Why Star Wars Fans Rejoiced When They Saw This Mando Mom on Clone Wars
Star Wars could use more mom characters that stay alive. For those who follow the expanded TV universe of Star Wars and glanced at the Star Wars television, you may have caught the name Sabine Wren (Tiyar Sicar), the colorful armor-wearing Mandalorian rebel of Star Wars Rebels.
Sabine is the daughter of an Ursa Wren, the leader of Clan Wren seated on the snowy Krownest, a colonized Mandalorian planet. The Countess debuted in the third season of Rebels. Once we meet her, Countess Ursa reacts callously to her daughter’s homecoming because her daughter’s past actions placed the family in the particularly nasty position of serving the oppressive Empire which has control over their Mandalorian homeland. A daughter serving the Rebellion could unleash the Empire’s wrath upon the Clan.
The recent now-concluding Clone Wars series that takes place between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith is in its revival final season on Disney+. Former Jedi Ahsoka Tano is collaborating with the beskar-armored Mandalorian warriors lead by Bo-Katan Kryze to capture Mandalore’s current oppressive ruler, Maul (yes, it’s a long story how this guy came back to life and ruled Mandalore). And one of the Mandalorians serving Bo-Katan is Ursa Wren.
Rebels viewer might have recognized Sharmila Devar’s voicework in the final Clone Wars season and saw “Ursa Wren” in the end credits in her first Clone Wars appearance in “Dangerous Debt”. Two episodes later, she eventually is explicitly called Ursa. But then preview images emerged for the penultimate “Shattered”, showing Ursa unhelmeted and standing in proximity to Bo-Katan.
Before the Clone Wars 2014 cancelation, Ursa didn’t quite exist yet until Rebels. During the run of Rebels, showrunner Dave Filoni made a retrospective note that she, since it is known Clan Wren once served the extremist Death Watch Mando faction, was likely in the Sundari throne room when Maul takes over the Mandalorian throne.
While Ursa isn’t a forefront character, fans relish learning a bit more about her that Rebels didn’t tell us. For example, she seems to know Bo-Katan well in Rebels, but now Clone Wars hints that she was a second-in-command of sort of Bo-Katan’s Nite Owls, the ex-Death Watch group that will liberate Mandalore from Maul’s influence. Good to know that Ursa didn’t accept Maul’s rule but it is a bit questionable that she worked with an extremist Death Watch group who followed genocidal orders on Carlac.
Why is Ursa Wren so loved?
Consider that Star Wars is often defined by father-son angst, Han Solo and Ben Solo, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. Ursa is one of those rare onscreen Star Wars mothers who isn’t offed (poor Lyra Erso, poor Padme) and has a substantial development with her offspring. She also has a rare tumultuous mother-daughter relationship. Who doesn’t love a badass mother? But also, who doesn’t love a badass mother with questionable edges?
Ursa shunned her eldest daughter for ditching the Imperial Academy on Mandalore. It’s complicated. Sabine’s act shames Clan Wren and forces them into Empire servitude. If Clan Wren supported Sabine’s choices and defection, they would have risked execution from the Empire.
I have a lot of questions for Ursa. Why did her daughter get installed into the Imperial Academy in the first place despite every indication Clan Wren didn’t like the Empire? Throughout Rebels, Sabine bears a buttload of guilt for being the once pro-Imperial child genius that invented a weapon that boiled Mandalorians in their beskar armor, which is a Mandalorian sin, but the family doesn’t seem to accept accountability for planting her in the Imperial school unless it was a charade to get on the Empire’s good side. Once Sabine reunites with her mother, the latter makes it evident she did not like publicly shunning her child and believed running away saved Sabine. Eventually, Ursa does come around to save her child, and has to breach the Mandalorian code of honor to do so.
Before The Mandalorian live-action spin-off fleshed out the survivorhood of the dwindling Mandalorian warrior culture in a post-Empire world, Ursa and her Clan Wren revealed difficult dimensions and the interchangeable view on to Mandalorian practices, or at least their own, where honor and love have to be forgone in order to survive. You have to wonder how Clan Wren is thriving during the events of The Mandalorian, or if they’re even around on Krownest. By the time of The Mandalorian, Mandalorians like Din Djarin and the Armorer follow a never-take-off-your-helmet creed. Would Clan Wren adhere to that?
If only Ursa Wren had her own spin-off comic or book.
Also, how did she marry a handsome Mandalorian artist and sired two Mando cubs with him?