|Since its debut, “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” has already stomped the traditional mindsets of people about what it means to be a “princess” / Photo by: Loren Javier via Flickr|
Since its debut, “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” has already stomped the traditional mindsets of people about what it means to be a “princess.” Back in the war-stricken Etheria, the setting of DreamWorks and Netflix's animated series, princesses clad in colorful and shimmering gowns with magical powers concoct a rebellion against the Evil Horde.
This animated series is rooted in the brilliant mind of Noelle Stevenson, Paste Magazine, a monthly music and entertainment digital magazine reported in their article. Stevenson is also the graphic novelist who created Nimona and Lumberjanes, which also features strong female leads that inspire a lot of women as it shows how friendship can save the day.
The Netflix adaptation was originally from a 1985 series. The creators of the show reportedly intended to extend the appeal of the Masters of the Universe setting as they piqued the interest of young girls in the same way that He-man piqued the interest of young boys. This latest reboot from one of the leading streaming sites recently launched its fourth season, and there are loads of robots!
She-Ra and the Non-Binary Character
This animated series has been a progressive one ever since it was originally launched in the 1980s. Now, in its fourth season, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power has proven that it can be more progressive as it introduces its first nonbinary character.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country, the nonbinary character is a shapeshifter named Double Trouble. Fair warning: there are spoilers ahead.
Double Trouble is a mischievous little chaotic being that causes all kinds of trouble for everybody in the story. Jacob Tobia, a nonbinary performer and writer who voices the character, said, “They’re fearless and deeply in touch with their own power and aren’t scared of pretty much anyone in Etheria.”
|Now, in its fourth season, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power has proven that it can be more progressive as it introduces its first nonbinary character / Photo by: Disabledandhere via Wikimedia Commons|
It has been reported that Tobia auditioned for the said role even before the fourth series premiered. When Tobia finally booked the part, they immediately watched episodes of the original ‘80s cartoon in order to have an idea of the show’s roots. After that, they finally got to see the reboot’s first episode in advance before Netflix launched its latest season, and from there, they finally got to see how Double Trouble would fit perfectly into “She-Ra’s” universe.
“They’re coming into a world that has been flexing with gender norms and creating a more expensive understanding of gender from the get-go. From the pilot of this series, gender does not work in the same restrictive ways we’re used to it working,” Tobia said in the interview.
Friendships Remain Strong
Animated shows like this always feature great and loyal friendships. With Stevenson at the helm, the obvious power of deep friendship is one of the animated series’ central themes. The unlikely friendship between Glimmer, Bow, and Adora, who are collectively called the “Best Friend Squad" by the lovable Bow, proves that even people from different sides of a coin can gather and work together to defeat true evil.
The fourth season features many characters’ bonds of friendship as they are put to the test. The characters are put in the middle of fighting for good and evil as the line between the two are blurred even further. The Best Friend Squad shows how their supportive and adorable relationship can withstand the issues they are faced with.
Despite all the issues between their main characters this season, the show remains a great beacon for friendship and loyalty. “I think it’s important, especially when the characters begin to grow from one phase of their life to the other, it tests relationships you have. Friends you’ve grown up with, friends you’ve known forever… we’ve already seen this with Adora and Catra. Bow and Glimmer have a similar past,” Stevenson said in an interview with CBR.com, a website dedicated to the coverage of comic book-related news and discussion.
Skepticism of Destiny
If the main theme of She-Ra is about friendship, and diversity and inclusivity make its main framing elements, the burden of destiny is its narrative engine. She-Ra, being the only one who has the power to wield the Sword of Protection, has a classic “chosen one” energy, and She-Ra carries the frustrations and insecurities that come with this kind of responsibility.
Despite having powerful and majestic princesses beside her who have extraordinary powers, She-Ra/Adora is the only one burdened with the "chosen one" powers and responsibilities that she cannot bear to forget.
Having a perfect balance between the protagonists and the antagonists makes this animation series an easy yet interesting watch. The Horde, a manipulative evil that brainwashed Adora in the first place against the true protectors of Etheria, is the perfect villain against those who campaign for freedom and liberation. Since the show is a cartoon, some level of cartoonish evil can be quite a great thing.