Out of everything that occurs in Ahsoka, perhaps the most divisive is Sabine Wren’s turn from Mandalorian to a Jedi or a Mandalorian Jedi. Not only is this unexpected, but it’s unnecessary. Sabine Wren was always a very compelling character. As a Mandalorian warrior, she has the upper hand over most opponents. Mandalorians may not wield the Force, but they can defeat anyone, even Jedi. With such a strong backstory, does Sabine really require the Force to make her a better character?
Dave Filoni makes it immediately clear at the start of the series that Ahsoka has been training Sabine but walked away from her before she could complete her training. It’s clarified later on in the series that the reason Ahsoka walks away from Sabine is because she fears Sabine wants to be a Jedi for all the wrong reasons. Ahsoka fears that by unlocking her potential, Sabine will become too dangerous. That’s fair and understandable because, at that point, Ahsoka was dealing with her trauma and guilt over Anakin Skywalker’s fall to the dark side.
However, Sabine could’ve become someone who trains as a Jedi despite having little to no ability to harness the Force. Not only does the series fail to give a strong reason for why she decides to be a Jedi or comes to believe that her Mandalorian abilities aren’t enough against the enemy, but it also takes Sabine from someone who can barely move a mug to someone who can even sense the presence of a Force ghost. She seems desperate to use the Force, as if she isn’t powerful enough without it. By the end of the series, she helps Ezra Force jump and reach Thrawn’s ship. While it’s an exciting moment, it’s not quite convincing. Just a few episodes earlier, Sabine made the selfish choice to save her friend, who may or may not have been alive, and gambled away the fate of her friends and galaxy. At the end of the series, instead of facing some kind of consequence for her actions, she’s rewarded with powerful Force abilities.
As a result, Sabine is now a Mandalorian Jedi. Star Wars has officially confirmed her status as a Jedi, making sure that there remains no doubt about her status. No, the next Tarre Viszla won’t be Grogu, it’s Sabine Wren. Which is fine, but there is no indication of it in Star Wars Rebels. Perhaps Dave Filoni wanted to keep it a secret. Still, it makes little sense. Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger help Sabine learn how to wield the Darksaber, and neither suspects that she’s Force-sensitive. By making Sabine powerful in the Force, Filoni is essentially saying that anyone can be just as powerful if they train hard enough to unlock their abilities. The only thing that kept other Mandalorians from becoming Jedi was their mindset. Maybe they didn’t believe in the Force enough. However, if Sabine can be a Jedi, does this mean that other Mandalorians, such as Din Djarin, can also learn to wield the Force?
Maybe the answer is yes, but it’s something that will never be explored. Din Djarin no longer has the Darksaber, and The Mandalorian never delves into why he can never learn how to wield it. Sabine overcame her emotional struggles during Star Wars Rebels, and this is how she learned to control the Darksaber. However, throughout Rebels, Sabine fought alongside her Jedi friends just as well as they did, so the decision to make her Force-sensitive doesn’t make much sense. Maybe her Jedi friends inspired her to learn Jedi philosophy, but she could follow Ahsoka’s teachings without the Force. The series starts out by telling us, through Huyang, that Sabine has the weakest Force abilities of any Jedi Padawan he’s ever seen but ends with her looking like one of the most powerful ones.
Sabine never needed the Force to begin with because she’s a mighty Mandalorian warrior, and Mandalorians deserve more credit. A few lessons on how to control her impulses may have helped fine-tune her abilities as a Mandalorian warrior, and learning to believe in the Force should help her control her emotions. Instead, Sabine is shown acting on her emotions and being rewarded for it. She ends up with Force-abilities that she’s just as powerful without, and the series fails to explain why this was necessary. The Mandalorian makes it clear that anyone can be a Mandalorian warrior, even if they’re not born on Mandalore. They need to believe in the Way of the Mand’alor. Similarly, it would’ve been better if Sabine was declared a Jedi with little to no ability to wield the Force because believing in the Force and following the Jedi way is enough to be a Jedi.
Clearly, that’s not what Dave Filoni believes.
Ahsoka is streaming on Disney+.