Star Wars

How Does Thrawn Know Sabine? Ahsoka's Most Confusing Relationship, Explained

What’s the beef between these two?


It finally happened: Mitth'raw'nuruodo, also known as Thrawn, the Chiss Grand Admiral, finally made his live-action debut in Ahsoka. For fans of Rebels, this was a huge return of one of the most fearsome villains in Star Wars canon. For fans who haven’t seen Rebels, it was still exciting: after all, Ahsoka has been hyping up Thrawn since her appearance in The Mandalorian.

One of the key lines he has concerns Sabine Wren, currently a prisoner of Morgan Elsbeth. When she tells him the prisoner is Sabine, he responds, “Now that’s a familiar name.” But just what history do these two characters share?

Sabine is actually quite similar to Thrawn, even though they’re mortal enemies.


Even though the two are bitter enemies, they never have actually physically met. Thrawn isn’t one to forge his way into the head of battle: he’s a strategist. Because of this, he mainly remained behind the scenes, pulling the strings. But he was very aware of Sabine, watching her movements alongside Ezra Bridger very closely. Sabine, conversely, is always raring to get her hands dirty, so she made her presence very known.

In a way, Thrawn and Sabine are two sides of the same coin — they both have a love of art: Sabine was a graffiti artist, and Thrawn is a notorious art collector. They both attempted to fit in somewhere they didn’t really belong: Sabine trained as a Jedi despite not being Force-sensitive, and Thrawn climbed the ranks of the Empire despite being a Chiss.

Thrawn isn’t one to face his enemies head-on, so he only really knows of Sabine.


So while these two may have never looked each other eye to red eye before, they have a definite beef. They each represent the thing that tore Ezra and Thrawn out of the galaxy completely. Neither of them are Force-sensitive, but they both participate in the upper echelons of galactic politics on opposite sides.

Hopefully, Ahsoka will soon show them finally confronting each other about the hate that’s embroiled between them in the years since Rebels. Will Sabine immediately whip out the lightsaber? Or will her reunion with Ezra put the focus on fighting Thrawn alongside him?

Ahsoka is now streaming on Disney+.

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