J.J. Abrams Explains Why Force Awakens Leia Never Became a Jedi

StewShearerOld

Geekdad News Writer
Jan 5, 2013
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J.J. Abrams Explains Why Force Awakens Leia Never Became a Jedi

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Director J.J. Abrams says that Leia in The Force Awakens made a decision to become a general instead of a Jedi.

"The Force runs strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. And my sister has it." With those famous words Luke Skywalker made one thing clear in Return of the Jedi, Leia, his long lost twin, had the potential to be a Jedi. Latching onto that, many of the creators behind the Expanded Universe wrote books and comics exploring Leia's journey to unlock her potential.

Then Disney bought Star Wars and everything changed. The Expanded Universe <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/134034-Lucasfilm-Makes-It-Official-Star-Wars-Expanded-Universe-Is-Dead>was declared non-canonical and Leia, it's been revealed, would go on to take a different path than what had previously been imagined. Speaking about this issue recently, <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/165361-Star-Wars-Episode-VII-Wont-Have-a-Post-Credits-Scene>Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams decided to shed a little bit of light on the state of Leia in the film and why she chose not to train as a Jedi in the new version of post-Jedi events.

<a href=http://www.ign.com/videos/2015/12/07/star-wars-the-force-awakens-why-leia-didnt-become-a-jedi>In an interview, Abrams revealed that Leia's Force potential is something that the film's creative team discussed at some length. "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?" he said. "One of the answers was that it was simply a choice that she made, that her decision to run the Rebellion - ultimately, this Resistance - and consider herself a general, as opposed to a Jedi, it was simply a choice she took. Not that there was any regret that she could have and didn't, but clearly we've seen, and we do again, she's still Force-strong, and it's something that is an intrinsic piece of her character."

In other words, even though she had the pieces ready, she was too busy to put the puzzle together.

While I could understand this approach bothering some fans who were invested in the idea of Leia taking up a lightsaber, I personally have to say that I actually like her not going that route. It kind of fits with her character. Throughout the original trilogy, she was often portrayed as one of the more rational and pragmatic members of the main cast. She was a leader, devoted to the Rebellion and the fight against the Empire. Considering the fact that the new Star Wars canon potentially includes years of post-Jedi warfare against the remnants of the Empire, it makes sense that she might be too distracted by the demands of leadership to explore her lineage with the Force. Suffice it to say, we'll be interested to learn more about how her story played out when <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/tag/view/star%20wars%20episode%20vii?os=%20star%20wars%20episode%20vii>The Force Awakens hits theaters next week on December 18th.

Source: Comic Book Resources


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Xeorm

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Apr 13, 2010
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I can believe in a show where you have lasers and yet some people will still fight with swords.

What completely breaks my sense of belief is a politician turning down mind reading.That's completely unbelievable.
 

Barbas

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Oct 28, 2013
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Makes sense; being a Jedi is suppose to be a life-long commitment, isn't it? All that meditation and internal conflict while you're prancing about in funky robes probably takes up a surprising of your time, judging by the pretty minimal amount of soldiering that "General" Kenobi did in the prequels.
 

Noble_Lance

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The Rebellion despite being won with the help of one Jedi was won on the backs of people with no powers and talents. The ability for Leia to lead as a person makes her more powerful of a General than if she had been a Jedi. It reminds the masses that they have the power to do great things even without the need of a genetic quirk known as the Force.
 

Jadak

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eh, maybe. All good with believing someone might not want to be a Jedi, that's a bit of a commitment to what historically was essentially a religious cult.

But you don't have to be a Jedi specifically to throw shit with your mind, and I hope she remembers that.
 

RJ 17

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Nov 27, 2011
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As Knights of the Old Republic lays out: one can be strong in the Force and not become a lightsaber-swinging, robe-wearing space mage. Tapping into the Force can be done on a basic and instinctive level. Improving your accuracy with a blaster, giving you a strong intuition and sense for danger in a situation, stuff like that.

So yeah, I'm fine with her not becoming an official Jedi.
 

rgrekejin

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To be honest, I think this would be an interesting opportunity to look at some possible applications of The Force beyond shooting lightning from your fingertips and being able to deflect lasers with a sword.
 

Karadalis

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So what you are telling me is... when it came to her character build she opted for the general class instead of taking levels in jedi?
 

Gethsemani_v1legacy

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It makes sense from a storytelling perspective anyway. Luke was the "space knight" of the original trio, embodying the ideal of the noble knight. Han Solo was the loner-with-a-heart-of-gold and the most impulsive and egotistical of the three. Leia was the team "heart" but also the brains and the leadership, she was the one keeping the group together, focused on the goal and leading them (this is particularly obvious in A New Hope where she immediately starts making decisions). If she was to also become a Jedi that would just constantly put her in Luke's shadow, particularly since he goes on to become the Jedi Grand Master. This way, Leia gets to keep her hat, so to speak.
 

