Obi-Wan Kenobi head writer Joby Harold talks about Leia and “Ben” Kenobi’s relationship connecting the series to the original and sequel trilogies.
Obi-Wan Kenobi head writer Joby Harold reveals the series’ connection to the sequel trilogy’s Ben Solo a.k. Kylo Ren. Following Lucasfilm/Disney’s divisive sequels, the galaxy far, far away has transitioned to the small screen on Disney+. The latest live-action series brings back Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi, exploring his time in exile on Tatooine as “Ben” Kenobi.
Obi-Wan Kenobi picks up 10 years after the events of Revenge of the Sith and the fall of the Republic, with its hero watching over a young Luke Skywalker. Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) and his band of Inquisitors are hunting Jedi—not the least of which is Obi-Wan—who managed to survive Order 66. In the series’ first episode, the Inquisitor Reva devises a plan to kidnap the young Princess Leia Organa to force Obi-Wan out of hiding. That said, the series has focused on the relationship between Obi-Wan and Leia, which motivates the latter’s trust in the former years later in A New Hope despite Carrie Fisher and Alec Guinness never interacting onscreen.
SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Related: Rey & Kylo’s Star Wars 9 Fight Is The Inverse Of Anakin vs. Obi-Wan
In a recent interview with THR, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s head writer, Harold, discussed filling in the gaps between Episodes III and IV. Specifically, he spoke on cemented Leia’s relationship with Obi-Wan as “a big component in her life,” so much so that she not only sends R2-D2 with the iconic message, “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi,” but names her and Han Solo’s son Ben. Read the full quote below:
“It was very helpful to know where they were going because it answers the question of, ‘Why him?’ So, ‘Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope,’ feels less arbitrary as a choice and a decision now that we know the depth of the history they have together. The context within which Leia says that in A New Hope is now canon, and it’s clear. So, it will be articulated as the show continues, but I liked the fact that it helped reinforce and better articulate a little piece of the jigsaw that is already in place. If you watch all of the Star Wars stories in a row right now, you’d be like, ‘Of course, she’s going to go to Obi-Wan.’ She also ends up naming her son, Ben [Adam Driver]. So I liked the fact that he was a big component in her life, as much as he was in Luke’s life up until now. It felt right after everything that happened with Anakin and those two children that he would be there for both children, to the degree he now has been in canon.”
Harold went on to talk about how Leia’s kidnapping is the only thing that could’ve motivated Obi-Wan to leave Tatooine. While Leia’s principal role in Obi-Wan Kenobi is surprising, it certainly makes sense from a narrative, character, and canonical standpoint. However, she’s become a much larger part of the story than fans expected. Leading up to the show’s premiere, marketing hyped Obi-Wan Kenobi’s rematch between McGregor and Christensen’s characters. Fans were more curious as to how it would reframe Obi-Wan’s encounter with Vader in A New Hope rather than Leia’s message. While that’s briefly been touched upon, the show’s Inquisitor storyline has felt like a series of fetch quests with Leia getting captured twice.
If Obi-Wan Kenobi set out to explain how Kylo Ren got his birth name, the series has justified its existence as more than a cash grab. Perhaps one of the biggest compliments fans can give the series is that it enhances Leia’s relationship with old Ben. On top of that, Vivien Lyra Blair has received universal acclaim for her adept portrayal of the iconic princess—one that would no doubt make Fisher proud. Still, with only two episodes remaining, it might be time to drop Leia off on Alderaan so that Obi-Wan can enjoy some Clone Wars flashbacks and have a proper rematch with his fallen pupil. Unless, of course, those rumors of Obi-Wan Kenobi season 2 have merit.
More: Why Obi-Wan Struggles To Use The Force In Kenobi
Rogue Squadron (2023)Release date: Dec 22, 2023
90 Day Fiancé: Hamza Responds To Rumors About His New Girlfriend
About The Author
(1108 Articles Published)
Josh Plainse is a writer, movie, and television fanatic based out of Wisconsin. Josh works for Screen Rant covering the latest in entertainment while simultaneously pursuing the never-ending dream of becoming an established novelist, screenwriter, and/or decent human being. Josh would accredit characters such as Goku, Han Solo, Simba, and Maximus Decimus Meridius for instilling within him an affinity for storytelling. It is this incessant obsession which has propelled him to seek opportunities that inform, entertain, and inspire others.
More From Josh Plainse