We have a special guest, Ordoo’s Wife joins us as we discuss the novella Moving Target. Does Leia’s conflicted emotions about her mission help or hurt her in the end? Does Leia put herself into harms way unnecessarily?
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Do you want to read the book for yourself?Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure (Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars – The Force Awakens)
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Reeling from their disastrous defeat on Hoth, the heroic freedom fighters of the Rebel Alliance have scattered throughout space. One Rebel task force protects Princess Leia aboard the freighter the Remembrance, Leia’s group is attacked by Imperial cruisers. The skirmish is short, as the captain quickly orders the fleet into hyperspace and to safety, but the Remembrance sustains serious damage and one of the other ships is stranded in the fray without shields or a way to escape. Leia is crushed as the captain makes the terrible decision to sacrifice the other ship. She begins to protest, but he reminds her that everyone in the convoy has the same mission: to keep her safe. She leaves the bridge, guilt-ridden, and returns to her quarters with C3PO, who informs her that she is to meet a transport to a secret meeting with the Alliance leadership as soon as they leave hyperspace. The transport is none other than the Mellcrawler, piloted by her friend Nien Nunb. She happily greets her friend and learns that they are bound for the planet Zastiga, far from the Empire. Han Solo is never far from her thoughts as they travel, and neither are the many casualties of the Rebellion.
When she arrives at the meeting, Leia finds all of the top military brass from the Alliance and Chancellor Mon Mothma. Admiral Ackbar reveals a hologram of the nearly completed second Death Star, much larger and more powerful than the original. Leia feels like she is in a nightmare–the rebel fleet is dispersed, barely holding on, and the Empire has the ability to simply rebuild their terrifying death machine. The military leaders agree that the new Death Star has to be destroyed before it is operational, but time is not on their side. Mon Mothma tables the discussion until the next day, swearing all to secrecy. Back in her quarters, Leia formulates a plan to buy time for the Alliance. The next morning at the meeting, she reveals the details of her plan: she and a small crew will go on a decoy recruiting mission. They will place communication beacons on three planets and set up a rendezvous at a fourth, using compromised Alliance codes to distract the Empire into following her on a wild bantha chase across the galaxy from the real action near Endor. Unfortunately, this mission would sacrifice any ships that come to the call, and Leia herself would be bait. At first, the leaders are unsure about the plan, but eventually they suggest a crew for the mission: Leia’s friend Nien Nunb as pilot, a Cerean Kidi Aleri as communications specialist, the Abednedo, Antrot as tech specialist, and a Dressellian named Major Lokmarcha as commando and protection for the team. Once Mon Mothma approves, the crew leaves aboard the Mellcrawler.
The crew immediately butts heads as naive Kidi and world-weary Lokmarcha begin arguing. Leia pulls him aside to tell him to lay off the rest of the crew, and he informs her that he knows their mission as decoys. She insists he keep the information to himself, and they travel to Basteel, where they meet a former Rebel supporter in the subterranean capital city. The meeting comes to nothing, but the former Rebel does suggest planting the beacon in the lava tubes above his home, which are used as chimneys by the natives. Leia, Lokmarcha, Kidi, and Antrot climb through the dark, vermin-infested chimney, plant the beacon, and emerge onto the frigid surface of the planet. Immediately they see that the Empire is onto them, and they take cover to wait for Nien Nunb and the Mellcrawler. From there, they continue their mission.
On the water planet Sesid, the crew travels to a volcanic island to plant the beacon and rendezvous with Aurelant, a local pirate and enemy of the Empire. Nien Nunb remains in orbit with the Mellcrawler, ready to retrieve them and move on. As they plant the second beacon, Leia and the crew realize that the Empire has already arrived. The rebels board their speedboat intent on fleeing, but Imperials, led by Captain Khione, are hot on their tail. All seems lost, until a submarine vessel captained by their contact Aurelant surfaces and offers them shelter. He informs them that the Empire has essentially locked the planet down, and they won’t be able to escape as easily as they did from Basteel. He then suggests a means of escape: by launching the hundreds of escape pods that the planet has in case one of the volcanoes blows. The Empire won’t know which pods have the crew, and the Mellcrawler can pick them up and escape. The plan works, and they continue onward to the farm world Jaresh.
On Jaresh, they meet Nyessa, a village matriarch whose people have decided to reject the Imperials. After Kidi and Antrot plant the third beacon, Leia reveals the true purpose of the mission to her crew. Kidi refuses to be a part of the deception any longer, and Leia agrees with her. They decide to help Nyessa’s villagers defend their way of life against the Empire and succeed. Afterward, they return to the Mellcrawler and prepare to leave, but Captain Khione and the Empire attack again. The crew escapes and travels to the rendezvous point. On the way, Kidi and Lokmarcha patch up their differences by falling in love and Leia asks Antrot to prepare an explosive contingency plan in case they are captured.
They tell the arriving ships the truth about the plan and warn them to get to safety as Captain Khione and her Imperial Star Destroyer arrive. The Star Destroyer locks its tractor beam on the Mellcrawler, and the crew prepare for capture. Lokmarcha reveals he has his own contingency plan for just such a situation. Later, Captain Khione comes to Leia’s cell with Lokmarcha, preparing to torture him while Leia watches, when instead Lokmarcha sets off an electromagnetic pulse bomb attached to his chest. He dies instantly and takes out the power to the detention block in the process. In the wake of Lokmarcha’s suicide, Leia knocks out Captain Khione, steals her uniform, and frees the remaining members of her crew. She escorts them out of the detention block while pretending to be the Imperial captain, and they head for the ship’s docking bay. They head toward a shuttle, when Antrot realizes that the shield is up and they can’t escape. A couple of stormtroopers realize that Leia isn’t their captain and begin firing on the crew as Antrot runs off toward the Mellcrawler and sacrifices himself and Nien Nunb’s ship to provide a safe getaway for the rest of the crew. They escape aboard a stolen shuttle and return to the Rebel Alliance.
Princess Leia Organa
Admiral Massa (Duros) Frequently Misspelled as Vassa
Yoff (underground contact on Basteel)
Daggadol (Sub-aquatic ship belonging to Aurelant on the planet Sesid)