Ahsoka: Why Sabine’s Jedi training matters

Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) in Lucasfilm's STAR WARS: AHSOKA, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) in Lucasfilm's STAR WARS: AHSOKA, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

We spend the final moments of Star Wars: The Last Jedi with the young stable boy, Temiri Blagg, as he stares off and away from Canto Bight and into the distant stars, admires his Resistance ring and seemingly uses the Force to lift his broom.

The scene itself is both simple and poignant. The Resistance, it seems to say, is for everyone. The galaxy itself is for everyone—even this lost and forgotten little boy. Perhaps most importantly, the scene whispers to us: The Force is for everyone. No one is too unimportant, too marginalized, too insignificant.

This might not seem to be such a gasp-worthy insight. Wasn’t the Jedi Order, at its height, full of beings from across the known galaxy? It’s not so hard to imagine the Force might manifest itself in a particularly unique way in a far-off galactic stable.

And yet, despite knowing the diversity within the Jedi Order, despite Yoda’s own insistence that the Force flows through all living things, for too long the powers of the Force seemed limited to a handful of elite galactic families.

Remember how much handwringing went on between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi about Rey’s true lineage? She must be a Skywalker or a Kenobi or—as it turns out—a Palpatine! The very thought that Rey would just be a random citizen of the universe and also extremely gifted in the Force seemed too far-fetched.

The Rise of Skywalker didn’t quite pursue this story thread. Broom Boy, as Temiri Blagg is affectionally known, has not yet reappeared. While Finn appears to be Force-sensitive, it was only obliquely—and awkwardly—hinted at in the film. And our next encounter with an on-screen Force wielder was a creature that looks a whole lot like a baby version of a pretty popular green Jedi we all know and love…

All this to say, I love the fact that Ahsoka Tano is training Sabine Wren to be a Jedi. I admit, I had my doubts when I saw Sabine wielding Ezra’s lightsaber in the trailers. This is a stretch, I thought. This is going to take some creative retconning to make work.

But that’s when I thought Sabine was strong with the Force—or, at least, could use it. That’s when I thought she’d have some awakening, something akin to Finn’s or Rey’s. But Huyang’s complete and utter destruction of Sabine’s ego, his blunt admission that she is the worst Force-user he’s ever encountered in his entire experience training younglings, seems to point to something else.

Huyang, you’ll recall, has been at this for centuries. And Sabine is the literal worst padawan he’s ever met.

All the would-be Jedi we’ve encountered—from Anakin and all his midichlorians to Luke and Leia and their auspicious father to Rey and her own sense of awakening—have made themselves known through the manifestation of the Force in action, intention and genetics. The Force chooses them, in some way. It is stronger in them, special. It spills out of them and demonstrates its potential for power.

Isn’t that how younglings were identified? Isn’t that why we’ve seen time and again from the Clone Wars era to that of the Empire certain children kidnapped by dark side users—because they manifest a unique Force sensitivity? Isn’t that what set Broom Boy apart at the end of The Last Jedi?

Jedi—and the mystical powers of the Force that are theirs to wield—are identified because the Force has already chosen them. Even if we’ve moved beyond folks with the last name “Skywalker”—and I’m not sure we actually have—that still seems pretty exclusive and pretty elite.

But what we’re seeing in Sabine’s Jedi training—and in Ahsoka’s training of this non-Force sensitive Mandalorian warrior—is a new way of engaging the Force and the path of the Jedi. It’s not something to be limited to beings that already have the potential; it’s a path and a power to be engaged by everyone and anyone.

How? Simple: You engage the Force and the Jedi path through the strengths you already have. And everyone has strengths, gifts, unique abilities. For Sabine, it’s her warrior instincts, the very core of her Mandalorian culture and identity.

That’s why I love Sabine’s Jedi path. It’s not up to chance or fate whether she gets to engage with the mystical energy field pulsing through the entire galaxy; it’s up to her. And the way to engage with that energy field is to simply be herself. To lean into who she already is and use her very self as the catapult to become something more.

I think that kind of all-inclusive spirituality and spiritual path might be just as worth manifesting in our galaxy as in one far, far away.