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Published on December 7th, 2015 | by Hazel Southwell

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Princess Leia: The Most Important Character Ever

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Please note: this article is (almost entirely) about Princess Leia as a character in the original Star Wars trilogy because at the time of writing, I have not seen The Force Awakens and also I might start crying on the floor and completely losing my shit with excitement if I think about the fact Leia is actually in the new films, which is unproductive for writing.

I was trying to think of a fancy title for this, mostly based around The Import-ship of Princess Leia but then I figured I’d cut to the chase. Listen up, nerf-herders; the mileage on your landspeeder might vary but if you’re not neck-deep in tauntaun guts and beginning to lose the ability to make sound judgements due to the fumes, I’m pretty sure you will have to agree with me that Princess Leia is the best and most important character ever in fiction. Just in case you don’t, I’ve essayed the below several-thousand-word argument.

I love Star Wars, as an adult. I tried so desperately to maintain my chill with regards to The Force Awakens but within four miliseconds of hearing the theme and seeing a CGI Star Destroyer in sand, I was a quivering wreck. Do not fucking talk to me about what happened when I saw the Millennium Falcon; a totally uncalculated shift into hyper-can’t-even-space. I cannot cope with the whole thing at all – great disturbances in my personal self-control-force are bringing it all back. Last week I discovered a naff Star Wars questionnaire with the potential to be filled in comedically, “please do this for me,” I urgently asked my friends, with an air of imminent expiration, “for I cannot take the name of Star Wars in vain.” I’ve deliberately booked a matinee showing the day after The Force Awakens comes out because I cannot handle other nerds spoiling it for me. I am Star Wars.

The amount I love Star Wars as an adult is in fact only really eclipsed by one thing, which is the amount I loved Star Wars when I was a thirteen-year-old girl. A thirteen-year-old girl’s love is pure and pencil-case-engraved and committed; there is probably no time in your life that your loves and likes and subsequent tribal distinctions will define you-as-you-are and you-as-you-will-be than when you are a thirteen-year-old girl.

Brink-of-teen girls are more committed fans than any others; they don’t have the resources or permission to resort to the easy, classy fandom of adulthood – not for them, the framed poster print or the sage discussion with a creator in the bar after con. The love of a thirteen-year-old girl is shut-out from the majority of dignified channels of expression and they give absolutely no fucks whatsoever about that. As all good nerds should be, thirteen-year-old girls are unselfconsciously consumptive, without the ambitions that often intertwine with more mature enthusiasm, it is a pure ride of inspired enthrallment; the triple-distilled, single malt of crush.

Star Wars had just been remastered when I was 13. Just to clarify to J J Abrams and his “Star Wars was always a boy’s thing” line; Star Wars has always been my thing. Deep in my psychology, there’s a complex Venn diagram of nascent awareness of adult desires and critiques beyond the basic novelty of [characters/objects + play] (despite this being indisputably where Star Wars made its cash), some dim awareness of gender, Han Solo’s trousers, the explosive excitement of grand strategy and diplomacy played out across space and <3Princess Leia<3.

Not Like Other Films

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The opening scene of Star Wars is a Rebel cruiser being boarded. Rebel troops are seen getting roundly annihilated by Imperial Storm Troopers as the stricken ship is forced to give up hope of escape – at this point, it could just be a narratively relevant demonstration of the absolute power of the Empire in comparison to its rivals – the shining armour of the Storm Troopers against the virtually unprotected Rebels, the small and clumpy ship compared to the monolithic Star Destroyer it’s engulfed by.

The ship’s important though – you know, because a Big Bad enters, in the form of hissing, masked Darth Vader, who wants the ship pulled apart in a search. Ah, not the ship then – its passengers and cargo.

The first time you see Princess Leia on film, she’s hiding something in a droid – she has the important thing and the importance of it is, absolutely, conferred by what she’s doing with it. She then shoots two Storm Troopers and puts up as much fight as a cornered, unarmoured person can whilst letting the droids get away.

