Shortly after the execution of Order 66., Nineteen Years before the Battle of Yavin.
| Chronological and political information
- "The Force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. And...my sister has it."
- ―Luke Skywalker
Leia Organa, a Human female, was the daughter of fallen Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker and senator Padmé Amidala. Her mother died in labor and her father, the now-Sith Lord Darth Vader, thought Leia and her twin brother Luke Skywalker to be dead, and so Leia was taken to Alderaan to be raised by Bail Organa and his wife. Raised by her father, Leia eventually became an Imperial senator, only to join the Rebel Alliance, becoming a key member in the movement. After the rebels managed to steal the plans of the Death Star, an Imperial space station capable of destroying planets, Organa attempted to flee with the plans from Imperial forces, but she was captured over Tatooine, but not before transmitting the plans to Jedi Master Ben Kenobi. Threatening to destroy her homeworld, Wilhuff Tarkin, commander of the Death Star, tried to force Organa into disclosing the location of the rebel base, but even as she provided a fake location, Tarkin ordered Alderaan destroyed. Before the Empire could locate the real rebel base, however, Organa was rescued by Kenobi, Skywalker, smuggler Han Solo, and the Wookiee Chewbacca. Thhe group escaped the Death Star, only to have the Imperials track them to Yavin 4, where the rebel base was located. As the rebels scrambled to destroy the battlestation, Organa witnessed the destruction of the Death Star at the hands of Skywalker.
Later on, Organa was present on Echo Base on the planet Hoth, a major rebel hideout, when it was discovered by the Empire. Engaging in a ground battle with Imperial forces, the rebel troops were overrun and Organa fled the base together with Solo and Chewbacca. The group narrowly avoided capture by the orbiting Imperial fleet, fleeing into a nearby asteroid field. After losing their tail, the group set course for Cloud City on Bespin, run by Lando Calrissian, an acquaintance of Solo. However, Calrissian had made a deal with the Empire, and the group was captured soon after arriving. Witnessing the freezing of Solo in carbonite, Organa and Solo proclaimed their love for each other. Soon after, Calrissian liberated Organa and Chewbacca, and the trio fled Cloud City. As they departed, Organa sensed the presence of her brother—who had arrived on Bespin and lost his hand in a duel with Darth Vader—and the trio returned to pick up Skywalker. Narrowly escaping Imperial forces in orbit, the group rendezvoused with the Rebel fleet.
With the help of her friends, Organa aided in the rescue of Solo, who had been sold to Jabba the Hutt. Impersonating a slave, she liberated Solo with the help of Skywalker, Chewbacca, and Calrissian. The group returned to the Alliance forces in time to join the Battle of Endor, where Organa fought alongside Solo and Chewbacca on the forest moon to destroy the shield generator protecting the second Death Star. During the campaign, Organa learned that Vader was her father, and Skywalker her brother. After the rebel ground forces successfully disabled the shield generator, the space forces managed to destroy the second Death Star.
- "It's a girl."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi and Padmé Amidala
Leia was the daughter of Galactic Republic senator Padmé Amidala and Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker. The twin sister of Luke Skywalker, Leia was born shortly after the end of the Clone Wars on the asteroid colony of Polis Massa. Her father had converted to the Dark side of the Force just before the end of the Clone Wars, becoming a Sith Lord and the apprentice of Sheev Palpatine, newly-proclaimed Galactic Emperor. Amidala confronted Vader on the planet Mustafar, who in turn strangled his wife when Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, Vader's former master, appeared, believing that Amidala had brought Kenobi to kill him. After Kenobi defeated Vader in a duel, he took the dying Amidala to Polis Massa, where she gave birth to Leia and Luke shortly before passing away. Vader on the other hand believed that Amidala had died before giving birth, and as such, he was unaware of his children. After discussing the fate of the twins, Kenobi, along with fellow Jedi Master Yoda and senator Bail Organa, agreed that it was necessary to split them up to hide them from Vader and the Galactic Empire. While Kenobi took Luke to Tatooine, Bail Organa agreed to adopt Leia together with his wife Breha. Raised in the Royal Family of Alderaan, Leia adopted the last name Organa, unaware of her biological parents' fates.
Destruction of AlderaanEdit
By her late teens, Leia had followed into her adopted father's footsteps by becoming a senator, which granted her diplomatic immunity which she exploited to aid the Rebels. Her luck ran out when the Empire intercepted the stolen plans for the Death Star being transmitted to the Organas' cruiser, the Tantive IV. The Imperial Star Destroyer Devastator captured the ship after Tatooine.
As stormtroopers led by Darth Vader boarded the Tantive IV, Leia stored the plans in the astromech droid R2-D2, and recorded a message for Kenobi, who was living on Tatooine, pleading he return from exile to smuggle the plans to Alderaan. While R2 used an escape pod, Leia tried to evade the stormtroopers but was captured with a stun blast, and escorted to by Vader.
