Princess Leia Debuts in Star Wars Rebels’ January 2016 Return

Princess Leia in Star Wars Rebels. Photo Courtesy of LucasfilmStar Wars Rebels’ second season returns from its winter break with the first (and only) appearance of Princess Leia for the show’s sophomore season. “A Princess on Lothal,” airing January 20th at 8pm CST on Disney XD, features everyone’s favorite royalty doing what she does best: playing the dutiful Empire Senator while being a resourceful rebellion spy like it’s nobody’s business. There’s a clip and more information below the cut.

Julie Dolan joins the cast as Leia, which she has voiced in both Star Tours and mobile game Star Wars: Uprising. You can hear the performance above, and while it doesn’t immediately sound like Carrie Fisher, Leia’s attitude and the way Dolan delivers it certainly sound like Leia to me. And in the end it’s not how she sounds, but rather how the crew behind Rebels executes and justifies her appearance in the episode, which thanks to Dave Filoni being behind the helm, I’m not too worried about:

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.

As exciting and seemingly unavoidable as Leia’s appearance is on the show, it seems having her visit Lothal means we probably won’t get to see Alderaan in this episode. Even with a season 3 introduction more and more likely, I’m still holding out hope we’ll get to see Leia’s adopted homeworld before the show is through.

If you recognize the ships Leia arrives in, then you’re a fan of Knights of the Old Republic:

And Rebels’ Ralph McQuarrie influence stays strong with Leia’s outfit being lifted from another of his concepts:

The first half of the season gave Sabine and Hera some long overdue focus, introduced the dangerous Seventh Sister, and Ahsoka stepped up in a big way, all resulting in a very strong start. And after Leia’s appearance, what else do we have in store for Rebels’ second season? Catch up on our reviews while we wait to find out!

(Story originally broke on TVInsider and now the official site also broke the news while including several images from the upcoming episode)

Ryan is Mynock Manor’s Head Butler. You can follow him on Twitter @BrushYourTeeth. You can follow the website @MynockManor.

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