Princess Leia

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Princess Leia Organa
Star Wars character
Princess Leia's characteristic hairstyle.jpg
Promotional photo of Fisher wearing Princess Leia's characteristic hairstyle in Star Wars (1977)
First appearance Star Wars (1977)
Last appearance The Force Awakens (2015)
Created by George Lucas
Portrayed by
Voiced by
Aliases Boushh (Return of the Jedi)
Species Human
Gender Female
Spouse(s) Han Solo (Expanded universe)
Homeworld Alderaan

Princess Leia Organa is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise, portrayed in films by Carrie Fisher.

In the original Star Wars film trilogy (1977–83), 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.

In the Star Wars expanded universe, Leia becomes a trained Jedi Master and the Chief of State of the New Republic. She is the mother to three children by Han: Jaina, Jacen and Anakin Solo.

Leia's "cinnamon buns" hairstyle from Star Wars (1977) and metal bikini costume from Return of the Jedi (1983) have become cultural icons of the series.



Princess Leia has been called a 1980s icon,[1] a feminist hero[2] and even "the toughest woman in the galaxy".[3] Describing the character as "a smart, feisty, brave diplomat and warrior", Mark Edlitz wrote for The Huffington Post in 2010 that "Leia is an exemplary personification of female empowerment."[4] In 2008, Leia was selected by Empire magazine as the 89th of the greatest film characters of all time,[5] and IGN listed her as their 8th top Star Wars hero.[6] UGO Networks listed Leia as one of their best heroes of all time in 2010.[7]

In their 2012 essay "Lightsabers, Political Arenas, and Marriages", Ray Merlock and Kathy Merlock Jackson cite Leia as the successor of earlier science fiction heroines Wilma Deering of Buck Rogers and Dale Arden of Flash Gordon, and the embodiment of "a new stage in the ongoing presentation of the fairy-tale princess in jeopardy". Writing that "after Leia, no longer would princesses be passive and salvaged simply with a kiss," they note the reflection of the character in later Disney Princess animated films and in woman warriors such as Ellen Ripley from the Alien franchise and Xena of the adventure TV series Xena: Warrior Princess.[8]

David Bushman, television curator at the Paley Center for Media, said in 2012, "From the male perspective ... Princess Leia was a very creditable character for her time—not perfect, but certainly defiant, assertive, and strong."[1] Alyssa Rosenberg of The Washington Post wrote in 2015, "Leia wasn't just the first great heroine of science fiction and fantasy to capture my imagination. She was one of the first characters I encountered whose power came from her political conviction and acumen."[9] In her 2007 article "Feminism and the Force: Empowerment and Disillusionment in a Galaxy Far, Far Away", Diana Dominguez cited Leia as a welcome change from the previously uninspiring portrayals of women in film and TV.[8] She wrote:

Here was a woman who could play like and with the boys, but who didn't have to become one of the boys and who could, if and when she wanted to, show she liked the boys, a woman who is outspoken, unashamed, and, most importantly, unpunished for being so. She isn't a flirty sex-pot, tossing her hair around seductively to distract the enemy ... She doesn't play the role of "Maternal caretaker", although she does display caring and compassion, or "the sweet innocent damsel" who stands passively by while the men do all the work, but does step aside to let them do what they're good at when it is wise to do so ... Leia is a hero without losing her gendered status; she does not have to play the cute, helpless sex kitten or become sexless and androgynous to get what she wants. She can be strong, sassy, outspoken, bossy, and bitchy, and still be respected and seen as feminine.[8]

Rosenberg writes that, though at first Luke is an apolitical innocent in search of adventure and Han is a detached opportunist in search of money, both are "influenced by Leia’s passion [and] take their places as full participants in the Rebellion".[9] She notes, "Everyone else eventually comes around to Leia’s view the world."[9] Leia herself, singularly dedicated to her political movement against the Empire, "finds a partner in Han, acknowledging that personal happiness can help her sustain her commitment to building a better galactic order".[9] Rosenberg cites "Leia's willingness to see the best in him, and Han's desire to live up to her belief in him" as a foundation of their relationship, also pointing out his attempts to make her recognize that she has needs like anyone else and should acknowledge that she needs him.[9] Fisher told Rolling Stone in 1983:

