Princess Leia Organa Solo (born as Leia Amidala Skywalker) is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe. She is portrayed by actress Carrie Fisher in A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back , Return of the Jedi, and The Star Wars Holiday Special. Aiden Barton appeared as an infant Leia in Revenge of the Sith. Ann Sachs provided the voice of Leia in the 1980s radio dramas of the original trilogy.
She is one of the main protagonists of the original Star Wars trilogy. In Return of the Jedi, it is revealed that she is the twin sister of Luke Skywalker, and thus the daughter of Darth Vader. In the Star Wars prequel films, her mother is identified as Padmé Amidala. Her adoptive father is Bail Organa, the head of Alderaan's royal family and a supporting character in the prequels; in later Star Wars literature she marries Han Solo, her romantic interest in the original films.
Star Wars filmsEdit
By the fictional chronology, Leia first appears in Revenge of the Sith, when Padmé gives birth to her and Luke at Polis Massa. (In an apparent plothole, Leia is able to recall in Return of the Jedi — set 23 years later—that her mother was "very beautiful, kind, but sad," despite the fact that Padme Amidala dies only minutes after Leia is born.
After Padmé's death, Jedi Masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda decide that they must hide the Skywalker children from their father, former Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, who had recently turned to the dark side and became the Sith Lord Darth Vader. Leia is sent to Alderaan with the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO with her adoptive parents, Bail and Breha Organa, so she would not be found by the Empire.
At the age of 16, Leia becomes the youngest member of the Imperial Senate and becomes good friends with Senator Pooja Naberrie of Naboo, her maternal cousin. She also becomes one of the driving forces behind the Rebel Alliance, the New Republic and even later, the Galactic Alliance. She serves the Senate until Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious dissolves it. Three years before Episode 4, she is taken as a hostage to Kashyyyk, to stop adoptive father Bail Organa from speaking out against Darth Sidious. She is later present at the formation of the Rebel Alliance on Corellia, which is disturbed by Darth Vader. She is at the formation via transmission, and Vader never actually sees her when raiding the rebel Alliances's formation headquarters. She later chooses the symbol of the Rebel Alliance.
A New Hope Edit
In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Darth Vader captures her onboard the ship Tantive IV, where she is acting as a spy for the Rebellion. He accuses her of being a traitor and demands to know the location of the secret technical plans of the Death Star, the Empire's newest and most powerful weapon. Unknown to him, the young senator has hidden the plans inside an Astromech droid, R2-D2, and has sent it to find 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, the Death Star's commander, Grand Moff Tarkin, threatens to destroy Alderaan with the superweapon unless she reveals the location of the hidden Rebel base. She still does not give in and lies to them, as Tarkin orders Alderaan to be destroyed anyway. She is finally rescued by unlikely heroes: Luke Skywalker, an elderly Obi-Wan Kenobi, the cocky smuggler Han Solo, 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 the Battle of Yavin. Luke, in his one-man X-wing fighter, destroys the Death Star. In the Massassi Temple at the hidden Rebel base on Yavin 4, the radiant Princess Leia Organa presents the Alderaanian Medal of Freedom to her rescuers and the heroes of the battle.
The Empire Strikes Back Edit
Three years later, in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Princess Leia helps with the evacuation of the Rebel base on Hoth. Despite the ongoing battle, she remains vigilant and issues commands from the crumbling base. She flees with C-3PO, Han, and Chewbacca on Han's ship, the Millennium Falcon. Although they are pursued by Imperial TIE fighters, they dodge their fire by flying into an asteroid field when the Falcon's hyperdrive breaks down. Despite Leia's having kissed Luke earlier and being constantly at odds with Han, romance blossoms; while hiding in the stomach of a space slug, she finally shares a kiss with the scruffy-looking Corellian smuggler. Later, when they stop at Bespin for repairs, Han's friend Lando Calrissian turns them over to Vader, who uses them as bait for Luke. 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 to give to Jabba the Hutt, to whom Han owes a very large debt. Later, Lando helps Leia, Chewbacca, and the two droids escape. While escaping, she senses that Luke is in trouble and makes them go back for him. They save Luke, who is badly hurt after a near-fatal duel against Vader, who has revealed that he is Luke's father.
Return of the Jedi Edit
In Return of the Jedi, Leia, Chewbacca, Lando, Luke (now nearly a Jedi Knight), and the droids 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, who will turn Chewbacca over to Jabba. Her ruthless bargaining as Boushh, negotiating the price for Chewbacca at the end of a thermal detonator, impresses Jabba and Boba Fett 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 now iconic metal bikini after she frees Han from the carbonite. 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, he rescues Leia. With Leia's help, Luke uses a deck cannon to blow up his barge as they swing to safety.
While preparing for a last battle with the Empire on Endor, Luke reveals to a stunned Leia that she is, in fact, his twin sister, and that Vader is their father. Initially reluctant to believe him, Leia realizes that Luke speaks the truth and joins Han Solo in leading the Rebels in battle on Endor as the Rebel Fleet battle the second Death Star. Leia is injured in the battle, but the Rebels, allied with the Ewoks, are victorious over the Empire.
The Star Wars Holiday Special Edit
Leia briefly appears in the 1978 TV movie The Star Wars Holiday Special, where she is once again portrayed by Fisher. In the show, Leia is a leader and administrator of the new Rebel Alliance base. She is accompanied by C-3PO when contacting Chewbacca's wife, Mallatobuck, 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. Leia also appeared in and hosted the November 18, 1978 episode of Saturday Night Live that aired one day after the holiday special.
