Just a Legacy to Protect

general leia organaWarning: This column involves spoilers for Star Wars: Bloodline

While aptly named, Star Wars: Bloodline could have just as easily been titled Star Wars: Legacy because when it comes to both of those, Leia Organa has more than enough on her shoulders. One she embraces and one she tries to ignore. After all, if your father was Darth Vader, wouldn’t you try and forget that too? Unfortunately, nothing stays buried. As Leia and Ransolm team up to get to the bottom of the ever-deepening mystery of Rinnrivin’s cartel, Leia is forced to confront the legacies of her fathers whether she wants to or not. Continue reading

Tsar Wars: Return of the Alderaanians

Welcome to the final part of our royal team up with Eleven Thirty-Eight.  Jay and I have already discussed monarchy as a whole, Naboo, Hapes, and now it’s time for Alderaan.

Bria: I’d like to start by blaming YOU AND YOUR EMPIRE FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF A PEACEFUL PLANET, YOU JERK.

Jay: it’s not my fault! It’s not my fault. It was all Tarkin’s doing. Seriously, if you don’t believe me, check out the old Radio Drama — Vader told Tarkin not to destroy Alderaan and basically said the Emperor wouldn’t approve, and Tarkin did it anyway. I’m super curious to see if Alex Bracken will use that part of the audio drama in The Princess, the Smuggler, and the Farm Boy because I *NEED* it to still be canon, otherwise I will hate myself.

Bria: She probably won’t just to spite you.  Yes, specifically you.

Jay: Considering how many people enjoy specifically spiting me, it wouldn’t surprise me. But I have hope yet, she’s a nice person. :p If not, well, um…. are you guys taking defectors or do I have to wait for the fall session?

Bria: We’ll look into seeing if we can arranging you non-explosive transportation.  Before it was so rudely and cruelly blown up, Alderaan actually seems to have had one of the more traditional monarchies in the Star Wars universe; at least in Earth terms.

Jay: Traditional, if confusing as heck. Under the EU, the Organas were the royal family of Alderaan. Bail Organa was the viceroy (which… doesn’t make any sense, as a viceroy is a monarch’s representative but words don’t mean anything in space I guess) and so his adopted daughter Leia was the Princess of Alderaan. Breha, who wasn’t Breha yet, was the Minister of Education. Until ROTS, when it turned out that *she* was the Queen of Alderaan and Bail was prince consort. Luckily for us, the EU already had the “Alderaanian Ascendency Contention” from the Zahn books and… Bria, this is getting complicated, isn’t it? Continue reading

Why Alderaan Needs To Be In Rebels

Or to title this piece more accurately: Why Alderaan, Queen Breha, Leia Organa, and Winter Need To Be In Rebels Too And Bail Organa Needs To Be In It More

Bail Organa in Star Wars Rebels

Bail Organa in Star Wars Rebels

As the fandom well knows by now, the second episode of Star Wars Rebels ended with a cameo from the one and only Bail Organa, Senator and Prince Consort of Alderaan. This was definitely a great sign for both fans who want to see existing film characters make it into the new show and for fans who want to see other parts of the fledgling rebellion. But hey! Why stop there? We need tons more of Alderaan and the characters who hail from that beautiful planet. Why? I’m so glad you asked.

It gives viewers and fans a sense of familiarity
While we’ve only actually had the chance to visit Alderaan on the screen very briefly, it’s been one of the Star Wars planets that we’ve known the longest. Likewise, Princess Leia was one of the first characters that we met back in 1977 and she’s one of those characters that fans still love passionately to this day. Visiting Alderaan and seeing a young teenage Princess Leia would be an easy way for Rebels to make the show feel even more familiar to fans. After all, what sort of character could be more Star Wars than a Skywalker?

It’s a chance to recanonize some aspects of the Expanded Universe
As of the now, the Queen of Alderaan doesn’t actually have a canon name.* She wasn’t named in either the film or novelization of Revenge of the Sith and didn’t appear in the Clone Wars. If she were to appear in Rebels and be officially named Queen Breha, that would be fantastic. After all, it’s hard to run a planet and probably secretly fund a rebellion when you don’t have a name.

