The news that Carrie Fisher would be returning to Star Wars as Princess Leia sparked great excitement last year, but little did fans know that the iconic character would no longer be going by her royal title.
Director JJ Abrams has promoted Leia to the rank of General for his upcoming movie The Force Awakens and finally given her some of the respect she deserves. She has held her own as the franchise’s only major female character up until Daisy Ridley’s arrival and is helping to lead the Resistance after all.
Leia was a highly-regarded Rebel Alliance officer in the original trilogy, so this development makes sense, with Abrams hinting that her new storyline will be more serious than her past roles. Nevertheless, some characters might struggle to see her in a new light.
“She’s referred to as a General,” Abrams told Entertainment Weekly. “But there’s a moment in the movie where a character sort of slips and calls her ‘Princess’.
“The stakes are pretty high in the story for her, so there’s not much goofing around where Leia’s concerned. But it felt historic to have her, especially with Harrison [Ford], back in scenes together.”
Little has been seen of Leia in the four trailers fans have seen so far, but brief glimpses of her seem to confirm Abrams’ comments. She’s looking pretty stern.
Abrams added that Leia will be “under a lot of pressure”, something Fisher is no doubt is feeling as an actress too, having not starred in a film for six years.
“[She’s] committed as ever to her cause, but I would imagine feeling somewhat defeated, tire and pissed,” he said.
Fisher is happy enough with her new title of General, but joked that “Hey! You! My one true joy!” would be better.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrives on 17 December.
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