Princess Leia Organa of
Alderaan (also Leia Organa or Princess Leia)
is a fictional character in the
Star Wars franchise, portrayed in
films by Carrie Fisher. Introduced in the original
Star Wars film in
1977, Leia is princess of the planet Alderaan, a member of the
Imperial Senate and an agent of the Rebel Alliance. She thwarts the
Darth Vader and helps bring about the destruction
of the Empire's cataclysmic superweapon, the Death Star. In The Empire
Strikes Back (1980), Leia commands a Rebel base and evades Vader as
she falls in love with the smuggler, Han Solo. In Return of the Jedi
(1983), Leia leads the operation to rescue Han from the crime lord
Jabba the Hutt, and is revealed to be Vader's daughter and the twin
sister of Luke Skywalker. The prequel film Revenge of the
establishes that the twins' mother is Senator (and former queen)
Padmé Amidala of Naboo, who dies after childbirth. Leia is adopted by
Senator Bail and Queen
Breha Organa of Alderaan. In The Force Awakens
(2015) and The Last
Jedi (2017), Leia is the founder and General of
the Resistance against the First Order. She and Han have a son named
Ben, who adopted the name
Kylo Ren after turning to the dark side of
In the original
Star Wars expanded universe (1977–2014) of novels,
comics and video games, which are set in an alternate continuity, Leia
continues her adventures with Han and Luke after Return of the Jedi,
fighting Imperial resurgences and new threats to the galaxy. She
becomes the Chief of State of the New Republic and a
Jedi Master, and
is the mother to three children by Han: Jaina, Jacen and Anakin Solo.
One of the more popular
Star Wars characters, Leia has been called a
1980s icon, a feminist hero and model for other adventure heroines.
She has appeared in many derivative works and merchandising, and has
been referenced or parodied in several TV shows and films. Her
"cinnamon buns" hairstyle from
Star Wars (1977) and metal bikini from
Return of the
Jedi have become cultural icons.
1 Creation and casting
3.1 Feature films
3.1.1 Star Wars
3.1.2 The Empire Strikes Back
3.1.3 Return of the Jedi
3.1.4 Revenge of the Sith
3.1.5 The Force Awakens
3.1.6 The Last Jedi
3.1.7 Episode IX
3.2 Anthology films
3.2.1 Rogue One: A
Star Wars Story
Star Wars Holiday Special
Star Wars Rebels
3.5.3 Star Wars: Forces of Destiny
3.6 Legends works
126.96.36.199 Post-Return of the Jedi
188.8.131.52 Works set between films
184.108.40.206 Legacy of the Force
220.127.116.11 Dark Empire
4 Cultural impact
4.1 "Cinnamon buns" hairstyle
4.3 Metal bikini
5 Family tree
6 See also
8 External links
Creation and casting
Leia was created by
Star Wars creator George Lucas. In 1999, Lucas
explained his early development of Leia, Luke and Obi-Wan Kenobi:
The first [version] talked about a princess and an old general. The
second version involved a father, his son, and his daughter; the
daughter was the heroine of the film. Now the daughter has become
Luke, Mark Hamill's character. There was also the story of two
brothers where I transformed one of them into a sister. The older
brother was imprisoned, and the young sister had to rescue him and
bring him back to their dad.
Film historian Laurent Bouzereau notes in his 1997 book Star Wars: The
Annotated Screenplays that in the rough draft of Star Wars, Leia is
the spoiled teenage daughter of King Kayos and Queen Breha of Aquilae,
with two brothers, Biggs and Windy; Biggs returned to the fourth draft
as a childhood friend of Luke. According to Skywalking: The Life
and Films of
George Lucas (1999),
Luke Skywalker was originally Luke
Starkiller and Leia was "the daughter of
Owen Lars and his wife Beru
and seems to be Luke's cousin–together they visit the grave of his
mother, who perished with his father on a planet destroyed by the
Death Star." J. W. Rinzler explains in The Making of Star Wars: The
Definitive Story Behind the Original Film (2007) that a later story
synopsis establishes Leia as "Leia Antilles", the daughter of Bail
Antilles from the peaceful world of Organa Major. In the fourth draft
it was established that "Leia Organa" came instead from Alderaan.
Fisher was 19 when she was cast as Princess Leia, with actresses
including Amy Irving,
Cindy Williams and
Jodie Foster also up for the
role. In 2014,
InkTank reported that the extended list of "more
than two dozen actresses" who had auditioned for Leia included Glenn
Close, Farrah Fawcett, Jessica Lange, Sissy Spacek, Sigourney Weaver,
Cybill Shepherd, Jane Seymour, Anjelica Huston, Kim Basinger, Kathleen
Geena Davis and Meryl Streep. Asked about Streep
in 2015, Fisher said, "I've never heard that one. But
Jodie Foster was
up for it... that one I knew the most.
Amy Irving and Jodie. And I got
The second draft of the Return of the
Jedi screenplay contained
dialogue in which Obi-Wan tells Luke he has a twin sister. She and
their mother were "sent to the protection of friends in a distant
system. The mother died shortly thereafter, and Luke's sister was
adopted by Ben's friends, the governor of
Alderaan and his wife."
Fisher explained in 1983: "Leia's real father left her mother when she
was pregnant, so her mother married this King Organa. I was adopted
and grew up set apart from other people because I was a princess."
