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Princess Leia

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Princess Leia

Princess Leia
Star Wars character
Carrie Fisher wearing Princess Leia's characteristic hairstyle in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
Portrayed by Carrie Fisher (Episodes IV-VII, Star Wars Holiday Special)
Aidan Barton (Episode III)
Ann Sachs (original trilogy radio dramatizations)
Catherine Taber (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II and Star Wars: Detours)
Lisa Fuson (Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, Star Wars: Masters of Teräs Käsi, Star Wars: Rebellion, Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds and Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out)
Joyce Kurtz (Star Wars: Battlefront II)
Grey DeLisle (Star Wars: Force Commander)
Fictional profile
Species Human
Gender Female
Position Heir to the Alderaanian throne
Senator of Alderaan
New Republic diplomat
Jedi Knight
Homeworld Alderaan
(original homeworld; destroyed)
Polis Massa
(new homeworld)
Affiliation Imperial Senate, Rebel Alliance, New Republic/Galactic Alliance, Jedi

Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, later Leia Organa Solo, is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe, portrayed by the actress Carrie Fisher.[1][2][3]

The character is one of the main protagonists of the original Star Wars trilogy, the romantic interest of Han Solo,[4] and revealed as the twin sister of Luke Skywalker as well as the daughter of Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) and Padmé Amidala.


Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

In her first appearance in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Princess Leia is introduced as the Princess of Alderaan and a member of the Imperial Senate.

Darth Vader captures her on board the ship Tantive IV, where she is acting as a spy for the Rebel Alliance. He accuses her of being a traitor and demands to know the location of the secret technical plans of the Death Star, the Galactic Empire's most powerful weapon. Unknown to Vader, the young Senator has 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.

Later, Vader has her tortured but she resists telling him anything. Still believing she could be useful, Death Star commander Grand Moff Tarkin threatens to destroy Alderaan with the super weapon unless she reveals the location of the hidden Rebel base. She lies to them, and Tarkin orders Alderaan to be destroyed anyway. She is finally rescued by Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Obi-Wan, the Wookiee Chewbacca, and the two droids R2-D2 and C-3PO.

When they finally escape at the expense of Obi-Wan's life sacrificed in a duel with Vader, they take part in a major battle in which Luke destroys the Death Star in his X-wing fighter. In the Massassi Temple at the hidden Rebel base on Yavin 4, the radiant Princess presents the Alderaanian Medal of Freedom to her rescuers and the heroes of the battle.[1]

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Three years later in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Princess Leia is at the Rebel base on Hoth.

She later helps with the evacuation of Hoth during an Imperial attack, remaining at her station until Han Solo forces her to leave with him. She flees with C-3PO, Han and Chewbacca on their Millennium Falcon ship. Although they are pursued by Imperial TIE fighters, they dodge their fire by flying into an asteroid field when the hyperdrive for the Falcon breaks down. Romance blossoms between Leia and Han during their flight from the Empire; while hiding in the stomach of a space slug, she finally shares a kiss with the Corellian smuggler. Later, when they stop at Bespin for repairs, Lando Calrissian turns them over to the Empire to which Darth Vader plans to use them as bait for Luke Skywalker. Han is also used as a test subject for the carbon freezing chamber meant for Luke, and it is there that Leia finally confesses her love for Han. Vader then gives the frozen Han to bounty hunter Boba Fett.

Later, Lando helps Leia, Chewbacca and the two droids escape. Chewbacca chokes Lando for giving Han to Darth Vader, Boba Fett and Jabba the Hutt and she angrily tells him they do not need his help. While escaping, she senses that Luke is in trouble and makes them go back for him. They save Luke after he falls into Vader's trap and is badly hurt in a near-fatal duel against Vader.[2]

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

One year later in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Princess Leia along with Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, Luke Skywalker and the droids C-3PO and R2-D2 go to Tatooine to try to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt.

