For the last few years, Unbound Worlds has celebrated the romance of Star Wars on Valentine’s Day. In 2011, artist Chris Trevas added stunning Luke and Mara art to accompany the short story “Star Wars: Judge’s Call” by Timothy Zahn. Last year, I talked about some of the best kisses from the Star Wars universe, and Trevas topped his previous year’s piece by capturing a fan-favorite moment from Rebel Dream. Erich Schoeneweiss, Trevas, and I have been throwing around ideas for Valentine’s Day 2013 for months. One of my early thoughts was to highlight power couples in Star Wars. Then a few weeks ago, George Lucas and Mellody Hobson announced their engagement, and it felt like a sign from the Force.
For the purpose of defining power couples in Star Wars, Lucas and Hobson are the gold standard: openly committed to one another, with positions of power in their respective careers, and striving to make the world a better place. Leadership and community service both require sacrificing time with loved ones. As with the ways of the Force, power couples are all about balance.
In the Galaxy Far Far Away, Han and Leia epitomize the Star Wars power couple. She has been a senator, a Chief of State, and in later books a Jedi Knight; Han has been a general and strategist in many of the battles to save the New Republic or Galactic Alliance. Han and Leia cemented their status as a power couple in Return of the Jedi, and over the years their struggles to raise a family, fight the forces of evil, and build a better government create very personal and true-to-life conflicts in their stories. Some of my favorite books with these stories include the Thrawn Trilogy, Vector Prime and the Dark Tide duology in the New Jedi Order, and the Legacy of the Force series.
In Vision of the Future, after years of playing the part of the most eligible bachelor in the GFFA, Luke finally realizes his soulmate is Mara Jade. The newlyweds embark alone on an adventure to the Unknown Regions in Survivor’s Quest, pursuing the remnants of the long-lost Outbound Flight mission and the information it might hold about the Old Republic and the pre-Empire Jedi. In the NJO’s Force Heretic trilogy, they lead a mission across the galaxy in search of the living planet Zonama Sekot, hoping its secrets might unlock a victory against the Yuuzhan Vong.
Also in Force Heretic, Soontir and Syal Fel reemerged into the Expanded Universe to the delight of many fans. Previously, in X-Wing: Rogue Squadron: In the Empire’s Service, Soontir Fel, a Baron and lmperial ace, falls for Wynssa Starflare, a famed holostar. They flee the Empire and start a new life among the Chiss. Much of their story together is implied through the point of view of their sons Jagged and Chak Fel. Between Vision of the Future, Survivor’s Quest, and Force Heretic: Refugee, the Fels’ lives often intersect with the Solo and Skywalker power couples to spectacular conclusions that are always worth the read.
While the Jedi Order of the Prequel Trilogy discouraged attachments, the New Jedi Order didn’t forbid love or marriage. Tionne and Kam Solusar, originally early pupils to Luke in the Jedi Academy trilogy, later earn their status as Jedi Masters. In Legacy of the Force: Inferno they defend the Jedi Praxeum alongside Jedi Knight Jaina Solo and her future husband Jagged Fel, who will hopefully join the power couple ranks after the honeymoon is over.
According to lore, Corellian Jedi never shied from having families. The backstory to Corran Horn’s Jedi heritage is revealed in the X-Wing series and I, Jedi. During the course of these stories, the cocky Corellian Security officer-turned-Jedi meets his match in smuggler Mirax Terrik. Later, in the Fate of the Jedi series, Outcast and Abyss highlight their struggles to save their children and the galaxy along with them.
I sense a theme with Corellians on this list, so who better than a pair of them to round out our Star Wars power couples, and not a Force-user between them. Wedge Antilles runs the Death Star trench with Luke in A New Hope, braves the AT-ATs on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back, and escorts the Millennium Falcon into the core of the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi. Although he celebrates the defeat of the Emperor on Endor at the close of Episode VI, his work is far from done – he establishes the famed Rogue and Wraith Squadrons and helps ensure the survival of the New Republic in its earliest years. Along the way he makes a friend in Iella Wessiri, former Corellian Security partner of Corran Horn. Over the course of the X-Wing series their friendship is tested, until Wedge realizes he can’t imagine life without Iella. While the spark of their love story makes Starfighters of Adumar one of the best romances in the Expanded Universe, it’s even further down the timeline that their bond really shines. In the NJO’s Enemy Lines duology, Wedge fights to scrap together a New Republic stronghold on Borleias while his wife and children are missing after the Yuuzhan Vong assault on Coruscant. In a beautiful scene from Rebel Dream (pages 75-78) that reminds fans how families are affected by war, his longtime friend Face Loran delivers Iella and the Antilles’ girls Syal and Myri safely to Wedge.
Wedge rose. “Face! I was afraid you were lost on Coruscant. Come in.”
Garik “Face” Loran, leader of the covert Intelligence team known as the Wraiths, shook his head. “Later. For now, I’m just here to drop off a package.”
“What package -”
She moved around Face, entering the office just short of a dead run. She was tall, Wedge’s average stature making them the same height, and slender, with dark blond hair now frosted attractively with gray. In her youth she’d been an extraordinary beauty; now, to Wedge’s perception, lines of laughter and worry accentuated that beauty rather than detracted from it.
Suddenly, he was on the other side of the desk – by running or vaulting, he could not recall – and enfolding her in his arms. “Iella…”
For their bravery, commitment to one another, and longstanding status as fan favorites, Chris Trevas has captured a moment with Wedge and Iella from Starfighters of Adumar. We hope you enjoy it.
Happy Valentine’s Day to Star Wars fans everywhere, and best wishes to George Lucas and Mellody Hobson for their future.
We want to know: Who are your favorite Star Wars power couples?
Tricia Barr admits that when she first met Chris Trevas, she was only able to mutely point at her phone’s wallpaper – a close up of last year’s Jaina and Jag first kiss artwork. She did manage to put together a few coherent sentences after the fact to coordinate this post. You can follow Chris Trevas at his website or on Facebook. Many thanks to Erich Schoeneweiss at Del Rey who coordinates the approvals through Lucasfilm. You can follow Tricia on her website FANgirl or on Twitter. If you like romance and power couples in your science fiction and fantasy, be sure to check out details of Tricia’s upcoming novel Wynde.