The Star Wars movies have always been a magnet for speculation and fan theories. This trend also extends to Star Wars Rebels, especially after the many connections to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and rumored connections to other parts of the saga. In the most recent episode, 'Trials of the Darksaber', Sabine Wren wields an ancient lightsaber as she gets some Jedi training from Kanan and Ezra, sparking many new theories and adding fuel to some old ones, all revolving around Sabine’s relationship to the Force and the Jedi.
As with any fan theory, it’s a theory because there’s not enough conclusive evidence just yet, but using what has been learned so far, we can still answer a few questions about Sabine’s Jedi connections.
Sabine’s Journey So Far
Her character doesn’t get much over the course of the first season and a half of Rebels. She’s a Mandalorian, an artist, an explosives expert, and she defected from the Imperial Academy, but that’s about all the show reveals. It’s not the shallowest backstory, but it feels very cookie cutter, especially when she’s on a ship full of people whose lives have been turned upside down by the Empire. It’s not until the second half of season 2 that the show offered hints of something bigger when she announces herself to Fenn Rau as Sabine from Clen Wren, House Vizsla.
Vizsla is a name that should sound familiar to many Star Wars fans who watched Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Pre Vizsla (voiced by Jon Favreau) was the leader of the Mandalorian extremist group, Death Watch, and the wielder of the mysterious new darksaber. Eventually Darth Maul challenges Pre Vizsla for the darksaber and the right to rule Death Watch, killing him and getting both.
Sabine outing herself in Rebels as a part of House Vizsla is a significant reveal, adding even more excitement when she eventually retrieves the darksaber from Maul’s Dathomirian hideout in season 3’s 'Visions and Voices'. She now has the heritage and the hardware necessary to lead a group of Mandalorian warriors. Only she doesn’t immediately capitalize on her new position. It’s several episodes later before Kanan finally approaches Fenn Rau to ask him about the darksaber at the start of 'Trials of the Darksaber'. It’s here we learn that the darksaber has been a fixture of House Vizsla since it was originally created by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian Jedi.
To help Sabine prepare to face her family and garner Mandalorian support for the Rebels, Kanan and Ezra begin training her to fight with the darksaber.
Is Sabine Force Sensitive?
At first glance this seems like an open and shut case. Kanan has been traveling with Sabine for years at this point. He never takes interest in training her, but senses Ezra’s connection to the Force and almost immediately brings him on as his padawan. She’s also never shown any sort of an affinity for the Force or innate ability other than her talents with weapons and explosives. Nevertheless, the recent episode, 'Trials of the Darksaber', does prompt a few questions on this front.
First, during her training, a group of convorees look on. A convore has appeared several times over the course of the The Clone Wars and Rebels, usually as a visual representation of the Force watching over a character. Sabine’s training seems to even grab the attention of Bendu, who is briefly seen hiding out on the edges of their camp.
Second, Hera asks Kanan if he doubts Sabine’s ability to learn because “she doesn’t have the Force,” only for Kanan to correct her, specifying that “the Force resides in all living things, but you have to be open to it. Sabine is blocked.” Does this mean if she learns to open herself up, as she begins to in 'Trials of the Darksaber', then she’ll establish a connection to the Force?
Third, Sabine is descended from Tarre Vizsla, meaning she has Jedi heritage. While Force sensitivity hasn’t ever been verified as hereditary, there’s definitely a history of it in Star Wars canon. Pre Viszla and other descendants don’t seem to be Jedi, but there’s always a possibility they were Force sensitive and just never trained.
All that being said, much of the evidence could be considered fairly innocuous. The meaning of the presence of the convorees and Bendu is purely speculation without more information, Kanan isn’t using their training to train her in the Force, as he says “she might not be able to fight like a Jedi, but she can learn to be proficient with the blade,” and the Vizsla line doesn’t appear to have any Force users after Tarre Vizsla, so much of that could go either way.
Above all, is there room for a prominent member of the Rebel Alliance (and designer of the Rebel phoenix emblem) to become a Jedi or other Force wielder? Kanan, Ezra, and Ahsoka's presence so close to the original trilogy is already pushing the boundaries of believability when it originally appeared that Obi-Wan and Yoda were the only remaining Jedi. Sabine becomimg a Jedi could finally tip that scale in the wrong direction.
Daughter of Kenobi?
