to the balconies. Nearly every star system in the old Empire had had its own balcony here, and beside each balcony was the nation's standard. Over six hundred thousand of those standards hung now on the ancient marble walls, showing the membership of the New Republic.

location: The Grand Reception Hall, on Coruscant.

At this point in the history of the galaxy, more than six hundred thousand worlds have formally aligned with the New Republic. Since the total number of inhabited systems is over twelve million [Dark Empire, issue #3] there must be a substantial number of systems that are either in the hands of warlords, are neutral, independent, or still in the process of negotiating to rejoin the galactic government.

11Chapter 2
19Chapter 3
31Chapter 4
43Chapter 5

That evening Han found himself in a seamy dive in Coruscant's underworld — a casino that literally had not seen sunlight in more than ninety thousand years because alyer upon layer of buildings and streets had been constructed over it, until the casino became wedged like a fossil in its layer of sediment.

A deep-level casino on Coruscant illustrates the extreme antiquity of the planetary city and some of its businesses and institutions.


A thin, blue circular haze shimmered before Isolder, white at the edges, like a ring around a moon on a cold night. Personal shielding, she realised. ....

Personal shielding tended to provide minimal protection, because you couldn't get a power source strong enough to deflect enemy fire and still last for more than a moment. The second danger came from the shield itself — the energy shield got so hot that the wielders risked frying themselves if they accidentally touched it. ....

The Prince swung his shield as a weapon, and its energy field knocked his attackers backward. Blue sparks erupted in the air as he made contact. One man cried out and dropped his blaster, holding his burned face. Isolder raised his shield above his head, spub it and tossed it at the last attacker. The shielding caught the assassin in the chest, sliced through him like a lightsabre, and then Isolder stood alone with his blaster, aiming it at the remaining assassin, ....

technology: a personal deflector and ray shield, similar to those used by some droids in The Phantom Menace. The rarity of these devices in the use of living soldiers is conveniently explained.

[55 pb]

She clawed a button on the cube, and the image of a planet appeared in the air. CLASS M, nitrogen and oxygen atmosphere.

location: Dathomir. Interestingly, this specification of planet type is the same as that used in Star Trek for an Earth-like habitable world. Was this inter-universe reference intentional?

55Chapter 6
65Chapter 7
77Chapter 8

... the Millennium Falcon dropped out of hyperspace above Dathomir and the proximity indicators screamed in warning. Leia came running, leaned over Han's pilot seat to look out: Star Destroyers littered the sky while shuttles and barges plodded up from a small red moon in a solid line toward a huge mass of metal piping and struts — ten kilometers of gleaming scaffolding that floated in space at an L5 point. It looked like some giant insect, but docked around it were thousands of craft — one Super Star Destroyer, dozens of old Victory-class models and escort frigates, thousands of box-like barges.

Fugitives from the New Republic emerge from hyperspace near the planet Dathomir. They immediately observe the planet's moon, orbital shipyard, and a surrounding fleet of Imperial warships. One of them appears to be the Iron Fist, which is later involved in the space battle at the climax of the story.

91Chapter 9
99Chapter 10

Though Star Home was no match for one of the new Imperial Star Destroyers, it was unique, more impressive in its way, and certainly more beautiful.


"...I remember when I was younger, my mother once granted refuge to some Jedi, a group of fifty or so. They hid out in the ancient ruins of one of our worlds for a year, running a small academy." [Ta'a Chume's] voice became rough. "Then Lord Vader and his Dark Knights came to the Hapes Cluster and hunted the Jedi down. After Vader killed the Jedi, he merely sealed them in the ruins at Reboam..."

There was once briefly a substantial presence of Jedi in the Hapes Cluster, which provoked a concerted attack by Imperial forces led by Lord Darth Vader. It is possible that remains and relics may have been left by Vader.

"Dark Knights" may simply be a colourful reference to stormtroopers or other Imperial forces, however it seems more likely to mean Vader's modern Sith followers, minor Dark Jedi or apprentices of Vader or Palpatine.

"Mr. Skywalker," Isolder said, "I...wanted to ask you something. Dathomir is what, sixty, seventy parsecs?"
"About sixty-four parsecs," Luke answered.
"The Millennium Falcon will have to travel a twisted course through hyperspace to make that kind of jump," Isolder said. "What kind of man is Solo? Will he take the most direct route?"
Computing a jump in hyperspace was a laborious task. The nav computers tended to take 'safe' routes, routes where the black holes, asteroid belts, and star systems were well charted. But such routes were often long, tediously twisted. Still, a long route was far better than a short, dangerous trip through uncharted space.

