THAT General Leia Scene Explained (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
In Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, a devastating attack upon the Raddus star cruiser launches a multitude of Resistance higher-ups into the cold vacuum of space. However, while the likes of Gial Ackbar almost immediately perish, General Leia Organa somehow manages to survive by subconsciously calling upon the Force. Now, depending on which side of the fence you sit on, this scene is either incredibly beautiful or completely idiotic. There's really no in-between. But what exactly is going on here? How on earth did Leia survive this near-fatal trip through space? Well, let's find out!
To kick us off, we need to uncover why this scene was included. And no, it wasn't added as an homage to the late, great Carrie Fisher – although it certainly does seem that way. Instead, as director Rian Johnson recalls, it began life as a simple enquiry on the part of Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy:
"She kept asking, 'Leia's a Skywalker, Luke gave her this speech in Jedi and told her basically, 'You have this potential, too.' It seemed to me it would be a really emotionally impactful thing to see her use it."
Apparently, Johnson couldn't agree more. So much so that he immediately began work on this breathtaking scene:
"I liked the idea it would be an instinctual thing. This would be more like stories you hear about parents of toddlers who get caught under cars and they get Hulk strength and lift the car up. It would be something in these final moments to show that she's not done with the fight. And like a drowning person pulling herself back, that's how it manifests itself for the first time in her."
So we now know that Leia's powers are somewhat buried within herself and only manifest during her times of need. But what powers exactly does she call upon here? Well, our best guess is some kind of Force bubble. In the canon series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, for example, Anakin Skywalker uses this very ability to temporarily shield Padmé Amidala from drowning in the waters of Mon Cala. A similar technique also allowed Mother Talzin to deflect waves of Separatist blaster fire. Either way, these powers are known to appear invisible and withstand a great deal of damage and pressure. So while Disney appear to justify Leia's survival through no particular ability alone, we all now have a rough idea of what might be going on. Whether or not you like or dislike the scene in question a little more, as a result – well, that's a topic for the comments section down below.