Obi-Wan Kenobi Just Explained A Key Part Of Leia's Backstory

This post contains spoilers for episode 4 of "Obi-Wan Kenobi."

For as much as some fans may loudly complain whenever a new addition to "Star Wars" canon appears to retcon previously established lore, that's actually sort of a rite of passage when it comes to this franchise. "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" might be the most aggressive example of this, as director Gareth Edwards crafted an entire movie to explain away the "plot hole" of the first Death Star containing one critical design flaw. George Lucas himself did this several times over, first with the reveal that Luke and Leia were actually twin siblings in "Return of the Jedi" and later packing in as many explanations (and, occasionally, outright contradictions) throughout the prequel films. It's simply not "Star Wars" unless you're actively filling in the blanks of what came before.

The ongoing Disney+ series "Obi-Wan Kenobi" is only the latest example of this, revealing what the title character had been up to during those long years of isolation and exile while haunted by his memories of failing Anakin Skywalker. The addition of Princess Leia as a child caught many viewers by surprise, but the lovable dynamic she's forged with jaded old Ben Kenobi has quickly become one of the show's biggest highlights.

After last week's episode ended with Leia in grave danger, once again ensnared by the Inquisitor Reva and at the mercy of the Empire, episode 4 served up a thrilling prison break as Kenobi and his rebel allies attempted a daring rescue. But one easy-to-miss detail revealed during Leia's imprisonment just might go a long way towards revealing a crucial element of her backstory, which only truly comes to fruition in the original trilogy and the sequels, as well.

Strong in the Force

So far, "Obi-Wan Kenobi" has wrung quite a lot of mileage out of our knowledge of future events. The lightsaber duel in the last episode, which featured Obi-Wan struggling to keep up after closing himself off from the Force for so long and Darth Vader seemingly holding himself back (until, you know, he tried to burn his former master alive in a twisted act of revenge), added impressive new layers to the confrontation we know they'll reenact later in 1977's "Star Wars." The presence of a young Leia Organa, which some have erroneously criticized as some sort of plot hole, only further deepens the meaning behind her plea for help decades later that Obi-Wan is her "only hope."

Now, while in captivity under the merciless glare of Reva, her resistance to some very formidable interrogation techniques may provide clues for future events in the "Star Wars" timeline. When subjected to Reva's Force-probe (a power we've seen many times before), the Inquisitor is taken aback by the child's defiance against her tactics. "Is this a staring contest?" she casually remarks, though we can sense the strain underneath those flippant words.

On the face of it, this feels like another classic example of the headstrong Princess refusing to be cowed or intimidated by anyone, even at such a young age. But upon second glance, might we be seeing Leia's latent Force abilities in action here, giving her just enough time for Obi-Wan to come in and save the day? We know from "The Empire Strikes Back" that Leia could sense Luke through the Force, which "The Last Jedi" and "The Rise of Skywalker" both took to another level. Intriguingly, could this scene help explain one particular hanging thread from the original film, too?

Tying up loose ends

With the benefit of hindsight, the opening moments of "Star Wars" contain deep reserves of dramatic irony — Carrie Fisher's grown-up Princess Leia comes face-to-face with her father Darth Vader, neither of whom are aware of their relationship with the other. The fact that the unimaginably powerful Sith Lord apparently couldn't even sense his own daughter standing right in front of him or extract the desired information out of her has always caused some fans to scratch their heads, but the latest episode might provide some neat answers ... beyond explaining her well-timed penchant for lying while under duress, that is.

Perhaps Leia's talent for resisting others' Force abilities helps clear things up. Remember, even Reva is forced (pun 100% intended!) to acknowledge that Leia is "strong," pushing back against the Inquisitor with a fierceness seen by few others in the series — including Benny Safdie's Jedi in the first episode. What if her ability to shut Dark Side users out of her mind completely, even on a subconscious level, explains why Vader himself couldn't break her while she was imprisoned on the Death Star? After all, the fallen Jedi is the one who notes how her "resistance to the mind probe is considerable." It's not the biggest stretch to imagine that this played a significant role in putting up a worthy fight against the Empire's interrogations or, for that matter, unconsciously warding off any possibility that Vader could find out that his own blood is running through her veins, as well.

It's unlikely that any of this will be outright confirmed in the show itself, but for those who enjoy resorting to head-canon to fill in the gaps present throughout this decades-long franchise, this is perhaps one theory that could neatly explain one of the franchise's nerdiest lore questions.