The entire plot of Star Wars finally makes sense. In the 1977 film Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope, Princess Leia risks everything because she believes in a Jedi named Obi-Wan Kenobi. But why? In the new Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi, one long overlooked, murky plot detail has been brought to the light.
Spoilers ahead for Obi-Wan Kenobi Parts 1 and 2.
“Ben Kenobi? Where is he?”
Although the first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi contain plenty of Easter eggs and twists about Ben’s story, including a massive revelation about Darth Vader, the most surprising story point has to do with another member of the Skywalker family, Princess Leia Organa; now played by the young actor Vivien Lyra Blair.
After 10-year-old Leia is kidnapped by bounty hunters (led by none other than Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers), Obi-Wan is recruited by Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) to track her down. This is all an elaborate trap set by Inquisitor Reva (Moses Ingram) to capture Obi-Wan and bring him to Vader. However, it also establishes a relationship between Ben and Leia, which, prior to now, we never knew existed.
“Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope”
In A New Hope, Leia famously sends a holographic message to Ben on Tatooine and says, “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” But she also says “years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars.” Before now, this was all we knew of Leia and Ben’s connection: That Leia was aware of Obi-Wan Kenobi hiding away on Tatooine. But now, we’ve learned that Leia knew Ben fairly well. Like, really well.
This makes so much more sense! In A New Hope, Leia’s utter faith in Obi-Wan Kenobi comes circuitously from her father, who, in that film, is never glimpsed. However, when Luke breaks Leia out of her cell and says, “I’m here with Ben Kenobi,” and Leia doesn’t miss a beat. She knows that’s his other name. It now seems like her sending the hologram saying “years ago you served my father...” was her way of covering up their personal connection. Leia is too smart to say “years ago, you rescued me from bounty hunters when I was a little kid.” Even after the fact, keeping Obi-Wan’s activities relatively secret, is still important.
The Inverse analysis — The new revelation that Leia was buddies with Obi-Wan when she was a kid isn’t just some cool canon twist, it also adds a tragic layer to everything that happens in A New Hope. Leia doesn’t get to reunite with Obi-Wan, and instead, just before escaping with Han and Luke, she sees his murder. Of course, Leia doesn’t know Darth Vader is her father yet, either in A New Hope and certainly not in Obi-Wan Kenobi.
But for the most part, the narrative focus of A New Hope is on Luke. What Obi-Wan Kenobi does is shift that narrative focus not only to Ben himself but also, to Luke’s sister. As Bail Organa tells Obi-Wan in the new show, Leia’s “just as important” as Luke. And the events of Obi-Wan Kenobi aren’t just making that true for the audience, but also true for old Ben himself.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is streaming now on Disney+