In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, there was no doubt that two of the most popular characters introduced in the storyline were Luke and Leia. Of course, they were total strangers to one another when they first met in that movie, but it was clear that there was a good reason why their paths crossed, as they weren’t only instrumental in the rebellion against the Empire. They were siblings, as revealed during the events of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, where they were already more mature than they were in the first film. So, how old were Luke and Leia in A New Hope?
Luke and Leia were only 19 years old during A New Hope. They were born as twins back in 19 BBY, which was 19 years before the events of the Battle of Yavin, which was the Rebel Alliance’s first true victory over the Empire. That would mean they weren’t even in their 20s when they started fighting the Empire.
It was already clear that Luke and Leia would be two of the most important characters in the entire Star Wars Skywalker Saga, especially because of their connection to Darth Vader and the other characters in the sequel movies. Now, with that said, let’s look at how old Luke and Leia were in the events of the first Star Wars movie ever released.
When Were Luke and Leia Born?
Introduced in the events of the first Star Wars movie, Episode IV: A New Hope, Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa became cultural icons that quickly launched an entire fandom into orbit. The success of Star Wars and the popularity of the characters allowed Lucasfilm to create an entire galaxy full of stories involving the different people in the Star Wars lore. Of course, dubbed as the Skywalker Saga, all of the nine mainline films of Star Wars have a connection to both Luke and Leia.
During Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, we learned that Luke and Leia were siblings. No one told them about this as they merely reached into their feelings using the Force to understand that they had a familial connection between them. And Darth Vader, their father, even learned of this while using Force to connect with Luke’s feelings.
Of course, during the events of the prequel trilogy, which was composed of Episodes I, II, and III, we saw the events that led to the things that happened in Episodes IV, V, and VI. Specifically, in Episode I, Anakin Skywalker, who eventually became Darth Vader, was still young. This young boy turned into a powerful young man that was believed to be the Chosen One of an ancient Jedi prophecy. He fell in love with Padme Amidala and secretly got her pregnant before he fell to the dark side and became the robotic creature known as Darth Vader.
The events of the prequel trilogy happened way before the original Star Wars trilogy, where Luke and Leia were already grown, adults. We know that the events of A New Hope happened on 0 ABY (After the Battle of Yavin), which was the year that the New Republic believed was the turning point of the Rebellion because of how important the Battle of Yavin was to the Rebels, as this was the first true victory that they had over the Empire. So, if Luke and Leia were already adults in A New Hope, what year were they born?
As mentioned, the prequel trilogy happened long before the Star Wars trilogy, as Luke and Leia were just born in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The events of Revenge of the Sith happened on 19 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin), and that means that the fall of the Jedi Order and the rise of the Galactic Empire all happened in that year as well. Coincidentally, Padme also gave birth to Luke and Leia in 19 BBY, which was kept a secret from Darth Vader, who never even knew that the children that Padme carried in her womb survived.
Luke and Leia’s Age in A New Hope
Now that we have established that Luke and Leia were born on 19 BBY and that A New Hope happened in the zero year of Star Wars, which is 0 ABY, how old were the Skywalker twins during the events of Episode IV?
During Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Luke and Leia were just 19 years old, as only 19 years had passed since their birth on 19 BBY and the Battle of Yavin, which happened on 0 ABY. That means they weren’t even in their 20s when they were instrumental in the fight against the Empire and worked together to bring down the first Death Star and strike fear into Emperor Palpatine’s heart.
Of course, the original Star Wars trilogy lasted around four years in in-universe time. That means that Luke and Leia were already 23 years old, as the fall of the Galactic Empire happened on 4 ABY when Luke helped Anakin return to the light side to defeat and kill Emperor Palpatine. Four years were more than enough for them to mature into true adults, as both Luke and Leia experienced a lot of challenges that allowed them to develop along the way.