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This is different from the question of "Why does Leia send Han to confront Kylo Ren instead of going herself?"

Regardless of whether Kylo Ren is on the base, and regardless of who should confront Kylo Ren, Leia is still the better person to go.

  • As a force-sensitive person she could have better piloted the Millennium Falcon in the risky landing maneuver.
  • She could have used the force to find Rey better than anyone else on that mission.
  • She could have used the force to disable defensive systems on the base just as Obi-Wan Kenobi did on the original Death Star.

If I was a general and somebody said they would infiltrate an enemy base, you can bet your last dollar I would ask how they plan to do it. I would never blindly believe one of my employees no matter how much I trust the competence of that employee. Generals don't leave high risk missions to chance (or the force). They want to know the logistics so they can plan for contingencies in case the mission fails. They also want to know logistics so they can make sure those who go on the mission have all the equipment and support they need. To use a quote from the military - amateurs talk about strategies, experts talk about logistics. If she is in charge, she has to know the details.

  • Why did she not ask Han to describe his plans?
  • Why doesn't she insist that she go?
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    I thought Leia doesn't use the force? – Chloe Apr 12 '16 at 8:25
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    Even though Leia is Force-sensitive, I find it very hard to believe that she would in any way be able to pilot the Millennium Falcon better than Han. He knows that ship inside out, and he's one of the best pilots in the galaxy, whereas we've never (that I recall) seen Leia competently fly as much as a hot air balloon. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 12 '16 at 8:54
  • @JanusBahsJacquet - In the new (disney canon) Star Wars: Leia comics, Leia comandeers a shuttle and a pilot to do the flying. – Valorum Apr 12 '16 at 9:03
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It's all in the title: she's a General. Her job is to lead, not to jump into the thick of things like when she was younger.

To address your specific points:

  1. There is no indication in any of the films that Leia is a capable pilot. Every other force-sensitive person who is shown to be an expert pilot (ie: Rey and Anakin), also have experience at piloting, in addition to their force-augmented reflexes.

    Anakin: even as a young child, he had experience with piloting fast-paced pod racers. He wasn't skilled enough to win (or even complete a race), but he was able to at least not-die.

    Rey: In TFA, she states "I've flown ships before, but I've never left the planet!" Again, we're shown that experience is necessary.

  2. We've only ever seen Leia use the force to find someone once: when rescuing Luke on Bespin. It's implied that this is due in some part to the fact that they're twins. We have no idea how strong she is in the force, and we have zero indication that she has received any form of training from Luke.

  3. Obi-Wan disabled a tractor beam so they could escape. He didn't use the force to do much in this instance other than distract a few guards. Someone with a laser pointer could probably manage the same feat.

  4. Han is not Leia's "employee". They are equals in all regards: he was a general in the rebellion, she's a general in the Resistance. They're a married/separated couple. She has every reason to trust him more than any soldier in her command.

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    +1 for "laser pointer" :) Good points! One you missed: Hand would probably have told Leia "no" as far as taking her along on near suicide mission. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 12 '16 at 13:26
  • Isn't Han also a general? – Probst Apr 12 '16 at 13:48
  • @Probst no he is was not, at least not in the resistance. In the Rebelion he became a general but some time in between Episodes 6 and 7 he went back to smuggling. He tells us that this is because of Ben Solo's betrayal. When Ben became Kylo Ren it caused Han and Leia to drift apart Leia became a General, Han became a criminal. Han didn't think that Leia would want to see him much less work with him. – The Mandolorian Apr 12 '16 at 17:02

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