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Is Leia a Jedi in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'?

Updated on January 7, 2016

You're wrong, Leia. You have that power, too. In time, you will learn to use it as I have. The Force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. And, my sister has it.

-Luke Skywalker in 'Return of the Jedi'

Leia Organa has a new title in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," but it isn't the one some were waiting to hear. She's General Leia Organa.

The movie does not show her in typical Jedi robes or carrying a lightsaber. While we got the payoff of Rey in a lightsaber battle, we did not get the payoff of Leia actually accomplishing what her brother promised last time we saw her.

It left some wondering, is she a Jedi?

Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa
Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa | Source

According to Wookieepedia, a Jedi is a Force-sensitive individual who studied the ways of the Force. Leia is most certainly Force-sensitive in the original trilogy, as she has memories she shouldn't and can sense things, like exactly where her brother is hanging.

In "The Force Awakens," she is shown reacting to Han's death. Her reaction, in fact, feels almost identical to Yoda's reaction in "Revenge of the Sith" to Jedi being killed. This, in my opinion, shows she has had training. In "A New Hope," she watches as her planet is blown to pieces, and while Obi Wan can feel the lives departing, she appears to not. This shows she has done a great deal of work cultivating her powers in the 30 years between the original trilogy and the new one.

Using the comparison of these two scenes, it can be determined she is a Jedi, possibly even a Jedi Master. Why a master? Her feelings were so strong. Plus, Rey and Leia gave each other the look like they were mother and daughter. What if that look was because Luke had Leia training his daughter, while he was training her son? Perhaps Rey wasn't the only Padawan she trained. (Note: Rey's parents were never officially outed.)

So, where's the lightsaber?

In fact, this is the only movie in which we do not see Leia use a weapon at all, and she is the only character not covering her right eye with a weapon in that series of character posters released for the film.

While there is tons of talk about what was being hidden about Rey's character, perhaps there's even more being hidden about Leia's character. Perhaps she does use a lightsaber now, and that is a reveal for one of the other movies in this trilogy. Perhaps she wasn't shown using a weapon for that very reason.

Her lack of typical Jedi dress could be explained through a variety of ideas. For starters, she is already an outcast of sorts of the New Republic for her "a fixation on the past." Throwing on typical Jedi clothing probably wouldn't help her stance with those who see Jedi as Han once did.

Another theory could be as Luke went into hiding, she may have thought it would not be a great idea to advertise that she was a Jedi through her clothing. Sure, her son may know who she really is, but does everyone need to know?

Plus, although she is leading the Resistance, she may not want to stand out, and being in Jedi clothes stands out. (Even in "Attack of the Clones," bar patrons stare at the Jedi attire.) She was a hero- she peaked about 30 years ago. In a way, since the First Order has risen to power and her son is now in Vader's role, she could see herself as a failure, and the lack of traditional robes could be her way of hiding.

All we know is Leia, a former senator, is now the founder/general of the Resistance after political setbacks.

How did she get the title of general, though? Yes, she is a hero of the rebellion, and Han was a general at one point, but the word "general" is not a political title, and Leia was a politician like her mother.

But, general is the title Obi Wan held in the Clone Wars. It could be deduced Leia has the title of general because she is, in fact, a Jedi Knight, at the very least.

What do you think?

Is Leia a Jedi?

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    • rjbatty profile image

      rjbatty 18 months ago from Irvine

      Sam: Yeah, I knew when writing that my remarks were tangentential. What can I say? I'm just a lazy slob. Sorry for that.

    • Samantha Sinclair profile image

      Samantha Sinclair 18 months ago from North Carolina


      You may want to post your comment on one of my actual reviews of the movie (under the "see also.") This is a discussion of Leia's character in the movie. Thanks!

    • rjbatty profile image

      rjbatty 18 months ago from Irvine

      I finally got around to watching Episode 8. I expected it to be indecipherable based on all the pre-release jabber. It wasn't. The film was fairly simple stuff, somewhat fun but not so much as a little. I was surprised that so little had changed in the 40 (or whatever) years had elapsed. We now have Kylo Ren -- a mere shade of Darth Vader. We have a bigger Death Star mechanism, but it does the same sort of thing. We have a reunion of Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher -- pretty much a big yawn. We also finally get a matured Luke Skywalker, looking rather like Alec Guinness, who does nothing but present himself. But, we still have the same old clone soldiers (except they are no longer all clones), same old testy generals, same old space combat vehicles, same old eccentric cantina bar scene, same old wild rides, etc., etc. Was there ANYTHING unique about this film? If so, I must have blinked.

      In so many ways the film felt like an unnecessary reboot of the original Star Wars.

    • Samantha Sinclair profile image

      Samantha Sinclair 23 months ago from North Carolina

      I hope I didn't spoil too much for you! Enjoy it!

    • Terri Williams profile image

      Terri Williams 23 months ago from Petersburg Indiana

      Interesting thoughts. I will finally be seeing this soon. You have given me something to watch for. Looking forward to seeing Leia as a leader.

    • AlexanderHornby profile image

      Alexander Hornby 23 months ago from Philadelphia, PA

      Interesting read. Solid article!

      Leia has always been one with the people first and her title second. Take for instance her as Princess throughout the original series. Rarely had she used that as leverage and not gotten her hands dirty. The same can be said as her being General and potentially a Jedi Knight. She keeps her title and superiority close to the chest unless it's absolutely necessary.

      It's likely she's a Jedi Knight. "My sister has it" implies she's also strong with the force and simply developed those powers over time.

      Nice observation with Obi-Wan. Him being General could act as a historical clue that J.J Abrams and company used as ammunition to further Princ... General Leia's story and justify her carrying the title as Jedi Knight in future installments.