John Williams created a musical leitmotif for Leia which
recurs throughout the
Star Wars saga. "Princess Leia's Theme" was
recorded as a concert suite (4:18 length) for the score of the 1977
Anthony Breznican of
Entertainment Weekly describes Leia as a
"diplomat, spy, warrior, undercover agent". Mark Edlitz calls her
"a smart, feisty, brave diplomat and warrior" in The Huffington
Post. Fisher told
Rolling Stone in 1983:
There are a lot of people who don't like my character in these movies;
they think I'm some kind of space bitch. She has no friends, no
family; her planet was blown up in seconds ... so all she has is a
cause. From the first film [Star Wars], she was just a soldier, front
line and center. The only way they knew to make the character strong
was to make her angry. In Return of the Jedi, she gets to be more
feminine, more supportive, more affectionate.
She said in 2014:
I would rather have played Han Solo. When I first read the script I
thought that's the part to be, always wry and sardonic. He's always
that. I feel like a lot of the time Leia's either worried or pissed
or, thank God, sort of snarky. But I'm much more worried and pissed
Han Solo ever was, and those aren't fun things to play ... I had
a lot of fun killing Jabba the Hutt. They asked me on the day if I
wanted to have a stunt double kill Jabba. No! That's the best time I
ever had as an actor. And the only reason to go into acting is if you
can kill a giant monster.
Introduced in the original 1977 film Star Wars,
Princess Leia Organa
Alderaan is a member of the Imperial Senate. She is captured by
Darth Vader on board the ship Tantive IV, where she is acting as a spy
for the Rebel Alliance. Leia has secretly hidden the plans for the
Death Star, the Empire's moon-sized battle station, inside the
R2-D2 and has sent it to find one of the last
remaining Jedi, Obi-Wan Kenobi, on the nearby planet of Tatooine.
Vader arrests Leia and has her tortured, but she resists revealing
Death Star commander
Grand Moff Tarkin
Grand Moff Tarkin threatens to destroy
her home planet
Alderaan with the
Death Star unless she reveals the
location of the hidden Rebel base. She provides the location of an
old, abandoned base, but Tarkin orders
Alderaan to be destroyed
anyway. Leia is rescued by Obi-Wan, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, the
Chewbacca and the two droids
R2-D2 and C-3PO, and they escape
aboard Han's ship, the Millennium Falcon. After analyzing the Death
Star's plans, the Rebels find a tiny weakness in the battle station,
which Luke uses to destroy it in his X-wing fighter. The battle won,
Leia bestows medals on its heroes at the hidden Rebel base on
Alyssa Rosenberg of
The Washington Post
The Washington Post writes of Leia in the film:
Leia’s nerves as a revolutionary are clear from the moment she
arrives on screen ... She takes shots at the Storm Troopers boarding
her ship, gets stunned with a blaster in her hand, then has the
audacity to try to make
Darth Vader feel ashamed of himself ... She
has enough energy left over after a nasty session of torture to insult
Grand Moff Tarkin. And while she grieves when her home planet,
Alderaan, is destroyed by the Death Star, Leia’s not paralyzed: when
her unexpected rescuers show up, she’s ready to go, and to gripe
about their operational sloppiness.
Rosenberg also notes that, though Han is almost immediately attracted
to Leia, they conflict because she insists on asserting command and he
automatically resists, even as she proves herself to be worthy of
it. And despite her initial disdain for the smuggler, whom she
sees as selfish, Leia later acknowledges "I knew there was more to you
than money" when Han comes through for the Rebellion.
Rolling Stone in 1980 that in the original script, when
Luke and Han come to rescue a captured Leia, "I was hanging upside
down with yellow eyes, like in The Exorcist ... Some form of radar
torture was done to me and I was in a beam, bruised and beaten up,
suspended in midair. The reason it was cut from the film was because I
was unconscious and the
Wookiee would have had to carry me for, like,
the next fifteen minutes."
The Empire Strikes Back
The Empire Strikes Back
The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Leia is at the Rebel base on Hoth.
She leads its evacuation during an Imperial attack, and then flees
C-3PO on Han's ship, the Millennium Falcon.
They dodge pursuing Imperial
TIE fighters by flying into an asteroid
field when the Falcon's hyperdrive breaks down, with Leia piloting the
ship at one point. Romance blossoms between Leia and Han during their
flight from the Empire; while hiding in the stomach of a space slug,
they finally share a kiss. With his ship needing repairs, Han seeks
out his old friend
Lando Calrissian in Cloud City, the floating city
over Bespin. Though he welcomes them graciously, Lando soon turns them
over to a newly arrived Darth Vader, who hopes to use them as bait to
capture Luke. Leia confesses her love for Han as he is frozen in
carbonite and then handed over to bounty hunter Boba Fett, who is
charged with bringing him to gangster Jabba the Hutt. Lando helps
Chewbacca and the two droids escape. Leia senses that Luke is in
trouble, and goes back to save him after he is nearly killed during a
lightsaber duel with Vader.
Yes, it’s slightly ridiculous ... that [Han] tries to pry a
confession of affection out of her on Hoth, as Leia is trying to
manage an evacuation with just an ion cannon for defense. But Han’s
not wrong that if Leia doesn't figure out that she’s a person with
needs, she's going to burn out ... In a way, it’s an early
confession of love: Han’s anxious about the bounty hunters who are
still pursuing him ... But he would stay and give his love and support
to Leia if she could just acknowledge that she needs him.
