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Monday, May 18, 2015

So... is Princess Leia now a Disney Princess or what?

Two days after the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm two and a half years ago, a friend from high school told me over Facebook that her daughter was wondering about something.  It was a good question then and it's just as good if not more so now:

"Is Princess Leia from Star Wars now a Disney Princess?"

 Okay, so Leia is now under the Disney umbrella.  Admittedly, that means very little in the grander scheme of things.  I'm not seeing anyone equating Han Solo with Prince Charming after all.

But Leia is a bona-fide princess.  In fact, she's on a whole 'nother level from the Disney Princesses.  She's the adopted daughter of Bail Organa of the Royal House of Alderaan.  That's a much bigger deal than Aurora's kingdom or Ariel's realm under the sea.  Snow White had the witch trying to destroy her... but Leia had the forces of Emperor Palpatine hunting her down, led by no less a dark knight than Darth Vader himself.  Tiana is a product of the French Quarter of New Orleans.  Well, Leia comes from an even sleazier background: senate politics!  And don't even get me started on how Leia does things with her hair that Rapunzel can only dream about.

And yet the question persists: does Leia belong among the ranks of the Disney leading ladies?

Well, I have an answer, and it's kinda as official a statement as we're apt to get for the time being.

A few weeks ago I was out of town and came across a Disney Store.  I went into check out the Star Wars stuff, and once more found myself contemplating the Leia/Princesses conundrum.  Just out of curiosity I asked one of the associates, and I was expecting something of a humorous answer.  However when she called the store manager to come over, I knew that something more was afoot.  The manager told me that I was far from the only one who's asked them about that.  Indeed, so many have asked Disney Store employees across the country that question that there is now a semi-official response from Disney...

Here it is: Princess Leia is not a Disney Princess.  To be counted among their ranks, a proposed heroine must be inducted at a special ceremony at one of the Disney parks, and that hasn't happened yet for Leia.  However, that's not to say that it won't happen at all.  There is some speculation that Disney will have her coronation sometime fairly soon, possibly even in time for Episode VII: The Force Awakens this coming December.

There is a very significant amount of support for her to be made a bona fide Disney Princess.  The leadership of Disney is well aware of this.  And as Star Wars continues to grow under the Disney aegis, expect that support to increase further.

So there we have it: Leia isn't a Disney Princess yet.  But the odds to seem to be in her favor that she will be one, and sooner than later.

I know: it's not the kind of earth-stopping thing that's utterly critical.  But in this crazy world that is going more insane seemingly by the hour, I thought it was something worth chuckling about :-)