There are lots of stories about heroic knights rescuing princesses. In fact, some of our favorite epics follow that same trope: Star Wars, Zelda, The Princess Bride.... But sometimes you've got to mix it up a little. You don't feel like sitting around playing the damsel in distress, patiently waiting for some Y chromosome to come to your aid. In fact, you might have to rescue some poor, wayward princes on your quest, which is okay. As long as they don't get in the way.
I think it would have been awesome if Luke and Han and Chewie had bumped into Leia on the Death Star in the process of seeing herself out. But maybe that's just me. As it is, she starts bossing them around after they spring her and I think we're supposed to be exasperated at that, jeez-can-you-believe-this-woman eyerolling sort of thing, but Luke really did have no exit plan and Han tends to do without plans, so someone needed to take charge.
It's an interesting aspect of her character that is sadly not explored in any of the films.
But then, I grew up reading The Paper Bag Princess, which did a lot of good work counteracting the usual dynamic, which I also experienced in Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Star Trek.