There probably isn’t a more iconic hairstyle in Star Wars than Princess Leia’s bunches from New Hope. But, as it turned out, she actually had a complicated relationship with her appearance.
The truth about the birth and childhood of Leia and Luke was fully revealed during the prequel trilogy. After Padme Amidala died during childbirth, Luke and Leia split up to hide them from their father, Darth Vader. Luke was sent to Tatooine to live with his uncle, and Leia was adopted by Senator Bail Organa from Alderaan. As shown in the TV series “Obi-Wan Kenobi”, Leia grew up in a luxurious royal life. But any Star Wars fan knows that Leia is not a prim and proper princess at all.
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Much of her upbringing was detailed in the legendary short story “The Diaries of Princess Leia” by Jason Hall and Chris Brunner, which appears in Star Wars Tales #11. History shows, young Leia rejects many details of the traditional and respectable lifestyle that are expected of a princess and that they should adhere to. She even goes so far as to cut off the signature curls with which she is so closely associated. But curls are part of the wider tradition of the royal family on Alderaan, and Leia is forced to wear a wig until her hair grows back and she can look natural again. Naturally, she is dissatisfied with this and yells: “It’s summer. I don’t need headphones!”
The story does not just describe in detail how young Leia was a girl. This shows how she will direct her rebellious tendencies to become a real rebel against the Empire. Realizing the need to play the role of an obedient princess and senator of the Empire, Leia learns to use her hairstyle as a tool, and not to obey her as a means of control. Wearing a hairstyle and not causing any problems, Leia can carry out her missions for the Uprising without arousing any suspicion that she is a troublemaker.
Although this is a Legends story and is not considered part of the Disney canon, the message it conveys fits perfectly with Leia’s character and upbringing. Unlike Luke, who joins the Rebellion only at a later age, Leia is mostly preparing for this role. Her father doesn’t force any of this on her, but Leia’s personality motivates her to become such an important part of the fight against the Empire. And it’s interesting that such a minor detail as her hairstyle can be used to show Leia’s growth as a character and how she fits into the Star Wars universe as a whole.