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The 5 Most Underrated Pop Culture Heroines

What happens to female characters who don't fight like men?

by
Leslie Loftis

Bio

December 31, 2012 - 7:00 am

4. Princess Leia, The Hidden-in-Plain-Sight-and-Left-There Heroine

The anonymous twin sister of Luke Skywalker and daughter of Darth Vader, Princess Leia is a young Galactic senator dedicated to ridding the Star Wars universe of intergalactic imperialism.

Seasoned, gray-haired generals take instruction from her not because of her physical prowess or her political position, which has no more force as neither her world nor the Galactic Senate exists any longer, but because of her smarts, endurance, dedication, and sacrifice. She possesses super powers, but she doesn’t know that she has them, much less how to use them. Furthermore, while Lucas kept it vague to maintain his PG rating, the floating needle, a lovers’ kiss, a disgusting lick, and a metal bikini all hint at rites of passage or horrible violations. Lucas did not exempt her from the vulnerabilities of womanhood.

She endures and overcomes these challenges of state and sex without tapping into anything more than her own courage. Princess Leia should hold a more vaunted place in the heroine pantheon considering the iconic popularity of Star Wars. I used to think she didn’t get her due praise because Lucas did not understand her character, admitting in one of the many “making of” shows that when he was writing the final confrontation between Luke and Vader he had not yet worked out “the significance of the sister.” I’ve also suspected that Carrie Fisher playing Leia while in the bowels of heroin addiction hampered her ability to bring much power to the part by Return of the Jedi. Neither helped the character, but I think if she punched Han or sliced Jabba up rather than strangling him, we’d have more respect for her.

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Here's a suggestion for those of us ( men and women) who would see less bickering between the sexes; people get all hung up on the notion of "strong women" and men fall prey to labeling some of these people as "bitches".

So, lets fall back to a less ambiguous term; jerk.

Everyone knows what a jerk is so there's less room for misunderstanding.

Conservatives need to get slicker with their communication. Dropping the B word for the J word will help us greatly.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
'Buttercup relies on her courage and wits to keep the prince and his henchmen at bay until help arrives'

Thankfully, Buttercup does not live in Chicago where wits often go unrecognized.

Princess Leia also, thankfully, did not live in Chicago.

Princess Allura: Her father’s diplomatic advisor hid her from raiding parties for years until five space explorers — all men — came looking for the mythical robot Voltron.

Thank goodness there were men around. As usual, through their blundering efforts, the valiant woman was able to demonstrate her courage.

Bella Swan falls in love the neighborhood dealer (disappointing the boy next door) and eventually passes the test for a rookie cop.

Buffy Summers? What can I say? Chicago is a bad place to live.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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