Marvel Comics (a division of Disney) has produced a new comic from the Star Wars universe (which is also a division of Disney; never mind the galactic Empire, bow down before Mickey, the one true Emperor!) that features Princess Leia in her very own adventure.
And it’s about freaking time, really. I’m getting a little tired of these SF and fantasy franchises that have too many guys and too few women in the main cast. The Hobbit book fans were bitching and moaning about Evangeline Lilly’s elf character having been added to the film series, but I was really grateful to see her there, since the original story had no women characters at all.
Princess Leia’s brassiness isn’t toned down in this comic book series, which spans out over five books. Taking place right after the events of the first Star Wars film (aka A New Hope in George Lucas’ revisionist history), where the rebels are busy getting ready to bug out of the moon of Yavin shortly after the destruction of the first Death Star, Leia tries to see what she could do to help, but is only told by the higher ups of the Rebel Alliance to just chill out and take it easy.
The destruction of Leia’s home planet of Alderaan still weighs heavily on everybody’s mind–including Leia, who’s eager to do something, anything, to avoid grieving. Leia realizes there are other citizens of the doomed planet still scattered amongst the stars and when the Empire announces that it will start hunting them down, Leia decides to go out and rescue Alderaan’s Orphans on her own before the Imperials find them.
Leia joins forces with Evaan, a female rebel fighter pilot who is also from Alderaan and an avowed royalist who thinks that Leia’s new fangled ideas about treating everybody equally is just weird. I’ve read the first two issues so far, and while the first book basically sets up the story, the second gets the story rolling by taking this duo to the planet Naboo, where Leia and Evaan have a run in with some bad guys. R2-D2 is even along for the ride, which only added to the strong Star Wars vibe that resonates within this story.
It’s clear that the Disney Overlords have released this comic series in an effort to help ignite interest in the Star Wars brand just in time for their newest Star Wars film, directed by JJ Abrams, which is coming out later this year. But this is really an enjoyable comic series that focuses on a Star Wars character who could use more of the spotlight to herself. It’s also a great ‘grrl-power’ book for those of you with young daughters who’re looking for heroic and fun fantasy stories with strong women in the lead. Highly recommended, overall. –SF