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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

May The Force Be With You

Meet Star Wars‘ First Disney-Era New Female Character, Courtesy of Star Wars Rebels

We’ve already found out about a few characters from Star Wars Rebels, Disney’s answer to The Clone Wars. There’s the big bad Imperial Inquisitor, a grumpy astromech named Chopper, a “cowboy Jedi” named Kanan, and said cowboy Jedi’s crew. Of those, only one of them, Hera Syndulla, is a female, and all we know about her so far is what can be gleaned from LEGO packaging. So you’ll understand why I say Sabine is the first post-Disney purchase female character we’ve actually gotten to know a bit.

I think it’s going to be a long and beautiful relationship.

First off: She’s a Mandalorian! And she won’t be having with any dull, boring armor, because she’s also an artist with a particular affinity for leaving “the Rebels were here” graffiti tags on the scene whenever she and her buds mess with some Imperials. CG supervisor of lighting and FX Joel Aron notes that Sabine adds “something that we haven’t really seen before in the Star Wars universe. You have a character that is expressively creative through art—whether it’s the color of her hair or what she’s done to her armor.”

One outlet for Sabine’s creativity? Explosives. Voice actress Tiya Sircar notes that her character “likes to blow things up, [and] she does it with flair, because she’s also an artist. She’s pretty rad.” Other adjectives Sircar throws around to describe her character: “Sassy,” “feisty,” “cool,” “smart,” and “kind of a tomboy.”

And yeah, I do wish the first official pic of a new female character under Disney’s reign wasn’t in butt pose. I really, really do. Especially considering we’re talking about a kid’s show here. But (no pun intended, I swear). I’m putting that aside as a marketing fail and letting my inner child be really excited about this character. Smart, spunky, creative, and good with explosives? This is exactly the sort of character I totally would’ve dug back when I was a part of Disney XD’s target audience (and maybe now, too *eyedart*).

And let’s also talk about how the first female character Disney’s introduced is a woman of color, and is voiced by a woman of color. I’ll start: It’s wonderful. Even better because it seems like Sabine will be a pretty major character in Star Wars Rebels. Representation is always essential, but it gains that extra little twinge of “Holy crap, there needs to be more of this” when you look at kid’s shows and movies. They arguably have a bigger impact than any other form of media on how we view the world and our place within it, since they give us some of our first exposure to, say, the possibility that a WOC can grow up to be a kick-ass explosives expert.

My hopes that the Star Wars sequels will have a diverse cast isn’t exactly high, because Hollywood’s track record, and Disney’s in particular (Disney’s *coughLoneRangercough*), isn’t all that good. And even for Star Wars Rebels, a single WOC does not a diverse cast make. But Sabine: It’s good—nay, excellent—to have you around. Here’s hoping you stay awhile.

(via: The Hollywood Reporter)

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  • Charlie

    hehehe yay.
    I think I’m going to love her. :3

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I was going to comment on the butt pose but I thought, nah, that’s because *I* am a pervert, not because it’s deliberate. Now I’m not so sure.

  • Traceur

    Some video of Sabine in action along with her voice over actress can be found here:

  • kandy830

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  • Anonymous

    She looks awesome. i can’t wait.

  • Jamie Jeans

    DAMN, now this is great news! She looks like a lot of fun, butt pose aside.

    (Seriously, Iv’e tried that pose and OW, it hurts…)

  • Anonymous

    A Star Wars character with a German name? That’s really COOL! I like that very much!

  • Jeyl

    “My hopes that the Star Wars sequels will have a diverse cast isn’t exactly high, because Hollywood’s track record, and Disney’s in particular”

    And JJ Abrams. His only original film is about a group of boys and one girl and it’s the girl who must be rescued. Couple that with his heavily male driven Star Trek films that take the only female character and reduce her to the main character’s girlfriend and introduce another female character for random gratuitous eye candy.

  • Norman Osborn

    J.J. Abrams is also the creator of Sydney Bristow and the co-creator of Olivia Dunham. This is a good thing.

  • Anonymous

    Also can I say it’s really cool they’re introducing one of the leads as a WOC right off the bat? I trusted Weisman not to fall down in that department (he’s usually fairly good with diversity in his shows) but it’s still nice to see, since as much as I love Star Wars it does fall down in that regard, especially the movies.

  • Amourah

    Mandalorian armor would have been cool tho.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Oh good, she’s wearing pink. So girls can identify with her. Because she’s, y’know, The Girl.

    Piss, aren’t we out of “THE” Girl in our action cartoons yet?

    “And she won’t be having with any dull, boring armor, because she’s also an artist”

    Yeah, that also sounds like a good excuse to make sure the Girl character looks feminine. Hard to look feminine in bulky armor, right?

    I mean, yeah, the tagger artist concept is cool. (And having a WoC as a main character right off, also cool, I guess? But I wouldn’t have registered that if the article hadn’t told me. Maybe in action she’ll look less ambiguously maybe-not-white?) But if she’s the ONLY girl on the crew then we’re right back to the Smurfette principle, where being the ONLY girl, she’s saddled with representing GIRL. Oy, I thought we’d gotten beyond this.

    ‘Other adjectives Sircar throws around to describe her character: “Sassy,” “feisty,” “cool,” “smart,” and “kind of a tomboy.”’

    Oh. Oh f*** me.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Right? What’s dull or boring about Mandalorian armor?

  • Ryan Colson

    She kinda has it but it looks fugly because it is coated in spray paint. I always figured paint in the sw uni would be lasery.. but guess not lol

  • Laura Truxillo

    Also they cut it out so it’s only fashionably unobtrusive bits.

