Use the Force, Leia?

Hey everyone and welcome to the Sarlacc Pit. One of my favorite characters in Star Wars canon is Princess Leia. She’s strong, independent, intelligent, and has no problem leading a rebellion, flying a starfighter, or shooting a stormtrooper. What often catches my attention, however, is her strength in the Force.Many people tend to forget that Leia was also Anakin Skywaler’s child and as such she also inherited Anakin’s strength in the Force (this is assumed, as strength in the Force has never been discussed as an inheritable trait in current canon) alongside her twin brother, Luke. Now it’s worth noting that Luke had training in the Force with Obi-Wan Kenobi, and then more in-depth with Yoda, before he was able to use the Force in any sense. Leia, however, never had any training, but you’ll see that while she may not have been as as skilled in using the Force as her brother, she was no less a Skywalker, and therefore still strong in the Force. For the rest of this post I am going to discuss instances in which Leia tapped into the Force. This post takes content from “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back,” “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi,” “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens,” Marvel’s Star Wars: Shattered Empire, Star Wars: Princess Leia and Star Wars comic series, as well as Star Wars: Bloodline.

 

Leia Senses Her Mother

leia-padme
Honestly, this was probably the best part of the Star Wars: Princess Leia comic.

Our first chronological instance of Leia using the Force comes from Marvel’s Star Wars: Princess Leia comic miniseries. Leia, during a trip to Naboo attempting to save stranded Alderaanians finds a stained glass picture of Queen Amidala, who, unknown to Leia, was her birth mother. As she looks at the picture, she gets the sense that the picture turns and looks down at her. While the moment finishes with Leia dismissing what she saw, this was almost clearly a vision in the Force, giving Leia a brief connection with her mother (this motherly connection will be discussed a little more further on).

Leia Wields a Lightsaber

leia-lightsaber

With Luke captured in a Jedi gladiator ring by Grakkus the Hutt (see Lukewarm Jedi post), Leia, Chewie, and Han showed up to save their friend. After an EMP-like blast knocked out all blasters in the area, R2-D2 showed up with a load of lightsabers, distributing them to our heroes like a God of bad-assery. Leia, immediately took to the Force-attuned weapon, showing some pretty solid technique for someone first using a lightsaber. While I am not saying that Force sensitivity is necessary in using the Force (as there is no evidence that Chewbacca or Han are Force-sensitive), I am saying that the speed in which she was able to effectively use a lightsaber (which is notoriously difficult for non-Force-sensitives) may imply assistance from the Force.

lightsaber-group
I want to point out Han’s terrible stance in the bottom panel here. What is this? Amateur hour?

Leia Senses Luke in Cloud City

luke-rescued
“Hey Luke, whatcha doin’?” “Oh not much, just hangin’ out, say, could you give me a hand?”

Our first instance of Leia seemingly using the Force in the movies comes from “The Empire Strikes Back.” After losing the fight against Darth Vader and finding out the truth about who his father was, Luke falls down a ventilation shaft leading to a lethal fall out of Cloud City. Luckily, Luke is able to grab an antenna (or whatever that thing is) to prevent him from falling to his death. Unable to do anything else, Luke calls out to Leia, who senses him in his pain and is able to direct Lando Calrissian to Luke’s location, saving his life. Now this might be attributed simply to Luke using the Force to reach out to Leia. However, as far as I can tell there has not been an instance where a Force-sensitive sentient has successfully reached out to a non-Force-sensitive sentient in such a way. While Force-users can influence non-sentient creatures, this seems to be more similar to the Jedi mind trick than to telepathy, but this is up for argument. In fact, if you want to discuss this more, feel free to leave a comment in the comments section (shameless plug for discussion).

Luke and Leia’s Sibling Chat

luke-and-leia-sibling-chat
Leia realized at this moment, that she totally made out with her brother, even though she probably knew at the time.

