6 fascinating things Leia's lightsaber might mean for 'Rise of Skywalker'

The latest trailers for 'Star Wars: Episode IX' reveal Leia clutching a famous family heirloom. 

With just a little more than three weeks left before Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters, various TV spots and special looks at the movie continue to drop new hints and revelations for this huge film. The latest bombshell is something that probably should have happened a long time ago: Leia (Carrie Fisher) is finally holding her family’s famous lightsaber. In one shot in a newly released TV spot trailer, Leia is very clearly holding the iconic lightsaber, although the elegant weapon remains un-ignited.

So what the frak does this mean? It feels possible that J.J. Abrams digitally had this lightsaber put into Fisher’s hand, but then again, there’s all that rumored deleted footage from The Force Awakens, where Leia was given the saber by Maz Kanata. This small shot could mean a lot, so let’s realistically talk about what Leia with a lightsaber probably means for The Rise of Skywalker.

Speculation ahead.

Rey with the blast-shield down.
A toy featuring Rey with Jedi training gear

6. Leia is almost certainly training Rey

Because this scene seems to take place in the same jungle environment we’ve seen from all the previous trailers, this shot seems to confirm Leia is Rey’s new Jedi master. Most rumors and leaks seem claim this planet is called Ajan Kloss, and its the new Resistance Base, even though it looks exactly like Yavin IV. We’ve also seen a bunch of stuff that also confirms that Rey is using a Jedi training remote and a helmet with blast shield in this scene. So, is Rey dueling with Leia? Or is Leia just simply showing her how to hold the lightsaber properly? Or — and perhaps most likely — maybe Leia is the one who fixes the lightsaber in the first place. At the end of The Last Jedi, Rey shows the broken lightsaber to Leia, who comforts her. So, maybe Leia just fixed it and this is the scene where she brings it back to Rey.

Leia with a borrowed lightsaber in 'Star Wars' #12 from Marvel Comics (2015)
Leia with a borrowed lightsaber in 'Star Wars' #12 from Marvel Comics (2015)

5. She’ll probably light it up

Okay, so, the big question is, will Leia , ignite this saber or not? Chances are if Lucasfilm and Industrial Light and Magic can get a lightsaber into Carrie Fisher’s hands (even if there maybe wasn’t one there before) then it stands to reason, they can have her light it up. Now, whether or not there’s enough footage around to make it seem like Leia is fighting or sparring with the lightsaber, well, that’s something else. Then again, Leia flew through the vacuum of space in the last movie, which makes the idea of her using a lightsaber seem a lot more plausible.

Left: Leia in 'The Last Jedi.' Right: Leia with a green lightsaber in the 'Dark Empire' comics.
Left: Leia in 'The Last Jedi.' Right: Leia with a green lightsaber in the 'Dark Empire' comics.

4. This could hint that Leia has her own lightsaber, too

The idea that Leia had her own lightsaber has several precedents in Star Wars canon, both from Legends and the more contemporary Disney era. In Legends, Leia had a few different lightsabers, one she constructed on her own. Elsewhere, in Dark Empire, she was gifted an antique lightsaber by a homeless Jedi bum (really) on the streets of Nar Shaddaa. But, in the more recent Marvel comics canon (issue #12 to be exact), Leia swung a borrowed lightsaber (along with Chewie and Han) when R2-D2 revealed he’d been just keeping a few for a rainy day. (This was also weirdly, on the moon Nar Shaddaa.)

If Leia is comfortable holding a lightsaber in Episode IX, it makes sense she’s had some practice with one in between the events of the classic trilogy and now. If that’s true, maybe she’s got her own.

Leia in space in 'The Last Jedi'
Leia in space in 'The Last Jedi'

3. Even if she doesn’t swing a saber much, Leia will likely use the Force a lot in this movie

Recently, interviews with Todd Fisher — Carrie’s brother — have indicated that Leia was originally written as “the last Jedi” in the new sequel trilogy. If nothing else, this slightly out-of-context tidbit from Todd Fisher might mean that Leia will use the Force a ton in this film, perhaps way more than she did in The Last Jedi. The scene of her holding the lightsaber is nice, of course, but it’s also possible that Leia can do a whole lot more than fly through space and grip a laser sword.

Maz hands Leia the family lightsaber in a deleted scene from 'The Force Awakens'
Maz hands Leia the family lightsaber in a deleted scene from 'The Force Awakens'

2. The mystery of how the lightsaber was retrieved from Cloud City might finally be explained

Though it won’t be released until February 2020, an upcoming issue of the newest Marvel ongoing Star Wars comic books will depict Leia, Lando, Chewie, and Luke going back to Cloud City right after the events of The Empire Strikes Back but before Return of the Jedi. Some fans think this means new Star Wars canon might provide a tiny bit of backstory as to what really happened to the Skywalker saber after it tumbled into the depths of Cloud City, only to reemerge over 30 years later in a wooden box owned by Maz Kanata. If Leia is training Rey, maybe she has a sense of how it was rescued. And maybe, just maybe, the film will finally explain some of that.

Rey and Leia in 'Rise of Skywalker'
Rey and Leia in 'The Rise of Skywalker'

1. Despite “leaks,” there’s a ton about the movie we still don’t understand

Even if The Rise of Skywalker doesn’t delve into the nitty-gritty about what Leia knows (or doesn’t know) about lightsabers, this single shot of Leia holding the most famous object in Star Wars proves one thing: There’s still a lot about the film no one knows or understands. Many of us have been following along with the leaks and supposed spoilers, yet images from new trailers and posters continue to confound fans.

By this time next month, we’ll have answers to a lot of these questions. But, it’s very possible small things like Leia with a lightsaber will still leave us wanting more and wishing for a world in which Carrie Fisher was still around to joke about what it was like to finally her turn at slicing her way to a more civilized galaxy.


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Leia Get Your Saber is out everywhere on December, 20 2019.

Media via Hot Toys, Lucasfilm/Marvel, Credit: Lucasfilm/Dark Horse Comics/Marvel, Lucasfilm, Star Wars