Lucasfilm finally answered one of the biggest lingering questions for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. For those who want to avoid any spoilers despite the intentional reveal, this is your final warning.
At the Star Wars junket on December 4th, Lucasfilm revealed how The Rise of Skywalker presents Leia. Originally repurposed footage from The Force Awakens, fans wondered what role Leia plays in the final film. General Leia (Fisher) trains Rey (Daisy Ridley) in the ways of the force. Well, at least the parts Luke (Mark Hamill) left out. As reported by Screen Rant, a title card accompanied the costume displayed worn by Fisher.
The accompanying text reads:
"General Leia Organa continues to lead the heroic Resistance, building back a fighting force after having suffered costly setbacks. Leia is also training Rey in the ways of the Force, for the galaxy still has need of a Jedi."
Leia's Uses of the Force
Repurposing the scene from The Force Awakens could alleviate complaints about the Star Wars sequel trilogy. It's refreshing to see how further along Leia was in her training. The first instance of her force capability was her telepathic abilities communicating with Luke in The Empire Strikes Back in Cloud City. The second was during Return of the Jedi when she felt Luke's presence when he escaped the second Death Star following the Battle of Endor. The third time she felt Han Solo's (Harrison Ford) life force fleeting in The Force Awakens.
The biggest extent of her power was in The Last Jedi. With the bridge of her ship destroyed, the pressure sucked Leia into the vacuum of space. After regaining consciousness in the cold of space, she used the Force to telekinetically project herself to another Resistance ship with barely enough strength to carry her momentum.
The only way fans knew of her Jedi training was in the non-canon Extended Universe/Legends. In Fisher's book, "The Princess Diarist," she revealed if she had a lightsaber, it would be purple. Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) was the only Jedi to wield a purple saber in the Star Wars prequels.
According to the actor's brother Todd Fisher, Leia was originally intended to be the "last Jedi" if it weren't for her passing in 2016. At the time, director Rian Johnson revealed Fisher shot all her scenes for The Last Jedi.
When JJ Abrams came back to the Star Wars franchise to replace Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow, many wondered how Leia would be addressed. In Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Fisher granted use of her likeness over a stand-in, rather than de-aging in the film's conclusion that bookends with A New Hope.
Despite the controversy surrounding the digital posthumous recreation of Peter Cushing for Moff Tarken, Disney assured fans the process won't be revisited for Fisher for The Rise of Skywaker. Abrams announced unused footage from The Force Awakens will make its way to the film.
The Rise of Skywalker comes to theaters on December 20th.