While we were discussing Star Wars #1, Dark Horse’s new and great ongoing, a question came up in the comments: Why is Leia the protagonist?
The more we talked about it, here and on Twitter, the more we realized that Leia spends a lot of time basically kicking ass. Let’s break it down.
She Keeps Up With Luke and Company For Most Of The Franchise
We know that she’s got the Force because of events in Jedi, but she’s completely untrained. Apparently she’s just naturally pretty good at kicking ass, as she’s handy with a blaster and whenever she gets behind the wheel, she acquits herself well. And she doesn’t have the fancy sword, either.
She’s One Of Two People To Tell Vader To F*** Off
Leia actually starts off the trilogy on a high note, having swiped those plans and promptly dumped them on R2-D2 before taking out a few stormtroopers.
Then she’s put in front of dear old Dad, who is the most dreaded assassin of the Emperor and has just crushed a man’s throat with one hand. She promptly invites him to sit on a lightsaber and swivel, marking her as one of two people telling Vader to piss off in the entire franchise, the other being a Sith Lord.
Think about it: Not even Luke can do this. The Luke versus Vader matchup tends to end in the franchise with Luke getting his ass kicked. Even in Jedi he has to talk Vader off the ledge, and it’s the Emperor who ultimately polishes Vader off.
She Convincingly Lies To Tarkin With Her Entire Planet On The Line
She’s dragged in front of Grand Moff Tarkin, and is told her entire planet will be blown to chunky salsa if she doesn’t talk. This is after being tortured, by the way.
And she stone cold lies to his face. More to the point, when he buys it, and decides to blow up Alderaan anyway, she doesn’t sell out the actual base. Equally as amazingly, later on, she does not beat Luke with a stick for whining about his dead adoptive parents.
Adding to this is the fact that she’s got a human lie detector with a penchant for homicide standing right behind her. You know, no biggie.
She Walks Into A Gangster’s House, Pulls the Pin On A Grenade, And Demands To Be Paid For It
It’s easy to forget this is the opening of Jedi, and it’s a plan both a lot ballsier and a lot better than Luke’s, which was pretty much “Walk in the front door, trip the death trap and, eh, screw it, I’ll figure it out as I go along.” Leia, meanwhile, extorts a gangster for money and actually manages to make him pay up and hire her.
Granted the plan goes off the rails, but even so, if Jabba hadn’t twigged to it it probably would have worked.
She Garrotes A Slug the Size of a Honda
Fun fact: When Hutts get out of puberty, they weigh a thousand pounds and just get fatter over time. Jabba weighs at least a ton by the time he decides a woman couldn’t possibly be a threat to him if she’s in a bronze bikini.
Then the minute she can get the drop on him, she strangles a creature a good twenty times her mass with her own slave chains. True, there’s got to be some Force behind that, but we couldn’t do that.
In other words, really Luke and Han should have just gotten the hell out of the way and let Leia do her job as the ninja Jimmy Smits obviously trained her to be. She was probably planning to break out of her cell and carjack the Death Star, before Luke ruined everything. Good job, nerf herder.