It's been 38 years since I watched the first Star Wars in the movie theaters (yes, I'm that old) and I want to know if Princess Leia became a mom like me. Did she get together with Han Solo? Did they make little Jedi together? This might be a silly reason to be excited about Episode 7 coming out soon but I looked up to Leia when I was a little girl. If I could have had a Rebel Alliance uniform or big buns on the side of my head, I would have totally jumped at the chance.
Leia was like no other princess I had seen at the time. When she was being rescued by Luke and Han, her first line was "Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?" I loved that sass and wit and fire. If ever I was going to be a princess, I wanted to be her. I wanted to be that strong and yes, still get Harrison Ford by the trilogy's end.
So, my question remains, did that fireball of a princess get married and what kind of mom do you think she became? My first thought is that she rocked parenthood and created some passionate, creative, and value-centered little Jedi.
First, Leia has very strong leadership skills and makes self-care a priority. The Rebel Alliance would fall if she didn't take care of herself. During the rescue scene with Luke and Han, they falter at the garbage processing facility and she takes over the rescue herself yelling, "Someone has to save our skins. Into the garbage chute, flyboy." When a bad plan threatened her life, she quickly took over to preserve herself and those she was with. She became the leader who was needed in that moment.
Now, if you have been paying attention at all to anyone raising kids, you'll know that parents need to be the leaders of their offspring. They have to be really strong in disciplining their kids to brush their teeth, do their homework, put their clothes away, say please and thank you, and so on. And they need to be consistent in this. Leia is nothing if not consistent in what she is trying to accomplish with the Rebel Alliance.
The character of Princess Leia Organa would be nothing without her personal values. They speak so loudly that you can't help but admire her for the strength of her convictions. So, naturally, as a mother, teaching her kids these same values would be a priority. Leia is a fiercely independent woman who has put her life on the line to lead the Rebel Alliance. For example, she uses her diplomatic status as a Senator to ferry battle station blueprints to the rebels for analysis. She believes in freedom and democracy. Just by living her beliefs every day, her kids would know all about right and wrong, freedom and suppression, good and evil, as well as love and fear.
That brings me to a scene that left the biggest impression on me during my entire childhood. Leia is in the middle of all the Rebel pilots giving them instructions and everyone hangs on her every word as she leads them on their mission. What I saw as a seven year old girl was a Princess (yes, Princess) who was in charge of a military mission of the Rebel Alliance.
This princess was a leader. Leia was afforded deep respect by all of these important men. There was no talk of her being a woman. I assume she was not paid less as the leader of the Rebel Alliance because of her gender, if it was a paid position.
Women, in Star Wars, were equal to men in terms of leadership and job positions. They all respected her as their leader. That was huge for me. I'm sure any children of Leia would also be taught to not discriminate based upon gender, physical characteristics, disabilities, sexual preference, or type of species (alien species--it is Star Wars after all). No doubt her children would respect people and species of all types and know that we are all equal in the universe.
Not only did I admire Leia when she was feisty but I also admired her for her vulnerability. She was the first one to say "I love you" to Han Solo when he famously replied, "I know." There is great power in vulnerability. This is exactly why we like Leia so much. It's this vulnerability that gives Leia the opportunity to connect deeply with others, experience joy, and find love. We all see that in her and admire it.
This is exactly what mothering is--being strong and vulnerable at the same time. When you have kids, it is as if your heart is walking around outside of your body. It's more than wearing your heart on your sleeve. It leaves you even more vulnerable than that. But that vulnerability allows for strong personal connections and deep joy which is what being a parent is all about so I'm sure Leia would have done well with this too.
I know Princess Leia is only a character in a story but stories are the constructs that help us strive to be more. We watch our favorite characters live through and triumph over hardships that inevitably arrive in our own lives and this blooms inspiration in our own hearts. If we see someone else overcome even tougher circumstances than we are facing, we become motivated to rise up and be more than we thought we could.
This is the whole attraction of stories, new and old. I loved Star Wars: A New Hope but I also can't wait to see where Princess Leia's path has led her. If she did in fact become a mom, I'm sure we won't be disappointed with her offspring. No, in fact, I think her fiery spirit will live on in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and I for one, already have my ticket in hand.