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Review: Star Wars: Vader’s Little Princess

Vader’s Little Princess
Written and Illustrated by Jeffrey Brown
Chronicle Books, $14.95

Following on the heels of the immensely popular 2012 book Darth Vader & Son—which humorously looked at “What if Darth Vader took an active role in raising his son?”—creator Jeffrey Brown now focuses on the trials and tribulations of raising Princess Leia from a sweet little girl to those rebellious teenage years in Vader’s Little Princess.

Just like Darth Vader & Son, the follow-up features one-page vignettes of Darth Vader acting as a normal parent interplayed with situations ranging from awkwardness to the sincere with familiar scenes and quotes from a galaxy “far, far away.” Creator Jeffrey Brown, known in the comic book world as the creator of the adult autobiographical books Clumsy and Unlikely, is a perfect choice. His autobiographical books have shown the humor and pathos of everyday life, and showing similar situations in world of Star Wars is refreshing and just plain fun. Like Darth Vader and Son, there’s a lot of love that Brown puts into the book. A Star Wars fan from his youth, Brown exposes a lot of simple truths of parenting even if you are a Sith Lord. The joys, frustrations, and awkward moments are all played out with a lot of truth, and adding the Dark Lord of the Sith being the parent is just a delightful twist.

Right from the get-go, we see Vader being put in his place by a pint-sized Leia telling him “From now on you do as I tell you, okay?” and the stage is set for the rest of the book. When Vader is about to Force choke one of his Admirals, little Leia gives him a hug out of adoration; you see Vader teaching teenage Leia how to drive (a TIE Fighter); Darth Vader drives an AT-AT to drop off an embarrassed Leia at school; Leia tells Vader right after Han Solo was frozen in carbonite “You are so mean! All he did was kiss me!”

Most of the humor is focused on the problems with raising a feisty teenager, and Leia is the perfect teenager to do just that. As a teenager she led the Rebel Alliance against the Empire, and having us see how Vader react to scenes of traditional teenage problems is pure gold. Though we do see a young Leia in the book in a few gags, the focus is mostly on the teenage years as opposed to Vader and Son, which featured Luke as a young boy.

It’s a delight to see the Dark Lord of the Sith dealing with a feisty teenager, and parents and kids will immensely enjoy this book for Father’s Day and every day of the year.

Mike Pawuk About Mike Pawuk

Mike Pawuk has been a teen services public librarian for the Cuyahoga County Public Library for over 15 years. A lifelong fan of comic books and graphic novels, he was chair for the 2002 YALSA all-day preconference on graphic novels, served as a judge for the Will Eisner Awards in 2009, as well as helped to create the Great Graphic Novels for Teens selection committee for YALSA. He is the author of Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More, published by Libraries Unlimited in 2006 and is working on a followup to his book.

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