– Light Spoiler Review –
It’s about time Princess Leia got her share of the new canon spotlight and Marvel’s latest comic gives her a chance to step up, covering her story directly following A New Hope with Princess Leia #1, which sets up what could potentially be a unique and very memorable adventure for Leia.
The Rebel Alliance leaders don’t want Leia running around the galaxy scouting for new bases, now that the Empire has a significant bounty on her head and they order her to stay put. But sitting still after the death of her planet, family, and friends, plus the news about the Empire hunting down surviving Alderaanians doesn’t particularly go over well with Leia. She decides to round up as many survivors as she can, finding an unlikely accomplice in a fellow Alderaanian, a female pilot named Evaan, who has a mixture of disdain and reverence for Leia.
What made me enjoy Princess Leia #1 the most were all the little interactions between characters, especially with Evaan and Leia. Evaan’s dislike for Leia is clear, mainly because she and many other soldiers believe Leia isn’t mourning the death of Bail, Breha, and the rest of Alderaan properly. But because of Evaan’s upbringing with Queen Breha herself, she respects the House royalty and pledges herself to Leia, who’d rather they be friends because of their shared planet, not Master and servant. Their dynamic is entertaining and engaging, which is a good thing considering it’s an essential component to this 5 issue series.
The little conversation Luke has with Leia was great on two fronts: one, because it address a minor critique of A New Hope, where Luke got to cry on Leia’s shoulder over Ben’s death but Leia didn’t get a shoulder for Alderaan; while secondly, in-universe Luke finally thanks her for it and basically admits she deserved it way more than he did. Overall a minor thing, but a greatly appreciated exchange between eventual brother and sister. On the flip-side, General Dodonna plays the over-protective parent despite Leia thoroughly proving she can handle herself, though it’s slightly understandable considering there’s a 10 million bounty out for her head (the aurebesh message mentions her dead, not alive).
As for the art, with pencils and inks by Terry and Rachel Doddson, it’s initially hard to get used to, especially with everyone in their movie garb at the beginning. The style slowly grew on me though, and while not as ‘realistic’ looking as the Star Wars or Darth Vader series, it helps bring more focus on the characters plump but expressive faces while highlighting their surroundings. The writing, by Mark Waid, doesn’t always seem to gel with the Leia we all know–I didn’t always hear Leia’s (Carrie Fisher’s) voice–but she didn’t seem to fall into any specific stereotype past writer’s have had a tendency to throw her into.
Here are a few other things:
- I couldn’t help myself from laughing when Ackbar shouted, “Being cursed with human hands is no excuse for clumsiness!” to some poor hapless Rebel soldier.
- R2-D2’s thoughts on Leia’s mission, shown on the shuttle’s panel in Aurebesh, translates to “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” which is probably the first time a droid has had the chance to utter the oft-used phrase.
- Hologram inception was a neat trick.
- Lots of diversity added to the throne room celebration scene.
- I really liked the design of the shuttle Evaan and Leia take.
- There was some unintentional Evaan cosplay at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim.
Leia out searching for the surviving Alderaanians is a story definitely worth being told and so far Princess Leia is doing a good job of it. Teaming her up with a fellow survivor who has a few chips on her shoulder was an inspired idea and if the story ends up falling flat, we’ll at least always have Evaan and Leia’s interactions.
+ Leia taking charge of her destiny
+ Solid set-up
– Art takes a little getting used to
STAR WARS CANON COMIC REVIEWS:
#2 | #3 | #4 | #5
Skywalker Strikes (#1-6) | Old Ben’s Journals | Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon (#8-12) | Rebel Jail (#16-19) | The Last Flight of the Harbinger (#21-25)
Vader Down (crossover of Star Wars and Darth Vader on-goings)
Vader (#1-6) | Shadows and Secrets (#7-12) | The Shu-Torun War (#16-19) | End of Games (#20-25) | Annual: #1
The Last Padawan (#1-6) | First Blood (#7-12)
Poe Dameron (on-going)
Han Solo (mini-series)
Obi-Wan & Anakin (mini-series)
Shattered Empire (mini-series)
Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir (mini-series)