Sabine Wren’s journey in the Ahsoka series so far is by design. For Star Wars fans who have seen Star Wars Rebels, it perhaps feels a little like the character has regressed. But her arc may actually be one of the most realistic and relatable in recent Star Wars history.
In Rebels, it was revealed that during her time at the Imperial Academy, Sabine created weapons that were later used against her own Mandalorian people. Many of the late episodes of the series involved her working to overcome her past, atone for her mistakes, repair resulting broken relationships, and learning to live with the consequences.
It might seem, on the surface, like she should have behaved differently in Ahsoka. She chose not to destroy the map. She chose to agree to follow the enemy in exchange for getting what she’d dreamed of for years (finding Ezra). Because she did not destroy the map, Grand Admiral Thrawn and his forces now have the chance to return to the galaxy.
She knew, in the moment, that there would be significant consequences for her actions. Despite having made mistakes in the past that cost innocent lives, it seems like, maybe, she learned nothing from that and made a poor decision she should not have made.
But all those assumptions — that she made a bad choice and should have known better — don’t take into account the fact that in real life, every single one of us, at some point, have also made dumb decisions we should have known better than to make.
Sabine is one of the most realistic portrayals of a 30-something in Star Wars … ever? Because it doesn’t matter that she did all that work to mend the repercussions of a previous mistake. She’s a completely normal human being who found herself overcome with feelings and wanting something so badly that she just messed up. Badly. Because that’s what people do.
Granted, we’re talking about a fictional universe and a story’s hero, so she will do the right thing in the end and learn a lesson. People in the real world who make mistakes at this scale should, at the absolute least, face actual consequences for the people impacted by their choices.
But for the sake of this article and in this context, Sabine acted like so many of us would in the situation in question. She may have even said to herself at some point, “I’ll never do something like that again,” only to turn around and do something like that again — why? Because people are emotional and life is hard and she just wanted to see a person she cared about again. Her entire family is gone, all the Mandalorians are off somewhere fighting, she wants her friend back. She misses him.
I’m not saying you would have risked the entire well-being of the galaxy just to hug your best friend/chosen brother, but also, maybe you would have, because we’re all broken and flawed and this is how we are.
This is how we’ve always been.
Many of us have to fight every day to be better than our default settings, and Sabine is one of us. She didn’t get it right this time. Just because she’s a hero doesn’t mean she’s perfect.
New episodes of Star Wars: Ahsoka premiere on Tuesdays exclusively on Disney+.
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