One of the best reveals in Rogue One was that Princess Leia’s iconic consular ship, the Tantive IV, ship was tucked away in Admiral Raddus warship, the Profundity, during the Battle of Scarif. Her appearance in the closing moments of the film, after the Rebel Alliance had scored a bit of a tragic victory against the Empire when they received the Death Star plans from Jyn Erso and her crew before they died, was the perfect way to lead into A New Hope. But why was Leia even there in the first place beyond mere fan service? Main Lucasfilm Story Group dude Pablo Hidalgo appeared alongside colleagues Matt Martin and Leland Chee on a very special episode of The Star Wars Show to give us a straight answer.
Basically, Leia and Admiral Raddus were on a layover at the secluded Rebel base on Yavin 4 about to head to Tatooine to pick up Obi-Wan Kenobi, but the Scarif situation broke out and they were rerouted.
The plan was always that Leia was going to go to Tatooine to pick up Obi-Wan and Raddus was going to escort her,” Hidalgo explained, “Then the news of Scarif came in, and that was deemed more important.”
Apparently she was there on Yavin the whole time, and is hinted at when Bail Organa and Mon Mothma have that brief confab about that Jedi” and Bail says he’d “trust her with my life.” Also, the appearance of R2-D2 and C-3PO were a major clue too.
But the Profundity was the only warship in the Rebel fleet at the time, and the depleted Rebel forces couldn’t have such an important vessel any other place but Scarif for the battle to be won.
It looks like Leia being, as Hidalgo says in the episode, “the public face of the cause,” all boiled down to her being at the right place and the right time.