After suffering a heart attack on Friday, Carrie Fisher sadly passed away earlier today at 60. A notable Hollywood player for nearly four decades, Fisher left behind a great legacy, from her acting roles to her uncredited script work to her unique memoirs. Still, she'll always be best known as Princess/General Leia Organa in the Star Wars universe. As one of the main characters in the Original Trilogy, Leia was and continues to be an icon in science fiction and pop culture in general. Fisher most recently reprised Leia in The Force Awakens last year, and she'll be seen again in 2017's Episode VIII.
As fans reminisce today about what Carrie Fisher meant to them, both on and off camera, here's our collection of what we consider to be the actress' five best moments from the Star Wars franchise. Leia may have been originally known as a princess, but as you'll be reminded of while reading through these entries, she wasn't royal figure who fit into the stereotypical damsel in distress role.
Her Message To Obi-Wan Kenobi
"Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope." Those words are arguably Princess Leia's most famous ones during A New Hope. The first Star Wars movie kicked off with the Tantive IV being chased down by a Star Destroyer (which is now better set up thanks to Rogue One). But did Princess Leia go down without a fight? Hardly. Not only did she shoot one of the stormtroopers closing in on her before being captured, she also passed along the Death Star plans and a special message to Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi before sending the droid on her way to Tatooine. Thanks to her quick thinking, as well as C-3PO and R2-D2 fortunately ending up in Luke Skywalker's possession, the message made it to its intended recipient, Obi-Wan left his desert retirement and Luke began traversing the path to join the Rebellion and become a Jedi.
"Into The Garbage Chute, Flyboy"
After being tortured for God knows how long aboard the Death Star, Leia was rescued by Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Chewbacca. However, it was her quick thinking that got them out of a sticky situation involving a horde of stormtroopers and a lot of blaster bolts. Not one to sit idly by as enemy troops moved slowly closer, Leia snatched Luke's blaster and shot open a vent leading into one of garbage chutes. Okay, so they were nearly crushed to death afterwards, but had Leia done nothing, they would have eventually been shot down. Pretty much all of Leia's moments afterwards on the Death Star are great, from calling Chewbacca a walking carpet to providing cover fire for Luke as he got his grappling hook ready, but thanks to her, the prison break truly succeeded.
It's hands-down the best insult in the Star Wars universe. While Luke Skywalker was recovering from his wampa injuries in The Empire Strikes Back, Han Solo picked the wrong time to boast about how Leia has supposedly expressed her true feelings for him earlier in the movie. Astounded by his arrogance, Leia responded in kind: "Why, you stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder!" The moment is somewhat muddled by Leia then kissing Luke as a bit of revenge against Han (thanks, Return of the Jedi, for providing that awkward background), but nonetheless, that insult was a great way to put Han in his place. Still, he was right about one thing: there was romance brewing between them, although it took a little longer for that to bubble up to the surface. More importantly, if you're finding a fellow Star Wars fan annoying, just call them a nerf-herder.
Killing Jabba The Hutt
This will go down in the Star Wars history books as Leia Organa's most badass moment. Despite being disguised as the bounty hunter Boushh, Leia was captured while trying to free Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt's palace during Return of the Jedi. Forced to wear that metal bikini and chained to the disgusting crime lord, she was aboard the main sail barge while the action over the Sarlacc was underway. Still, she made sure that her captor didn't make it out of this insanity alive, and using her chain, she strangled Jabba to death. It was an amazing moment of empowerment, and along with all her other accomplishments and honors, she'll always have the title "Huttslayer." Seriously, if you read the novel Bloodline, which takes place a few years before The Force Awakens, her notorious kill is still being talked about.
The Endor Speeder Bike Chase
Leia joined Han Solo, Chewbacca and Luke Skywalker as a member of the command team that was sent to oversee the destruction of the second Death Star's shield generator on Endor. It was supposed to be a quiet operation, but thanks to Han accidentally stepping on a twig, a team of scout troopers noticed them. Desperate to not leave any witnesses behind, Leia quickly jumped aboard a speed bike with Luke in tow to take out the scout troopers that escaped. Its hard enough riding on of those things over open terrain, let alone in the middle of a dense forest, but she didn't hesitate to chase after those white-armored soldiers to keep the mission from being a bust. She eventually had to bail from the speeder bike before crashing, but that later lead to her meeting the Ewoks. If she hadn't crossed paths with those furry little warriors, her and the other Rebel troops on Endor would never have taken out the shield generator, and the Empire would have wiped out most of the Rebellion's remaining forces.