ByAndrea Marie Cini, writer at
Pretty much a fan of all but if you come at me with horror I have a salt shaker and an iron rod and I'm not afraid to use them :D
Andrea Marie Cini

People are still still asking me if I knew 'Star Wars' was going to be that big of a hit. Yes, we all knew. The only one who didn't know was George.

-Carrie Fisher

At the age of 60, has left us and left a hole in our galaxy where a star once shone. As a tribute to this great woman and her pivotal role in the series, I'd like to share why this late actress was responsible for the franchise's strongest character - bar none.

1. Not Your Average Princess

If those issues are going to be public, I would rather them to be public the way I’ve experienced them rather than someone else assuming things about me. It’s freeing to do it. Shame is not something I aspire to.

- Carrie Fisher

Although a princess, did not always achieve the expectations of a princess. Yes, she may be beautiful but she is not as delicate and fragile as many people believe a princess should be. She is a Rebel Princess, strong and brave and resilient. She was the face of the but while others directed the rebels from safety, Leia armed with her own bluster pistol, fought besides her men. She risked her own life so others wouldn't have to.

In A New Hope, she was entrusted with the vital plans, with so many lives taken in their pursuit she couldn't stand by and just watch as another fellow rebel fell for her own cause. She was raised in a galaxy conquered by the Empire but she continuously searched for the Light and no matter what the was thrown her way she never, not even once, was tempted by the Dark Side of the Force.

2. The Force Was With Her

Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.

- Carrie Fisher

For some this might seem like a foreign concept but think for a second. We all know that Leia, being the twin brother of , is fully capable of utilizing the Force. Luke himself admits that the is strong in his family, in his father, in himself and in his sister, Leia. She even birthed at least one child that is in-tune with the Force, . This shows that the Force must be with her too, and strongly so. Such a mystical and powerful tool would, admittedly, come in very handy being diplomat.

No questions would ever be asked, a twirl of her hands and a little Force persuasion and she could have had the whole Rebel Alliance eating out of the palm of her hand. With a mere thought those wishing to harm those she loved would be vanquished, Jabba the Hutt wouldn't even have had the time to think of putting her in that bikini before he'd fall. But Leia never did such a thing, she never used the Force to persuade people or to make her life easy. She used her own voice, her own dreams to speak to the people and they followed her of their own accord, a feat many Jedi failed to accomplish. She survived the war not through supernatural strength but through her own sweat, blood and skill.

3. It Was In Her Blood

No motive is pure. No one is good or bad, but a hearty mix of both. And sometimes life actually gives to you by taking away. - Carrie Fisher

Even if this princess refuses to utilise the Force in any way, there is nothing stopping her from falling pray to the seduction of the Dark Side. Her father, became one of the most formidable Sith Lords () to ever curse the galaxy all in an attempt to save his beloved wife from a doom he himself initiated. Even her own brother, the new hope of the galaxy, Luke swayed uncertainly under the Dark Side's temptations in the attempt of protecting his family and friends, who were at Emperor Palpatine's mercy.

The line between the Dark and Light sides is a fickle thing, there are no fifty shades of grey here. A simple push, a little desire, the need to protect, that's all it takes for the Dark Side to take over. Leia has not been spared the Dark Side's whispers but it has never won against her resolve.

4. She Was Given Every Opportunity To Do So

Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die

- Carrie Fisher

The young heroine has had every reason to turn to the Dark Side! Not long after that faithful and blood drenched battle on Yavin, Leia lost her adoptive family as well as her whole planet to the Death Star. This would prove to be the first of many hardships she would have to face. In the Empire Strikes Back, she almost lost Luke to Darth Vader and her beloved to a carbonate prison, while in The Return Of The Jedi she was enslaved by the notorious Jabba the Hutt and risked loosing her newly found brother to the Dark Side.

Even when, at last, the Rebels rose triumphant, Leia's trials did not end there. Years after the Empire's defeat, she was abandoned by her brother Luke and left to handle the First Order - who had recruited her wayward son - alone. Living true to his Skywalker blood he joined forces with the Dark Side to bring an untimely end to his father, and Leia's husband, Han Solo. Even just one of these things would have send even the strongest warriors running to the Dark Side.

5. She Never Wavered

Sometimes you can only fine Heaven by slowly backing away from Hell.

- Carrie Fisher

She was given every opportunity to turn to the Dark Side but Leia Organa Solo never wavered in her determination to protect the galaxy, even over her own sadness and misfortunes. Although she had lost her home and family she continued to fight alongside the Rebels to prevent the same faith befalling others. Even when her son turned to the Dark Side, Leia never gave up hope that someday he would return to her.

Although she was left behind by her brother she continued to search for him across the galaxy. When she lost the man she loved she didn't sink into the darkness, but continued to hold up the torch of hope and continued to protect the galaxy. These are all just causes to turn to the Dark Side but it never won.

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (Lucasfilms)
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (Lucasfilms)

In many ways Carrie Fisher and Princess Leia were very similar and that is why I believe she played her role so well. This may sound cheesy but in full honesty Carrie Fisher didn't just play her part, she became her role. Both had lives full of trials and hardships.

Being raised in the spotlight none of her secrets could ever be kept secret however, with her head held high and Leia level resilience she trudged through it. Although many tried to break her down, body shaming, people' s claims on how she aged, she never staggered. She was always ready with a smile and snarky comment for whoever disrespected her or her family.

This princess had infinite occasions where it may have been tempting, is not easy, to turn to the Dark Side, but she never faulted. Although some may say that the Skywalker bloodline is cursed to be tempted by the Darkness it has never, and will never, claim Leia. So you can keep your lightsaber-welding Luke and gun bearing Han, Princess Leia Organa is one of the greatest characters to ever emerge from the Star Wars franchise. She is an inspiration and was lucky enough to be portrayed by an equally as inspirational woman.

20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox

Further Reading:

Thank you Carrie Fisher and may the Force be forever with you!



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