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Princess Leia’s Best Moments

There are a lot of benefits from Disney taking over the Star Wars franchise: more money, more humor, and better CGI being a few. However, I think the biggest plus has been the addition of an actual laugh-out-loud blooper reel. Being a big Star Wars fan myself, I decided to look up the recently-released gag reel for The Last Jedi (2017). Let me tell you, I quite enjoyed watching General Organa slap Poe Dameron repeatedly.

Here, enjoy it for yourself:

But I think what I really enjoyed was seeing Carrie Fisher again. Like a lot of people, I only knew Fisher as Princess/General Leia Organa. She was spunky, opinionated, tough, and a great role model for little girls (and boys) everywhere. Since I’m feeling particularly nostalgic, I decided to make a top 10 list of her best moments in the Star Wars franchise.

Note: there will be The Last Jedi spoilers. There will also be spoilers for the other Star Wars movies but if you haven’t seen those by now I suggest you raise that rock you’ve been living under and go enjoy a wonderful cinematic experience or two.

#10: When She Hid the Plans from Darth Vader

This is when we all knew Princess Leia wasn’t just a pretty face. She knew what she was doing and she was fiercely loyal to the Rebellion and her people. She risked her life to protect these plans to save the lives of many others, and that’s something no good Star Wars fan will ever forget. Even Darth Vader himself couldn’t convince her to give up where she hid the plans — that’s fortitude, right there. If anyone ever calls Princess Leia a coward, be prepared to throw this back at their face — because she was probably one of the bravest people on that ship.

princess leia

image via Daily Express

#9: When She Unfroze Han

Even though she yelled at him all the time, she really did love Han Solo, and she showed it with this daring act. Risking her life, she infiltrated Jabba the Hutt’s palace and unfroze Han from his carbonite prison late at night. Though she was later captured and Han and Luke were almost killed, she showed immense courage by taking that perilous journey to try to save the man she loved. Be honest: how many of you were expecting her to reveal herself as that bold bounty hunter who threatened to blow up the entire place? I know I wasn’t the first time I saw this movie.

Princess Leia

Image via Star Wars

#8: When She Watched Her Home Planet Explode and Didn’t Act Like a Wimp

While Luke was mourning the loss of his mentor that he knew for a few days, Leia was doing her best to comfort him, despite being forced to witness the murder of her entire people only a few days before. But, you know, Luke obviously had bigger problems. No, we don’t care that Darth Vader blew up Alderaan, Leia, we have other things to worry about. Forget how many people died, that old dude who I wasn’t even calling by the right name for years just died.

Seriously though, if this isn’t a testament to how resilient Princess Leia was, then I don’t know what is.

Princess Leia

Image via Death Star PR

#7: When She Briefed All the Rebel Pilots Before the Battle of Hoth

Princess Leia

Image via Zach On Leadership

That, my friends, is the face of someone you do not want to mess with. In The Empire Strikes Back (1980), right before the Battle of Hoth, Princess Leia immediately takes control of the situation, despite everything going on. She dons her unflinching expression and absolutely dominates the scene with her no-nonsense, hardcore attitude.

My favorite part about this shot is how she’s at least a foot shorter than most of them, yet they all look at her with an air of reverence and respect. No one dares speak against their revered general. If need be, they would follow this woman to the their deaths, and many of them do.

#6: When She Shot a Stormtrooper on Endor After She Was Injured

A lot of guys would give up after being shot. Not Leia, though. She took a shot to the arm and instead of crawling away to nurse her wounds, she saved not only her own hide, but Han’s as well. With cunning and excellent marksmanship, she eliminates the threatening stormtroopers and plays an instrumental role in saving Endor and the galaxy. Meanwhile, Han and C-3PO stand by and immediately put up their hands to surrender because all hope is lost.

Princess Leia

Image via Star Wars

Also, bonus points to Han for posing fabulously under pressure.

