Princess/General Leia and Rey are two of the most important heroines in cinema history. Each character was a groundbreaking development for the portrayal of women in Star Wars and have paved their own legacies through this wonderful franchise. Now as one character’s story continues and another’s has fallen their inspiring paths are all the more brilliant to observe, especially when the two strong women are in the same presence as one another. But of the two who is the greater heroine?
Each of these characters has inspired girls and women around the globe by showing how powerful a woman can be through young and old age. It seems unthinkable to distinguish one above the other but they do have their differences. Their strengths and weaknesses are the things that we individually identify with the most. So, on this segment of Who’s Your Favorite, I am celebrating the heroines that have brought much happiness to so many people around the world. Enjoy!
One of the reasons why I love Leia so much is because she has never been your average heroine. In A New Hope, she wore a pristine white dress, makeup, and her hair was tied into her iconic regal buns but was she soft and delicate like a Disney princess? No. She was just as tough as the men around her and looked great doing it too. That’s like seeing Cinderella, gown, heels and all, with a gun shooting at villains trying to wreck a ballroom dance party. It would be awesome! That’s how I saw Leia. She was a princess, yes, but she was feisty and unafraid of nearly everything. She could’ve easily been a typical damsel in distress but George Lucas decided to shake up that narrative and with the casting of the fiery Carrie Fisher Leia was impeccably complete.
Since her debut in A New Hope, her strength has never faltered and she still remains to be a symbol of power for women in the cinematic world. Even when she was on the verge of death in The Last Jedi she found a way to survive, using her abilities to save herself rather than allowing someone else to rescue her. She’s never needed the aid of men to be great and even after Carrie Fisher’s unfortunate passing, her awesomeness will always reign supreme.
Rey, like Leia, has been a groundbreaker in the Star Wars franchise as well. Until she arrived the only female Jedi that appeared in the movies were discreet characters that appeared briefly in the Star Wars prequels. Ahsoka Tano in the animated Clone Wars series was the first major female Jedi but she was a cartoon character who had, until Disney bought Lucasfilm, amassed to only a few seasons in a television show. The fact that she’s never even mentioned in the movies makes her a slightly invalid character in the main scope of things in the Star Wars universe. Rey has changed that narrative.
We have seen Rey as a scavenger living off of literal scraps, as a pilot with skills that’ll make even the greatest pilots nod in appreciation, as a kind friend to those around her, and as a Jedi who is willing to fight for what is right against all odds. The road hasn’t been pretty and it hasn’t been smooth but Rey has proven to be a warrior so inspiring you can’t help but love her. But she’s not unrealistically invulnerable like a muscle-clad warrior queen or something. We’ve seen her cry, we’ve seen her hurt, and that’s what makes her stronger. The fact that she faces debilitating physical and mental obstacles and finds a way to still prevail above those challenges is awesome indeed.
Her story, however, is still not complete but the stamp she has left on the Star Wars universe so far is 100% perfect.
For me, Rey is my favorite heroine because she has so many sides to her. She can be sweet and caring but then she can be fierce and relentless as well and everything else in between. I love that. I also just love Daisy Ridley. She has imbued this character with her lovable personality and I honestly couldn’t imagine anyone else in the role as Rey.
So, of these two heroines, which one is your favorite? Do you get happy whenever Leia tells Tarkin how much he stinks or do you like seeing Rey holding her own against the evil Kylo Ren? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day. May the Force be with you.