The Construction of a Post-Modern Princess in Marvel’s “Princess Leia #1” Review
Written by: Mark Waid
Art by: Terry Dodson
In many ways the character of Princess Leia was ahead of her time. The witty, brash, intelligent, but still beautiful bun laden Princess burst onto the scene in 1977 giving geeks everywhere a character to respect and adore. However when you really analyze the Leia character as the Star Wars saga progressed in many ways her character regressed. By the end of Return of the Jedi in 1983 Leia was more remembered for being the bikini babe from Jabba’s palace and the love interest of Han Solo, rather than the fearless diplomat that stood up to Darth Vader.
The version of the character that Mark Waid and Terry Dodson provide in the breath taking pages of Princess Leia #1 are the best Leia Organa has to offer. Rather than attempt to meld the character into the post New Hope incarnation of Leia, Waid takes the best qualities of the character and progresses those. Just as Leia stands up to Lord Vader in Epsiode IV, she refuses to play second fiddle or be pushed around by any male authority figure here. Whether she is out maneuvering Luke Skywalker or standing up to the likes of Admiral Ackbar or General Dodonna, Waid entreatingly asserts Leia as a fully layered protagonist.
Even more impressive here is the ability of Waid and Dodson to tell a great Princess Leia story while at the same time introducing a new character into the Star Wars Mythos. Meet Evaan a female X-Wing fighter from Alderan that respects the Princess, but is not afraid to educate her on Alderaanian culture. You have to admire this creative team as well as Marvel Comics’ approach to the character of Evaan. Rather than parade her around through media outlets as a female X-wing Pilot, the focus here is developing a strong character.
While Star Wars: Princess Leia #1 may leave a little to be desired in the action department all the qualities of a great first issue are here. Waid and Dodson’s ability to progress a known character while at the same time establishing new one’s should excite both Star Wars and comic fans alike. If issue #1 is any indication 2015 should hold in store some exciting and progressive missions for both Leia and Evaan.