Although Leia Organa is Force-sensitive and the daughter of Darth Vader, the Star Wars films never show her training to become a Jedi. However, that doesn’t mean that she’s not a powerful Force user. The Last Jedi provided proof of how powerful she was in the Force. After being blasted into space in battle, Leia used the Force to propel herself back to the ship. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was meant to expand on her use of the Force, but a new leak suggests that these scenes won’t make it into the film.
Possible spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Early leaks from Making Star Wars claimed The Rise of Skywalker would include a flashback scene of younger Leia training with Luke. The scene was meant to parallel Leia training Rey to master the Force. While it was supposedly a key scene in the film at some stage of its development, a new MSW leak suggests it’s being cut completely from Episode IX.
In new podcast episode (per redditor u/Sidon_Ithano), MSW editor Jason Ward complained that Episode IX reshoots are making him feel “like a fraud” because the Luke and Leia training scene is no longer in the movie.
It’s unclear whether the scenes of Leia and Rey training have also been cut. Noted Reddit leaker JediPaxis previously argued that the flashbacks also included a scene explaining why Leia never completed her training. Pregnant with Ben Solo, Leia decides to focus on her family, eventually becoming a Resistance general.
In another episode of Now This Is Podcasting!, Ward says footage of Force ghosts of Luke and Leia helping Rey fight Emperor Palpatine has also been cut from Episode IX.
Although these changes may not change the overall story much, they seem to be exponentially reducing Leia’s screen time, and that’s concerning. Yes, Carrie Fisher’s death may have changed the trajectory of Leia’s storyline, but she was never going to have a major role in the film anyway. Providing context about why Leia’s finishing Rey’s training seems too important to leave on the cutting room floor.
Leia has always been integral to the Star Wars films. The fact that Rise of Skywalker included a flashback sequence that retroactively showed her Jedi training was exciting, and it’s disappointing we might not get to see it, especially since there’s never been any onscreen indication that Leia ever trained with Luke. Perhaps it was because Leia never wanted to be a Jedi, or that she wanted to focus on her responsibilities as a military and political leader. Whatever the case, those reasons were never properly explored onscreen. Now we may never know at all.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters December 20, 2019.