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ost Star Wars fans are familiar with the story of Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala. They were two unlikely halves of a darkly destined whole, their romance doomed from its very beginning. But the convergence of their paths remains a staple in Star Wars lore. Thanks to E.K. Johnston, however, these key moments in the history of a galaxy far, far away are now being told through Padmé’s eyes.

Though Queen’s Hope has officially been delayed until 2022, the day of its original release has still manifested a new excerpt in place of the book that would have kicked off November’s Star Wars book and comic releases.

The StarWars.com exclusive excerpt includes passages from both Padmé and Anakin. The first of Padmé’s portions is below.

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The sun had risen but not yet cleared the mountains when Padmé dove into the lake. It was her favorite time to go swimming, that moment when there was enough light to see by before the day had truly begun. The water was clear and cold, like always. The lake was fed by mountain streams, and the Naboo took care not to pollute it with agricultural runoff. Before the heat of the day warmed the waters, swimming was an abrupt wake-up. Padmé wanted a clear head.

It wasn’t that she felt muddled or unsure of what she was doing. If anything, her conversation with Yané the night before and the meditative hours spent sewing had made her more certain. What troubled her was that she had always thought of herself as a straightforward and honest person. Yes, she kept secrets, but they were for the sake of her planet, her people. And there were always some who knew the whole story. Now her truths were split, divided amongst those she cared about, and none of them had the whole picture. Only she did, alone and at the center of her own life.

She liked it. Even though she ached for her friends and missed her parents and sister, she loved the solitude of this moment, of knowing her decision was hers alone. It was contradictory, something else she’d never been, but she was growing up, and that was bound to change her.

For so long, her life had revolved around other people’s perception of her. What she should do and how she should dress. How her decisions would affect masses of people she had never met. It was a tremendous burden, and she’d carried it since she was a child. She hadn’t minded—at times she had reveled in the responsibility—but with the freedom of being unknown in front of her, she felt a surge of excitement. Anakin was going to be hers, and she was going to be his, and almost no one in the whole galaxy would share that with them.

Padmé dove down as deep as she could, staying under the water where it was quiet for as long as possible. When her lungs burned for air, she kicked up, breaking the surface with a cascade of water droplets glinting in the morning sun. Everything was perfect. The lake, the house, her spirit. She had built so many things in her life—houses and hospitals, alliances and accords—and now she’d have something that was just for her. Well, just for her and Anakin. They would be something new. And even though they would keep it to themselves, Padmé knew that their love would shine brightly.

The day was starting. She would have to go back to real life eventually. But the lake reminded her, as it always did, of the peace and quiet of home and the promise of places no one else could reach. She kicked toward the pier, refreshed and ready to face the day.

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You can read the full excerpt on StarWars.com.

The next installment in E.K. Johnston’s series of Padmé-focused books arrives April 5, 2022. You can view our complete Book Profile for more details and pre-order your copy now.

For a complete list of recent and upcoming Star Wars book and comic releases, visit our regularly updated Release Schedule.

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Meg is a writer, podcaster, and photographer. She lives in Illinois with her dog and medal-worthy book collection, and believes any conversation in which Star Wars references are applicable is one worth having.