1. Leia Organa
Are you surprised by our final selection? Whether it’s in the films, the books, the comics or any other Star Wars media, it’s clear that Leia Organa has had an enormous impact on this universe. She was a beloved princess who never really fit into her role, so she applied herself and became a leading force within the Rebellion. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in the galaxy who doesn’t know her name.
In a sense, I feel like the passing of Carrie Fisher only amplified what Leia meant to people. If you take a look at her character in A New Hope and in the sequel films, you can see how the battle for peace and justice has worn her down, but she stayed a firm believer that it was one worth fighting.
Leia played a crucial role in A New Hope, squirreling away the Death Star plans Luke would eventually use to blow up the super-destructive space station. Leia had many advisors, although it was little use telling her what to do; from the beginning, Leia was here to fight. As a princess, she was privileged, but she used her name recognition and authority to help the Rebellion rather than to just help herself.
It’s hard to picture what the first trilogy would look like without Leia, and I’m glad we’ll never have to. Star Wars will have to move on without her soon, though, and that’s still a hard thing to think about.