The Obi-Wan Kenobi premiere reintroduces some huge familiar faces
Warning: This post contains spoilers for the first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Going into Disney+'s new Star Wars series, most fans suspected that the show would center on McGregor's exiled hermit as he helped to protect a young Luke on Tatooine. The series is set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, and early trailers have featured Luke prominently, with shots of Obi-Wan monitoring the young boy through a pair of electrobinoculars.
But when the first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi premiered late Thursday night, they focused primarily on the other Skywalker twin: a young Princess Leia, played by Bird Box actress Vivien Lyra Blair.
After several scenes on Tatooine, Obi-Wan Kenobi shifts its focus to Alderaan, where we meet Blair's preteen version of the future Rebel leader. Even at 10 years old, the young Leia is as bright and as headstrong as her adult counterpart, and she already knows how to deliver a savage comeback. (Watching Blair insult her snobby cousin feels a lot like watching Carrie Fisher spit venom at Grand Moff Tarkin in A New Hope… minus the random English accent.) The young Leia also seems as brave — and as stubborn — as her mom Padmé and her dad Anakin, and when Obi-Wan first meets her, he tells her that she reminds him quite a bit of a certain Naboo queen he used to know. (Like her mom, she also knows how to rock an extremely elaborate hairstyle.)
The series begins with Leia's kidnapping, as she's grabbed by a ragtag crew of bounty hunters. (Those bounty hunters are led by Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea. No, really.) Desperate to get his adopted daughter back, Leia's father Bail Organa (played by returning Star Wars vet Jimmy Smits) turns to the only person he can trust: his old ally Obi-Wan. In fact, that connection is what led to Leia's kidnapping in the first place. Inquisitor Reva (Moses Ingram) orchestrates her abduction as way to hopefully lure Obi-Wan out of hiding. What Reva doesn't know is the real reason Obi-Wan is so keen to protect Leia: because she and Luke are the only children of Padmé and Anakin.
It's an interesting twist, and it's surprisingly moving to watch Obi-Wan interact with the daughter of his two oldest friends. It's been about a decade since the former Jedi lost his best pal and Padawan to the dark side, and there's something bittersweet about the fact that even after all these years, Anakin's daughter is still giving him trouble, ignoring his advice and rushing headfirst into danger.
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It also lends a new resonance to Leia's iconic line in the original 1977 Star Wars. We've always known that Leia trusted Obi-Wan, but so far, the show is giving a new history to "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope." (Leia and Obi-Wan's connection also might explain why Leia will eventually name her only son "Ben.")
Leia and Bail Organa aren't the only Star Wars veterans to make an appearance in the first two episodes, either. There's also a brief cameo by Temuera Morrison, who's played Jango Fett, Boba Fett, and various clone troopers over the years. While searching for Leia on the planet Daiyu, Obi-Wan comes across a disheveled clone, begging for change. The character is credited as an unnamed clone veteran, but we'll have to wait and see whether Morrison pops up anywhere else in Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Listen to interviews with Obi-Wan Kenobi stars Ewan McGregor, Kumail Nanjiani, Rupert Friend and more on EW's new Star Wars podcast, Dagobah Dispatch.
Ewan McGregor returns to Tatooine to fill in the gaps of what happened to the Jedi Master between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.