Star Wars: How did Leia Organa die?

General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) in STAR WARS: EPISDOE IX
General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) in STAR WARS: EPISDOE IX /

How did Leia Organa die in Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker?

Fans were always curious about what Leia Organa’s ultimate fate would be in the Skywalker saga, a question that became infinitely more complicated after Carrie Fisher tragically passed away in 2016.

Lucasfilm chose not to recast Leia and instead completed her story in The Last Jedi and then The Rise of Skywalker through unused archival footage from previous films. Leia passed away and became one with the Force in the final film, but how exactly did this happen?

Leia’s health was already suffering before The Rise of Skywalker. Leia used the Force to save herself when she was thrown into space during The Last Jedi, but being in space for that long in the first place took a serious toll on her health. Leia persevered through this suffering, focusing her energies on leading the Resistance and training Rey.

When Leia sensed the duel between Rey and Kylo Ren on Kef Bir, Leia used the Force to reach out to her son across the galaxy and call him by his birth name –Ben. This last act drained Leia of her remaining energy and killed her.

Her sacrifice was not in vain, though. When Kylo Ren heard his mother say his name and reach out to him through the Force, it proved to be a pivotal turning point in becoming Ben Solo again and beginning to earn his redemption.

Along with helping place her son on a redemptive path, she had adequately prepared the Resistance and given them the tools they needed to emerge victorious over Palpatine and the First Order once and for all. She helped shape Poe, Rey, and Finn into the leaders they needed to be in this final confrontation.

Leia became one with the Force after her death. Her voice was heard among the voices of many past Jedi who helped give Rey the inner strength she needed when facing Palpatine on Exegol.

Leia’s Force ghost appeared alongside Luke’s Force ghost in the final moments of the film as they proudly watched Rey on Tatooine.

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