Princess Leia Is Now An X-Wing Fighter Pilot

There's a short piece up on Wired about a new Star Wars comic book series. There's something new in it: Leia is a pilot. Like, an X-Wing pilot, in the orange jumpsuit and everything.

Series writer Brian Wood (of DMZ fame, and formerly of Rockstar Games) did a pretty good job of explaining how/why the hell this is in a recent interview with Newsarama:

Leia spends a LOT of time in an X-Wing here, as a pilot equal in stature to Wedge and Luke, and close in skill. If there's anything "controversial" in what people already know about my story, its this idea that Leia is a fighter pilot. That she ISN'T one, actually, since we've never seen her doing it. I simply applied logic to the situation: if we, here, learn to drive at age 16, why wouldn't someone in Star Wars learn how to fly as a coming of age thing? Luke did, as a farm boy. Wedge did, working his parent's gas station. Why not Leia, a daughter of privilege? She can handle firearms, she basically takes over her own escape from the Death Star. She survives torture. She BEATS torture, actually. Later we see her on speeder bikes, fixing the Falcon, shooting more dudes, and so on. It's almost insulting to suggest she can't fly an X-Wing, the Rebellion's fighter of choice.

Leia will be forming her own squadron, a stealth special ops team in X-Wings. Wood's explanation makes sense to me. A little jarring at first, if only because it's a new role for the character, but new things are what this franchise needs. Plus, you know, it's a comic book. About a fictional universe whose canon has been bent so many times it's a barely-armed and operational pretzel. So whatever.

There will be — and indeed already are — predictably hostile reactions to this, but The Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons is a tragic figure for a reason.

Dark Horse Comics' Star Wars #1 Puts Leia in the Pilot's Seat [Wired]


    It's sad when I really just wish that a large part of my childhood could be taken behind the woodshed and shot.

    Not a reaction to this, by the way. It's Star Wars in general these days. What was a tight trilogy with a few excellent EU books and video games and some very dodgy comics has turned into a behemoth of bad storytelling and endless reuse of the same characters & phrases.

    Yes, it's good that new generations can get into it. It's just that what they're being given is a vast, unwieldy pile of crap with a handful of diamonds scattered here and there.

    "Leia will be forming her own squadron, a stealth special ops team in X-Wings"
    You mean like Wraith Squadron? The X-Wing squadron founded by Wedge Antilles that is supposed to have a focus on special ops?

    It don't find it a problem so much that people want to create their own Star Wars stories but when people want to contradict established cannon and/or essentially ignore someone else's work I have a problem with it.

    to be fair, star wars characters have a history of being unduly promoted and put into positions of power.

    for example Lando totally betrayed Han and the Alliance in general to the Empire, and yet in the last movie he somehow got in on the battle run.

    and how does Luke become a squad leader in the first movie so quickly. sure he's a good shot, but he's had little to no training in what is effectively a military spacecraft.

    Last edited 05/01/13 1:44 pm

      Umm... Han spoke on Lando's behalf but played it down during the tactical battle meeting. Watch the movie again.

      Luke becomes a pilot because he is gifted with the force & also on the recommendation of Leia & his childhood friend as they both vouch for him. The force isn't just something which can move objects and make you move faster. It is a 'force' which can alter the course of wars/battles and also bring people together, further more it also allows you to gather followers and influence without even consciously knowing you're doing it.

      Just like how Leia KNEW Luke survived the explosion on the death star despite never having any training in the ways of the force.

      Last edited 06/01/13 12:43 pm

      Red 5 is an odd callsign for a squadron leader...

    unfairly promoted? maybe, but there's still some reasons as to why they both got to be pilots in the battle, the main reason being they were a rebel force, it's not a stretch to think that anyone who could fly would be given an available fighter.

    Lando had already started redeeming himself by saving Leia and Luke from the Empire at cloud city, and then spend the time in-between films working for the rebels and trying to track down Han. He got in on the fight in the final battle because he was used to piloting the Falcon, Han wouldn't have trusted anyone else to fly it.

    as for luke: He was Red 5 in the first battle, not Red Leader
    The movie had already implied that he was a decent pilot before he even sat in an x-wing. extended canon explained that Luke impressed the other pilots in simulators and was given extra training on the x-wings before the battle of Yavin.

    Last edited 05/01/13 3:31 pm

      Nailed it, was going to say Luke wasn't the leader of Red Squad, just the guy who made the shot.

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