– Spoiler Review –
Leia and Evaan arrive at Naboo to start off their Alderaanian rescue mission, running into an old friend and some trouble in the process.
The flashbacks to Leia growing up on Alderaan, while short, are true highlights of this issue. We all know Luke was basically up to simple shenanigans and blasting womp rats, not making for very interesting material, but Leia was being groomed to become the next Queen of Alderaan, an ultimately more intriguing story. Of course she becomes a leader for the Rebellion instead, but all the training she goes through to be in that position, while dealing with the Empire as a member of the Senate and having a foster-father who was trying to spark a rebellion against the government, is all territory we haven’t covered before. Just the brief shots we got in #2, from her sparring in the fields instead of learning languages, to Bail teaching her values a Princess should be known for, I instantly wanted this comic to cover that period of her life instead of it’s current story; Let’s hope for more flashbacks in the next few issues.
But the story in the ‘present’ isn’t a boring one, by any means. Leia’s not on Naboo long before someone recognizes her, an old acquaintance named Lord Junn. After she explains to Junn their mission to locate a cloister of Alderaanians, including the band Melodic Order, he offers them an in with Mul Sanaka, the man who’s bar the band plays at. Their boss of sorts, Pareece, hasn’t told the band about the destruction of their home planet in fear they’ll not play well anymore and not rake in the money, though it’s obvious the decision to do so bothers her greatly. Leia follows up on Junn’s information and gets a welcoming committee of Besalisk gangsters for her trouble–a rather obvious betrayal from Junn–and is nearly killed before Pareece saves her from Sanaka. Leia’s confrontation with Junn afterwards, how she negotiates for a vehicle rather than killing him, is a great step for her character and having her speech to her fellow Alderaanians echoes Bail’s words was a nice touch.
Outside of the flashbacks, my top moment in #2 was Leia’s vision of the Padmé painting (I think it was a painting) gazing down on her. There’s so many ways to interpret the vision (I would believe was triggered by the Force) and it certainly makes me wonder just how much she’s been told about her actual mother or if Bail doesn’t really talk about his old friend. Leia did seem excited to see Padme’s image, so I’m assuming she knows something about her strength and resilience and not whatever the Empire probably wants its people to think.
The final page’s big reveal that Tula, the sister of Tace from the Melodic Order, is actually working for the Empire was pretty shocking. Why would an Alderaanian want to work for the Empire, especially after they’ve blown up their planet? Is Tula doing so willingly, which her uniform and surroundings suggest, or has she been placed in servitude? It’s a compelling question to answer, but either way, things aren’t looking good for Leia, Evaan, and the latest pickup of Alderaanian’s.
As I mentioned in the first issue’s review, the art can take a little getting used to, but it’s not terrible by any means. However, it does feel a little lacking in places, with backgrounds and city skylines looking more like blotches than anything else. But the focus here isn’t on those details, as much as we’d like them to be, so it ends up helping the reader keep to the story at hand and, in the end, it doesn’t distract too much from the proceedings. Waid’s Leia still doesn’t feel completely right, like Jason Aaron’s in the Star Wars series, but I’m really enjoying it overall.
Here are a few other things:
- The new canon has been pretty good so far about opening up the diversity of the GFFA and this series has been no exception: everyone we’re introduced to on Naboo is a person of color and #1 included some POC in the background soldiers at ANH‘s award ceremony. I look forward to seeing this more.
- Can we please, please, please get an action figure of young Leia in her sparing outfit? How cool does that look, including those gauntlets? And her outfit in the present is just as cool and functional, also making for another great action figure.
- Love to hear Han’s reaction to Leia using his last name as part of her false name.
The betrayal by Junn won’t be the last, as Leia’s mission will be finding itself under fire from the Imperials soon thanks to Tula, which helps to set up some tension and mystery for issue #3. Princess Leia has been a solid read so far, and if you can look past the somewhat off art, you’ll find an slowly evolving and engaging tale of one woman’s quest to save her people.
+ Glimpses of the past
+ The Padmé moment
– Reads a little rushed
STAR WARS CANON COMIC REVIEWS:
#1 | #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)