At Trials of the Temple at Disney Parks, a blind little Star Wars Rebels fangirl told cast members, “I’m blind like Kanan!”
As more stories are added to the Star Wars universe, more real-world elements, like physical disabilities, trickle into the canon. That’s important, because for Star Wars fans who experience physical disabilities, it’s a joy to finally see or read about someone in their favorite franchise who is just like them.
“Joy” is what a blind Star Wars Rebels fangirl was feeling during a Trials of the Temple experience at Disney Parks, when she told cast members, “I’m blind like Kanan!” (via Jennifer Strawn on Twitter). She refers to Kanan Jarrus, a Jedi Knight in Star Wars Rebels who was blinded by Darth Maul in the finale of season two.
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Star Wars characters are no strangers to losing body parts; arms and legs fly off in every single film, just about. One thing we haven’t really seen, however, is a character who experiences a loss which is truly debilitating, like blindness. Limbs, however crass it may seem to say, are replaceable in the galaxy far, far away. But sight is another beast altogether, apparently, because by season three of Star Wars Rebels, Kanan has not received cybernetic eye replacements. Instead, he covers the top half of his face with a mask and lives with his blindness.
Can you imagine what it would be like to not be able to see for the rest of your life? It’s difficult for those of us who do have sight to even comprehend. For someone like Kanan, it might be a little easier living without vision because he has the Force to guide him. Still, losing it was a traumatic experience he is probably still struggling with in season three, which premieres this fall.
The little fangirl at Trials of the Temple may have been born with blindness, so she may never have had to imagine what it would be like to be blind. But she still knows she’s different from other people. Kanan, however, is someone she can relate to. When she plays Star Wars, she no longer has to make up a character who is blind (unless she just wants to) or be someone like Rey or Luke and pretend they are blind. Finally, there exists a powerful Star Wars character who is just like her. The maxim “Star Wars is for everyone” has never been truer than it is today.