Star Wars Is About to Bring Back Its Best Abandoned Lightsaber Rule
The franchise shouldn’t be too picky about its most iconic element.
Sabine Wren might be the single most underrated character in Star Wars history. The Rebels character does graffiti, sports multicolored hair, and is all-around cooler than most of her galaxy’s occupants. Now, she’s moving to a new medium in Ahsoka, where she’ll be brought to life in live-action by Natasha Liu Bordizzo. With the change comes a new mane of long hair and a familiar weapon, one with old issues that Ahsoka could fix.
In conversation with Empire, Bordizzo revealed the weapon Sabine will be wielding in Ahsoka: a lightsaber. “It’s been really hard talking about my fight-training without talking about the fact that it’s ‘saber-training,’ which is literally all I’ve been doing for so long,” she said.
Sabine won’t be using just any lightsaber, but the green lightsaber that belongs to her lost friend, Ezra Bridger. The catch is that while Ezra is a Jedi, Sabine is not. She’s a Mandalorian. She has wielded the Darksaber before, but that’s a Mandalorian weapon, so she was at least qualified for that.
Non-Jedi wielding lightsabers are a curious sight in Star Wars. As far back as Empire Strikes Back, when Han Solo uses Luke’s saber to slice open a Tauntaun, it seemed like any old person could use a lightsaber, even if the weapons were exceedingly rare. General Grievous collected and fought with sabers, and Moff Gideon wielded the Darksaber in The Mandalorian despite being neither Jedi nor Mandalorian.
It seems like Star Wars initially tried to make lightsabers a weapon traditionally wielded by the Jedi, but technically useable by anyone; after all, lightsabers are really just fancy swords. Jedi powers and training would certainly help you wield one, but the basics of poking the person you want to die are straightforward enough. However, this idea was abandoned when it became convenient to show non-Force-sensitive villains like Grievous wielding sabers as heresy.
But going back to the old ways and allowing Sabine to wield Ezra’s saber makes perfect sense. She’s got a sentimental tie to the weapon, and she’s got training after her time with the Darksaber. It also makes sense because it turns the lightsaber back into what it once was: a rare weapon used in conjunction with the Force, but not exclusively by Force-sensitive people.
Hopefully, we’ll start to again see sabers being picked up and used by all sorts of people without vague hints about them being Force-sensitive. We’re looking at you, Finn.
Ahsoka premieres August 2023 on Disney+.
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