People always ask who my favorite Star Wars character is and as a girl who was coming of age in the 1970's that is an easy pick - Princess Leia (duh!). From the moment she entered the screen in A New Hope. I wanted to be her. I admired how she stood up to the Imperial forces and always kept her cool at the same time. I LOVED the way she didn't take any bunk from Han Solo! "Into the garbage shoot, flyboy!" She was the epitome of class and cool combined into one tough chick! She never wavered in her belief of the Rebel Alliance and what they were trying to achieve.
As I ventured into the Expanded Universe of reading Star Wars novels, Leia's appeal did not come through on the pages to me - she struggled with learning how to use the Force and had her hands full as a wife and mother. I could fault the author's or storylines but I had another heroine to follow while reading - Mara Jade. Now here was the ultimate female "superhero" if you want to call her that. She held her own on the darkside as the Emperor's hand and then had the courage to cross back to the Rebel Alliance. I loved that she didn't just swoon into Luke Skywalker's arms but was his equal in every way. Tough, beautiful, smart - she's got it all!