First impressions are important, and there’s no doubt that some of us have walked away from an encounter thinking, “Yeah, that could have gone better.” The good news is our perception of people (and ourselves) constantly changes. It’s affected by a variety of things, like what they say and what they do.
When Sabine and Ezra first met in the series premiere of Star Wars Rebels, Ezra didn’t leave a good first impression, and Sabine, quite simply and honestly, found him to be childish and annoying. Over time, however, she saw how much he had grown and the kind of person and leader he turned out to be.
Rebel Analytics, an Instagram account managed by artist Jane R. Noble that’s dedicated to finding the patterns and parallels hidden throughout the series, highlighted how Sabine’s perception of Ezra had changed over the years and it can be seen through the hobby she loves most: art.
Jane pointed out that Sabine made three paintings of Ezra.
The first appeared in the season one episode “Fighter Flight.” Ezra had fallen on top of Zeb because of Chopper’s antics, and Sabine had captured the moment. Before the ruckus happened, Ezra tried to play it cool with Sabine, and while he was standing at her doorway, he said, “Well, if you ever need a little inspiration…,” implying that he could be some sort of artistic inspiration for her. Sabine rolled her eyes and we all just laughed it off because this was Ezra’s way of flirting with her. Little did we know that he would eventually become that inspiration.
At the time, however, the artwork she painted of him exaggeratedly falling on Zeb made them both look amusing and silly. Sabine told Ezra, “I thought it was a moment that needed to be immortalized. And you did say you wanted to be my inspiration.”
Ezra replied, “Yeah, but that makes me look like a fool.”
Sabine gave the perfect response. She said, “I paint what I see.” Sabine painted what she saw and thought of Ezra at that point in time.
The second painting appeared in the season three episode “Trials of the Darksaber.” Ezra was depicted in his season one/season two attire, so her perception of him hadn’t changed much, and her attitude toward him throughout the episode was indicative of that. You could tell that she found it insulting when she had to learn lightsaber forms from him and that her patience with him was short. She didn’t see him like the experienced and skilled warrior that she saw in herself.
The third drawing of Ezra surfaced at the end of the series, and unlike her art of Ezra in the past, this painting was a more accurate representation of him. He was no longer the boy she used to tease and draw amusing doodles of on the wall. Her thoughts and opinion of him changed. Ezra, like Kanan before him, sacrificed himself for the greater good of Lothal. He did something honorable, and given that she’s Mandalorian, that’s a big thing in her culture. With his final act, he earned her respect and became an inspiration to her, like he always wanted. And like in “Fighter Flight,” she painted what she saw, but this time, it was a confident, selfless young man who grew up to be a hero in his own right.