As one of the few short stories published as part of ‘The New Jedi Order’, ‘Recovery’ fills in part of the story focused on Han and Leia during the events of ‘Edge of Victory 1: Conquest’.
Starting in a hospital on Corellia, Han protects Leia and a vaguely familiar female Jedi from a group of possible Yuuzhan Vong sympathisers. Once the fight is over and the three attackers are dead, Han and Leia must leave the planet once Han’s cousin, Thracken Sal-Solo gets involved. They manage to retrieve the Female Jedi and bring her along in a Bacta Tank and leave the planet, finding another Jedi, Izal Waz on board the Millennium Falcon.
During their escape where they are attacked by possible members of The Peace Brigade, Han finds out that there are three Jedi Barabel on board helping with their escape.
Han and Leia learn that the Jedi they rescued from the Hospital is Eelysa, a former student of Luke’s who trained the Barabel Jedi, Seba Sebatyne who’s children she later took on as part of her group, the Wild Knights.
Trusting their new allies, Han directs the Falcon to a rendezvous with the rest of the Wild Knights who have a facility where Leia and Eelysa can heal.
As Leia’s legs heal from their wounds on Duro, she and Han reconnect, both of them realising where they have gone wrong in the past year, with Han grief-stricken and heading out on his own and Leia deep diving into the political arena of the War and both coming to an understanding of where they should have been and promising to work as a team from now on.
As Leia recuperates, Han and C-3PO look into possible suspects and all fingers point to the Senator from Kuat, Viqi Shesh, who, unbeknownst to the heroes, is an ally of the Yuuzhan Vong and the main proponent for a new bill to outlaw the Jedi.
After a tense return to Coruscant, a near death chase and an excellent use of a hover-wheel chair, Han and Leia manage to make it to a meeting of the Senate Corruption Panel. Shesh has deliberately missed the session and her Chief-Aide blusters his way through the session before the judge contacts Shesh herself, informing her that, despite the vote still happening a week from the hearing, her position in the Senate was suspended.
The following week, Leia gets the good news hat her legs are now fully healed and the vote to outlaw the Jedi doesn’t go through, but Luke is concerned and comes up with the idea for a great “river” which any Jedi in need of safe passage could use to pass through the Galaxy in safety. Leia and Han take up the chance to make the Galaxy safer for their children and also take the time to reconnect.
Originally published as an e-book, ‘Recovery’ was one that I missed when it first came out when I was but a wide-eyed teenager. When I read ‘Star by Star’, also by Troy Denning in paper-back (my second time) in which ‘Recovery’ was later published I skipped it in favour of diving right back into the main book.
Luckily, like the paperback version of ‘Star by Star’, ‘Recovery’ is published as part of the larger book and I’m really glad I got to read it this time around.
‘Recovery’ is, at its core, the story of a husband and wife reconnecting after tragedy has struck their family and a much needed aside for the ongoing ‘New Jedi Order’ series. Even though they seemed to have a reconciliation in ‘Balance Point ‘ and (if like me you didn’t read these in chronological order) by the time we get to ‘Rebirth’ the second of the ‘Edge of Balance’ books, the Han and Leia relationship is definitely on the mend, ‘Recovery’ is the story of how they get there, and the level of treatment Leia has to go through to heal after almost losing her legs in ‘Balance Point’.
Looking back, this is the kind of story we could have had in the canon timeline had Han not been killed by Kylo Zeen, a nice little aside as a book or comic that just focused on Han and Leia after their reunion on Takodana. However, and this isn’t me saying anything negative about the canon timeline or the choices made by the creative team, it was not meant to be, but at least there was some reconciliation between the two.
Whilst the focus is on Han and Leia, we are also introduced to the Barabel Jedi who later play a large role in Dennings novel ‘Star by Star’, and whilst they get an introduction in that novel, it’s fun for the completionists to get that little bit more information.
However, there is one little thing that has niggled me about this short story, and it’s really a minor detail that, when viewed as part of this story it’s a lovely detail but doesn’t add up for the next chronological entry which is ‘Edge of Victory: Rebirth’ which is the inclusion of Anakin at the end of the book being on Coruscant.
But in ‘Rebirth’, it is mentioned that Anakin hasn’t left the Errant Venture since he rescued Tahiri from the Yuuzhan Vong on Yavin IV. Now, it’s a ridiculously small oversight and could easily be explained, and in terms of continuity errors it’s minor, just a little distracting.
A lovely story about a married couple reconnecting set against the backdrop of war, a nice break from the onslaught that is the Yuuzhan Vong invasion and a nice chance for us to see more of Han and Leia together which we haven’t had for a while. Also a lesson to myself to not avoid the short stories in this series, on pain of FOMO.
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