Princess Leia is one of the quintessential Star Wars characters – she's one of the so-called “big three” characters, along with Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. Every epic adventure needs a princess to be rescued and Leia was that damsel in distress. Or was she?
So given Leia is Carrie and Carrie is Leia, here are 15 facts and trivia about the actress and character:
- Princess Leia never actually gets to “meet” Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope. She sees him from afar when she's escaping the Death Star and Obi-Wan is about to let Darth Vader kill him, but that's it. Obi-Wan was, however, present for her birth in Revenge of the Sith.
- Legend has it that Carrie Fisher had a massive drug problem during the filming of Return of the Jedi. Cocaine was apparently her go-to tipple. During the movie, you can see she wears an extra long fingernail which is just a perfect instrument to assist with the distribution of nose candy up the nose.
- Carrie Fisher spoke many times about her struggles with bipolar disorder. You wouldn't wish this on anybody. Watch this interview she did with the great Stephen Fry – it gives a frightening insight into how she struggled with this illness.
- Princess Leia was subject to one of the most famous ad-libs in cinema history, that being Han Solo's response to her declaration of love (“I know”). Harrison Ford apparently delivered the line at Irvine Kershner's suggestion. Leia got to return the line in Return of the Jedi during the Battle of Endor after Han Solo grabbed her breast.
- According to Fisher in her novel, The Princess Diarist, she and Harrison Ford had a three-month-long fling during the making of A New Hope. Ford was married at the time.
- Carrie Fisher appeared as a nun in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. This movie was a weird Kevin Smith homage to Star Wars and also featured Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill as a parody of himself. Carrie's cameo was the one that got the laughs. “Do you follow the good book?”
- A lot of people forget this but Fisher appeared in the classic movie When Harry met Sally. She was Sally's “friend” who ended up marrying Harry’s best friend.
- Carrie Fisher wrote an actual bestselling novel Postcards from the Edge and a screenplay for the movie adaptation based on her writing. In some Hollywood circles, she was considered an excellent script doctor. The book was about her drug addiction and her relationship with her mother. Fisher has managed to parlay her writing talent with a few turns at playing script doctor for a few Hollywood movies, most notably Dustin Hoffman's Outbreak. Her appearance in Scream 3 was apparently scripted by herself. Beauty and brains, eh?
- Speaking of mothers, Carrie Fisher's mother is actually a famous actress in her own right, Debbie Reynolds.
- Fisher was once married to one-half of Simon and Garfunkel. It was Simon.
- Fisher delivered some classic quotes:
- “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope.”
- “Governor Tarkin, I should have expected to find you holding Vader’s leash. I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board.”
- “Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?”
- “Why, you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerf herder.”
- “I'd just as soon kiss a Wookie!”
- If you asked the average Star Wars fan what Leia’s home world was, they would be correct in answering the planet Alderaan and they could consider themselves to be top of the class. If you asked the hardcore fan, they might also quickly add that Leia and Luke were actually born at a medical facility on Polis Massa. If you’ve seen Revenge of the Sith you might recall that is where Obi-Wan Kenobi took the injured Padmé for medical assistance.
- Leia's character has her own musical theme titled “Princess Leia's Theme.” It is represented by the musical leitmotif method which is famously used across the franchise. The piece was composed by John Williams and was used several times. It first appeared in A New Hope, heard when Princess Leia is captured by the evil Sith Lord, Darth Vader. Later, it surfaces as R2-D2 plays her holographic message to Obi-Wan Kenobi. The also theme plays when Kenobi is killed by Vader and it makes an appearance in the credits of the movie. It also is used in the two follow-up movies and the Revenge of the Sith prequel when her adoptive father Bail Organa introduces her to her adoptive mother.
- Leia's golden metal bikini that she wore while strangling the slug Jabba the Hutt in Return of Jedi is perhaps one of the most famous bikinis in the history of bikinis. Its iconic status in movie history is perhaps only rivaled by the one worn by Ursula Andress on the beach in the James Bond movie Dr. No. Many women (and the odd man) like to dress as Leia and attend conventions. Bless them. Bless them all.
- In A New Hope, Leia was kept captive on the Death Star in cell number 2187. This was a deliberate choice as 2187 is the year that the Lucas-directed movie THX 1138 was set. The Force Awakens took this even further and used the number as Finn's designated Stormtrooper number FN2187.
- Leia delivers the final line of the movie Rogue One. The line is “What is it they've sent us? Hope.” It's a clever setup for the title of A New Hope and ties in thematically well. In saying this last line, that takes Leia's tally of saying the final line of a Star Wars movie to three – the other two being The Force Awakens and Return of the Jedi.
- The Rise of Skywalker was Carrie's last Star Wars movie, meaning she did six performances as Leia while the character appeared in a total of eight Star Wars installments (remember the Revenge of the Sith appearances as a baby and the brief CGI cameo in Rogue One).
- Fisher appeared posthumously in The Rise of Skywalker as Leia. J.J. Abrams has worked her into the script by using deleted scenes and out-takes from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, as well as some CGI magic.