Despite being part of the original main trio, Princess Leia (or General Leia, as she goes by now) is often overlooked. In Star Wars IV: A New Hope, Leia Organa provided a vital connection to the Rebel Alliance, and the glimpses we got at her wider story were very compelling.
There's a huge amount we still don't know about her double life as a Senator/Rebel spy, and we're dying to see the many adventures she had before she wound up on the Death Star.
With Rogue One, Lucasfilm have an excellent opportunity to show us a snapshot of Princess Leia's early life. And while she shouldn't by any means eclipse Jyn Erso or the main story, here's why Leia needs to make an appearance in the anthology film.
Princess, Senator, Soldier, Spy
When we first meet Leia Organa in A New Hope, she is established as a major player in the Rebellion, on a dangerous mission to transport stolen Death Star plans. And guess who stole those plans in the first place.
Leading right back to the beginning of the Star Wars saga, Rogue One will tell the story of how Jyn Erso and her gang of rebels pulled off the biggest heist in galactic history. This is a really neat idea for an anthology film, as it gives a rich backstory to a small but crucial plot point in A New Hope. And because those plans wound up in Leia's possession, it seems obvious that she should appear in a small way in Rogue One.
According to her original origin story, Leia was only 17 when she became a senator and it was less than a year before she began serving as a double agent for the Rebel Alliance. Her tenacity, bravery, and quick wit were essential to building up the Rebellion's power.
Honestly, Leia's backstory is enough for her own solo anthology movie, and it would be fantastic to see her origins on the big screen. But how would this even fit into the main story of Rogue One?
Daughter Of Vader
Well, there's a few ways to make Leia's presence felt. Mentioning her would be one way, if not by name then by a cryptic but recognisable moniker. A small cameo at the end would also work, as we follow the Death Star plans to their destination on Leia's diplomatic shuttle.
Ultimately though, there might be a more interesting way to show Leia in Rogue One, thanks to her father's involvement in the story. And no, we aren't talking about Bail Organa. A New Hope subtly establishes that Princess Leia and Darth Vader have had previous confrontations.
"Darth Vader. Only you could be so bold."
It's likely that in her rebel missions Leia ran afoul of Vader several times, and although she was probably in disguise, it could be that this lead Vader to suspect her involvement in the Alliance and subsequently attack her Alderanian shuttle. Again, this seems like plot fodder better suited to a solo movie. But we could very well see Leia face off against Vader in Rogue One, to establish their history and show a glimpse of the wider story.
With Rogue One focusing on one of the Rebellion's biggest operations, the very heist that lead to Leia's introduction in A New Hope, it just makes sense to include her in the story somehow. Especially because we're left wondering why, if Mon Mothma was the one to order the mission, did Leia end up delivering the plans to the Rebellion herself? What happened to Jyn Erso's team: were they unable to complete the mission?
Here's hoping we get the answers to these questions, as well as a Leia cameo, in Rogue One.