In Return of the Jedi Luke tells Leia he is her brother and that Darth Vader is their father.

Leia's reaction to this revelation has always confused me, she has just found out that the man who destroyed her home planet, killed many of her friends, enslaved the Galaxy and tortured the man she loves is her father, but yet she seems remarkably calm.

I know that her feelings towards her father are explored in the Extended Universe/Legends novels, but has it ever been dealt with in any of the (now) canon sources?

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    Many years after the fact, there's a little bit in the Claudia Gray novel "Bloodline" as well, but I'd have to read it again to get the relevant points Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 12:32
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    I don't remember in which book (The Courtship of Princess?) but she was really distressed about it.
    – Max
    Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 16:33
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    Some people just react well under pressure. Not everybody freaks out and starts flapping around. Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 17:56
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    I'd like to point out that Vader didn't destroy Alderaan. Tarkin did that. The rest of that list of events is pretty spot-on though.
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 19:33
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    I find this answer, about Leia keeping the name 'Organa', to be somewhat relevant here. Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 20:17

3 Answers 3


She reacts when first informed.

While subtle, the script has Leia clearly reacting to the news from Luke. However even before confirming that she's his sister, Leia has pieced together the puzzle. She is shown being distraught and frightened.

He's my father.

Your father?

There's more. It won't be easy for you to hear it, but you must. If I don't make it back, you're the only hope for the Alliance.

Leia is very disturbed by this. She moves away, as if to deny it.

Luke, don't talk that way. You have a power I--I don't understand and could never have.

You're wrong, Leia. You have that power too. In time you'll learn to use it as I have. The Force is strong in my family. My father has it...I have it...and...my sister has it.

Leia stares into his eyes. What she sees there frightens her. But she doesn't draw away. She begins to understand.

Yes. It's you Leia.

I know. Somehow...I've always known.
Return of the Jedi Script - IMSDB

Now while her tone changes quite quickly, and the revelation to her doesn't lead to the same emotionally charged outburst that it did for Luke, she clearly still shows surprise. The way she took the news seems to reflect on her character. A hardened rebel who'd grown up royal but amongst the hardships of the rebellion fighting for what she believed to be right. Whether she ever accepted Anakin as her father is unclear. However in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, she kept her name of Organa and seems to value her adoptive parents more than her biological father.

In the official canon junior novelisation published in 2015, Leia's reaction is further described.

And now a lot of things begin to make sense to Leia. Things that have never made sense before.
“Yes. It’s you, Leia. You are my sister.” Yes, just like Luke, she feels the truth of this immediately. But what a truth to finally acknowledge! Finding out that Luke is her brother should bring her joy…but to learn that the dreaded Darth Vader—who captured her, imprisoned her, even tortured her—is her father? Alas, the joy of gaining a brother is lost for now in the shadow of their dark father.
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side! Chapter 49: In which Leia Learns the Truth at Last

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    LUKE: you're my sister. .... LEIA: I know. (shows how much Hans left an impact on her) :p
    – Shreedhar
    Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 14:02
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    "The revelation to her doesn't lead to the same emotionally charged outburst that it did for Luke" maybe because she still had a right hand after the revelation ¯_ ツ _/¯
    – Karaelfte
    Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 14:30
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    Firstly, it looks like you're missing an arm, here you go `\`. And true, she didn't lose her right hand. Although she lost her entire peoples... PS: Had to repost because I lost the arm en route.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 14:44
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    she kept her name of Organa and seems to value her adoptive parents more than her biological father ... well, if I were her adoptive parents I would sure hope so.
    – xLeitix
    Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 16:26
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    "Somehow, I've always known" makes the kiss on Hoth a bit... erm... uninhibited.
    – Graham
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 13:02

If we go by Legends Canon there was an entire book about Leia dealing with the fact Darth Vader was her father.


Leia getting to grips with her father's identity was also a big part of the Thrawn Trilogy, from the point where she lands on Honoghr and learns about the fate of the Noghri and their devotion to Darth Vader.


  • Unfortunately this answer was looking for a canon answer, not legends.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 8:31
  • As I said in my post I know about the Legends approach, my question is specific to the non legends canon.
    – Richard C
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 8:33
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    @RichardC Yeah i realised that after i posted. I'm not really up to speed when it comes to Disney Canon. The only book in Disney Canon i can recommend that deals with that is Bloodline by Claudia Grey. starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Bloodline_(novel)
    – Nyllcode
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 9:09

In the current canon, the fact she was Vader's daughter was something that was kept quiet, initially known only to Luke, herself, and Han (well, and probably Snoke), until the events of the novel Bloodline when the secret was revealed and essentially destroyed her political career.

She wasn't happy about Vader being her biological father, and based on her actions very much considered Bail to be her real, if adopted, one.

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