The second time you see Princess Leia on film, having been knocked unconscious by a stun ray and dragged in front of Vader, she is delivering withering burns
100000% done with this shit

She’s got a lovely dress on but her hair is done up severely – she just shot at a bunch of Storm Troopers but her argument to Vader is on the basis that she is an Imperial Senator, on a diplomatic mission to her home planet. Vader is after her because he’s convinced she is the leader of the Rebel Alliance. To be fair, he’s not actually wrong.

There’s a terrible trope to say a character/public figure/Tumblr persona is Not Like Other Girls, as though Other Girls are a bad thing. Princess Leia is, in fact, really like other girls – she’s at work, her commute is getting fucked up by awful men and she’s having a distinctive but regrettable hair era. But joking aside: this is an extraordinarily well-qualified stateswoman who, we can instantly discern, is not only powerful enough to be a serious Imperial target brought in alive, not only leading a double life as a Rebel informant but even as she’s captured, running a serious scheme to further a strategy she must have been key to divising.

Princess Leia is just trying to do about eight hundred goddamned jobs, essentially – she’s instantly an extremely real character, with real, tedious terms about her job and the wranglings involved in it. She isn’t nebulously a royal within no specific power structure, she’s a leader and a representative and a diplomat. She’s part of a machine, shown to be brutal, that she’s also part of fighting. As heroines go, she’s an incredibly real one; not just a strong woman because she can handle a blaster but a powerful and fearful adversary, politically, technologically and in terms of quick thinking. She appears alone and in charge, running a rebellion totally regardless of whether the as-yet-unseen heroes ever bother to show.

Princess Leia is just like other girls – it’s unusual to get a character who’s allowed to appear and do that, though. Not about to be gifted powers but at the height of them. Not a foil or additional backstory to a protagonist but her very own lead. I’m struggling to think of… well, any others at all.

To see the first real Rebel Alliance character be a politically powerful, significant woman was pretty much the coolest thing a thirteen-year-old girl brain can get handed.

Before she even meets the supposed protagonist, Leia withstands torture, refuses to endanger the rebellion even at the threat of her planet and spits fire in Moff Tarkin’s face about him signing her execution order. She does it with the conviction and dignity of a politician, the I-don’t-have-time-for-this-you-stupid-little-man sniff of someone extremely used to getting shit done. Leia is the real protagonist – she can’t have the hero’s journey, as Luke is designed to, because she’s already at peak powers but her story is the most compelling: a duplicitous plant in the Imperial Senate itself, risking her life and stealing plans whilst holding down a political career as a liberal in a fascist system that she will personally orchestrate the destruction of.

At the end of the first film, when they arrive at the rebel base, it’s not Luke and Han in the closed council meeting analysing the technical readouts to find a weakness in the Death Star. Leia is so distant from them, in terms of power structure that… well, she has literally been living on different planets.

(Also worth remembering that by the equivalent point in his life all Luke has done is thought up some ham-brained schemes involving cosplay, enormously asymmetrical privilege levels aside)

The Princess is in Another Falcon

I know

The romance of Han Solo and Princess Leia is a thing of beauty. Not just because they are both extremely attractive people, in a very unposed way or even because the characters are excellently realised by Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, who manage to bring a very genuine chemistry to their interactions. No, it’s a thing of beauty because despite the positioning of the honorifics, Han is the princess.

I need to interject here because Han Solo is, of course, also a very important character. Han Solo taught me everything I know about flirting, which is that I sort of do a weird half-face smile, lean on a wall and look belligerent. Also everything I know about doing things by the seat of your pants, common roguery, facing doom, etc. etc. etc. Being a princess in a traditional, fairytale sense doesn’t mean you’re not a badass with your own smuggling business going on just waiting to be swept of your feet, sister.

