Vivien Lyra Blair as young Leia in 'Obi-Wan Kenobi', sitting at a table.
(Lucasfilm)

Who Plays Leia in ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi?’

Still the best space princess ever.

*Contains spoilers for Obi-Wan Kenobi Episodes 1 and 2.*

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Everyone counting down the days until the release of Obi-Wan Kenobi knew that Luke Skywalker would be involved, but to many fans, the inclusion of Princess Leia was a welcome surprise. Obi-Wan Kenobi, which is now streaming on Disney+, tells the story of Obi-Wan’s time on Tatooine after the fall of the Republic and the destruction of the Jedi. Bereft of hope of the Jedi order ever returning, Obi-Wan nevertheless keeps watch over young Luke, looking for signs that he might be ready to begin his training in the Force. However, when Leia is kidnapped and smuggled off of Alderaan, her adoptive parents beg Obi-Wan to help retrieve her.

We first meet Leia in Episode 1, living the constricted and politicized life of a princess. Some dignitaries are coming to visit, and Leia’s parents are making her attend the proceedings. Leia wants to play in the woods, though, so she convinces her servants to dress up her friend in her clothing while she escapes. Later, when she’s forced to eat at the kids’ table with her arrogant cousin, she shakes him to the core by revealing some very inconvenient truths about his character.

Later, Leia is swept up in a plot hatched by Imperial Inquisitor Reva, also known as Third Sister. Reva is on the hunt for Obi-Wan, and after finding an old link between him and the Organas, suspects that she can draw him out of hiding by kidnapping Leia. She’s right, of course, since Obi-Wan is the first and only person Leia’s parents turn to for help. Even after she’s kidnapped, Leia shows that she has grit and courage, trying to escape and then taking on Obi-Wan when she doesn’t believe that he’s come to rescue her.

Right from the very start, Leia is a free-spirited troublemaker—a trait that will serve her well when she grows up and becomes a leader of the rebel alliance. We’re not the only ones who love the new Leia. Caroline Framke writes in Variety that the new actress

handles her precocious lines with aplomb, especially as the series gives her and McGregor more room to bounce Leia’s playfulness and Ben’s prickliness off each other. And so by the end of the second episode, “Obi-Wan Kenobi” sets the stage to become its own play on “The Mandalorian” dynamic, in which a formidable warrior begrudgingly takes on a gifted younger charge who will inevitably charm him into loyal submission.

Young Leia is a firecracker and a worthy heir to Carrie Fisher’s legacy, and we stan her big time. So who is the actress behind this spicy nugget? Let’s find out!

Meet Vivien Lyra Blair

Leia is played by actress Vivien Lyra Blair. According to Internet sources, Blair is 9 years old. (Note: We’re still working to confirm this, but basically what you need to know is that she’s roughly Leia’s age in real life.)

Since she’s a child, Blair is understandably a relative newcomer to Hollywood, but she does already have some acting credits under her belt. Before Obi-Wan Kenobi, she most recently played a young Eleanor Roosevelt in the Showtime series The First Lady. Before that, she played Sara in the series Mr. Corman, Hazel in Indebted, and Serenity in Waco.

Blair also played Girl, later named Olympia, in the 2018 post-apocalyptic horror film Bird Box starring Sandra Bullock. In Bird Box, Girl is the daughter of Malorie, a woman who’s trying to escape mysterious entities that drive people to suicide when they look at them. Blair’s part in Bird Box isn’t a large one, though. She mainly appears at the beginning and end of the movie. If you’re interested in following Vivien in real life, you can check out her Instagram account at @vivienlyrablair. There’s not much content yet, though.

What does the rest of Obi-Wan Kenobi hold for young Leia? How will Obi-Wan get her home to Alderaan so that she can grow into the rebel leader we all know and love? Episode 3 will stream on Wednesday, June 1 (yes, that’s less than a week away), so we’ll get to see more Leia—and more Vivien—then. For now, check out episodes 1 and 2, now streaming on Disney+!

(featured image: Disney)


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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) 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 <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>