The "Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens" continues with a Princess Leia story. After reading stories about Han Solo and Luke Skywalker written for kids I expected Leia's story to be my least favorite, because I liked the other two heroes more as a kid. Would Leia's story excite me for the movie or would my low expectations be met?
Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure by Cecil Castellucci and Jason Fry finds Princess Leia in a dilemma. Being a former Imperial Senator and a head of state, the Empire has put a high price on her head. And she is determined to do something to save her love, Han Solo, from the clutches of Jabba the Hutt. With the Rebels receiving plans of a new Death Star she must decided which crisis she will address. She chooses the Rebellion andhelps plan a daring attack before the new Death Star can be brought online. In this case it is determined that she would serve as a suitable distraction to keep the Empire from interfering with the converging of the Rebel fleet before they make an attack on the Imperial super weapon near Endor. Leia and a rag tag group of rebels attempt to recruit resistance in a backwater area of the galaxy, knowing the whole time any volunteers would find themselves captured and likely killed. While on the run from an Imperial pursuer, Leia balances duty and what is right.
Moving Target is my absolute favorite of the three kids books to ready fans for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It is much more action packed than the other two books, Luke spent a lot of time training. And it is faster more intense as Leia and her team move from planet to planet. Sometimes it is scary and definitely the story is tense. We also get some great character development, which makes me want Princess Leia to be in a key Rebel position. She is the leader we want and need. She always exceeds our exceptions. Her crew as a group works well, especially since story devices and tensions we expect are used successfully so we can understand their motives quickly.
There are solid tie-ins to other books. The use of a ship is Star Wars: Shattered Empire becomes quickly clear. Honestly, it may spoil this plot a tiny bit. Additionally, the story does a great job of serving as an introduction to Return of the Jedi for the three people who have not seen it yet. Moving Target has Easter Eggs that fans will love. And to get ready for the movie, the Epilogue makes it clear that new live-action hero Poe Dameron is dedicated and skilled though also rash.
Moving Target by Castellucci and Fry is fast paced, action filled, and contains great character development. Princess Leia is a leader the Rebellion needs. Though written for kids, adults will also enjoy this installment.