Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi was dedicated to the memory of Carrie Fisher, who sadly passed away in December 2016. Missed by many, her appearance in the film had been greatly anticipated – and every time she’s on screen she steals the scene. From jaw-dropping revelations to wonderful dialogue delivered via Fisher’s characteristic acerbic wit, Leia is one of The Last Jedi’s legitimate highlights. Here are her best moments.
1. Scolding C-3PO
“Wipe that nervous expression off your face, Threepio,” says Leia to the gold protocol droid, who has, incidentally, mysteriously lost his red arm from The Force Awakens, and had it replaced with a body-coloured appendage. Tensions are high as Poe goes rogue and attempts to bring down a First Order Dreadnought. The funny thing is, of course, C-3PO has only one expression. And yet, we can all tell that Leia’s right when she chides him — he’s definitely got a bad feeling about this.
2. The Cockpit Innuendo
After Poe disobeys her orders and winds up getting the Resistance’s entire bomber squadron wiped out, General Leia slaps Poe around the face and says: “You’re demoted”. If that’s not enough of a moment for you, she then follows up with: “Get your head out of your cockpit”, even adding in a cheeky little emphasis on the first syllable. Is she implying that his soaring testosterone levels are behind his ballsy but reckless venture? What a pro.
3. The Leia and Poe Show
Leia and Poe’s relationship is on fire throughout The Last Jedi. It’s one of the best things about the film. One of our favourite moments illustrating the love and respect between these two, though, is when Poe asks: “Permission to jump in an X-Wing and blow something up?” Leia responds without missing a beat: “Permission granted.” Their chemistry has echoes of Leia and Han back in the day.
Later in the film, Laura Dern’s Vice Admiral Holdo says to Leia about Poe: “That one’s a troublemaker. I like him”.
Leia’s response? “Me too.” Well, of course she does.
4. Using the Force
We’ve never seen Leia so explicitly use the Force, despite knowing that as Luke’s twin sister, and Anakin Skywalker’s daughter, she’s Force-sensitive. Here she uses it to save her own life after she’s blasted out into space. In a scene reminiscent of Yondu’s fate at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Leia seems to slip away. But a twitch of her ice-crystal encrusted hand later, and she’s propelling herself towards her ship by harnessing the power of the Force. She lets herself back in (through the door, naturally) and she’s immediately taken to the medical bay to recover. A pivotal moment in Star Wars history.
5. Her Devotion to Hope
Leia has a saying, that is quoted by Vice Admiral Holdo in the film. It goes: “Hope is like the sun. If you only believe in it when you see it, you’ll never make it through the night.” We’re not quite sure what that means and whether what it’s meant to mean holds up — but Leia said it, and Holdo quoted it so it’s definitely powerful stuff. And just as she’s about to lose all hope? Luke shows up and restores her faith. Hooray!
6. Referencing Her Hair
Leia is responsible for one of the most iconic hairstyles in movie history. So when her first words to brother Luke when the two finally meet for the first time in an age make a hilariously self-aware reference to those memorable double buns, we can’t help but sit back and admire the boldness of the scriptwriting.
“Luke,” she says. “I know what you’re going to say. I’ve changed my hair.”
“It’s nice that way,” responds Luke.
7. “Follow Him”
When the remaining members of the cornered Resistance are looking for a way out of the predicament they’re in as they come under attack on Crait, Poe comes up with the idea of fleeing. He’s figured out that if they follow the vulptices – the “crystal critters” that have scarpered in the melee – they’ll find a rear exit.
“Follow me,” says Poe. They all look round at Leia who’s standing at the back of the group of assembled Resistance fighters.
“What are you looking at me for?” she asks. “Follow him!” Boom. Delivered like a boss.
8. Final Words
Leia’s parting words are full of hope, and a rousing reminder that despite the losses they can still win this fight.
Following their acknowledgement of Luke’s passing, Rey turns to Leia and asks: “How do we build the rebellion from this?”
Leia replies, “We have everything we need.”
Smart cookie. Her words signpost a renewed sense of purpose in Episode IX, the final part of this sequel trilogy. They’re also very poignant, in that we know we won’t be seeing Carrie Fisher reprise her role as Leia in the trilogy’s final chapter.
The Last Jedi is now showing on UK screens and opens in the US on December 15.