Why is Leia, the twin of Luke, not a Jedi? Is she not supposed to be the "one other" to whom Yoda refers in Star Wars Episode V?

  • Now that George Lucas says that the saga will continue (and earned some $ with this sell), I think this question we'll be better answered :) Nov 16, 2012 at 17:45

5 Answers 5


She is not a Jedi because she hasn't received any training.

There are hints of her Force powers in the movies.

In The Empire Strikes Back, she senses Luke's distress and has Lando turn around to retrieve him from underneath Cloud City.

Similarly, at the end of The Return of the Jedi, she can tell that Luke made it off the Death Star before it exploded.

In the books that were released later (such as Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy), it is revealed that Leia has potential for strong Force powers, just like her brother, and has started Jedi training under Luke's instruction.

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    And her powers were stronger along different lines than Luke. Whereas he was strong in the areas of the force that made for a good warrior, her powers ran more along the lines of diplomacy and interpersonal skills
    – Kevin
    Nov 16, 2012 at 19:32
  • @Chipmunk - we'll see Jedi Leia in the upcoming sequel trilogy
    – Wad Cheber
    Apr 26, 2015 at 2:14
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    Hello people in the past! It's the future here, and we have confirmation she is definitely force-sensitive in the Sequel Trilogy! May 14, 2018 at 4:12

Somewhat related to This question over on Sci-Fi SE. The short of it is that Ben Kenobi (and Yoda) were keeping tabs from afar on both Luke and Leia. Luke got the nod for Force training for the sole reason that Leia had been captured, and Ben needed some help getting her out of trouble. Ben, pragmatic as he was, used this serendipitous meeting between himself, Luke, and R2 (carrying a message from Leia) to kick-start the plan he and Yoda had set in motion twenty years earlier.

In addition, think back to Ep IV. Vader had Leia in captivity, and was torturing her personally in her holding cell for some time. He never discovered any latent Force-sensitivity in her. Yet, in the heat of battle, in two separate fighter cockpits separated by several dozen meters of vacuum, Vader could sense in just a few seconds that the Force was strong with the pilot in his crosshairs. That's pretty strong evidence that Luke is in fact the stronger of the two in the ways of the Force. This is borne out in EU sources; Leia trains under Luke in the days of the New Republic, and becomes a Jedi Consular in the New Jedi Order using her Force powers for negotiation and diplomacy. However, she is never a warrior to compare with Luke, or even her own children Jaina, Jacen and Anakin, all three of which become Jedi Knights and one of which falls to the Sith.

  • Regarding Vader sensing Luke's force ability while Luke was starting his attack run on the D-Star, yet not sensing Leia's -- at that point in the saga, there was no concept whatsoever of Luke and Leia being siblings. That wasn't developed until after ESB. Not to disregard the possibility of this dynamic being a reality, it's just that there was nothing intentionally planned as to why Vader could only sense one's power and not the other. Of course, this could later be retcon'ed into the story retroactively to have it make sense. Feb 26, 2015 at 9:53

Because Leia was a woman... it was made 1977... and George Lucas was born in 1944. He wasn't thinking of the sociopolitical context of the story for the future.

  • Hi D.A. : Kind of what I thought, too...
    – Chipmunk
    Nov 17, 2012 at 11:18
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    Gene Roddenberry, for comparison, was born in 1921, and Star Trek broke new ground for representations of women and racial minorities. So while I agree with your answer, I don't think Lucas' birth date should get him a pass for being thoughtlessly sexist.
    – beth
    Dec 11, 2013 at 0:44

Somewhat of a joke, but somewhat serious; cause Lucas didn't think it all the way through yet.

I always sensed he did Ep IV as a simple movie. Once he saw it was big, then Star Wars went from an action romp to a "deep thinking saga" (TM). Think of all the changes in the re-releases that kind of fit this model. Most famously: Han Shot first. Han goes from a rogue in Ep IV and later has to be ret-conned to a hero, firing in self-defense. I remember hearing that there was some dialog about Luke's dad during the attack on the first Death Star that got removed or muted after the Vader-Luke connection was shown.

Somewhat related, I always wondered why in Ep IV Vader didn't sense her Jedi-ness or daughterness right away.

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    Not a Star Wars nut by any means, but was it ever shown in IV that he even sensed Luke was his off-spring? Far as it was shown in the Prequel trilogy, Ani only knew of one child that Padme was carrying.
    – Tablemaker
    Nov 16, 2012 at 19:52
  • @TylerShads Also true. I only bring up Leia because he was physically closer to Leia. The best we get for Luke is "The Force is strong in this one" Nov 16, 2012 at 19:54
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    I think whether or not Ep IV was planned as a single movie would make a great question to ask HINT HINT HINT
    – Tablemaker
    Nov 16, 2012 at 20:11
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    As for Ep IV being planned as a single movie, Lucas had a general timeline for the entire trilogy of trilogies planned out before he wrote the novel and script for Star Wars. That particular piece of the story was picked because it was the best blend of being able to stand as a single movie, and also having sequel potential, giving Fox the most options depending on how it did at the box office.
    – KeithS
    Nov 16, 2012 at 20:21
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    @TylerShads - It's worth noting that in the original release of Ep. IV, it was not called "Ep. IV", or "A New Hope" or anything else besides just "Star Wars". The first line in the opening text crawl stating that it was "Episode IV: A New Hope" was added later, when it became obvious that the movie was successful enough to warrant sequels. Mar 7, 2016 at 15:41

Leia was a Jedi, but gave up her training, as seen in the The Rise of Skywalker. She was the one referred to by Yoda, but you can't be a Jedi without the training. That is why she didn't use the force in the Original Trilogy.

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