Sabine Wren has long been one of my favorite characters on Star Wars: Rebels. She’s an artist fighting against an unjust galaxy with the Rebellion. She’s also smart, an incredible warrior, and has grown and changed so much since the first season of the show. (It doesn’t hurt that Sabine is Asian, and Tiya Sircar, a South Asian actress, lends her voice to the character expertly — something I personally love.)
Rebels is an incredible show, with some of the best long-form storytelling currently on television, period. Sabine, sadly, was somewhat underused as other characters took center stage in the narrative. It’s understandable, given the nature of the ensemble cast. But that changed in the third season, when Sabine was really given the chance to explore her painful past and take a leadership role with her people, and producers have promised this difficult — though rewarding — storyline will continue through the fourth and final season of the series.
In honor of Sabine and the new season of the show (premiering October 16), I’ve rounded up my personal favorite episodes starting the multicolor-haired Mandalorian warrior. I’m not going to lie, this was a difficult endeavor because there are so many great Sabine episodes, but I’m pretty happy with this list.
“Trials of the Darksaber”: Season 3, Episode 15
“Trials of the Darksaber” is one of the most powerful episodes of the entire run of Star Wars: Rebels because it forces both Kanan and Sabine to confront their personal demons. Sabine doesn’t want the responsibility that comes with the Darksaber, which will allow her to unite and lead the Mandalorians. After all, her own family sees her as a traitor because she helped develop weapons that were then used against her own people. It’s during this episode that we see Sabine consumed by her past, but also break free from its chains. It’s incredible storytelling and character development, to say the least.
“Legacy of Mandalore”: Season 3, Episode 16
This episode is a natural follow from “Trials of the Darksaber,” which sees Sabine and the crew of the Ghost return to her home planet of Krownest. It’s up to Sabine to convince her family to turn against the Imperials, who currently occupy their planet, and follow her as the wielder of the Darksaber. This episode has some wonderful moments between Sabine and her brother, Tristan, as well as Sabine and her mother, Ursa. At the end of the episode, Sabine makes the surprising decision to stay behind on Mandalore because she must face what she’s brought about, rather than running away from it. It’s an incredible character moment for Sabine.
“Imperial Super Commandos”: Season 3, Episode 7
This episode sees Sabine on her own with Mandalorian leader Fenn Rau and finally earn his trust and respect. It’s a complicated storyline that I won’t go into here, but Rau was functionally a prisoner of the Rebels, and he believed that Sabine had abandoned the ways of her people. She proved otherwise in this episode, and her valor wins the Rebellion an important ally in Rau. I have a feeling his support will be important as Sabine tries to unite the disparate Mandalorian clans under her leadership.
“Out of the Darkness”: Season 1, Episode 6
This is the first time in the series that Hera and Sabine break off from the boys and go on a mission on their own. And you know what they don’t talk about? THE BOYS. That’s why this episode, which is a little mundane on its own, is so revelatory. It’s basically an entire storyline in which two women talk about the Rebellion, discuss their trust in one another, and try to figure out their way out of an episode-of-the-week mess while not discussing the men they have crushes on. Girl talk time is important, but women don’t only talk about men when they’re alone.
“The Antilles Extraction”: Season 3, Episode 4
Sabine attended the Imperial Academy on Mandalore, so she was the perfect choice to infiltrate the Empire’s Skystrike Academy, helping cadets who’d indicated they wish to defect. Usually Ezra gets these high-risk assignments due to his age and the fact that he’s functionally the main character of the series, so it was awesome that Sabine got her moment in the sun. It might have been strange to see her with her natural hair color, but she was smart, quick thinking, and got the hero of the Rebellion, Wedge Antilles himself, safely to the Alliance.
”Blood Sisters”: Season 2, Episode 8
We get some good backstory for Sabine in the second-season episode “Blood Sisters,” which features a character from Sabine’s past. It turns out Sabine didn’t escape the Mandalorian Imperial Academy on her own; she had a partner named Ketsu. They had grand plans to become bounty hunters together, but Ketsu double-crossed her and left Sabine for dead. In this episode, Ketsu is after a secret droid courier that Sabine, Ezra, and Chopper have been sent to extract. It’s in this episode that we learn what the Rebellion really means to Sabine, how they have helped her grow and given her something to fight for.
Forces of Destiny: “Bounty of Trouble”
It’s not technically part of Rebels, but the Forces of Destiny animated short where Leia and Sabine team up is just lovely. It’s only about two minutes long, but it features Sabine “kidnapping” Leia from her Imperial guard so she can take delivery of data tapes containing the location of Imperial base locations. It’s so wonderful to see the two working together, especially when IG-88, the bounty hunter droid, makes an unexpected appearance. The Forces of Destiny series is a great chance to see the female heroes of Star Wars team up, and this pairing is absolutely incredible.