*This was discussed amongst the blogosphere on Twitter several months ago. If we missed something, please let me know.

More than just names could be recanonized though. Having a young white-haired girl standing by Leia’s side in Rebels would go a long way towards making Expanded Universe fans hopeful about seeing some of their favorite characters again. Winter’s backstory was already retconned to fit with the prequels and most of her story comes from beyond the Original Trilogy which means writers wouldn’t have much trouble making it work. Quite frankly, she’s a pretty useful person to have around. Most people wouldn’t give a 14 year old girl a second look much less suspect her of silently remembering everything that she says and hears. Basically she’s the perfect person to have involved in a rebellion. Also she’s one of my favorite characters so pleeeeeeease bring her back.

Finally, there are opportunities outside of the Royal family for recanonizing aspects of the Expanded Universe. I suspect that no one would loudly object if there were a sly mention of Novacom… And if the showrunners want to make Sabé going to Alderaan and tutoring Leia more than just a Legend, I certainly won’t object. Continue reading

My Hopes and Dreams for Princess Leia

Leia_Dodson1Or more specifically: My Hopes and Dreams for the Star Wars: Princess Leia comic by Mark Waid.

When Joe Quesada announced the three new Star Wars comic books at San Diego Comic Con the other week, one series in particular thrilled me more than the others.  We were finally going to get a book staring Princess Leia!  Mark Waid was instantly a choice that I approved whole-heartedly of to write my beloved Leia Organa and that was even before I saw his interviews talking about the book. Terry Dodson on art just made it even better.  They are both perfect choices for a Leia story.  Dodson is perhaps the easier to immediately see.  I’ve never found a reason to complain about his art style and judging from the cover we’ve seen?  We’ll get to see some pretty neat outfits on everyone’s favorite princess that are all logical for her to be wearing.  Dodson also draws a killer action scene so we’ll undoubtedly have a few of those to look forward to.

Waid, on the other hand, might be a little tougher to get.  For me, the gut reaction of perfect! came from his work on Indestructible Hulk over the past few years.  Bruce Banner can be a tricky character to get right but it wasn’t his great work with the Hulk that got me.  No, it was how he handled one Maria Hill who is not a character that all writers get right.  They might get the ‘bitches-get-stuff-done’ aspect of her but miss that there’s more to her than that.  Mark Waid, however, nailed writing her hook, line, and sinker.  Factor in his solidly good work on Hulk and Daredevil in recent years and I was sold.

What doubly sold me were his interviews.  In an interview with StarWars.com, he describe Leia as

I think that she is often misunderstood as short-tempered or what have you, and I think that’s unfair. She’s direct. She’s not necessarily impatient, she’s just exasperated easily by people who are not as smart as her. She’s not bossy…well, okay, alright, she’s bossy. But she is a princess, after all, so you have to allow her a little bit of that.

…and I let out a giant sigh of relief.  It’s these aspects of Leia’s personality that are so important to who she is and how she reacts to situations.  Reading what he had to say about what sort of person she is at her core made me even more confident about how he’ll handle writing her.

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Diversity Amongst the Stars (And the Royals of Alderaan)

There are some films that you can watch a dozen times and always notice something new and there are others where you pretty much get it on the first try.  Sometimes though, you watch a film, notice things subconsciously but it just doesn’t click into place until several viewings later when you sit up straight in realization.  I had one of those moments a few months ago while watching Revenge of the Sith.  The realization?  The Royal Family of Alderaan is not white.  The Royal Family of one of the most well-known and powerful planets in the galaxy does not fit the typical white human mold.  It’s funny how long it took me to come to this realization that the royal house of my favorite planet was more diverse than I’d previously realized.

brehabailWhile not every Alderaanian that we saw in the films fell into this category, a fair number of the ones of note in the Prequel Trilogy did.  The actors who played Bail and Breha are both of Hispanic and mixed descent.  A Brazilian actress played Bail’s aide, Sheltay Retrac.  While three might not be a huge number, it’s rather significant when we consider how few Alderaanians we saw in the films.

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