The birth of Han and Leia's son Ben is one of the most significant events that happened between The Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. In an excerpt from Chuck Wendig's Star Wars Aftermath: Empire's End iO9 shared, we learn that Lando Calrissian's been too busy to pay attention to Han, Leia, and their baby.
First, here's an excerpt from the third and final book of Wendig's Aftermath series:
EVERY END IS A NEW BEGINNING.
As the final showdown between the New Republic and the Empire draws near, all eyes turn to a once-isolated planet: Jakku.
The Battle of Endor shattered the Empire, scattering its remaining forces across the galaxy. But the months following the Rebellion’s victory have not been easy. The fledgling New Republic has suffered a devastating attack from the Imperial remnant, forcing the new democracy to escalate their hunt for the hidden enemy.
For her role in the deadly ambush, Grand Admiral Rae Sloane is the most wanted Imperial war criminal—and one-time rebel pilot Norra Wexley, back in service at Leia’s urgent request, is leading the hunt. But more than just loyalty to the New Republic drives Norra forward: Her husband was turned into a murderous pawn in Sloane’s assassination plot, and now she wants vengeance as much as justice.
But Sloane, too, is on a furious quest: pursuing the treacherous Gallius Rax to the barren planet Jakku. As the true mastermind behind the Empire’s devastating attack, Rax has led the Empire to its defining moment. The cunning strategist has gathered the powerful remnants of the Empire’s war machine, preparing to execute the late Emperor Palpatine’s final plan. As the Imperial fleet orbits Jakku, an armada of Republic fighters closes in to finish what began at Endor. Norra and her crew soar into the heart of an apocalyptic clash that will leave land and sky alike scorched. And the future of the galaxy will finally be decided.
The excerpt follows Lando as he recollects how he took back Cloud City, and he has a silly idea for a baby gift in any galaxy.
After Lando left Cloud City, the Empire took over and left it in shambles. Here's what Lando finds when he returns:
“Lobot, we’re home.” Lando lifts a dubious eyebrow as he looks around, exasperated. “Guess the Empire didn’t keep up with housekeeping.”
This is the Casino level. Game machines line the smooth blue alactite floors far as the eye can see. Sabacc tables, too. And pazaak. And jubilee wheels. Along the far wall are banks of holoprojectors meant to show the latest swoop race down on the track-tubes piped through Bespin’s toxic Red Zone atmosphere. Once, this was a shining pillar of gambling excess: classy and bright with light coming in through windows looking out over the sun-kissed clouds. Now it’s wrecked. Trash drifts and tumbles. Machines have been turned over, their credits cut from inside like food from a beast’s belly. The windows are covered over with metal. The holoprojectors are dark.
In the book, Lando had to choose a side between the Rebellion and the Empire, and his choice paid off. He imagined what his life would be like after the Battle of Endor, but it turned out to be different:
It paid off. The Empire is gone. And now he’s a hero of the Rebellion (and oh, you can be sure he used that to con more than his fair share of free drinks, not to mention the attention of beautiful admirers). But all he wants is his city back. After Endor, he thought he would just be able to sweep in here like a handsome king retaking his throne in the sky—but then that son-of-a-slug Governor Adelhard formed the Iron Blockade. He kept the people here trapped not only by a well-organized Imperial remnant, but also by a grand lie: that Palpatine was not dead. And Lando knows that old shriveled cenobite is dead—because he’s the one who took out the Death Star’s reactor core. And because Luke said the monster was dead. Can you believe it? Palpatine and Vader. Both gone. Two scourges, scoured from the galaxy.
Suddenly he had a second war to fight. Here he thought the Empire was done for and Cloud City was once again his. What an eager fool. Nothing’s ever that simple, is it? It took months and months. He had to stage an uprising. Had to interface with Lobot on the inside. Had to cash in favors with a handful of scoundrels—like Kars Tal-Korla, that pirate. All because the New Republic wouldn’t commit a military action to retaking the city. He respects it, he understands it, and Leia put it best when she said, “The Rebellion was easy, Lando. Governing’s harder.” The chancellor was just trying to hold on to whatever advantage she had—and then with the Liberation Day attack on Chandrila
Here's the section of the excerpt in which Lando ponders a baby gift:
As they walk, Lobot looks over at him as a new communication flashes across his wrist: I am told to remind you that the princess will soon give birth and you have not yet procured for them the standard natal gift.
“What? That’s impossible. She was just—I swear they just got married—didn’t I just get them a nuptial gift?”
It has been the proper biological time. You just do not realize how much time has passed. We have been busy.
“So have they, I guess.”
Also, you never got them a nuptial gift.
He sighs. “Okay, okay. Buying gifts for a kid. Can we get him a cute little cape and a mustache so he looks like old Uncle Lando?”
Lobot doesn’t respond, offering only a humorless stare.
“Fine, fine, I’ll think about it.” His mind drifts briefly to Han and Leia. Han, one of his oldest and greatest friends. And sure, one of his greatest rivals, too. He misses that old reprobate. The crazy times they had!
That's probably why Ben turned into the Dark Side. Empire's End will be available Feb. 21.
Check out the full excerpt at iO9