Princess Adora, better known as She-Ra, is the twin sister of Prince Adam (He-Man) of Eternia in the Masters of the Universe franchise. In the 1985 TV series She-Ra: Princess of Power (a Filmation-produced spin-off of the original He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series, aimed at a young female audience) and its 2018 Netflix spin-off She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, she leads the Great Rebellion against Hordak (Skeletor's mentor, responsible for kidnapping her from Eternia when she was a baby) and his minions to prevent them from ruling over Etheria.
She-Ra: Princess of Power (1985)
King Randor (an Eternian) and Queen Marlena (a human earthling) had twins: a boy and a girl named Adam and Adora, respectively. 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 leotard with long white sleeves, red boots with matching gauntlets, and a black belt.
The Sorceress sent Adam and Cringer to the planet Etheria to find the Sword of Protection's rightful owner. The Sorceress, through the jewel in the Sword of Protection, 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 the heroine, She-Ra. She then releases a captured He-Man and jumps from a window, crashing into the Horde stables. She-Ra lands atop Spirit, a horse, who is transformed into Swift Wind, a talking winged unicorn. 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.
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 as the series was cancelled before any resolution could be reached. However, it was shown little-by-little that the citizens and kingdoms all over Etheria were rising up against the Horde and pushing back against their tyranny. Unlike Adam, who often feigned laziness and a carefree attitude to deflect any suspicion that he may be He-Man, Adora never acted against her nature and was always seen as brave and selfless, willing to help others in need at a moment's notice.
When Adora transforms into 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 atop Skydancer Mountain and is overseen by an entity called Light Hope, who advises She-Ra in times of crisis. 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."
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (2018)
On December 12, 2017, DreamWorks Animation and Netflix announced a new reboot series based on She-Ra. The series was executively produced by award-winning author Noelle Stevenson (creator of Nimona and Lumberjanes). The cast was revealed on May 18, 2018 alongside a poster and the official series title: She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. It premiered on November 13, 2018 on Netflix. Unlike the original series, He-Man has no presence in the reboot storyline since he appears in his 2002 series.
In this series, Adora is initially portrayed as a willing member of the Horde as she was naively content due to her upbringing in a rigorous yet supportive environment where she was taught that surviving members of the Princess Rebellion are evil. As such, Adora pursues a military career within the Horde and is quickly promoted to Force Captain with a pending active duty assignment ahead of her colleagues. But Adora's world view changes in the events that result in her finding the Sword of Protection and being captured by two Rebels, Princess Glimmer and Bow. Though her captors open her eyes to the truth of the Horde's actions, Adora only joins the Rebellion as She-ra upon witnessing the Horde's atrocities firsthand. After her defection, Adora struggles in both mastering her powers as She-Ra and gradually winning the friendship of those in the Rebellion, who were slow to trust her due to her former ties to the Horde while trying to win over the other princesses to reform the Princess Rebellion. These adjustments prove more difficult for Adora as she caused a rift between her and Catra, her former best friend and rival in the Horde who saw Adora's defection as a personal betrayal.
Compared to the original version of the character, Adora has a much younger appearance in reflection of her age, but she becomes considerably taller as She-Ra. In addition, She-Ra's costume is much more modest and practical in this incarnation; she wears a full tunic that covers her upper torso with metallic epaulets while wearing bike-short type leggings under her short skirt. Furthermore, she now wears more practical armored boots with flat soles. In the season 1 finale, She-Ra wears a golden battle armor very similar to when her 2002 twin brother He-Man wears a snake armor in Season 2.
Powers and abilities
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, which 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 He-Man's 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.
Like her twin brother, She-Ra is largely non-violent, and usually only resorts to combat as a last resort. She uses intelligence 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, neither He-Man nor She-Ra were 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.
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