Study Guide

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher)

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Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher)

As royalty, Princess Leia has been raised to handle high stakes political conflicts with the greatest of ease… which is why she's such a kick-butt leader for the Rebel Alliance. Despite this obvious greatness, however, Leia reveals herself to have one tragic flaw: an inability to chill out and let her hair down (although who would want to, with those amazing braid 'dos?).

A Royal Buttkicker

The Battle of Hoth firmly establishes Leia as a top-notch leader. As we see, she quickly takes charge of the situation, planning battle strategy and overseeing the Rebels' risky escape plan. What's more, she proves herself to be fearless, waiting until the last possible second to evacuate herself and then only doing so after Han drags her out of the command center:

LEIA: Why are you still here?

HAN: I heard the command center had been hit.

LEIA: You got your clearance to leave.

HAN: Don't worry. I'll leave. First I'm going to get you to your ship.

She's fierce, and not just in the Tyra Banks way.

However, Leia has a harder time interacting with Han than she does planning an intergalactic assault. Although she obviously digs him, she refuses to admit it even when he pesters her into oblivion. (Note to potential Romeos: Pestering your crush is never, ever a good idea… unless you're Han Solo, and there is only one Han Solo.)

Of course, this doesn't last long: Han scores himself some smooches after confirming that Leia loves him because he's a scoundrel, and because he's so unlike the high-class men she typically spends time with:

HAN: You like me because I'm a scoundrel. There aren't enough scoundrels in your life.

LEIA: I happen to like nice men.

HAN: I'm a nice man.

Unfortunately, their smooching gets sidetracked by C-3PO barging in at the least opportune time.

A Heroine's Journey

Sadly, Leia's acceptance of her feelings towards Han comes right before Mr. Solo is frozen in carbonite. Although she has the opportunity to tell him that she loves him (which he responds to brilliantly by saying, "I know"), Leia is forced to consider the very real possibility that she'll never see Han again. This highlights what a tough position Leia finds herself in—she has to balance her personal desires with her duties as a leader.

Here's one thing we know about Leia, though—she's not going to take this nonsense lying down. In a way, this is a beautiful reversal of the traditional damsel-in-distress motif, with the beautiful princess being forced to rescue a powerful warrior from the clutches of evil. Guess what? We'd expect nothing less from the baddest princess in all of the galaxy.

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