Impressions: Princess Leia #1

Two series down, and two to go. The Star Wars comics produced by Marvel have been a ROUSING success, in both quality and sales for Marvel these past 2 months. Between the personal tales of the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader, and the continuing tales of the crew of the Millennium Falcon, these two books have offered great stories and insight into these beloved characters.

Marvel continues this trend by delving into the mindset of Princess Leia Organa, and her perceptions and reactions to the events which unfolded in Star Wars Episode IV. In A New Hope, Leia’s home planet of Alderaan was destroyed by the Empire’s Death Star, completely wiped clean from the universe. Losing one’s home planet is OBVIOUSLY more than likely to upset one’s mindset and cause them to break down, but we never saw this in the movie, in fact she remains rather calm even after she sees her planet destroyed. This new title delves into her thoughts and give a back story to how Leia comes to grips with her loss. How does she do it? LETS FIND OUT!

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We begin in the chamber where Luke and Han Solo are being honored for their bravery and heroism as they were responsible for the destruction of the Empire’s Death Star. however the celebrations are short lived after Han and Luke receive their medals, as the Princess offers a single message of grievance for the souls lost on Alderaan, and orders the Rebel troops to prepare to move out.

As the troops begin to mobilize, some begin to bad-mouth their “ice queen” of a leader, due to her inability to show emotion after the destruction of Alderaan. While not nearly as vulgar regarding this topic, Luke approaches Leia and suggests she open up about her emotions regarding her recent loss. these feelings are echoed by nearly everyone with whom Leia speaks, including General Dodonna of the rebel fleet.

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The general expresses his desire for Leia to express her emotions in a healthy manner, as bottling it up as everyone thinks she is is unhealthy. He also has no intentions of allowing Leia to leave the fleet without a full military escort, as recent Imperial reports have proclaimed the former senator to have a bounty of 10,000,000 credits on her head! Matters are made worse when she overhears a rebel pilot talking behind her back.

Leia approaches the pilot, and demands she come clean with herself, as opposed to talking under her breathe. It is revealed that this pilot also hails from Alderaan and believes that Leia’s lack of emotion is disrespectful to their lost planet. The pilot also refuses to be frank with Leia, as she deeply respects the traditions of Alderaan, and cannot show disrespect to her planet’s last remaining royal. Leia agrees with the pilot’s sentiment, that more must be done to ensure the survival of Alderaan’s history and customs.

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Before long, the two manage to acquire a shuttle and try to leave the fleet behind in their quest to search out any remaining Alderaanians. It was explained earlier that after Alderaan’s destruction, the Empire has put a price on not only the princess, but also any remaining survivor’s of her home planet’s race and culture. So Leia and her new companion Evaan, as well as the droid R2-D2 have a monumental task ahead of them, saving the last of their people from the ever encompassing clutches of the Empire.

This book, like the others expands on the Star Wars mythos in an interesting way, and further develops characters that can be sign as archetypes for any story. Princess Leia never did have an opportunity to grieve for her planet’s loss in the film, but this book helps build on the reason WHY she didn’t. Leia didn’t break down sobbing, as she felt it wouldn’t help her when the time came to act. She is a woman who prefers action as opposed to words. this, combined with cameos from Admiral Ackbar, and the promise of a story returning to the planet Naboo, I feel that Marvel’s Star Wars comics really do know how to give the fans stories they want to see, for both fans of the old and new trilogies, as well as any good comic book fan.

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