- "There really is no other character quite like her. And to quote The Force Awakens' Lor San Tekka, 'She'll always be royalty to me.'"
- ―Dave Filoni, about Princess Leia
"A Princess on Lothal" is the twelfth episode and winter premiere of the second season of the animated television series Star Wars Rebels. It is the twenty-seventh episode of the series overall. The episode, which aired on Disney XD on January 20, 2016, marks the debut of Princess Leia Organa on the series.
While Ezra grapples with the news about his parents, the rebels make plans with Senator Bail Organa to secure three much-needed cruisers. Leading the mission is an agent hand-picked by the Senator: his daughter, Leia.
Following the events of Legacy, Kanan Jarrus talks with Hera Syndulla via hologram about his, Ezra Bridger, and Chopper's recent adventures on Lothal. While Ezra had learned that his parents Ephraim and Mira Bridger had died, the rebels had been able to find a new ally in the form of Ryder Azadi, the former Governor of Lothal. Hera informs Kanan that Senator Bail Organa had heard about the Phoenix Squadron's recent losses on Garel and sent an agent to deliver more ships to them.
Above the planet Lothal, three unidentified cruisers appeared out of hyperspace and are intercepted by a light cruiser. The Imperial Lieutenant Yogar Lyste demands to know the identities and the purpose of the cruisers due to rebel activity on Lothal forcing the Emperor to cut off access to the planet. The cruisers respond by saying they are giving relief aid to the people of Lothal and are identified as Alderaanian and Leia Organa is accompanying them. Satisfied by Leia's explanation, Lyste allows them to land at his garrison.
Back at Ryder Azadi's hideout, Kanan and Ezra prepare for the rendezvous and asks Ryder to go with them. He refuses, stating that he shouldn't be involved in rebel activity or he might be captured and thrown in prison again. At the garrison, Leia disembarks from one of the ships while Kanan and Ezra mingle in by using their disguises. Lyste tells Leia that he is aware that her ships seem to get "stolen" by rebels quite frequently and tells her the Imperials will make sure the Spectres will be unable to steal them. He tells her that they are putting gravity locks on the ships, putting a detachment of stormtroopers around the area along with two All Terrain Armored Transports. Meanwhile, the deck officer begins to scan the ships for any contraband in the ships. Leia assures him that all of this is unnecessary, but he insists on doing so. Since her ships are grounded, she takes his Sentinel-class landing craft so she can start on her relief work.
On the landing craft, Leia is disappointed that the Empire has stepped up security and wonders how the rebels will be able to get them. Ezra asks why they didn't give the cruisers in deep space, and Leia tells him that if they did, the Empire would suspect Alderaan for helping the rebels and label them as traitors. If the rebels stole the ships on a planet controlled by the Empire, Alderaan would not be suspected for helping the rebel cause. They go back to Ryder's hideout and find a group of stormtroopers arresting Ryder and Chopper. Kanan, disguised as a stormtrooper, talks with the leader and offers to take them back to prison. The officer tells them that they have orders to execute one of them.
Suddenly, the Ghost appears and shoots at the Imperial transports before Zeb and Sabine disembark and a brief skirmish begins. Leia tells Kanan and Ezra that she can't be seen running with them or it would look suspicious. Ezra signals Sabine to let her and Zeb know the stormtrooper and cadet from the knocked Imperial Troop Transport are them and not the enemy. Leia tells Ezra to make it look authentic so no suspicion would be aroused by the fighting stormtroopers, who then signals it to Sabine. Sabine then tells Zeb, who is excited to carry out the task. Kanan and Ezra allow Leia to be taken by Ryder. The other stormtroopers move in, but Kanan tells the officer that it is his responsibility to get Leia back from the rebels. Zeb then knocks out Kanan and Ezra before dragging them into the ship. Two of the fighting stormtroopers are surprised and wonder if the rebels are now starting to take prisoners. Meanwhile, Chopper secured the Phantom and loaded the auxiliary ship aboard the Ghost. Before leaving, he destroyed the landing craft that Lyste had lent to Leia.
