Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Force Will Be With Leia, Always

With the sudden passing of Carrie Fisher, the beloved Princess Leia aka. General Organa, it's good to remember her many accomplishments over her 60 years. Much of her non-Star Wars work isn't really intended for kids though and she was infamous for her often inappropriate (but always witty) humour.

Aside from acting, Carrie Fisher was among other things a successful writer in Hollywood and author of several books. Unfortunately she never wrote specifically for a young audience, or wrote anything in the Star Wars galaxy. 

It seems fitting then to do the next best thing and to pay tribute to her here by looking back on some kid-friendly books that give her most famous character the spotlight she deserves.

Over the years, publishers - much like toy makers - have usually focused on the male characters like Luke, Han, Anakin, (even Boba Fett got a whole series of middle-grade novels!) but the list of Leia-centred titles is unfortunately not very long, and only in recent years has it seemed to grow. 

However there are a few gems focused on her so here are some books Leia fans should have in their collections:
Princess Leia: Royal Rebel (Scholastic 2016) Just released a few weeks ago, this chapter book by Calliope Glass (Ill. by Joe Quinones) retells the whole Leia story as it is known to this point, including events of Star Wars Rebels and The Force Awakens. Read our full review here.

I Am a Princess (Little Golden Books 2016) Courtney B. Carbone (Ill. by Heather Martinez) The Little Golden Books finished their adaptations of the Star Wars movies then moved to a series focusing on different types of characters (I Am a Pilot, I Am a Droid, etc.) and their places in the galaxy. I Am a Princess shows how unconventional Leia is in her role as royalty in this retro-style picture book.
Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure (Disney/Lucasfilm 2015) This middle-grade novel by Cecil Castellucci & Jason Fry (Ill. by Phil Noto) starts and ends around the time of The Force Awakens but the bulk of the story is an adventure Leia undertakes years earlier. Read our full review here. See also Leia and the Great Island Escape, a brand-new picture book version of the same adventure.

Star Wars: Princess Leia (Marvel 2015) soon after Marvel Comics started publishing Star Wars comics for the first time in decades, they announced that Leia would be getting her own mini-series. That story of her search for survivors from her home planet of Alderaan has now been collected and released in a paperback edition.
Vader's Little Princess (Chronicle Books 2013) Jeffrey Brown's follow-up to Darth Vader and Son is another humourous look at the alternate galaxy where Vader embraces his role as Leia and Luke's dad. This time more of the jokes focus on Vader raising a daughter.

Star Wars Journal: Captive to Evil by Princess Leia Organa  (Scholastic 1998) credited on the cover as written by Leia herself (actually written by frequent Star Wars author Jude Watson) this book was part of a series of journals written by the characters of Star Wars.

Princess Leia: Rebel Leader (Golden Books 1997) summarizes Leia's role in the major events of Episodes 4-6 with comic-book style illustrations by Ken Steacy.

What are your favourite Leia stories? Did we miss a book you love? Comment below!

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