Why Young Princess Leia’s Introduction is Important for Star Wars Fans

Spoiler Warning: Obi-Wan Kenobi Parts I-III

Shortly after first meeting Ewan McGreggor as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the deserts of Tatooine, we see him spying on a young Luke Skywalker. The Jedi watches over him, urging for the day when it would finally be time to prepare him to destroy the Empire once and for all. Kenobi knows that Luke cannot hide from this destiny forever, as one way or the other, it will eventually come looking for him. Luke’s only hope is that Obi-Wan is there to start him on the ways of the Force in enough time for him to be ready. We see Obi-Wan raise his magnifiers to Uncle Owen’s house and watch Luke sit on the overhang, wearing goggles and pretending to fly fast, just like his father. There Luke stays for the rest of the series so far.


A young Princess Leia is the wrench thrown into Obi-Wan’s peaceful plan to wait for Luke to be trainable. Like each of her parents in her own unique way, the bright, adventurous future rebel is kidnapped by the Empire, and only Obi-Wan can save her. Her strength, fearlessness and passion are immediately apparent. To avoid some boring diplomatic ceremony, she switches herself out with a decoy just as her mother would. She runs, climbs trees, and dreams of a better, freer world. She dreams of more rights for women. When she is taken, she never cries or begs. She only threatens and assures her abductors that her father will be coming for her and that they will be sorry when he does. She quickly attempts an impossible escape. She has the heart of a ruler and a lion. She is a hero and one of the best female role models since Ahsoka or Princess Leia.

This was a twist in the series that nobody saw coming. We saw Luke in the trailer, but there were only rumors of a young Princess Leia. Certainly nothing like confirmations of her active and extensive involvement in the series. Indeed, the young Leia is driving the show’s plot and quickly stealing the show with her charm and wit. Luke Skywalker is well-explored territory, character-wise. Princess Leia is not. Her character fell victim to the sexism of the ’70s and’ 80s, comforting the male lead by default even after her home planet and all her loved ones were blown up and having to endure scenes scantily clad in a revealing, unnecessary costume designed to appeal to the male gaze.

Related: Obi-Wan Kenobi Easter Eggs and Cameos From Episodes 1-3 You May Have Missed

Unfortunately, we lost the wonderful Carrie Fisher much too soon. Obi-Wan Kenobi is giving us the opportunity to appreciate Fisher and Leia through Vivien Lyra Blair’s performance as the free-spirited, larger-than-life princes of the Star Wars galaxy. Here is everything we love so far about her character!

Young Leia is Her Own Person

Young Leia is everything we never realized we knew Princess Leia to be as a child. She does not conform to the expectations at the Alderan palace. She does everything she can to develop and experience her surroundings as an individual with a different, inquiring mind and independent young girl. She is also honest with those around her, speaking her mind to her mother and father and Obi-Wan, who she freely tells is old and a grandfather. She expects a reasonable and logical explanation for why she should conform to outdated, gender-specific expectations.

Related: Obi-Wan Kenobi: How the Inquisitors Tap Into the Predictability of the Hero’s Journey

The most important scene in her journey is when she is kidnapped and does her best to run, escape, and hide. She does not cry or beg for release. Instead, she uses her head to be as cool and rational as possible. She is a rebel in the making! Certainly, this character could set up a spinoff of her own, where we see how Leia joins the Rebel Alliance and balances the Empire-aligned Alderan court with her underground activities. Leia is such a rich wellspring of character, and Vivien Lyra Blair’s interpretation of her makes us so excited to see this beloved character’s journey in-depth from the daughter of Padme Amadala to sparring partner of Han Solo’s.

Young Leia Uses Humor

As previously mentioned, young Leia is funny! She pulls gags that she gets a kick out of, like swapping herself out with a decoy, so she can escape an event she does not think is worth her time. She tells Obi-Wan that he looks “old and beat up.” She tells him what they should and should not do and speaks for him to strangers regardless of his warnings that she should be quiet. And she is usually right.

After all, Obi-Wan nearly sold them out to the stormtroopers on the transport by calling her by her real name instead of her alias. Leia uses humor to defuse situations. For being ten years old, she has an exceptional sense of humor stemming from an unwavering honesty, extraordinary bravery, and a sense of adventure. We are beyond excited that Blair is giving us such an enjoyable experience watching the young Leia build her life, and we can not wait to see where the series takes this burgeoning character next!

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