Back aboard the Ghost, the others have learned about what happened to Ezra's parents and offer their condolences to them. Leia talks with Ezra and how his parents inspired many to resist the Empire's rule. At the base, Lyste is notified of Leia and the cadet's kidnapping and orders an immediate search around the nearby area to find the rebels. Meanwhile, the cell wonders how they can get the cruisers if they are even lucky to get them. Leia motivates the team by saying how they can get them. They quickly formulated a plan to get the ships. Ryder joins in, saying that explosives won't be able to disable the gravity locks and offers his help in exchange for getting out of Lothal.
At the garrison, Lyste and his soldiers notice the Phantom touch down. The soldiers put their guns on stun in case rebels are aboard, but they find Kanan and Ezra (in their disguises) along with Leia. Leia tells Lyste that Kanan saved her life and that he should be given a medal. While Lyste and his soldiers are distracted, Ryder, Chopper and Sabine disable one of the gravity locks. Sabine goes inside to pilot the cruiser while Ryder and Chopper move on to the next one. Leia tells Lyste that one of the ships he is protecting is flying away and he immediately orders his soldiers to stop the rebels. One of the AT-ATs attacks the ship. They then see Ryder and Chopper disabling a gravity lock and open fire on them. Kanan and Ezra knock Lyste and his two soldiers out cold. Kanan draws out his lightsaber and Ryder realizes that Kanan is a Jedi. Kanan severs two of the AT-AT's legs, toppling it. Meanwhile, the Ghost offers air support to distract the AT-ATs, although their armor prevents their missiles from having much effect on them.
Ryder and Chopper disable the second gravity lock. He tells Kanan to get in and pilot it. Realizing that the rebels need help, he goes aboard the third ship while telling Chopper to disable the gravity lock. Ezra notices two stormtroopers surrounding Ryder and uses the Force to take their blasters from them. Leia then shoots at the soldiers, knocking them out. Imperial reinforcements arrive and tell the other AT-AT to take out the ships. Leia tells the officer not to kill them because of the ships, but the officer tells her that they can't let them fall in rebel hands. Ryder forces the ship to fly despite the gravity lock and engages the thrusters, toppling the AT-AT with the force generated from them. Having accomplished his mission, Chopper takes-off on the Phantom.
Leia and Ezra say goodbye to each other, saying that they'll see each other again soon. But before they go, Leia tells Ezra to stun her with his gun to avoid suspicion. Ezra does so just as Lyste and the other stormtroopers regain their senses, which prompts him to go see if she is all right. She tells her she is fine, but all three of her ships have been stolen by the rebels. Leia threatens to blackmail Lyste unless he pays for the missing ships, which he quickly complies to. Realizing that his ship is also missing, he also arranges to find another ship for her.
In deep space, the rebels are pleased that they managed to get all three ships. Ryder, now realizing that what Ezra's parents started has become even larger then he thought, offers to help the rebel cause for both them and their son's sake. The screen pans out as the growing rebel fleet moves out of the Lothal system.
- "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."
- ―Dave Filoni, regarding Princess Leia
"A Princess on Lothal" aired on Disney XD on January 20, 2016, marks the debut of Princess Leia Organa on Star Wars Rebels. According to Dave Filoni, executive producer of the show, the creative team felt that they had an opportunity to show Leia before she became the leader seen in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. As she is a younger character from when audiences first met her, it allowed the team to experiment with her personality before she became more resolute in the original film. One of the challenges of bringing Leia onto the show was that audiences would have to be reminded that she is part of the Empire at this point in her life, and while she believes in the ideals of the rebellion she has to act the part of a loyal Imperial. The Empire itself views Leia as a privileged princess who undertakes mercy missions, but, according to Filoni, Leia is actually "much stronger and more dangerous than they imagine."
Leia's appearance in this episode is her only appearance in the second season. She is voiced by Julie Dolan, who also provides the character's voice in the video game Star Wars: Uprising and the Disney theme park ride Star Tours. Her outfit is based on concept art by Ralph McQuarrie for A New Hope.
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