As a freckled-faced kid, I saw Princess Leia as the ultimate feminist role model. And as a slightly more freckled-face adult, I still do. Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia took the word princess and tore it up, redesigned it, and wore it like a queen. She sparkled with intelligence, wit, passion, and humor. She took charge, sought out answers, and demanded respect from everyone in the galaxy, especially her male cohorts. She assumed that everyone around her would treat her with respect.
Though it's been years since those iconic hair buns have a graced the big screen, Princess Leia remains of the most beloved and badass characters of the entire Star Wars franchise. And Carrie Fisher, the woman who plays her, only adds to the character's feminist power. After parents expressed outrage over a Princess Leia action figure, which showed the character in her infamous "slave" bikini, Fisher gave a perfect response. "Tell them that a giant slug captured me and forced me to wear that stupid outfit, and then I killed him because I didn’t like it," she told the Wall Street Journal. Not only did this response cement Fisher as a total badass, but it further proved that Princess Leia is not only a feminist icon in a galaxy far, far away, but one for those of us on Earth as well.
But, if you still need some convincing, here are seven ways Princess Leia has proven to be the ultimate feminist role model since making her debut in 1977.
1She Doesn't Take Sh*t
She shuts down Han Solo's mouthy one liners and survived Darth Vader's torture. And when peoople try to tear her down, she speaks in clear, clipped, commanding tones rather than whining. (OK she whines sometimes, but wouldn't you if you were being held captive by Jabba the Hut?)
2She's The Most Fearless Prisoner Ever
She doesn't give away secrets even when tortured by Darth Vader, basically saying "Eff you," to her dad. And when her planet Alderaan is destroyed, she mourns deeply but turns her incredible loss into fuel for fighting the evil of the The Empire.
3She Owns Everything In Her Path...
Princess Leia takes charge of every task presented to her, never turning over responsibility, effort, hard work or risk to someone else. As a leader of the Rebel Alliance, she is fiercely intelligent, determined ,and always willing to put her own life on the line for the cause of freedom and justice.
4...Including Her Feelings
Princess Leia's life is full of one hardship after another, but she hasn't let it harden her heart. She remains open to love by falling in love with Han Solo, learning to love her brother Luke, and continuing to abide lovingly over her people as a leader.
5She Is An Exceptional Leader and Politician
As a crucial Rebel leader, Leia is always putting her people first. When the hangar at Hoth Base must be evacuated, she is the last to leave after making sure everyone else is safe. And when it's time to interact with other leader – on her side or the dark side – with candor and courage. No wonder she ends up New Republic Chief of State.
Princess Leia strangles the disgusting Jabba the Hut to death with a metal chain after he forces her to be his scantily clad prisoner. She continues killing Storm Troopers after being shot in the arm. She shoots, runs, flies and risks her life right along with everyone else. Basically, she isn't afraid to fight for her life or others.
7Princess Leia Has It All
Leia's life is full and includes everything that she is passionate about and pursues. She is wounded, strong, vulnerable, loving, angry, forgiving, intelligent, serious and funny. She is a whole person without a second's consideration that she should be anyone or anything else. In other words, she's a feminist.