She-Ra: Balancing Characters and World Building

Introducing a fantastical world and characters is a challenge but She-Ra finds the perfect balance.

In any new series it’s tough to introduce the characters and the world they live in. It’s even harder when that world is nothing like our own, filled with magical princesses, flying horses, and ancient technology.

While any show needs to focus on its characters to get us emotionally invested into the story, it still needs to build out the world they live in. Some shows resort to massive exposition dumps while others tend to leave the world more vague. Any show that can balance both character and world building is a strong one and that’s exactly what She-Ra and the Princesses of Power  on Netflix does.

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Each of the princesses come from different parts of the world, which allows the main trio of Adora, Glimmer, and Bow to travel all over the planet. Through their eyes we not only learn about all the other different characters but their corners of the world. For Noelle Stevenson, executive producer of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, this was the perfect way to make world building feel natural and develop the characters.

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“The characters are very deeply tied to the world,” Stevenson says. 

She points to the character of Entrapta as the perfect example of this.

“(She) has a huge interest in the world around her, so a lot of the exposition comes from, because she’s always trying to crack the mysteries of this world,” she says. “That’s what drives her character. What is exposition and mythology heavy and it becomes one of the driving character motivations for her.”

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The same can be said for Adora, who’s trying to piece together the mystery of what connects to the ancient civilization of The First Ones and what their relationship to the planet was.

Having all of these characters and all of their backstories intersect was a challenge for the She-Ra team, which means there are some characters and parts of the world that don’t feature prominently in the first season.

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“There are so many different things to play with and you have to give them the space to develop,” she says. “Sometimes something doesn’t quite fit right away, so it’s something that might not get as much focus as some other parts because it’s trying to build this world that seems like it goes together.”

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Stevenson is a self-professed nerd about exploring lore and mythology but “character is what I am the most passionate about. It’s whatever brings out the most interesting character choices.”

With strong characters that are tied deeply into the world around them, it all comes together to form the rich tapestry of the new She-Ra’s universe.

Keep up with all our She-Ra and the Princesses of Power news and reviews here.

Shamus Kelley is a pop culture/television writer and official Power Rangers expert. Follow him on Twitter! Read more articles by him here!

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