A few things, before I begin (so to speak):
First, that I’ve been meaning to post a massive “let’s draw a shot of Leia from every scene in the movies to show the endless range of emotions she displays” type of thing, except that I tried that, and failed, so I only chose some of the better ones and am posting those, not that that means much.
Second, that for some pathetic, disgusting, and (unfortunately not exactly) unexplained reason - every time I go into the “princess Leia” tag on this here lovely website, all I see is Leia in various over-sexualized postions, either drawn or photoshopped, usually involving that awful slave outfit (man can I rant about that, though maybe not in the way you would think) and ALL of them treating this amazing character as little more than an object.
And third, that most of the time, when I’m speaking to the general public, most people seem to view Leia as a weak, needy female character who is only there as a pretty face.
So, you know, me being me, I decided that this was a complete and total atrocity, and so I’m going to make a list of reasons why everyone should be at any given waking moment of his or her life be living a Leia Organa Appreciation Life:
- She is strong. Tremendously so, especially emotionally (I mean, she’s also tiny, so relatively she’s also physically strong, but like); her planet was blown up in front of her, in a way that probably made her feel as though she was the one responsible; she was tortured, probably extensively, was roughed up and held captive and her father and mother and family and everyone murdered, all at the age of seventeen, and then she finds two people who she ends up caring for more than anything (almost against her good judgment) and what happens then? One goes missing, and consequently ends up losing his hand, again on her account, it seems, to save her, and the other - oh, the other gets ripped away from her when she needs him most, tortured and then frozen and then sent off to what must have seemed to be undoubtedly his death, and all through it she couldn’t do a damn thing. And it’s all by the same guy too, you see, and that guy turns out to, in fact, be related to her, have the same genetics as she does, be her father, Force help her. And mostly, this all happens before she hits the age of twenty five.
- She’s funny. She’s witty, and clever, can come up with a sharp retort and a snappy rebuttal, can banter back and forth and grin and joke and wink and call people “hotshot” and make sarcastic comments like no tomorrow.
- She is brave - so brave, braver than her mother (real mother), even, able to face danger without so much as a blink or a twitch, can insult evil overlords to their faces and stand stoic as her entire world is blasted out from under her twice (once, the green flash of the spacestation’s gun aimed at a peaceful planet, the words “fire” lingering in the air and not registering until a split second later and then she yells; and twice, with the words “we will test its effects on Captain Solo”, uttered from behind that dark mask towards which she feels such immobilizing, consuming hatred), able to push back her shoulders and stand tall and get what needs to be done done even when all she could possibly want to do is curl up into a ball and never move again (because really, the words “I have no time for grief now, admiral” could only mean that the only thing she wants to do is stare blankly at a wall forever but she can’t), and God, she is so brave, and remember when she risked her life to tell her friend that it’s a trap, get out, save yourself, because she had no way of knowing Lando was helping them, no way of knowing that those words wouldn’t cause them to shoot her down right there and then. So. Brave.
- She kicks ass on a regular basis - fires weapons out of necessity, but does so will skill and accuracy and determination; she is fierce and badass and doesn’t take shit from anyone, whether it is a Grand Moff or her (kind of sort of?) boyfriend. She sneaks into gangster’s palaces and holds ticking bombs out while she has stare-downs with overgrown slugs, rides speeders through tree-ridden forests while shooting at Imps, sneaks a blaster out while everyone is distracted with her burned arm (and saves another life), strangles the piece of garbage who degraded and humiliated her with his own damn chain.
- She believes as fiercely as she fights - holds true to her ideals and sees the world partially in black and white, almost, not like Luke but not unlike Luke either; for a long time, she sees people as good guys and bad guys and refuses to admit to anyone (least of all herself) that it’s more complicated than that. She is selfless, too - stays back until the last minute to hold the base while others escape, treats her own hurt worry and insecurity as insignificant as she comforts others, stands tall for others, looks fearless for others. She tries to take on the weight of the whole universe on her own shoulders because she is responsible and that’s what she needs to do, to save others the pain, and that’s both a good and bad thing.
- She’s emotional - wears her heart on her sleeve most of the time, actually. She’s emotional in a way that makes her human, though, and not in a way (any way) that would make her needy or weak or useless (and really, when do emotions ever do that?). She cries when broken, has a short temper, is frustrated and wound up easily. She blushes when the guy she likes calls her “sweetheart” and goes pale when she hears an explosion and thinks her brother might have been trapped in it. She can love, and she can hate, both equally passionate, and she can be caring and kind and compassionate, and cold and bitter and angry.
- She’s flawed, too - boy, is Leia flawed. She’s emotional, yeah, in a pretty explosive way, but she also deals with those emotions badly - hides from her feelings, doesn’t like confronting problems that make her upset. She uses sarcasm and frustration and annoyance to cover hurt and fright, and she has huge issues when it comes to allowing herself to show vulnerability to anyone, to let herself be dependent on anyone. She says so aloud - “when will I learn I can’t depend on anyone but myself” - and since she doesn’t know that you can love someone wholly and not be constantly terrified of losing them, she tries to run away from it (and then, she, unlike her father, comes to understand that dynamic, to understand how love and attachment to other people work and how they can be a good thing, except that you can’t let it get in the way of your happiness, because constant fear of loss is not a healthy was of loving someone, and she gets it, at the end)
- She’s cold and aloof sometimes, but she can also be seriously compassionate and friendly and sweet, and like, make friends with furry little carnivorous teddy bears while her friends get taken captive and nearly cooked.
- She’s a total cutie and has an adorable smile and seriously I want to hug her close all the time and never let go
- How can you not see how amazing this character is I mean god, how low do you have to go to reduce her to a sexual object on legs and deliberately draw her baggy clothes as ridiculously tight, and see her as nothing but an outfit that was specifially used to demean and humiliate her, and I swear to god, the next time someone tells me Leia Organa is not a strong, amazing female character that, you know, some of the movie writers today should really take note of, I will set myself on fire.
- But like, not before chucking my VHS box-set in their face.