George Lucas sees Leia as Star Wars' true hero
Star Wars creator George Lucas has insisted that Leia Organa is the true hero of the original film because she is the driving force of the story.
George Lucas has always seen Leia Organa as the true hero of Star Wars, and with good reason. When the first Star Wars movie came out (later renamed A New Hope), Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker was introduced as the protagonist of the original Star Wars trilogy. After all, his journey is documented, from a boy living on a damp farm to one of the greatest Jedi the galaxy has ever seen. Along the way, he meets Harrison Ford's Han Solo and Carrie Fisher's Leia Organa, and together the trio form one of the most iconic fictional trios of all time . Although Luke Skywalker is the protagonist of Star Wars, George Lucas insists that Leia is the true hero of A New Hope.
While on the surface, Star Wars Princess Leia is just the embodiment of the "Ally" archetype, she is much more than that. An ally is someone who acts as the hero's confidante and companion--she's technically part of Luke's journey to becoming a galactic hero, and helps him in that quest. Leia is also an easy "love object" - for Luke Especially Han before he found out she was his sister. "Girl in Distress" could also apply to Leia to an extent, as she is introduced as a prisoner in need of rescue. However, none of these archetypes accurately conveyed Leia's importance in the story, especially in A New Hope, where George Lucas recognized it.
George Lucas Explains Why Princess Leia Is More Important Than Luke Or Han
In Talking to James Cameron in his sci-fi story, George Lucas discussed Leia and made it clear that he was impressed by her: "She was a senator. She graduated from college .She's a very smart person, very controlling. She's a good hand. These two guys - one is naive, knows nothing, knows nothing. The other thinks he knows everything, but he doesn't She’s the one who knows everything. She’s the one who drives the whole story.” Lucas also fought to make Leia’s action figure, claiming, “When you line them up, look at She's the main character, for God's sake."
Stepping back and looking at A New Hope through Leia's lens, it's clear that there's a difference between the two The protagonists and characters that really move the plot forward. Luke somehow became a hero by accident - the will of the Force is beyond his control, after all. Leia, on the other hand, is the character in the story who makes things happen. Leia has been the one actively fighting the Empire, her information brought Luke to Obi-Wan, and she's the one who introduced Luke to the Rebels. The story of A New Hope cannot unfold without Leia. She has an agency that Luke doesn't.
Leia Is The True "New Hope" Of The First Star Wars Film
Leia saved the Death Star project, leading to one of the Rebel Alliance's greatest victories. Even after her homeworld was wiped out, she still fought. Most of all, Leia is someone who inspires others to be the heroes they can be. Without Leia, Luke would never have learned anything about the Jedi, and Han didn't discover that he was more than just a smuggler. Leia's actions literally changed the fate of the galaxy. If anything, Luke and Han are Leia's "allies" in A New Hope - they help her achieve her goal of destroying the Death Star. luke may be the one who achieves the impossible Shoot, but he wouldn't be there at all without Leia.
Leia's role as the leader of the Resistance in the story was the catalyst that drove the entire original Star Wars trilogy forward. She's an integral part of the events instigated by A New Hope - her plan to smuggle the Death Star is the premise of the entire story. The original Star Wars trilogy wasn't just Luke's story; he and Leia were co-leads. Neither of their narrative arcs would work without the other, and their twins make it all the more poignant. All in all, Leia Organa is indeed the most important character in Star Wars, and her story in A New Hope proves it - as explained by George Lucas.