'She-Ra and the Princesses of Power,' a reboot of the 80's classic character, is now streaming on Netflix
Credit: Netflix; Inset: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

On Tuesday, Netflix premiered She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, a revamp of the iconic character originally introduced as He-Man’s long-lost twin sister. But there’s no He-Man here; instead, showrunner Noelle Stevenson has introduced a varied and multi-faceted cast of characters that exist entirely outside the male gaze.

“I mean, I think it’s the perfect time,” Stevenson told EW of launching the animated series in 2018. “It has been so cathartic for me to do, working on with this specific crew, this show has almost been this safe place. They are free of the day to day issues that we deal with—sexism, racism, all of the things that can make the news cycle so oppressive. And this is our escape from that, while also still addressing a lot of those same issues in a way that hopefully supplies relief but also is a call to action, a call to be brave, and to be strong.”

The Horde soldier Adora, raised to believe that Princesses are evil, realizes she’s fighting on the wrong side when she finds the Sword of Protection that gives her the power to transform into the mythical hero, She-Ra.

One of the most compelling elements of the series comes from the relationship between Adora and Catra. Formerly friends who trained together in the Horde, Adora’s switch to the side of the Princesses feels like a betrayal to the less idealistic Catra. It’s a history that might seem familiar to fans of Stevenson’s graphic novel, Nimona, in which former friends and classmates Ballister and Goldenloin, end up arch rivals because they chose different sides.

“I think that this type of relationship, between a hero and a villain who have a shared past, is one of my favorite things,” Stevenson said. “So I think they’re cut from the same cloth as Goldenloin and Ballister, it’s a dynamic that’s showed up in Lumberjanes, it’s something that I always gravitate towards: the difference between hero and villain. is it a big difference, or a small difference? What is it that sets people off on different paths and is it reconcilable? I definitely think they have a lot in common.”

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is currently streaming on Netflix.

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