Today is the first issue of Marvel’s mini-series Princess Leia, from writer Mark Waid and artist Terry Dodson. I’ve been excited for the comic since it was announced at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2014. The comments by Waid and Dodson in their Marvel.com interview and with Janelle Asselin at Comics Alliance reveals their great perspective on her character. From Comics Alliance:
CA: What aspects of the character from the movies were important for you to include in the comic, and what if anything do you want to do to make your version distinct?
MW: The movie aspects that are key to me are her take-charge attitude and her justified unwillingness to be mansplained to. The key — and I think we’ve got a good handle on i t– is to make it clear those are strengths, not quirks, not traits that make her “difficult” in any way. She’s not mean, she’s not snarky, but she is authoritative — which, for her, in this story, is a challenge since you’d think having your entire planet done away with might erode any claim you have to royal fiat.
TD: Attitude and believability — I’m definitely shooting for making the character I draw feel the same as the one we know form the screen but now not limited to film/photography… meaning I want her to be Leia without tracing photos of her. I want to use of the strength of the comic medium to make the reader believe they are seeing as real a version of Leia as that in the movie.
CA: Leia is famous among cosplayers for changing outfits in nearly every new setting where she appears, often several times within each film. Terry, your work is very fashion and style-conscious. Can you talk about your approach to Leia’s character and the Star Wars universe from that angle?
TD: Yeah, there really is a treasure trove of outfits and if you include all the amazing design work that was done for the mother’s character in the prequels (that’s Amidala to you and I) it is a great tradition to follow in. I will be trying to follow what has come before and use the entire Star Wars universe and also the influences that the designers of the movies were looking at as well to fully understand what makes the costumes and characters unique to Star Wars.
CA: What’s the most fun or fascinating part about this project for you guys?
MW: Writing an unapologetically strong female lead.
On Friday, Marvel.com shared a sneak peek at Dodson’s sketchbook.
After today’s first issue, Princess Leia #2 releases on March 18, Princess Leia #3 on April 15, and Princess Leia #4 on May 27, with the fifth and final issue in June.
Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.