Fans of Star Wars might have several weeks yet to wait and see how the franchise’s original characters, Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, and Luke Skywalker, have moved on in the more that 30 years since they last graced the silver screen. On Wednesday, producer J.J. Abrams offered Entertainment Weekly one important detail about Leia that fans may or may not have seen coming. She’s no longer going by her royal title. Instead, she’s got a moniker that has clear military implications.
“She’s referred to as General. But … there’s a moment in the movie where a character sort of slips and calls her ‘Princess.'”
Those who have closely watched the slow release of spoilers for the new Star Wars film — you can watch a four-minute supercut of all the new footage here — have noticed that although Leia and Han make appearances, there’s no sign of Luke, leading many to speculate that he may have turned to the dark side of the force. But those who fear Leia might be one of the dark side’s generals might be comforted by Carrie Fisher’s description of her character’s state of mind in the new movie.
“[She is] solitary. Under a lot of pressure. Committed as ever to her cause, but I would imagine feeling somewhat defeated, tired, and pissed.”
Abrams told EW that despite Fisher’s off-screen humor, there’s little joy in Leia’s on-screen life. She has one of Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ more difficult storylines. Even with that emotional weight, the film’s writer/director/producer said having Fisher back with co-star Harrison Ford was monumental. The actors have not performed in the Star Wars franchise since Return of the Jedi was released in 1983.
“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, 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.”
Fisher said the actors were “sick of each other,” and joked — perhaps — that she was most interested in Ford’s fitness routine. Back in 2013, it was reported by The Daily Mail that the Star Wars bosses employed nutritionists and trainers for Fisher and Mark Hamill to prepare for the new film.