By Amanda Steele
Sunday at 12:15 p.m., the Main Stage at NYCC was packed full of fans of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power for the second annual She-Ra panel. The room was full of a lot of excited energy, and there were many cosplayers in attendance. The panel got off to a great start as the cosplayers were invited up to walk across the stage, showing some impressive cosplays off and waving rainbow pride flags.
The panelists were then announced, and the panel was definitely a great line-up of people from the show. First was Noelle Stevenson, showrunner and creator of the series, and then many of the voice actors: Aimee Carrero (Adora), A.J. Michalka (Catra), Karen Fukuhara (Glimmer), and Lauren Ash (Scorpia). Marcus Scribner, who voices Bow, was not able to attend this panel.
Instead of starting off with questions, they gave attendees a special gift by showing the entire first episode of Season 4. Warning: Mild spoilers for She-Ra Season 4 in the next two two paragraphs!
This episode was all about Glimmer’s coronation as the new Queen of Etheria. It’s full of a lot of humorous moments as Bow and Adora do their best to make the day perfect for Glimmer, and distract her from the fact that her mother’s gone after sacrificing herself to save Etheria last season. The episode ends with the three of them having to face a monster, as Glimmer activates the moonstone connection as part of her coronation. There is also an emotionally poignant moment as Glimmer breaks down to her friends about losing her mother and the responsibility now on her shoulders.
Simultaneously, this episode featured Catra back at the Horde base with Hordak. At the very end of the episode, we see her taking the throne and showing Hordak that she’s in charge now. The audience was extremely excited about this new content, and they loved the new episode, including the first moment when Glimmer’s new, more mature haircut was revealed. Catra’s journey as she sat on the throne and took more power was also met with huge applause and screams.
While there was some technical difficulty playing the episode, eventually it all worked out, and the camaraderie in the room was amazing. The next big announcement was that season four will have 13 episodes and will premiere on November 5.
The She-Ra panel then went into questions that were asked by the host, TV Guide Features Editor Krutika Mallikarjuna, who did a great job giving everyone a chance to talk about their characters. First up was Stevenson, who talked about the trajectory of Season 4: “At the end of season three we shook everything up, and all of our characters are put in new situations and pushed to their limit… The power order has changed. The characters are starting to grow and come into these roles. Glimmer and Catra have now reached this top spot of power.” She also discussed how a lot of this season would explore the question, “What price do you have to pay for that power?”
The panelists all touched on the fact that this new season has really switched up the dynamics between all of the characters. While the focus on friendships — especially between Bo, Adora, and Glimmer — has been strong the last three seasons, these friendships are going to be tested.
Karen Fukuhara, who voices Glimmer, talked about her new role as queen and what this season has in store for the character: “Glimmer starts in a dark place this season. She doesn’t really have time to grieve. She doesn’t have that kind of luxury… This season was a lot of sadness and butting heads with Adora.”
In response to this, Aimee Carrero, who voices Adora, explained how her character felt about this new development that places Glimmer at the top leadership role and how to step aside. “I definitely see Adora struggling to give Glimmer that space,” she said. “I think there is this desire to step into almost a maternal role for her… She also promised Angella that she was going to protect Glimmer, and she overdoes it a little, causing friction.”
One question that fans continually are asking is if Catra will ever see the error of her ways and leave the Horde. The relationship between Adora and Catra is one of the driving relationships of the series, and fans ship these two characters together. So, many want to know what to expect from this relationship in Season 4.
Fans who are hoping for a happy relationship between Catra and Adora might not get it yet, if ever. A.J. Michalka, who voices Catra, talked about her character’s arc this season and whether or not she has passed the point of no return, saying, “I don’t know if she can be stopped now… She’s never really received proper validation from anyone, and, in a way, she has to validate herself… It’s at this point fully about winning.”
Stevenson added to this, explaining that Catra feels like, “I have to close myself off from my emotions and distance myself from anyone who cares about me.”
Carrero also talked some about this relationship from Adora’s point of view. Adora sees that Catra is going darker than ever before, and “it’s funny because they’re really growing in opposite directions at this point.” Carrero mentioned that their relationship mirrors real-life relationships that become toxic and grow apart, but there is still hope that they could come together again later. She said, “Adora recognizes Catra’s pain, too, so there’s a lot of empathy there.”
Another fan favorite character is Scorpia, who — despite her loving nature — is a member of the Horde and often not treated well by the people she tries to befriend, such as Catra. Ash, who voices Scorpia, talked about her character’s trajectory. She noted that what happened with Entrapta last season is going to impact her a lot and start her on a new journey.
Stevenson had this to say about Scorpia: “She defines herself by the love and care she gives to other people, only to see she’s not getting that love back… Her journey is learning how to love and take care of herself. She has this huge part of her, the fact that she’s a princess, that she hasn’t really explored.”
Then, a brief clip of a Scorpia-focused episode was shown. So, fans can look forward to an episode that dives deeper into her character. Also, an episode all about Bow having a “boys’ night out” was announced, so fans can also look forward to that.
Fans can also expect the fourth season to have the highest stakes ever. All of the characters will be pushed to their limits, although there will also be some fun episodes.
For those wondering about how dynamics will shift between beloved characters this upcoming season, Karen Fukuhara added this insight about the upcoming season: “Glimmer and Catra have risen to the top. Glimmer has lost her mother and she’s not going to lose anyone else. This pushes her to further extremes [when dealing with Catra] than definitely Adora is comfortable with.”
Lastly, the She-Ra panel showed off two new posters for the upcoming season. One features Adora, Glimmer and the Rebellion, and another features Catra and the Horde. Fans will be especially interested in a new character who is shown standing next to Catra’s throne.
According to Stevenson, this character is named Double Trouble and fans are going to love them — the language used made it seem like this character uses they/them pronouns. Is this something that Catra/Adora shippers should be worried about? Only time will tell when the new season of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power premieres next month.
The very last question posed to the She-Ra panel gives a lot of insight. The panelists were asked to sum up their characters’ arcs this season in one or two words. Adora’s words were “patient struggle, slow burn.” Glimmer’s were “broken relationships.” While Scorpia’s journey will be about “transformation,” Catra’s will be about being “revolutionary.”
Check out the She-Ra Season 4 teaser below.