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Leia in The Rise of Skywalker

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We're just weeks away from the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Generations of fans are gearing up for J.J. Abrams' grand finale, which will end the franchise as we know it. Lucasfilm has been guarding the secrets of Episode IX, but new information is arriving as the blockbuster gets closer. And a new update about Carrie Fisher's Leia Organa will is sure to elicit a big reaction from fans.

The Rise of Skywalker was always planned to be Leia's movie, an prospect that the late Carrie Fisher was excited for. But following her death, Abrams was forced to utilize unused footage from the previous two films in order to complete story. And now we have an idea of one big character change: she's apparently been training Rey in The Force since Luke's death.

This update comes to us from the recent press junket for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The characters' costumes were on display, and Genera Leia's had a description that reads:

General Leia Organa continues to lead the heroic Resistance, building back a fighting force after having suffered costly setbacks. Leia is also training Rey in the ways of the Force, for the galaxy still has need of a Jedi.

Well, that's exciting. It looks like Leia has become the Master, despite never becoming a Jedi herself. But she's still strong in the ways of The Force, as The Last Jedi's infamous space flying incident proved. And now that Luke has passed on, she's the next best thing. Fans will be eager to see how these scenes work, and watch as Leia continues to mentor the new generation of heroes.

Ahead of The Rise of Skywalker's release, you can catch up on the Skywalker Saga by streaming on Disney+. And you can use this link for a 7-day free trial.

Perhaps Leia's training of Rey was already shown in the brief trailers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The full trailer opens on Rey on a jungle planet, seemingly using the same floating ball that helped train Luke in A New Hope. Leia has also been shown hugging Rey in that same setting, so perhaps it's that sequence that shows how Leia has mentored Daisy Ridley's hero in the one year time jump since The Last Jedi.

J.J. Abrams has been honest about how including Carrie Fisher and wrapping up Leia's story has been one of the biggest challenge to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. But he also feels that the movie and ending wouldn't be complete without the franchise's main heroine. How much Leia appears in the movie remains to be seen, but her final appearance in the franchise will be particularly emotional this time around.

All will be revealed when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies. And our 2020 release list to look ahead toward the New Year.