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The 30 Greatest Star Wars Characters
From Admiral Ackbar to... Yoda - we count down Lucas' best creations

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10. PRINCESS LEIA

Princess Leia

If not for Princess Leia, Star Wars would be a mainstay of gay culture. Consider the two approximately male, co-dependent droids, one of them overtly camp; opposites-attract couple Han and Luke, pairing cynicism and naivety, Han luring Luke away from his conservative older 'mentor'; and S&M pair Vader and the Emperor. Something had to be done. Lucas needed to set his characters on the straight and narrow and convince us that this was family entertainment. He needed, somewhat ironically, a beard.

What he ended up with (one suspects, almost in spite of himself) is one of science-fiction's best female characters. Impatient, opinionated and completely self-assured, Princess Leia Organa is often dismissed as bossy. But she is the boss. She is a princess, senator and leader of the Rebel Alliance; in the Extended Universe, she's a key architect of the New Republic, as well as being instrumental in forging the alliance with the Ewoks that proves decisive in the battle for Endor.

If she is occasionally reduced to the role of bikini-clad slave or handwringing observer, the ever-spiky Carrie Fisher ensures that Leia is never a snivelling damsel. "Even though she gets captured," says Lucas of Leia, "she is very capable of taking care of herself. The guys are the ones who are fumbling around in trouble." She's handy with a blaster or, when necessary, a slave chain, so one suspects that, had Obi-Wan handed her a lightsaber and sent her after Vader, the saga would have finished by Cloud City.

Most fans fell for her at first sight when, a vision of purity in white, she saved the Rebellion by dispatching Artoo on his mission, shot (at) a few stormtroopers and went toe-to-toe with the looming Vader, without ever losing her cool. And her slave-girl costume in Jedi directly caused the sexual awakening of an entire generation (ask Ross Geller in Friends if you don't believe us).

As time's passed, her role has been sidelined, perhaps because even the best breakfast-pastry hairdos get a little stale. The naysayers focus on the high-handedness, that messy incest thing (it was just two fairly chaste kisses! She didn't know!). But Leia's a worthy cinema crush, a credit to her gender and an essential part of the Star Wars universe. No wonder she was able to steal her brother's man...

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Your Comments

1 RE: I Agree
To paraphrase Palpatine, likeable is a point of view. More

Posted by Litshttam on Wednesday July 9, 2014, 20:47

2 I don't agree.
'George Lucas's 30 worst creations'...? Nah, it's just going to be slagging him off, for the sake of it... AGAIN! Its really good to see more appreciation (and fairness) in articles towards George. Just check out 'The Guardian online', they take every opportunity to slag Star Wars off, including loads of unqualified opinions and non-truths. The film critic even started a recent post saying 'Star Wars isn't known for its creativity...' - its farcical. As a character from another space franchise said "...its easier to destroy than create". More

Posted by Funk_Knight on Thursday July 3, 2014, 10:17

3 I don't agree.
'George Lucas's 30 worst creations'...? Nah, it's just going to be slagging him off, for the sake of it... AGAIN! Its really good to see more appreciation (and fairness) in articles towards George. Just check out 'The Guardian online', they take every opportunity to slag Star Wars off, including loads of unqualified opinions and non-truths. The film critic even started a recent post saying 'Star Wars isn't known for its creativity...' - its farcical. As a character from another space franchise said "...its easier to destroy than create". More

Posted by Funk_Knight on Thursday July 3, 2014, 10:17

4 I Agree
A WORST Star Wars Characters list will be more interesting. Jar Jar obviously would be No. 1. Though I also agree he had a good character arc (But that doesn't make him likable) More

Posted by Darren47 on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 23:50

5 RE: Binks' Arc Is Actually One Of The Best In The Saga
Or Boris Johnson. Or Bush Jr. Take your pick, really. More

Posted by Litshttam on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 22:04

6 RE: Binks' Arc Is Actually One Of The Best In The Saga
L: Litshttam Jar Jar Binks starts off as mythic-archetype - the fool / jester the hero meets by the roadside - and becomes a commentary on the nepotism in politics; his befriending of Padmé Amidala in The Phantom Menace leads to his appointment as Gungan-representative in the senate by Attack Of The Clones. The unfit-for-purpose-but-sincere plonker inadvertently starts the Clone Wars, too, falling for the Hegelian-machinations of Palpatine hook, line and sinker. Sure, Yoda he ain't, but I like him. o, Jar Jar Binks is... Tony Blair? (How wude.) More

Posted by chris kilby on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 12:45

7 RE: Predictable...
L: GrizBe I'd much rather see the 30 worst / dumbest Star Wars characters. We all know Jar Jar would top that, but it'd be more fun then this. ax Rebo? Droopy McCool? More

Posted by chris kilby on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 12:44

8 30 Greatest Characters?
Loads of these were generic 'Stormtrooper', 'Scout Trooper', 'Jawa' etc, not actual characters. Also, Anakin/ Darth Vader, whether you like it or not, is the same dude! Also Ben and Obi-Wan. I've seen several top Star Wars character lists, this is the worst attempt I've seen. More

Posted by AyannaNyx on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 01:26

9 Binks' Arc Is Actually One Of The Best In The Saga
Jar Jar Binks starts off as mythic-archetype - the fool / jester the hero meets by the roadside - and becomes a commentary on the nepotism in politics; his befriending of Padmé Amidala in The Phantom Menace leads to his appointment as Gungan-representative in the senate by Attack Of The Clones. The unfit-for-purpose-but-sincere plonker inadvertently starts the Clone Wars, too, falling for the Hegelian-machinations of Palpatine hook, line and sinker. Sure, Yoda he ain't, but I like him. More

Posted by Litshttam on Tuesday July 1, 2014, 13:38

10 Predictable...
I'd much rather see the 30 worst / dumbest Star Wars characters. We all know Jar Jar would top that, but it'd be more fun then this. More

Posted by GrizBe on Tuesday July 1, 2014, 11:13

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