Disney Princesses have become some of the most iconic female characters in popular culture. From Snow White and Belle, to the contemporary Moana (although she makes it clear that she is the daughter of a chieftain), these women are easily recognized from their silhouettes.
Now, in the wake of the tragic death of actress Carrie Fisher, famous for playing Princess – later General – Leia Organa through several iconic phases of her life, Disney and Star Wars fans have rallied together to make Leia an official Disney Princess.
A petition cropped up on Change.org, as reported by The Wrap, requesting that Disney do just that. Disney acquired the Star Wars property from Lucasfilm in 2012 in an unprecedented deal. The appeal would require Disney to break from tradition by introducing a live-action princess into their official line-up (while Enchanted’s Giselle is technically a live-action Disney princess, she’s not included in the company’s official merchandise line). It is also asking that Disney introduce a character to the princess canon that was not created in-house, with Star Wars: A New Hope having been created in 1977 while still solely under Lucasfilm.
The petition states:
After the tragic lose [sic] of Carrie Fisher, we feel that it is only fitting for Disney to do away with the rule that an official Disney princess must be animated and make Leia a full-fledged princess. This would be a wonderful way to remember Carrie and a welcoming to one of Disney’s new properties that is beloved by millions. What we are asking is that the Walt Disney Corporation hold a full ceremony inducting Leia as the newest Disney princess as well as a special service in memory of Carrie Fisher.
The Change.org petition is seeking 50,000 signatures before they submit the document to Disney (specifically the CEO Bob Iger, as stated on their page); it has over 43,000 signatures as of this writing and appears well on its way to meeting their stipulated goal since its launch. There has been no official statement from Disney yet, raising the question of whether or not they will be open to considering this request from the fans.
Making Leia an official Disney Princess and the sheer number of fans behind the idea drives home just how singularly important the character is and how transcendent Fisher‘s work in the role was. It presents an opportunity for Disney to celebrate the contributions of one of the most iconic actors of the modern age and to expand their canon into new and exciting territory.
However, we are not that far removed from Fisher’s death late last month and the wheels inside Disney may take a longer time to decide if they are going to do anything at all in memoriam of Leia Organa. It also seems likely that there are internal concerns about how to treat the loss of Leia in the film continuity, which may need to be addressed before Disney casts their attention any wider.
Before she passed away Carrie Fisher had completed filming on Star Wars Episode VIII, which hits theaters later this year.
Source: The Wrap