ByEleanor Tremeer, writer at
MP staff. I talk about Star Wars a lot. Sometimes I'm paid for it. More ramblings on Twitter @ExtraTremeerial
Eleanor Tremeer

With only a week to go until [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](tag:711158) is finally released, we're all desperate to know what happens in the long awaited film. While the vast majority of the plot has been strictly kept secret, the latest TV trailers have given us a tantalizing glimpse at more footage from the film.

Recently, J.J. Abrams explained a crucial point about Princess, sorry, General Leia's character, and why we won't be seeing her wielding a lightsaber in Star Wars 7...

Focusing On The Rebellion

Let's just recap for a second: the original Star Wars trilogy confirmed that Leia is definitely Force Sensitive.

"No. There is another."

Positioned as a possible back-up for Luke in the final fight with Vader, Leia started using her Force Sensitivity towards the end of Empire Strikes Back when she rescued Luke from Bespin. In Return Of The Jedi, Leia again sensed Luke's survival after the Battle of Endor. But although Luke told Leia that she would learn to use the Force in time, The Force Awakens will reveal that Leia did not train to be a Jedi.

General Leia just hasn't got time to be a Jedi.
General Leia just hasn't got time to be a Jedi.

J.J. Abrams told IGN how he, George Lucas, and Carrie Fisher discussed what made sense for Leia regarding her Force sensitivity. He stressed that Leia is very strong in the Force, but that it was her choice not to pursue the Jedi path.

"Why did she not take advantage of this natural Force strength that this character had? And one of the answers was that it was simply a choice that she made, that it was her decision to run the Rebellion, and ultimately this Resistance, and consider herself a General, as opposed to a Jedi. "

This does make a lot of sense for Leia's character: pragmatic and practical, her talent for strategy made her an excellent leader in the Rebellion.

Leia rouses the troops in Empire Strikes Back.
Leia rouses the troops in Empire Strikes Back.

Becoming a Jedi takes a lot of time, as well as the emotional discipline to let go of distractions and attachments. For Leia, that would have meant taking time away from the Rebellion, and it's likely that she never got that chance as the war raged on.

Of course, this does deviate from the Expanded Universe, which saw Leia realize her Force powers, and even wield a lightsaber. Abrams did hint that we will see this side of Leia in Star Wars Episode 7, though not as obliquely as in the EU.

"But clearly we’ve seen, and we do again, that she still is Force strong. And it’s something that I think is an intrinsic piece of her character."
A Jedi like her father before her: Leia in the EU.
A Jedi like her father before her: Leia in the EU.

While this makes a lot of sense for Leia's journey, this is somewhat disappointing for those of us hoping to see Force sensitive women in The Force Awakens. Aside from the few female Jedi background characters of the prequels, there aren't any women who use the Force in the entire Star Wars film saga. At least, until now...

Could Rey Be Force Sensitive?

The Internet was abuzz with this possibility last month, when Duracell released a commercial which hinted that Rey could use Force powers in Star Wars 7.

In the advert, the children imagine themselves as characters from The Force Awakens, and little Rey clearly uses a Force push when fighting off the invading Stormtroopers, before teaming up with her brother to defend their house (aw!). Of course, it's just a commercial, but Disney might have decided to drop little hints through their marketing (it wouldn't be the first time!).

Speculation aside, I'm personally hoping that Rey is Force Sensitive, as we're long overdue to see a woman use the Force. It makes so much sense for Leia to choose the Rebellion over becoming a Jedi, but she's not the only woman in the galaxy. Rey is already set to be one of the new Star Wars films' strongest characters, maybe even taking over from Luke in becoming the main protagonist. Which is excellent!

Here's hoping she gets to discover the Force too, as she and Finn help save the galaxy.

What are you hoping to see in Star Wars Episode VII? Let us know in the comments, or write your own post!

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Do you think Rey should use the Force?


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