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The Reason J.J. Abrams Said Leia Didn't Use The Force In The Force Awakens

The "Star Wars" films first hit screens in 1977 with "Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope" and quickly exploded with an overwhelming amount of popularity that only grows in momentum year after year. The main characters have become pop culture icons and staples in the fantasy community. Luke Skywalker's (Mark Hamill) Jedi training, Han Solo's (Harrison Ford) pilot skills, and Princess Leia Organa's (Carrie Fisher) leadership captivated audiences and left many wishing they could use the Force.

The Force is something used by Jedi and other Force-sensitive individuals to maneuver objects using an all-powerful energy within the "Star Wars" universe. In the films, it is discovered that the Force is strong with Luke and his family. In "Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi," Leia is confirmed to be Luke's sister, meaning that she, too, is Force-sensitive. However, years later, in 2015's "Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens," Leia is unable to use the power of the Force. While it may seem unusual that someone in the Skywalker family cannot use the Force, director J.J. Abrams gave a very reasonable explanation for Leia's inability.

Abrams says Princess Leia chose not to train in the ways of the Force

In the films, while Luke trains to become a powerful Jedi, Princess Leia is kept busy by essential duties of her own. Later, as the leader of the Resistance, General Organa has her hands full with tasks that don't involve any use of the Force. Director J.J. Abrams told IGN in a 2015 interview, "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."

However, 2017's "Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi" was directed by Rian Johnson, who had a different idea about Leia's capabilities. In "The Last Jedi," Leia is seen using the Force to save her life after her ship is attacked, and viewers are even treated to a flashback indicating that she did indeed train in the Force. Abrams later followed suit when he returned to the franchise for 2019's "Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker," confirming what many took from the "Last Jedi" flashback to be true. In fact, the director backtracked even further from his 2015 statement — his original plan for Leia before Carrie Fisher's death in 2016 was for her to be revealed as the last Jedi rather than her brother, Luke (via Yahoo).