Following the epic 2015 launch of Marvel’s first new Star Wars ongoing series in decades in January and STAR WARS: DARTH VADER in February, March comes in like a royal lion with the five-issue limited series STAR WARS: PRINCESS LEIA.
Written by writer Mark Waid and illustrated by artist Terry Dodson, the series promises a look at Leia like never before, focusing on the personal strength that saw her through her terrible trials after the destruction of her home planet Alderaan at the hands of the Galactic Empire.
Marvel.com: Mark, was this an easy “yes” for you to take on a Star Wars series? How did it come about?
Mark Waid: Editor Jordan D. White called and asked, and when the guy whose picture is on every can of Pringles calls, you pick up. Saying “yes” was a no-brainer—what an iconic character!
Marvel.com: What about you, Terry? Why was there just no way that you’d turn down this book?
Terry Dodson: I am a huge Star Wars fan, so the chance to work with the original characters was too good to pass up, plus being part of the re-launch of the comics at Marvel is great to be a part of. Star Wars and comics are intrinsically tied together for me. After watching “Star Wars: A New Hope” for the first time in theaters, I would buy everything I could Star Wars related—including the Marvel comics, which led me into buying other comics. And the first things I really remember trying to draw were Jawas and Tie Fighters.
This is now the second time I've worked on Star Wars comics—I had the good fortune of working on the comics when the interest level in popular culture was high—the first time was the late 1990’s right when they were re-releasing the original films and I got to work on the actual characters just after “Return of the Jedi” in a story based off the popular Timothy Zahn novels, and now I will be working on the them with the new launch at Marvel and the new film coming out the same year!
Marvel.com: Mark, what’s most compelling about Leia for you as a writer?
Mark Waid: What makes her compelling to me is how multifaceted she is. Here’s a very strong, insanely capable woman who’s been to hell and back, who’s commanded armies and served with senators—and how old is she, again? Think about how much she’s experienced at such a young age and how much she’s lost.
Marvel.com: Your story tackles the aftermath of Alderaan’s destruction for one; in what ways does this impact Leia the most? She seems to compartmentalize it in the first film; how will it manifest in your series?
Mark Waid: She very much compartmentalizes it in “A New Hope,” but that's our springboard: how does she really cope with losing her entire world once the events around that loss have calmed down somewhat? Does she choose to be the princess of nothing—or does she set out to rebuild her heritage and her civilization? You can probably guess the answer.
Marvel.com: Terry, what’s your take on Leia in a visual sense? Who is she and how will you show that on the page?
Terry Dodson: Exactly who she is supposed to be. In this story it’s the Leia between “A New Hope” and “The Empire Strikes Back,” and the those two films are the peak of her significant role in the movies, so I’m just trying to capture that and really her growing in to that new role of rebel leader as opposed to just princess—fun stuff to do!
Marvel.com: Leia has more costume changes than any other character in the original film trilogy; can we look forward to more of that in the limited series?
Terry Dodson: Yep! There are plenty of opportunities and I love the challenge of designing new looks and incorporating the look of Star Wars into those designs; just really fun for me to do!
Marvel.com: Mark, which other characters from the existing films will show up and what kinds of roles will they play?
Mark Waid: Still early. The only thing I know for sure is that I don’t want to get overzealous with other characters—this is Leia’s story, after all.
Marvel.com: What’s something we may get to see Leia do here that perhaps we’ve never seen before?
Mark Waid: Negotiate from a position of absolute and total poverty.
Marvel.com: And how’s it feel to have Terry by your side as artist?
Mark Waid: It’s great reuniting with Terry again; I couldn't ask for a better partner in crime. He’s just the best when it comes to telling a story of wild imagination and human emotion all at the same time.
Marvel.com: Terry, time to turn the table on Mark; what do you love most about working with him, especially on a series like this?
Terry Dodson: I’ve been a big fan of his work for a long time and, you know, Mark is really on a roll right now writing in comics, with his work on DAREDEVIL and HULK plus his creator-owned work. Mark has a really great feel for what he wants to do with Leia in this specific time period and I think it lends itself to some really cool stuff for me to draw and explore more of the Star Wars universe and that time between the films. I think specific to the as-yet-unrevealed plot, it will work to Mark’s strength in writing character and dialogue!
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