Queen's Hope is a canon young-adult novel written by E. K. Johnston focusing on Senator Padmé Amidala during the Clone Wars. The novel was published first in Germany on January 25, 2022. It was published in the US on April 5, 2022 by Disney–Lucasfilm Press.
Padmé is adjusting to being a wartime senator during the Clone Wars. Her secret husband, Anakin Skwyalker, [sic] is off fighting the war, and excels at being a wartime Jedi. In contrast, when Padmé gets the opportunity to see the casualties on the war-torn front lines, she is horrified. The stakes have never been higher for the galaxy, or for the newly-married couple.
Meanwhile, with Padmé on a secret mission, her handmaiden Sabé steps into the role of Senator Amidala, something no handmaiden has done for an extended period of time. While in the Senate, Sabé is equally horrified by the machinations that happen there. She comes face to face with a gut-wrenching decision as she realizes that she cannot fight a war this way, not even for Padmé.
Back on Naboo, the secrets begin. Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker prepare for their secret wedding after the First Battle of Geonosis. Padmé is grappling with following Naboo wedding traditions without the important women in her life present. It is an emotional struggle for her to continue, but she reminds herself that it is necessary to keep her secret with Anakin. She eventually reached out to one of her former Naboo Royal Handmaidens, Yané, agreed to incorporate the traditional cloth and fashion a veil for the secret wedding. Throughout the preparation for the wedding and the ceremony Padmé regretted not being able to confide the truth with her closes friends, her former Royal Handmaidens.
Meanwhile, Skywalker was also preparing for the wedding. Reflecting on his decision, he realized he was not entirely ready for it. Acknowledging that the pure selflessness and detachment was not enough for him. He realizes that he decided he wanted to marry Padmé when he watched Beru and Owen Lars move simply together, without the force. Visiting Qui-Gon Jinn's memorial shrine, Anakin apologizes for his cruel actions against the Tusken village.
The morning of the wedding night, the present Queen of Naboo, Jamillia asks Padmé for a favor; to bring home a handful of Naboo artists of the Torada Collective that were studying on the planet Nooroyo. Uncertenty was spreading across the galaxy as the Separatist Droid Army spread. One of the artists was revealed to be Queen Jamillia's sister. After the rescue, the two returned to the lake house and made the final preparations for the wedding. Both Anakin and Padmé got dressed and prepared alone. Again, Padmé was struggling with this fact. Lonliness threatened to crush her. Almost none of her friends knew, nor could they, and her family was unaware she was even on the planet. She kept reminding herself that she was doing this for herself, she had chosen it, and she had Anakin. During the ceremony, the only witnesses were the officiant, R2-D2, and C-3PO.
Meanwhile, Padmé's closest friend and one of her best Royal Handmaidens, Sabé, was traveling back to Tatooine with Captain Tonra. Their mission was to liberate the slaves on the planet and smuggle them off-world. This being their second attempt, they planned to take the operation slower this time. Be true members of the community to gain trust. Sabé was settled and content with her mission. Always being second best and pushing herself to the side, she was enjoying becoming her own person.
Returning back to the senate, Senator Bail Organa and Senator Mon Mothma have a crucial mission that only Padmé can pull off; it requires her to be in two places at one. Padmé accepts the secret mission and calls Sabé to Coruscant to fill in as Senator Amidala while she is away. Padmé desperatly wants to tell Sabé of the secret marriage and confess to her closest friend, but she does not work up the courage. Padmé leaves for her mission with Captain Gregar Typho and Sabé passes as Senator Amidala. However, Padmé's secret is discovered when Anakin Skywalker returns from one of his Jedi mission and finds Sabé instead of Padmé. Sabé does not like Anakin, especially for the way he blatently talks about the Clone Wars and seemingly enjoys the destruction of it. Sabé is hurt that Padmé did not confide this in her, but understands to a degree. Sabé has minmal trouble passing as Senator Amidala in the various senatorial parties and meetings.
Padmé, on the other had ended up on the front lines delivering medical supplies while waiting for her mysterious contact. She discovers firsthand the destruction the two manufactured armies are causing and learns about the clone troopers Padmé later learns that her contact is a Neimoidian named Oje N'deeb who is attempting to atone for the Trade Federation's previous aggrievances and replace the senatorial spot that Lott Dod currently holds. Given the Trade Federation's past with Padmé and Naboo, her support would be monumental in the Senate. To show good intentions, Lott Dod was freeing slaves in the Chommell sector.
When Padmé returns to Coruscant Sabé confronts her on her secret marriage to Anakin. She expresses her sadness over the secret between them. Sabé plans to return to Tatooine to continue her work. She tells Padmé that her hands will always be Padmé's, but to never ask for them again. Upon returning to Tatooine, Sabé discovers that Tonra found a contact that is also trying to assist slaves in their escape. Beru Whitesun created a device to find and deactivate the slave chips to allow for their escape.
During the development of Queen's Hope, another novel set during the early Clone Wars, Brotherhood by Mike Chen, was also being written with a similar release date. As such, Johnston and Chen worked together to ensure that their books connected to each other. According to Chen, Queen's Hope is set directly before Brotherhood.
- ISBN 9783833240829; January 25, 2022; Panini Verlag; Germany paperback
- ISBN 9781368075930; April 5, 2022; Disney–Lucasfilm Press; US hardcover
- ISBN 9781368077439; April 5, 2022; 6-Copy Indie Exclusive Prepack (Indie Exclusive Signed Edition)
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