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? ;-)


Angie said...

Amen, Sister. Amen!

C.K. Dexter Haven said...

This is crazy! I just put on the Empire Strikes Back soundtrack just before I saw the title of your post! My blog precludes me from scribbling about my own 30 year Empire memories, but I can live through you! ;)

BTW, ever read the Star Wars comic books and strips? The strip drawn by Russ Manning had a fun story called "Princess Leia, Imperial Servant" that ran in newspapers in late 1979. Leia battles Grand Moff Tarkin's widow...

So many Star Wars memories...the 1977-83 trilogy, that is (sad that we have to specify)

Laura said...

Loved your thoughts and heartily concur...would you believe my husband and I used the "Throne Room" music from the end of the original film for our wedding recessional, and earlier this year my nephew did the exact same thing?

My kids got my husband a t-shirt for his birthday that says HAN SHOT FIRST.

Best wishes,

Princess Fire and Music said...

I felt the same way about growing up with four male cousins. Unfortunately we were never much into Star Wars; if we had been, it may have solved a lot of arguments. ;)

David Bishop said...

Even though I'm a devote Firefly fan, I prefer the Han/Leia relationship to the Mal/Inara one. In fact, I prefer Leia to Inara on most counts.

David Bishop said...


Blast the typos!

SciFiDrive said...

Leia and Han are one of the best romance couples around, great dialogue too.

Vanessa said...

Excellent post! I always wanna be the girl when we play LEGO starwars on the computer.

Madgestic said...

Oh my, I just loved this!

"Some day you're gonna be wrong. I just hope I'm there to see it".

Thing is, how could Leia be anything but awsome? Born of a powerful queen and a would-be great jedi who ended up wheezing in a kinky suit, Princess Leia was simply destined for stardom :)

And she and Han Solo were so nasty to each other, of course they were destined to get it on...

Sally said...

I love this!! I completely agree!

Bluej said...

love the post and i couldnt agree more!

Anonymous said...

Given all of Princess Leia's qualities and assets it's next to impossible to resist her. Her likes and dislikes make me believe that she and I could really hit it off. Am I crazy? I'm not royalty.

AddThis Feed Button