Oh what could have been… Having seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we all know the disastrous consequences of Luke Skywalker’s attempts to revive the Jedi Order post-Return of the Jedi. His nascent Jedi school ended in flames after his nephew was seduced to the dark side and Luke, in a moment of weakness, considered murdering him before the galaxy was plunged into further turmoil.
Now, we’ve learned that this all could have been averted. The tantalizing bit of trivia comes from Lucasfilm Story Group head Pablo Hidalgo, writing in Star Wars: The Last Jedi – The Visual Dictionary that:
Skywalker’s first student was to be his sister, Leia. However, she ultimately decided that the best path for her to serve the galaxy left no room for the extended isolation of Jedi training. As Leia on her new family and senatorial politics, Luke began his travels, largely disappearing from galactic view. During his lengthy journey, Skywalker gathered disciples who would go on to become his first true students.”
Now, Leia Organa is one of my favorite characters across the entirety of Star Wars, but judging by the state of things at the beginning of The Force Awakens, it’s safe to say her political and diplomatic skills aren’t exactly the finest in the galaxy. If she had taken Luke up on his offer, there’s every chance their personal connection and Leia’s natural aptitude with the Force would have made them both powerful and wise Jedi Masters, perhaps balancing out each other’s weaknesses.
On top of that, the rigor of Jedi training would probably have meant no time to give birth to Kylo Ren, thus sparing everyone a mopey Darth Vader fanboy who can’t even win a lightsaber duel against a former Stormtrooper and someone who has literally just turned on a lightsaber for the first time. Plus, Han Solo would be alive and well and cracking grumbly one-liners.
I mean, I hate to judge, but Leia made a really bad call here. Maybe one day we’ll see some Star Wars ‘What-Ifs’ that explore possible futures after Return of the Jedi and finally get to see badass Jedi Master Leia. We can only hope.