In the original Star Wars film trilogy (1977–1983), Leia is princess of the planet Alderaan, a member of the Imperial Senate and a sympathizer to the Rebel Alliance. Becoming the romantic interest of smuggler Han Solo, she is later revealed to be the twin sister of Luke Skywalker, she and Luke secretly fathered by Darth Vader when he was Anakin Skywalker. The 2005 prequel film Revenge of the Sith establishes that the twins' mother is Senator (and former queen) Padmé Amidala of Naboo, who dies after delivering them in secret. Leia is adopted by Senator Bail and Queen Breha Organa of Alderaan.
- 1 Appearances
- 1.1 Feature films
- 1.1.1 Original trilogy
- 1.1.2 Prequel trilogy
- 1.1.3 Sequel trilogy
- 1.2 Expanded universe
- 1.1 Feature films
- 2 Character development
- 3 In popular culture
- 4 Reception
- 5 Family tree
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Introduced in the original 1977 film Star Wars, Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan is a member of the Imperial Senate. She is captured by Darth Vader on board the ship Tantive IV, where she is acting as a spy for the Rebel Alliance. Calling Leia a traitor, he demands that she hand over the secret technical plans he believes she has stolen of the Death Star, the Galactic Empire's most powerful weapon. Leia has secretly hidden the plans inside the Astromech droid R2-D2 and has sent it to find Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi on the nearby planet of Tatooine.
Vader has Leia tortured, but she resists revealing anything. Death Star commander Grand Moff Tarkin threatens to destroy her homeworld of Alderaan with the super weapon unless she reveals the location of the hidden Rebel base. She provides the location of an old, abandoned base, but Tarkin orders Alderaan to be destroyed anyway. Leia is subsequently aided in her escape by Obi-Wan, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, the Wookiee Chewbacca and the two droids R2-D2 and C-3PO. Analyzing the Death Star's plans, the Rebels find a tiny weakness in the weapon which Luke uses to destroy it in his X-wing fighter. The battle won, Leia bestows medals on its heroes at the hidden Rebel base on Yavin 4.
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
In The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Leia is at the Rebel base on Hoth. She aids in its evacuation during an Imperial attack, and then flees with Han, Chewbacca and C-3PO on Han's ship, the Millennium Falcon. They dodge pursuing Imperial TIE fighters by flying into an asteroid field when the Falcon 's hyperdrive breaks down. Romance blossoms between Leia and Han during their flight from the Empire; while hiding in the stomach of a space slug, they finally share a kiss.
With his ship needing repairs, Han seeks out his old friend Lando Calrissian at Cloud City, the floating city over Bespin. Though he welcomes them graciously, Lando soon turns them over to a newly arrived Darth Vader, who hopes to use them as bait to capture Luke. Leia confesses her love for Han as he is frozen in carbonite and then handed over to bounty hunter Boba Fett. Lando helps Leia, Chewbacca and the two droids escape. Luke and Vader engage in a deadly lightsaber duel; Luke loses a hand, and discovers that Vader is his father. Leia senses that Luke is in trouble, and goes back to save him.
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
In Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983), the Ubese bounty hunter Boushh brings a captive Chewbacca to Jabba the Hutt on Tatooine. Jabba is impressed by Boushh's ruthless bargaining—negotiating the price for Chewbacca while holding an armed thermal detonator—and offers the bounty hunter quarters in the palace for the night. Boushh is revealed to be Leia in disguise, and though she manages to free Han from the carbonite, they are recaptured by Jabba. Leia is now chained to Jabba as his slave, outfitted in a metal bikini. After Luke arrives and kills Jabba's "pet" Rancor, Jabba sentences Luke, Han and Chewbacca to be fed to the Sarlacc. Lando (disguised as a guard) helps them overpower their captors, and Leia seizes the moment to strangle Jabba with her chain. Luke and Leia swing to safety, blowing up Jabba's barge behind them.
