Although she wasn’t exactly the main protagonist in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, perhaps no character had a larger arc than Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher). Now, with the 59-year-old actress reprising her role in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” fans have been excited to learn how she’s continued to evolve over the years and what she’ll be up to when they see her again in the Dec. 18 movie.
Fortunately, director J.J. Abrams is teasing some minor details about the film early, including what Leia’s role in the larger plotline will be. While a lot has been teased about the villainous First Order throughout the run up to the film’s premiere, not much has been said about the forces of good that will combat it. According to Entertainment Weekly, while most characters and fans have grown used to referring to Fisher’s character as "Princess Leia," she’s got a different title in “Episode VII.” The outlet reports that, in the years since the Rebel victory in “Return of the Jedi,” she’s parlayed that recognition into a role as a general in the new Resistance army. To be fair, she hasn’t technically been a princess since her home planet was destroyed by the Death Star in “A New Hope,” but it seems that title is officially a thing of the past as she continues to lead soldiers in a battle for freedom in the galaxy.
While many fans of the character are likely thrilled to see she’s still working as a powerful force on the side of the good guys, some more diehard fans are scratching their heads wondering why she stopped at just being a general. For those that aren’t as familiar with the intricacies of the “Star Wars” mythos, here’s what you need to know: Because her brother Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) turned out to be a Jedi, she has a natural and biological connection to the force, meaning she could have very easily become a Jedi herself.
“It was a great question and one that we talked about quite a bit even with Carrie [Fisher]. If there was another, why did she not take advantage of this natural force strength that this character had?” Abrams told IGN when asked about the character choice. “And one of the answers was that it was simply a choice that she made. Her decision to run the rebellion and ultimately this Resistance and consider herself a general as opposed to a jedi, it was simply a choice that she took. Not that there was a regret that she could have and didn’t.”
However, just because Leia opted for a life that didn’t have her learning how to lift an X-Wing out of the swamp with her mind, that doesn’t mean those force powers will go unnoticed. The director teased that fans have seen Leia’s connection to the force in the past and that it will come up again in the new movie. Unfortunately, fans that are excited by that prospect still have to wait until Dec. 18 when the film hits theaters to see how it all plays out.