Return of the Jedi
In Return of the
Jedi (1983), Leia infiltrates Jabba's palace on
Tatooine disguised as the
Ubese bounty hunter Boushh, and brings a
Chewbacca with her as part of the ruse. She frees Han from the
carbonite, but they are recaptured by Jabba. Leia is now chained to
Jabba as his slave, outfitted in a metal bikini. After Luke arrives
and kills Jabba's Rancor, Jabba sentences Luke, Han and
be fed to the Sarlacc. Lando (disguised as a guard) helps them
overpower their captors, and Leia seizes the moment to strangle Jabba
with her chain. Luke and Leia swing to safety, blowing up Jabba's
barge behind them. Later, the heroes go to the forest moon of Endor to
prepare for a battle with the Empire. There, Luke reveals to Leia that
she is his twin sister and that Vader is their father. Leia joins Han
in leading the Rebels in battle with Imperial troops as the Rebel
Fleet attacks the second Death Star. Leia is slightly injured, but the
Rebels, with help from the Ewoks, defeat the forces of the Empire.
Rolling Stone in 1983, "In Return of the Jedi, [Leia] gets
to be more feminine, more supportive, more affectionate. But let's not
forget that these movies are basically boys' fantasies. So the other
way they made her more female in this one was to have her take off her
clothes." Rosenberg writes of Han and Leia:
And we know those two crazy kids are locked for life in Return of the
Jedi when it turns out that Han has accepted a Generalship in the
Rebellion, keeping it a secret from Leia. In A New Hope, Leia was
grumbling about the quality of Han as a rescuer ... But when she finds
out what Han’s done, accepting a rank he once found insulting and a
mission she knows to be dangerous, Leia is the first person to
volunteer to join his strike team. In Star Wars, that’s what love
looks like: trusting your partner’s commitment to the cause and
respecting his strategic and technical judgement.
In the film, Leia says that she has vague memories of her real mother,
who she describes as "kind... but sad". Bouzereau quoted Lucas in
The part that I never really developed is the death of Luke and Leia's
mother. I had a backstory for her in earlier drafts, but it basically
didn't survive. When I got to Jedi, I wanted one of the kids to have
some kind of memory of her because she will be a key figure in the new
episodes I'm writing. But I really debated whether or not Leia should
Revenge of the Sith
In the prequel film Revenge of the
Padmé Amidala is
pregnant with Anakin Skywalker's twins near the end of the Clone Wars.
After Anakin turns to the dark side of the Force and becomes Darth
Vader, Padmé gives birth to Luke and Leia on Polis Massa and then
dies. Leia is adopted by Senator
Bail Organa and his wife Queen Breha
Peter Travers of
Rolling Stone wrote, "As we watch Anakin
nearly melt in the lava, only to be put together,
in a lab while Lucas intercuts scenes of Padme giving birth to the
twins Luke and Leia, a link to genuine feeling is established at
The Force Awakens
Carrie Fisher reprised the role of Leia in Star Wars: The Force
Awakens in 2015.
In March 2013, Fisher confirmed that she would reprise her role as
Leia in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Set 30 years after Return of
the Jedi, The Force Awakens reintroduces a Leia who is "a little more
battle weary, a little more broken hearted". In November 2015,
J.J. Abrams said of Leia, "She’s referred to as General but
... there's a moment in the movie where a character sort of slips and
calls her 'Princess.'" Commenting on the story he added, "The
stakes are pretty high in the story for her, so there’s not much
goofing around where Leia’s concerned." Asked how Leia is
handling things in the film, Fisher said, "Not easily ... [she is]
solitary. Under a lot of pressure. Committed as ever to her cause, but
I would imagine feeling somewhat defeated, tired, and pissed."
In the film, Leia is the leader of the Resistance, a group formed by
the New Republic to fight a proxy war with the First Order and trying
to find Luke, who disappeared years earlier. When her forces foil a
First Order attack searching for the Resistance astromech droid BB-8,
Leia is reunited with Han, who has helped the renegade stormtrooper
Finn and orphaned scavenger Rey bring the droid this far. Han and Leia
have been estranged for many years; their marriage fell apart after
their son, Ben, fell to the dark side and became the First Order
commander Kylo Ren. Leia believes Ben can still be brought back to the
light side. Han volunteers for a mission to infiltrate the First
Starkiller Base to disable its defensive shields. Confronting
Ren, Han tries to convince his son to leave the First Order, but Ren
instead impales his father on his lightsaber. Leia senses Han's
death through the Force, and later shares a moment of grief with Rey,
who had thought of Han as a mentor. Leia sees Rey, Chewbacca, and
R2-D2 off when they depart to locate Luke, saying, "may the Force be
Asked why Leia is not shown to be a
Jedi in The Force Awakens (as she
is in the
Star Wars expanded universe works), Abrams told IGN, "It was
a great question, and one that we talked about quite a bit, even with
Carrie [Fisher]. Why did she not take advantage of this natural Force
strength that this character had. And one of the answers was that it
was simply a choice that she made, that her decision to run the
Rebellion, and ultimately this Resistance, and consider herself a
General, as opposed to a Jedi. It was simply a choice that she took".
