Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens has started the new trilogy in the Star Wars franchise. It is the first new film in the series' continuity since the 1983 film of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of The Jedi. There hasn't been a new Star Wars film since 2005 and the Star Wars films released between 2001 and 2005 were all prequels to the original trilogy of Star Wars films. Which makes the span of over 30 years between Star Wars: Episode VI and Star Wars: Episode VII. There was a lot of doubt from long time fans of the Star Wars franchise if a new film would ever be spawned, and now an entire trilogy is in the works. The end of 2015 saw the premiere of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, and Star Wars: Episode VIII is currently under production; the film will address many of the questions fans still have after Episode VII's conclusion. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens answered some of the questions on people's minds as to what happened to the characters of the original Star Wars trilogy between the events of Episode VI and Episode VII but left much of these character's histories unaddressed. Han Solo and Leia Organa's relationship was only touched upon, though it was explained in Episode VII as Han and Leia having marital problems, along with a conflicted son who wants to rule the galaxy, and Leia Organa returning to lead in the rebellion against the First Order. Luke Skywalker was only addressed in passing word, which also left his character with a screen time of a few seconds at the conclusion of the film; however, it was confirmed that Luke Skywalker goes into exile at an undiscolosed location after facing the Knights of Ren, whom are disciples of Supreme Leader Snoke. And as to what all three of the main characters of the original trilogy have done between the span of time is also unknown to the audience. Star Wars: Episode VII only showed the audience where the main characters of the original trilogy ended up, though the time in between films could have been filled with many adventurous exploits for any or all three stars of the original trilogy. The next chapter in this new trilogy, Star Wars: Episode VIII will most likely address the timeline of events between Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, possibly creating a layout of events that led the main characters of the story to where they are today; Episode VII also drew up more questions on the Star Wars universe than it answered which means the next film in the series will likely depict our titular characters in flashback sequences of what they were doing between the Fall of the Empire and the Rise of the First Order. One character's history which needs to be answered in flashbacks and told by word of mouth is that of General Leia Organa. Every character of the original trilogy deserves to have their history explored and displayed to the audience but Princess/General Leia Organa's past needs to be fully explored if her current place in the Star Wars universe expands to a larger role than just the General of the new rebellion. The reason General Organa's role in the Star Wars universe is likely to expand is that her blood-line and lineage have been sorely overlooked; Leia's relation to Luke Skywalker doesn't just mean she's related to the famous Luke Skywalker or that she is the daughter of the infamous Darth Vader. Leia is a member of the Skywalker bloodline, a bloodline that has been filled with force-wielding individuals and Leia is no exception to her lineage. There was no room for the thread to be explored in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, in terms of addressing Leia's lineage and her force-wielding capabilities; the film was focused on Luke Skywalker's rise as a Jedi and didn't expand on Leia's lineage or the possibility of Leia becoming a Jedi even though Luke repeatedly told Leia she held the same power he had. The next film in the series should have seen Leia Organa take on the role of the first female protagonist Jedi in the Star Wars series, but that's not how it turned out. Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens only introduced the audience to Leia Organa as a General in the current rebellion, not explaining the time between Episode VI and Episode VII either makes it possible for Princess Leia to have undergone a Jedi journey similar to that of her brother's journey to becoming a jedi, Luke Skywalker which ultimately led Leia Organa to becoming General Organa. The events may not have been shown on-screen but there is still plausibility in the notion that Leia Organa may have become a Jedi in the time between the events of Star Wars: Episode VI and Episode VII. Hopefully the next chapter in the Star Wars series will provide some explanation as to what General Leia has been doing since Return of the Jedi.
