Princess Leia’s top 20 bravest moments

20 of 20

From A New Hope (1977). Image is a screengrab via 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm

1. Her “happily ever after” moment

As we know, things work out pretty well for our heroes. The Death Star is finally destroyed by the Rebels. Luke defeats Darth Vader and is subsequently reunited with the father he never knew. Imperial forces have been chased off of Endor, and Princess Leia and Han Solo are happier than ever, even though Leia has sustained a blaster injury.

Han Solo is still acting a little shifty towards Leia regarding her relationship with Luke, and she gently breaks the news to Solo that Luke is, in fact, her brother. His reaction is pretty priceless. Celebration among the Ewoks ensues while the spirits of Anakin Skywalker, Obi-wan Kenobi, and Yoda look on.

But the nice thing about this trilogy is that we don’t get a “happily ever after” for any of these characters. They move on from this day and continue to live their lives to carry on the Star Wars legacy. As we know now, a lot will happen in the decades following this story, and so much work to still be done. So ending on a celebratory but semi-realistic note is so on brand for Princess Leia. The fight for good (and women’s rights!) will always continue.

Next: Star Wars cast on what Carrie Fisher left behind

Today is the fortieth anniversary of one of the most important films in history, but moreover the anniversary of our introduction to Princess Leia, a dynamic, no-nonsense strong female who doesn’t suffer fools gladly. May the Force be with her always!