Han has a classic Disney Princess narrative; he’s stuck in a bad situation with one hell of an ugly stepJabba. He’s initially got out of it by a novelty character travelling with an old wizard and he and his only trusted companion end up caught up in hijinks until he learns to make the best of his situation and some shit about morals and stuff, whilst finding true love/community/purpose/bravery, etc. Princess stories are about a change of status and a positive outcome, about trials and tribulations and entrapment that you have to be rescued from, about finding out you might be even more resourceful than you think in ways you didn’t know you had.

Ok, he’s in a spaceship not a palace and I’m about 99% sure even the Brothers Grimm original fairytales didn’t have anyone encased in carbonite but Leia’s positioning to Han is absolutely as the traditional prince, very different to the way she is positioned to Luke.

(To Luke, she’s an inspiring figure, an enticing chase, a person to whom his fate is securely tied for political reasons rather than interpersonal, however, despite the late reveal; she is truly a princess in his narrative but in the powerful, benevolent sponsor way – their only really substantial period of interaction seems to have been plotting to rescue Han)

Han is nervous, insecure, out of his depth – it’s more a Cinderella story than a Frozen, with a Sleeping Beauty twist thrown in. Comparatively, enter Leia – powerful, rich, dangerous – exactly the kind of prince a princess smuggler would dream of. She repeatedly seduces him – from the idea of her, as described by Luke, getting Han involved in the rescue (the icon of a prince without a specific – one day (s)he’ll come) to his growing admiration for someone extraordinarily capable of saving his skin in a dangerous situation to his irritating moral predicament of irresistably joining her cause despite his duties to Jabba.

Leia changes Han’s worldview, his way of doing things, his entire structure of life; not as a manic pixie dream girl but as a a hero who appears in someone else’s narrative. Disney princes, after all, probably have plenty of their own stuff going on en route to getting to a tower for a rescue operation.

Star Wars is interesting in that all three of the main characters have their own big bads – Luke’s is the weight of family and legacy, from his backwater farming roots to the midichlorian-passed duty to stop the force-wielding Imperial leadership. Although he’s opposed to the Empire, he does actually start off wanting to go to their flight academy and a serious desire for revolution is considerably less motivating than his desire to honour a Jedi inheritance.

Han Solo gives very few shits whose law he’’s living outside; the fact his best friend is a Wookie (a race severely oppressed and denigrated by the Empire) strongly positions him in the anti-fascist club but doesn’t mean he necessarily sees a difference between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance, in terms of who wants to enforce what where. For a supposedly free spirited space-roaming cowboy smuggler, Han is the character most defined by his circumstance, which is that he is trapped by a serious debt that will hunt him across all his cirules over the entire galaxy. Han has very present problems, entirely related to cashflow, over which nothing can take priority. Until he gets himself involved with some damned Princess and starts defying his perameters at great personal risk – the swing back with the Falcon at the end of A New Hope is absolutely him leaving his glass slipper at the ball.

Leia also commences the film thoroughly entangled with her big bads; she’s the only one of the three for whom the Empire and its direct political and military actions are, at the very start, her main problem. Her priority is the campaign of espionage, sabotage, direct engagement and strategic imbalance that she has been playing probably all of her life. Vader and Moff Tarkin are her direct and immediate adversaries are the immediate problems she faces at the start but their actual names, positions, heritage or history is not her real enemy, which is the entire Imperial power structure itself.

(And maybe let’s just think for a second about a seriously femme-coded character whose mission is to destroy a gigantic, asymmetrically powerful and all-encompassing system; aaahhh, lovely)

Leia takes Han out of his immediate problems and into hers – a kind of slightly selfish, princely thing to do that people do when they have causes so much bigger than the personal – she falls in love with him, of course but he doesn’t change her world anything like as much as she changes his. Leia doesn’t need to be taught to rebel, she’s very actually literally the leader of the Rebel Alliance; she needs someone who can keep up with that, a scruffy nerf-herder who is a little too reckless and can respect her when she is, too.