Star Wars: Episode 8 is still a ways off and doesn't have a title yet but the film being the second in the new trilogy will likely address the histories of fan favorite characters from the original trilogy. Most notably, General Leia Organa's history needs to be addressed seeing as that she already has an important place in the current Star Wars universe based on her role in Star Wars: Episode VII, she's also probably played a part in repairing the galaxy after the events of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and may continue to play a larger role in future films; there's also the matter of Leia Organa being in the Skywalker lineage, sharing Force-wielding capabilities with that of Luke Skywalker and Anakin Skywalker. The fact was well established in the original Star Wars trilogy that Leia is Luke Skywalker's sister and has the same Force-wielding abilities that Luke has but Leia was never given an opportunity to learn to use the Force nor was she given an opportunity where forced learning of the Force took place. After the events of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, Leia Organa would have had little reason to learn to use the Force or become a Jedi seeing as that the galaxy's major threat was no more. But it's likely that Luke Skywalker would have encouraged his sister Leia to undergo similar Jedi training, and if he didn't there's also another reason Leia may have been forced to learn to use the Force. Even without any outside motivation to push Leia to become a Jedi, Leia may have felt inclined to follow in the footsteps of her family's lineage by learning the ways of the Force; it may be a stretch but Leia pursuing a journey to become a Jedi when she was maritally committed to Han Solo, may have added to the cause the two had for separating. A theory that may contradict Leia having had to have trained herself is proven by a fact from Star Wars: Episode VII. The fact was established that Kylo Ren(formerly Ben Solo) was Luke Skywalker's padawan for a time before he turned to the Dark Side of the Force, and Kylo Ren was left to train with Luke Skywalker by his father and mother. That means Leia Organa had been in constant contact with Luke until the last time Kylo Ren and Luke Skywalker encountered each other. Being in contact with her brother opens the possibility for Leia to have had Luke train her in the Jedi arts before Luke took on Ben Solo/Kylo Ren as a padawan.
It's not clear as to how the First Order and the Knights of Ren took the dominating place in the Star Wars universe, but their rise to power could have pushed Leia Organa back into the fight against them which would be the driving force for her to learn to use the Force and become a Jedi. The likelihood of Leia Organa being trained as a full fledged Jedi is unlikely but it isn't out of the realm of possibility for Luke to have passed on his knowledge of the Force to Leia before departing on to his exile. Like previously stated, if the timeline of events has been explained correctly, there was a good amount of time between the end of Return of the Jedi and Kylo Ren turning on his family where Luke Skywalker could have trained Leia in the Jedi arts. Even without Luke's help, Leia would have been inclined to use intuition and meditation to awaken her Force capabilities in lieu of her son, Kylo Ren's reign of dominance over the galaxy. Having General Organa fighting as a force-wielding soldier would make her a detrimental part of the Rebellion against Kylo Ren, which could have placed General Organa centrally in the conflicts between the two warring factions that were not discussed in Episode VII. That wouldn't explain why she doesn't involve herself directly with Kylo Ren in Episode VII. With General Organa leading the charge against the First Order as the only Force-wielding individual, she'd be able to overpower almost any adversary. But Leia having mixed feelings about fighting her son with her Force abilities could be the reason she never directly confronts Ben Solo/Kylo Ren; she could be scared of killing Kylo Ren/Ben Solo. This is just presumptuous but the character of Leia Organa seems to present herself as an individual with a strong reserve who'd be willing to make the tough decisions and General Organa has proven so in previous films. In wielding Force abilities that could be used to save countless lives, General Organa could see the only way to save lives is to end the life of her son whose taking lives; that would create a great internal conflict which would interfere in her attempt to stop Kylo Ren, and possibly get her killed by not being willing to end his life. Or it's more plausible that General Leia may have already had a violent confrontation with Kylo Ren and knows not to directly face him, her actions in Star Wars: Episode VII also provides evidence to back up the theory that she has had some violent confrontation with Kylo Ren; General Leia Organa tries to warn Han Solo of what Kylo Ren is capable of before Han goes off to confront Ben Solo/Kylo Ren, Han Solo confronts Kylo Ren and ends up being murdered by his own son, Kylo Ren. There's no clear telling but Leia's warning to Han may have been Leia's Force abilities manifesting themselves, sensing Han Solo's imminent death she tried to warn him but to no avail; that's just one sign that General Leia Organa may be more than just a General in the rebellion.
Despite General Leia's inaction in Episode VII, that doesn't leave her out of the possible action in Star Wars: Episode VIII. If Leia Organa did receive some Jedi training or learned to use the Force by herself, and fought as a soldier at some point in time between Star Wars: Episode VI and Episode VII then her role in the next Star Wars film will see her place as a leader expand onto more than just a general, but as a soldier as well. The new rebellion is lacking capable fighters, the addition of General Leia as another Force-wielder could temporarily tip the scales in their favor against the First Order and Kylo Ren. A Force-wielding General Leia can make a difference in the fight against Kylo Ren and The First Order but her involvement won't end the conflict altogether, there will need to be a joint effort of all participating parties including Finn, Luke Skywalker, and Rey to end the current galaxy wide conflict in the Star Wars Cinematic Universe.
Star Wars: Episode VIII is set to release sometime in 2017. Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens premiered December, 2015 so the likely premiere date will most likely be later in the year of 2017. Star Wars: Episode IX is slated for a release in 2019. You can watch Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens on Blu-Ray, DVD, and Streaming services in April, 2016.