The Courtship of Princess Leia Author Dave Wolverton Dead at 64

His son announced his death on social media. The author, who kept his name for his sci-fi work, also penned a plethora of fantasy novels and series under the name David Farland, and wrote several time for the Star Wars saga in the wake of his own series like the aforementioned Serpent Catch. The Star Wars Missions and Star Wars Episode 1 Adventures game/novel series were written by Wolverton, as well as short stories included in famous anthologies such as Tales From Jabba's Palace and Tales of the Bounty Hunters. He will be remembered for his only adult readers entry into the Expanded Universe novel line: The Courtship of Princess Leia.

The definitive answer to a question fans have had since the end of Return of the Jedi was given in Courtship. The answer was very complex. Courtship is beloved and reviled in equal measure for its convoluted plot to get Han and Leia married, which involves Han briefly owning a planet, a very silly prince named Isolder from a very powerful planet called Hapes, and a song sung by C3PO. There is only one way to do it. He is every princess's dream. It is one of the best examples of the Expanded Universe at its highest and lowest, more than a little silly, more than a little loving, and somehow in spite of all that, one of the most enduringly influential pieces of Star Wars fiction.

The EU concepts that have survived into the current iteration of Star Wars canon were introduced by courtship, and they show us the wild road to Organa-Solo matrimonial mayhem. The Hapes cluster became an important star system in the old EU as part of the New Republic's expansion in the wake of Return of the Jedi, and introduced important future characters like the Imperial Warlord Zsinj and Isolder's daughter Tenel Ka Djo. Dathomir is the planet that Han owned. The Nightsisters, a tribe of Force-wielding mystics, were elevated into primary Star Wars continuity through the introduction of The Clone Wars animated series.

The Witches of Dathomir were influenced by the concepts created by Wolverton, from their sinister lens onto the powers of the Force and its dark side, to even the idea of them as warriors riding into battle atop Rancors. It is a legacy that continues to this day, with the Witches being mentioned in the most recent episode of The Book of Boba Fett, which could mean that its eponymous ex-Bounty Hunter is entertaining the idea of learning how to ride a Rancor himself.

Despite all that, the continued influence of Wolverton's work in Star Wars tie-in fiction is unquestioned. Our thoughts are with his family.

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