    Because why *would* you want armor over your squishy squishy tummy?

  • Charlie

    She reminds me a little of Alex Vance, which is definitely a good thing.

  • kbroxmysox

    Sydney Bristow, BAMF extraordinary AND Irina Derevko, Queen of the BAMFs, and one of TV’s most complex villains ever. Alias was filled with strong female characters.

    And let’s not forget Felicity. Sure it started off about a mentally unstable girl going to NY to stalk a boy who signed her yearbook, but the truth was it was a story about a going woman going to NY to find HERSELF. And she too was surrounded by strong female characters.

    And he helped create complex female characters like Sun on Lost.

  • kbroxmysox

    Wow, people complain at anything huh? I don’t really see a lot of pink in her outfit. Maybe a smudge in the whole ensemble but that is also due to the lighting.

    And so far not many of the characters are wearing bulky armor,

  • Laura Truxillo

    Okay, to clarify to the downvoters:

    There is every chance that this character will be very cool. That there will be little girls (and hopefully boys) who think she’s the greatest. And I have no doubt they’ll do everything they can to make her cool. And that’s great, that’s fine.

    But I’m just so freaking sick of the default always being “the girl” character. You know the one. She’s “feisty” and “sassy” and she’s “like one of the boys.” She’s snarky and cool, but hey, she also wears pink, because she is The Girl, and if you only have one girl, she has to be pink. She’s also almost always “smart”–which, hey, yes, please do she little girls they can be smart, that’s awesome, but recently it’s become another Standard Trait. Because she’s the only Girl, she has to be All Things To Every Girl.

    It’s not that the character can’t be good. It’s that it winds up being the primary representation of a whole gender within a main cast. Hey, I’m glad at least in the past decade and a half or so that The Girl character has gotten to get up to as much trouble as the guys, but it’s just…Why not go closer to, say, the MLP route, where there are multiple girls so they can all have different kinds of personalities, instead of just having one “feisty, sassy tomboy” that we always do.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Her armor is pink. I’m not sure how you don’t see that.

    I’m not saying ooh, she needs armor or that other characters do. But doing the “She’s a *insert cool group that usually wears a distinctive armor*, only her armor is more chique and trendy” is a pretty standard trope.

    And nothing really excuses the yet another round of the ONE girl being defined as “feisty” and “sassy.” Those are buzzwords for “girl character.” They mean nothing anymore. No on ever describes a male character in those terms. It’s just so very safe. It all adds up to look like, well, the Smurfette Principle alive and well.

  • Mehmed Celebi

    I do agree that it’s stupid to only cover some parts of your body instead of wearing the entire set, however, the Star Wars franchise in general never really had the best track record when it comes to people not Strom- or Clone troopers wearing completed armour sets, so I’m willing to give this one a pass, as long as the male cast wear similarly incomplete armour sets. And the bare arms I can live with.

  • Matthew McLaughlin

    I think you’re getting down-voted because you didn’t read the article carefully enough and missed a few things. If you take the time to read
    the article again, you’ll find Sabine is not the only female in the show because she isn’t even
    the female that’s part of the crew. That’s Hera Syndulla.

  • Mehmed Celebi

    Alright, here’s to hoping that after the first season the cast will get more female members (I know, it would have been better to have more than one main female character from the start, but now that we don’t, we have to work with what we get). And that there will be a four part storyarc where she teams up with Ahsoka Tano. If there isn’t, I might even get over my stupid writers block and write a fanfic with that premise.

  • kbroxmysox

    But she isn’t THE one female character. And to be fair, the only one describing the character as such as her voice, not the writers of the show. Who knows how she’s written.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Okay, so two ladies. Yellow and pink ranger. But can we please stop with the “feisty/sassy” schtick, just for a bit. They’re such gendered words with no freaking meaning anymore, that they may as well be the kiddie version of “Strong Female Character.”

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I cringed at the ‘feisty/sassy’ stuff too. Those words just mean “cool … for a girl.” Drives me up a tree.

  • Mark Brown

    Don’t leave Asajj out.

    Huh. An ex-Jedi, an ex-Sith(wannabe), and a Mando. That’s a recipe for drama.

  • Mark Brown

    Note that, going by the one author who has written about Mandalorian culture, their armour is ~meant~ to be heavily customized –they’re not a unified standing army, they’re individual warriors, most with their own coat of arms and personal banner-colours.

    And pink and black ~is~ a pretty striking colour scheme, regardless of modern human gender bias.

  • Todd DuBois

    No, there is no pink. And you are presuming a whole lot here.

  • Mehmed Celebi

    Right, my bad. Hm, for more awesome there should also be Aurra Sing (another ex-Jedi), and perhaps Latts, that pink bounty hunter with the green chain Whip. And they should be on the Mission to…. resurect Steela!
    Okay, that definitely won’t happen, but nobody cantake away our dreams!

  • Robin S

    All of those examples are great. JJ has shown he can create awesome lady characters. That makes it that much worse when he writers crappy ones and/or chooses to include very few. That smacks of him pandering on purpose.

  • kbroxmysox

    It’s definitely weird how his movies are very MALE centric but nearly all shows he EPs or creates are female centric. I’m not saying he’ blameless but I wonder how much is a studio thing. TV is much more welcome to complex, well written female characters who can hold a show. Movies want them to look pretty, be young and not overshadow the guys.

  • Anonymous

    Lol, bear-claw-tit….

  • Jeyl

    Princess Leia is reduced to emotional baggage for the main character, Padme gives up on life after giving birth to two children, Aunt Beru looks like she was burned alive and Mon Mothma is never given a proper introduction to the point we don’t even know her name.