Leia’s Star Wars Legends Story Makes The Sequel Trilogy Look Tame


  • Leia’s story in Star Wars Legends is intense and differs greatly from her portrayal in the movies.
  • Leia had a successful political career in Legends, but it strained her family life with Han and the kids.
  • Leia experienced great loss in Legends, including the death of her sons and the responsibility of raising her granddaughter. She also became a Jedi Knight.

Princess Leia Organa Solo Skywalker is a long name and title, and Leia’s story in Star Wars Legends absolutely reflects its intensity when compared to the Star Wars movies. The Star Wars Legends continuity, as it is now known, was the Star Wars timeline including non-movie materials such as books and comics before 2014. Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm led to the decision to remove the non-movie stories from canon, but these stories are still very interesting to look at, especially for central characters such as Princess Leia.

Beginning in the underrated 1977 Marvel Star Wars comic series, Leia is integral to the development of the New Republic government in Legends, at first under the name “Alliance of Free Planets.” From there, she becomes Minister of State, is kidnapped many times (even once by Han Solo), and has three children named Jacen, Jaina, and Anakin Solo. She pursues Jedi training twice, and even becomes a full-fledged Knight in Luke’s New Jedi Order, but also experiences great loss. Canon and Legends Leia have two very different lives after Return of the Jedi, and the latter is much more intense.

Related: Star Wars: Han & Leia’s Relationship Timeline Explained

Leia’s Political Career Was A Tremendous Success In Star Wars Legends

But It Impacted Her Family Life With Han And The Kids


Following a mysterious illness she’d befallen, Mon Mothma notoriously handed the office of Chief of State to Leia, making her the head of the New Republic government. She served in this role for much of the next decade, and once for another term the following decade, amounting to over 12 years as Chief of State. This was during the prime childhood of her three children, though, and thus they were often with caretakers on Coruscant or hidden on sanctuary worlds because of their laughably-frequent kidnappings.

Despite the strain of the office on her family, and the kidnappings – with Leia herself even being kidnapped once as Chief of State – she had a very successful tenure as a politician. Leia occupied high offices for the majority of the New Republic’s existence, guiding it during a turbulent period of galactic politics, and through its many minor conflicts with those who challenged it, like the Imperial Remnant. Leia was renowned as the face of the New Republic, and enjoyed a status she would not see in canon.

Related: Star Wars: New Republic Timeline Explained

Leia Lost Both Her Sons, But Raised Her Granddaughter

The Yuuzhan Vong War Devastated The Solo Family

One of the biggest events, if not the biggest, in Star Wars Legends was the Yuuzhan Vong War, an invasion by an extragalactic fanatic species who decimated the galaxy. This affected the lives of everyone in Star Wars, and Leia is no different, as she lost her 17-year-old son Anakin during the war due to the young Solo heroically sacrificing himself. Additionally, the trauma of her other son Jacen’s capture during the war led him towards the dark side, leading him to become a Sith Lord. He even sparked a Second Galactic Civil War, resulting in his death at his twin sister Jaina’s hand. This was all incredibly traumatic for Leia and Han, and even left them responsible for raising Jacen’s daughter, Allana Solo, as she was trained as a Jedi.

Leia Became A Major Jedi As Star Wars Legends Continued

She Faced The Emperor And Became A Jedi Knight

In the years following their sibling revelation, Luke trained Leia as a Jedi, but the training never stuck as she pursued politics more. Though she did use it when facing the original cloned Emperor Palpatine and dueling a Jedi Hutt, it wasn’t until after the Yuuzhan Vong War that Leia would be trained as a full Jedi Knight. Under the tutelage of new Jedi Council member Saba Sebatyne, Leia became a full Knight of her brother’s New Jedi Order, using a newly built blue lightsaber in all the conflicts following the invasion. As Legends continued, Leia became more and more powerful, eventually attaining serious skills in the Force as a valued member of the New Jedi Order.

Leia’s status as a Jedi marked a change in Legends from what plagued it for years: maintaining the status quo. In the less-interconnected world of Star Wars in the ’90s, authors wanted readers to be able to pick up a book and know who the characters are without too much prior knowledge necessary. This led to stagnation for certain characters like Leia, who were restrained to what fans saw them doing in the original trilogy in an effort to avoid alienating non-readers. Leia becoming a Jedi and the Yuuzhan Vong War as a whole were both turning points, as they demonstrated the Legends continuity wasn’t afraid to change the status quo – at least, in its later years.

How Star Wars Legends Leia Compares To The Sequel Trilogy

The Sequels Made Leia A Very Different Character – In Some Ways

The sequel trilogy is divisive among viewers, often lauded for its strengths, but also frequently insulted for its perceived failures. Leia is central in the sequels, and her story in it varies greatly from that of Star Wars Legends. For example, in canon, Leia was never Chief of State. She held higher offices, as mentioned in Ahsoka, but never achieved that kind of leadership because she was ousted from the New Republic Senate upon the revelation that she was the daughter of Darth Vader. This led her to alternate methods of fighting for the common good by founding the Resistance, which is similar to a group she founded during the Yuuzhan Vong War, and leading the Resistancce is where she’s seen in the sequels.

Leia is a general in the sequel trilogy, something she never achieved in Legends. This leads to a focus on the military side of things for her, which leaves any Jedi action sadly to the wayside. Though Leia does very explicitly feel and use the Force many times across the trilogy, she never wields her lightsaber, despite it appearing and being used by Rey. Leia also takes Rey as her apprentice in the sequels, which is something else never seen of her in Legends. Another similarity is Ben Solo’s story mirroring Jacen’s, as both are Jedi sons of Leia and Han who are drawn to the dark side by a mysterious Force-user – but in canon, their son’s fall leads to serious issues in their marriage.

Leia’s separation from Han is perhaps the biggest difference for her in canon, and it demonstrates an interesting change to the status quo that Legends never ventured into. The sequels are often criticized for their differences to the original Legends stories, but some of the story beats in Legends are much wilder than anything seen in the sequels. The most important thing to remember about Legends, though, is that stories like Leia’s are still out there and haven’t necessarily been erased via the existence of the sequel trilogy and canon. Star Wars Legends books are readily available, and all it takes to visit that version of the Star Wars timeline is to read them.


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