She feigned ignorance of the Sith Lord's accusations, so he berated her for lying and ordered she be imprisoned on the Death Star: in the meantime, R2-D2 found Kenobi, who, accompanied by Luke, hired Solo to fly them to Alderaan on the Millennium Falcon. Simultaneously, the Emperor Sheev Palpatine dissolved the Senate, along with Leia's position.
Vader tortured Leia in Detention Block AA-23 in Cell 2187 to make her reveal the Rebel base's location, using with an interrogator droid equipped with mind probes, but she proved resilient. Vader took her to see Grand Moff Tarkin, who threatened to use the station to destroy her homeworld unless she disclosed the base's location. Leia claimed the base was on Dantooine, but Tarkin had Alderaan destroyed anyway as a demonstration of the Death Star's power. After scout ships ascertained there had been a Rebel base but it had long been abandoned, Tarkin ordered Leia's execution.
However, when the Millennium Falcon arrived at the remains of Alderaan, it was drawn into the Death Star by a tractor beam. Its passengers evaded capture, and R2-D2 discovered the location of the princess. While Kenobi deactivated the tractor beam, Luke and Han mounted a rescue by disguising themselves as stormtroopers escorting Chewbacca to her detention block. Leia was astonished to hear Kenobi was present, but became unimpressed as Solo alerted the stormtroopers to their presence, and snatched a rifle during the ensuing firefight to blast open a garbage chute and make their escape.
Leading the RebellionEdit
The group escaped the Death Star, but without Kenobi, who gave his life to fend off Darth Vader. However, Leia discerned Vader let them go and was following them to Yavin 4, site of the base. Organa subsequently witnessed the destruction of the Death Star at the hands of Skywalker, and presided over the ceremony where Skywalker and Solo were given medals for their bravery.
Later in the conflict, Organa was present on the planet Hoth, site of a major rebel stronghold known as Echo Base. However, the location of the hidden base was revealed to the Empire by an Imperial probe droid that had been sent to the planet. As the Imperial fleet, led by Vader, arrived at Hoth, Organa helped coordinate the ensuing evacuation, giving instructions to pilots. As the base was being overrun by Imperial ground forces, Organa joined Solo and Chewbacca on the Millennium Falcon as the group attempted to escape the base. However, the ship was unable to leave the system due to Star Destroyers blockading the planet in orbit. During the ensuing pursuit, Solo opted to pilot the ship into a nearbly asteroid field, hoping that the Imperials would be unwilling to follow them. However, Vader ordered his fleet into the asteroid field, and the Millennium Falcon was chased by Imperial starfighters deeper into the field. To evade capture, Solo piloted the ship into a cave in a big asteroid. Once inside the cave, Organa and her fellows exited the ship. However, they quickly realized that they were in fact inside of something else than a cave. Narrowly escaping the inside of a big creature residing inside the asteroid, the Millennium Falcon was once again pursued by Imperial forces. Unable to make the jump to hyperspace due to technical problems, Solo decided to land on the back of the command bridge of a Star Destroyer, shutting down all systems to avoid detection. The plan worked exactly as planned, and as the Imperial fleet prepared to exit the system, Solo detached the ship from the hull. With a faulty hyperdrive, the group decided to head to the gas giant Bespin, where an old acquintance of Solo, Lando Calrissian, owned a mining colony. However, they were unaware that they were being tracked by the bounty hunter Boba Fett, one of the mercenaries hired to locate the group.
Arriving in Cloud City on Bespin, Organa and the others were greeted by Calrissian. He agreed to repair the hyperdrive of the Millennium Falcon, and in the meantime, Organa and the others stayed at Cloud City. However, secretly to the group, Calrissian had made a deal with Vader to hand over the rebels in exchange for not being invaded by the Empire. Captured by Vader, Leia and the others were taken to a carbonite freezing facility, where it was revealed that Solo was to be frozen in carbonite. As the smuggler was being lowered into the freezing pit, Organa proclaimed her love for him. As Organa was being taken away by Imperial forces, Calrissian turned the tables. After disarming the Imperial guards, Organa attempted to save the now-frozen Solo from being taken by Boba Fett, but they were too late. In the meantime, Skywalker had arrived at Bespin, having sensed that his friends were in danger. However, the situation turned out to be a trap, and Skywalker was forced to confront Vader in a duel, which ended in Skywalker losing one of his hands. After learning that Vader was actually his father, Skywalker jumped down a shaft, eventually ending up hanging on an antenna below Cloud City. Meanwhile Organa had escaped with Chewbacca and Calrissian, but as they departed Cloud City aboard the Falcon, Organa sensed Luke's presence, and they turned around to retrieve Skywalker. Chased by starfighters into orbit, the Falcon was confronted by the Imperial flagship Executor. However, this time the hyperdrive worked, and the Falcon exited the system. Rendezvousing with a rebel fleet group, Organa stood at a viewport with Skywalker—who had received a prosthetic hand—and watched as Calrissian and Chewbacca left to find Solo.
