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markk

markk

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The Origins of Totalitarianism
Hannah Arendt
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David C. Douglas
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Leia in her own right

Star Wars: Princess Leia - Terry Dodson, Mark Waid

Among the benefits that I have gained from my recent immersion in Star Wars media is an appreciation of why people find Princess Leia so awesome. For a long time she seemed to me to be part of the trio in the movies in order to give Luke and Han someone to rescue or to fill a spot as the object at a love triangle (an icky one considering that one of the men in it turned out to be her brother) or as a figure in a gold bikini for adolescent boys to lust after. While her role in the more recent Star Wars movies was larger, when it came to the action she was still too often sidelined in favor of the men or newer characters like Rey.

 

By contrast her portrayal in the "Disney canon" series could not be more different. Freed from the limitations imposed by Lucas, she comes into her own as a leader and a warrior. And nowhere is this demonstrated than the pages of her own eponymous series. Set in the aftermath of the events of the original Star Wars movie, it's centered around Leia coming to terms with the destruction of her home planet of Alderaan and the duties that have been thrust upon her because of it. With the assistance of an Alderaanian pilot flying for the Rebellion, she travels to other worlds in an effort to bring together the scattered survivors to form the core of a new community. Throughout its pages Leia has to deal with the hostility of others, the challenges to her new status as the leader of her people, and her own guilt over Alderaan's fate. It's a wonderfully mature and emotional portrayal, one that demonstrates the core strength of the character that I had missed until now. It makes for a graphic novel that every fan of the character should own, and one that anyone trying to understand her appeal should read.