Leia’s relationship to Han is an important aspect of why she is the best and most important character ever; it gives her, as a character, an area in which she can clearly demonstrate the sort of reckless, hell-for-leather, blasters-and-bravery personality that spits on Darth Vader, the kind of bloodymindedness that refuses to budge, that will continue to do what is right regardless of the odds or setbacks. Which her role in the Rebellion also gives her, of course, except that that might make her seem like someone who was strong for the camera – who had sacrificed herself for a political cause and whose recklessness and bravery to that end was entirely subsumed into duty. In actual fact, trained diplomat and Imperial senator Princess Leia is a straight-up rule-breaking dickhead (Luke is the only conformist at the centre of the films) and to show this in the intimately personal as well as the galactically strategic is a major part of making her such a wholly realised character.

And she rescues him from a thousand-years sleep with a kiss and slays his dragon. Actual Disney Prince Leia Organa, everyone.

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On scruffy-looking nerf-herders

You know how in Joss Whedon things, the Voice of Joss Whedon looms large in all the characters doing clever swipes at each other with “hilarious” quips the entire time, whether it in any way fits their personality or the situation or not? It’s really annoying and narratively disruptive, puts a stylistic watermark so heavily onto the work that it breaks the fourth wall, again and again.

(And you may like this aspect of Joss Whedon but you can’t deny it’s there)

A little bit of the heritage of that trait, I’ve always suspected, is that everyone in the original trilogy of Star Wars films is kind of bitchy to everyone else. Not in a way that disjoins the film from its universe, though but in one that increases the reality of a galaxy far, far away. Wet and cold in a garbage chute, about to die, with some people you barely know and are increasingly wishing you didn’t, you’d struggle to maintain an even temper.

When the two people who pass for your closest friends are being, by turns, suicidally useless at going around in the snow for a bit and doing anything to prevent the massive laser-cannons approaching, it’s natural to get pretty short with them. Not in a funny, well-timed burn way, in a genuine sense of annoyance.

It is a weird and beautiful coincidence that the three leads in Star Wars are all naturally funny people. They’re also all people who seem like they spend a lot of their time slightly exasperated with things, especially whilst shooting some fiddly space epic with a guy who keeps blowing up plastic model kits in a car park whilst asking them to wear truly ridiculous outfits. But of all of them, Carrie Fisher is really, really funny and really has had a whole bunch of shit to deal with.

The glorious thing about Fisher’s turn in the Star Wars films is she didn’t especially enjoy playing Princess Leia – the costumes were annoying, the co-stars were irritating, the drugs were distracting, the space slugs needed strangling. And the frank willingness with which she’s able to discuss that now is equal to the honest irritation you can see expressed in the film.

If you got a space princess role now you might be expected to play it with an unrealistic pomp, an icy, frozen pseudo-dignity entirely unbefitting of someone who’s been travelling through hyperspace for eighteen hours and has no time for your shit, son. The sort of mysterious emotional voids with a tragic backstory and decades of expertise that seem to have, for some reason, stripped them of the ability to show realistic human expressions. It’s just the way that someone’s supposed to appear regal and alien now -and possibly even then. I’m writing this whilst Charlie plays Destiny and the extent to which ‘Shakespearean soothsayer’ has become the tone of a powerful spacewoman is far beyond parody.

Carrie Fisher turns in, essentially, the total opposite. Princess Leia’s here to do a job and she’s actually quite pissed off and stressed about saving the galaxy, frankly, especially with this cloud of bunglers and amateurs surrounding her, in these low quality bras. She’s not especially thrilled to have to live on a fucking ice planet but even less thrilled some borklord hits a drone with a lightsabre so now they all have to move house again, which is bad enough in the first place but now the world’s least practical tanks are firing lasers at them as well.

Princess Leia is pissed of because this is all horrible. Fighting a gigantic, fascist Empire with dwindling resources (I’m guessing quite a few bank accounts were blown up with Alderaan) and in the face of an enemy so powerful they can only whittle away at the edges as entire planets blaze out of existence is really awful. Star Wars is, whilst Lucas gave it the hero’s journey narrative of a Western, about a really horribly unpleasant civil war.

