Image Credit: Photos from Wookieepedia, Manip by me
I don’t normally get involved when it comes to fan theory speculation, preferring to let everyone, including myself, have their opinion and see what the canon of a work does or does not eventually say. But recently, one Star Wars fan theory has me scratching my head on how it became so popular since it seems to ignore all logic and everything that the storytellers have established.
In the last couple of weeks, the Star Wars fandom has been speculating whether or not a character from Star Wars Rebels, Sabine Wren, is the daughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Duchess Satine Kryze of Mandalore (the latter of whom we met in Star Wars: The Clone Wars). The theory goes that Sabine is their daughter AND the mother of Rey from The Force Awakens, meaning Rey is Obi-Wan’s granddaughter.
It’s the latest in a long line of theories about Rey’s parentage. The only problem – it doesn’t logically hold up to what’s already been established in terms of the characters’ histories.
Let’s start with the facts as we know them about Obi-Wan Kenobi and Duchess Satine’s timeline and relationship:
- Obi-Wan and Satine met and had some sort of romantic interaction during a year-long mission on Mandalore while Kenobi was still Qui-Gon Jinn’s padawan.
- During this year, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon protected Satine from bounty hunters who wanted to kill her.
- At the end of this year, Obi-Wan chose to stay in the Jedi Order over pursuing whatever thing he had going with Satine, putting an end to any future romantic relationship possibilities between the two.
- Obi-Wan is not the type of Jedi to have a girl on the side. He spends so much of the Clone Wars series trying to dissuade Anakin from pursuing his feeling for Padme. He committed fully to the Order and would never break its rules on forming attachments.
- When Obi-Wan and Satine meet again, the Clone Wars are in full swing and Obi-Wan once again is tasked with protecting Satine from death (The Mandalore Plot arc). These episodes imply that Obi-Wan has not seen Satine since his year on Mandalore, which is entirely plausible because the galaxy is huge af.
- Qui-Gon Jinn dies on Naboo during the events of The Phantom Menace when Anakin Skywalker is 9 years old.
With all that in mind, let’s dive into the 3 reasons why Sabine is not Obi-Wan Kenobi and Duchess Satine’s child and why that doesn’t mean your Rey Kenobi theory is dead.
1. She’s Not Old Enough
Okay so being generous and saying any child Obi-Wan and Satine may have had was conceived at the end of their year together, their child would be around 8 years younger than Anakin Skywalker.
According to Wookieepedia, Anakin was born 41 years before the events of A New Hope. Star Wars Rebels starts 5 years before A New Hope, making Anakin 36 at that time. So, any child of Obi-Wan and Satine’s would, at that point, be 28.
Also per Wookieepedia, Sabine was born 21 years before A New Hope, so at the start of Rebel’s she’s 16 – not enough to be Obi-Wan and Satine’s child.
Any child of theirs would be just slightly younger than Ahsoka and would have been between 10 – 13 years old during the Clone Wars. Sabine – being only 2 years older than Ezra, who was born at the end of the Clone Wars – would have been an infant then.
2. Dave Filoni Said So
Okay so instead of applying logic to a timeline that is often kept purposefully vague for the purposes of storytelling, how about we look at what the creators and storytellers themselves have to say about the topic. During an interview with IGN, Dave Filoni (the executive producer of both Star Wars The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels) said this. (All bolding is mine).
IGN: Okay, I’m going to end with a specific Rebels question, and then obviously, we’ll be talking much more about that down the line. So now you’ve got the main characters announced, and there’s a Mandalorian girl, and her name is Sabine. We knew a Mandalorian named Satine, and she tragically died, but she has a sister, Bo-Katan, as we discovered.
Filoni: That’s right.
IGN: Any extrapolation I might be making with that? [Laughs]
Filoni: I know you would love that so dearly. So many people would, but there really isn’t any correlation. I mean, maybe I shouldn’t debunk that stuff now, but I would hate for someone to have months of getting their hopes up and then be mad at me when things don’t work out the way that they’ve been imagining it for months. But there really isn’t a connection between Satine and Sabine. I found it amusing at the time when Simon [Kinberg], Greg [Weisman] and I were naming these characters. I was like, “Wow, Sabine… huh. I have a character that’s named like that already!” So I kind of laughed at that, but it was good name, and we thought it fit the character, so we went with it. Then Pablo Hidalgo and I are always the ones that are like, “Aw, Clone Wars fans are going to think there’s some relation here,” but that’s good. It’s always good to wonder about what the connections are.”