Leia's part of the plan consists of posing as the Ubese bounty hunter Boushh turning Chewbacca over to Jabba. Her ruthless bargaining, negotiating the price for Chewbacca while holding an armed thermal detonator, impresses Jabba enough to allow her quarters in the palace for the night. The Huttese gangster eventually discovers her real identity, captures her, makes her his new slave girl and forces her to wear her iconic metal bikini after she frees Han from the carbonite.[3] After Luke kills the Rancor, Jabba sentences Luke and Han to be fed to the Sarlacc. Just as all seems lost, Lando (disguised as a guard) helps Luke and Han overpower their captors. Leia seizes the moment to kill Jabba by strangling him with the very chain that bound her. R2-D2 cuts her loose, and after Luke boards the sailbarge, the Jedi Knight rescues Leia. With Leia's help, Luke uses a deck cannon to blow up his barge as they swing to safety.[3]

While preparing for a last battle with the Empire on Endor, Luke reveals to Leia that she is, in fact, his twin sister and that Darth Vader is their father. Initially reluctant to believe him, Leia realizes that Luke speaks the truth. Leia joins Han in leading the Rebels in a final battle as the Rebel Fleet battle the second Death Star. Leia is slightly injured in the battle but nevertheless helps the Rebels, allied with the Ewoks, to defeat the Empire.[3]

Star Wars Holiday Special

Leia briefly appears in the 1978 TV movie Star Wars Holiday Special. In the show, Leia is a leader and administrator of the new Rebel Alliance base. She is accompanied by C-3PO when contacting Mallatobuck (Chewbacca's wife) for assistance in finding Chewbacca and Han. She 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.[5] Fisher also appeared in and hosted the November 18, 1978 episode of Saturday Night Live that aired one day after the holiday special.[6] The Summer 1983 issue of Rolling Stone magazine poked fun at this appearance.[7]

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

In the Emperor Palpatine's newly declared Galactic Empire.

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

In March 2013, Carrie Fisher confirmed that she would reprise her character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.[8][9]

Star Wars literature

In The Truce at Bakura, 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 Organa Solo and her children, officially holds sovereignty over both New Alderaan and the old Alderaan system. Her position is largely ceremonial, however, as the government on New Alderaan actually administers the Alderaan system and New Alderaan in her name.

That same day, she encounters the spirit of her father, now redeemed and resuming the form of his original self, Anakin Skywalker. He pleads for her forgiveness, but she angrily banishes him from her life because of his past crimes. Knowing this, Anakin says that he will be there for her should she need him, and disappears.

In Expanded Universe materials 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 by Paul Davids and Hollace Davids,[10] 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 by Timothy Zahn,[11] 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, 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.[11] 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.[11] 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.[12]

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.

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. Han and Leia 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, Han and Leia 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. Han and Leia 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, Han and Leia 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.

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.

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.

Character development

Initial rough concept sketch of Princess Leia.

In the rough draft of A New Hope, Leia was roughly 13 - 15-year-old princess (the same age as [14]


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.[15] 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.[15]

A woman warrior, Leia frequently takes part in combat operations. She is an excellent sharpshooter, missing rarely, if ever, with a blaster.[1][2][3] She kills, among other villainous characters, Jabba the Hutt, choking him with the very chain that bound her to him;[3] Leia is also responsible for Grand Admiral Thrawn's death, since she turns the Noghri against him.[12] By redeeming her brother, she also helps bring about the destruction of the Clone Emperor.[16] 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

The "cinnamon bun hairstyle"

Leia's well-known hairdo in A New Hope has been affectionately dubbed the "doughnut hairstyle", or "cinnamon buns", by many science fiction fans.[1] 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 Jim Henson's Muppet Babies copied the hairdo with doughnuts in a Star Wars-themed episode of the series. 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.

The hairdo has also been compared to the Iberian sculpture Lady of Elche.[17]

Hopi girl, 1922

Young marriageable Pancho Villa woman revolutionary look, which is what that is. The buns are basically from turn-of-the-century Mexico."[19]

"Princess Leia's Theme"

"Princess Leia's Theme" is represented by the musical leitmotif in the Star Wars saga. The piece was composed by John Williams.

It first appeared in A New Hope, heard when Princess Leia is captured by Darth Vader. Later, it plays as R2-D2 plays her holographic message to Obi-Wan Kenobi. The theme plays when Obi-Wan Kenobi is killed by Vader. Finally, it plays in the end credits.

