Obligatory May the Fourth Be With You! And yes, that statement is exactly why I am doing this challenge this month.
Anyway, for anyone who knows me, my answer to today’s challenge is not going to be any sort of surprise. It’s the character with whom I identified starting as a kid and especially now, and of course it’s going to be General Leia Organa.
Leia is everything her mother, Padme, loved about her father, Anakin: smart, strong-willed, dedicated, passionate. She refuses to play the victim, taking over her own rescue when the men show they can’t do it and even taking part in a rescue mission of her own to save the man she loves. She openly defies the tyrants her mother quietly disagreed with, becoming a key figure in the Rebellion and later the Resistance. And she does it with great hair.
I used to think that her decision to free Han from Jabba the Hutt was a break in character, but after realizing just how much she resembles her father throws that opinion right out of the window. “Fuck all that,” she says. “I’m going to rescue his ass, even if it means I have to sit next to a slug in a gold bikini.” And honestly, Luke’s plan was so foolhardy that it really couldn’t fail. I mean, who would expect them to infiltrate a gangster’s compound in multiple ways and then destroy that underworld empire from within?
In all seriousness, though, Leia was an inspiration to so many people, specifically women who had to grow up with very few role models that had the gumption Leia had, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t include Carrie Fisher’s part in creating that legacy. I cannot imagine Leia being portrayed by anyone but Carrie Fisher, and I love that she used her platform for good, even with her own death a few years ago. She knew her weaknesses and talked about them with such frankness that they became her strength, and I can only say that I aspire to that level of self-awareness and that I can one day create such a character that will have that much influence as both Carrie and Leia have.