Ever since Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, audiences have thought that Leia had Force powers. This movie hints that Luke Skywalker is her brother. In the next movie, Return of the Jedi, this sibling connection is confirmed.
By family connection then, we realize Leia is in touch with the Force. Moreover, Princess-turned-General Leia certainly demonstrates her Force powers.
This is clearly shown in The Last Jedi when she uses the Force to float through space back to her destroyed ship.
But is Leia a Jedi? As with many Star Wars questions, the answer is yes and no. Leia trained to become a Jedi, and so was one for a time. However, Leia left the Jedi Order to return to the Resistance. So, she was not a long-term Jedi, and not a Jedi Master.
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Was Leia Trained as a Jedi?
Leia Organa took on many roles in her life. She was a politician, military leader, and a Jedi Knight. As someone gifted with Force heritage, Leia inherited her Force sensitivity from her father, Anakin Skywalker.
In Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, Leia spoke to her son Ben using her Force powers. She called out to him right before she died while he fought Rey on the sweeping ocean. Ben dropped his lightsaber upon hearing her.
As also revealed in The Rise of Skywalker, Leia trained in the Force and became a Jedi. A flashback scene in this movie shows Leia practicing a lightsaber duel in a forest.
This brief but crucial scene depicts Luke training Leia, especially with channeling her use of the Force to become a Jedi. She may have built her own lightsaber, a feat seen as a culminating element to completing Jedi training.
In fact, Leia later uses her Jedi skills and knowledge to train Rey in The Rise of Skywalker. This reflects the classic Star Wars trope of the apprentice becoming the master. For example, Luke was once the apprentice, and then he became the Master to train Leia as well as her son, Ben.
Although Leia did become a Jedi, she did not really become a Jedi Master. As explained more below, she did not stay with the Jedi Order long enough to become a master.
Who Trained Leia?
The lightsaber-training scene in The Rise of Skywalker takes place after The Return of the Jedi. As described above, Leia is training with Luke. She wields a blue lightsaber against Luke’s green one.
Leia also wears a protective helmet, complete with one of those blast shields that Luke wore in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. She wins the match depicted in the movie.
The Dark Empire comic series also depicts Luke training Leia. So, Luke is the central trainer. In this series, though, we also learn that Leia gained some of her training from Vima-Da-Boda.
Vima-Da-Boda is a Jedi woman who survived Order 66. She may have given Leia a very old lightsaber and then trained Leia in how to use the Force.
Jedi Master Saba Sebatyne also trained Leia. Sebatyne was also female and part of the New Jedi Order, which arose after the fall of the Empire. During the following period called the Dark Nest Crisis, Sebatyne trained Leia as her apprentice.
So, ultimately three main Jedi trained Leia in the Force.
Why Did Leia Quit Training?
With such trainers, why did Leia quit? The answer is two-fold.
First, Leia appears to have stopped her training because of a vision that it would end badly. In particular, she thought that her son Ben would die if she continued on this path. She sensed this possibility and told Luke about it.
Second, Leia quit her training because of her dedication to defending the galaxy through politics. At a young age, Leia showed a gift for diplomacy and served as the youngest Senator during the age of the Empire.
She had stood firm in her belief of restoring the Republic. Later, she also saw politics as the most viable means of furthering the Resistance.
So, Leia quit her training based on protecting her son and defeating the Dark Side by other means.
On the flip side, Luke Skywalker had to quit the Alliance in order to become a Jedi, and then a Jedi Master. Even though he came back to help defeat the Empire, he was not formally a part of the Rebellion.
Was Leia a Jedi Master?
In The Rise of Skywalker, while Rey trains with Leia, she refers to the latter as “master.” This implies that Leia did indeed become a Jedi Master.
Yet, since Leia never completed her training, she could not be considered a full Jedi Master. It would have taken years-upon-years of studying and training in the Force to become a Master.
Jedi Master Sebatyne, as described above, may have declared Leia as a fully trained Jedi, but the extent of training was not validated in the films.
Part of the reason Leia did not become a Jedi Master is also because Carrie Fisher died in real life. It may have been part of the script to reveal her as a Master, but director J.J. Abrams only had scenes from the previous movies to draw upon to complete Leia’s story.
Leia the Jedi
As verified in the films, Leia Organa transitioned from being Force-sensitive to becoming a Jedi. Yet, she did not complete her training and did not become a Jedi Master. She relied on her political skills to confront the Dark Side.
Todd Wahlstrom is a creative and analytical freelance writer and life-long Star Wars fan. He has covered such topics as Darth Vader, the Jedi, Boba Fett, and AT-AT Walkers. Todd has published a non-fiction book, holds a Ph.D. in history, and enjoys hiking, running, and reading about science.