Lightsabers are the heart and soul of Star Wars. The iconic glow, the humming sound, and the epic combat scenes all speak to the franchise’s classic sci-fi roots. But while they’re associated with Jedi and Sith, lightsabers have never been the exclusive domain of Force users. Han briefly used Luke’s, and in Rebels and The Mandalorian, non-Force-sensitive Mandalorians like Sabine Wren and Din Djarin wielded the Darksaber, a weapon that originated as a joint Mandalorian and Jedi blade.
Sabine also wielded padawan Ezra Bridger’s lightsaber, a practice that will apparently continue in the upcoming series Ahsoka. However, there may be more to this weapon than meets the eye.
Empire recently released an exclusive first look at Ahsoka. The title character wears a cloak as she looks out into the distance alongside Sabine, who’s in full Mandalorian armor and sporting her trademark pixie cut, not the long hair we see in the trailer.
Attached to Sabine’s belt is a lightsaber. That in itself isn’t a huge shock, as actress Natasha Liu Bordizzo previously told Empire about the saber combat training she went through. A closer look at the saber, however, reveals that something has changed.
The change is hard to see, but the emitter (the bit at the tip of the hilt) definitely looks different. Sabine is an artist and a Mandalorian, so tinkering with a saber is in her wheelhouse. And even if this modification was beyond her skills, the lightsaber-building droid Huyang was seen in the Ahsoka trailer, and he definitely could have made some modifications.
But why would Sabine want to make changes? There are two schools of thought: one in-universe, and one out-of-universe. In canon, it’s possible Sabine was just trying to improve a fairly old lightsaber, or maybe she had to repair it after it broke.
In reality, it’s likely this new emitter makes the editing of the stunt sword blades used in the filming of Ahsoka easier, as it obscures the joint between the emitter and the blade. After all, Ahsoka isn’t just the live-action debut of Sabine and Ezra; it’s also the live-action debut of the weapon they share. A modification to disguise the special effects that bring lightsabers to life makes sense.
Just how — or even if — this change will be explained in the plot remains to be seen, but what’s more interesting will be how Sabine treats this new weapon. Now that it’s modified, does she consider it “hers,” or is she just keeping it safe and effective for when she’s reunited with Ezra? We’ll find out soon.
Ahsoka premieres August 2023 on Disney+.