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Star Wars: Episode IX Leak Teases Leia Using A Lightsaber

Star Wars: The Last Jedi featured a Skywalker leaving his lightsaber behind — but will Star Wars: Episode IX see another member of the legendary family pick it up during a pivotal scene? According to leaked information regarding the forthcoming installment in the space-faring saga, it's apparently a guarantee. 

Express recently obtained a description of a "tantalizing" Episode IX scene that features Carrie Fisher's General Leia Organa wielding a "classic Jedi lightsaber" — the Skywalker saber. Not only is Leia said to hold it in the film, but the headstrong Rebel Alliance leader will reportedly also ignite it.

The leak claims that, during an important sequence in Episode IX, Leia is on a world "that appears to be a mix between Endor, Tatooine, and Jakku" — the home planet of scrappy Force-sensitive Jedi-in-training Rey (Daisy Ridley) — that could be the planet of Batuu, located in the Outer Rim. Wearing a black outfit that looks "almost like a robe," Leia is seen standing next to Maz Kanata, C-3PO, and R2-D2, "holding the Skywalker lightsaber and examining it."

"She begins to hold it in a Jedi-like stance and activates it, pointing it towards a city that looks like it has gone through battle," the scene description reads. 

Though anyone, Force-sensitive or not, in the galaxy far, far away can ignite a lightsaber — remember Finn (John Boyega) doing exactly that in The Force Awakens? — it's interesting to imagine Leia activating one given her ties to the Force. Film fans were first made aware of Leia's Force sensitivity over 30 years ago, in director Irvin Kershner's The Empire Strikes Back, during the scene in which her twin brother Luke (Mark Hamill) implemented the Force to reach out to her – thus granting Leia the opportunity to save Luke from falling to his certain death on Cloud City. 

Her Force responsiveness was again explored — this time in a much bigger way — in 2017's The Last Jedi. During an intense battle with the First Order, Leia and a number of her fellow Rebels were flung into deep space after an explosion destroyed part of Leia's ship, a MC85 Star Cruiser named the Raddus. It looked as though Leia was done for, ice crystals forming over her body and her limbs not moving a single millimeter. But just as viewers began preparing to say goodbye to Leia, just as they had done in December 2016 when Fisher passed away at the age of 60, the General wiggled her fingertips and opened her eyes — then channeled the Force and used its power to pull herself back onto the ship. Though she was immediately placed into a medical bay so she could recover from the injuries she sustained as a result of the explosion and being exposed to the void of space, it was undeniable that her ability to use the Force saved her life.

However, just because Leia will purportedly get a lightsaber all a-glowing in Episode IX doesn't mean that she's channeling the Force — and it also doesn't mean that she has risen to replace her brother Luke as the surviving Jedi of the Skywalker family. The leak concludes with an explicit statement alleging the exact opposite: "This does not indicate that Leia is a Jedi. The stance is done more in a victorious way. It could be the site of a First Order defeat."

Overall, Episode IX including a scene in which Leia activates a lightsaber seems entirely feasible — and it wouldn't be difficult for Abrams, the film's editors Maryann Brandon and Stefan Grube, and the horde of hyper-talented special effects artists on board the project to create a Leia-led sequence several years after Fisher's death. The Episode IX creative team will make use of rotoscoping techniques to take previously captured footage of Fisher as Leia that was unreleased in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi prior to her passing and place it over newly shot material, creating brand-new scenes for Episode IX without resorting to making a CGI version of Leia. 

But, at the end of the day, this is an unsubstantiated leak. As we recommend fans do with every rumor, fan-made theory, and wild piece speculation that they come across, we suggest they take these details with a grain of salt and healthy dose of skepticism. Sure, the information sounds kickass, but none of it has been confirmed. Lucasfilm and the entire Episode IX cast and crew are keeping an air-tight lid on details (if you haven't noticed by now, the studio still hasn't announced what the film is officially titled), so we can't imagine that president Kathleen Kennedy, writer-director Abrams, or anyone involved with the upcoming pic will be rushing to comment on this new leak anytime soon. 

Sadly, everyone will have to wait until Star Wars: Episode IX opens on December 20, 2019 to find out if Leia truly does light up a saber.