BY FAWN KEMBLE
Before Merida and Mulan, back when I was a girl, there was only one badass princess in my life.
While Disney princesses of the time lay passively awaiting their prince, or whined to their fathers, or cleaned house, we strong little girls could dream of being more than just the romantic interest of the main character. We too could be Jedi princesses, powerful forces in the Rebel Alliance.
When we meet Leia, she is on a mission to save her entire planet, not prancing around in a ball gown or sweeping up. She risks her life for the greater good. She is an active member of the team in the Star Wars trilogy (What? There were only 3, right?).
Yes, she is rescued by Luke and Han, but Han ends up frozen for a bit and Luke needs help all the time. She, just like them, has the opportunity to grow as a character and to have greater concerns than who she’ll end up with. In fact, she ends up in an intellectually stimulating relationship, on equal footing with Han.
I know she is not the perfect feminist icon (don’t even get me started on the gold slave Leia bikini), and most of her Jedi powers aren’t developed until later, in the book series.
Still, as a little girl, I never felt like I couldn’t run around with a blaster or lightsaber with the boys, they never said girls couldn’t be Jedis, and she has some of the sassiest lines to quote and requote.
Now, I call my lovely, feisty, intelligent little niece my Jedi Princess and I hope that when she’s a bit older, she’ll want to go to Disneyland with Leia buns and a blaster as her Disney Princess outfit.
Fawn Kemble lives in L.A. and gets to be a professional feminist, helping pregnant women. She got sucked into that Star Wars life at a young age by her oldest brother and her sister, Lavender Vroman. She didn’t choose the Lucas life, it chose her.
Photos: en.wikipedia.org; courtesy of Fawn Kemble.