The last time I watched the original trilogy, I noticed that, in the firefights, Leia will often shoot maybe 20% what Luke and Han shoot, but will almost invariably hit whomever she is shooting at. Mind, I'm just going by observation here, but it got me thinking.

So: is Leia canonically a better shot than Han and Luke? Or am I just seeing Girl Power thanks to my own biases?

If she is a better shot, what is the explanation for this? (That is, did Senator Organa take her skeet shooting in the summertime? Did she practice in the in-between times of the films? Or, do her Force capabilities manifest as sharpshooting?) I am wholly unfamiliar with the Expanded Universe, so pardon gaps in my knowledge.


5 Answers 5


In real-world combat, most fire is used to suppress the enemy, not kill them. Luke and Han also tend to take time to shoot 'on the move', firing blaster rifles (typically one-handed) or pistols while evading or running.

Leia is typically seen firing from cover, cooly and calmly, and taking the time to assume a proper stance and aim.

I found some stats from West End Games old D6 Star Wars game - this was officially licensed, so I believe the stats fall somewhere low in SW canon.

As of the end of the battle of Yavin, Luke Skywalker's 'Blaster' skill was 6D. Leia's 'Blaster' skill was 5D. Han's 'Blaster' skill was 9D+1.

Under the D6 system, you rolled x D6 (six-sided dice) for a skill check, and added up to 2 'pips' (the +1 in Han's skill) to get your total number. Higher was better.

Han, as you can see, was a considerably better shot than either of the others, and Luke was slightly better than Leia. Most of the time, though, Luke and Han were doing a LOT of things in a single combat round (under the WEG rules) which imposes 1D penalties per action (after the first). If Luke was doing a lot in a round, such as shooting 3 times and running for cover, while Leia simply shot once, she would, indeed, be shooting better than Luke for that round.


According to canon, Leia was an expert in combat, especially shooting (this is from EU books). I will scrounge up exact quotes. She trained with Winter.

Among the sources:

  • Training with weapons master Giles Durane

  • In "Rebel Dawn", Winter tells Bria that:

    ... she [Leia] insisted to Viceroy Organa that our intelligence training include lessons on how to use weapons effectively. Both of have learned to shoot and to hit what we aim at. The Viceroy ... even chose a Weapons Master for Leia...

This is of course coupled with the fact that she is Force sensitive, though I don't recall that being used as a reason for good shooting anywhere in canon.

  • 2
    Being Force sensitive and letting go and using your instincts can guide your physical actions and so make you a better shot... one of the main points in the first film (A New Hope). We don't know if Leia received any such tips ever, but it might be natural. I can't think of any other reason why Anakin would have been able to survive the pod race or his starfighter adventures in Episode I, either, other than that he was channeling the Force instinctively.
    – Dronz
    Dec 10, 2014 at 5:59
  • But did this training make her "a better shot than Han or Luke"?
    – user1786
    Sep 30, 2015 at 9:01
  • @JonofAllTrades - not directly, but we know Winter is an expert shot from X-Wing series; and as such any praise from her means Leia is as well Sep 30, 2015 at 13:48

Very interesting observation! But there could also be a prosaic answer: Leia is more accurate because she takes more time to aim. She doesn't engage in much wild rapid-fire shooting.


Of all of the characters that fire a blaster in the original 3 films she misses the fewest times. Therefore by that measurement, yes, she is the best shot.

  • Could the divebombers leave a note to let me know what is wrong?
    – Stefan
    Jun 19, 2013 at 23:49
  • 3
    I didn't downvote, but read the question again. OP knows that Leia seems to be more accurate in the movies, but wants to know whether Leia is canonically more accurate, and if so, whether she is a better shot for any particular reason. The fact that she seems to have the highest percentage of hits versus shots is already implicit in the question.
    – Wolfie Inu
    Sep 30, 2015 at 4:59
  • 1
    @WolfieInu, actually you have a point there. I must have skim read the question or something first time around.
    – Stefan
    May 3, 2017 at 7:23

Just watch empire strikes back. During the cloud city escape she shots three stormtroopers. The first runs right into it. All she does is come around the corner, aim, and fire. The second she does the same, the shots hits the stormtrooper below the belt, as he is running. Which can't be easy. If the shot were inches further in, it would have gotten him in the groin. I doubt she shot intentionally for below the belt. But she still pulls it off. The third she fires two shots, in darker lighting, and blows him away. She would've shot more if Lando didn't tell her to leave, probably cause he only shot one. Chewie shot four. Good scene all in all. In return of the jedi she gets shot, and still kills two stormtroopers. Lets not forget the guy in tbe at-st. She shoots him with one quick shot, and from ground level. The strange thing is when you see her shoot she blinks at the moment she pulls the trigger. So maybe it is force sensitve abilities manifesting in shooting accuracy.

  • 3
    This doesn't really answer the original question.
    – Joe L.
    Sep 30, 2015 at 2:21

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