Fans froth over ‘Star Wars’ trailer’s hint at a lightsaber for Princess Leia

The new trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens is definitely emphasizing a return to the franchise’s roots. Today’s teaser gave us a voice-over from Mark Hamill as Luke, a glimpse of Harrison Ford as Han Solo and his Wookie sidekick Chewbacca, and shots of the Millennium Falcon in action again.

But one of the plot points hinted at in today’s big teaser has Star Wars fans buzzing. It’s a giant hint that we could see Princess Leia finally get her own Jedi status symbol: a light saber.

In the trailer, a voice over, presumably Mark Hamill as Luke, talks about how the Force runs strong in his family. As he says, “My sister has it,” we see the silhouette of a woman, presumably Princess Leia, being offered a light saber by an unknown Jedi. After a moment’s hesitation, she takes it.

Aja Romano

And the celebration was endless.

But is that really Leia in the shot? If it is, is it a flashback from an earlier time? We’ve already seen Leia fight in the original series. And in the extended Star Wars universe, Leia is a strong soldier as well as a leader. But does this mean we’ll be able to see Carrie Fischer hold a light saber for the first time in the franchise?

If it’s Leia, then who’s handing her the light saber?

And if it isn’t Leia, how mad will the Internet be at this obvious fake-out?

Fans are already buzzing with theories. The general popular consensus is that it’s Luke handing Leia his light saber (perhaps post-Empire Strikes Back), but there are also plenty of outliers. The die-hards are convinced that it’s actually Anakin’s Sith light saber. But the rest? Cue mystery.

Even if fans are wrong about the specifics of the scene, it says far too much about the state of gender roles in Star Wars that the simple fact that a woman touched a light saber has half the Internet crying for joy. Despite Leia holding her own at the top of comic charts for Marvel‘s new Princess Leia tie-in series, women in the franchise haven’t fared very well lately. They’ve been overlooked by franchise product development, and sometimes actively ridiculed by members of the fandom. Despite a lack of equal numbers of women in the cast compared to the number of male roles, the new movie does seem to be emphasizing diversity. And the new series of tie-in novels are already shoring up that theme.

During today’s Force Awakens panel, producer Kathleen Kennedy told an ecstatic audience that the Star Wars franchise needs more women. She then promised “a lot of wonderful new characters” for female fans to identify with.

Hopefully, they’ll all get their own light sabers.

Screengrab via StarWars/YouTube 

Aja Romano

Aja Romano

Aja Romano is a geek culture reporter and fandom expert. Their reporting at the Daily Dot covered everything from Harry Potter and anime to Tumblr and Gamergate. Romano joined Vox as a staff reporter in 2016.