There are a lot of people who don't like my character in these movies; they think I'm some kind of space bitch. She has no friends, no family; her planet was blown up in seconds ... so all she has is a cause. From the first film [Star Wars], she was just a soldier, front line and center. The only way they knew to make the character strong was to make her angry. In Return of the Jedi, she gets to be more feminine, more supportive, more affectionate.[10]

She said in 2014:

I would rather have played Han Solo. When I first read the script I thought that's the part to be, always wry and sardonic. He's always that. I feel like a lot of the time Leia's either worried or pissed or, thank God, sort of snarky. But I'm much more worried and pissed than Han Solo ever was, and those aren't fun things to play ... I had a lot of fun killing Jabba the Hutt. They asked me on the day if I wanted to have a stunt double kill Jabba. No! That's the best time I ever had as an actor. And the only reason to go into acting is if you can kill a giant monster.[11]


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.[12]

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.[13] 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.[14] 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.[15]

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."[16] Fisher herself explained in 1983, "Leia's real father left her mother when she was pregnant, so her mother married this King Organa. I was adopted and grew up set apart from other people because I was a princess. In terms of the character, I don't know my real father ... until ... "[10]

Feature films[edit]

Original trilogy[edit]

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope[edit]

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.

Rosenberg writes about Leia in the film:

Leia’s nerves as a revolutionary are clear from the moment she arrives on screen ... She takes shots at the Storm Troopers boarding her ship, gets stunned with a blaster in her hand, then has the audacity to try to make Darth Vader feel ashamed of himself ... She has enough energy left over after a nasty session of torture to insult Grand Moff Tarkin. And while she grieves when her home planet, Alderaan, is destroyed by the Death Star, Leia’s not paralyzed: when her unexpected rescuers show up, she’s ready to go, and to gripe about their operational sloppiness.[9]

Rosenberg also notes that, though Han is almost immediately attracted to Leia, they conflict because she insists on asserting command and he automatically resists, even as she proves herself to be worthy of it.[9] And despite her initial disdain for the smuggler, whom she sees as selfish, Leia later acknowledges "I knew there was more to you than money" when Han comes through for the Rebellion.[9]

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back[edit]

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.

Rosenberg notes:

Yes, it’s slightly ridiculous ... that [Han] tries to pry a confession of affection out of her on Hoth, as Leia is trying to manage an evacuation with just an ion cannon for defense. But Han’s not wrong that if Leia doesn't figure out that she’s a person with needs, she's going to burn out ... In a way, it’s an early confession of love: Han’s anxious about the bounty hunters who are still pursuing him ... But he would stay and give his love and support to Leia if she could just acknowledge that she needs him.[9]

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi[edit]

In 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.

Fisher told Rolling Stone in 1983, "In Return of the Jedi, [Leia] gets to be more feminine, more supportive, more affectionate. But let's not forget that these movies are basically boys' fantasies. So the other way they made her more female in this one was to have her take off her clothes."[10] Rosenberg writes of Han and Leia:

And we know those two crazy kids are locked for life in Return of the Jedi when it turns out that Han has accepted a Generalship in the Rebellion, keeping it a secret from Leia. In A New Hope, Leia was grumbling about the quality of Han as a rescuer ... But when she finds out what Han’s done, accepting a rank he once found insulting and a mission she knows to be dangerous, Leia is the first person to volunteer to join his strike team. In Star Wars, that’s what love looks like: trusting your partner’s commitment to the cause and respecting his strategic and technical judgement.[9]

Bouzereau quoted Lucas in 1997:

The part that I never really developed is the death of Luke and Leia's mother. I had a backstory for her in earlier drafts, but it basically didn't survive. When I got to Jedi, I wanted one of the kids to have some kind of memory of her because she will be a key figure in the new episodes I'm writing. But I really debated whether or not Leia should remember her.[17]

Prequel trilogy[edit]

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith[edit]

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.