Luke reveals to Leia that she is his twin sister and that Darth Vader is their father. Leia joins Han in leading the Rebels in a battle on Endor as the Rebel Fleet attacks the second Death Star. Leia is slightly injured but the Rebels, allied with the Ewoks, defeat the forces of the Empire.
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
In the prequel film Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005), Padmé Amidala is pregnant with Anakin Skywalker's twins near the end of the Clone Wars. During the film's epilogue, Padmé gives birth to Luke and Leia on Polis Massa and then dies. Leia is adopted by Senator Bail Organa and his wife Queen Breha of Alderaan.
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
In March 2013, Fisher confirmed that she would reprise her character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In November 2015, director J.J. Abrams said of the character, "She’s referred to as General but ... there's a moment in the movie where a character sort of slips and calls her 'Princess.'" Commenting on the story he added, "The stakes are pretty high in the story for her, so there’s not much goofing around where Leia’s concerned." Asked how Leia is handling things in the film, Fisher said, "Not easily ... [she is] solitary. Under a lot of pressure. Committed as ever to her cause, but I would imagine feeling somewhat defeated, tired, and pissed."
The original three Star Wars films have spawned a large franchise of works that include novels, comic books, video games and television series. Leia appears in much of this material, though in 2014 (with the sequel film The Force Awakens in production), Lucasfilm separated the Star Wars expanded universe (rebranded as Star Wars Legends) from official Star Wars canon.
Star Wars Holiday Special
Leia appears briefly in the 1978 television film Star Wars Holiday Special as a leader and administrator of the new Rebel Alliance base. She and C-3PO contact Chewbacca's wife Mallatobuck for assistance in finding Chewbacca and Han. Leia also appears in the cartoon segment at a different Rebel Base, located in an asteroid field, and at the Life Day ceremony at the end of the film. Fisher also appeared in and hosted the November 18, 1978 episode of Saturday Night Live that aired one day after the holiday special. The Summer 1983 issue of Rolling Stone magazine poked fun at this appearance.
In The Truce at Bakura (1993), set one day after the ending of Return of the Jedi, Leia establishes New Alderaan, a sanctuary for the destroyed planet's surviving inhabitants. The Royal House of Alderaan, as represented by Leia and her children, officially holds sovereignty over New Alderaan and the old Alderaan system, which are administered in her name by the government on New Alderaan. In the novel, Leia encounters the spirit of her father, Anakin Skywalker. He pleads for her forgiveness, but she angrily banishes him from her life because of his past crimes. Anakin says that he will be there for her should she need him, and disappears.
In Legends works set after Return of the Jedi, Leia is portrayed as a founding member of the New Republic. Although most of her life is devoted to such matters of state, she engages in limited study of the Jedi arts, with Luke as her teacher. Notably, she wields a blue lightsaber that she built herself.
In Queen of the Empire (1993) by Paul Davids and Hollace Davids, she is kidnapped by the "Prophets of the Dark Side", who try to brainwash her into pledging her loyalty to the Empire and marry their leader, Trioculus. Leia tricks her captors by having a look-alike droid take her place; the droid eventually kills Trioculus.
In Heir to the Empire (1991) by Timothy Zahn, Luke builds her a green lightsaber which she uses to help free the Noghri from their debt to the Empire. Luke then gives her a red lightsaber to complement the weapon she had constructed earlier.
As described in The Courtship of Princess Leia (1995), Leia marries Han after a near-disastrous courtship in which Prince Isolder vies for her affections. Han kidnaps Leia and takes her to the planet Dathomir, which he had won in a game of sabacc. There they encounter the Nightsisters, whose attempt to escape eventually leads to the demise of the Warlord Zsinj and his empire, equal rival at this time to both the Imperial Remnant and the New Republic.
At first, Leia does not want to have children, fearing they would succumb to the dark side as her father had done. In the novel Tatooine Ghost, however, she begins to understand what happened to her father to bring him to the dark side. When she and Han go on a mission to Tatooine to retrieve the Alderaanian moss-painting Killik Twilight and the Rebel code hidden within it, Leia discovers her grandmother Shmi Skywalker's diary and, with the help of her father's childhood friends Kitster and Wald, discovers her father was not always the monster she thought he was. Touched, Leia finally forgives her the spirit of her father.
