Star Wars: Chewbacca – 2 of 5 Stars
Headed into this book, I was curious to see how they’d treat dialog from the titular character. It seemed like it’d be tough to keep the signature wookie roars and not have it get in the way of the story.
Turns out, that’s just what happened.
As a secondary character, Chewie’s dialog is both endearing and comic relief. We can fill in the blanks for him, or let whoever he’s sharing the scene with translate for us. In a main character role, it gets a little repetitive when Zarro, the plucky girl Chewbacca befriends, has to hold up both ends of the conversation.
Plenty is lost in translation, however. For instance, I had to re-read the first few pages a couple of times to figure out why Chewie was even helping Zarro with her plan to escape the larvae mines with her father and eventually prevent the Empire from gaining a foothold on her planet.
Chewie never really gets elevated above hired muscle status – he’s big, hairy, and knows how to fight. That’s about it.
Star Wars: Princess Leia – 4 of 5 Stars
Leia’s one shot takes place immediately after the medal ceremony in Episode IV, where we find out helping to destroy the Death Star isn’t quite enough to earn a woman respect, even in the Star Wars universe. Her people think she’s an “ice princess” because she didn’t shed a tear over Alderaan, or even her mother and father’s death.
Leia’s struggle to embrace her heritage and win over what remains of her people serves as the main arc of the comic, as she travels the galaxy to find pockets of Alderaanians before the Empire can hunt them down and wipe them all out.
Some are naïve and lost in their new harsh world. Some are cynical and racist. Some are mixed race, and unsure about their identity.
This was probably one of my favorite entries into the Star Wars Expanded Universe. It explored how Leia balances her sense of duty, femininity, desire for adventure, and royal upbringing in a practical way that’s messy and imperfect. You begin to see how these types of experiences help shape and transform her into General Organa in later episodes.