JimB

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Xeorm said:
What completely breaks my sense of belief is a politician turning down mind reading. That's completely unbelievable.
I suspect a big part of this is the Light Side/Dark Side dichotomy. If you forgot how strict it is, remember that Luke was not allowed to kill Darth Vader or the Emperor despite them really, really needing to be killed if he felt any anger or displayed any aggression in doing so, because killing them for any reason other than self-defense would have turned him to the Dark Side; and that's actually a very simple case in terms of its morality. How much danger is a half-Jedi in of turning to the Dark Side if she starts dipping into the deeply morally gray areas of reading minds to gain a political advantage over them?

As Yoda himself said, the path to becoming a Jedi requires the deepest commitment and the most serious mind. "Taking a week off," as someone or another said in this thread, to pick up kewl super powerz is probably not how this works. It might be how becoming a Sith works, but not a Jedi.
 

Zelderahn

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Makes sense in many ways.

Choosing to become a space monk with magical powers comes with a lot of strings attached and quite the time investment to boot. The non-clone trooper warriors of the Rebel alliance would most probably not feel very connected to a sage-general-princess either.

It can be debated how much Luke himself holds onto the Jedi code, but it's very easy to balk at the notion of forever making an effort to abstain from strong emotions and companionship. Not everyone is suited to be Space-templar, regardless of virtues present.
 

gigastar

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Sep 13, 2010
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I dont really mind, Leia in the old EU books never really became a traditional Jedi. She spent a couple of decades with a political career and even after she retired and recieved some real training she still spent most of her time with Han.
 

saxman234

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Thanks for the minor movie spoilers right in the article titles that appear on the front page, Escapist!
 

Scarim Coral

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Make sense to me since it's just one of the many paths a single person can take which the EU Leia took the Jedi route then.
 

Erttheking

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I was rolling my eyes before I clicked on this article and the official explanation didn't help. I'm pretty sure it's been made clear that you can train in the force while holding positions of authority. I mean just about every Jedi in the Clone Wars had to balance being a Jedi with being an officer of some kind, usually very high ranking ones. I mean there's a difference between not becoming a Jedi and not training in the force at all. Not becoming a Jedi? Fair enough. But she should've still at least have been trained in the basics.
 

Soviet Heavy

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Did any of you guys even read the EU? This is basically what Leia always did. She never really gave up being a politician or a commander, and half the time she never used her Jedi powers. I don't think she was even an "official" (in the loosest sense of the word) Jedi until forty or fifty years after Endor. She was too busy you know, being a general and a politician.
 

The Enquirer

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erttheking said:
I was rolling my eyes before I clicked on this article and the official explanation didn't help. I'm pretty sure it's been made clear that you can train in the force while holding positions of authority. I mean just about every Jedi in the Clone Wars had to balance being a Jedi with being an officer of some kind, usually very high ranking ones. I mean there's a difference between not becoming a Jedi and not training in the force at all. Not becoming a Jedi? Fair enough. But she should've still at least have been trained in the basics.
Yes, almost every jedi was either a commander or a general back then, however, there were thousands of Jedi who were helping to lead and helping to train. Plus it isn't as if they sent Jedi out who had just started their training. In Leia's position she may not be able to take time off from being the leader of the rebellion to learn the ways of the force, and she couldn't keep breaking up her training to play politics. While I doubt it would be this extreme in her case, when Luke interrupted his training, albeit for a good cause, he lost a hand.

So I think we may see some rudimentary force use from her, but ultimately very little. Who knows though, they haven't exactly given us a lot to go on here.
 

RebornKusabi

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RJ 17 said:
As Knights of the Old Republic lays out: one can be strong in the Force and not become a lightsaber-swinging, robe-wearing space mage. Tapping into the Force can be done on a basic and instinctive level. Improving your accuracy with a blaster, giving you a strong intuition and sense for danger in a situation, stuff like that.

So yeah, I'm fine with her not becoming an official Jedi.
Having just rewatched the original trilogy, this is more plausible than it sounds. Most miss it but Leia is an incredibly good shot with a blaster, if you notice she's far more accurate than Luke is with only Han being a close second. It isn't out of the realm of possibility that she subconsciously uses the Force to aim with her blaster and if you remember in A New Hope, she also seemed to be immune to the truth serum they gave her to find out where the rebels were hiding. She also was able to find Luke under Cloud City when he was hanging there through telepathy and while the original trilogy was... vague on if this a Force-exclusive ability or not, the prequels show that only Jedi can read minds and feel the Force (and why Palpatine's ability to hide his Force presence was such a big advantage).
 
Sep 14, 2009
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RJ 17 said:
As Knights of the Old Republic lays out: one can be strong in the Force and not become a lightsaber-swinging, robe-wearing space mage. Tapping into the Force can be done on a basic and instinctive level. Improving your accuracy with a blaster, giving you a strong intuition and sense for danger in a situation, stuff like that.

So yeah, I'm fine with her not becoming an official Jedi.
probably won't happen but it'd be awesome if she had a lite version of battle meditation :D

OT: as long as it's good, I can see it going either way, so here's to hoping the movie is somewhat decent.