Previously, on Star Wars... Sabine Wren really wanted to become the Jedi Padawan of Ahsoka Tano, but Ahsoka kinda ditched her, leading to a huge rift between these two comrades. Except, did any of that actually happen? Cue the screeching record sound.
Prior to the new Disney+ series Star Wars: Ahsoka, the idea that Sabine wanted to become Ahsoka’s Jedi apprentice wasn’t really a thing. And although Ahsoka establishes Sabine as one of the coolest new Jedi in Star Wars canon, the idea that she was destined for a Jedi path will leave several viewers — namely hardcore Rebels fans — with some very reasonable questions.
Ahsoka is breathing new life into a classic Star Wars trope: the master and apprentice relationship. But do we now have a plot hole to worry about? Let's run a check on these lightsabers and see what’s going on with Sabine’s new Jedi journey in Ahsoka.
Spoilers ahead for the first two episodes of Ahsoka.
Was Sabine a Jedi in Rebels?
If you’re wondering whether Ahsoka trained Sabine as a Jedi in Star Wars Rebels, the answer is pretty much no, not at all. That said, Sabine’s aptitude with lightsabers was a fairly big plot point, specifically in the Season 3 Rebels episodes, “Trials of the Darksaber” and “Legacy of Mandalore.” In the first episode, Sabine inherited the Darksaber (yep that Darksaber) and begrudgingly learned to fight with it — and how to handle lightsabers in general. In “Legacy of Mandalore,” Sabine also briefly wielded Ezra’s green-bladed lightsaber, which is the same one she’s rocking in Ahsoka.
So you might assume that Ahsoka was the one who taught Sabine how to get more comfortable handling a lightsaber, specifically, the Darksaber. Nope! In those excellent Rebels episodes, it was Ezra Bridger and Kanan Jarrus who instructed Sabine on how to use a lightsaber.
At that time, it was also a big deal that she would be fighting with a lightsaber but not using the Force like a Jedi. As Kanan says, Sabine “might not be able to fight like a Jedi, but she can learn to be proficient with the blade.” The idea that Sabine’s actual Force powers are somewhat limited is referenced in Ahsoka Episode 2, when Sabine says, “It doesn’t matter. I never had the talent. The abilities.” To which Huyang replies, “I have known many Padwans over the centuries, and I can safely say your aptitude for the Force would fall short of them all.” So Sabine isn’t strong with the Force, at least not in the conventional way we’ve seen before.
However, when Sabine was training in “Trials of the Darksaber,” we did briefly see the Bendu, an ancient Force creature who represented the “middle” between the Light and Dark Sides. The glimpse of the Bendu in “Trials of the Darksaber” is probably the biggest indication that Sabine has hidden Force potential. In the same episode, Kanan tells Hera that everybody has the Force in them on some level. Sabine was just “blocked,” partially by her frustration.
Kanan and Ezra also trained Sabine in the Jedi methods of fighting with a lightsaber, encouraging her to connect with the blade. This is why Sabine was way better at wielding the Darksaber than Din Djarin was in The Mandalorian. Because the bottom line is: In terms of fighting, she was trained by Jedi. But in the Rebels timeframe — 4 BBY to 0 BBY — that Jedi training didn’t come from Ahsoka.
Ahsoka’s retcon of Ahsoka and Sabine
Even if Ahsoka Tano had wanted to train Sabine with the Darksaber in Rebels, she couldn’t have. That’s because Ahsoka’s fate during her duel with Darth Vader in Rebels Season 2 was still utterly unclear. It wasn’t until “The World Between Worlds” in Season 4 that Ahsoka returned to Rebels through quasi-time travel.
This may go without saying for hardcore fans of Rebels, but in that series, Ahsoka was not a true regular. She was more like a cool recurring guest star who linked the canon of The Clone Wars with the classic trilogy through her involvement in Rebels. Out of the 75 episodes of Rebels, Ahsoka only appears in 11 episodes (not counting holograms). And although the series Ahsoka seems to rely on, and vaguely reference her appearance in the Rebels finale, it should be noted she’s barely in Season 4 at all and only appears in that coda, which is basically a post-credits scene appearance that establishes Ahsoka is still alive following the timey wimey events of “The World Between Worlds.”
So when Sabine says things like, “She quit on me,” this references events we haven’t seen in Rebels, or in any other Star Wars material at all. Here’s what we have to assume: At some point after the Rebels finale (right after Return of the Jedi) Ahsoka shows up and recruits Sabine to search for Ezra. During this time, Ahsoka briefly considers training Sabine in the Force, but that doesn’t work out and they part ways. This brings us to the present day, roughly 9 or 10 ABY (or about five or six years after Return of the Jedi) in the exact same timeframe as The Mandalorian. We don’t know exactly how much time has passed since Ahsoka and Sabine last saw each other, only that it can’t be more than five years.
The missing story of Jedi training
In “Toil and Trouble,” Sabine mentions to Huyang that she “forgot how annoying you are.” Huyang wasn’t in Rebels at all, so Sabine must have met Huyang during this missing period of time in which Ahsoka and Sabine were together.
While it’s possible that Ahsoka could flashback to this missing period, this unseen time is now, perhaps unintentionally, the biggest mystery of the series. Like Obi-Wan vaguely mentioning the training of Anakin to Luke in A New Hope, the beef and fall-out between Ahsoka and Sabine powers much of their relationship in the new series. By the end of Episode 2, we see master and apprentice reunited, creating a Light Side foil against the wannabe Sith-duo of Baylan Skroll and Shin Hati. So we’ve seen the resolution of a rupture between heroes, but, oddly, we didn’t witness the rupture itself.
Casual fans may shrug their shoulders about this, but, this is Star Wars we’re talking about here. If someone’s difficult Jedi training is mentioned in dialogue only, it’s only a matter of time before we go back in time a few years and see what really happened. We may not get all of Sabine and Ahsoka’s new backstory in Ahsoka, but rest assured, this missing Star Wars canon will appear. Eventually.