What Drove Han And Leia Apart Between 'Return Of The Jedi' And 'The Force Awakens'?

Next week brings the arrival of Aftermath: Empire's End, the third book in a new trilogy of Star Wars stories that help fill in the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. The book series has done a fine job of giving us some details about what happened between the end of the last Star Wars trilogy and the beginning of a new one, introducing us to new characters while also revealing what characters like Han Solo, Leia Organa, and Chewbacca have been up to, and the latest book is no exception.

Aftermath: Empire's End has already revealed an excerpt that taps us into what happened to Lando Calrissian after Return of the Jedi, and now more information about what Han Solo and Leia Organa have been up to will be featured in the book as well. In fact, the book shows us what may have led to the Han and Leia break up, despite having a child between them.StarWars.com has a new excerpt from Aftermath: Empire's End that hints at the Han and Leia separation to come. It's a rather long excerpt which begins with Leia at home with her protocol droid, T-2LC. Pounding on the door is Han Solo, who has just returned with a bag of jogan fruit, something that the doctor has suggested Leia eat more of while she's pregnant. Here's a key part of the excerpt that dials us into the wedge that seems to be building between Han and Leia:

"Dr. Kalonia said to incorporate jogan into my diet, not to replace everything with jogan fruit."

He sweeps up on her, cradling her face with his rough hand. He strokes her cheek gently. "All right, all right. I'm just trying to do right by you two."

"I know, Han."

"If I think I can help, I'll always help. With whatever you or our son needs. You know that, right?"

She laughs. "I know."

It's been hard for Han. He won't say it out loud, but she can see it on his face. Her husband needs something to do. He's bored. Chewbacca's back home, looking for his family. Luke's searching the galaxy for old Jedi teachings. Han Solo's got nothing to smuggle, nowhere to gamble, no foolish Rebellion to fight for.

He's like the Falcon: retired to a hangar somewhere, waiting for something, anything, to happen.

So he buys fruit. Lots and lots of fruit.

And, of course, he worries about her. He turns her toward the table and the star map. "You're not still on this, are you?"

As you read in the text, Leia can tell that Han is having trouble being stuck on the ground with nothing to do. Perhaps this is something that builds inside Han until it eventually comes to a head once their future son turns to the Dark Side. It seems strange that Han doesn't have anything to do while Leia is trying to figure out how to free these other worlds from the remaining sects of the Empire who haven't given up yet. There may not be a Rebellion anymore, but surely someone like Han would have some place in this continued struggle.

Following this conversation, Han and Leia have a back and forth about the latter's plan to help liberate other worlds from the grip of Imperial control, just like they did on Chewbacca's homeworld of Kashyyyk (something that is consistently referenced throughout the Aftermath series). Han thinks they got lucky in that victory, but if he's really struggling with being away from his old lifestyle, then you would think he might be more interested in Leia's potential plan. You can read more about that in the longer excerpt at StarWars.com.

There's undoubtedly more left to be revealed about Han and Leia, and maybe we'll get even more details about this rift that is coming between the two heroes in the rest of Aftermath: Empire's End. The book hits shelves next week on February 21.