Why I love Princess Leia

Growing up with two older brothers, there was always a bit of a tug-of-war between me wanting to be one of the boys and wanting to be girly. When we played with our LEGO people, for example, I was not at all happy to be told that to go into space, my girl would have to take off her hair piece and wear a helmet. (Mom had to mediate that one.) And, while there were many things we enjoyed with three main characters, it always seemed that I got stuck with the lousy one in our play-acting. Alvin and the Chipmunks? My brothers were easily Alvin and Simon, leaving me... Theodore? Tron was another case where Tron and Flynn suited the boys perfectly, and who was left for me? Ram. (I know what you're thinking: What about Yori? Well, did she have a lightcycle? Exactly.)

But when it came to Star Wars, we could all be happy. We had the figurines (that would have been worth something eventually if they hadn't ended up, with the exception of one Stortrooper and one Ewok, in the garbage) (which, by the way, my mom still gets unfairly blamed for). My brothers could be Luke and Han, or Han and Chewie, or C3PO and R2D2, or Darth Vader and Obi-Wan, or Boba Fett and Salacious Crumb for all I cared, just as long as I got to be Princess Leia.

So, let's talk for a minute about the coolness of Princess Leia. It hardly seems necessary to explain, but here are some of my reasons for loving her:

"Who is she? She's beautiful." Princess Leia really is a pretty pretty princess, in a non-fussy sort of way. Sure, she spends most of A New Hope in what amounts to a draped sheet with her hair rolled up into what looks like cinnamon rolls. But when she has a chance to clean up, she does it nicely. And she sure knows a lot of fancy hair-braiding tricks that I wish I knew.

She's got style. Closely tied into the beauty point, I appreciate that Leia has an outfit suitable for any occasion. She's got ceremony style and winter style and visiting-a-city-in-the-clouds style. She's even got bounty hunter style when the need arises. (The slave outfit is a bit over the top, but then, she didn't pick that one out herself. Jabba's taste definitely crossed the line into tacky.)

She's got attitude. She doesn't seem a bit afraid of Vader or Tarkin, at least not until they threaten her planet. Even when she's on death row and woken up in her cell by a Stormtrooper, her first words are a clever remark. And when her would-be rescuers can't save her, she makes her own (albeit stinky) escape route. 

She's got a softer side too. Just because she knows how to sass the Imperials doesn't mean she isn't a nice person. Sure, she may be a bit confused about what type of affection is appropriate between siblings, but she's even got a soft spot for scoundrels, and anyone the Ewoks like is OK in my book.

She speaks Ubese. But then again, so do I."Yatay, yatoh."

Charming to the last. I still want to be Princess Leia.

Here's just a few other fun Star Wars thoughts I'd like to share:
  •  I'm an original Star Wars purist, which means that I still prefer watching my unaltered VHS tapes to the "enhanced" DVDs. Yeah, I don't like Greedo shooting first, I'm fine not seeing Jabba until Return of the Jedi, I hate the Boba Fett voiceovers in Empire and the vision of young Anakin with old Obi and Yoda at the end of ROTJ, and more than anything else I can't stand the updated music in ROTJ. The changes in Jabba's palace are bad enough, but the closing music at the celebration on Endor just makes me mad. If I hear the new song, I sing the Ewok version as loud as I can over it. "Yub-yub..."
  • Like many fans, I was disappointed by the prequels. The best part of The Phantom Menace to me (well, after Ewan McGregor) was the kids outside the theater dressed up as Obi-Wan and Darth Maul, acting out a perfectly choreographed duel.
  • My brother pointed out to me that most of Jabba-speak has the same amount of syllables and inflection as the subtitled dialogue. Now I can't watch it without imagining the English over Jabba's voice in just the same way.
  • I really enjoy playing LEGO Star Wars. If you haven't played it, you should, it's great. Guess who my favorite character is? ;-)
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