The Star Wars movies are iconic for a variety of reasons, but one of the most memorable aspects of the first movie is Princess Leia’s distinctive hairstyle. How did they come up with those famous double buns?
How Did George Lucas Create The Hairstyle?
When looking for inspiration for Leia’s futuristic and otherworldly looks, director and writer George Lucas looked to hairdos from the past. Lucas told Time magazine, “In the 1977 film, I was working very hard to create something different that wasn’t fashion.”
“So I went with a kind of Southwestern Pancho Villa woman revolutionary look, which is what that is,” he continued. “The buns are basically from the turn-of-the-century Mexico. Then it took such hits and became such a thing.”
Confusion Over Lucas’ Supposed Inspiration
However, some people were confused by Lucas’ claims of getting inspiration from female revolutionaries. According to Remezcla, “Lucas’ revelation of the hairstyle’s origins only seemed to cause confusion across the internet. Some found it difficult to find photographic evidence for Lucas’ claims.”
“Perhaps, they only saw images of soldaderas wearing hats. (All that Star Wars historian Michael Heilemann could find were these bun-less images of adelitas,)” they continued. “As a result, some began to look elsewhere to find other possible explanations.”
Some fans pointed out that Leia’s distinctive double-buns looked more like a traditional Hopi Native American tribal hairstyle. However, a Star Wars exhibition at the Denver Art Museum seemed to support Lucas’ story about Mexican rebels.
The exhibit included reference photos that Lucas used, which show women sporting the Princess Leia hairdo. One of the women featured in the director’s pictures was Mexican soldadera and guerrilla fighter Clara de la Rocha.
de la Rocha was a guerrilla commander who helped seize the city of Culiacán, Sinaloa in 1911. She eventually earned the rank of colonel. de la Rocha died in 1970 in Culiacán. With her history as a determined rebel fighter, it’s no surprise Lucas looked to her for inspiration for Princess Leia, another rebel fighter.
Carrie Fisher Was Not A Fan
While the hairstyle is now famous all over the world, there was one person who wasn’t a fan: Princess Leia herself. Carrie Fisher, who played the iconic role, has not spoken kindly about the hairdo.
“It took them two hours to do that hairstyle,” she explained. “I’d come in at 5 in the morning, before anyone… Later on, I did Saturday Night Live… They clunked a hairpiece on, and it looked exactly the same.” Fisher might not have loved the famous double-buns, but there’s no denying that the hairstyle is one of the most famous styles in cinematic history.
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