Thanks to the Rebels season 3 trailer, it is already known that Obi-Wan Kenobi is the endgame. Do all roads lead to him, or just Maul? Knowing Kenobi will play a big part in this season, fuel is being added to the fire on some fan theories regarding his relationship to Sabine.
As many fans likely noted, it’s interesting to have a girl of Sabine’s age with a name so similar to Satine, the former Dutchess of Mandalore who had some sort of romantic connection to Obi-Wan Kenobi. There’s a pretty slim chance that Kenobi reneged on his Jedi oath, but if he did, it was with Satine Kryze, which means the Sabine Kenobi theory isn’t outside the realm of possibility, but it’s definitely still pretty far out there.
A number of factors would need to line up in order for this theory to play out. First, as already stated, Obi-Wan would have had to have gone against the Jedi code, something he wasn’t especially known for, and gotten a Mandalorian -- Satine -- pregnant. Second, Obi-Wan can’t have any knowledge of Sabine’s existence, meaning Satine would have had to give her daughter away, possibly to her sister, Bo Katan Kryze, to protect both her political career and Obi-Wan’s career as a Jedi, working as a sort of subversion of Anakin and Padme’s arc, which obviously turns out very differently.
There are a few elements that line up. Bo-Katan is a part of Death Watch, meaning it’s possible she’s Bo-Katan of Clan Kryze, House Vizsla. Katee Sackhoff, the voice of Bo-Katan from The Clone Wars, claims she’ll be back this season on Rebels, so the Kryze connection to Obi-Wan still has life.
In 'Trials of the Darksaber', Sabine references her family, including both her mother and father, but if she was adopted and shielded from the truth of her birth, that doesn’t exactly throw a wrench into things.
What does throw a wrench into the theory is Dave Filoni, creator of The Clone Wars and Rebels, saying it's all wrong. Filoni could be hiding a reveal, but it makes more sense to take his words at face value. It’s also possible that what he said was only “true, from a certain point of view.” After all, we are talking about Obi-Wan Kenobi here.
Is Sabine Rey’s Mother?
As always, Star Wars theorists are looking for Rey’s parents. Since Sabine is one of the major characters of approximately the right age, she gets a Rey theory of her own. To be fair, the "Rey is a Kenobi" theory is one that gets a fair amount of attention, and Sabine being Rey’s mother ties in well with the “Sabine is a Kenobi” theory, making one big happy family.
It’s an appealing theory, too. Fans would go crazy to learn that Rey is actually the descendant of first Mandalorian Jedi, and possibly also a descendant of Obi-Wan Kenobi. With next to no information about Sabine’s future and even less on Rey’s origins, there’s very little on which to speculate, but there are still a couple key elements at play.
First, when it comes to the theme of legacy, both characters share elements of their plot arc. Both are exiled from their family and their people, both have a seemingly pre-ordained encounter with a sword of significance, and both are hesitant to embrace the sword and their calling. So there are some parallels, except Sabine is willingly separated from her heritage, and Rey abandoned.
Having said that, Rey is called to the lightsaber that once belonged to Anakin Skywalker, and Luke after him. If the thematic parallel between Rey and Sabine were to continue, then it would make more sense for Rey to encounter the darksaber to continue her family’s legacy, not the Skywalker blade, which has no connection to Sabine.
Many previous theories -- including the Rey is a Kenobi theory -- look to Rey’s accent as a hint, as Kenobi obviously had a British accent but the Skywalkers didn't. Her accent has more to do with her upbringing than her blood, but it is worth noticing that this theory would go against that, because none of the Mandalorians, including Sabine, have been depicted with British accents so far.
With so little information available, it’s impossible to lean in any one direction. Is it possible? Sure. Does it make sense? A little. It really comes down to a matter of plausibility, and, at this point, any connection between Rey and Sabine seems to be too convenient or manufactured. With Sabine headed to see her family after Rebels returns from a one month hiatus, we may know more about her origins, and Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is bound to reveal more about Rey’s. Until then, all we can do is guess.
The Darth Vader twist in The Empire Strikes Back means fans will always seek out the next big twist or connection with Star Wars, but outside of that one moment, there's really no mind-blowing twists or family reveals. It is wholly possible that Obi-Wan Kenobi never had children, Sabine Wren is just a Mandalorian of Clan Wren, House Vizsla, and Rey's parents are of no significance. Speculating and theorizing is fun, but some stories can be overthought.
Star Wars Rebels returns on Saturday, February 18, 2017.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017