This is an entry on the life of Leia Organa, a character in the Star Wars films. It concentrates mostly on her life before the films as this is the area least known to all fans.
In the original Star Wars trilogy of films by George Lucas, Princess Leia Organa, played by actress Carrie Fisher, was to play a pivotal role. She was originally supposed to be portrayed as a spoilt princess from an indulgent family, but during the draft process she evolved into the freedom-fighting, take-no-nonsense Leia that the fans know and love.
In order to compile this article on Leia's life the main references used were the Star Wars Trilogy books by George Lucas, The Courtship of Princess Leia by Dave Wolverhampton and several comics produced by Dark Horse Comics; all these references are official and have been read by George Lucas.
When Leia was born she was immediately smuggled to Alderaan by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Padmé Amidala to be raised as the child of Bail Organa, the diplomatic senator for the peace-loving Alderaan. During her childhood she met many of the people she was to fight so fiercely against in the future, including Darth Vader. She also made a best friend, Winter, who was her personal aide and much needed confidant for most of her life.
As a child she was brought up in luxury and taught diplomatic skills as well as history by Arn Horada and weapons and fighting skills by Giles Durane.
She was a great art lover all through her life and it was the Empire's repression of art and creativity that made her first join the Rebellion at the age of 15. Under her guise as the new senator for Alderaan she smuggled information and renegade rebels while she pretended to be on diplomatic missions.
While on a diplomatic mission to one of the worlds under the Empire's control, Ralltiir, she came across a wounded Rebel soldier who had managed to store the plans for the battlestation1, in his brain by way of hypnotic imprint; this discovery cemented her loyalty to the Rebellion.
What Happened in the Films?
While Leia was transporting this information the ship she was on was attacked by Imperial forces who were trying to retrieve the stolen plans. However, by quick thinking and resourcefulness she managed to enter the files into the memory of an astromech droid, R2-D2, and send him in an escape pod with his counterpart, a protocol droid called C-3PO, to Tatooine in search of Obi-Wan (or Ben) Kenobi. She was captured by stormtroopers and brought before Grand Moff Tarkin who held her prisoner until Darth Vader arrived. Both tortured her for information using mental and physical atrocities but she gave away nothing. Finally, as a last attempt Tarkin threatened to use the new operational Death Star on her home planet of Alderaan; seeming to give in, finally Leia gave the location as Dantooine which had, in fact, been long abandoned by the Rebels. Her clever trickery was in vain though as the Imperials destroyed Alderaan with the Death Star only moments later. She was taken back to her cell to await termination.
It was not long after this that she was rescued by Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Ben Kenobi and Chewbacca, and the adventures of the trilogy truly began. During the time period of the films Leia went through one other adventure worthy of note, which was not shown. This was before the Battle of Yavin, when she and Luke crash-landed on the jungle world of Mimban and went through an ordeal (to obtain the rare Kaiburr Crystal) which included Leia fighting Darth Vader himself with Luke's lightsabre.
Courtship, Marriage, and Children
Four years after the battle of Endor, Prince Isolder of the Hapes Cluster proposed marriage to Leia. Han was not happy about this and kidnapped her, taking her to a world he had won in a game of sabaac. Despite the fact that he had taken her against her wishes to a remote world in Imperial territory filled with evil Force-sensitive women, Leia still chose Han and the two were married. Not long after that she gave birth to twin children who were both exceptionally strong in the Force, naming them Jaina and Jacen; a year and-a-half later she gave birth to her third and final child.
Naming this child Anakin was a conscious acceptance that Darth Vader had once been her father. Despite misgivings from Luke over the name, she chose to honour her father's good past and name her final son after him.
After giving birth to three children Leia was elected Chief of State of the new Republic when Mon Mothma stepped down due to ill-health, and she went on to guide the New Republic through many trying times, while always remaining a devoted wife and mother.
Whether she was being a diplomatic senator for Alderaan, a freedom-fighting rebel, the wife of an ex-smuggler or a mother, Leia remains one of the most pivotal characters in the whole Star Wars universe.