With Sabine Wren having found the darksaber on Dathomir in Star Wars Rebels (making its first appearance on the show), in the latest episode (“Trials of the Darksaber”), we see that she is, initially, not so keen on possessing it, much less wielding it. While we see her picking it up curiously on Dathomir (at the end of “Voices of Visions”), apparently, she hands it off to Kanan, as he tells Fenn Rau, “she gave it to me for safekeeping and hasn’t brought it up since.”
While it’s neither clear from when she picks it up on Dathomir nor from this initial dialogue whether Sabine knows what this dark lightsaber symbolizes, the dialogue between Kanan and Fenn Rau continues, following Rau’s description of the origin story for the darksaber:
Rau: “She doesn’t want the responsibility. Kanan, if Sabine can wield this saber, she can reunite one of the most powerful houses in all of Mandalore.”
Kanan: “You’re talking about raising an army.”
Rau: “With Sabine leading it.”
While Fenn Rau gets quite excited about this possibility, Kanan clearly has his reservations. Either way, it’s not quite clear how much Sabine knows of the significance of this dark lightsaber. We then see that Sabine knows a little bit about it, when she is confronted by the crew of the Ghost, whereupon she immediately refuses to wield the darksaber, immediately indicating she has a sense of what the darksaber represents:
Sabine: “I won’t do it.”
Fenn Rau: “So you do know what the darksaber is.”
Sabine: “I know it caused my family nothing but trouble after Maul took it. Maul used it to divide and conquer our people.”
From this, it is quite unclear how much she knows and understands of the darksaber, its power, and what it represents, but she certainly displays a timidity and maintains an intentional distance from it. But it is clear that she acknowledges a certain sense of power associated with it. Of course, Fenn Rau immediately says to her, “You can wield it to do the opposite.” Nevertheless, she’s recalcitrant to do anything with it. Even Kanan is inspired and suggests to her that “I don’t think it’s a coincidence this saber came into your possession.”
Later on in the conversation, after Ezra questions her ability to wield this weapon, she offers up that “I am proficient, with many types of blades and blasters and explosives, but that is a lightsaber.” Here, she also displays a certain amount of leeriness towards it. Nevertheless, opines Fenn Rau, “The combat training is not as important as what that blade represents.”
At this point in the conversation, it has become clear that wielding weapons is something well within Sabine’s bailiwick, yet wielding a symbolic power for her people clearly makes her uncomfortable, especially as she responds: “Right, right, you want me to lead my clan. I don’t know if you realize this, but I’m not that popular with my family these days.” She then emphasizes that her family is less important than the crew of the Ghost (“I have a family, here, on this ship. I don’t need them.”)
After agreeing with Hera about leveraging the power of Mandalorians to wage a fight against the Empire, Kanan says to her, “We need to ask you to do this, but that doesn’t mean you have to. You can walk away and forget about it.” In succumbing to “the parents” (Hera and Kanan), Sabine agrees, somewhat reluctantly, “Alright, I’ll do it. Just give me the saber.”
While holding out the darksaber for Sabine to take, Kanan then cautions her, “Listen: once people know you have it, you will be challenged and you need to be able to defend yourself.” While Sabine says, “Okay, I’ll try my best”, Kanan then maintains control of the darksaber. After some further back-and-forth, with Kanan maintaining control of the darksaber and Sabine continuing trying to take it, almost simply to get out of the conversation (including her saying, “Give me the sword”), Sabine realizes that she needs to take this seriously.
Throughout the set-up to this episode, the initial dialogue between Fenn Rau and Kanan about the darksaber, as well as the following discussion between Sabine Wren and the rest of the Ghost crew, they believe that she has the potential to not only wield the powerful darksaber as a weapon, but also to wield it as a symbol of power amongst her people and to become a leader. She, at this point, has a strong amount of skepticism about her relationship with her people and becoming a leader amongst them.