With the help of her friends, Organa aided in Solo's rescue from Jabba, and Organa herself killed the Hutt. They returned to the Alliance in time to join the Battle of Endor, where Organa fought alongside Solo and Chewbacca on Endor to destroy the shield generator protecting the Death Star II. During the campaign, Organa learned that Vader was her father, and Skywalker her brother. Due to their successful efforts on the ground, the Alliance fleet destroyed the Death Star, while Skywalker redeemed their father—who, in turn, destroyed the Emperor, bringing victory to the Rebel Alliance.
Personality and characteristicsEdit
Leia Organa was a sharp-witted diplomat who was unafraid to speak her mind, even when confronted by powerful men like Vader and Tarkin. She found a kindred spirit in Han Solo, whom she enjoyed bickering with. She was also as competent with weaponry as she was with words, and kept her composure even in humiliating situations to perform daring feats like diving into a garbage chute or strangling the infamous Jabba the Hutt.
Behind the scenesEdit
In George Lucas's rough draft of the original film, Leia was a 14-year-old princess (the same age as Queen Amidala in The Phantom Menace), the spoiled daughter of King Kayos and Queen Breha of Aquilae. In that draft, she had two brothers, Biggs and Windy, whose identities were substantially revised into their current form by the fourth draft (though they did not appear in intervening versions). The later story synopsis established her as Leia Antilles, the daughter of Bail Antilles from the peaceful world of Organa Major. In the fourth draft the names were turned around so that Leia Organa came instead from Alderaan. Interestingly, when George Lucas was writing background material for licensees in 1977, he wrote that she had several brothers, and that she was unaware whether her parents had escaped the destruction of her homeworld. No-one from the House of Organa, however, had reached the Rebels as yet.
- The name "Leia" has a number of potential origins. It may have been derived from "Lay'a" which in Arabic means "weary". Alternatively it might mean "mistress'" or "ruler" in Assyrian. Additionally, a Talmudic source cites "Leila" as the "Angel of Night". A third origin could be the Greek word "basileia," meaning "reign". There was also a biblical character called "Leah" (which is pronounced as Leia) in the book of Genesis, she was Jacob's first wife. It could also have been adopted from the Hawaiian "Leia", which means "child of heaven".
- In the Italian version of the films, "Leia Organa" was renamed to "Leila Organa".
- In June 2005, Princess Märtha Louise of Norway admitted in an interview that the first name of her youngest daughter, Leah Isadora Behn, was inspired by Princess Leia.
Make-up and costumesEdit
George Lucas commented on Leia's "cinnamon bun" hairstyle in Time magazine: "In the 1977 film, I was working very hard to create something different that wasn't fashion, so I went with a kind of Southwestern Pancho Villa woman revolutionary look, which is what that is. The buns are basically from turn-of-the-century Mexico."
The iconic Slave Leia costume worn in Return of the Jedi is a popular cosplaying choice.
Her real motherEdit
- "The part that I never really developed is the death of Luke and Leia's mother. I had a backstory for her in earlier drafts, but it basically didn't survive. When I got to Jedi, I wanted one of the kids to have some kind of memory of her because she will be a key figure in the new episodes I'm writing. But I really debated on whether or not Leia should remember her."
- ―George Lucas
George Lucas stated that he wanted one of the Skywalker twins to recall their mother, hence Leia describing her as "very beautiful, kind but sad" in Return of the Jedi.
When Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith came out, many people did not understand how it was possible that Leia claims to remember her mother although she had known her for barely a minute. There has been some debate about whether Leia is discussing her real mother, Padmé Amidala, or her foster mother. The official Star Wars website stated in a "Q & A" section that Leia is remembering Padmé, but this may no longer be canonical.
- Star Wars: Galactic Defense
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (First appearance)
- Star Wars: A New Hope Read-Along Storybook and CD
- A New Hope Illustrated Novel
- Escape from Darth Vader
- Epic Yarns: A New Hope (Non-canonical appearance)
- The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight
- Star Wars: Princess Leia
- Star Wars 1: Skywalker Strikes, Part I
- Star Wars: Commander (Appears in hologram)
- Heir to the Jedi (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Illustrated Novel
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Illustrated Novel
- Rescue from Jabba's Palace
- Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
- "Launch Pad"—Star Wars Insider 150
- Star Wars in 100 Scenes
- Ultimate Star Wars
- "Rebel Rouser"—Star Wars Insider 152
- "The Making of A New Dawn"—Star Wars Insider 152
- "Rebel Friends!"—Star Wars Insider 152
- "Mandalorian Graffiti"—Star Wars Insider 152
- "Classic Moment: Lando's Second Surprise"—Star Wars Insider 152
- "Blaster"—Star Wars Insider 152
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film
- ↑ Fuglehaug, Wenche (June 16, 2005). Princess speaks out on home births. Aftenposten. Retrieved on October 20, 2012.
- ↑ Cagle, Jess (April 21, 2002). So, What's the Deal with Leia's Hair?. Time.com. Retrieved on October 20, 2012.
- ↑ Fisher, Carrie (May 16, 1999). Postcards From The Edge Of The Galaxy. The Daily Beast. Retrieved on October 20, 2012.
- ↑ Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays
- Princess Leia on Wikipedia