He also added, "I would like to think that there really isn't much of
a ticking clock, and it's never too late ... clearly we've seen, and
we do again, that she still is Force strong. And it's something that I
think is an intrinsic piece of her character.
Fisher was nominated for a 2016
Saturn Award for Best Supporting
Actress for her portrayal.
The Last Jedi
In December 2015, producer Kathleen Kennedy confirmed that Fisher
would reprise the role of Leia in the next installment, then known as
Star Wars: Episode VIII, but later named Star Wars: The Last
Jedi. Fisher died on December 27, 2016, after going into cardiac
arrest. It was confirmed that she had completed filming her role in
the film shortly before her death.
In the film, Leia is among those on the bridge of her flagship, the
Raddus, who are expelled into space when the ship is attacked by the
First Order. Leia uses the Force to pull herself back to the ship.
After recovering, she shoots and stuns Poe Dameron, who has mutinied
against her successor, Vice Admiral Holdo. From his solitude on
Ahch-To, Luke projects himself through the Force to the Resistance
Crait and reunites with Leia, apologizing for what
happened to Ben. Leia replies that she knows her son is gone, but Luke
reassures her that "no one's ever really gone". While Luke distracts
Kylo and his attacking First Order troops, Leia is among the remaining
Resistance forces who escape from
Crait in the Millennium Falcon.
Following Fisher's death, Variety reported that she was slated to
appear in Star Wars: Episode IX and speculated that
need to find a way to address her death and what would become of her
character. Filming is expected to begin in 2018. Lucasfilm
announced in January 2017 that they had "no plans to digitally
recreate Carrie Fisher's performance as Princess or General Leia
Organa". In April 2017, Fisher's family granted Disney and
Lucasfilm the rights to use recent footage of the late actress in
Episode IX. However, Kennedy subsequently said that Fisher would
not appear in the film.
Rogue One: A
Star Wars Story
Leia makes a brief appearance in the final scene of the 2016 film
Rogue One, receiving the plans for the
Death Star as a lead-up to the
beginning of A New Hope. Since this movie takes place prior to the
Star Wars trilogy, a very young Leia was required. To
achieve that effect, a computer-generated image of a young Carrie
Fisher was superimposed over Norwegian actress Ingvild Deila's face;
archival audio of Fisher saying "Hope" was used to voice the
Leia makes her first literary appearance in Star Wars: From the
Adventures of Luke Skywalker, the novelization of the original 1977
film Star Wars, which was released six months before the film in
November 1976. Credited to Lucas but ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster,
the novel was based on Lucas' screenplay. Leia later appeared in
The Empire Strikes Back
The Empire Strikes Back (1980) by
Donald F. Glut and
Return of the
Jedi (1983) by James Kahn. She is also a point of view
character in the 2015 novelization of The Force Awakens by Foster.
Foster's 1978 novel
Splinter of the Mind's Eye
Splinter of the Mind's Eye was commissioned by
Lucas as the basis for a potential low-budget sequel to Star Wars
should the film prove unsuccessful. In the story, Luke and Leia
seek a crystal on a swampy planet and eventually face Vader in combat.
Leia also appears in the Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens line
of novels and comic books, introduced in conjunction with The Force
Awakens to connect the film with previous installments. She is the
lead character in the young adult novel Moving Target: A Princess Leia
Adventure (2015) by
Cecil Castellucci and Jason Fry, which is set
The Empire Strikes Back
The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and
Claudia Gray's novels Star Wars: Bloodline (2016) and Leia:
Alderaan (2017). The former is set six years before The
Force Awakens, while the latter features a 16-year-old Leia before the
events of A New Hope.
Leia is the lead character in the five-part comic limited series Star
Princess Leia (2015), set between Episode IV: A New Hope and The
Empire Strikes Back. She is featured prominently in the four-part
comic limited series Star Wars: Shattered Empire (2015), set
immediately after Return of the Jedi. In
Princess Leia #2 and
Shattered Empire, Leia is seen using her Force sensitivities to sense
the past, and in
Star Wars #12, she uses a lightsaber as a
weapon for the first time canonically.
Princess Leia reveals Leia
to have had royal training in martial arts and explores her reaction
to the destruction of Alderaan, while Shattered Empire also portrays
her as a skilled pilot who undertakes a dangerous mission alongside
Poe Dameron's mother.
Star Wars Holiday Special
Leia appears briefly in the 1978
Star Wars Holiday
Special TV film as
a leader and administrator of the new
Rebel Alliance base. She and
C-3PO contact Chewbacca's wife
Mallatobuck for assistance in finding
Chewbacca and Han. Leia 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. Fisher also appeared in and
hosted the November 18, 1978 episode of
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live that aired
one day after the holiday special. The Summer 1983 issue of
Rolling Stone magazine poked fun at this appearance.
Star Wars Rebels
A teenage version of Princess Leia, voiced by Julie Dolan, appears in
a 2016 episode of the animated series
Star Wars Rebels, which is set
between Revenge of the
Sith and A New Hope. In the episode, Leia
is sent on a secret mission to assist the titular rebels.
Dave Filoni said of the appearance:
We thought we had an opportunity to show her learning to be a leader,
experimenting with the personality that becomes the stronger more
resolute character you see in A New Hope. One of the complex
challenges of depicting Leia in Rebels is that we have to remind the
audience that at this point she is part of the Empire. She doesn't
believe in the Empire, but she is acting the part, almost a double
Star Wars: Forces of Destiny
Leia appears in the animated series Star Wars: Forces of Destiny,
voiced by Shelby Young.
