– Spoiler Review –
Princess Leia #5 draws the series to a rather swift, untimely, and rough close, though it should be remembered more for its brave (and oft debated) portrayal of Leia and the fun new character of Evaan, than the shortcomings it suffered due to being a limited series.
When I say a brave depiction of Leia, she’s not really what you’d remember or think from the films, or even in the main Star Wars comic series itself, but instead it’s a whole different side of her steeped in her character’s origins and still feels true to the character we know and love. I’d argue, throughout the films, Leia is roughly 75% Anakin and 25% Padmé in her personality, but we all know she had a life as a diplomat long before we met her in A New Hope. The Leia throughout the Princess Leia series feels more like that diplomat, meaning a 50/50 or even 60% Padmé/40% Anakin personality, showing off her humanitarian tendencies and the passionate drive to see them through (just like we saw Padmé do throughout The Clone Wars), a long with some of her diplomatic background from the Organa’s. Initially, I found her portrayal in the series almost as odd as the art itself, but slowly it grew on me and made more sense once I considered her parental background and upbringing.
Princess Leia #5 literally wastes no time wrapping up it’s story threads, no matter how loosely: resolving the prisoner exchange of Tula for Leia in a few panels, the Imperials launching an immediate attack on the Alderaan cloister Leia has built, having Leia reunite her people by giving a rousing speech, the Alderaanians coming together to win, and Leia returning to the Rebellion. As satisfying as it is to see many of these things come to pass, having only 5 issues hasn’t given the story the room to breath like it could and ends up feeling like a whole bunch of glossed over opportunities.
Tace is suddenly, and finally, angry at her sister but a few panels later they huddle together in fear of the battle outside so we’re left to assume they get along; Nien Nunb ends up feeling like a deus ex machina rather than a fun cameo; it feels contrived that the Alderaan ships couldn’t have exited the star system or gotten out of the Star Destroyer’s path in time; and not showing how Evaan is appointed as the new Princess of Alderaan is a disappointment.
But you read that right: Evaan is the Princess of (new) Alderaan! I’ve certainly enjoyed her character, as she’s acted as a nearly perfect midpoint to Luke and Han in this part of Leia’s tale. Her arc has taken her from a grumpy, jaded, and non-believer in Leia to someone who is not only willing to call her friend, but has learned many valuable lessons about leadership, especially the special brand Leia (like her mother before her) implements. I’m glad to see she hasn’t yet perished and her going off with the rest of the Alderaanians in search of a new homeworld is a great and unexpected way to explain her absence from the films.
Here are a few other things:
- Did you think it was odd that Leia returned to Yavin IV considering she left the planet in #1 just as the Rebellion was working on evacuating? I’m right there with you…and so is Editor-in-Chief Jordan D. White, who is surprised the Story Group let it go through and regrets doing it in the first place. This was an issue in the Legends universe too, where it was never clear just how much time the Rebellion spent on Yavin IV before hightailing it out of there, but with all the new Star Wars incoming it should be on the bottom of your list of worries.
- With Nien Nunb getting such a big role in the new canon now, is he still alive by The Force Awakens time? Because the new BTS video for the film sure makes it seem that way. UPDATE: Yes, yes he is.
It’s unfortunate Princess Leia was a limited run, as just a few more issues would’ve possibly let the story stretch enough to make it a more coherent and less rushed affair. But as it stands, #5 reminds us why we all love Leia in the first place, while setting up its great new character Evaan to have a more important role in the future. Hopefully, we’ll get to see that one day.
+ Leia and Evaan…forever
+ Princess Evaan
– Missed opportunities
– Rushed ending
STAR WARS CANON COMIC REVIEWS:
#1 | #2 | #3 | #4
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)