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Leia’s role in the final chapter of Star Wars has been a mystery up to this point. It was recently revealed that she will be training Rey in the ways in the ways of the Force. That is a little like the blind leading the blind but will probably happen early in the movie. This is how the rest of her role will go.
She will end up leading some sort of mission with the Resistance. It will likely have to do with finding some sort of help, whether it is a weapon or other groups of fighters, to assist in the final attack on the First Order. I do believe she will die during this time, which would be around the midpoint of the film. There is only a limited amount of footage they could use for her appearance in this movie, and that will impact the size of her role.
That being said, she will return later in the movie as a Force ghost. It would be a very emotional moment to see her stand side by side with her brother and father as they help her son destroy Darth Sidious once and for all.
She and the rest of the Force ghosts could appear later too if there is a final shot of Rey or Ben looking off into the horizon. The fallen Jedi, who are now one with the Force, could watch on with approval and gratitude as an emotional John Williams piece fills the shot as we fade to black one last time.