****This article contains major spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker****
The Rise of Skywalker gave us one last chance to see Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa, and it was beautiful.
But there was one thing in particular that was a pretty major reveal: Leia actually trained as a Jedi briefly under Luke Skywalker.
When the film begins, Master Leia is training Rey in the ways of the Force, and later Luke’s Force Ghost gifts Rey Leia’s lightsaber! This is a massive reveal, that Leia had a lightsaber, and we then get a flashback to Leia’s training. We see her and Luke at night on Ajan Kloss, training with their lightsabers. Leia uses the Force to call her blue blade to her, and the two engage in a duel, with Leia getting the upper hand. But Luke reveals to Rey that Leia sensed the death of her child at the end of the road, so she decided to give up her Jedi training. She gave Luke her lightsaber, intending that someone else would pick it up one day and finish what she had begun.
The Rise of Skywalker Visual Dictionary, by Pablo Hidalgo, gives us a bit more clarity as to just how brief it was, as it is revealed that she gave up her Jedi training in the same year as the Battle of Endor and her wedding to Han Solo, and before Ben Solo was born.
We had known already that Leia was supposed to become Luke’s first student and that, while he taught her a few things about the Force, she opted to pursue the political realm rather than become a Jedi, thinking she could do more good there. But what never ceased was Leia’s connection to the Force. She used it in The Empire Strikes Back to know to go back for Luke. She used it in Return of the Jedi to know that Luke wasn’t on the Death Star when it blew. She used it when pregnant with Ben to sense the child in her womb. She used it in The Force Awakens to sense Han’s death. She used it in The Last Jedi to save herself after the attack on the Raddus. And she used it in The Rise of Skywalker to reach out to her son and help save him from the darkness – plus, of course, she becomes one with the Force by the end of it.
Leia is strong with the Force, and I think it’s a really cool thing to learn that she did begin her Jedi training and actually made a lightsaber! This is an awesome reveal, and I think it’s a really cool way of honoring her character that nonetheless fits with what we had previously heard.