Guestwriter: John Price
Writers- Elsa Charretier & Pierrick Colinet
Artist- Elsa Charretier
Colorist- Sarah Stern
Letterer- Tom B. Long
This article is possible due to the gift of a review copy, QWERTY and rolling natural 20s.
From the first page, Star Wars Forces of Destiny – Leia wants readers to see that this is the Leia we’ve always known: a strong and inspiring leader, but also young and scared, hanging on by her own determination to not give up. It was always this tension that made Leia resonate with fans and it’s the key to replicating the character on the page. The story presented here cleverly intertwines flashbacks into a thematic thesis that resonates with everyone who has ever seen Star Wars. The rebels have just fled Yavin IV and are establishing Echo Base on deep in the snowfields of Hoth, but it’s been a struggle. That struggle is compounded when a mechanical failure forces Leia, Han, and Hera to go searching for a downed ship they can scavenge for parts.
When Lucasfilm announced this series, it was feared that they would explicitly be targeting a younger audience, but the story fits rather nicely into the style and feel of the original movies. Far from feel-good fluff, in “Leia” danger is present and alive, and the message of struggle and hope is one that resonates across the franchise. Artist and colorist Elsa Charretier and Sarah Stern do a great job of applying color palettes to keep a unified visual style while accentuating the different scenes and locations. The visuals flow quite naturally, despite the story itself (necessarily) taking a few hard turns.
The “new canon” of the Star Wars universe has the unenviable job of replacing the decades of stories that made up the “Expanded Universe.” Through those works, the Star Wars community was able to live with the characters they loved and see the adventures that never made it onto the big screen. With “Leia” we see that the Lucasfilm Story Group is sticking to their plan on how to win over the fanbase: expand the stories and characters incrementally so that nothing feels forced or too abrupt. And if “Leia” is any indication, it’s a solid strategy. The story in this book is familiar but new, integrating characters from across the various installations of the property. The “Forces of Destiny” series is off to a running start, and it should be no surprise that Leia is leading the charge.