Leia's Force-in-space moment is bonkers and brilliant
About 30 minutes into the film, the First Order attacks the Resistance fleet after tracking them through hyperspace. A conflicted Kylo Ren, who arrives in a personalized TIE fighter, hovers near the bridge where his mother stands and considers obliterating her. He ultimately decides against it, but his fellow fighters don't show the same restraint: they blow up the bridge, and Leia is thrown into space. (So is Admiral Ackbar, who sadly doesn't survive.)
For a minute, it looks like The Last Jedi is actually going to kill Leia in this moment. As she hovers and crystalizes in the vacuum of space, and her theme music plays lightly in the background, it feels like the series sending Leia gently into her next life. But then her hand starts to move, and her eyes open, and in a show of strength she summons the Force and levitates back to her damaged ship as the music swells triumphantly.
Leia summoning a Force bubble is a pretty insane moment, to be honest, one that feels a little jarring on the first watch. It's certainly a bold creative choice, and fans will probably be divided on its efficiency. But it's hard to deny the power of John Williams' score, and the fact that this is our first time witnessing the extent of Leia's Force powers, which normally lay dormant. It shows us that Leia is picky about how she chooses to brandish her own power, favoring military precision over laser swords. And honestly, that makes her even more badass in retrospect, and gives Carrie Fisher a chance to finally flex the Force muscles she never got to wield in the previous films.