More than just a novelization, in her Expanded Edition Mur Lafferty offers us glimpses of scenes cut from the film and gives further development to some of the other characters. We learn more about what happened to Qi’Ra after the spaceport and get more insight into Tobias Beckett and his relationship with Val. Lafferty gives us a new insight into L3’s fate and ends with a wonderful epilogue that nicely links the movie to yet more parts of the Star Wars lore.
From a prologue that nicely captures young Han’s personality, to looks into the White Worms den that are somehow even more cringe-inducing than seeing it on screen, to Han’s time in the military and that wonderful epilogue, Lafferty’s adaptation is what we imagine reading a director’s cut would be like!
Young Han dreams of someday soaring into space at the helm of his own starship and leaving his home, the gritty industrial planet Corellia, far behind. But as long as he’s trapped in a life of poverty and crime—and under the thumb of the sinister Lady Proxima and her brutal street gang—reaching the distant stars seems impossible. When Han tries to escape with his girlfriend and partner-in-crime, Qi’ra, he makes it out—but she doesn’t. Desperate for a way to find his own offworld vessel and free her, Han enlists in the Imperial Navy—the last place for a rebellious loner who doesn’t play well with others.
When the Empire clips his wings, Han goes rogue and plunges into the shady world of smugglers, gamblers, and con artists. There he meets the charming and cunning high roller Lando Calrissian, makes an unlikely friend in a cantankerous Wookiee called Chewbacca, and first lays eyes on the Millennium Falcon. To snag his piece of the outlaw pie, Han joins a crew of pirates to pull off a risky heist. The stakes are high, the danger is great, and the odds are slim. But never tell Han Solo the odds.