Leia maintains that part of it – all three main characters are orphaned in the first film; Luke with the death of Owen and Beru, Han with his excommunication from the smuggling community by not paying Jabba and Leia with her entire home planet blown to smithereens. As the political heart of the film, this isn’t a learning or transformative experience for her – unlike the other two, she doesn’t have anything but the Rebel Alliance to go to by this point anyway, hunted by the Empire – but just something she has to deal with, as part of the cruelty of the enemy she’s facing.

To have a realistically frustrated, angry, snappy character who isn’t “strong” and quippy but who’s pissed of because she’s trying to do something really emotionally and technically and strategically difficult shouldn’t be unusual. There’s a tendency to make highly competent characters essentially infallible in their own arenas – from a Bond or a Bourne to a River Song, it’s all a nudge and a wink and a deus ex machina; they don’t get pissed off unless it’s grief, because the daily frustrations of a normal human don’t worry them.

That’s not realistic; people getting slightly ratty because of the situations that there in is. Steve Rogers does this quite a lot in The Winter Soldier, for instance and it’s great, it’s very realistic; Leia is way less tetchy than the super-soldier but she’s still running at a basic urgency and stress level that means she might shoot the waffle maker if it fucks about one more time not because she’s a comedically always-angry Strong Lady Character but because she’s a realistically under-pressure person with the fate of the whole galaxy on her hands.

You know how sometimes you’re like ‘jesus christ if I have to go to work today I will punch anyone who talks to me before coffee?’ There’s no coffee in space, fuckers.

Leia_Foul_Stench

Extended power

What kind of mischief were you getting into when you were thirteen? I’m not saying this was the limit of it, by any means, but one of my main vice displays was defying my parents by spending all my pocket money/book tokens/etc on Star Wars extended universe books. They were relatively hard to come by, in my local, rural WH Smiths, so it involved a lot of ‘Book two of a trilogy’ starting points but that’s no obstacle to deter a thirteen-year-old. Neither is the fact the majority of the Extended Universe books are… not great works of literature. (And this was before the New Jedi Order, trololol)

In the Extended Universe books, set after the original trilogy of films, Princess Leia is back to politics. Leia the stateswoman is no surprise – Leia the statebuilder even less, having constructed a concealed army even as she worked as a senator. What might seem a little surprising from our blaster-toting, army-directing, strategically brilliant heroine is that she’s characterised in the old Extended Universe books as a pacifist.

Naturally, it’s a patchy trait; she’s still pretty keen on hitting people with heavy objects, blasting them in the face and indeed, slicing strips off them with a lightsabre. But in theory, as a senior member of the galactic senate in various capacities, over the years, she is opposed to doing any more war.
Which makes sense, seeing as she spent the best years of her youth stealing plans to blow up hideous, world-destroying battle stations and being threatened with lobotomy by mediaeval-knights-cum-dustbins. But it always fascinated me; why would someone obviously so strategically brilliant and, to a certain extent, ruthless be willing to so reverse this.

There’s all kinds of reasons for presuming it that basically come down to ‘idiot fanboys have not spotted that Leia is kind of one of the generals of this army’ and also a strange conflation of Leia’s wise, politically powerful femme with a dislike of military action not reflected in the behaviour of the character. Let’s consider her stealing a Storm Trooper’s bike and smashing a bunch of others into trees using it; it is not exactly the action of a nun. But it would, maybe more kindly, be also fair to assume a political evolution of someone who, when given any sort of option, would not resort to war for war’s sake. Whose pursuit of power is not concerned with expansion but with expulsion of an intolerable system.

To my mind, it’s because the writers of the Star Wars extended universe books couldn’t think of the word ‘humanitarian.’ There’s a long distance between ‘war lord’ and ‘pacifist’ and somewhere outside of that spectrum, where the question is merely ‘war good?’ or ‘war bad?’ is humanitarianism. It’s the difficult option: morally complex and frequently unsatisfying, never providing easy or in general, populist answers.

