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I know that Leia is a princess because she was adopted by the Queen of Alderaan, but why would Obi-Wan allow this? Wasn't the original plan of Obi-Wan and Yoda to hide the Skywalkers from Palpatine? Luke was placed into a very low-profile position, being the child of two farmers on a backwater planet. However, Leia occupies a very important political position.

Is there any reason why Obi-Wan would do this if he was trying to hide her?

  • @BESW - I've edited. I think the core question itself was pretty solid. The OP just confused Naboo with Alderaan. – Valorum Dec 31 '14 at 10:19
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    off-universe: retconning. "A New Hope" was about a humble knight rescuing a princess and defeating the "evil guys" who were about to take the kingdom, but with the development in episodes V & VI that they were siblings, came the necessity of explaining why they had ended in so different circunstances. – SJuan76 Dec 31 '14 at 10:47
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    Makes perfect sense when you remember that there are two children to hide - one is placed with a nobody family in a back-of-nowhere place, and one is hidden in plain sight. – Joe L. Dec 31 '14 at 12:45
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    Neither Palpatine nor Vader even know Leia exists. It wouldn't arouse suspicion if Organa and his wife adopt a baby girl from somewhere. – Omegacron Dec 31 '14 at 15:56
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    I don't think the plan was to hide them, just to hide that they were Skywalkers. – Matthew Stevenson Nov 12 '15 at 4:11
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The Revenge of the Sith novelisation covers this, albeit in quite an indirect way. Simply put, both Obi-Wan and Yoda consider Bail Organa's proposal and then decide that this is an opportunity that's been put in front of them by the Force.

“I can …” Bail Organa stopped, flushing slightly. “I’m sorry to interrupt, Masters; I know little about the Force, but I do know something of love. The Queen and I-well, we’ve always talked of adopting a girl. If you have no objection, I would like to take Leia to Alderaan, and raise her as our daughter. She would be loved with us.”

Yoda and Obi-Wan exchanged a look. Yoda tilted his head. “No happier fate could any child ask for. With our blessing, and that of the Force, let Leia be your child.”

There are also a couple of good logistical reasons;

  • It's a pretty good cover. Bail and his wife were already known to be struggling to have a child of their own and since it was...

"common knowledge that Leia was adopted into the Royal Family on Alderaan"

...it's unlikely that her sudden appearance would raise suspicions among Palpatine's retinue, especially since Bail Organa made every attempt to appear loyal to the Emperor.

  • It places a Jedi-initiate right into the corridors of power. Without training she'll be largely invisible but she can be 'activated' with very little notice.
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    Not just the novelization, but Organa actually says this in the movie as well. I like that you alluded to her being a kind of sleeper agent – Robert Dec 31 '14 at 12:53
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    It also avoids telling the secret to someone else (Organa already knows about her), and as father, is perfectly located for both confusing others and helping her (suppose she discovered the force by its own!). – Ángel Dec 31 '14 at 20:13
  • @Ángel - Precisely. It also avoids another person needing to know where Obi-Wan is hiding and gives the (fledgling) rebellion an ace-in-the-hole if things get really bad. – Valorum Dec 31 '14 at 20:26
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It was not technically Obi-Wan's choice, it was Yodas (as the leader of the Jedi and as Obi-Wan's superior).

Obi-Wan did not object though.

In the movie (which is considered absolute canon or G-cannon):

187 EXT. CORUSCANT -PADME'S APARTMENT-VERANDA-AFTERNOON
...
OBI-WAN: He has become a very great threat. As PADME moves to sit down, she reveals her pregnancy.
...
226 INT. POLIS MASSA-MEDICAL CENTER-NIGHT
...
OBI-WAN: She's dying?
MEDICAL DROID: We don't know why. She has lost the will to live. We need to operate quickly if we are to save the babies.
BAIL ORGANA: Babies??!!
MEDICAL DROID: She's carrying twins.
YODA: Save them, we must. They are our last hope.
...
233 INT. ALDERAAN CRUISER-CONFERENCE ROOM BAIL ORGANA, YODA, and OBI-WAN sit around a conference table.
YODA: Pregnant, she must still appear. Hidden, safe, the children must be kept.
OBI-WAN: We must take them somewhere the Sith will not sense their presence.
YODA: Split up, they should be.
BAIL ORGANA: My wife and I will take the girl. We've always talked of adopting a baby girl. She will be loved with us.
OBI-WAN: And what of the boy?
YODA: To Tatooine. To his family, send him.
OBI-WAN: I will take the child and watch over him. Master Yoda, do you think Anakin's twins will be able to defeat Darth Sidious?
YODA: Strong the Force runs, in the Skywalker line. Hope, we can . . . Done, it is. Until the time is right, disappear we will.

This leaves us a couple of things to consider:

  1. They took steps to make it look like Padme died still pregnant. This would prevent anyone for looking for the child/children.
  2. It is very likely that no one new that Padme was pregnant with twins since she had been keeping her pregnancy a secret (except possibly her medical droid).
  3. They did not deliberate over the children. One idea was presented and accepted for both babies.
  4. The goal was to prevent the Sith from detecting them (so where ever they were would need to be fairly well populated, preferably with naturally high amount of force presence).
  5. Neither child was all that well hidden (Luke went back to Anakin's step siblings on the plant where Anakin spent the first 9 years of his life. Also, they did not bother to change Luke's last name or try to replace his father so he was no longer an orphan).
  6. The Organa's already had a cover story (they had been talking about adopting a baby girl) which would reduce suspicion concerning the origin of the child.
  7. The Jedi were very limited on allies and resources. They had to take what they could get.
  8. They were in the middle of a war which had caused many casualties. As such there were probably many orphans which could be used to obscure the origins of Luke and Leia.

While the power and influence she would have being raised as an Organa would be beneficial, it is fairly clear that it was not a reason for their decision.

That being said, it is also important to remember that Leia was Princess Organa first, and revealed to be Luke's twin later. As a result, the events which got her adopted is a patch to the problem introduced in Episode 6.

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    There seems to be a lot of unnecessary dialogue in your quote. You might consider editing it down (with an axe) – Valorum Dec 31 '14 at 22:55
  • @Richard I have removed a bunch of text for the quote. The problem is you need that text to get the context, though I expect they could just follow the link. – Trisped Jan 3 '15 at 6:38

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