Dathomir is only 64 parsecs away from Coruscant, ie. approximately 209 light years. The galactic diameter is about 120,000 light years, and the whole volume of the galaxy is divided into only a few thousand sectors. Therefore Dathomir is also in the Core, though perhaps not in the same sector as Coruscant.

This passage also has some interesting implications for the nature of hyperspace travel. It hints that the trajectory of a ship in hyperspace is far from straight, which would contradict the assertion [in Tales of the Bounty Hunters] that the ability to change course in hyperspace makes Hound's Tooth special. Perhaps the twistedness of the jumps described above actually refers to an overall course consisting of many hyperspace jumps that are each linear.

111Chapter 11

...chances were that the New Republic wouldn't win its way this deep into Zsinj's territory for another ten years.

Gives emphasis to the immense power of Warlord Zsinj. He must be a special threat to the New Republic, particularly considering his close proximity to Coruscant and other key Core worlds (as demonstrated by the reference to p.108).

119Chapter 12

"Launch all fighters!" Isolder ordered. "Knock out that Super Star Destroyer at the docks along with anything else you can get. I want this to be messy!" The Song of War's ion cannons opened fire as torpedoes screamed from their launch tubes. Though Imperial Star Destroyers were three times the size and more heavily armed than a Hapan Battle Dragon, the Imperials had designed their ships using old-fashioned stationary gun emplacements. After a blaster cannon or ion cannon fired, it took several milliseconds for the cannon's giant capacitors to recharge. The net effect was that the gun was stuck idle 80 percent of the time.

Prince Isolder regards galactic standard naval technology to be inferior to that of the Hapes Cluster. He regards the movable turbolaser mounts of his Battle Dragons to be more useful.


From space [Isolder] could more easily see how the battle was going: the Star Destroyers had backed off in unison and spread apart so that Astarta was forced to choose one of them as a primary target. Instead, she had taken the Battle Dragon over the docks at the shipyard and had begun pummeling the helpless Super Star Destroyer that waited for repairs, doing more damage to the costly machinery in one strafing run than she could ever have accomplished in a pitched battle.


All four walkers were two-person affairs, scouting models, the only size small enough to maneuver through this mountainous terrain.


The two walkers on the flanks got tackled from behind by creatures well over their seven-metre height. The middle walkers swiveled to fire their blaster cannons, and for a moment the gunfire flashed like lightning.

vehicles: Bipedal scout walkers, these machines appear to be slightly shorter than the 8.13m tall AT-ST model, but they are probably a similar model. Perhaps they are one of the lighter bipeds see in comics such as X-Wing Rogue Squadron.

131Chapter 13
141Chapter 14

"It looks like an old spaceship crashed here," Luke said, realizing after he did so that the wreck was far larger than even one of the old Victory-class destroyers. Yet it must have lain here for hundreds of years.

161Chapter 15
173Chapter 16

"Zsinj is a great warrior, but he's not a good governor. The more we whittle away at his fleets, the faster his worlds will slip from his grasp."

Indicative of one approach the New Republic might employ to undermine and topple rogue Imperial warlords.

187Chapter 17

"I've got a fleet on its way," Isolder said. "They should be here in another seven or eight days."

Han asked, "When you say fleet, how big a fleet are you talking?"

"About eighty destroyers," Isolder said.

An indication of Hapan naval power. The expeditionary fleet assembled by Prince Isolder and his mother amounts to about eighty destroyers.



character: Sister Barukka, a witch formerly fallen with the Nightsisters but now attempting to atone.


Rell caught her breath, opened her eyes and squinted at Luke. Her leathery skin was spotted purple with age, but her eyes gleamed like brown pools. She tenderly took Luke;s hand. "Why, it's Luke Skywalker," the cron smiled in recognition, "who started the Jedi academy all those years ago." Luke flinched, for the crone had not been told his name. "How are your wife and children? Are they well?"

character: Mother Rell, elderly witch of Dathomir, reveals something of Luke Skywalker's future.

203Chapter 18

Leia chose to ride an old sow, a herd leader named Tosh, who had pale green lichens and moss growing in her warty brown skin.

character: Tosh, a semi-sentient rancor matriarch.


.... the girl telling of hunting a horned beast she called a drebbin in these mountains. Apparently the creatures preyed on rancors, though Leia found that hard to imagine.

creature: drebbin of Dathomir, a predator of rancors.


"Apparently, sir," Threepio informed them, "several Imperial Star Destroyers just jumped out of hyperspace above us. Artoo is trying to get a count of the ships now. So far, he's detected signals from fourteen ships."

