When Carrie Fisher suffered a heart attack two days before Christmas, I decided that I would honor her by writing about a Princess Leia toy for this week’s “Star Wednesday” entry. What a shock it was to read on Tuesday that she had passed away. Rest in Peace, Carrie Fisher. What a doo doo year this has been.
As I combed through my shelves in search of the perfect tribute, I found a definite absence of Princess Leia toys. I have a few action figures, but not much more. I have entire shelves in my Star Wars room dedicated to Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and R2-D2, but not our favorite princess. I did, however, run across the Epic Force version of Princess Leia, which I decided would be a great toy to feature this week.
Only a handful of “Epic Force” figures were released, including Luke, Leia, C-3P0, Boba Fett, Darth Vader, a Stormtrooper, and a couple of prequel figures. Each one has limited articulation and is mounted to a base that can be manually rotated. Less articulation, a slightly larger scale, and a higher price point allowed for more detailed sculpts. As you can see from the picture above, the Epic Force version of Leia is very screen accurate.
In 2005, a friend of mine and I stumbled upon an estate sale that we later dubbed the “Sale of the Freakin’ Century.” When we entered the house, the very first thing I saw was a stack of boxed Atari 2600 games for $1 each. I bought them all. I bought three working Nintendo systems, a couple of lunchboxes, some glasses, a Pac-Man board game, and lots and lots of Star Wars stuff. I don’t remember how much I spent, but it was every cent I had with me. If they had taken credit cards, I might have got us into bad financial trouble that day.
That’s the day I bought the Epic Force Leia figure. My favorite thing about it is the scene they chose to capture. It would have been easy to pick the go-to “gold bikini” or “white dress” outfits, but they didn’t. Instead they picked Leia from Bespin, with a blaster in her hands. Sometimes people forget that, whether or not she was carrying a blaster, Princess Leia was usually in charge (whether Han Solo was willing to admit it or not.)
Five minutes after being rescued from her holding cell, Leia had already taken over her own escape, blasted a hole in a wall, and ordered her rescuers to dive through the hole into a murky trash compactor. (It may not have seemed like the best plan at the time, but things worked out.)
Time and time again, Princess Leia taught little girls all over the world (and galaxy) that they didn’t need a man to rescue them. She wasn’t a “somebody save me” Disney princess; she was a proactive bad ass. Princess Leia — General Leia, in Episode Seven — was a role model to many women, and the first costume my daughter wore for Halloween.