She-Ra

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This article is about the fictional character. For the animated television series, see She-Ra: Princess of Power.
She-Ra
Masters of the Universe character
Adora.jpg
First appearance The Secret of the Sword
Created by Mattel[1]
Portrayed by Melendy Britt
Information
Nickname(s) Princess of Power The Most Powerful Woman In the Universe
Aliases Adora
Species Eternian Human
Gender Female
Title Princess
Family King Miro (grandfather)
King Randor (father)
Queen Marlena (mother)
Prince Adam/He-Man (twin brother)

She-Ra is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Filmation cartoon She-Ra: Princess of Power, debuting in 1985. Also, a series of toys under her name were produced by Mattel.[2] She is the alter ego of Princess Adora and the twin sister of Prince Adam/He-Man.[3] She-Ra was intended to appeal to young girls in the same way that He-Man appealed to young boys.[4][5] Filmation writer Larry DiTillio created the backstory for the property.[6]

She-Ra is introduced in the animated movie The Secret of the Sword as Force Captain Adora, a member of the Evil Horde that rules the planet Etheria. Princess Adora discovers that she is the long lost twin sister of Prince Adam of Eternia, having been kidnapped as a baby by the Horde's leader Hordak. She is granted the Sword of Protection, which parallels He-Man's Sword of Power, gaining the power to transform into She-Ra, her secret identity.[7]

Fictional character biography[edit]

King Randor and Queen Marlena from planet Eternia, had twins, a girl and a boy named Adora and Adam. Hordak, leader of the Evil Horde, kidnapped Adora and escaped to Etheria, where Adora was raised as a mind-controlled Force Captain of The Horde. Adora's uniform – which she continued to wear throughout the series, even after defecting to the Rebels – consisted of a red tunic over a white long sleeved shirt, matching red boots and gauntlets, and a pair of red shorts with a black belt.[8]

The Sorceress sent Adam and Cringer to the planet Etheria to give the sword the Sorceress gave him to Adora. The Sorceress reveals to Adora that she was kidnapped by The Horde when she was a baby and that she had a twin brother. By repeating "For the honor of Grayskull" she is transformed into She-Ra. She releases He-Man and jumps from a window, crashing into the Horde stables, landing atop Spirit who is transformed into Swift Wind, a winged talking unicorn.[9] They fly ahead to warn The Rebellion. He-Man and She-Ra return to Eternia, but she decides she must return to Etheria so that she can help free the planet from the Horde oppression.[10]

Adora, having been trained by the Horde her entire life, assumes leadership of the Great Rebellion. The epic battle to free Etheria from the grip of the Evil Horde rages on, spreading across the corners of the planet. Through this war, She-Ra calls upon her allies across the globe, using their special talents to battle against Horde creations. Whether or not She-Ra and her forces were ever successful in defeating the Horde was never revealed.

When Adora transforms to She-Ra, two castles are shown in the background. The first is Castle Grayskull. The second is the Crystal Castle. The Crystal Castle is located at the top of Skydancer Mountain and is overseen by an entity called Light Hope, who advises She-Ra in times of crisis. In the Princess of Power toyline, the castle is also protected by two winged crystal horses, Moonbeam and Sun Dancer. It should be noted that the Crystal Castle's location is known only to Ahgo (King of the Trolls), She-Ra, and He-Man (she brought him there one time); She-Ra has sworn to secrecy its location, thus earning the title of "Defender of the Crystal Castle."

Powers and abilities[edit]

She-Ra is known for her incredible strength. Many times she has been shown to be able to lift not only full-grown men and robots, but also mountain-like rocks and buildings. She is also depicted as being extremely fast and acrobatic. Her speed allows her to easily deflect multiple incoming energy blasts with her sword. She-Ra also demonstrated a series of other abilities which appear to be more nurturing in nature such as empathic understanding, mental communication with animals and healing. Whether there is a limit to the length of time she can remain in her heroic form before she reverts to her original form of Adora is unknown, however there have been occasions in which she has been forcibly transformed back into Adora, implying that her powers do have limits to them.

She-Ra's primary weapon is her Sword of Protection. Her sword is apparently almost indestructible and able to deflect bolts of energy, both magical and technological, as well as to project beams of energy from the stone in its center. The stone is also used to turn Spirit into Swift Wind, as the power beam needed to perform the transformation comes from it (as opposed to the Sword of Power, where the energy beam that is used to transform Cringer into Battle Cat is shot from the tip of the sword and requires He-Man to point it directly at Cringer in order for it to work).

However, in one episode, the stone in She-Ra's sword becomes damaged, causing her to be unable to transform into She-Ra. The sword also had transmutation abilities – upon command, it would instantly change shape into whatever She-Ra required at the time; examples include: a shield, parachute, helmet, rope with grappling hook, and a boomerang.

She-Ra is largely non-violent and usually only resorts to combat as a last resort. She uses cunning and her wits, often preferring to outsmart her adversaries; her most violent actions typically consist of body throws. As per broadcast standards of the period, in the Filmation cartoon, He-Man & She-Ra were not allowed to use their swords as offensive weapons, nor were they allowed to directly punch or kick anyone. She-Ra was only allowed to destroy robotic enemies, which were her primary foes.

