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When Han mentions Kylo Ren to Leia, she openly professes her desire to

try to get her son back.

It seems likely that Leia would have more luck here than Han, since Kylo Ren shows a very strong disdain for

his father.

So why did she send Han off to confront Kylo, and not try to do so herself?

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[citation needed] – Plutor Jan 4 at 20:14

In-Universe: The person in charge of everything does not plunge headlong into a mess that involves blowing things up. This isn't Star Trek. She has a resistance to organize, Senators to encourage, and a whole new generation of Farm boys to put into death machines to fight evil death machines who have a larger budget. (...Freedom!)

In-Universe Meta: Han Solo is consistently better at things than he lets on. He doesn't do it pretty, but it gets done, with all odds against him. Even in the now-legacy expanded universe, he was practically a Force user, except with luck.

Out-of-Universe: Harrison Ford really hated being Han Solo. He wanted him dead during the original trilogy, and had publicly and repeatedly said that three movies was enough and it would have been a better arc if he had died during th originals. I'm fairly certain one of the reasons he signed on to the movie was on the grounds that they would go ahead and kill him off.

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RE: your "does not plunge headlong into a mess that involves blowing things up" and "Star Trek" quip: - *cough* Emperor Palpatine *cough*. And I don't just mean Episode VI - I also mean Disney canon book "Lords of the Sith" – DVK-in-exile Jan 4 at 20:32
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+1 for "This isn't Star Trek". – TylerH Jan 4 at 20:33
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Your "in-universe meta" reason even covers the likelihood that he would die. Han is willing to go into situations where he might die simply because he's used to taking on adverse odds. If there's an incredibly dangerous situation (such as facing down one's homicidal, Force-using son), even one that his famous luck probably can't get him out of, Han's more willing to take it on, and Han and Leia both know that. – recognizer Jan 4 at 22:53
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@DVK arguably the Emporer was the only person in the Empire qualified to seduce Luke. I expect it was also a matter of ego that he desired to be on the Death Star 2.0, overseeing the obliteration of the rebellion - a very dark side trait. – Gusdor Jan 5 at 9:23
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It should be "This isn't JJ's Star Trek" – Mark Rogers Jan 5 at 14:48

Your question is asked based on the slightly incorrect assumption: Leia did not "send Han to save Kylo Ren", paraphrasing the question.

Han volunteered to take the stolen Imperial shuttle Falcon and deliver the team to Endor Starkiller, to blow up/disable the shield generator for the Death StarStarkiller, so Rebel fighters Resistance X-Wings could attack and destroy the power source the oscillator.

Her asking him to save Kylo Ren was just a side-quest, in case he meets Kylo Ren.


Leaving THAT aside, it seems to be a really really bad idea to ...

  • ... send away the main leader of the Resistance on a personal errand, when the New Republic just got Alderaaned, and First Order seems to be winning.

  • ... send the main leader of the Resistance to a First Order stronghold where she'll be likely to be killed by FO.

  • ... send the main leader of the Resistance to a First Order stronghold where she'll be likely to be captured, tortured, interrogated, and give up all the secret information about the Resistance, that she is a leader of.

  • ... send the main leader of the Resistance to talk to a Dark Side user who's a main thug for First Order, and is more likely to kill her OR torture her for information, than to give her a warm hug. And unlike the rest of First Order, he can actually mind-read her, successfully, even if she's still as resistant to torture in her old dotage as she was when on board First Death Star.

  • ... send a "Jedi" (or light force user, at least) to a Dark Force user, who would quite likely hate her for that far more than he hates Han.


Also, putting on my cynical hat, she has absolutely no use for Han at this point. She snaps and barks at him, gives a complete impression of hating his guts, and generally doesn't seem to be the type of a romantic partner (or in a type of romantic situation) where you would rather risk your own life than the other person's life.

Because of that, in ANY of the 3 outcomes, it's a win/win for Leia.

Han gets to be the canary in the mine, and 3 things can happen:

  • If Kylo Ren is in the Oedipal mood, expendable Han gets offed, and Leia knows not to step into the minefield. No big loss to her compared to status quo.

  • If Han isn't killed but doesn't succeed in talking KR down, Leia can always make a try next, when she's less busy; and play "good parent/bad parent" gambit.

  • If Han talks KR down, she gets what she wants (her son back, no apprentice for Snoke)

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She's got a whole Resistance to run. Plus, what kind of General runs off on a commando mission when their base is under threat? – Valorum Jan 4 at 20:08
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@Richard - that, too. But seriously, she seems rather useless as a General in that whole operation. Doesn't seem to generate a single useful tactical idea. – DVK-in-exile Jan 4 at 20:09
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She achieved her primary objective of delivering bums to seats in cinemas. – Valorum Jan 4 at 20:12
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Your strikethrough is far too accurate for my liking. – enderland Jan 4 at 22:13
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"She snaps and barks at him, gives a complete impression of hating his guts" -- No. She gives the impression of having a rift, and being a bit sad that they separated, wishing that things had turned out different. Even better proof is that when the man fell, she felt it, just as she felt Luke when he fell (when she was nowhere near him, either)... she doesn't feel every death, but just those she is close to. – TOOGAM Jan 4 at 22:32

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