By now, the news of Star Wars: The Force Awakens seems endless. Sure, we still have no idea who are where Luke Skywalker is, we’re not sure about the identity of the film’s main character, we have no idea what Kylo Ren is supposed to be, but we do know one thing: Leia isn’t a princess anymore.
Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan technically wasn’t a princess anymore when her home planet was unceremoniously destroyed during the first 30 minutes of Star Wars, but she still had the clout and influence in the galaxy as a princess and as a senator. However, in the newest installment of the franchise, Leia enjoys a new title: general.
JJ Abrams, director of The Force Awakens, told Entertainment Weekly that “She’s referred to as General. But … there’s a moment in the movie where a character sort of slips and calls her ‘Princess.'”
I’m guessing Han calls her Princess, his only-slightly-mocking pet name for her. But only time will tell…
Abrams also revealed how he felt about directing Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, two people who have lived and breathed Star Wars since 1977. He said:
“It felt historic to have her, especially with Harrison, back in scenes together. I can only imagine the baggage that they bring to it, I’m just a fan who loves this stuff, but they’ve been living with it — and living in it — since ’77.”
For her part, Carrie Fisher has stated that she and Ford are “pretty sick of each other by now, so we pretend to be interested in each other between takes.
“And we fail. I’m mostly interested in how [Ford] stays in such good shape. I can talk to him about that for a long time.”
But it’s also clear from Abrams’ words that Leia will still enjoy a lofty position in the story, and be a leader for this resistance like she was a leader for the Rebel Alliance. Fisher joked from the set of the film, saying that she was okay with being stripped of the title of princess, but stating that she’d prefer now address her as “Hey! You! My one true joy!”
General Leia Organa Solo will have an important story arc in the film, says Abrams. Fisher says that Leia does not handle things “easily,” describing her character as “solitary” and “under a lot of pressure.”
“Committed as ever to her cause, but I would imagine feeling somewhat defeated, tired, and pissed.”
And when asked what inspiration the older Leia would give to fans, Fisher reponded simply, “Never give up.” Sounds like Leia to me.
Abrams expanded just a little more about the character of Leia, saying, “The stakes are pretty high in the story for her, so there’s not much goofing around where Leia’s concerned.” The “stakes” may lend credence to the theory that Rey is actually the daughter of Han and Leia, kept from them for her safety. That’s a storyline Star Wars is familiar with.
December 18th cannot some soon enough.