She needed rescuing but she was no damsel in distress.
Strong from the start Leia uses her mind in order to get what she wants. She doesn’t show skin or flip her hair or bat her lashes at enemies. She uses her her wit, intelligence and determination to play with the boys and usually she’s the brightest one in the room.
We first meet Leia when she was known by her more recognizable title of Princess.
In A New Hope, she is a member of the Imperial Senate on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan. We all know she was in fact a spy for the Rebel Alliance transporting the Death Star plans to the Rebellion.
Unbeknownst to Leia she was adopted by Breha and Bail Organa of Alderaan. The two were killed when Tarkin was questioning Leia about the Rebellion’s Base. The Death Star used Alderaan as a demonstration of the space station’s power. At which point, Leia was left orphaned and without any place to really call her home. Leia had no choice but to put all her energy into the Rebellion.
She was focused on her cause throughout the entire series, only allowing her emotions to show through her bonds with Luke, Han and even Chewie. Actress, Carrie Fisher has stated in interviews that she felt a lot of people didn’t like Princess Leia. They saw her as a “Space B*tch” and the writers only knew how to make her strong by making her angry.
But in her defense, Leia has a lot of pressure and stress on her. Like I said above, she just lost her family and probably all of her friends. And she’s fighting for her life, I’d be pretty angry too if I were her. (But to play devil’s advocate, I do see Carrie Fisher’s point, because I agree, it’s hard for some men to write strong women).
But with that said, let’s appreciate how Bad Ass, Leia is. She is not afraid of Tarkin or Darth Vader. She gives it right back to them, never apologizing or begging for her life. She is truly one BAMF. And fast forward to Return of the Jedi, where she doesn’t wait for Luke to save her from Jabba’s ship. She kills the big space slug herself.
Leia is a woman of action.
Leia is also a woman who masks her emotions. It takes Leia time to admit her attraction to Han Solo. Washington Post writer, Alyssa Rosenberg writes, “Yes, it’s slightly ridiculous … that [Han] tries to pry a confession of affection out of her on Hoth, as Leia is trying to manage an evacuation with just an ion cannon for defense. But Han’s not wrong that if Leia doesn’t figure out that she’s a person with needs, she’s going to burn out … In a way, it’s an early confession of love: Han’s anxious about the bounty hunters who are still pursuing him … But he would stay and give his love and support to Leia if she could just acknowledge that she needs him.”
This may have been an issue once she became a mother. After the Empire is defeated Leia marries Han and they have their only child, Ben aka Kylo Ren. Leia became a Senator of the New Republic. This was around the time her son became Kylo Ren.
Quick Side Note: According to Wookiepedia, the truth about Darth Vader being Luke and Leia’s father is hidden from the public, specifically from Ben Solo. Though Leia had planned to tell Ben the truth about his Grandfather’s fall and eventual redemption back into the light. Unfortunately, this never came to be, Snoke targeted Ben, meanwhile the truth about Leia’s father was revealed publicly through her political enemies.
In The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, its revealed that Leia and Han sent Ben to train with Luke in his newly established Jedi Temple. Ben had feelings of abandonment which Snoke used to his advantage. After her son destroyed the Jedi Temple and became Kylo Ren, Leia and Han separated, returning to what they did best. Han and Chewie went back to smuggling and Leia dove into politics.
With the Senate not taking her concerns about the First Order and Snoke seriously, Leia retired and formed the Resistance. It was from this point on that she no longer wanted the title of Princess but she was to be General Leia.
Thank you for Reading!