Everyone’s favorite princess makes her first appearance in the next all-new episode of Star Wars Rebels. The animated series returns from its mid season hiatus with “A Princess on Lothal” on January 20 at a new time slot, 9:00PM EST. In this new episode, Leia Organa (voiced by Julie Dolan) is sent to Lothal with much-needed ships for the rebel fleet. However, an Imperial lockdown forces the rebels to create a new plan to steal the vehicles.
Last we left off, Ezra had discovered the truth about his parents through the first-hand account of Ryder Azadi. Ezra has since moved forward, continuing to fight against the Empire and assisting in the rebel alliance’s latest mission without a hitch. That is, until he meets Leia in this new clip.
Right from the moment she disembarks from the ship, old and newer fans are reminded that Leia doesn’t play around and that her sharp attitude is just as powerful as any blaster. Of course, this rubs Ezra the wrong way. Given that they’re the same age, I’ve been wanting to see Ezra and Leia on the same screen for some time now. She’s the princess and he’s the street rat, so in my mind, it works! (And there’s been plenty of fan art of them already.) After all, she did tell Han, “I happen to like nice men,” in The Empire Strikes Back and Ezra is as good and kindhearted as they come. Whether that will actually play out is a different story, one that I’m most certainly looking forward to seeing on January 20.
I’m also excited to see is her interactions with the other protagonists in the show, especially Hera and Sabine. All three women share the same goals and passion, so having those paths cross will definitely be a plus for the fan community craving more interactions between women.
However, there is also the concern of whether bringing too many classic character cameos is a good thing for the series. On previous occasions, executive producer and supervising director Dave Filoni has expressed that they incorporate these characters only if the serve a purpose and help expand and carry the story forward.
“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,” said Filoni in the official press release. “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.”
Plus, seeing Leia in the series isn’t that far-fetched of a notion, since the Ghost crew have had direct contact with Bail Organa in past episodes. It’s the perfect point in time to show what Leia is capable of doing at this age and have her be a more refined and responsible version of Ezra.
There’s also the question of whether Leia will exhibit some of her Force sensitive abilities. In the Marvel comics, she had the occasional brush with the Force, having sensed the cold and residual presence of Darth Maul and seeing a ghostly image of her mother on Naboo. Since she’ll be surrounded by Kanan and Ezra, I can see Ezra (or both) sensing something different about her.
Something else fans should keep an eye out for in the near future? A brand new trailer.
Freddie Prinze, Jr., recently talked about the upcoming trailer in a Twitch stream, detailing the fact that it will be over three minutes long.
“I did some podcasts in the beginning of the [second] season, and I talked about some of the legend characters they discuss–legend characters being characters established in either of the first two trilogies or in The Clone Wars cartoon. We’ve got a lot of them and they reveal almost all of them,” he said, Princess Leia being the first of many to appear. “And for all of you who’ve been wanting that Ahsoka/Vader battle, they show more than I think they should even show, to be honest. You get a ton of that interaction, you get a taste of the action, and you get to see a bit of that physical contact.”
Stay tuned for more Rebels action, and in the meantime, mark your calendars. Star Wars Rebels returns Wednesday, January 20, at 9:00pM EST.