Ever since it was revealed that Luke and Leia were brother and sister, and that Leia’s Skywalker blood gives her a huge amount of Force potential (as we teasingly saw in Star Wars: The Last Jedi), fans have theorized about her training in the ways of the Jedi. That possibility was apparently at the core of George Lucas’ original plans for Episodes VII-IX, which have influenced Disney’s own trilogy.
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.
Now, thanks to Marvel’s Star Wars comic (specifically, Star Wars #40), we can see the roots of why Leia chose to devote herself to politics rather than swinging a laser sword. The story finds Luke, Han and Leia on the planet Jedha, working alongside what’s left of Saw Gerrera’s extremist Rebels.
Late in the plot, Luke explains that he needs to disappear to visit a former Jedi Temple. Leia is indignant, explaining that their mission isn’t over and they don’t have time for what she dismissively describes as “Jedi stuff.” Luke tries to convince her that it’s important, but Leia counters by saying that there are many important things, before going to explain the last words her adoptive father Bail Organa said to her before her debut in A New Hope:
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Leia reveals the significance she places on these words: “We didn’t realize then, but it was a mission briefing for my whole life. Anytime I stumble, I go back to that. He trusted me to finish this. I will finish this.” She admits that she feels the Force, but she also feels the call of duty and the obligations she has to the Rebellion/Resistance and to battling the tyranny in the galaxy. As she summarizes: “We don’t all get to be dreamers.”
It’s a pitch-perfect bit of characterization for Leia (understandably, as Kieron Gillen is a very good comic book writer) that shows precisely why she never could abandon her crusade to, in her eyes, selfishly develop her own Force talents. After all, Leia is a commander, strategist and leader and “there’s nothing [she] can’t deal with” – what use does she have for lengthy Jedi training? She already has every skill she needs right now. It also nicely cements her connection to her adoptive parents, which is all too often ignored in Star Wars in favor of that cursed yet powerful Skywalker lineage.