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Leia’s History With Obi-Wan Makes Her Comforting Luke in ‘A New Hope’ Even More Absurd

Leia. Tell him. TELL HIM, LEIA.

carrie fisher as princess leia in star wars

Disney+’s Obi-Wan Kenobi series already looked great from the trailers, but the first two episodes are even better than we expected. In the first episode, we meet 10-year-old Leia Organa, growing up in a palace on Alderaan. She’s already the fierce, plucky rebel we fell in love with way back in 1977’s Star Wars, but her penchant for ignoring the rules gets her into trouble when a bunch of Inquisitor Reva’s agents capture her in the woods so that they can use her to lure Obi-Wan out of hiding.

It’s exciting enough to see Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen return to the roles of Obi-Wan and Anakin, but getting to see more of Leia’s story is a huge added bonus. And finding out that she has a whole history with Obi-Wan that we never knew about? So cool! Unfortunately, though, it makes some already questionable details from the original trilogy even more ridiculous.

“You know, I’m going through something, too … Oh, never mind”

Leia comforts Luke with text reading, "When your home planet exploded a few hours ago, but a guy you just met is feeling sad about his martial-arts master."

You’ll recall that in A New Hope, there’s one scene that strains credulity. (I mean, it’s a space opera, so there are many, many such scenes, but I’m talking about one in particular, for a very different reason.) After disabling the tractor beam in the Death Star, Obi-Wan runs into Darth Vader, and the two of them begin their long overdue fight to the death. When Obi-Wan sees Luke and the others escaping, he lets Vader kill him.

His death buys the rebels some time to get off the Death Star, and they make it out. Afterwards, though, Luke is feeling despondent about Obi-Wan’s death. That’s understandable! He and Obi-Wan formed a really close bond in the short time that they had together, with Obi-Wan being a link to Luke’s father in a way he’d never had before. What’s kind of jaw-dropping about that scene, though, is that Leia, who has just lost her entire planet, decides that what’s called for is for her to comfort him. She comes up, puts a blanket over him, and sits with him while he grieves.

I mean, to be fair, everyone in the movie seems weirdly blasé about the destruction of Alderaan. There’s no widespread shock, no mourning, no outrage, nothing. But still, you’d think Luke might have at least one kind word for Leia.

Now, thanks to the new Disney+ series, that scene is one billion times weirder. We now know that Leia didn’t just contact Obi-Wan because she’d learned that he might be useful to the rebellion or because he was a legendary figure whose reputation preceded him. She actually has a pretty serious history with him! We’re just two episodes into the new series, and already they’ve got a pretty tight friendship (which isn’t without its drama, of course). They’re only going to get closer to each other from here on out, it seems, so the scene where she’s comforting Luke is now extremely bizarre. Why on Earth wouldn’t Leia mention to Luke that Obi-Wan was a friend of hers, too? Why would she keep that secret?? Does she feel nothing?!?

If I work hard at it, I can kind of come up with some theories as to her motivation. Maybe she held back because she still didn’t know if she could trust Luke with that kind of personal information. Maybe she was in such deep shock that she didn’t know how to process it yet. Maybe … actually, that’s it for my theories. I’ve got nothing else.

Partly, of course, you can blame the weirdness of the scene on the sexism in 1977 (not that we’re really out of the woods there yet). Leia’s trauma is several billion times bigger than Luke’s, and now she’s seen the old friend she called for help murdered right in front of her before she could even say hi, but we wouldn’t want to pull focus from the hero to delve into a princess’s emotional state.

Partly, we can also blame the very nature of retconning. No matter how loving and skillful retconning is, it’s always going to leave people scratching their heads. For instance, every time I remember that during their duel, Obi-Wan calls Anakin “Darth”—as if that were his name!!—my brain promptly burns away those neural pathways because it’s just too silly to bear. A New Hope is a great movie, and it spawned a whole lot of other great media, but putting it all together can feel like doing a jigsaw puzzle that’s gotten water-damaged.

Sniping aside, though, I can’t wait to get more of Obi-Wan and li’l Leia, because they are now my favorite dynamic duo ever. (Sorry, Din and Grogu!) And this time around, Leia should get all the screentime she needs to shine.

(featured image: Lucasfilm)

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Julia Glassman (she/they) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at