In the Thrawn trilogy, Grand Admiral Thrawn, who had formed an alliance with Joruus C'Baoth, orders Noghri commandos to kidnap Leia, who is pregnant. C'Baoth intends to warp Leia and Luke to the Dark Side, and plans to corrupt also the two unborn twins. To avoid capture, she hides on the planet Kashyyyk, but her would-be kidnappers track her down. She later learns that Vader once landed on the Noghri home planet Honoghr and tricked the Noghri into serving the Empire by promising to help their planet recover from the ecological disaster that it suffered during the Clone Wars. Because of this, they are fiercely loyal to Vader. Leia is able to leverage her biological relationship to Vader to persuade a Noghri assassin to travel with her to Honoghr and help convince the Noghri of the Empire's deception. Leia shows an assembly of Noghri matriarchs that the droids which the Empire demanded are actively poisoning the land and slowing down the reconstruction. They leave the service of the Empire after one of their assassins (and Thrawn's personal bodyguard), Rukh, kills Thrawn during the Battle of Bilbringi and becomes allies of the New Republic. For her efforts, Leia is known as "Lady Vader" among the Noghri, and she and her family become revered figures in their society.
During the events of Dark Empire, the New Republic suffers severe setbacks, losing most of its worlds, as well as Luke Skywalker to the dark side. After her brother's capture on Coruscant, subsequent transport to Byss, and temptation by the cloned Palpatine, a pregnant Leia along with her husband, Han Solo, reach the Emperor's new stronghold of Byss, where she confronts the reincarnated Sith Lord. At first Leia is unsuccessful in turning Luke away from the dark side, but does manage to take a Jedi Holocron away from Palpatine's chambers. Leia boards Palpatine's Super Star Destroyer, Eclipse I, and appeals to the good in Luke, ultimately redeeming him. Brother and sister then fight Palpatine with the light side of the Force, cutting him off from the dark side and control of the titanic Force-generated storm he had created, intending to obliterate the Rebel Alliance fleet. The storm grows out of control, destroying both Eclipse I and Palpatine; Luke and Leia escape just in time.
In Empire's End, Leia gives birth to a second son, whom she names Anakin in honor of her father's redemption (See Solo family). Along with a Jedi named Jen, she defeats Palpatine's second-in-command, a Dark Jedi assassin. Palpatine is soon reborn in his last remaining clone body, which is quickly deteriorating, due to sabotage by traitorous minions. Leia is forced to flee to Onderon to hide Anakin from Palpatine, who intends to transfer his spirit into the infant. Palpatine does eventually find her, but Han accidentally shoots him in the back just as he is about to possess the baby. A sacrifice by a dying Jedi named Empatojayos Brand saves them both from Palpatine's wrath, and destroys Palpatine's malignant spirit forever.
New Jedi Order
In the New Jedi Order series, Leia resigns as Chief of State, and is replaced by Borsk Fey'lya. After the Yuuzhan Vong attack on Sernpidal, Leia goes before the Senate to bring attention to the threat posed by the approaching Yuuzhan Vong. Her pleas go unheeded and the Vong legions swarm into the galaxy, destroying system after system and defeating the Jedi and the New Republic army in countless battles. Leia contributes to the war effort by joining SELCORE, a movement that helps refugees.
In Vector Prime, Chewbacca's death sends Han into a deep depression, causing a large rift between him and Leia, culminating in his walking out of the marriage after an argument. They patch things up after Leia is gravely wounded by Tsavong Lah at the Battle of Duro. Their troubles are not yet over, however; when the Vong unleash the deadly voxyn, Leia is targeted by a Voxyn master slayer who has already killed many Jedi. With the help of her Noghri bodyguards, she eliminates the assassin with her lightsaber.
