Star Wars' latest Disney+ series may be called Ahsoka, but so far, Natasha Liu Bordizzo's live-action Sabine is front and center, making any character changes difficult to hide and impossible to ignore.
5 Changes Ahsoka Made to Live-Action Sabine
1.) Sabine's Look & Style
When fans first see Bordizzo's Sabine, it's clear that the years and events between Star Wars Rebels and the MandoVerse Era changed her style.
While she's still sporting multi-colored locks, her hair is much longer than it ever was in Rebels; and instead of wearing her custom Mandalorian armor, she's put it in storage.
Granted, this changes by the conclusion of Episode 2 when Sabine cuts her hair and dons her armor once more; but it seems Ahsoka wants fans to know this Sabine isn't quite who they remember and had lost her way.
2.) Jedi Padawan Dropout
Apparently, their history took place offscreen and between the end of Star Wars Rebels and Ahsoka. However, fans may have found the revelation jarring because Sabine never showed Force sensitivity before, nor did she ever express interest in becoming a Jedi.
Kanan also noted her Mandalorian mindset keeps her from opening up to the Force, and while she “might not be able to fight like a Jedi, [but] she can learn to be proficient with the blade."
While Sabine eventually learns to wield the Darksaber, she doesn't keep it; and despite being in the constant company of two Jedi, she doesn't pursue further training or knowledge of the Force. Instead, it seems being a Mandalorian rebel is enough.
Fast-forward to Ahsoka, and it appears Sabine did want to be trained at some point and, apparently, she still does.
Could the events of Rebels Season 4 have sparked this new interest? Absolutely. But that's never said.
What feels even more like a retcon is Ahsoka's willingness to train someone who isn't Force-sensitive or, as Huyang explained, whose "aptitude for the Force" falls short of other Padawans.
Not only does it sound dangerous, but it's contrary to every Jedi master and apprenticeship relationship Star Wars has shown thus far.
3.) Antagonism Toward Ahsoka
Ahsoka spent considerable screentime referencing Ahsoka and Sabine's rocky relationship and its Obi-Wan and Anakin vibes.
This is a huge change since Ahsoka and Sabine had little interaction in Rebels; and if they did, it wasn't personal or contentious.
If anything, Ahsoka served as a mentor to Ezra before her duel with Vader in Rebels Season 2; and she didn't return to the series until Season 4's time travel-ish "The World Between Worlds."
4.) Sabine Wren's Missing Traits
Bringing an animated character to live-action is no small feat, and Natasha Liu Bordizzo's performance has been well-received and rightly so. Still, from what fans have seen of Ahsoka so far, certain Sabine characteristics were notably absent.
In Rebels, Sabine was confident, focused, and industrious with a Han Solo swagger and a fun-loving, sarcastic sense of humor. Yes, that sarcasm and rebellious edge were present in Ashoka, but her character's energy was missing and so was some of her humor.
As for her Mandalorian training and penchant for weapons and explosives, that was missing as well.
Yes, she solved the star map puzzle and used that droid head for info, but her capabilities weren't quite as well communicated as they were in the series.
5.) The Mural Moment
Toward the end of Ahsoka's Episode 2, the series recreates Star Wars Rebels' epilogue in live-action.
While it's somewhat faithful to the animated sequence, Ahsoka made a few changes, such as the location of the Rebels team mural on Lothal and Ahsoka Tano's wardrobe.
These adjustments extended to Sabine, who doesn't put on her Mandalorian helmet as she does in the animated show and sports different Mandalorian armor.
In addition to her lighter-colored clothing, Sabine's chest plate features a different design than it did in the animation.
Should Live-Action Sabine Differ From Animation?
In all fairness, Star Wars fans have only seen two episodes of Ahsoka and Natasha Liu Bordizzo's live-action Sabine.
Now that the series has dealt with their respective pasts, it's possible that upcoming episodes will show more of the Sabine Star Wars Rebels fans used to know.
Still, it's also worth noting that Bordizzo claimed she never “[wanted] to try to copy someone," preferring to "make the role [her] own:"
"I loved Tiya Sircar's Sabine!… I loved the energy, the sarcasm, and playfulness that really made Sabine Sabine, but obviously, it's a delicate balance because I never want to try to copy someone. I want to be inspired by the energy they put into the character and then make the role my own.”
If so, Star Wars fans may continue to note other Sabine changes as the series continues on. Just how fans respond to this Sabine and any other changes the series has in store will be interesting to see.
But regardless of certain changes, it's important to remember that translating Sabine from animation to live-action was never going to be seamless, especially when played by two different actresses.
Also, this Sabine is likely integral to Dave Filoni's bigger vision, meaning Bordizzo's take on the Mandalorian rebel is here to stay and will change in her own ways moving forward.
New episodes of Ahsoka debut on Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET.