What had you accomplished by the time you reached 19 years old? For many of us, our everyday life was filled with school exams, first jobs, meeting up with friends and just generally enjoying our youth. In a galaxy far, far away, Leia Organa was doing all that, and much, much more. Over the weekend #StarWars fans discovered that Leia was far more badass than we ever imagined — not content with being a princess, senator, and double agent for the growing Rebel Alliance, Leia still found time to become a doctor as well. Yeah, I'm feeling a little shown-up too.
This discovery was made by Becca Harrison, a doctor herself and professor at the University of Glasgow, who stumbled upon this fun fact while researching her new book on Star Wars.
In the book Superwomen: Gender, Power, and Representation by Carolyn Cocca, the author cites George Lucas's commentary on the A New Hope remastered DVD. (Which all of us missed because, I'm guessing, we didn't want to hear him congratulate himself on all that poorly judged CGI.) Pointing out the differences between Luke and Leia, Lucas called Alderaan's princess:
"...a very sophisticated, urbanized ruler, a senator, so she's a politician, she's accomplished, she's graduated, got her PhD at nineteen and she rules people and is in charge."
So basically, Leia wasn't bossy — she was the boss.
Of course, this brings up a whole host of questions about Leia's backstory — not to mention what she got her doctorate in, and why PhDs are called "PhDs" in a galaxy where a gun is a blaster and magical scifi knights fight with swords made of light. In the Expanded Universe, Leia's young life was documented extensively (though it didn't include her doctorate), but that was all thrown out of canon when Disney bought Lucasfilm. A new book, entitled Leia: Princess Of Alderaan, will finally fill in some blanks when it's released later this year.
If this new discovery proves nothing else, it's that Leia doesn't just deserve an extra-canon book to explore her origins. As a princess, senator, spy, doctor, and eventually a general — but not a committee — Leia is one of Star Wars' most fascinating characters. At this point, it's seeming increasingly unlikely that she'll get her own anthology movie, considering Leia has popped up in Rogue One, the animated show Star Wars: Rebels, and is now getting a book to document her early life.
Yet the more we discover about Leia Organa, the more it seems that not giving her a movie was an opportunity missed — if for no other reason than to find out how on Alderaan Leia had the time to get a doctorate in between her diplomatic missions to steal ships for the Alliance.