I Am Your Mother is a series of articles on The Cost of Motherhood in a Galaxy, Far, Far Away. Our focus will be on mothers within the movie saga, starting with Princess Leia herself.

Leia Organa bursts onto the scene a hero: she’s hiding stolen information from Darth Vader, the most feared man in the entire galaxy. She watches her entire planet get destroyed but remains loyal to the Rebellion that her father died for. Throughout the Original Trilogy, Leia is a witness to – no, an active participant in – the making of history.

But when we meet her again in Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, Leia is different. For one, she’s much older – most of her fire is gone. She is now General Organa, leader of the Resistance. She’s also a mother. Her son, Ben Solo, is all grown up and goes by the name of Kylo Ren. He’s on track to becoming the worst villain this galaxy has ever seen.

And according to Leia, it’s all her fault.

When Ben began to show strength in the force, she sent him to train with Luke. She feels that this was the worst decision of her life. Leia tells her husband:

“I just never should have sent him away. That’s when I lost him.”

Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens

For Leia, being a mother means carrying the guilt of abandoning her child when he needed her most. She dealt with her guilt by diving into work, but she never stopped hoping that her son would return. Even though Leia thought it was her fault that Ben turned away, she knew that it was someone else’s fault he turned to the dark side.

“It was Snoke,” Leia says in The Force Awakens. “He seduced our son to the dark side.” Ben Solo was targeted by Supreme Leader Snoke, who worked to turn the boy to the dark side.

Leia knew of this, but was powerless to do anything about it. She watched from afar as her son turned his back on everything he’d learned and embraced the dark side of the force.

But despite all of this, Leia never gave up hope that her son could be saved. That’s why she sent Han Solo to go after him, to try to convince Kylo Ren to turn away from the darkness. She believed that after all this time, there was still light in him.

Becoming a mother drastically changed Leia Organa’s life – showing her the depth of guilt, powerlessness, and hope. But even though she couldn’t be there for her son, even though she sent him away when he was too young, she never gave up believing that he would come home.

She stood up against him as the leader of the Resistance, and she will not stop her quest until Kylo Ren becomes Ben Solo again –  her son.

Read other articles in this series:

Aunt Beru

Padme Amidala (Coming Soon!)

Shmi Skywalker (Coming Soon!)

Queen Behra (Coming Soon!)

Lyra Erso (Coming Soon!)