Hera Syndulla looks over her shoulder on Ahsoka
Lucasfilm

Ahsoka takes place just nine years after A New Hope, a period of optimism when heroes of the original Star Wars trilogy worked to rebuild the galaxy. Those icons served alongside other major figures of the post-Empire era, including main characters from Disney+’s live-action shows. One such legend, Luke Skywalker, already made his presence felt during this time with cameos on both The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. But while Lucasfilm brought back the famous Jedi by digitally de-aging Mark Hamill, the studio used a different approach to show how another Skywalker served the New Republic in her own way. Ahsoka‘s seventh episode paid tribute to the late Carrie Fisher by having C-3PO represent Senator Organa at a public hearing. C-3PO’s Ahsoka cameo reminded us why Princess Leia has always been Star Wars‘ greatest hero.

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Hera Syndulla’s seemingly inevitable court martial disappeared like a purrgil into hyperspace when C-3PO unexpectedly arrived at her hearing during the Ahsoka episode. Mon Mothma and high-ranking members of the Galactic Senate had called Hera to answer for her unsanctioned mission to Seatos. With an indignant Hamato Xioni ready to bring down the proverbial hammer on Hera for disobeying orders, Leia provided her fellow Rebel and old friend retroactive cover. Threepio presented the committee with an obviously doctored data transcript. It said Senator Organa “personally sanctioned” Hera’s undertaking to Seatos previously. To explain the Ahsoka misunderstanding C-3PO also said Leia had been “unaware” Xiono had already voted against such a mission.

Senator Xiono’s indignation and strong objections didn’t matter after that. He does not have the standing and influence of Senator Organa. Leia’s evidence was enough for the Chancellor (who knew what was really happening) to clear Hera Syndulla of all wrongdoing.

Lucasfilm

But in classic Leia fashion, she also threw in an extra dig at Xiono and the other incompetent senators who are dooming the New Republic to fail. She both bested and reprimanded them in a way only Leia Organa could. She not only absolved Hera of guilt, she tactfully criticized the committee for trying to stop the righteous mission. C-3PO told the Ahsoka council, “Senator Organa is willing to overlook this misstep but asks that you address any further concerns to her directly in her role as leader of the Defense Council.”

It was a perfect end to a perfect message. Without even being in the room, Leia Organa made her full presence felt, in a scene that captured everything we loved about Carrie Fisher’s Princess. More importantly, that moment served as yet another reminder the galaxy never had a better, more dependable hero than Leia.

Lucasfilm

As soon as she was old enough, Leia Organa began risking her comfortable life to serve the Rebellion. Her bravery helped save the galaxy from Palpatine. She then nobly and ably served the New Republic when others willfully ignored existential threats. And she started the Resistance when she recognized her government wasn’t up to the challenge. Without her unwavering dedication even when all hope seemed loss, her training of Rey, and her ultimate sacrifice to rescue her son’s soul, the First Order would have won. Without Leia Organa, Sheev Palpatine would have ruled over his evil Empire forever.

Unlike so many other great heroes she served with, Leia did all of that without ever walking away from her responsibilities. Not even for a moment. While powerful Jedi went into hiding or seclusion, she was on the front lines. While her husband couldn’t handle losing their son to the dark side, Leia stayed and led. And while other politicians buried their head in the sand, she rose to the occasion. She was the hero friends and strangers alike could always count on, especially when they needed her most. She was there in the biggest moments, like on Endor and Crait. And she was there in the smallest, like when her friend needed help in court.

Lucasfilm

The Princess who became a Senator and a General spent her whole life giving the galaxy everything she had to offer. She did so no matter the personal cost. From inspiring and keeping the spark of hope alive, to organizing and getting tangible results, she did it all. Always.

That dedication—along with her pitch-perfect ability to do the right thing in the funniest, smartest, most entertaining way possible—is why she was and always will be Star Wars‘ best hero. And that’s true even if she sends C-3PO to speak on her behalf.

Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on   Twitter and   Bluesky at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.