One of the latest additions to the rebel crew of The Ghost is Sabine, the weapons expert, explosion enthusiast and graffiti tagger. Along with Zeb Orrelios, Sabine was first revealed at New York Toy Fair 2014 and received an official video announcement soon thereafter. Voiced by the talented Tiya Sircar, this no-nonsense heroine brings a refreshing amount of originality and creativity to the group. Not only does she personalize her armor and hair, but she leaves an explosion of colors in her wake. She is an artist by nature and expresses herself on any surface she can get her hands on.
Sabine is also Mandalorian. As a fan of the Mandalorian culture, I’m already in the habit of calling her Sab’ika, meaning “Little Sabine.” Given that Star Wars Rebels may incorporate characters and elements of the Expanded Universe, could we possibly hear some Mando’a? It would be great to hear Sab’ika mutter di’kut under her breath or shout kandosii when exciting events called for it.
The last time we saw Mandalore (the following contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Clone Wars season five), Maul had joined forces with Pre Vizsla to terrorize the capital and depose Duchess Satine Kryze. The alliance, however, was short-lived when Maul challenged Vizsla and defeated him in a duel. Soon thereafter, Darth Sidious removed him from the picture completely, leaving Prime Minister Almec to lead the New Mandalorians. What happens during the waning months of the Clone Wars and the rise of the Empire is part of the Expanded Universe, thus, we don’t know what condition Mandalore is in following the events of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
In the literature, a new regime replaces the one that had been ruled by Duchess Satine and the New Mandalorians, and Mandalore later aligns itself with the Confederacy of Independent Systems (CIS). When the Galactic Republic transformed into the Galactic Empire, Emperor Palpatine officially pardoned Mandalore for its involvement with CIS, calling upon Mandalorians to take up mercenary work during the Jedi purge. The Empire also established a base of operations on Mandalore, similarly to how we’ll see the Empire operate on Lothal in Star Wars Rebels. The Imperial rule tightens its grip over Mandalore, however, often strip-mining the beskar (Mandalorian iron) deposits and forcing Mandalorian citizens to work in factories to contribute to the war effort.
If Mandalore in Star Wars Rebels reflects what has been written in the Expanded Universe, then (hypothetically speaking), Sabine could have left Mandalore to escape the constricting grip of the Empire. It also explains why she expresses herself through a form of vandalism–to rebel against what the Empire has done to her home and people.
Although graffiti is mostly considered a form of vandalism, based on her character introduction, Sabine leans more towards it being a form of art. What appears to be a common room in The Ghost, it is completely covered in bursts of color, stylistic designs, and rough sketches. If you’re a fan of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, notice the Cad Bane head on the lower right corner of the room. Above him is Embo, drawn with a heart-shaped outline in orange. Did Sabine personally know Cad Bane and Embo? Personally, both Cad Bane’s and Embo’s reputations precede them, so I like to think she is simply a fangirl. I used to draw hearts all over my Backstreet Boys folders. Sabine may be expressing herself the way any fangirl would, hence the heart drawn over Embo. She also bears the design of a wolf-like creature on her shoulder plate that resembles an anooba. Embo had a pet anooba named Marrok during Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Another possible theory is that Embo raised her or was a significant influence in her life. Either way, it’s fun to speculate and toss ideas around!
As a fan of the Republic Commando series by Karen Traviss, I couldn’t help but think how much of a Mandalorian will Sabine turn out to be. Will she just carry the name to appeal to the Mandalorian fan base in the Star Wars community? Or will she address and identify with her culture throughout the series? Mandalorian is a way of life that includes wearing the beskar’gam (Mandalorian armor), speaking Mando’a, and being raised with the belief that family is more than blood. Without that, a Mandalorian could be declared dar’manda, which is the state of not being Mandalorian–someone without heritage. Obviously, Star Wars Rebels may have a different approach with her character that won’t reflect what has been developed in the Expanded Universe.
Overall, I’m looking forward to seeing more of her and the rest of the rebel crew as the story develops. Stay tuned!
Featured Image Credit: Lucasfilm.