So Leia’s in an X-Wing… Now what?

Reaction to the new Star Wars comic has been, in a word, mixed. There’s been the expected asides about canon and continuity from the usual quarters, of course. (I’ve already said all I need to say on that.) But today, the headline news from this has been, unquestionably, this from Wood on Tumblr: “Oh yeah, Leia’s an X-Wing pilot.”

In an interview with Comic Book Resources, Wood elaborated:

Leia is not going to be sitting around in a gown attending a lot of meetings — she has her blaster and an X-wing and is out there with Luke and Wedge working on building the Alliance back up after losing so much. I really wanted to put Leia into the mix, holding her own in battle.

On the one one hand, of course I would like to see Leia get more of a role. On the other hand, we already know Leia’s a badass and a better shot than most of the dudes: Does putting her in an X-Wing really show a new dimension to her character?

Yes, this again. Here’s the thing: We are constantly told Leia is a brilliant politician, but how often do we actually see that aspect of her – her actual career? Every once and a while in the books, right before things go sour and the blasters (or, more recently, the lightsabers) come out?

I’m not against putting Leia in an X-wing. This is not really specific to Star Wars, the Comic. (And a comic book is almost certainly not the place for that sort of Senator Organa anyway.) I just wish when we got more Leia, it would be less about the size of the lasers she’s shooting and more about adding some dimension to an aspect of her character that’s been shamefully neglected.

And hell, maybe Wood will go there between battle scenes. Obviously, I have no idea. I just wish we could click off a box other than Action Girl every once and a while.

12 Replies to “So Leia’s in an X-Wing… Now what?”

  1. Thanks for the link!

    I love Politician Leia too, but we also knew from the Death Star escape in ANH that she had some fighting chops. Women struggle every day trying to do it all – be women of action and negotiators – and find they often have to choose. I think there is a fantastic story in showing Leia’s personal struggle for identity. That kind of story is also relevant considering the current discussion among women about the topic of having it all.

  2. I do wish that writers would break out Politician Leia more often. As good as she is at the action stuff…well, so is everyone else. As a character, she can hold her own but she often gets lost in the shuffle when she’s forced into the same action hero mold that everyone else is. Wood could be someone to give her a little room to shine on the political stage, but the quality of his political writing seems to depend on what kind of mood he’s in when he approaches the subject.

  3. As you’ve said, this is all fine and dandy if this is just one aspect of Leia’s characterization in this series. If she’s reduced to the Action Girl stand-in, I’m going to be disappointed. She deserves to be written as a much more three-dimensional character than that.

    Also, potentially relevant link by Shana Mlawski.

    Someday, we’ll get that Leia political thriller she deserves. Someday.

  4. Leia in a flightsuit is nothing new. See Marvel’s Star Wars #68!

    Actually, this bodes poorly for this upcoming series because all of you are correct in that her strengths are more political than action-oriented, though she can handle herself in a blaster fight. A lot like her mom. Dark Horse routinely mischaracterizes these classic characters and puts them in very inappropriate situations – see most disturbingly Luke Skywalker as a spy in the Batman suit covered in Rebel insignias in the last Rebellion series. Add to that all the modern, angsty, emo comic storytelling and you have yourself some very un-Star Wars stuff. And oh boy, “Stealth Squadron”? Here we go again…

    I’m keeping an open mind about this new series until I read it, as always. But half the current Dark Horse Star Wars comics, especially those dealing with the OT characters, miss the FUN parts about Star Wars and try to make it very heavy. That’s very UN-Star Wars. IN MY OPINION!

  5. While I agree, I also worry that we’re being hypocritical. We have also been complaining that Leia gets out of the back burner and doesn’t see any action. They’re giving us Leia kicking butts and taking names.

    I think what we should be wishing for is a well balanced story. And we won’t know that until it comes out. Because Politician Leia isn’t sexy advertising.

  6. Paula: Yeah, you may have a point, and it is early. It’s just that, so far, it just seems rather been there, done that. (Which is pretty much what the canon-retentive are saying about this whole thing, but… Whatever.)

    Wait and see, yet again.

  7. Paula: You’re right, and I am glad to see Leia getting attention she rightly deserves. However, it’s this comment that bothers me:

    “Leia is not going to be sitting around in a gown attending a lot of meetings — she has her blaster and an X-wing and is out there with Luke and Wedge working on building the Alliance back up after losing so much.”

    Which, to me at least, almost implies that working on the political side of the Alliance is inherently boring. For some people that might very well be the case, but I think Leia’s background as a politician is fascinating. Especially during this time period when she’s lost Alderaan. (I liked that Allegiance had her trying to recruit planets to the Rebellion, but she still got her hands dirty.)

    However, we just need to wait and see, I guess. I’m still holding out hope for Senator Leia in action!

  8. I think this could be a fun direction to take a new comic series. I’ve been pretty underwhelmed with just about all Star Wars comic titles since Legacy ended. Going back to the OT and mixing things up a bit is a great idea. We need to not get tunnel visioned too much here. There will always be directions that readers would like to see writers take a character. That will never change. If Leia becomes nothing but a pilot in this new series then yes, that’s not quite right. I doubt they’ll do that. That’s just a total character change. Could they explore the political side of Leia more? Sure, but comics are not the place for that. My mind is open and I look forward to some good ol’ fashioned OT comic fun.

  9. The thought of GI Leia leaves me a bit cold, and (at the risk of repeating what’s already been said here) I’d really like to see why she was considered such a great politician rather than how cool she looks with a gun (although great point Paula, a pic of Leia standing at a podium addressing a room full of politicians isn’t going to set geekdom alight).

    I worry they’ll fall into the Han Solo trap, where he’s is considered to be the best smuggler/pilot/shot in the galaxy. He was capable – MORE than capable – but if he was the best he’d be mixing it up on Coruscant for BIIIIG money, not hustling on Tatooine for transport jobs. That’s how we made all our creds in D6 WEG RPG in the 80’s. It’s like shooting those giant butterflies on Corellia in Galaxies, easy money.

    If they show Leia as an SAS-trained, crack-shot, martial arts, Gamorrean ass kicking Colonel Kira fighting machine then I think they’ve really missed the point. But I don’t see that happening, I’m expecting really interesting things from this new series (and a motion comic as well DH – please!)

    Anyway, if they respect the stories that have gone before and weave in elements of the Marvel run instead of pretending it didn’t happen (which annoys me SO much) then it should be a fun nostalgia trip for us oldies and a neat introduction to newer readers.

    Got to say though, getting the feeling we’re all about to focus on the OT a lot more now the Clone Wars is within a couple of seasons of ending, which is fine by me.

  10. This is a great conversation, and all I can think of while reading it is this:

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