A resurfaced interview with Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, John Boyega, and Rian Johnson sees The Last Jedi director definitively declare that Leia is a not a Jedi despite J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm turning her into one in The Rise of Skywalker.
The interview was recently uploaded to YouTube by Not My Star Wars.
As you can see above, in the interview Ridley discusses, “Because I wasn’t so knowledgeable of the Star Wars thing, I still have questions about what it all means. Like when people talk about Jedi and stuff like that.”
Ridley continues, “I remember having a conversation with one of our executive producers on seven, Michelle, who is producing nine. And I said, ‘But surely Leia’s a Jedi because she’s Force sensitive, and she’s challenged. She’s not challenged in the same way as Luke, but like she’s doing stuff for the good and everything like that.”
She then adds, “I still don’t have my answer. Is she a Jedi? I don’t know. But because I have those sort of questions… Does anyone know?”
Mark Hamill responds, “Well, I said you have that power too. So that’s…”
Johnson then interjects and bluntly states, “No, she’s not a Jedi.”
Hamill then shrugs his shoulders and says, “Alright. What do I know?”
In Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Lucasfilm and director J.J. Abrams turned Leia into a Jedi.
When Rey returns to Ahch-To she encounters the Force Ghost of Luke Skywalker who tells her, “Leia told me that she had sensed the death of her son at the end of her Jedi path.”
He added, “She surrendered her saber to me and said that one day it would be picked up again by someone who would finish her journey.”
In fact, it is Leia who trains Rey to become a Jedi in one of the opening sequences of the film.
When Rey gets frustrated with her inability to communicate with the Jedi of the past, Leia instructs her, “Rey. Be patient.” She adds, “Nothing’s impossible.”
This scene would be expanded in the novelization of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Rae Carson.
Carson writes, “Oh, Luke, I hope I’m doing this right, she thought. Leia was no Jedi Master, but she had learned from the best. And not just from Luke; over the years she’d occasionally heard the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi through the Force, and even more rarely, that of Yoda.”
The scene continues, “Some days it had felt as though she’d learned from the Force itself. She was first and foremost a politician and a general, but she had accepted her Jedi legacy and embraced it as best she could.”
And aside from Leia being shown as a Jedi in The Rise of Skywalker, Johnson also had her use the Force to prevent her from dying when Kylo Ren attacked the bridge in The Last Jedi.
When Leia is blasted into space, she is knocked unconscious and somehow survives in the vacuum of space. When she comes to she uses a Force Pull to Mary Poppins back into the ship without dying.
One thing is clear, Lucasfilm truly had no clue what they were doing with the sequel trilogy.
What do you make of this resurfaced interview where Johnson definitively says Leia was not a Jedi?