Is Princess Leia a Disney princess? And other thoughts about the changes Disney made to Star Wars
By: Emily Janseen
It has now been over three years since George Lucas sold his company, Lucasfilm, to Disney and we stand on the precipice of the first Star Wars movie made without the beloved franchise’s creator.
To say that people are excited about the new Star Wars movie would be an understatement. According to Fandango (an online ticketing company) and Variety, The Force Awakens shattered the record on ticket pre-sales previously held by The Hunger Games on the first day by eight times.
However, with the movie’s December 18th release date fast approaching, perhaps now is the time to spend a moment looking back some of the things that have changed in the saga since Disney took control and to answer the question that’s been plaguing fans: is Leia a Disney Princess?
Arguably the biggest change that has been made to the franchise happened in April 2014, when Disney announced that all the published work done in the Star Wars universe aside from the six movies and the Clone Wars TV show was no longer part of the saga’s officially accepted timeline. This part of Star Wars–which was renamed “Legends” by Disney–was the largest portion of the Star Wars universe, spanning from before the creation of the Republic to several generations after the original movies.
Unfortunately for fans of the Legends timeline, a large portion of this material was devoted to fleshing out the forty-plus years after Return of the Jedi which is right where Disney’s putting The Force Awakens.
March 11, 2013 marked the cancellation of the TV show Star Wars: the Clone Wars, which had been airing on Cartoon Network since 2008. The show had just finished its fifth season and according to the website for #savetheclonewars (which lobbies for more bonus content for the show) it was originally planned to be at least eight seasons long. In a panel during the Star Wars Convention in Anaheim in April 2015, David Filoni, the show’s supervising director, said that the final episodes of the show were supposed to show where characters who had been created for the show are in Revenge of the Sith.
So is Princess Leia a Disney Princess? The answer to that question isn’t easy to find, but—sorry to crush anyone’s dreams—officially, the answer is no.
To be fair, the “Official Disney Princess” category is somewhat difficult to define. However, the Disney Princess website only has eleven princesses in its content: Cinderella, Belle, Rapunzel, Snow White, Ariel, Mulan, Aurora, Jasmine, Tiana, Merida and Pocahontas. These eleven are widely accepted as the only official ones.
However, there are quite a few princess characters in Disney movies who aren’t Official (characters like Kida from The Lost Empire of Atlantis and Giselle from Enchanted). Those are small examples, however. Because believe it or not, Elsa and Anna are not official Disney Princesses yet either. In an article talking about the Frozen sensation, MTV news speculated that in their case it is only a matter of time. However, it’s safe to say that if Elsa and Anna aren’t officially Disney Princesses, Leia is waiting in a very long line.