Warlord Zsinj has brought reinforcements to Dathomir: at least 14 more star destroyers.


Teneniel said, "Gethzerion is her sister."

"Barukka," Luke said softly. "She was your sister, but the part of her that you loved is either gone or has been hidden very deeply."

characters: Barukka is a sister of Gethzerion.

219Chapter 19

They stood on a hill, hidden by green fanning leaves from tall waxbrush. Eight kilometres off, the lights of the prison gleamed like stars on the horizon.

location: The Imperial prison is visible from the top of a hill 8km away. Since the horizon distance is limited by the planetary radius and the viewer's altitude, this passage places indirect limits on the dimensions of Dathomir.


the only sound was the occasional croak of a lizard or the splashing of burra fish in their mud holes, until in the distance, she heard Tosh roar a lonely wailing call bidding them farewell.

creatures: burra fish; a croaking lizard of Dathomir.

229Chapter 20
245Chapter 21

"Well, you know after I destroyed his Super Star Destroyer, I sort of — well, called him personally on the holo vid, and, uh, gloated."

Solo believes that his task force actually destroyed Iron Fist.


"All right, there are six stars up there right next to each other that form a circle," she said, pointing directly above them. "The brightest one is blue. Tell me about it."

Isolder studied the star a moment. "That's the Cedre system, and it's only about three light-years from here. There is no life around that star, for it's too young, too hot. Pick another star — a yellow one, or orange."

"What about the dim star to its left? That one?"

Isolder considered. "That one is really two stars, a double system called Fere, or Feree, and it's pretty far away. Two hundred years ago, the people there had a very great culture, and they built some of the better starships in the galaxy — small luxury cruisers. I have an uncle who collects antique starships, and he has a restored Fere."

"Don't they build ships anymore?"

"No, during some wars a lot of people were moving around, checking out new worlds to hide on. Someone accidentally carried a plague to Fere and wiped out the planet. Still, if you had a powerful enough telescope, you could view the people there as they once were. The Fere were very tall, with soft skin a rich ivory, and six delicate fingers on each hand."

"How can I see them if they are all dead?" Teneniel asked, disbelieving.

"Because with a telescope, you would be seeing light that reflected off their world hundreds of years ago. Since the light is just reaching us, you would be looking into their past."


"What about the dim star beneath it?" Teneniel asked.

"That's Orelon, and I know that star very well," Isolder said. "It's big, and it's bright, and from here it is the only visible star from my home cluster, Hapes. There are really sixty-three stars very close to each other in that cluster, and my mother rules over them."

Teneniel remained quiet for a long time, thoughtful. "Your mother rules sixty-three stars?" she asked, her voice shaking.

"Yes," Isolder said.

"Does she have soldiers? Warriors and starships?"

"Billions of warriors, thousands of starships," Isolder said.


"And when you are on your home world, will you ever look up in the sky at night and see my sun, and think about me?" Her voice was choked, desolate.

"From Hapes, we cannot see your sun. It's too dim. Hapes has seven moons, and they drown out the light from stars this dim," Isolder said, wondering at her tone of voice.

locations: Cedre system; Fere/Feree system; Orelon. Prince Isolder discusses the astronomy of the region surrounding Dathomir and Hapes, and explains the scope of his mother's realm.

259Chapter 22
271Chapter 23
279Chapter 24
293Chapter 25
297Chapter 26

But as the missiles hit the fifty-metre mark, Luke dropped the shields and restarted them, so that they flickered for less than the blink of an eye. Han had never seen anyone with reflexes so sharply honed.

technology: Implies that the particle shields of the Millennium Falcon can be extended as far as fifty metres from the centre of the ship, with an interior region that is less effectively shielded. The ray shields might have a totally independent range.


Luke accelerated to attack speed, glanced up at the viewscreen and locked his sights on an enemy Star Destroyer that was besieged on either side by Hapan Battle Dragons. The sky around the Imperial destroyer was alive with TIE fighters — more than any one destroyer could carry, and the hair rose on Han's head as he realized that it must have drawn off support from other destroyers. Han checked the holo display. Two other Imperial destroyers were vectoring in, coming to the ship's rescue.
"Who is on that Star Destroyer?" Han asked, gazing at the highly protected ship.
"Zsinj," Luke answered softly. "That's the Iron Fist."

The flagship is called Iron Fist. It is not yet destroyed. Either the old Iron Fist survived with heavy damage (and Solo was mistaken in thinking it gone) or else this is an entirely new construction with the same name.

319Chapter 27

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