In The Empire Strikes Back, the theme is developed into "Han Solo and the Princess". "Princess Leia's Theme" plays as Han Solo tells Leia that he must leave to settle his debt with Jabba the Hutt. The only other time it plays is at the end of the movie, when Leia and Lando Calrissian rescue Luke Skywalker from Cloud City and Leia and Luke are reunited.

In Return of the Jedi, the theme is heard as Leia shoots a stormtrooper on Endor. Earlier it plays as Luke mentions her name on Dagobah.

The theme was revived for Revenge of the Sith, when Bail Organa has a conversation with Obi-Wan Kenobi about adopting her. It is then heard during the final montage at the end of the film as her adoptive parents hold the newborn Leia. It plays one last time during the end credits.

Metal bikini

The term "Metal Bikini" refers to the iconic slave girl costume worn by Princess Leia when she was held captive in Jabba the Hutt's palace, at the beginning of Return of the Jedi.[3] The skimpy costume consisted of a copper brassiere fastened over the neck and behind the back with string, copper plates at the groin in front and back, a red silk loincloth, and leather boots. There were other various adornments, including a hair fastener, a snake arm-wrap and two bracelets. Last, there was the chain and collar that bound her to Jabba.

After her appearance wearing the "golden metal bikini", Carrie Fisher (and thus Leia herself) almost immediately became a cult sex symbol.[20] Leia's metallic bikini scenes were voted by Empire magazine as among the most memorable in movie history.

One Wired magazine editor stated the only reason for the outfit's fame is "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."[20]


In 2008, Princess Leia was selected by Empire magazine as the 89th of the greatest film characters of all time,[21] with IGN listing her as the 8th top Star Wars hero.[22] 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".[23]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (DVD, 20th Century Fox, 2004), disc 1.
  2. ^ a b c Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, (DVD, 20th Century Fox, 2004), disc 1.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (DVD, 20th Century Fox, 2004), disc 1.
  4. ^ In a 2005 interview with MTV News, Lucas confirmed: "Han and Leia did get married. They settled down. She became a senator, and they got a nice little house with a white picket fence. Han Solo is out there cooking burgers on the grill. Is that a movie? I don't think so."
  5. ^ George Lucas.
  6. ^ Star Wars Insider 97
  7. ^ - StarWars.comChecklist: 10 Strange Star Wars Magazine Covers
  8. ^ Chitwood, Adam (March 5, 2013). "Carrie Fisher Confirms She’ll Return as Princess Leia in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII". Collider. Retrieved March 5, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Carrie Fisher returns for Star Wars: Episode VII". Headline Miami. Retrieved March 7, 2013. 
  10. ^ Queen of the Empire, paperback edition, 1993. Paul Davids and Hollace Davids, ISBN ISBN 0-553-15891-0
  11. ^ a b c Heir to the Empire, paperback edition, 1992. Timothy Zahn, ISBN 0-553-40471-7
  12. ^ a b The Last Command, Paperback edition, 1994. Timothy Zahn, ISBN 0-553-56492-7
  13. ^ The Annotated Screenplays, softcover, 1997. George Lucas, Leigh Brackett, Lawrence Kasdan, Laurent Bouzereau.
  14. ^ The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film
  15. ^ a b  
  16. ^ Tom Veitch, Dark Empire anthology (Dark Horse Comics, 1993), ISBN 1-56971-073-2.
  17. ^ Andrew Whittaker. Spain: Be Fluent in Spanish Life and Culture. 
  18. ^ "Native American Hairstyles"
  19. ^ "So, What's the Deal with Leia's Hair?" Time magazine
  20. ^ a b The Cult of Leia's Bikini" -""". WIRED. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  21. ^ The 100 Greatest Movie Characters"Empire's". Empire Magazine. Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  22. ^ Jesse Schedeen (August 14, 2008). "Top 25 Star Wars Heroes: Day 4". IGN. Retrieved May 16, 2011. 
  23. ^ UGO Team (January 21, 2010). "Best Heroes of All Time".  

External links

  • Princess Leia in the Official Encyclopedia
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