If you were ever curious why Leia decided to become a General instead of a Jedi in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, then director J.J. Abrams has the answer in this interview with IGN.
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One of the most memorable lines from Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, was when Luke finally revealed that Leia was his sister, and that she had the power to use the Force. In the old Expanded Universe — now relegated to Legends status — Leia does in fact go on to become a Jedi Knight and uses her powers for good. Now, with an all new Star Wars canon in place, Leia is not a Jedi…and there’s a reason for that. J.J. Abrams, the director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, sat down with IGN, and explained why.
"“Luke, don’t talk that way! You have a power I don’t understand and could never have.”“You’re wrong, Leia. You have that power too. In time you’ll learn to use it as I have. The Force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it and…my sister has it. Yes. It’s you, Leia.”“I know. Somehow, I’ve always known.”"
So, Leia decided to become a General in the Resistance, rather than following her brother down the path of the Jedi. I find extremely interesting that Abrams says that he likes to think there is no age limit to when a person can learn to become a Jedi. In the Prequel Trilogy, only the younglings were admitted into the Jedi Order as Padawans. That rule nearly kept Anakin Skywalker from becoming a Jedi. Well, it looks as if that is no longer the case.
And then there’s the point Abrams makes that while Leia did not choose to become a Jedi, she still has the Force, and is “Force strong.” I wonder of we will see the former Princess use that Force ability anytime in The Force Awakens, or the subsequent sequels…should she make it past Episode VII. Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens worldwide on December 17 and 18.