O.k. so incest jokes aside, in “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi,” Luke tells Leia that they are siblings. At a later moment, Leia tells Han that she’s always known (just around the time that she tells Han that she can sense that Luke did not get blown up). Luke also asks if Leia remembers her (their) mother. She replies that she has flashes of memories, that she remembers her mother being sad. Well, considering the only moment Luke and Leia ever saw their mother was while she was dying in childbirth, that’s pretty impressive. Here is a personal theory: I think that after the above moment with the stained glass picture of Amidala, Leia began to realize through visions of the Force who her mother was. Now this is a pretty unsubstantiated theory, but I like it. Essentially this moment on Endor, almost shows that while she never received training, that Leia might have more potential in the Force than Luke did, at least in some areas. Her Force sensitivity is definitely very high and apparently had been for a long time.

Leia Senses the Darkside

leia-maul
I got goosebumps reading this page, I will not lie.

After the fall of the Emperor, Operation Cinder was put into place posthumously by Skeevy Sheev himself. Operation Cinder was a protocol that instructed Imperials to use weather-altering satellites to create extreme weather conditions on Naboo, effectively destroying its culture. In an attempt to stop this, Princess Leia teamed up with Shara Bey and the current Queen of Naboo to destroy the satellites causing the meteorological mayhem. In order to do this, they first went to a hangar that had been sealed for decades after the Invasion of Naboo. This hangar contained the only remaining starfighters on Naboo capable of destroying the satellites, as well as fighting TIE fighters. Once the hangar doors were opened, Leia was overcome with a feeling of dread as dark side energy remained from the decades-old battle between Darth Maul, Qui-Gon Jinn, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. While it was simply residual energy and caused no further distress, Leia once again shows her connection to the Force in this moment.

Leia Takes the Shot

“That bolt was no larger than a child’s fist. At this range, in semi-darkness, perhaps one shot in a thousand might be capable of destroying that bolt.
But Leia made the shot.” – Star Wars: Bloodline

Sure, it’s not a “one in a million” shot, but still. Leia was always shown to be able to hold her own, but in Bloodline, Leia takes it to a whole new level when she is able to shoot a structurally important bolt holding together some struts holding up a cave while she is riding on the back of a speeder bike. Perhaps the Force guided her shot, which allowed her to escape with some information important to the New Republic, or perhaps she’s just a good shot.

Leia Senses Han’s Death

han-and-leia-vii
Absolutely heat-breaking.

After Return of the Jedi, Leia received little to no training in the Force besides a few alluded-to conversations with Luke. Her keen Force-sense, however, never faded, as in “The Force Awakens,” Leia is able to sense the death of Han Solo from lightyears away. If anything it’s arguable that the ability to sense a single person’s death from so far away implies that her senses got even better as the years went by. Perhaps Leia did some off-screen Force training of her own.

Conclusion

While it’s always bee addressed (ever since “Return of the Jedi” at least) that Leia had some level of Force sensitivity, there are many examples throughout extended canon that imply that Leia may have had abilities comparable to her brother’s had she had the same level of training. While most of her experiences using the Force fall under standard Force sensing, this is not as bland as it seems as some people believe that this may have assisted her in her life as a diplomat, allowing her to sense peoples emotions during negotiations and react appropriate. Furthermore, some instances have shown that just a little bit of Force augmentation has helped her stay alive in high-stakes situations.

That’s all for this week. Next week I want to discuss a question that was asked of me recently: can someone access the dark side of the Force temporarily, tapping into it only when a little power boost is needed? I will be using material from all over Star Wars canon, but it will mostly be a theoretical post with evidence supplied as needed. Furthermore, I want to direct readers to the comments section, if you have any topics or questions that you want to see discussed, please feel free to post a comment! I want to write about what people find interesting, so feel free to give me feedback. Furthermore if you just want to further discuss a post, feel free! Thanks for reading, and may the Force be with you!

 

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