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Why I Fell in Love with Leia

 

I have a confession to make. I first watched Star Wars in November last year. I’m going to give you time to roll your eyes in disgust, exit my blog and wonder what the fuck is wrong with me.

All good? Nice to see you again. I’ll explain, as a nipper, I wandered round with my head in a book, generally ignoring whatever my brother was watching on the TV. Add to the fact I grew up in the 90’s, and neither of my parents were that fussed on Star Wars, and voila, you have a child that’s never seen it. 20 odd years later, my friends found out, and before I knew it, we were having Star Wars day, complete with ridiculous amounts of snacks, and I was hooked.

Taking a quick break, me and the other Star Wars virgin were asked ‘So, what do you think?’ My response? ‘Why the FUCK have I not watched this before? It’s AWESOME!’

‘What do you think about Luke?’

‘Bit of a fuckboy.’

‘Leia?’

‘She’s AMAZING!’

Yes, I may have been slightly overexcited and mainlining a dangerous amount of junk food. A couple of weeks later, lying drunk in bed, I tried to explain just why I loved her so much. Sober, I’ll try again.

Leia bursts onto the screen, this princess who happens to be a skilled politician, smart, witty and badass enough that she seems to spend every film being chased by assassins. She’s a dab hand with a blaster, hides secrets in a robot, has a retort for every comment and when forced into slavery, ends up literally strangling her oppressor with her chains. Later a General, she’s very much the leader of the Resistance, ordering troops whilst remaining beloved and still rocking a killer hairdo.

She spends 2 films arguing furiously with Han, even going as far as accidentally pulling her brother to prove a point (now that will make family dinners awkward) and yet when it comes down to it, she’s not afraid to let him know exactly how she feels. Even if his response is ‘I know.’ The bastard.

Unusually, even for a film released today, the love story between Leia and Han is one of the least important plot lines. Destroying the Death Star, battling the Empire and general snarkiness takes precedence over any soppy stuff.

In just one day, Leia joined the ranks of Buffy, Hermione Granger, Sansa Stark, Eleven, Harley Quinn and Daenerys Targaryen as my female geek heroes. This Christmas, I’ll definitely have the bauble of her and R2 on my tree.

Of course, Leia would have been nothing without the redoubtable Carrie Fisher. I will always kick myself that I didn’t discover this fascinating, funny, brutally honest woman earlier than I did. So for bringing one of my new favourite characters to life, thank you. The world got a little smaller the day you left.

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