Who’s More Screwed Up, Princess Leia or George Lucas?

Recently, in a wholly unrelated discussion, the topic of Star Wars and Vader’s relationship to his kids popped up. And that reminded me of the torture scene in the first[1] Star Wars movie where Vader visits Leia in her cell with his floating torture robot. The scene cuts away, but we are left to assume hijinx ensued.

A short while later, she watches as the Death Star blows her homeworld to smithereens, killing presumably a few hundred thousand to a few billion people in the process.[2]

So then she’s kinda rescued by Luke and Han.  Mind you, she’s just seen the equivalent of the Holocaust unfurl before her eyes, everyone / thing she knows / loves is obliterated, but she still plants a big smooch on Luke’s kisser “for luck.”

Okay, we’ll give her that one…

But then she and Luke start fermenting the hots for one another, although Han is floating around to keep things interesting.  Bottom line, less than three years after seeing her homeworld wiped out, Leia is just as spunky as can be.

What?  Seriously? She should be an emotional basket case.

But Lucas ain’t done with her yet! Next we learn she & Luke are twins and that she has the same inherent Jedi abilities as Luke and Vader.

Now, for someone who is supposed to be the equal of two of the biggest midi-chlorian badasses in the galaxy, Leia sure is slow on the uptake.  At no time when exchanging saliva with Luke does she realize, “Hey, this is my own brother!!!!  Ewwwww!!!

But that’s almost forgivable.  The real stomach churner is the thought of what Vader was doing to her behind closed airlocks in the real movie.  Vader didn’t figure out who she was, but he shoulda had some clue -- she either sang like a canary (logical, considering what happened next to her homeworld) or else he realized who she was at some level and just kept doing it anyway!

Which, for a villain, is okay, ‘cuz he’s a villain and villains gotta do villainous deeds. Torturing your little girl with a hypodermic wielding torture-bot is just par for the course.

Naw, the creep factor comes in with her reaction -- or lack thereof -- to everything that happens to her in the movies.

Family / friends / culture / homeworld / record collection just annihilated?  Bah, shrug it off.

Survivor of a semi-incestuous torture session?  No daddy issues here.

Got the hots over your own brother?  Fuggeddaboutit.

Leia, for all her positive aspects as an action heroine, is one of the worst written characters in sci-fi.  She has more sublimated rage / grief / anxiety than any other character in history, all seething just millimeters below the surface, yet she never reflects any of this psychological baggage.[3]

Instead she sails blithely along, at peace with herself and the universe around her.

Really?  Really???

Y’know, if the snapper reveal had been she’s really a robot…or if some reference was made to powerful Jedi mind control / drugs used to help her sleep at night…or if she had the personality of Tank Girl, maybe this would have made a smidgeon of sense.

But whaddya expect? She’s from the same imagination that gave us this guy…




[1]  i.e., “Real”

[2]  Lucas famous directorial advice to her during this scene was to think of somebody blowing up her record collection.

[3]  Except, possibly, in this scene…

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