It fits with Leia’s stubbornness – it is hard to not become jingoistic, in a war. It takes a special sort of bloodymindedness not to fall into the trap of dogma when reconstructing a galaxy from the ashes of vicious oppression and war. What if some planets found the Empire purely benevolent? What of the barren, remote mining colonies made rich off Death Star building and the civil servants just investigating tax fraud? What of the worlds wronged? Of compensation to Alderaanian expats and orphans? What about the enslaved Wookies and protected criminals? What about the emprisoned? Where do you even start?

Leia’s skill in the books is to understand political complexity, to act as mediator in unreasonable circumstances and to say and do the right thing even when it’s annoyingly hard. Maybe I’m biased, working for a humanitarian agency but I think that sounds a lot more like that.

Of course, it doesn’t actually matter what anyone said about Leia in the Extended Universe books anymore – the advent of the new trilogy has deleted them from the Star Wars universe. In the new films, it’s General Leia, maybe a better fit for the strategically brilliant politician of the original trilogy. A suspicious little bit of me thinks that’s wrong again, though (of course, because a large part of me thinks it owns Princess Leia as my own and special thing) because a general shouldn’t really be a politician and military strategy isn’t all she is.

But actually most of me just thinks is wrong as, like in the latter Extended Universe novels when she became Senator Organa, she already has a goddamned title and there’s absolutely nothing not serious, political and strategic about a Princess.

3-Cardbon-Freeze-Rescue-CROPPED

Courtship

I have had to sit through so much tedious bullshit where people say Pride and Prejudice was their nascent sexual awakening and frankly I am bored of it. If you, dear reader, are a thirteen-year-old, you need to get your hands on a copy of totally and utterly problematic (and now officially erased from the Star Wars universe in any case) fave The Courtship Of Princess Leia. I just dug out my copy and it has like 22 page turndowns. You know what that means.

There’s a whole lot of other articles to be written about this book, which I’ll spare you for now. But it’s better than Twilight and at least as problematic, I promise you. #TeamHan

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Habitable planets

Genuinely relatable characters are hard to find. Not just for me, for everyone; intelligent women with genuinely stroppy tempers as flaws, under stress and political and technical smarts are my personal jam but your specific cocktail will vary. Even other people that love Princess Leia will be getting different stuff from her – that’s cool.

But Leia is relatable – due, in absolutely no small part to the psychologically aware, analytical actress who played her and to the maybe totally accidental span of the role. Being ineptly “rescued” by a pair of fuckboys who don’t know anything about your galactic strategic mission but think it’s a compliment is a relatable experience, as much as I’m not sure Lucas intended it that way. Leia isn’t relatable because she’s ~~hilariously clumsy~~ or some other rolled-up-at-the-start-of-the-D&D-game-style flaw, it’s because she’s a fully realised human character with believable reactions to the situations she finds herself in.

As well as being relatable, though, she is aspirational. Way too often the idea of ‘would you want your daughter to do this?’ comes up about inspirational or aspirational people; for the record, no, I would never want my daughter to have to lead a bloody rebellion against a fascist space empire because that’s a fucking terrible time to be alive – I hope my daughters somehow lead some charmed life whereby they can pursue worthy but unstressful pursuits and never really have to hold down a job or become trapped in an intolerable situation.

If the world continues down its merry path to World War III, though, then I hope I or indeed, any women I manage to bring up, are bold enough to use any political access and privilege we have to further a cause of peace, to ostracise and endanger ourselves to pursue a necessary rebellion. And I sure hope they find their Han(nah) Solo(s) and that they have the certainty of heart to know that yes, it is ok to take time from even the most important work to rescue them from their carbonite block. I know I have had and I hope they do have experimentally terrible hairstyles. I’d love to say I have skipped the bad bras and I’d love to think they could but let us be real, it is not just a phase but a permanent risk. And if they’re sons or non-binary people then I sure as fuck hope they’d do the same.

