While it was only in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens that Leia Organa’s co-stars started referring to her as ‘General,’ it turns out that Carrie Fisher’s character earned this title before the original Star Wars trilogy was even halfway through.
This clarification comes courtesy of the newly available Star Wars #55, which is set between the events of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. In the wake of a failed mission, Leia, Luke, and Han are contacted by Mon Mothma. Though Leia starts apologizing for what’s just unfolded, Mon stops her to say that all three of them have been promoted, with Luke now ranking as commander, Han as colonel, and Leia as general.
This revelation contradicts the popular assumption that the woman formerly known as Princess Leia achieved general status at some point between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, though this latest trilogy has certainly seen the character get more involved in the military strategy end of things than we saw previously.
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With the upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX, General Leia is due to make her final appearance in the series via unused footage of Fisher from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. While little has been confirmed of the role Leia will play in next year’s trilogy-closer, some speculation suggests that she could still serve as a guiding figure in the Resistance who directs our heroes across the galaxy.
That’s all hearsay for now, but here’s hoping that Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams will find some way to smoothly and respectfully integrate Fisher into the drama when Episode IX comes out on December 20th, 2019.