The Star Wars original trilogy should be praised for having a strong female leader in a time of Hollywood where such a thing was almost unheard of.
However, we have come along way since then and the freedom in how a woman’s strength is shown has greatly expanded.
This five-issue volume has a contained story that though small, offers the best look at Leia’s personality and mental drive (in the existing cannon.)
The story starts literally straight after A New Hope. The award ceremony over the destruction of the Death-Star has ended and sadly the Rebels rest is short lived. They need to start preparing to look for a new base of operations, since Yavin is obviously a bigger target than ever for the Empire.
Some of the Rebel’s feel bitter towards Princess Leia, calling her the “Ice Princess” for her visual lack of empathy towards the loss of Alderaan (her’s and many rebel’s home world.) We see that Leia isn’t a person who uses grief to feel sorry for themselves, but rather uses it to fuel them into action. But considering the massive bounty price on her head, she has been refused by one of the Rebels big honcho’s “General Dodonna” to go out and help look for a new base.
After personally hearing a few Rebel’s murmur behind her back regarding Alderaan’s destruction, Leia realised what she must do.
Going against General Dodonna’s orders, Leia goes on a personal mission- to find and protect the last Alderaanians throughout the galaxy before the Empire pick them off, thus reaffirming her position as Princess of Alderaan.
With her is “Chief Advisor Evaan”, a loyal soldier and fellow Alderaanian. At first she is the biggest doubter of Leia’s love for their planet, so their time together makes for some interesting and sometimes comedic moments where the two are trying to hold back their initial distaste for each other.
It was refreshing to see multidimensional characters among the Rebels. Loyal as many of them are, some are doubtful of the direction their leaders are taking. This was something hardly touched on in the movies, so it was a treat to witness it here.
However, this is a story about Leia. About her leadership, her loyalty and especially her humanity.
There is a cute flashback to Leia as a child, learning the ways of a good queen and how important it is to eat your vegetables or in this case “Ruica”. The art here is beautiful as we see through the pictures that Leia “even as a child” isn’t someone who wants to be a stereotypical queen who sits on a throne all her life listening to problems from the people. She wants to be in the thick of the action, helping with her own hands, rather than ordering someone else to use theirs.
The extent Leia goes to rescue her people from the clutches of the Empire is admirable. We meet Alderaanian’s who are paranoid doubters and even some who are betrayers and yet her loyalty to her people never faults. Leia has a code she has set for herself and she will do everything and anything so she never has to break it. She is still so young and yet we see her power as a leader. Leia is able to persuade the most doubtful of Rebels to lay down their arms and follow her.
This is exactly what any Leia fan would want out of her story: adventure, strength, love, action, humor; it has it all.
You have to give it to Mark Waid and Terry Dodson, they are excellent together. They both understand what the other wants and therefore the final product is master-class.
If your a fan of Princess Leia or if you felt she was a little to one dimensional in the movies then pick this up. You won’t be disappointed!