by Michael DeLaney
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
Science fiction has always been known for its social commentary. Different races of aliens have been stand-ins for all kinds of different cultures and subcultures in the real world. But as much as a show like Star Trek depicted the importance of diversity and inclusion, Captain Kirk was still cast in the role of “The Great White Savior.” Thought it’s not as overt, the ending of Star Wars 48 leaves me with that same uneasy feeling.
Leia leads our rebels on a mission to rescue Mon Cala King Lee-Char only to find him on life support, knocking death’s door. Since they can’t bring the King to his people, they record his message of rebellion instead.
Leia intends to share Lee-Char’s message with the people of Mon Cala in the hope that they will join the fight against the Empire, but they are stopped by Grand Admiral Urtya, who doesn’t believe that the Rebellion should interfere in their people’s affairs.
Inevitably Urtya broadcasts the message himself, inspiring Mon Cala to rebel. However, Leia notes that this was done too early, as a fleet of Star Destroyers jump in to quash aquatic rebellion. Urtya is right in saying that Mon Cala should be the ones to make such an important decision for their people, but that decision loses its weight when Leia has an “I told you so” moment at the end of the issue.
I might be reading too much into it, but Leia’s micromanaging of how Mon Cala fights for their freedom seems very “white savior complex.” I know, Leia is an awesome and inspiring figure, but from what we’ve been shown in the pages of both Star Wars and Darth Vader, so are the Mon Calamari — they’ve got crustacean armor for god’s sake! Leia doesn’t always have to be the first and final word on rebellion, especially when it has to do with a completely separate race of people. Stay woke, Leia.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?