I haven’t felt compelled to review every comic that comes out because, eh, it’s too much work. But since lots of other people are reviewing it and Leia just so happens to be my co-favorite character with Anakin, I figure I’ll throw in my two credits’ worth.
I was glad to see Marvel tackle a story involving everyone’s favorite princess because the main heroines in Star Wars often get short shrift in terms of storytelling outside of the films. For years I’d wanted a novel series about Leia’s formative years and it still hasn’t been written (though Martha Wells wrote a Leia-centric novel in 2013 and Brian Wood’s Star Wars comics for Dark Horse gave her a pretty meaty role). Padmé has been utilized even less than Leia and there are many interesting stories in her too. So of course I picked up this issue.
We’ll have to see how the rest of it turns out but I have mixed feelings about issue #1. The art seemed to shoot for the kind of loose interpretation in depicting the character rather than capturing how she actually looks. In other words, this Leia looks nothing like the Leia in the films: the comic version has a mostly different face and is far more statuesque than the real five foot and change princess. It’s the same kind of Star Wars comic art where Luke is turned from a young, thin Mark Hamill into a square-jawed 35-year-old hunk of muscle who looks more like a combination of Prince Valiant and He-Man. The original character introduced as Leia’s co-star is herself a glamazon.
I also didn’t buy the mad pursuit of X-Wings after Leia and Evaan. This is the woman who literally saved the Alliance from destruction and they’re like shooting at her trying to escape? A bit too aggro, especially after so much of the book was devoted to how the brass was protective of Leia to the point of practically not letting her outside. I also think that she would’ve been able to convince them of the importance of helping Alderaan’s survivors as not only her duty as the lone survivor of the House of Organa, but also as part of the Alliance’s cause overall; I think they’d let her do it, albeit reluctantly.
On the other hand, the comic touches on a lot of things I’d seen discussed in fan fiction over the years. What would the Alliance do with Leia? Allow her to use her political and diplomatic skills to its betterment, let her get in the scrap every now and then (which she is willing to do), or use her as a heavily-protected passive symbol? It’s obvious she prefers the first two options to the last. Maybe she did have to fight for the brass to allow her to be more proactive.
Another issue the comic discusses is how Leia or did Leia ever truly get the chance to mourn her lost family and her lost world. Leia gets some flak from her fellow Rebels about her seeming lack of sorrow, with some even calling her “ice princess” behind her back. Luke even encourages her to not be afraid to let out her feelings, in so many words. Complicating things further is Evaan, who Leia immediately looks to become a friend, which Evaan is not willing to do for two reasons. One she still respects Alderaan’s traditions and social hierarchies, which would not allow her to regard a princess who might technically be queen as a peer. Two, she doesn’t like Leia for reasons that are as of yet unstated.
At the end of the first issue, Leia and Evaan set off for Naboo, which should be interesting given that it is the homeworld of Leia’s biological mother. We’ll see!