Sabine is a member of Clan Wren in House Vizsla. The episode “The Protector of Concord Dawn” revealed her mother was a part of Death Watch, which Satine most certainly was not, as the group actively fought against Satine and her pacifist agenda for Mandalore throughout the Clone Wars.
Dave Filoni also said he thinks Sabine’s mother was in the throne room and watched Satine die by Darth Maul’s hand, so logically she’s not Satine herself.
3. Sharing a planet doesn’t mean they share blood (aka didn’t we go over this with Jyn and Rey already???)
I thought we as a fandom had already established that shared traits do not equal familial relations. Rogue One’s Jyn Erso and The Force Awakens’ Rey share an accent, a hair color and an ethnicity, but that doesn’t make them related. However, the thought process on this theory about Sabine seems to be that because she and Satine share a home planet and Sabine recognizes a Mandalorian artifact that was used to kill the Duchess, they MUST BE related.
That leap of logic makes no sense.
Just because Sabine recognized the Dark Saber as a Mandalorian artifact, doesn’t mean she’s related to Satine. Pre Vizsla, the leader of Death Watch during The Clone Wars said that saber had been passed down through Death Watch for generations, from leader to leader. It’s less a piece of Jedi history and far more a piece of Mandalorian history at this point.
Per Pablo Hidalgo: “Specifically to Sabine, it’s an item of power, it’s an item of authority.It allowed Pre Vizsla to rule Death Watch. It was his symbol of status.”
The Darksaber is more than just the blade that killed Satine. To Mandalorians, whoever wields it is someone worth listening to. If Sabine is looking for a way to convince her people to turn against the Empire, she just found something to help her do it. That’s why she picks it up.
Your Rey Kenobi Theories are valid, just not with Sabine
If you’re looking for a way to link to Obi-Wan to Rey, looking to the Kryze family is your best bet. As far as we know, Satine is the only person with whom Kenobi had any sort of romantic relationship.
Now there is a member of Clan Kryze, close to Ahsoka’s age, for whom we have not had a confirmed parental line – Korkie Kryze.
It’s said in The Clone Wars episode “The Academy” that Korkie is Satine’s nephew, but his mother has never officially been named. Pablo Hidalgo has said it’s not Satine’s sister Bo-Katan which begs the question of who it actually is, as neither Bo-Katan nor Satine ever mentioned another sister.
Satine is obviously very close to Korkie, acting as a mother figure in “The Academy” and its follow-up episode “The Lawless.” Now, to me, it would be completely understandable that Satine, if she found herself pregnant with Obi-Wan’s child, would try to pass him off as someone other than her son.
For one, Mandalore and the Jedi Order have a very rocky relationship, if Death Watch found out about the child, he or she could be in danger and the group would use that information to sway the Mandalorian people against Satine and her government.
Two, Satine clearly respects Obi-Wan’s decision to choose the Order over her. But even he admits that if she had asked, he would have left the Order for her. If Obi-Wan knew that he had a child, he would have left to help take care of it. And if the Jedi Order knew of the child, Obi-Wan would have probably faced some consequences for having a relationship with Satine. At the very least, he would face scorn from other members of the Jedi Council.
Satine knows how much the Order means to Obi-Wan and how losing that would hurt him. Furthermore, she most likely didn’t want him to feel compelled to leave, so, in an effort to keep the child’s existence from him and the Order, claimed him as a nephew and never told anyone (except maybe Bo-Katan) the truth. This explains why Obi-Wan never mentions a child. He doesn’t know one exists.
Korkie being Obi-Wan’s son gives Rey a powerful lineage both on Mandalore and as a Jedi, connects her to the larger Star Wars canon and doesn’t make anyone bend over too far backward to explain how Obi-Wan has a kid he never mentioned.
Edit: It’s been pointed out to me that I said Qui-Gon died on Tatooine when he actually dies on Naboo… oops. That’s been fixed.