This article contains spoilers for Ahsoka season 1.
Sabine Wren’s life hasn’t been easy. Over her appearances in Star Wars Rebels and Ahsoka, we have watched her endure loss, betrayal, and many brutal battles both within herself and against the Empire. With the support of those she loves, she has also overcome those obstacles and found moments of joy. When she finally learned how to access the Force during the finale of Ahsoka season 1, I was ecstatic for her. However, Sabine’s story in the show was met with mixed reviews from Star Wars fans.
Some viewers believed she was able to access the Force too easily. While it may have seemed sudden in the context of a few episodes, it was actually the culmination of Sabine’s journey of well over a decade.
Sabine didn’t grow up thinking about the Force, but after deserting from Imperial service, she found herself living with one of the only remaining Jedi in the galaxy. She was partially raised by Kanan Jarrus, and her exposure to Jedi teachings only grew once Ezra joined the Ghost crew. Even if she wasn’t interested in becoming a Jedi herself at the time, she likely picked up some of Kanan’s lessons.
An important development in her upbringing was her discovery of the Darksaber and the subsequent training she needed to wield it. During these lessons, Sabine began to understand lightsabers and how Jedi use them. In the Rebels season 3 episode "Trials of the Darksaber," Sabine learns to open up and connect with the kyber crystal in the Darksaber, which causes the saber to lighten and obey her actions better.
This was probably her first experience knowingly connecting with any aspect of the Force. This progress was made possible by overcoming her mental barriers and fully committing to her mission. Kanan helped her discover the parts of herself that were standing in the way of using the saber, her regrets about the past, and her pain over her estranged relationship with her family.
She likely experienced similar barriers during her training with Ahsoka after the Rebellion overthrew the Empire. In the ten-year gap between Rebels and Ahsoka, Sabine spent a significant period searching for Ezra and training as Ahsoka’s padawan. She learned many more lessons about the Force and the ways of the Jedi. Yet, she was still unsuccessful in accessing the Force. Her doubts and guilt, particularly over Ezra’s disappearance, stood in the way of completing her training. She was unable to trust in the Force after her hardships.
Only when she had no other choice, when it was between life or death, did she finally place her faith in the Force and learn how to connect with it. By looking at her life through this lens, it is possible to see just how difficult it was for Sabine to become a Force user.
Natasha Liu Bordizzo, who brought live-action Sabine to life, has responded to the criticisms, saying that one’s path to the Force may not be easy, but it is still an “attainable state of being that people could access with hard work and dedication.” Although Sabine isn’t naturally gifted in connecting with the Force, as Anakin and Luke Skywalker were, the time she has dedicated to forging this skill was enough for her to use the Force in a time of great need.
The great thing about Sabine using the Force is that she is just like us fans. Even without supernatural gifts, she persevered and accomplished what seemed impossible. It wasn’t easy or perfect. It was a long road, but she reached her goal eventually. In this, we can follow her example.