#5: When She Called Han a “Scruffy Looking Nerfherder”

While maybe not the most action-packed moment, this really showed Leia’s fearless, take-no-crap-from-anyone attitude. She could care less about whether or not Han had just saved Luke’s life if he was going to act like an arrogant prick. She deflated his ego just like she would any of her cocky soldiers. Dishing out this perfect insult with such bite that it probably left a mark, she showed audiences the fire hiding under that magnificent hair.

Princess Leia

Image via Giphy

#4: Anytime She Saved Luke from Certain Death

Luke can’t seem to save himself; for being a Jedi, he’s pretty helpless. While I can’t name every time that Leia has had to save Luke’s sorry butt, I can say it was more than once. One memorable time is when Luke falls off the walkway in Bespin after facing his father and ends up hanging on for dear life to a metal antenna/pole. If Leia hadn’t have been there with the Millenial Falcon, Luke would have just pathetically fallen to his death and the Star Wars trilogy would have ended right there. It’s a good thing there was at least one smart woman in this movie.

Princess Leia

Image via Amino

(Look at how lame Luke looks.)

#3: When She Used the Force

I have mixed feelings about this scene in The Last Jedi, mainly because it was really strange. Instead of looking really cool, Leia looked like Mary Poppins flying through space. But, honestly, I still loved it. I put it this high up simply because LEIA CAN USE THE FORCE AND THAT’S SO AWESOME. This opens up a whole world of possibilities for the Star Wars universe, like has she used it before or will she ever use it in the future? Either way, it was absolutely riveting and made General Organa even cooler.

Princess Leia

Image via Cheat Sheet

#2: When She Slapped Poe Dameron

I love Poe Dameron, so the inclusion of this scene isn’t out of some repressed hatred for him. I just enjoy the fact that General Organa got to slap someone. For some reason that’s unknown to me at the time, I’m really satisfied that after all the years of played Leia alongside bumbling men, she finally got to smack one of them. The only thing that would have made this scene any better is if she got to slap Luke and Finn, too. Way to go, Leia!

Princess Leia

Image via Nerdist

Also, nice to see that stern look didn’t fade away or lose any of its fire over the years.

#1: When She Strangled Jabba the Hutt with Her Own Chains

I cannot think of anything more poetic than having Leia use the same chains that imprisoned her to strangle her captor to death. She was humiliated in front of her friends and forced to be some sort of sex object, and she got her sweet, sweet revenge. The most striking part about this is how she took matters into her own hands. The daring Princess Leia didn’t wait for her “knights-in-shining-armor” to save her. She used her shining feminist power and deadly charm to destroy her own problems. Now that’s what I call a role model!

Princess Leia

Image via Nerdist


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5 Responses

  1. AlexTRyan27 says:

    Great post celebrating a real icon in cinema. I can’t find the link right now, but I saw a tweet the other day pointing out how weird it is that the film expects Leia to comfort Luke after Ben’s death, despite her entire planet just being wiped out in front of her.

    I thought this was an interesting example of gendered expectations (women should comfort men) actually subverting misogyny, by reaffirming Leia’s emotional strength at such a key moment.

    Do you have any thoughts on how gender and audience expectations – and their subversion – influence Leia’s presentation across the films? Your point about Leia’s turning her objectification to her advantage in Jedi and literally strangling her captor with his own chains got me thinking about this.

    • Kali Tuttle says:

      Something I really appreciated was the fact that, despite the bikini, she was never dressed in anything impractical for fighting. She was usually dressed in something she could fight in alongside her soldiers and friends. I felt like this really helped portray her as an action hero, rather than just the obligatory sex symbol of an action/sci-fi franchise. She’s a great role model for those trying to break down sexism in movies.

  2. Older generations will remember Leia as a clever and beautiful badass who always placed the welfare of her people before hers. It’s too bad the newer generations won’t (thank you, Disney).

  3. MARTA LARA says:

    Princess Leia will always remain as one of the most iconic and important female characters in the history of film. Great article!

  4. Nick Kush says:

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