In Star By Star, Leia and Han lose their youngest son, Anakin, during the Myrkr mission and the fall of Coruscant. Leia and Han go to Hapes for Anakin's funeral, then on several missions to restore HoloNet communications to the Unknown Regions, including foiling a second attempt of the Ssi-ruuk to invade Bakura in the process.
Near the end of the Yuuzhan Vong war, she and Han rescue Thorsh, a prisoner from the internment camps of planet Selvaris. Later, they enter with Jedi Master Kyp Durron, a Bothan secret agent named Wraw, and a few more allies on the planet Callulla. During the battle with the Yuuzhan Vong warriors, she destroys a few Slayers and a Commander before being captured. The commando is eventually rescued by Lando Calrissian, Talon Karrde and Tendra, Lando's wife.
When Zonama Sekot makes its existence known near Coruscant in The Final Prophecy, Leia and Han travel there to be reunited with the rest of their family. While there, they meet Harrar, a Yuuzhan Vong priest. Leia, Han, and a few companions work with Harrar and a group of heretics to get inside the Well of the World Brain on Coruscant.
After the destruction of Shimrra and Supreme Overlord Onimi, Nom Anor travels with the Solo family across the labyrinth to escape the mighty war vessel of the Master Shaper. However, the executor turns on them and shoots his venom towards Han, but Jacen catches the poison, saving his father from certain death. Leia engages the Prefect before he can eliminate her husband and her elder son. She proves victorious and cuts off the rogue Nom Anor's arm. Leia and Han then leave Anor to die.
Leia then gives up politics and becomes Han's copilot, a position she holds for the next five years.
In The Joiner King, Leia and Han follow various Jedi who had disappeared into the Unknown Regions, and discover Raynar Thul is alive and had been taken in by a nest of Killiks. To avoid a war with the Chiss, Leia suggests to "UnuThul" (as Raynar was now known) that the Killik nest be moved to a new planet, but makes him think it is his idea. At this time, Leia comes to terms with her heritage and asks Saba Sebatyne to train her as a Jedi Knight, as per a promise Luke had made to her during the Thrawn crisis.
In The Unseen Queen, R2-D2 suffers some severe malfunctions and shows Luke a holoclip of his father and a pregnant woman, whom Luke learns is his and Leia's real mother, Padmé Amidala. In the holoclips, Anakin and Padmé are discussing a dream of Anakin's in which Padmé dies in childbirth. Before Luke can get more info out of R2, the droid has a meltdown, claiming he is protecting information. Frustrated, Luke contacts master slicer Ghent, who manages to recover one other holoclip from R2, this time featuring a scene in which Padmé is talking to Obi-Wan Kenobi about Anakin, which is displayed to both Luke and Leia. In The Swarm War, Luke and Leia finally see their mother's death. (All of these scenes were originally portrayed in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.) Also, Sebatyne tells Leia to construct a new lightsaber to show she is a true Jedi Knight.
Later on in the novel, she defeats the evil Joiner — and fallen Jedi — Alema Rar. She defeats her and assumes that she is dead, although Alema was in fact still alive, but severely injured.
Leia and Han unknowingly become grandparents to Allana, Jacen's daughter, but they finally find out the truth as of Fury.
Legacy of the Force
During the Legacy of the Force series, set some 35 years after Return of the Jedi, Leia supports Han, who feels allegiance to his native Corellia, even though she remains a Jedi Knight. However, they soon break from Corellia following that planet's plot to assassinate Queen Mother Tenel Ka, Allana's mother and a former Jedi.
In this series, her own son, Jacen, gradually falls to the dark side, and terrorizes the galaxy as the ruthless Sith Lord Darth Caedus. Leia tries to reason with Jacen at first, but ultimately disowns him after he commits a series of atrocities, and tacitly agrees to Han and Jaina's plan to hunt down and kill him. Jaina kills Jacen in Invincible, the final novel in the series, leaving the Solo family stricken with grief, even as they acknowledge that his death was "necessary". To cope with the loss, Leia and Han adopt Allana and pledge to raise her as their own.
