She-Ra is introduced in the animated movie The Secret of the Sword as Force Captain Adora, an agent of the Evil Horde that rules the planet Etheria. She then discovers that she’s the long-lost twin of Prince Adam (a.k.a. He-Man) of Eternia. In the same story, she’s granted the Sword of Protection, a twin to He-Man’s Sword of Power, and gains the ability to transform into She-Ra, the Princess of Power. She joins the Great Rebellion that seeks to free Etheria from the Horde. Though her appearance hardly changes between her normal self and her alter ego, only a few characters know that Princess Adora is also She-Ra.
She-Ra’s animated children’s show ran from 1985 to 1986 but had 93 episodes across two seasons. She-Ra, like her twin brother, is a strong-willed, forceful person who believes in doing the right thing and encourages others to do so. The differences between them are subtle, and likely due to nurture rather than nature, what with her being snatched as an infant and raised with the Evil Horde. For one thing, She-Ra is more strategic than He-Man. Like He-Man, She-Ra exhibits fierce loyalty. Once, a bird attacked her and she, in turn, demonstrated compassion by helping to heal its damaged wing.
She-Ra displays a number of supernatural abilities and above-average physical traits, such as super strength, enhanced speed and reflexes, and near-invulnerability. She can communicate with at least some animals via telepathy. Her sword is also able to morph into other objects, such as a shield or lasso.
There was a substantial rumor that She-Ra would be reintroduced in the third season of the remake of 2002’s He-Man and the Masters of the Universe TV series. Unfortunately, the series was cancelled after the second season. An updated action figure was later released as part of the MOTU toy line.
Though She-Ra had some tough breaks when it came to longevity on TV, the character certainly has endured as an icon of 80’s culture and has seen a resurgence in recent years in the world of cosplay. Hekady Cosplay, for one, has done a lovely job of bringing the Princess of Power to life. She already has the long, sweeping blonde hair that is She-Ra’s (and Adora’s) trademark. Hekady’s costume work is wonderfully authentic. The costume looks as if it’s pulled straight from the cartoon. The headpiece is well-sculpted and finished, and the dress looks just like the She-Ra than many of us grew to love as children. This is a cosplay that kindles a lot of nostalgia. Hekady looks beautiful, strong, and righteous, and shows why She-Ra was truly the Princess of Power.
Photography by Sonesh Joshi