Star Wars expanded universe
The original three
Star Wars films have spawned a large franchise of
works that include novels, comic books, video games and animated
television series. Leia appears in much of this material. In April
2014 (with the sequel film The Force Awakens in production), Lucasfilm
Star Wars expanded universe (rebranded as Star Wars
Legends) from official
Star Wars canon.
The 1991 New York Times bestselling novel
Heir to the Empire
Heir to the Empire by
Timothy Zahn began what would become a large collection of works set
before, between and especially after the original films.
Post-Return of the Jedi
Thrawn trilogy (1991–93) by
Timothy Zahn begins five
years after the events of Return of the Jedi. In Heir to the
Empire (1991), Leia is married to Han and three months pregnant with
Noghri commandos repeatedly attempt to kidnap her as part of
Grand Admiral Thrawn's plan to restore the Empire and crush the New
Dark Force Rising
Dark Force Rising (1992), Leia realizes that Darth
Vader and the Empire deceived the
Noghri to secure their allegiance,
and by revealing the truth she turns the alien race to the side of the
New Republic. In The Last Command (1993), Leia gives birth to the
twins Jaina and Jacen on
Coruscant during Thrawn's siege. Leia,
now the Chief of State of the New Republic, is a minor character in
Jedi Academy trilogy (1994) by Kevin J. Anderson, set after the
Thrawn trilogy. Next in the timeline is the Callista trilogy: Children
Jedi (1995) by Barbara Hambly, Darksaber (1995) by Anderson and
Planet of Twilight
Planet of Twilight (1997) by Hambly. In
The Crystal Star
The Crystal Star (1994) by
Vonda McIntyre, young Jacen, Jaina and their three-year-old brother
Anakin are kidnapped in a plot to restore the Empire, but are rescued
by Leia and Chewbacca. Leia struggles with the responsibilities of her
The Black Fleet Crisis trilogy (1996) by Michael P.
The New Rebellion
The New Rebellion (1996) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch,
she avoids an assassination attempt and then aids in the defeat of the
Jedi Kueller, whom she shoots to death. The Corellian trilogy
Roger MacBride Allen finds Han and Leia swept up in a civil
war while visiting his homeworld of
Corellia with their children. In
the two Hand of Thrawn novels by
Timothy Zahn (1997's Specter of the
Past and 1998's Vision of the Future), Leia tries to hold the New
Republic together as Moff Disra conspires for its volatile factions to
destroy each other. Leia appears periodically in the Young Jedi
Knights series (1995–98) by
Kevin J. Anderson
Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta.
The 14-volume young adult fiction series covers the
Jedi training of
Jacen and Jaina.
The Truce at Bakura
The Truce at Bakura (1993) by Kathy Tyers, 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 spirit
Anakin Skywalker appears to Leia and pleads for her forgiveness,
but she angrily banishes him. The six-volume
Jedi Prince series
Paul Davids and Hollace Davids, later contradicted by
other novels, is set within a year after Return of the Jedi. In The
Darth Vader (1992), the self-proclaimed son of the defeated
Emperor Palpatine, Trioculus, seeks the titular glove to cement
himself as the new Emperor. Entranced by Leia's beauty in The Lost
City of the
Trioculus vows to make her his queen. He
captures her in
Zorba the Hutt's Revenge
Zorba the Hutt's Revenge (1992), but Jabba the Hutt's
vengeful father, Zorba, offers to trade his own prisoner
Ken—Palpatine's real grandson whom
Trioculus has been seeking—for
Leia, his son's killer. But Leia and Ken are rescued and
frozen in carbonate by Zorba.
Mission from Mount Yoda
Mission from Mount Yoda (1993) finds
Ken's father Triclops alive and willing to join the Rebels against the
Empire. Leia, now engaged to Han, is captured by Zorba in Queen of the
Trioculus is revived and seizes Leia before Zorba can
kill her. Leia is rescued and replaced with a lookalike droid decoy,
which kills Trioculus. In
Prophets of the Dark Side
Prophets of the Dark Side (1993), Leia looks
forward to her wedding to Han and has a vision of their two children.
Matthew Stover's 2008 standalone novel
Luke Skywalker and the Shadows
of Mindor picks up the story soon after, as Luke, Leia and the Rebels
Sith Lord Shadowspawn.
The Courtship of Princess Leia
The Courtship of Princess Leia (1994) by Dave Wolverton, set
immediately before the Thrawn trilogy, Leia is presented with an
advantageous political marriage to
Prince Isolder of the planet Hapes.
A jealous Han abducts Leia and takes her to the planet Dathomir; Luke
and Isolder follow, and there they all find the hidden forces of the
Imperial warlord Zsinj. Defeating him, Han and Leia marry. The
A Forest Apart and
Tatooine Ghost by
Troy Denning are set
immediately after The Courtship of Princess Leia. The newly married
Leia fears that any children she has may succumb to the dark side like
her father. During an adventure on
Tatooine Ghost, she
discovers the diary of her grandmother
Shmi Skywalker and meets some
of young Anakin's childhood friends. When she learns of Anakin's
childhood as a slave and the traumatic death of his mother, Leia
learns to forgive her father.
