Wednesday, May 31, 2017

First Appearance: Ania Solo

In the first Star Wars movie, there is a dearth of female characters.  Obviously, Leia Organa is the most prominent female character, exhibiting confidence and strength equal to her male companions, making her a rarity in the era she was conceived.  But beyond Leia, we have only Aunt Beru and a few female cantina denizens.  Both the Galactic Empire and Rebellion appear to be devoid of females entirely.  Much of that changed as the trilogy unfolded and in Return of the Jedi, it was revealed the Rebellion was led by Mon Mothma, the enigmatic former Senator.  The prequel trilogy did a better job of depicting strong females, the most prominent of course being Padme Amidala, mother of twins Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa.  There are also a few female Jedi and bounty hunters introduced in the prequels.  Fast forward to today and the last two Star Wars movies featured strong female leads in Rey and Jyn Erso.

The Star Wars comics took a similar path as the movies.  The most significant female character introduced in the original Marvel series is Luke's companion Shira Brie, who is revealed to be an Imperial agent and after a near death incident, is reborn as Lumiya.  The only other female character of prominence is the Zeltron Dani, who is introduced along with Rik Duel and Chihdo as part of Rik's gang.  Both female characters are introduced after The Empire Strikes Back adaptation.

Dark Horse had the benefit of time and used several female characters introduced in other media, like Mara Jade from the Timothy Zahn books, Asajj Ventress from the Clone Wars animated series, and Aurra Sing from the movies among several others.  They also introduced female characters of their own, including Nomi Sunrider from the Tales of the Jedi series and their most significant female character, Jedi Knight Aayla Secura.  In 2013 Dark Horse introduces Ania Solo, a prototype of sorts to Rey and Jyn Erso and the lead character in the second Star Wars: Legacy title.

Ania Solo is a decedent of Han and Leia Organa Solo.  When we are introduced to Ania, she is a junk dealer based on a moon of Carreras Minor in the Outer Rim, not unlike Rey on Jakku in The Force Awakens.  Additionally, her backstory includes her escaping from an Imperial prison camp, just like Jyn Erso in Rogue One.  And just like the two movie characters, Ania is swept up in the galactic conflict of her era.

Even Ania's look bears a striking resemblance to the heroines of The Force Awakens and Rogue One.  It is easy enough to imagine a brunette British actress playing her in a movie.

Star Wars: Legacy #1a - Marvel Comics, U.S. (March 2013)
1st Ania Solo
Star Wars: Legacy #1 has an exclusive Phantom variant.  The Phantom program, led by Larry Doherty from Larry's Comics, has commissioned several exclusives that are distributed through participating retailers.  The Phantom variant cover artwork is a homage to the Tom Jung/Hildebrant Brothers poster.

Star Wars: Legacy #1b - Marvel Comics, U.S. (March 2013)
1st Ania Solo
Phantom variant
There is also an exclusive cover sold at the Wondercon Anaheim 2013 event.

Star Wars: Legacy #1c - Marvel Comics, U.S. (March 2013)
1st Ania Solo
Wondercon Anaheim 2013 exclusive

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