[SPOILERS for The Last Jedi.]
George Lucas planned for Leia to use the Force more openly in his original outline for Star Wars 7-9, according to Mark Hamill. Now that Star Wars: The Last Jedi is playing in theaters, Star Wars fans are finally getting to weigh in on the next chapter in the Star Wars saga. Of course, well before either Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi or J.J. Abrams' The Force Awakens hit the scene, there was Lucas' original vision for the third Star Wars movie trilogy.
The former Princess-turned General Organa is no stranger to the Force. Although the films may have scrimped on showing her ability to use it, tie-in Star Wars comics and novels have long portrayed her ability to tap into the mystical energy. Abrams has previously explained that Leia holding back when it comes to using her innate powers stems from her personal decision to tread down a different path than her brother. Claudia Gray's Bloodline has further revealed that her connection with Darth Vader would have crippled Leia's chances of nabbing a Senate seat like her adopted father, Bail Organa, had she decided to follow in Luke's footsteps and become a Jedi.
Sitting down with Rolling Stone while doing the press rounds for The Last Jedi, Hamill revealed an interesting tidbit regarding Lucas' scrapped Star Wars: Episode VII, VIII, and IX, with regard to Leia's Force sensitivity. Apparently, the saga's creator wanted to further explore her ability to tap into it in, over the course of those films:
"This is always something that interest me because we can communicate telepathically and I tell her in one of the movies, I guess the third one, you have that power too. So I always wondered, and I don't read the fanfiction, why she wouldn't fully develop her Force sensibilities and I think that's something George Lucas addressed in his original outline for 7, 8, 9. I was talking to him last week, but they're not following George's ideas so we'll have to wait and see on that one. But it seems like a waste of an innate talent that she should utilize in some way."
Leia did utilize her Force ability in The Last Jedi, saving her own life by willing herself back to the Resistance Cruiser after she was thrown out in space, due to the First Order's onslaught on the ship. Later, she connected to Luke when her brother was trying to reach her telepathically from Ahch-To, even as she was recuperating from her injuries. Although we've seen the twins connect mentally before, Episode VIII is the first time we actually see Leia exhibit her ability to use the Force. Admittedly, it is a bit jarring to see that for the first time, having no preamble whatsoever. It arguably would have been better if we've seen more of that earlier in the film, just to further establish her powers ahead of time. Then again, perhaps Lucasfilm was planning to explore Leia's Force sensibilities more in Star Wars: Episode IX - but due to Fisher's untimely death almost a year ago, that will no longer be happening.
Despite not being as big a legend as her brother or biological father, Leia relentlessly served her purpose in the Resistance's war against the First Order. In fact, she dedicated her whole life learning to become a better leader - one that the Freedom Fighters need. Although it would have been cool to see her use the Force in bigger ways, her role in all this is just as pivotal as that of Luke's. After all, it was Leia's bold and dangerous involvement with the Rebellion, despite her young age, that ultimately roped her space twin into the thick of things to begin with.
Source: Rolling Stones
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019