Still from Return of the Jedi (1983). Image is a screengrab via 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm
2. When she learns Luke is her brother
In this dreamy scene on Endor, Luke imparts the secret burden he’s been carrying since he reunited with Han Solo and Leia after Yoda’s death. Not only is he Darth Vader’s son, but she is his sister.
Her reaction to this news is kind of funny, in that it’s sort of an “oh yeah, I think I heard that” moment. This is because of her connection to The Force. But overall she accepts that information openly and without judgment, embracing her long lost twin brother. Before she learns this, Luke asks Leia what she remembers about her mother. “She was beautiful… and sad,” she muses. Drudging up the memories of her dead mother for Luke is very brave indeed.
I think these quiet contemplative moments are where we see Princess Leia shine as a person. Like I previously mentioned, her compassion sets her apart, but so does The Force. It is so strong with her, and it’s moments like these in which we see her power — and faith — at work. Instead of being thrown and upset by this information, she treats it as if a glorious light has been shed on an otherwise dark part of her life. And in Luke she finds a new powerful ally and friend. And this all makes Han Solo jealous, which is the most hilarious part.