The fact that in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) had a Ph.D. is making its rounds on the internet. George Lucas’ A New Hope – simply called Star Wars when it initially hit theaters in 1977 – launched one of, if not the most popular sci-fi action/adventure franchise in the history of cinema. The film introduced fans around the world to three characters who have since become pop culture icons: Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and, of course, Leia Organa (Fisher). A New Hope was so popular that Lucas was able to complete his original trilogy, and produce the prequel trilogy that hit theaters in the late ’90s/early ’00s.
Of course, while Star Wars‘ popularity never waned, the film series was revived when Lucasfilm was acquired by Disney – a deal that came with the annoucement that a whole new trilogy would release along with standalone anthology-style films in the continuing franchise. J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens officially kicked off the new chapter of the franchise by introducing a new generation of characters in addition to bringing back Han, Leia, and Luke. Now, a bit of Star Wars trivia is making the rounds on the internet pertaining to Leia’s qualifications when viewers met her in A New Hope.
As pointed out by Becca Harrison on Twitter, Lucas revealed in the audio commentary on Star Wars: A New Hope a detail about the character of Leia that wasn’t explicitly mentioned in the film itself: “She’s like a very sophisticated, urbanized ruler, a Senator, so she’s a politician, she’s accomplished, she’s graduated, got her Ph.D. at 19 and she rules people and is in charge.” As Harrison points out, perhaps the character should have been called Dr. Organa rather than Princess Leia. The internet’s response to Harrison’s revelation was collected in a Twitter Moment, which you can check out below:
As those on Twitter mention, this detail would make Leia’s full title when viewers meet her again in The Force Awakens, Dr. Princess General Leia Organa, Ph.D. Others, meanwhile, point out that with all her qualifications, Leia is more fit to become a general than other characters in the original trilogy, but Han and Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) became generals before her.
Of course, this isn’t necessarily new information about Leia’s character, and it’s likely many Star Wars fans knew it already – as long as they’d listened to Lucas’ commentary on A New Hope. Still, with the resurgence of the Star Wars film series, fans both new and old are discovering details and aspects of the expansive galaxy far, far away that are new to them all the time.
As for Leia herself, her story is likely coming to an end – potentially in Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi that hits theaters later this year – due to the death of Carrie Fisher late last year. But as this recent interest in Leia’s Ph.D. indicates, Star Wars fans are always eager to learn more about the doctor/princess/general.
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