When the TV spot hit that showed General Leia Organa holding the Skywalker lightsaber in the jungles of Ajan Kloss, speculation continued to increase as to whether Leia might actually be continuing Rey’s training.
It turns out that’s exactly the case. There was a press junket on Wednesday for The Rise of Skywalker, and included with it was a display of several of the costumes seen in the film. The plaque by Leia’s costume reads:
“General Leia Organa continues to lead the heroic Resistance, building back a fighting force after having suffered costly setbacks. Leia is also training Rey in the ways of the Force, for the galaxy still has need of a Jedi.”
That’s pretty exciting. And it means that at the beginning of the film, when we see Rey training in the jungle with the training droid, it’s Leia who is instructing and teaching her, taking up the place of her brother, Luke Skywalker. Luke obviously trained Rey some on Ahch-To, but this training wasn’t complete. And with no remaining living Jedi left to train Rey, Leia steps up and fills in, recognizing that it’s not time for the Jedi to die yet.
It is pretty well-established in Star Wars that Leia is strong with the Force. She actually clearly uses the Force in every film she appears in with the exception of A New Hope, and in Return of the Jedi Luke tells her that “in time you’ll learn to use [the Force] as I have.” Luke taught Leia some things about the Force, but she declined formal Jedi training, opting instead to focus on politics and motherhood. But the sequel trilogy has continued to show us that Leia is indeed strong with the Force – most powerfully seen in her heroic actions of saving herself after being sucked out into the vacuum of space.
But consider further what Leia told Han about Ben’s training in The Force Awakens, after Han mentions that there’s too much Vader in Ben: “That’s why I wanted him to train with Luke, but I just never should have sent him away, that’s when I lost him. That’s when I lost you both.” I don’t think Leia is blaming Luke so much as she’s recognizing that she was wrong to just send him away. She feels that she lost Ben when she sent him away to train… so in training Rey herself, Leia is trying to ensure that she doesn’t lose Rey too. I think that’s pretty powerful.
Plus, it’ll just be really awesome (and really emotional) seeing Leia passing on the ways of the Force to Rey. I can’t wait to see it in just a couple of weeks!