Other media[edit]

Masters of the Universe Classics (2008-2015)[edit]

She-Ra appears in the newest Mattel Masters of the Universe toyline, which attempts to create a new canon by merging selected portions of existing media together with new story elements. The story is told via a combination of minicomics packaged with the action figures and the biographies printed on the toy packaging.

In this version of events, Hordak arrived on Etheria after being trapped in the dimension of Despondos by King Grayskull. His apprentice Skeletor kidnaps Adora and sends her to Etheria. After being raised by the Horde and becoming She-Ra (as in the cartoon series), she eventually returns to Eternia with several of her friends and allies, to help He-Man defeat Hordak, who has overthrown King Randor and conquered the planet. She-Ra follows her brother into space on their New Adventures to the planet Primus, and together they battle the Horde Empire's ruler Horde Prime. At some point in the future, she would end up returning in the new, villainous persona of Despara.[11]

DC Comics (2012-present)[edit]

In December 2012, She-Ra appeared in her own DC Comics series as a lead in to her introduction into the "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" comic series.[12] Adora's introduction is an updated retelling of her classic origin story.[13] Although she was still kidnapped as a baby and raised by the Horde, Adora's personality and life are made much more violent and tragic when compared to her animated counterpart.

Rather than being a kind woman who has been under the mind-control of Shadow Weaver, Despara (Adora's Horde name) is a brutal force captain who is fully aware of the Horde's cruel and evil nature, and although she has some reservations, serves them willingly. Rather than having already taken over the planet of Etheria, instead Despara leads the Horde in taking over Eternia, and driving He-Man, King Randor and the Masters into hiding so as to rebel against the Horde. Due to a connection between her and Teela, Adora begins to break free of the Horde's will, and has begun her journey into becoming She-Ra.

He-Man: The Most Powerful Game in the Universe[edit]

She appeared in He-Man: The Most Powerful Game in the Universe.[14]

Robot Chicken[edit]

She-Ra was spoofed by several Robot Chicken episodes. In one short she is called to action on her period, resulting in a rampage on all her foes. In another, she messes up Swift Wind's landing when they turn back into Adora and Spirit which accidentally breaks his legs. She decides to euthanize him, but Spirit tricks Castaspella into switching their bodies allowing him to put down Adora instead. She appeared in a segment that spoofed MTV in which she's trying to find her condom for sex with Bow, but Kowl made it into a balloon and she starts choking him.

She was also featured in a short on Funny or Die that spoofed NBC dramas and was portrayed by Kylie Minogue..[15][16]

Reception[edit]

The character is perceived as a gay icon amongst the LGBT community.[17] She has mostly considered a positive role model for girls.[18] Some critics have criticized her for being a poor female counterpart to He-Man.[19][20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sheroes: Bold, Brash, and Absolutely Unabashed Superwomen from Susan B ... - Varla Ventura - Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-03-04. 
  2. ^ Hiltzik, Michael A. (1985-02-17). "Licensing Plays a Growing, Risky Role in Toy Business". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-17. 
  3. ^ "Video: A He-Man for All Seasons". Time. 1985-01-07. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  4. ^ "Remembering She-Ra and He-Man: Interview with Lou Scheimer". Animation World Network. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  5. ^ "By The Power of Grayskull: HE-MAN ART Show!". Newsarama. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  6. ^ "MOTU Chronicles Podcast Episode 9 (Larry DiTillio interview)". iTunes. Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  7. ^ "The Best of She-Ra: Princess of Power Review". IGN.com. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  8. ^ "The Best of She-Ra – Princess of Power". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  9. ^ "A Psychedelic Stallion: MOTUC Swiftwind Review". MTV. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  10. ^ Villarreal, Phil (August 4, 2006). "Phil Villarreal's Review: Still a surefire hit with 6-year-olds". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved 2009-10-20. 
  11. ^ "She-Ra™ Figure". Mattycollector.com. 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  12. ^ "It's She-Ra 2.0: The dramatic beginning". CNN. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  13. ^ "Abnett Preps She-Ra's Return in More Grown-Up "Masters of the Universe" - Comic Book Resources". Comicbookresources.com. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "New Update Introduces She-Ra To 'He-Man: The Most Powerful Game in the Universe'!". MTV. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  15. ^ "Kylie Minogue tars As She-Ra In Funny Or Die Video (VIDEO)". Huffingtonpost.com. 2013-05-13. Retrieved 2014-02-03. 
  16. ^ "Robot Chicken: She-Ra's Aunt Flo". YouTube. 2011-06-09. Retrieved 2014-02-03. 
  17. ^ "The Advocate - Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. 2006-07-18. Retrieved 2015-03-04. 
  18. ^ "Girl Culture: Studying girl culture : a readers' guide - Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-03-04. 
  19. ^ "Action Chicks: New Images of Tough Women in Popular Culture - Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. 2004-01-17. Retrieved 2015-03-04. 
  20. ^ "Media Franchising: Creative License and Collaboration in the Culture Industries - Derek Johnson - Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. 2013-03-22. Retrieved 2015-03-04. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Andrade, Jessica. (2003) “The Gender Politics of Female Action Heroes in Television and Films.” Bachelor's thesis, University of Washington

External links[edit]