Star Wars: Princess Leia #1 – Comic Review

In Star Wars: Princess Leia #1, the rebel alliance celebrates on the run. With the Empire seeking to hunt down Alderan’s remaining offworld citizens as punishment for the collapse and destruction of the Death Star, Leia begins a rescue mission. Star Wars: Princess Leia #1 offers:

  • Art that has strong ink, penciling, and great use of distance.
  • Layered and interesting characters: Dodonna and Evaan.
  • Themes of legacy, and investigation into dealing with change.

This review contains spoilers for Star Wars: Princess Leia #1

Leia’s shuttle flies into hyperspace in a flash of blue. Pencil work and inking make these scenes majestic. Panel choices show off a effective use of distance when the story connects with the final scene of Star Wars set in the Great Hall on Yavin IV.

The moment where this comic links together with the final moment of Star Wars: A new Hope shows off some brightly coloured moments that capture the close of the film. There is impressive choice of where to place the reader’s view into this scene. Panels start close to Leia, and move around the room to closely examine a face or an expression, or a whispered comment, before zooming out again.

In a later scene the artwork shows off Leia’s shuttle flying into Hyperspace. There are powerful flashes of blue, while pencil and ink lines give a sense of the energy needed to fly at lightspeed.

There’s a great sense of distance in these scenes. After the grand hall empties, A lone pilot named Evaan pays respect to a statue of Leia’s parents. Two more panels zoom closer in to Leia. There is no dialogue. It’s a moment of silence to remember the obliterated planet.

Character development moves fast in this comic when General Dodonna shows layers, and expresses concern for Leia in a limited way. Evaan, a Rebel Pilot and Alderaan royalist, shows depth.

Through the characters assembled in the grand hall on Yavin IV, the legacy of the Alliance lives on.
When Admiral Dodonna utters “May the force be with us all” the prevailing legacy of the light side of the force flickers into life for an instant.

Despite these dedications to continue lost of fledgling legacies, Leia is prevent from trying to save Alderan’s remaining offworld citizens.

Grief and despair are the only roles that General Dodonna offers Leia. There is a point where he steps over a mark – Leia stops being a person, and becomes a military asset. That mark lands when Leia’s bounty arrives on Galactic underworld networks, which the Alliance are tapped into. Leia becomes “too valuable an asset to be unguarded”. In this sense, Dodonna is not expressing what he feels clearly, and therefore sounds more like an Empire Mof discussing tactics. He is right to feel concern, but communicates this terribly.

This is a good example of characters moving through levels of moral greyness, rather than black and white moral extremities. Evaan, the pilot who shows respect to Leia’s lost parents, is also crossing lines. As a loyalist, she wants to respect Leia. As a person, and a rebel pilot, she dislikes Leia’s pragmatism in the face of losing Alderaan to the Empire.

While a theme of legacy appears, insight into coping with change is featured more prominently when Leia talks to Evaan, and Evaan uses deception to help Leia begin her mission.

A fiery interaction between Leia and Evaan brings out the issues of change. While Dodonna and Leia’s talks in the comic bring up a theme of legacy, seeing Leia and Evaan cope with change is most interesting. Leia commands Evaan to tell her the truth at all times, even when she does not want to hear it. Evaan’s first action – to fly the princess and R2D2 away from Yavin IV – involves her using deception and lies, some of which are told to Leia.

Leai forgives her, but Evaan refuses to see Leia as a friend. She is still a Princess of Alderaan. Evaan is still a royalist. She compromises, and uses deception to escape from the Rebel base – lying to Leia – but maintains her point of view of Princess Leia as someone deserving deference. In the face of change, compromise is required. Some beliefs can still be held, however.

Their next destination: Naboo.

Star Wars: Princess Leia #1 is published by Marvel Comics ($3.99 USD) Mark Waid (W.)
Terry Dodson (P.) Rachel Dodson (I.) Jordie Bellaire (C.) VC’s Joe Caramagna (L.) Cover artwork by Dodson and Dodson.

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