In the rough draft of A New Hope, Leia was a 14-year-old princess (the same age as Queen Amidala in The Phantom Menace), the spoiled daughter of King Kayos and Queen Breha of Aquilae. In that draft, she had two brothers, Biggs and Windy, whose identities were substantially revised into their current form by the fourth draft (though they did not appear in intervening versions). The later story synopsis established her as Leia Antilles, the daughter of Bail Antilles from the peaceful world of Organa Major. In the fourth draft the names were turned around so that Leia Organa came instead from Alderaan.
Princess Leia Organa is a driven, dedicated individual with a forceful—if not sometimes abrasive—personality. She is professional in all respects, but occasionally relaxes her guard to let her strong compassion and quirky sense of humor show. The "petite, fair-skinned human female" is known perhaps as the most beautiful and remembered woman in the Star Wars universe. Leia was a wanted woman for love. She was loved by Luke Skywalker (before their sibling relationship was discovered), Han Solo, Prince Xizor, Prince Isolder (before he met Tenejiel Djo) and other men who fell in love with the beautiful woman. In the Shadows of the Empire novels, Leia was seduced by the Crime Lord Xizor. He had the chance to even steal some kisses from the young princess: Having possessed her with pheromones, Xizor kissed her with passion—but Chewbacca managed to break the seduction, allowing Leia to defeat the Crime Lord.
Although she is depicted in the original Star Wars trilogy as having very little experience in the ways of the Force, Leia was actually very capable, both physically and spiritually, in her own right. A warrior princess, she frequently took part in combat operations. She was an excellent marksman, missing rarely, if ever, with a blaster. She killed, among other villainous characters, the infamous Jabba the Hutt, choking him with the very chain that bound her to him; Leia is also responsible for Grand Admiral Thrawn's death, since she turned the Noghri against him. By redeeming her brother and disrupting the Dark Side of Palpatine, she also helped bring about the destruction of the Clone Emperor. She even killed a Dark Jedi named Kueller with a blaster rifle, right before he was about to deal a fatal blow to Luke.
Though initially hesitant about her Jedi training, Leia was later taught various Force techniques, and would become a very proficient Jedi Knight after finishing her training under Luke's guidance in 36 ABY. She eventually became a full-fledged member of the New Jedi Order, developing her lightsaber skills to the point where she could deflect blaster bolts back at attackers. Being the daughter of Anakin Skywalker, Leia's full Force potential could easily be the same as her brother Luke's.
Princess Leia Organa in popular culture Edit
The "Cinnamon Bun Hairstyle" Edit
Leia's well-known hairdo in A New Hope has been affectionately dubbed the "doughnut hairstyle", or "cinnamon buns", by many science fiction fans. Fisher herself has now commented directly on her character's hairstyle in the UK tv show Bring Back Star Wars where she said she hated it as she felt it made her face look more round, and it took 2 hours every day to style the hair. Miss Piggy of Jim Henson's Muppet Babies copied the hairdo using doughnuts in a Star Wars-centric 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 merely wearing a large pair of headphones. In addition, 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. Finally, preceding all the other parodies, the short film Hardware Wars shows Chewchilla, the Wookiee Monster actually eating one of Princess Ann-Droid's cinnamon buns.
In reality, however, Leia's hairdo may not be as unique as it first appears. Young marriageable Indian women wear a very elaborate copy of the hairstyle. It takes a hairdresser nearly one hour to create. George Lucas has even admitted as such, saying: "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.
In Europe, a similar hairstyle still persists in the Spanish region of Valencia, and can be seen during the Falles festival.
Leia's signature hairdo also inspired a recurring freshman gag at the U.S. Naval Academy. Along with "wildmans" and "assassinations," the "Princess Leia" is another popular method for freshmen (Plebes) to taunt their superiors. The freshman smears peanut butter on a pair of hamburger bun halves or English muffin halves, sneaks up behind an upperclassman in the dining hall, and sticks them on the upperclassman's ears. These dining hall pranks, however, have been discouraged in recent years.
The "Metal Bikini" Edit
Leia's appearance has been voted one of the most memorable swimsuit cinema history. 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. The skimpy costume consisted of a brass top fastened over the neck and behind the back with string, a brass thong, a red silk loincloth, and leather high-heeled boots. There were other various adornments, including a hair fastener, a snake and two bracelets. Last, there was the chain with which she was attached to Jabba and which, ironically, she uses to strangle him in the film.
The costume has an extremely large fanbase, most of which has emerged in recent years. After her appearance wearing the "golden metal bikini", Carrie Fisher (and thus Leia herself) almost immediately became a cult sex symbol.
According to the Internet Movie Database, Fisher had said that her costumes in the previous two films had been too long that viewers could not tell "she was a woman", resulting in the skimpy outfit for Return of the Jedi. Costume Designer Aggie Guerard Rodgers noted that the inspiration for Leia's slave outfit came from the artwork of famed fantasy and science fiction illustrator Frank Frazetta. Rodgers had a "no lingerie in space" policy which prevented Fisher from wearing a brassiere; adhesive tape was used in its place.
As the metal framework of the top did not fit to Fisher's skin especially well, before each take someone made sure the actress' breasts were properly covered. Several scenes had to be re-shot when wardrobe malfuctions occurred. An alternate, rubber version of the costume was created and used for stunts.
Despite the immortal status it has given her, Fisher has admitted that she initially objected to the costume, believing it made her appear subordinate to the male characters: "When they took my clothes off, put me in a bikini and shut me up, I thought it was a strong indication of what the third film was. One Wired magazine editor concurs, stating 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.
See also Edit
- Princess Leia at The World of Star Wars (yahoo.com)
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