Pros: The story’s concept is really interesting and offers some great character development for the main characters. In addition, it focuses on Leia’s loss of Alderaan, which is not usually the focus of Star Wars stories.
Cons: Parts of the story seem a little rushed as the book’s pacing is not very well done.
Overall: Star Wars: Princess Leia is an interesting continuation of the Star Wars legacy that gives its main cast a nice level of character development. However, it is also a short story that tries to do too much and thus suffers from pacing issues. Readers who appreciate a book’s overall story and the destination that the book makes ends up at may enjoy this story a lot. However, those focusing more on the journey than the destination may end up disappointed.
Following the conclusion of the first Star Wars movie, Star Wars: Princess Leia details the journey of Leia Organa as she sets out to save the surviving members of the planet Alderaan. Overall, this ends up being a really interesting concept that pays out at the end. The problem is that the path to get to this end is fraught with more than a few small problems along the way. Though not the worst of the Star Wars comics out there, Princess Leia is not the best either.
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This collection starts out at the same exact spot where A New Hope ended, yet it continues from there, following Leia’s actions from that point. We see her discover that the empire is hunting down surviving citizens of Alderaan then immediately set out to find and save these refugees. Along the way she meets a fellow survivor who initially disapproves of her but eventually warms up to her. This all ends up leading to a great examination of who Leia is as both a leader and a friend.
In terms of the series’ overall story, the concepts here are pretty interesting and contribute significantly to Leia as a character. Both books and movies often overlook the massive emotional burden that Leia walks around with every day. She lost an entire planet of people: their culture, landmarks, achievements, everything. Yet, especially in the movies, this loss is barely felt. Seeing her deal with this feels like a missing piece of the Star Wars universe and, thus, is nice to bear witness to.
This mini-series’ biggest flaw is in its pacing, something possibly stemming from the fact that this is a mini-series. This forces large amounts of character development and plot to be shoved into a small number of pages. Important characters, like Leia and Evaan, are mostly unaffected by this, but secondary characters are hit by it hard. For example, Preserver Jora Astane goes from hating Leia to dedicating herself to Leia over the course of 10 pages. Then, only 3 pages later, she goes back to questioning her again. This quickened pace can also be found when Chief Beonel immediately cancels negotiations with Astane or when Tace’s sister is immediately wary about Tace’s new message. Overall, this is not a problem which affects the story in any large way, however it is a problem which effects the story is many small ways.
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The art in this collection is something that is really going to change depending on reader’s preference. On one hand, it is bright, colorful, and gives the work a nice “all ages” look. It is also, with a few exceptions, of good quality throughout and is typically visually pleasing.
On the other hand, the artwork does not necessarily match the subject matter very well. For a story dealing with what is essentially genocide, one would imagine the artwork to be somewhat somber, rather than bright and colorful. It also takes a few dips in quality, specifically on some pages where faces look just a little too “cartoonish”. Personally, I find myself in this state of mind when it comes to this volume’s art, however I can see people agreeing with the prior points just as easily.
This book starts at the same place that Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope ends. While you could theoretically read this without watching the movie, it is highly recommended to watch it first, as this story flows directly from it.