general leia

Fair warning, here there be spoilers. So if you still haven’t seen ‘The Last Jedi’, bookmark this and come back later.

One of the most striking moments in ‘The Last Jedi‘ sees Leia, having been blown into space during a battle, use the Force to pull herself to safety. It’s an incredible show of the character’s strength, and also the first time we’ve seen her use the Force on anything that could be called a conscious level (though exactly how conscious is a matter of some debate).

The scene also set fans to wonder just what (if anything) Leia had received in the way of Jedi training. After all, we’ve known since at least ‘Return of the Jedi’ that she’s potentially just as powerful as Luke, but whether she’d actually pursued that potential is another matter. After all, as appealing as the idea of Leia as a Jedi might be, it would also fly in the face of all we’d seen of her prior to that point in the sequel trilogy.

Now, thanks to writer and Lucasfilm Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo, we have an answer. In the following excerpt from ‘Star Wars: The Last Jed: The Visual Dictionary’, penned by Hidalgo, Leia’s canonical experience with the Force is defined:

Skywalker’s first student was to be his sister, Leia. However, she ultimately decided that
the best path for her to serve the galaxy left no room for the extended isolation of Jedi
training. As Leia concentrated on her new family and senatorial politics, Luke began his
travels, largely disappearing from galactic view. During his lengthy journey, Skywalker
gathered disciples who would go on to become his first true students.

This is not entirely dissimilar to the way things played out in the pre-Disney Expanded Universe, now known as the Legends continuity. While that version of events did eventually see Leia pursue Jedi training (coincidentally, about thirty years after the events of the original trilogy – the same timeframe in which the new trilogy is set), she long prioritized her family and political service.

Be sure to check back with for more news on ‘The Last Jedi’ and future ‘Star Wars’ films as it becomes available!

Directed by Rian Johnson, ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ is now playing in theaters. The film stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Domhnall Gleeson, and Gwendoline Christie.