Works set between films
In Shadows of the Empire (1996) by Steve Perry, the only Star Wars
novel set between
The Empire Strikes Back
The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Leia
is searching for
Boba Fett to find a captive Han. She is bewitched by
the crime lord
Prince Xizor using pheromones, but
Chewbacca helps her
elude the seduction.
Allegiance (2007) and Choices of One (2011) by
Timothy Zahn are set
between Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, and feature
Leia and her cohorts seeking new allies for their Rebellion against
the Empire. Razor's Edge (2013) by
Martha Wells and Honor Among
Thieves (2014) by
James S. A. Corey
James S. A. Corey take place in the same time period
and also chronicle the adventures of Leia and Han.
In the New
Jedi Order series (1999–2003), Leia resigns as Chief of
State, and on the heels of her warnings before the Senate, the alien
Yuuzhan Vong invade the galaxy. They destroy system after system and
defeat both the
Jedi and the New Republic forces in countless battles.
Chewbacca dies in
Vector Prime (1999) by R.A. Salvatore, which sends
Han into a deep depression that causes a rift between him and Leia.
They reunite after Leia is gravely wounded at the Battle of Duro in
Balance Point (2000). She is targeted by a deadly Voxyn
slayer in Troy Dennings'
Star By Star
Star By Star (2001), and though she manages
to evade death, her son Anakin is later killed during a mission to
prevent more Voxyn from being cloned. The Vong are finally defeated in
The Unifying Force
The Unifying Force (2003) by James Luceno.
The Dark Nest trilogy
The Dark Nest trilogy (2005), Leia, Han and several Jedi
become involved in an escalating border dispute between the
the insidious insectoid Killiks, and Leia makes a bitter enemy in the
Twi'lek warrior Alema Rar. In
The Joiner King
The Joiner King (2005), Leia asks Saba
Sebatyne to train her as a
R2-D2 malfunctions in The
Unseen Queen (2005) and shows Luke a holoclip of his father Anakin and
a pregnant woman, whom Luke learns is his and Leia's biological
mother, Padmé Amidala. Anakin and Padmé are discussing a dream of
Anakin's in which Padmé dies in childbirth; later, Luke and Leia
watch a clip in which Padmé is talking to
Obi-Wan Kenobi about
Anakin. Tenel Ka, Queen Mother of the Hapes Consortium, has a
daughter, Allana, secretly fathered by Jacen. In
The Swarm War
The Swarm War (2005),
Luke and Leia view holoclips of their mother's death, and Leia is
Legacy of the Force
Legacy of the Force series (2006–08) chronicles the
crossover of Han and Leia's son Jacen to the dark side of the Force
while the Jedi, Solos and Skywalkers fight against his growing
power. In Betrayal (2006) by Aaron Allston, Jacen
turns to the dark side, believing that it is the only way to save the
galaxy from the chaos brewing among the member systems of the Galactic
Alliance. Jacen realizes in Bloodlines (2006) by
Karen Traviss that
Sith discipline will require him to kill one of his loved ones,
which he decides is an acceptable sacrifice to save the galaxy. In
Troy Denning's Tempest (2006), Han and Leia thwart the assassination
Tenel Ka and Allana, but become caught up in a Corellian
conspiracy. They are almost killed when the
Millennium Falcon is
attacked by a
Star Destroyer controlled by an increasingly powerful
Jacen—who knows that his parents are on board. With Han injured,
Leia and Lando further investigate the Corellians in Aaron Allston's
Exile (2007), but Alema reappears to exact her vengeance on Leia.
Sacrifice (2007) by
Karen Traviss finds Leia and Han on the run,
hunted by Jacen as traitors to the Galactic Alliance. He kills Luke's
Mara Jade as his final sacrifice to become Darth Caedus, the new
ruler of the Sith. In Inferno (2007) by Troy Denning, Han and Leia are
faced with the reality that their son, now Joint Chief of State, is
the enemy. Leia attempts unsuccessfully to manipulate Jacen in Aaron
Allston's Fury (2007) so that the
Jedi can both thwart him and
neutralize Alema. Finally, in Invincible (2008) by Troy Denning, Jaina
kills Jacen in lightsaber duel. At Tenel Ka's request, Leia and Han
adopt Allana, disguised with the name "Amelia" to protect her from any
future vengeance against Cadeus or the Hapes Consortium. Multiple
novels in the series made the New York Times Best Seller
The nine-volume Fate of the
Jedi series (2009–12) by Aaron Allston,
Troy Denning and
Christie Golden finds Han and Leia become caught up
in the intensifying conflict between the
Galactic Alliance and the
Jedi. In the wake of Darth Cadeus' death, the now-peaceful Galactic
Alliance harbors a growing mistrust toward the Jedi, and the situation
is worsened by a Force-induced psychosis that begins afflicting
individual Jedi, sending them on violent rampages.