I like to hope I would be able to be brave and defiant to the last, to find that droid and tell an old, mythical wizard to pull his goddamned finger out and help the Rebellion. To be willing to pursue strategies with the minutest chance of working rather than lying down to die. I don’t know if I could be, as I’m not the best and most important character ever; but it’s a hell of an ambition.

I’ve thought about Princess Leia a lot in the last hrmmrhmmmhhrmm many years and I can guarantee the new films mean I’m going to think about her a lot more. I’ve already grown older with older Leia, in the Extended Universe but no matter how much I loved the books, they can’t substitute for the real deal. Reading Carrie Fisher’s autobiographies has certainly (and no doubt to the frustration of the absolutely incomparable and completely meritous on her own grounds Ms Fisher) given me more insight into the mechanics that made the character but still: this is going to be pretty special.

Fandom is the extension of a work or world beyond the limits of its original product, either in the personal and emotional effects of its impression or in stories you write or simply believe in happening outside of those bounds – in the debate of the unconfirmed minutiae, the hairline spaces into which you can pry your fingernails and lever yourself into the narrative, wear it not so much like a cloak but as a filter, a Google glass theme. It’s like exploring something with superpowers, when it’s something you truly love and it can be truly empowering.

A recurring theme of my fandoms is that I’ve not expected them to come back. Sure, Star Wars had the prequels but they didn’t have actual real Princess Leia in, so that’s completely different. I’d love to pretend that I’m worried about the new films – I kind of am, on an intellectual level I’m not really engaging with – but I slightly feel like I’ve won an award, to get the original cast back. Of course there will be problems – there have always been problems with Star Wars, it doesn’t have to be flawless to be incredibly good.

We’ve seen very little of the new film, as you’d expect before it’s out, and I’ve deliberately tried to limit what I see to stop myself guessing at the plot. We know the Leia in it will be older, less triumphant than where we left her, by necessity of narrative; for that, I can only probably love her more, having grown in that direction myself. To some extent, it might not matter to me (given the ludicrous extent of my fandom) but I really, really hope it’s good; we will need wise, rude people who are capable of taking on the pressure of tremendous things with no threat to their steadyhandedness bigger than the occasional snappiness.

But I actually leave you with this note from our sponsor:

Hazel Southwell

Hazel Southwell

Bringing trendy hair cuts to the parts of town they're not cool in since the mid 90s.
Hazel Southwell
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  • Doug Strider

    I’m not a clever man. Plonk me down in front of a film and I’m all “Cool! Robots! Spaceships! Aliens!! Futuristic swords! Haha, that bit where he said these aren’t the droids you’re looking for and they were all these aren’t the droids we’re looking for! I’m going to try that on a police officer.”
    Hearing and even being involved in discussions about films often demonstrates things I’ve clearly missed or not fully grasped and I’m also left wondering how people can have such an encyclopaedic knowledge of, well, everything. Point is it makes me think properly about the film and when I watch it again I’m watching from a more informed place and can appreciate much more than that cool action scene where our heroes were in mild peril which is what you’ve now done to me.
    When I watch Star Wars again I’ll be viewing it from a different perspective, which is a good thing, so many thanks!
    Hope you enjoyed TFA, we’ve seen it twice now and I found it really difficult not to cry like a child in every single scene.
    All the best.

  • I need to read The Courtship of Princess Leia again. I inhaled it in a couple of days many years ago and LOVED it, but all I can really remember is Han getting his teeth broken and being saved by Luke and Leia… again.

    Thank you for writing this great piece. I have a new appreciation for Leia now.

  • Haru Yasumi

    today carrie fisher died and obviously i am sad about that. which is why i ended up here. i thought she was a great character too. have you seen the character that she was based on? princess yuki from ‘hidden fortress’. she was uber-cool too!

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