Father. Brother. Husband. Son.
It seemed that every aspect of her life and the person that she shaped herself into was influenced by the family that she had around her at certain times in her life. Her family helped her to become the woman and the leader that she was.
It started with her father. She saw all of the work he was doing to help people against the Empire as she was growing up and she wanted to be just like him. She studied hard in every class that she took in school and became a well-schooled diplomat and secret soldier. As a young Princess she also was elected to the Senate and worked alongside her father as they helped people deal with the fallout of facing off against the Empire and all of their cruelties.
Her father was brave and he was her hero in so many ways. She learned everything that she could from him whenever she was able to. She learned to balance diplomacy with steel and to have grace and composure even when things were not going the way that she wanted them to.
When Alderaan was destroyed, it devastated her. All of those innocent people that had been killed just so that the Empire could show how powerful their new weapon was.
Losing her father made her determined to keep his memory alive and continue the work that they had been doing her whole life. Just because he was dead didn’t mean he was lost to her forever.
It was awhile before she understood exactly what that meant. It was because of the next chapter of her life that she learned about the Force and how those that were taken from her were still there and watching over her in some way.
Brother. Husband. Son.
The first time she met Luke, he had risked everything to save her life. He and his friends had infiltrated the Death Star, found where she was and Luke went though trial after trial to get her out and free. She knew nothing of him beyond his name, but there was instantly some kind of connection between them that she didn’t understand.
In Bespin when they lost Han, her heart had broken when Luke showed up because she knew that she was the bait in the trap to catch him. It rankled her to be bait but it bothered her even more that he could be hurt or imprisoned because he had come to rescue them from Darth Vader.
They were making a fast escape when she felt something pulling at her and knew they had to go back under the main part of the city. Lando thought she was crazy to demand that they go back, but luckily, Chewbacca trusted her and when Lando pulled Luke down into the ship from the antenna he had been clinging to, all she wanted to do was take care of him and make sure that he was going to be all right. He had been in a horrible fight both emotionally and physically. She could tell that from his eyes.
It was on Endor that she learned the truth about the connection she had Luke had shared. Even when she was young she had wanted siblings and now she had a twin brother who was telling her that she could become just as strong in the Force as he was becoming. She thought that he was crazy because she had never considered herself to be any type of Jedi, but apparently, you didn’t need to be a Jedi to wield the power of the Force.
You didn’t have to stay around the people you loved when you felt you lost everything, either.
It didn’t surprise her when she and Han finally went through a marriage ceremony. They had been part of each other for enough time that they knew they belonged together. How could they go through so many life and death situations without knowing that they were a team and were always there for each other.
Han was the one that she never thought she’d survive losing if anything happened to him in battle. He was reckless and brave and those were things that she both loved about him and that frustrated her.
However, their relationship worked for them because they tempered each other and when it was needed, they used each other’s strength to get through whatever they needed to do at the time. They may have still had loud “discussions”, but that was always something that was just for them and worked for them. He made her stronger in ways that she hadn’t known existed within her. He opened up more aspects of her life and her ways of thinking that she hadn’t used before.
If it was true that the Force could bring you together with the person that fir you most like she learned, there was no doubt it had done right by her in bringing her Han. He held her close but never once tried to clip her wings or change her into something that was not or didn’t want to be.
Their relationship was one that shaped them both into better people -- and into better warriors for any cause they were involved with.
Heartbreaking that it was another part of her family that caused Han to run away from everything for years just like Luke had done.
Ben was her pride and joy and she loved him so much. She thought that he would always be at her side. When he started showing signs of being as strong in the Force as Luke was, she sent him away to train with Luke because she wasn’t what she thought he needed to become what he was destined to be.
Not even the Force could have warned her about what would happen when she sent her son away. How was she supposed to know that he would be seduced by the Dark Side and fall to the Sith when he was so close to one of the greatest Jedi of their time?
Her son taught her about how loss can rip through you deeper than anything she ever expected to feel again.
She was a warrior but she was still his mother and she had faith every day that something would happen and he would come back to her as he son and not the nightmare he was becoming.
That all changed when the knowledge of the moment of her husband’s death ripped through her so completely through their connection in the Force. Not just the Force, but their hearts and souls were connected and she felt Han’s death in every cell of her body.
That was when she knew that her son wasn’t coming back home to her and one day she was going to have to fight against him.
It wasn’t something that she had expected to add to the layers of shaping and changing she had done over the years since she was raised on Alderaan.
She had to stop being the Princess and become the General.