In an interview published in 1999, Lucas commented on his early development of the Luke, Leia and Obi-Wan dynamic:
The first [version] talked about a princess and an old general. The second version involved a father, his son, and his daughter; the daughter was the heroine of the film. Now the daughter has become Luke, Mark Hamill's character. There was also the story of two brothers where I transformed one of them into a sister. The older brother was imprisoned, and the young sister had to rescue him and bring him back to their dad.
Film historian Laurent Bouzereau notes in his 1997 book Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays that in the rough draft of A New Hope, Leia is a roughly 13 to 15-year-old princess, the spoiled daughter of King Kayos and Queen Breha of Aquilae. In that draft she has two brothers, Biggs and Windy, who disappeared from subsequent drafts, with Biggs returning to the fourth draft as a childhood friend of Luke's. According to Dale Pollock in Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas (1999), Luke Skywalker was originally Luke Starkiller and "Leia is the daughter of Owen Lars and his wife Beru and seems to be Luke's cousin–together they visit the grave of his mother, who perished with his father on a planet destroyed by the Death Star. J. W. Rinzler explains in The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film (2007) that a later story synopsis establishes Leia as "Leia Antilles", the daughter of Bail Antilles from the peaceful world of Organa Major. In the fourth draft it was established that "Leia Organa" came instead from Alderaan.
Bouzereau notes that the second draft of the Return of the Jedi screenplay contained dialogue in which Obi-Wan explains to Luke that he has a twin sister. She and their mother were "sent to the protection of friends in a distant system. The mother died shortly thereafter, and Luke's sister was adopted by Ben's friends, the governor of Alderaan and his wife."
Background and characteristics
Princess Leia Organa is characterized as a driven, dedicated woman with a forceful personality. The "petite, fair-skinned human female" is known perhaps as the most beautiful and remembered woman in the Star Wars universe. Leia was loved by Luke Skywalker (before their sibling relationship was discovered), Han Solo, Prince Isolder (before he met Teneniel Djo) and others. In the Shadows of the Empire novels, Leia is seduced by the crime lord Prince Xizor, who bewitches her with pheromones. Chewbacca manages to break off the seduction, allowing Leia to defeat the gangster.
A woman warrior, Leia frequently takes part in combat operations. She is an excellent sharpshooter, missing rarely, if ever, with a blaster. She kills, among other villainous characters, Jabba the Hutt, choking him with the very chain that bound her to him; Leia is also responsible for Grand Admiral Thrawn's death, since she turns the Noghri against him. By redeeming her brother, she also helps bring about the destruction of the Clone Emperor. She even kills a Dark Jedi named Kueller with a blaster rifle, right before he is about to deal a fatal blow to Luke.
Though initially hesitant about her Jedi training, Leia later learns various Force techniques, and becomes a very proficient Jedi after finishing her training under Luke's guidance. She eventually becomes a full-fledged member of the New Jedi Order, developing her lightsaber skills and even further under the training of Master Saba Sebatyne. Leia displays her powers of the lightsaber by slaying a fully trained Dark Jedi, even before training under Master Sebatyne.
In popular culture
"Cinnamon buns" hairstyle
Leia's well-known hairdo in 1977's A New Hope has been affectionately dubbed the "doughnut hairstyle", or "cinnamon buns", by many science fiction fans. Carrie Fisher, in an appearance on the UK TV show Bring Back Star Wars, said she hated her character's hairstyle; she felt it made her face look rounder, and it took two hours every day to style. Miss Piggy of The Muppet Show copied the hairdo with doughnuts in a Star Wars-themed episode of the series in 1980. Also, in one scene from Mel Brooks' Spaceballs, Princess Vespa also appears to have the hairstyle, but reveals that she is actually wearing a large pair of headphones. In the parody film Thumb Wars, the role of Leia was filled by a character named Princess Bunhead, who, as the name implies, had two cinnamon rolls for hair. In 2015, Fisher's daughter Billie Lourd's character in the horror-comedy TV series Scream Queens, a rich and disaffected sorority girl known as Chanel No. 3, wears earmuffs in every scene as an homage to Fisher's iconic Leia hairstyle.
