J.J. Abrams: Leia transition from princess to general discussed | EW.com
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Movies | Star Wars Galaxy

J.J. Abrams discusses Leia's transition from princess to general in Force Awakens

(Lucasfilm)

When Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrives in theaters on Dec. 18, an old character will have a new title: Leia Organa, erstwhile princess, is referred to as general.

Speaking during a Sirius XM town hall on Monday, director J.J. Abrams explained that the shift in honorific was rooted in the fact that Leia simply grew up.

“I think it’s sort of like any of us, you like to think you evolve and go through life experiences and become something else,” Abrams said. “But the truth is we’re all kind of who we are. My guess is most of us would say, ‘I’m kind of the kid I was, still.’ But I also think both are true. It’s a little bit, almost a nature-nurture thing. You are who you are naturally, but as you go through life, you harden in some ways, you hopefully become more enlightened in others. Her evolution from princess to general is part of her life experience, but she’s always going to be Leia.”

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Earlier this month, Abrams told EW that almost everyone in The Force Awakens is on board with calling Leia a general… except for one hold out.

“There’s a moment in the movie where a character sort of slips and calls her ‘princess,’” Abrams revealed, without naming which character makes the error.

As for Leia, star Carrier Fisher, who returns to play the character for the first time since Return of the Jedi in 1983, told EW her duties as general are proving difficult.

“[She’s] under a lot of pressure. Committed as ever to her cause, but I would imagine feeling somewhat defeated, tired, and pissed,” Fisher said.

Watch Abrams discuss Leia above. The Sirius XM Town Hall with J.J. Abrams, hosted by PEOPLE and EW editorial director Jess Cagle, will premiere Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. ET on EW Radio Sirius XM 105.