Why Captain Hera Syndulla Deserves Her Very Own Marvel Comic
As the Hamilton lyric sorta goes: will they tell her story?
In the first Star Wars post-Disney acquisition novel A New Dawn, the Twi’lek Hera Syndulla debuted as a cryptic supporting player in a guy’s story.
Hera from Star Wars Rebels does not lack popularity. She has a Black Series figure to debut. And spoilers: keen Easter Egg hunters will deduce that Hera Syndulla survived long enough to be promoted to General during the era of Rogue One.
Hera is the fighter everyone knows. She fires back at the oppressive regime that enslaved her Twi’lek people. She flies her own ship. She raises a crew. She’s wanted by the Empire. She lost her mother to the Empire. She had her home invaded. An Imperial Grand Admiral appropriated her prized family heirloom into his collection. Hera had all the idealism and pragmatism.
While she did command the spotlight in a few Rebels episodes, Hera Syndulla is not granted much emphasis on her long-term character arc. She doesn’t lack one, though—the show follows her part in constructing a wilder Rebellion. Voice actress Vanessa Marshall has always provided Hera Syndulla an inflection of history in an otherwise static character, a sense in her sincere voice that she has gone through much. But as a side effect of being a static character, she doesn’t receive much coverage as her Jedi partner Kanan Jarrus, or his apprentice Ezra.
That’s why she deserves her own comic miniseries.
Maul will have a Marvel comic. Darth Vader has a Marvel comic. Princess Leia has a Marvel comic. Hera Syndulla—oh, wait. Not yet. Even her father Cham Syndulla got a book. Her partner Kanan Jarrus has a Marvel comic.
How she met Order 66 Padawan survivor Kanan Jarrus on planet Gorse is recorded in A New Dawn. The coyness of their flirtation and borderline romance has enticed interest in their unseen fresh Post-Gorse dynamic, before their fandom-declared “Space Children” occupied their ship space. There are refreshingly no big dramatic punctuations to their romance, no love triangles, no impracticable break-ups or misunderstandings. Hera and Kanan had something Anakin and Padme didn’t: functionality. They bicker, but they seek to understand and respect their dutiful obligations. We want more of Hera and Kanan.
Fans cite her accent slippage scene as a compelling vocal cue. Tapping into Hera’s past in a comic would be an opportunity to dig into the Twi’lek culture. Many good fanfictions deal with the xenophobia, exoticism and micro-aggressions she suffers. Although Hera Syndulla was also designed to subvert much of the sexualized Twi’lek image, she does encounter attempts to objectify her (luckily, the show doesn’t overplay it). Considering how rarely alien faces are seen operating as the face of the Rebellion, Star Wars could benefit from intersectionality of female non-humanoids.
There are other questions to be answered, too. The way in which she obtained her Ghost ship, a notorious aircraft in the radar of the Empire, is a particular mystery.
Writer of the Kanan Jarrus Marvel comics and the Rebels first season, Greg Weisman hears you. Weisman had expressed his desire for a Hera comic to Disney and Lucasfilm with #NotUpToMe, possibly opening up the door of possibility.
It’s all up to Disney and Lucasfilm to heed their fans and Weisman. In the meantime, Hera does what she does best: fight oppression and uphold the crew’s morale. She deserves better, though, more than just being part of Kanan’s narrative, another supporting player in her crew’s long-term arc. Hera Syndulla just deserves a story she can call her own.
(image via Lucasfilm/Disney)
Caroline Cao is a Houstonian Earthling surviving under the fickle weather of Texas. When she’s not angsting over her first poetry manuscript or a pilot screenplay about space samurais, she’s doing cheesy improv performances for BETA Theater, experimenting with ramen noodles, engaged in Star Wars fanfictions, or hollering vocal flash fics on Instagram. Her columns and poems have popped up on The Cougar, Mosaics: The Independent Women Anthology, Glass Mountain. Her flash fiction recently earned an Honorable Mention title in Sweater Weather magazine. She has her own Weebly portfolio and contributes thinkpieces to Birth.Movies.Death. She’s also lurking in the shadows waiting for you to follow her on Twitter.
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