We pick up Leia’s story in Issue #4 with the hunt for a traitor among her growing party of Alderaanian refugees. There’s no overly dramatic search or red herring here. As in the previous books, we get right to the emotion of the story as quickly as possible with Leia displaying her uncommon decency in a time of high tension. In doing so, she alone is the one to solve her band’s pressing problem and move the group forward, almost as if she has become the “only hope” she so desperately sought in the introduction of the original Star Wars films.
Leia’s bond with Evaan grows even as Leia prepares to, yet again, act against Evaan’s training and instincts. The writing here is so subtle and fantastic in the way it conveys the friendship forming between these two women. Their self-assuredness paired with their compassion is truly something I wish I could emulate more often, as it shows confidence with interconnectedness (a.k.a. not immediately thinking other people are simply right or wrong).
Evaan’s devotion from the beginning, despite her strong personal feelings towards Princess Leia, is a fascinating look into her resolve and her eventual genuine camaraderie with Leia, a testament to celebrating differences.
This issue also has one of the most intriguing scenes so far. On a desert landscape, with stormtroopers and the Empire’s henchmen present, Leia sacrifices her freedom in exchange for the Alderaanian traitor who has been feeding the Empire Leia’s whereabouts and plans (but don’t worry too much, a familiar face comes to the rescue at Leia’s bidding). The art makes it hard to turn away from this scene, with Leia’s flowing white robes whipped about with the red sand, in a loose and stark contrast to the sharp angles of the equally white stormtrooper getups.
Simultaneously, a mission that Leia delegated to less-than-trustworthy parties goes south. Her ability to judge her compatriots' intentions is left in question and just how she will solve this new dilemma is left for Issue #5.