'Star Wars': J.J. Abrams Explains Why Leia Is a General, Not a Jedi (for Now)

"Clearly, we've seen, and will see again, that she's still Force strong," admits the 'Force Awakens' director.
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

Just because someone can use the Force doesn't mean that they have to use the Force.

That's the apparent reasoning behind the fact that none of the promotional material for Star Wars: The Force Awakens shows Leia using a lightsaber or following in the family Jedi business in any way.

"It was a great question and one that we talked about a lot — even with Carrie [Fisher] — if there was another, why did she not take advantage of this natural Force strength that she's got?" director J.J. Abrams told IGN when discussing Leia's growth into becoming a general in the Resistance instead of a Jedi Knight like her brother, Luke.

"One of the answers was that it was simply a choice that she made," he continued. "That her decision to run the rebellion and, ultimately, this resistance and consider herself a general as opposed to a Jedi, it was simply a choice that she took. Not that there's any regret that she could have [become a Jedi] and didn't."

That said, don't rule out a change of heart for the character in the future. "Clearly, we've seen, and will see again, that she's still Force strong," said Abrams. "It's something that is an intrinsic piece of her character." General Jedi Leia for Star Wars: Episode VIII, perhaps?

As everyone knows by now, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is in theaters Dec. 18.

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