Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) never really acted like a princess. The "Star Wars" heroine spent the original franchise trilogy shooting stormtroopers, staring down Darth Vader and dealing Han Solo (Harrison Ford) some serious sass -- before they admitted their love for each other anyway. So, it is fitting that in "The Force Awakens," which hits theaters Dec. 18, Leia has a new title: General. Director J.J. Abrams told fans via a Siriux XM town hall Monday that the transition was only natural considering what the character has been through in the story. 

“I think it’s sort of like any of us, you like to think you evolve and go through life experiences and become something else, but the truth is we’re all kind of who we are,” said Abrams. “My guess is most of us would say, ‘I’m kind of the kid I was, still,’ but I also think both are true. It’s a little bit, almost a nature-nurture thing. You are who you are naturally, but as you go through life, you harden in some ways. You hopefully become more enlightened in others. Her evolution from princess to general is part of her life experience, but she’s always going to be Leia.”

Watch J.J. Abrams at the Sirius XM town hall via Entertainment Weekly below:

While Leia may be breaking gender barriers on screen, off screen actress Carrie Fisher, 59, says she felt immense pressure to conform to unfair and arbitrary physical standards Hollywood has for female movie stars. 

"They don't want to hire all of me – only about three-quarters!" Fisher told Good Housekeeping U.K. "Nothing changes, it's an appearance-driven thing. I'm in a business where the only thing that matters is weight and appearance. That is so messed up. They might as well say get younger, because that's how easy it is."

Fisher said she lost 35 pounds to reprise her role in the upcoming sequels. 

As for her character, nothing comes easy for Leia either. 

“[She’s] under a lot of pressure. Committed as ever to her cause, but I would imagine feeling somewhat defeated, tired and pissed,” Fisher told Entertainment Weekly.

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" premieres in theaters Dec. 18.