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While there are many different opinions about the relative quality of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, there's one particular sequence that has been getting a lot of flack from viewers, and it turns out we're not the only ones who aren't sure what it means. During a recent Q & A, that included most of the cast of the new Star Wars film, Daisy Ridley admitted that she's had questions about Leia's relationship to the Force since the beginning, and those questions still have not been answered. Ridley said...
Because I wasn't so knowledgeable of the Star Wars thing, I still have questions about what it all means. Like when people talk about Jedi and stuff like that I remember having a conversation with one of our executive producers on VII, Michelle, and I said, 'But surely Leia's a Jedi, because she's force sensitive and she's challenged.' She's not challenged in the same ways as Luke, but like she's doing stuff for the good and everything like that. I still don't quite have my answer, like is she a Jedi? I dunno.
The question of Leia's relationship to the Force is particularly pertinent following the events of Star Wars: The Last Jedi as the film shows Leia using the Force in an active way for the first time. The fact that the scene more or less came from nowhere is one of the most talked about problems that many have with The Last Jedi from a plot perspective. There had been no indication previously that Leia had in any way trained to use the Force, or ever used it herself previously. Of course, there are decades of time that have passed since the events of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and it's possible that Leia has learned to use the Force to some degree in that time.
It seems that the way Rey's use of the Force was explained to Daisy Ridley on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was that she was naturally force sensitive, and that once she was challenged by something, it had the result of bringing the ability forward. Of course, Rey herself isn't a Jedi either, even by the end of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Becoming a Jedi is specifically about following a course of training, not simply using the Force. At least, that's what it has been. Considering the events at the end of the most recent film, it's possible that becoming a Jedi could mean something very different going forward.