50 Best 'Star Wars' Characters of All Time

From Mos Eisely aliens to the most dangerous Jedi ever, our updated ranking of the heroes and villains in a galaxy far, far away

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Princess Leia

5. Princess Leia

When studio heads pay lip service to the importance of creating "proactive" female protagonists for their blockbusters, it shows how far Hollywood remains behind Lucas' conception of Princess Leia from almost 40 years ago. Luke and Han may be the central heroes of the original trilogy; it's Leia, however, who provides its heart, which doesn't mean she isn't capable with a blaster. The late, great Carrie Fisher turns her every line of dialogue into a mocking jab, refusing to let the smart, spitfire character settle into simply being a Death Star damsel-in-distress. It's impossible to erase the fact that she and Luke kiss in the first film (and, er, the second film), but what's great about her love story with Han in The Empire Strikes Back is that it feels like a relationship of equals, the two strongest-willed people in the galaxy realizing they're nuts about one another. As for the racy slave number from Return of the Jedi that jump-started a generation of boys' sexual awakening, just remember she managed to kill Jabba while rocking it. We miss you, Carrie. TG

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