Thursday, June 23, 2011

To Train or Not to Train...

When I first began to consider whether or not Leia would train as a Jedi, I thought that she most probably would not.  But then, like most everything else - other than the fact that Han and Leia end up together - I changed my mind. 

Now, I don't exactly align with the pro-fic/EU timing of her training (go figure, I don't agree with the EU!), who don't have her training until her kids are full-grown, I think she would have trained much earlier.  In fact, I think her decision to have children would've gone hand-in-hand with her decision to train.  I think that if she decided to raise little Jedi than she would want to know how to utilize and educate them on the Force.  

In thinking about it further, I think that Leia would be apprehensive to remain ignorant of the powers that she possessed through her heritage.  The fear that someone could manipulate her, knowing that she was Vader's untrained offspring, would weigh heavily on her decision as well.  It would be dangerous for her not to learn how to control her powers.

So with all of that being said, I think Leia would make a kick-ass Jedi.  I certainly don't think that it would become her "thing", her entire life or anything - like it is for Luke.  But I think she would be a quick study and, IMO, would be more powerful than Luke in many ways.  And I actually really enjoyed reading about Leia's Jedi training in the EU when it finally happened (don't ask me what book it was in - but I'm sure Zyra can tell you.  I think it was in the bug trilogy.).

Unfortunately, in the EU after she is knighted some books seem to completely forget that she even has a lightsaber, but it's the EU - so my expectations aren't really high anyway for any kind of sense or continuity.  But when they do talk about her being a Jedi and there are some decisions she has to make whether or not to go and do what she wants or listen to the Order, usually her and Han go off and do what they want.  I can believe that.

Now what her and Han want to do is usually in alignment with what is best for the Jedi Order and the New Republic, it's just that they want to handle things on their own terms and have their own ideas.  I think that would definitely be the case. And of course, their ideas are way cooler than what everybody else wants to do. :-)

So, I guess that's it.  Like the title of the post says:  To train or not to train?  Does anyone else have an opinion on this?


  1. Wow, that's something I'd never really thought about. But I have to admit that before the prequels, I didn't really think that there'd been any large, centralized, public organization of Jedi since LONG before Anakin and Obi-Wan's time. It seemed that Obi-Wan had been trained by Yoda, on Dagobah on in some other remote location, and that that's how being a Jedi was kind of secretive and definitely out of fashion, if not downright taboo, even in Anakin's age. I didn't imagine Luke EVER starting a big Jedi academy or scouring the galaxy for as many students as possible. I guess I saw him finding one apprentice at a time, who would then find apprentices themselves, so the Jedi teachings WOULD live on, but not on such a massive scale.

    So I never imagined Leia becoming a full-fledged Jedi. It still seems weird to me to see pictures of her with a lightsaber. I think she'd want to learn about the Force, to understand herself and to understand Luke, and to make sure that no one like Vader would ever be able to hurt her family again. But actually becoming a Jedi? Not really.

    I also didn't think it made a lot of sense that Han and Leia's children were just expected to be Jedi...I can understand wanting to give them a basic education about the Force so they wouldn't grow up to fear it or misuse it, but it seems like they would want their children to choose at some point whether they would become Jedi, or become something else, who just happened to be able to use the Force too. (Maybe they did. I haven't read all of the EU. But as of the last books I read, it seemed like that was THE single career option that they had.)

    But then again, I never imagined an army of Jedi in either Luke or Leia's it may just be that my head!canon is completely off.

  2. Oooh, interesting topic. I'll admit that before you had brought up this question I never really gave it a whole lot of thought. But when you start talking about them having children and the near-certainty that they would be Force sensitive, it seems almost irresponsible for her to not train enough to at least be somewhat competent so she could help guide them and understand what they're going through. Although one could argue that she trusts Luke enough to be their mentor as their uncle, but I think that as their mother she'd want to have first-hand knowledge of the things they will be learning.

    I can see her training earlier. Probably not hard-core, go live at the Jedi temple training, but at least getting some idea of what it would be like. I honestly can't decide if she'd really ever become a full-fledged Jedi. Of course she would possess the skills, I just wonder if she'd have the desire.

    It was the Dark Nest Trilogy where she really took on the Jedi training. Except after those books it's like they totally forgot about it again. You will see though when you get to Conviction that they suddenly remember again that she has some pretty awesome Force powers and lightsaber skills.

    And Hikari, in the books the kids all pretty much become Jedi, though Anakin of course dies pretty young. But Jaina also becomes a very successful pilot. So yes, they're all Jedi, but they can utilize other skills if they have them.

    Now I'm trying to figure out in my own head how Han would feel about her training. Would he push her if she didn't want to? I am sure he would support her choice to train, but I'm wondering if he'd step in and tell her she should train if she was afraid to or just didn't want to.

  3. Actually, I prefer to stick with the EU timeline on this. I think she becomes a Jedi at the perfect time in her life. The Vong war has finished and she wants something new to focus on in her life. Plus she has the time to dedicate to her training. I don't think she would have become a Jedi when she decided to have children. Sure she'd want to know enough to help and protect them which I guess she kind of does in the books, she trains a bit with Luke while she's pregnant and then when the children are in hiding and then in the Corellian Trilogy she actually uses her lightsaber so she does have some sporadic training to help protect herself and her children. BUT she is the Chief of State, she couldn't really be both. Well, technically she could but would people want a leader with so much power at their fingertips to use the force. It didn't work so well for old Palpy... or Jacen.

    Also, I think by this point, Han is a lot more accepting of the Force. Had she decided straight after Endor to train I believe he might have had something to say about it ;)

    So, yeah, I definitely think she trains but I like to think it's later in life (The Unseen Queen ;) and I personally love seeing her kick some ass as a Jedi even if the books do tend to overlook it.

  4. So, I've just given it some thought and she actually does utilise her Jedi skills throughout Legacy quite a lot, just not in FOTJ so much.

  5. Okay, I'd also like to clarify and agree with Hikari that for Han and Leia it would not just be an automatic "My kids will be great Jedi", but they would make sure that they were trained, etc.

    For Leia becoming a knight, well, I'm not totally convinced she would be biting her nails and worried about any kind of ceremony, but I guess I kinda think of it like a "do or do not", maybe a half-trained Jedi might be more dangerous than an untrained, IDK.

    But, like I said, once she was trained I don't think she would really "drink the kool-aid" and get all Jedi-ish, you know?

    I think Han would be supportive of whatever she decided. I think he would want her to have all the weapons possible to protect herself so he wouldn't have an issue and would probably even enjoy being able to see her kick some serious ass.

    I don't think Leia would become the Chief of State, so I didn't factor that into my thoughts. I really see Leia becoming disenchanted with government the older she gets and maybe doing something altogether different but still with leading/helping people in some way.

  6. Oh, one other thing I'd thought of. I would think she'd want to learn to use the Force at least a good bit just so that she'd be able to protect her family in general, regardless of whether or not her children might have Force potential. Not that she wasn't already a bad ass with a blaster, but I'd think she'd want to be able to defend herself and them if necessary.

    I do agree though that either way I don't see her going philisophical Jedi on us. She's her own person with her own personality and I don't think learning the Force would change that.