Film critic Peter Travers of Rolling Stone writes, "As we watch Anakin nearly melt in the lava, only to be put together, Frankenstein style, in a lab while Lucas intercuts scenes of Padme giving birth to the twins Luke and Leia, a link to genuine feeling is established at last. It's too little and too late. To hail Revenge of the Sith as a satisfying bridge to a classic is not just playing a game of the Emperor's New Clothes, it's an insult to what the original accomplished."[18]

Sequel trilogy[edit]

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens[edit]

In March 2013, Fisher confirmed that she would reprise her character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.[19] 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.'"[3] 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."[3] 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."[3]

Expanded universe[edit]

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.[20]


Star Wars Holiday Special[edit]

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.[21] Fisher also appeared in and hosted the November 18, 1978 episode of Saturday Night Live that aired one day after the holiday special.[22] The Summer 1983 issue of Rolling Stone magazine poked fun at this appearance.[23][24]


The 1978 novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye by Alan Dean Foster was commissioned by Lucas as the basis for a potential low-budget sequel to Star Wars should the film prove unsuccessful.[25] In the story, Luke and Leia seek a crystal on a swampy planet and eventually face Vader in combat.

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. In the novel, the spirit of Anakin Skywalker appears to Leia and pleads for her forgiveness, but she angrily banishes him from her life.

In Shadows of the Empire (1996) by Steve Perry, the first Star Wars novel set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Leia is searching for Boba Fett to find a captive Han. She is bewitched by the crime lord Prince Xizor using pheromones, but Chewbacca helps her elude the seduction.[26]

New Republic[edit]

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,[27] 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,[28] 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 2003 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.

Thrawn trilogy[edit]

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.[28] 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.[28] 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.

In The Last Command, Leia gives birth to the twins Jaina and Jacen on Coruscant during Thrawn's siege.[29]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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.

Cultural impact[edit]

Princess Leia has been called a 1980s icon,[1] a feminist hero[2] and "an exemplary personification of female empowerment."[4] In 2008, Leia was selected by Empire magazine as the 89th of the greatest film characters of all time,[5] and IGN listed her as their 8th top Star Wars hero.[6] UGO Networks listed Leia as one of their best heroes of all time in 2010.[7] The character has also been referenced or parodied in several TV shows and films.[30]

"Cinnamon buns" hairstyle[edit]

Leia's unique hairdo in 1977's A New Hope has been come to be known as the "doughnut" or "cinnamon buns" hairstyle.[8] Miss Piggy of The Muppet Show copied the hairdo with doughnuts in a Star Wars-themed episode of the series in 1980. In the 1987 Mel Brooks comedy film Spaceballs, Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga) appears to have the hairstyle, which is soon revealed to in fact be a large pair of headphones.[30] In the parody film Thumb Wars, the role of Leia was filled by a character named Princess Bunhead, who has 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.[31][32]

The hairdo has also been compared to the Iberian sculpture Lady of Elche.[33]

Hopi girl, 1922

Young marriageable Hopi Indian women wear a very elaborate "Squash Blossom" hairdo that superficially resembles Princess Leia's.[34] As to his inspiration, George Lucas said in 2002, "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."[35]

Metal bikini[edit]

Princess Leia (played by Carrie Fisher) in her iconic "metal bikini" slave outfit from Return of the Jedi (1983)

Leia's slave costume when she is held captive by Jabba the Hutt at the beginning of Return of the Jedi—made of brass and dubbed Leia's "Metal Bikini" or "Gold Bikini"—immediately made the character (and Fisher) a "generational sex symbol" celebrated by pin-up posters,[1][36] and later merchandising and cosplay.[2][37][38] The outfit itself has gained a cult following of its own.[37]

"Princess Leia's Theme"[edit]

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.

Family tree[edit]

Main article: Skywalker family

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Schou, Silvej (November 2, 2012). "The new Star Wars and women: Female sci-fi directors on Leia, Amidala, and what lies ahead". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 25, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Rosenberg, Alyssa (October 23, 2015). "The fraught history of Princess Leia’s infamous bikini". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 11, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d Breznican, Anthony (November 11, 2015). "She's Not Called 'Princess' Leia Anymore". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 11, 2015. 
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External links[edit]