Still from The Empire Strikes Back (1980). Image is a screengrab via 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm
20. The time she didn’t ask for help
The first time we see Princess Leia in A New Hope, she is alone, with no one but R2-D2 there. We come to learn that this is Leia in her element — alone, on her toes, infiltrating the enemy base, full steam ahead. This tiny-framed woman has the scrappy demeanor of a mercenary and all the poise and status of royalty. In the age of an evil galactic empire, she is truly the people’s princess.
Princess Leia took this mission upon herself not expecting any help. She took the Death Star plans in an attempt to find its weaknesses on behalf of the Rebel Alliance, but she takes these challenges on herself. At the beginning of ANH, the Rebels are in pretty dire straits and in need of a leader who will command the situation but also make sacrifices where needed. Enter Princess Leia!
Granted, she does ask for help once in the beginning, from Obi-Wan Kenobi. Because he is “[her] only hope,” and really the last line of defense for the Rebel Alliance. In a way, this speaks volumes, because even though a strong hero doesn’t ask for much help, it takes an even stronger one to ask for it when it’s really needed.