The 2016 Election Had an Influence on ‘She-Ra and the Princesses of Power’
While Etheria is not a real planet and Adora doesn’t actually go around with a sword and the ability to transform into an 8-foot tall She-Ra, the lessons of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power are relatable. Not only that, but they completely transcend past the show. It’s a sign of a good show because you’re able to become emotionally attached to the characters and actually care about what happens next on-screen.
Knowing what fans do about the show, it’s no surprise that the 2016 election results impacted the writers on the series. But it makes the finale all the more meaningful in the end. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for all seasons of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power].
Adora’s powerful hero-side is She-Ra, a Princess of Power
She-Ra isn’t a new name or concept at all. She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is a reboot of the ‘80s animated show, She-Ra: Princess of Power. It was a spinoff from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series, which focused on She-Ra’s twin, He-Man.
In Netflix’s iteration, which premiered in 2018, He-Man isn’t mentioned at all, but Adora is still She-Ra. After her famous sword calls to her in the Whispering Woods, she leaves the Horde, which is where she grew up training as a soldier. The Horde told them they were on the correct side, but in actuality, they were the “bad guys.”
The rest of the series consists of She-Ra fighting for the Rebellion against Hordak and later against Horde Prime, with the other Princesses. And, most notably, Adora has to fight against her former best friend, Catra.
The series went into development right after the 2016 election, which left an impact
In an interview on June 12, showrunner Noelle Stevenson talked to Rolling Stone about what it was like to get this show off the ground. Not only did it feature complex characters, but it also was a great source of LGBTQ representation, on-screen and behind the scenes.
However, one obstacle the creatives had to go through was the outcome of the 2016 election, when Donald Trump was elected as president of the United States.
“The veil was ripped off, and we had to reckon with a world that we hadn’t expected,” Stevenson said. “And that theme of relying on each other and being stronger together became so much more relevant.”
It became clear that their work was going to mean a lot more than they might have previously imagined.
“I remember writing one script after a particularly bad news day where it just felt like nothing was ever going to be OK again,” Stevenson noted. “It’s an episode where Adora realizes that there are supposed to be stars in the sky, and there aren’t any more stars. And as Aimee [Carrero] was recording the lines, she was crying, and we were crying, because we were all experiencing this together — the idea that things were changing in maybe irreparable ways.”
It makes the final season mean so much more
While that time caused a lot of anxiety and impacted how many people saw the world, it honestly made She-Ra and the Princesses of Power so much more relevant. Because it featured a girl who becomes the strength of a Rebellion. Adora fights against all odds, again and again, and essentially wins the day with love. In a time when that might seem difficult in day-to-day lives, seeing She-Ra do that on-screen is a lot more meaningful.
“It always comes back to this — when you realize that there’s a great evil or a great darkness that won’t just go away from one fight. It boils up, and it can be pushed back down, but it’s something that we’ll probably have to be fighting for the rest of our lives,” Stevenson said. “That’s really hard to do, and it makes you really tired sometimes, and it can be really scary. But when you are surrounded by the people that you love, and when you have that love for the people around you, then that strength is possible.”
There’s one specific moment in the finale where all hope seems lost. Horde Prime puts his “soul” into Hordak after he fell to his death. He continues his attack on the Princesses. It looked like Adora and Catra weren’t able to use the failsafe, and Bow, Glimmer, and the others braced for their demise. But then Adora and Catra’s love ignited She-Ra, and she was able to overpower all of Horde Prime.
She-Ra and her friends overcame so much. Seeing that in such difficult times is one of the best pick-me-ups when it comes to pop culture. And guess what? The stars in the sky did return.