Millennium Falcon (2008) by James Luceno, set between Legacy of the
Force and Fate of the Jedi, a mysterious device hidden inside the
eponymous spacecraft sends Han, Leia and Allana on an adventure to
investigate the ship's past before it came into Han's possession. Troy
Denning's Crucible (2013), set after Fate of the
Jedi and the last
novel to date in the
Star Wars Legends chronology, reunites Leia, Han
and Luke with Lando as they aid him to thwart a vast criminal
enterprise threatening his asteroid mineral refinery in the Chilean
During the events of the comic series
Dark Empire (1991–92),
Palpatine has been resurrected in a young clone body and seduces Luke
to the dark side of the Force as part of his plan to restore the
Empire. A captive Leia, resisting Palpatine's attempts to turn her as
well, escapes with an artifact he needs to secure his power, the Jedi
Holocron. Luke pursues her, and Leia manages to turn him back. Brother
and sister then fight
Palpatine with the light side of the Force,
turning his own Force-generated storm against him and destroying
Palpatine and his Star Destroyer. In
Dark Empire II (1994–95), Leia
gives birth to a third child by Han, whom she names Anakin. Palpatine
is reborn in an inferior, rapidly deteriorating clone body in Empire's
End (1995), and seeks to possess the body of the infant Anakin.
Princess Leia cosplay (
Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California,
Princess Leia has been called a 1980s icon, a feminist hero
and "an exemplary personification of female empowerment". In 2008,
Leia was selected by Empire magazine as the 89th greatest film
character of all time, and
IGN listed her as their 8th top Star
UGO Networks listed Leia as one of their best heroes of
all time in 2010.
The character has been referenced or parodied in several TV shows and
films, and celebrated in cosplay. Fisher appeared in the Leia
metal bikini on the cover of the Summer 1983 issue of Rolling
Stone, and a painting of Leia and other characters surrounding
Lucas appeared on the cover of the May 25, 1983 issue of Time
announcing Return of the Jedi. In 2013, cartoonist Jeffrey
Brown published the bestselling Star Wars: Vader's Little Princess, a
comic strip-style book featuring
Darth Vader and a young Leia in
humorous father-daughter situations.
Princess Leia appears
on a 2007 US postage stamp and a 2015 UK stamp.
Leia has also been used in a wide range of
Star Wars merchandise,
including statuettes, action figures and other toys, household items
and clothing, office supplies, food products, and bubble bath
and shampoo in Leia-shaped bottles with her head as the
cap. In her one-woman show Wishful Drinking, Fisher called
Princess Leia Pez dispenser one of the "merchandising horrors" of
the series. In a 2011 interview, Fisher said:
I signed away my likeness for free. In those days, there was no such
thing as a “likeness" ... There was no merchandising tied to movies.
No one could have known the extent of the franchise. Not that I
don’t think I’m cute or anything, but when I looked in the mirror,
I didn’t think I was signing away anything of value. Lately I feel
like I’m Minnie Mouse—the identity of
Princess Leia so eclipses
any other identity that I’ve ever had.
After the 2012 acquisition of LucasFilm by the Walt Disney Company,
Disney Store stated in May 2014 that the company had "no plans for
Leia products". After public criticism, Disney told Time in June
2014 that it would be releasing several Leia products.
since produced several versions of Leia (at least one for each film)
in their POP! line of 4.5 inch vinyl figures in the Japanese super
Hasbro is set to release an action figure of Leia as
she appears in the
Star Wars Rebels animated series.
"Cinnamon buns" hairstyle
Hopi girl with "squash blossom" hairdo (Edward S. Curtis, 1922)
Lady of Elche
Leia's unique hairdo in 1977's A New Hope has come to be known as the
"doughnut" or "cinnamon buns" hairstyle, and is iconic of the
character and series. A February 1978 cover story for the British
teen magazine Jackie included step-by-step instructions on how to
replicate Leia's hair buns. In the 1978 short film parody
Hardware Wars, Princess Anne-Droid has actual cinnamon buns on the
side of her head.
Miss Piggy of
The Muppet Show
The Muppet Show copied the hairdo
in a Star Wars-themed episode of the series in February 1980. In
Mel Brooks comedy film Spaceballs, Princess Vespa (Daphne
Zuniga) appears to have the hairstyle, which is soon revealed to in
fact be a large pair of headphones. In the parody film Thumb Wars,
the role of Leia was filled by a character named Princess Bunhead, who
has two cinnamon rolls for hair. In 2015, Fisher's daughter Billie
Lourd's character in the horror-comedy TV series Scream Queens, a rich
and disaffected sorority girl known as Chanel No. 3, wears earmuffs in
every scene as an homage to Fisher's iconic Leia hairstyle.
Lourd also has a cameo in The Force Awakens (2015) in which she wears
Leia's distinctive hair buns.
Asked about his inspiration for the hairstyle,
George Lucas told Time
in 2008, "In the 1977 film, I was working very hard to create
something different that wasn't fashion, so I went with a kind of
Pancho Villa woman revolutionary look, which is what that
is. The buns are basically from turn-of-the-century Mexico."
However, in 2015 Linda Rodriguez McRobbie of
Mental Floss recounted
research suggesting that while female Mexican revolutionaries of that
time did not have such elaborate hairstyles, young marriageable Hopi
women did, and their "squash blossom whorls" superficially resemble
Leia's hair buns. McRobbie also relates Michael
Heilemann's theory that Leia's hairstyle was likely also inspired by
that of two earlier characters: Queen Fria in the 1939 Flash Gordon
comic strip "The Ice Kingdom of Mongo", and scientist Barnes Wallis’
wife Molly (played by Ursula Jeans) in the 1955 war film The Dam
Busters. Lucas was influenced by the
Flash Gordon serials,
Battle of Yavin
Battle of Yavin in
Star Wars is an homage to the penultimate
bombing sequence in The Dam Busters. Comparisons have also
been made to the 4th century BC
Iberian sculpture Lady of
Elche, as well as the 1920s "earphones"
Leia has been the subject of feminist analysis. Mark Edlitz wrote for
The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post in 2010 that "Leia is an exemplary personification
of female empowerment." David Bushman, television curator at the
Paley Center for Media, said in 2012, "From the male perspective ...
