Princess Leia is joining Star Wars Rebels for the Season 2 midseason premiere airing Wednesday, January 20 at 9/8c on Disney XD. Her appearance marks another milestone in the animated series as its events creep closer to those of Star Wars: A New Hope.
Providing the voice of Leia is not Carrie Fisher, who recently portrayed Leia again in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but Julie Dolan. You may have heard Dolan’s interpretation of Leia previously as she lent her voice to the Princess for Disney’s Star Tours attraction.
When we first encounter Leia in Star Wars Rebels, her position is quite different than her introduction in A New Hope. Series producer Dave Filoni explains:
“One of the complex challenges of depicting Leia in Star Wars Rebels is that we have to remind the audience that she is part of the Empire at this point. She doesn’t believe in the Empire, but she is acting the part, almost as a double agent. The Empire sees her as a privileged princess who runs mercy missions to wayward worlds, but in truth she is much stronger and more dangerous than they imagine.
There really is no other character quite like her. And to quote The Force Awakens’ Lor San Tekka, ‘She’ll always be royalty to me.’”
Leia’s introduction occurs approximately three years before she meets Luke, Han and Chewbacca. At that time Obi-Wan Kenobi was her only hope and the following clip proves she’s aware of Kanan Jarrus and his Jedi exploits. Once again the question is raised, “what happens to Kanan, Ezra and the Ghost crew before A New Hope can begin?”