Before Hermione Granger, Katniss Everdeen, Moana, and even the “Star Wars” current heroine, Rey, there was Princess Leia of the original “Star Wars” trilogy. After the announcement of Carrie Fisher’s death last week, many are left mourning the legacy of the talented and fierce actress.
Perhaps Fisher’s most important legacy is her portrayal as the original feminist princess. As the sharp-tongued Princess Leia, she simultaneously displayed strength by leading battles and vulnerability in allowing herself to fall in love with Han Solo. Below are some other reasons why Princess Leia was so revolutionary.
She knew how to fight and strategize with the boys
Whenever Leia was ever in trouble, she was never a “damsel in distress.” In the first scenes of “Star Wars,” she uses a laser gun. She always gave suggestions on what to do and fought back, especially in this memorable scene with Luke where they shoot at the stormtroopers.
Who could forget it was also Leia who killed Jabba the Hut? Now, that’s epic female-oriented cinema.
She had a razor tongue
Leia was the complete opposite of submissive. She called out the “bad boys” for their behavior, calling Han Solo a “scoundrel” before their kiss; stood up to Darth Vader and refused to give the location of the Rebel Base; and called out Governor Tarkin’s “foul stench.”
Her epic comebacks are unforgettable, like when she told Han Solo she would rather kiss a Wookie or called him out for being “pretentious.” Leia was never afraid to be bold and tell it like it was.
She knew how to be a leader
As the adopted daughter of a political figure, Leia was born to be a leader. Like any leader, she could juggle multiple jobs: diplomat, war hero, spy, and undercover agent. She was also celebrated for her accomplishments. Empire Magazine dubbed her one of the greatest film characters of all time.
One of Carrie Fisher’s most memorable quotes was the joy of being typecasted as a strong heroine in the male-dominated “Star Wars,” saying:
“I got to be the only girl in an all boy fantasy, and it’s a great role for women. She’s a very proactive character and gets the job done. So if you’re going to get typecast as something, that might as well be it for me.”
Well said, Carrie Fisher, and most importantly, well done for setting the example for other strong heroines to follow.
Do you think Princess Leia was a feminist icon? What will you miss the most about Carrie Fisher? Tweet @issabasco.