The main purpose of Claudia Gray’s recently published official canon novel “Star Wars: Bloodline” was to tie up some loose threads between the events of 1983’s “Return of the Jedi” and the recently released “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.
The action takes place just six years before the events of ‘Force,’ a period still barely touched in Disney’s new canon, and deals mostly with Princess Leia and how she came to be in charge of the Resistance. We also know that “Star Wars: Episode VIII” director Rian Johnson provided some elements for the novel that tie in to his film currently in production.
The setup in the book is described thus: “The New Republic has become deadlocked and splits into two ideological factions: Populists, who want to see New Republic governance shared out among member planets, and Centrists, who believe in a centralized government backed by a powerful military. Eventually, a large number of the Centrist faction officially secedes from the New Republic, joining up with Imperial remnants hiding out in the far flung reaches of space to form the First Order. “
Today, io9 has posted a report indicating they now know which elements came from Johnson thanks to Lucasfilm Story Group executive Pablo Hidalgo. Understandably a SPOILER WARNING has to be issued as this isn’t online speculation – this is official.
Hidalgo revealed the elements in a tweet saying: “The disposition of the New Republic, its political factions and the napkin incident were pieces that came from Rian.” The ‘napkin incident’ refers to an assassination attempt on Leia and a group of senators. As this came directly from Johnson it sounds like this factional divide will play a key part in the next film which opens December 2017.