On this week’s episode of The Star Wars Show: Andi and Anthony give us a sneak peek at Padme from Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn: Alliances and her mission on the planet Batuu (also part of the Galaxy’s Edge theme park), plus a brand new excerpt from the upcoming novel. We get more details on the Star Wars Fan Awards and find out who will be the special guests for The Clone Wars 10th anniversary panel at San Diego Comic-Con next week. Andi also sits down with actor David W. Collins to talk about his rich Star Wars experiences and stories.
The release of Timothy Zahn’s new novel Thrawn: Alliances, scheduled for July 24th, is approaching and the promotion is in a full swing. The official Star Wars site just release another excerpt from the novel, including audio book version, which features Padmé Amidala who will apparently share the adventure with Anakin and Thrawn in the Clone War timeline.
The excerpt finds Padmé crashing on the surface of Batuu in search for a lost friend named Duja…
Duja’s ship—Padmé had never known its real name, but the current ID beacon listed it as the Possibility—was small and cramped and, to the casual observer, completely harmless.
But the casual observer would be wrong. The ship boasted extra shielding, twin laser cannons in the front and one in the rear, and a pair of top-grade proton torpedoes. More a pocket fighter than a simple transport, it had evaded Batuu’s pitiful police force with ease.
It should, she thought dully from inside the cockpit escape pod, make for a spectacular crash.
She still didn’t know how that vulture droid had gotten her. She’d arrowed straight into Mokivj as soon as she hit the system, then crossed the wide expanses of plain, scrubland, and lake at the lowest altitude she dared. Combined with the Possibility’s compact size, that should have let her slip past anything patrolling the area around Duja’s coordinates. Clearly, it hadn’t worked. The vulture had nailed her, and she’d never seen it coming. Apparently, the Batuu police pursuit had damaged her ship more than she’d realized. She’d barely had time to kick it high enough to give the escape pod time to deploy before the whole thing began to come apart.
And now, as she burned at a controlled fall toward the hills below, she watched the multiple pieces of the Possibility arcing their fiery way toward the distant landscape.
Like Duja herself, the ship had faced its final challenge and lost. Now it was up to Padmé to avenge them both.
Though that was starting to look increasingly unlikely. The fragments of the Possibility were still blazing and smoking their way through the air, and already she could see a handful of vulture droids starting to gather over the horizon ahead. So far they didn’t seem to have spotted her pod amid the rest of the debris, but the minute her repulsorlifts came on they would probably spot the unnatural shift in trajectory.
Even if they didn’t, the terrain below hardly offered much hope for escape. The hillside was covered in jagged rocks, grass, and wide bushes, with no decent cover for several kilometers around her. There was a glint of sunlight from the river meandering its way downslope; she could see the bushes rippling in a breeze coming over the hill—
She caught her breath. The river.
It would be risky, but right now it was the only shot she had. Taking a last look at the distant vulture droids, she settled her hands on the controls and got to work.
The pod had the standard range of steering capabilities that would offer the passenger a choice of landing sites. But like the repulsorlifts, using the thrusters ran the risk of drawing the vultures’ attention. Fortunately, the river was nearly below her, and it took only a small and brief nudge on the controls to bring her onto the proper vector. She watched the river rushing toward her, trying to judge the exact trade-off point where the risk of droid detection and the chances of breaking her back with the impact were both at their lowest. Fifty meters . . . forty . . . thirty . . . ten . . . Bracing herself, she hit the repulsorlift control.
The deceleration she’d programmed in was more intense than she’d expected, slamming her hard into her seat with an abrupt multiple g-force. Even so, the pod hit the river with an impressive splash, and she watched the water level run up the viewport as the pod submerged. She shut down the repulsorlifts and huffed out a relieved sigh.
She wasn’t prepared for the repulsorlifts to suddenly reactivate themselves.
She grabbed the controls again, forcing a manual shutdown. But it wasn’t enough. Even without them the pod had enough buoyancy to start a slow drift back toward the surface. Probably a deliberate safety design, and under most circumstances she would have welcomed it.
Here, though, a bobbing escape pod would pretty well guarantee her capture.
You can read the entire excerpt from Zahn’s follow-up to last years Thrawn as well as listen Marc Thomson narration of it on the official site. The Padmé Amidala poster is available only in the Barnes & Noble exclusive edition.