Princess Leia was a very creditable character for her time—not
perfect, but certainly defiant, assertive, and strong." Alyssa
The Washington Post
The Washington Post wrote in 2015, "Leia wasn't just the
first great heroine of science fiction and fantasy to capture my
imagination. She was one of the first characters I encountered whose
power came from her political conviction and acumen." In her 2007
Feminism and the Force: Empowerment and Disillusionment in a
Galaxy Far, Far Away", Diana Dominguez cited Leia as a welcome change
from the previous portrayals of women in film and TV. She wrote:
Here was a woman who could play like and with the boys, but who didn't
have to become one of the boys and who could, if and when she wanted
to, show she liked the boys, a woman who is outspoken, unashamed, and,
most importantly, unpunished for being so. She isn't a flirty sex-pot,
tossing her hair around seductively to distract the enemy ... She
doesn't play the role of "Maternal caretaker", although she does
display caring and compassion, or "the sweet innocent damsel" who
stands passively by while the men do all the work, but does step aside
to let them do what they're good at when it is wise to do so ... Leia
is a hero without losing her gendered status; she does not have to
play the cute, helpless sex kitten or become sexless and androgynous
to get what she wants. She can be strong, sassy, outspoken, bossy, and
bitchy, and still be respected and seen as feminine.
Rosenberg writes that, though at first Luke is an apolitical innocent
in search of adventure and Han is a detached opportunist in search of
money, both are "influenced by Leia’s passion [and] take their
places as full participants in the Rebellion". She notes,
"Everyone else eventually comes around to Leia’s view of the
world." Leia herself, singularly dedicated to her political
movement against the Empire, "finds a partner in Han, acknowledging
that personal happiness can help her sustain her commitment to
building a better galactic order". Rosenberg cites "Leia's
willingness to see the best in him, and Han's desire to live up to her
belief in him" as a foundation of their relationship, also pointing
out his attempts to make her recognize that she has needs like anyone
else and should acknowledge that she needs him.
In their 2012 essay "Lightsabers, Political Arenas, and Marriages",
Ray Merlock and Kathy Merlock Jackson cite Leia as the successor of
earlier science fiction heroines
Wilma Deering of
Buck Rogers and Dale
Arden of Flash Gordon, and the embodiment of "a new stage in the
ongoing presentation of the fairy-tale princess in jeopardy". Writing
that "after Leia, no longer would princesses be passive and salvaged
simply with a kiss," they note the reflection of the character in
Disney Princess animated films and in woman warriors such as
Ellen Ripley from the Alien franchise and
Xena of the adventure TV
series Xena: Warrior Princess.
A. O. Scott
A. O. Scott of The New York Times
described Leia as "a foremother of
Hermione Granger and Katniss
Everdeen and of countless latter-day Disney princesses. She also
foretold the recent, somewhat belated feminist turn in the Star Wars
Fisher herself described Leia as a "huge" feminist icon, dismissing
the suggestion that the character was ever a "damsel in distress".
Fisher said of Leia, "She bossed them around. I don't know what your
idea of distress is, but that wasn't it! And I wasn't some babe
running through the galaxy with my tits bouncing around. So I wasn't
threatening to women", adding "I like Princess Leia. I like how
she was feisty. I like how she killed Jabba the Hutt".
Main article: Princess Leia's bikini
Olivia Munn cosplaying in the iconic
Princess Leia "metal
bikini" slave outfit from Return of the Jedi
Leia's slave costume when she is held captive by
Jabba the Hutt
Jabba the Hutt at the
beginning of Return of the Jedi—made of brass and dubbed Leia's
"Metal Bikini" or "Gold Bikini"—immediately made the character (and
Fisher) a "generational sex symbol" celebrated by pin-up
posters, and later merchandising and
cosplay. The outfit has gained a cult following of
Rosenberg noted that "the costume has become culturally iconic in a
way that has slipped loose from the context of the scenes in which
Leia wore it and the things she does after she is forced into the
outfit." Philip Chien of the website Wired wrote in 2006, "There's
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." Acknowledging the opinion
of some that the "Slave Leia" iconography tarnishes the character's
position as "feminist hero", Rosenberg argues:
Leia may be captive in these scenes, but she’s not exactly a
compliant fantasy. Instead, she’s biding her time for the moment
when she can put that fury into action, carrying out a carefully laid
plan to rescue her lover. And when that moment comes, the bikini
doesn’t condemn Leia to passivity. She rises, and uses the very
chains that bind her to strangle the creature who tried to take away
her power by turning her into a sex object.
Science fiction filmmaker Letia Clouston concurs, saying "Sci-fi has
had a long history of strong female characters. Yes,
Princess Leia was
in a gold bikini, but she was also the one who single-handedly killed
Jabba. When you take into account movies and TV shows like Terminator,
Aliens, Battlestar Galactica, and even video games like Metroid, you
can see sci-fi has consistently promoted the strength of women more
than any other genre."
Skywalker family and Solo family
Skywalker family tree
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