Living In Cinderella’s Shadow: The 5 Best Live-Action Princesses

Princess Leia Organa

1) Leia Organa from Star Wars: Episodes IV-VI – Although the story of Star Wars is most principally guided by the actions of men, there’s no denying that Leia Organa paved the way for the princesses of later years.  She had an unprecedented degree of autonomy within the Star Wars narrative and refused to be relegated to merely being a damsel in distress.  Granted, we first see her being detained by the story’s principle villain and her rescue from the Death Star consumes a large amount of screen time, but that sub plot does not define her as a character as it traditionally does other women.

Her treason against the Empire – the very reason why she needed to be rescued in the first place – is the direct cause of Luke’s involvement in the Rebellion.  The intelligence that she was able to smuggle out through R2D2 resulted in the destruction of the Death Star: which, by the way, she was able to upload mid-battle, just before taking down a few Storm Troopers of her own.  When enslaved (an implicitly raped) by Jabba in a failed bid to rescue Han, she doesn’t resign herself to submission.  Rather, she waits for an ideal moment and kills her captor.  She didn’t need any rescuing the second time around.

And as I mentioned when discussing Daenerys, there’s a vast library of ancillary materials expanding on her as a character.  For those who are interested moving beyond the screen, she’s succeeded in juggling a career as a high profile politician, her work as a Jedi and raising a set of Jedi twins, all while being married to the galaxy’s scruffiest looking nerf-herder.  I can only hope that The Force Awakens does her character as much justice as the last thirty years of tie-in fiction has.

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