Obi-Wan Kenobi Finally Explains One Of The Oldest Star Wars Relationships

The following contains spoilers for the first two episodes of "Obi-Wan Kenobi."

"Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope."

If you're a "Star Wars" fan (heck, even if you aren't) you know that line like the back of your head. It's since become a calling card for Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), as it's without a doubt her most famous line from any "Star Wars" movie she appeared in. Leia first uttered those words in "Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope," just before being captured by Darth Vader and his Imperial forces. "Years ago, you served my father in the Clone Wars," Leia tells Kenobi via hologram. "Now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire."

As iconic as this scene has become, it left quite a plot hole in its wake — and the "Star Wars" saga has been endeavoring to fill it, bit by bit, for over 40 years. The prequel trilogy introduced us to Leia's adopted father, Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits), and established his relationship to Obi-Wan Kenobi. And "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" laid the foundation for Bail and Leia's work in the Rebellion. But how exactly did Leia know Obi-Wan? Did she even really know him at all? And how did she know to contact him in "A New Hope"? How exactly did he become Leia's "only hope"?

For a long time, fans had more questions than they did answers. But with "Obi-Wan Kenobi," that 40-year plot hole is finally being filled.

There is another

"Obi-Wan Kenobi" may initially be focused on Obi-Wan's trials on Tatooine — avoiding Inquisitors, guarding Luke Skywalker, and trying (or failing) to process his prequel-era trauma — but Lucasfilm's latest "Star Wars" series makes it clear that there's adventure elsewhere too. "Kenobi" splits its time between that infamous sandy planet and the planet of Alderaan, where a 10-year-old Leia resides with her adoptive parents, Bail and Breha Organa. Though Obi-Wan is pretty content to stay on Tatooine for the rest of his natural life, the Sith Inquisitor Reva (Moses Ingram) is determined to draw him out of his self-imposed exile, and present him as a gift to Darth Vader.

Reva enlists the help of a few mercenaries (led by Flea, of Red Hot Chili Peppers fame) to kidnap the young princess on Alderaan. The mercs leave absolutely no trace of their whereabouts, meaning that the Organas will have to enlist the help of someone very special to bring their daughter home. Fortunately, Bail still has Obi-Wan on speed dial, and he makes quick work of contacting the former Jedi.

Of course, Obi-Wan refuses at first: It's been 10 years since he's flexed those Jedi muscles, after all. Plus, Bail is a senator with all sorts of connections, legal or otherwise. Why does he seek out the help of a Jedi when a bounty hunter or another mercenary could just as easily find his daughter?

To each their own

The short answer: Bail still trusts Obi-Wan the most out of everyone he knows, even after all these years of radio silence. "Only you know how important she really is," he tells Kenobi. It's a great way of shaking Obi-Wan out of his downward spiral ... and of pointing out his hypocrisy. He's set on "protecting" Luke by watching over him on Tatooine, but it's become clear that he's using his duty as an excuse to keep himself hidden. But Leia is just as important to the cause, and just as worthy of his attention.

Obi-Wan and Bail's continual connection is also a wonderful mirror to Obi-Wan's relationship to Owen Lars (Joel Edgerton), Luke's uncle. Unlike Bail, Owen wants nothing to do with Obi-Wan whatsoever. He's determined to protect Luke in his own way, and he doesn't need any Jedi help whatsoever. That's, of course, because of all that went down with Anakin. Owen doesn't want Luke to tread that same path his father walked. But Bail, in refreshing contrast, understands that some things were beyond even Obi-Wan's control. He couldn't save Anakin, but his kids — both of his kids — could still use some guidance from the old Jedi.

No one's ever really gone

And of course, Bail is absolutely right. Baby Leia is as precocious, headstrong, and independent as they come. Though she's wise beyond her years — a fact that surprises even Obi-Wan — she does still need guidance, and most importantly: protection. Her dynamic with Obi-Wan doesn't start off great (that tends to happen when you're kidnapped), but it evolves quickly from tepid trust to an almost "lone wolf meets foundling" relationship. It's heartwarming to watch Leia bring Kenobi out of his comfort zone, and reciprocate the sort of connection he's been yearning for with Luke. 

So much emphasis has been placed on Obi-Wan's relationship with Anakin and his son, so it's easy to forget that the same relationship was once also a possibility for Leia. It's great to see "Kenobi" honor their potential, however briefly, and the legacy of Leia's late mother, Padmé Amidala. She and Obi-Wan were once close too, and if his guilt-ridden nightmare in episode 1 is any indication, Kenobi carries just as much regret over her fate as Anakin's. But by protecting Leia, Obi-Wan is starting to look at the past in a different light. Through this responsibility, it's clear that redemption is still possible for Obi-Wan. More than that, it strengthens his bond to the people he lost, as that connection lives on — not just in Luke, but in Leia as well. 

The two-part premiere of "Obi-Wan Kenobi" is now streaming on Disney+.