Out of all the new Star Wars books Marvel had announced, I was most excited for Princess Leia. The main book, simply called Star Wars, follows the heroes from the movies, so far focusing most of it’s pages on Luke and Han. To the shock of no-one, Darth Vader quickly got his own book as well. The good news is, all four issues released between them have been great so far.
So what about Princess Leia? Yes she is a character that many fans, including myself, love. If you’ve ever read expanded universe stories of old (you know, the ones that are no longer considered cannon), you’ll know she is a great character when given enough breathing room to really take charge. Which is why I had high hopes for her solo book.
The first issue of Princess Leia picks up right where the original Star Wars film fades to black. Leia, showing off her leadership skills, honors her lost homeworld while also reminding the rebels that the Empire knows where they are and evacuation procedures have to start immediately.
With her main mission complete, Leia is now desperate to find her place among the Rebel Alliance. Her colleagues act like she’s in the way, telling her she needs to mourn her lost homeworld. Her subordinates whisper behind her back. Struggling with the need to be useful to avoid collapsing into a pit of despair, Leia teams up with the pilot Evaan, another survivor from Alderaan. They depart on a mission to round up all of the other Alderaanian survivors.
There are some things I really appreciated going on in this issue. First of all, the voice of all the characters feels right. The plot moves quickly, getting the interactions with Han and Luke out of the way in the first five pages. They actually deal with the topic of Leia being a princess. It always felt like a weird throwaway title in the movies, but here it is acknowledged and even affects how other characters view and interact with her.
The art is more stylized than the main Star Wars book, but not to the point that it is distracting. While it’s a little less detailed in some respects, I actually prefer this look. The softer coloring style gives it a more movie-like feel.
As I hoped, this one breaks the mold just that little bit more than the other two Star Wars titles, which really sucked me in. All three titles compliment each other well and are worth picking up. This is a great edition to the new expanded universe. (R.I.P. old EU)
Princess Leia #1 was written by Mark Waid with art by Terry Dodson