Young marriageable Hopi Indian women wear a very elaborate "Squash Blossom" hairdo that superficially resembles Princess Leia's. George Lucas, however, has denied a connection, saying: "In the 1977 film, I was working very hard to create something different that wasn't fashion, so I went with a kind of Southwestern Pancho Villa woman revolutionary look, which is what that is. The buns are basically from turn-of-the-century Mexico."
The term "Metal Bikini" refers to the iconic slave girl costume worn by Leia when she is held captive by Jabba the Hutt at the beginning of Return of the Jedi. The brass-accented bikini immediately positioned Fisher (and Leia) as a sex symbol, and gained a cult following of its own. Philip Chien of Wired wrote in 2006, "There's no doubt that the sight of Carrie Fisher in the gold sci-fi swimsuit was burned into the sweaty subconscious of a generation of fanboys hitting puberty in the spring of 1983."
"Princess Leia's Theme"
Composer John Williams created a musical leitmotif for Leia which recurs throughout the Star Wars saga. "Princess Leia's Theme" was recorded as a concert suite (4:18 length) for the score of the 1977 film.
In 2008, Princess Leia was selected by Empire magazine as the 89th of the greatest film characters of all time, with IGN listing her as the 8th top Star Wars hero. UGO Networks listed Leia as one of their best heroes of all time, stating that "even though she ended up hanging out with goofy teddy bears and making out with a doughy Harrison Ford, she always had that special something".
|Skywalker family tree|
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (DVD, 20th Century Fox, 2004), disc 1.
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, (DVD, 20th Century Fox, 2004), disc 1.
- Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (DVD, 20th Century Fox, 2004), disc 1.
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- Heir to the Empire, paperback edition, 1992. Timothy Zahn, ISBN 0-553-40471-7
- The Last Command, Paperback edition, 1994. Timothy Zahn, ISBN 0-553-56492-7
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- Bouzereau, Laurent (September 8, 1997). Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays. New York: Ballantine Books. ISBN 978-0345409812.
- Pollock, Dale (1999). Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas. New York: Da Capo Press. p. 146. ISBN 0-306-80904-4.
- Rinzler, J. W. (April 24, 2007). The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film. LucasBooks. ISBN 978-0345494764.
- Bouzereau (1997). The Annotated Screenplays. p. 270.
- Perry, Steve (1996). Shadows of the Empire. Spectra.
- Tom Veitch, Dark Empire anthology (Dark Horse Comics, 1993), ISBN 1-56971-073-2.
- Bui, Hoai-Tran (September 25, 2015). "The royal reason for Scream Queens earmuffs". USA Today. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
- Wieselman, Jarett (September 25, 2015). "Princess Leia’s Daughter Is Reprising That Iconic Star Wars Look". BuzzFeed. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
- Andrew Whittaker. Spain: Be Fluent in Spanish Life and Culture.
- "Native American Indian Hairstyles (Braids, Whorls, Scalplocks, Roached 'Mohawk' Hair, And Other Styles)". native-languages.org.
- "So, What's the Deal with Leia's Hair?" Time magazine
- Townsend, Allie (July 5, 2011). "Princess Leia's Gold Bikini in Return of the Jedi". Time. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
- Chien, Philip (July 11, 2006). "The Cult of Leia's Metal Bikini". Wired. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
- "Empire's The 100 Greatest Movie Characters". Empire Magazine. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
- Jesse Schedeen (August 14, 2008). "Top 25 Star Wars Heroes: Day 4". IGN. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
- UGO Team (January 21, 2010). "Best Heroes of All Time". UGO Networks. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
- Adopted father of Leia Organa
- Adopted mother of Leia Organa
- Anakin Skywalker created C-3PO
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Princess Leia|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Leia Organa Solo.|
- Princess Leia in the Official StarWars.com Encyclopedia