This Iconic Star Wars Character Returns in "Obi-Wan Kenobi"

Disney was extremely secretive about the plot details of the new Star Wars series "Obi-Wan Kenobi," which started streaming episodes on May 27. Fans knew about a lot of the cast. Ewan McGregor would be back as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Hayden Christensen would reprise his role as Anakin Skywalker, and Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse would return as Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, watching over a young Luke Skywalker (Grant Feely). But viewers didn't know that Luke's sister would be in the show, too. Vivien Lyra Blair plays a 10-year-old Princess Leia, and from the first moment she's on screen, she's an absolute delight.

Besides her birth, Leia's life before she got kidnapped by Darth Vader at the beginning of "A New Hope" has never been depicted in a Star Wars show or movie before. In "Obi-Wan Kenobi," Leia is a rambunctious, smart girl who is always getting into trouble and doesn't like to be told what to do. Her parents, Bail (played by returning Star Wars veteran Jimmy Smits) and Breha (played by Simone Kessell), love her but are frustrated by her mischief. As viewers, we know Bail and Breha will one day be at the core of the rebellion, but to Leia they're just her annoying parents. Their dynamic together instantly feels real.

Blair's Leia feels like the same character Carrie Fisher first brought to life in 1977 without resorting to sheer imitation. She's a joy to watch in scenes on Alderaan, outsmarting her inane cousin, and she has delightful chemistry with McGregor once Leia and Obi-Wan cross paths. She is funny and clever and incisive, but at her heart, she's still a confused and scared girl. At the end of the second episode, it's possible she and Obi-Wan will part ways for good, sending her out of the story, but you really hope not. Leia lights up every scene she's in.

Watching the first two episodes, part of me thought, "Wait, what about Luke?! Shouldn't we be seeing more Luke?" But let's be real: we've gotten a lot of Luke before! In "A New Hope," after Leia's entire planet and everyone she has ever known are destroyed by the Death Star, she comforts him about the loss of Obi-Wan instead. Fisher made a meal of what was written for her, but often in the original trilogy, she wasn't given a lot to do.

So this is Leia's moment in the sun, and I can't wait to see how brightly she shines.