Spoilers for “Obi-Wan Kenobi” below.
Surprise for sure, but a welcome one.
Star Wars fans already thought Disney+ had outdone itself by reuniting Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen to reprise their now-so-iconic roles as Obi-Wan and Darth Vader for Obi-Wan Kenobi — but the first ones both episodes of the series had a different pleasant shock in store.
A 10-year-old Princess Leia graced screens worldwide on Friday, sending fandom into an uproar, as did the first sight of little green Grogu, aka Baby Yoda, not too long ago in The Mandalorian and in a galaxy nearby .
Played by Vivien Lyra Blair in Bird Box, die-hards were quick to note the young actor’s innate ability to keep up with Carrie Fisher’s iconic precocious portrayal of the Jedi Princess.
“I wish Carrie was alive to see the little girl play her, she would be so delighted to see more story and depth added to Leia.” @tomahawk_c1 tweeted.
“I have so much to say, but I want to start by acknowledging Vivien Lyra Blair’s performance as Leia. she perfectly embodies leia’s spirit, wit and intelligence. I cried so many times watching her because I swear I saw Carrie in her smile.” @SITHLEIAS tweeted.
Other fans were happy that Disney kept little Leia out of promotions for the show.
“I was very surprised to see Leia on this show, they didn’t even tease her a bit in the promos. It’s really cool to think that this is the girl to help bring down the empire and start the resistance.” posted JessePena108.
In addition to Blair unexpectedly joining McGregor and Christensen, Jimmy Smits returns as their adoptive father, Alderaan Senator Bail Organa – a small but crucial role he reprized in Episodes II, III and “Rogue One”.
Prequel actors Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse also returned to play Luke’s Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru for the show, which is set a decade after Revenge of the Sith.
This harmonious reunion for Obi-Wan Kenobi is a remarkable achievement considering how the cast left after their last film in 2005, according to the Jedi of the hour.
“When [the prequels] came out, they didn’t seem to be well received by the critics. So we were left as cast members feeling a little sorry for themselves after they came out,” McGregor told Rotten Tomatoes. “You know, after I got to ‘Star Wars’ and it’s like this enormously Deal, it was tough for her to be easily screwed up by the critics.
“And it took me years to realize that the generation we made them for, the kids we made them for, really loved them, you know. And I wasn’t aware of that for a long time, and now I’m discovering and feeling it more every day. It’s a really nice feeling and that’s definitely one of the reasons I wanted to come back to play [Obi-Wan] again.”