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DF Interview: Mark Waid lives his fanboy dream in Princess Leia
By Byron Brewer
When Princess Leia Organa was captured by the Empire as a Rebel spy, she never betrayed her convictions, even in the face of the complete destruction of her home world, Alderaan. When her rescue came, she grabbed a blaster and joined the fight, escaping back to the Rebel Alliance and helping strike the biggest blow against the Empire—the destruction of the Death Star. But in the aftermath of that victory, the question remains: What is a princess without a world?
Writer Mark Waid (Daredevil, S.H.I.E.L.D.) and artist Terry Dodson (Avengers & X-Men: Axis, Uncanny X-Men) bring readers a story of Leia’s quest to help her people and find her place in the galaxy.
To find OUR place there, Dynamic Forces spoke with scribe Waid on an asteroid just this side of Endor.
Dynamic Forces: First, Mark, what does it feel like to be part of the biggest comic book franchise relaunch in recent memory?
Mark Waid: It feels phenomenal. It only took me thirty years to get here. I guess you really ARE as young as you feel, and this project takes me back to some glorious times encountering the Star Wars universe for the first time as a teenager!
DF: Tell us how you and artist Terry Dodson came to be the creative team on this third Marvel Star Wars book.
Mark Waid: Editor Jordan White called up and asked if I'd do it -- and, honestly, I'm not sure I would have said "yes" if not for Leia. She's always been my favorite.
DF: This comic begins at the end of the first Star Wars movie, later designated Episode 4: New Hope. Having just witnessed the destruction of her world not long before this, tell us what Princess Leia is feeling and how she deals with those emotions. Very little of this was seen in the films.
Mark Waid: And this leads into WHY she's always been my favorite. She's not whiny, she's not sappy -- she understands that there is a time to mourn, but when the Death Star is hovering above, that time is not now. However, as our story begins, there is time for her to reflect on all she's lost -- and while she's still largely stoic, she does have her moments of grief. That grief, however, doesn't manifest as self-pity; it transforms into an agenda.
DF: With the war as it stands at the end of Star Wars, tell us what new challenges face this princess without a world?
Mark Waid: She's still the ruling royalty of her race, regardless of how few of them may be left. And that's a responsibility she takes very seriously -- it's up to her to preserve the culture of Alderaan or else it truly WILL be a dead race.
DF: Will we be seeing any Leia/Han Solo interactions in this new book?
Mark Waid: A bit, and a bit of Leia/Luke, but by and large, we're going in new directions -- and those directions involve us deliberately stocking the cast with women, all of whom have their own agency as does Leia.
DF: Mark, at this point in the story, give us a sense of your take on the character of Princess Leia. Who is she?
Mark Waid: If she were weaker, she'd be a lost soul -- and she's certainly standing on that precipice -- but she was taught well by her elders about the responsibility of her station. She is dedicated to Alderaan and its well-being above all else in her life -- and she'll prove it.
DF: If I recall correctly, R2-D2 was always associated with and very close to Princess Leia. Will we be seeing him anywhere in this series?
Mark Waid: Absolutely! Heck, SOMEONE needs to know how to do all the intricate machine-y things!
DF: There is a new blonde female X Wing pilot character who is seen both in panels from issue #1 and on the cover of issue #3. I'm guessing she is important to Leah's story. Can you offer us any clues about her?
Mark Waid: Very important. Evaan is an Alderaanian who is torn between her respect for the throne and her frustration that Leia doesn't seem to be mourning their world. She'll learn a lot about the different ways sorrow can be expressed -- and the power it can bring.
DF: How does it feel to be working with Terry Dodson on this piece?
Mark Waid: Astounding. He and his wife, Rachel, are doing breathtaking work, as is colorist Jordie Bellaire. What an honor.
DF: Will Princess Leia's miniseries be like Darth Vader's book and go hand in hand with continuity as regards the monthly Star Wars book? In other words, Mark, are you coordinating with the other Star Wars writers?
Mark Waid: I’m certainly reading their scripts as they are mine, and we’re taking cues from one another. Editor Jordan D. White is masterminding the coordination spectacularly well.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Mark Waid for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions, and also Marvel PR maven Chris D’Lando for helping arrange this special interview. Princess Leia #1 hits stores March 4, today!
Get your copy of Princess Leia #1 Dynamice Forces Exclusive Cover signed by Mark Waid right here!
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