If you've not seen Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens already, either you've been held captive in a small cellar beneath your neighbor's garage for the past month (which I guess is a pretty solid excuse; my condolences) or you're just not that bothered. Either way, please click out of this article now if you'd like to avoid fat, juicy Star Wars spoilers.
That thing that happened in The Force Awakens.
Let's talk about that. The big moment. You know the one. Han Solo comes face to face with Kylo Ren, and demands to see the face of his son.
Take off that mask.
What do you think you'll see if I do?
The face of my son.
When Han and Leia reunite at the Resistance base, General Organa sends the father of her son on a mission to bring him home. Ultimately, it proves fatal, which is obviously tragic - but the cold, hard truth is that Leia sends Han to his death, which raises the question...
Did Leia know, on some level, that Han wouldn't be coming home?
To give the General her dues, she's not wrong when she tells Han that there's still some good in Ben Solo. We witness his conflict. In the novelization, Snoke himself acknowledges the duality in Kylo Ren: "The Dark Side... and the Light".
They're both there, but Leia rolled the dice when she decided that Han would join Finn on the mission. There was, at best, a 50/50 shot that the Light Side would prevail, and Han Solo would be able to bring Ben back from the Dark mindset that had set into motion the chain of events that sent Luke Skywalker into hiding.
The dice did not land in her favor.
In many ways, the final act of The Force Awakens plays out like a classic Shakespearean tragedy. There's an argument to be made that Kylo's act of patricide would have played out somewhere further down the line even if Han hadn't infiltrated the Starkiller base, that he needed to kill his father to exorcise whatever was holding him back from committing to the Dark Side.
But it didn't have to be Leia. Her hands could have been clean, and though she always has been, and remains, a fundamentally good person, her lapse in judgment cost the Resistance a major asset. It cost Leia the love of her life.
What does the future hold for Leia?
As a result of everything that occurred between father and son, we can probably expect to find Leia in a state of emotional turmoil in Star Wars 8.
Will she blame herself for Han's death, or will she be able to disengage from the fact that he died on her orders? Perhaps more pertinently, will she still be of the belief that there's good in her son, or is Ben Solo gone? Has Kylo Ren absorbed all that remained of him?
The Force Awakens was not the most nuanced film - its plot was simple, some of its new heroes painted in broad strokes, but the Kylo Ren saga has the potential to go in many directions, all interesting, and General Leia Organa remains a crucial component of this franchise.
That's why, whatever happens, her journey will continue to thrill in Star Wars 8.