Are there any in-universe justifications for why Sabine Wren and Zeb Orrelios spared Rukh in the episode DUME? The rebels have demonstrated that they have no problem killing imperial agents like Stormtroopers, so why not an imperial assassin? He has been a constant threat to them, especially since he out-fought and then captured in the episode Rebel Assault, so why just let him go?

He is a valuable imperial agent with very advanced tech, so why just send him back to the enemy? Even if they weren’t willing to kill someone outside of combat (despite him being an assassin), imprisoning him so he can’t go back to working against them is only good sense. Also, interrogating could have led to valuable insight into how Thawn and Price’s operation on Lothal was set up. At a minimum they should have stripped him of his gear and contacted Hera for orders instead of sending him back to the empire in an attempt to humiliate him.

To be clear, I am looking for something more substantial than “the writers wanted him around for the final battle.” Are there any explanations for why two skilled, successful rebels, would ever make such a poor decision that could have led to the deaths of their friends and themselves?

  • And in addition to that, shortly after they had lost a friend to the Empire.
    – SJuan76
    May 17, 2018 at 16:53

2 Answers 2


  In episode in question Zeb actually wanted to kill Rukh ("to get even"), but Sabine barely stopped him ("this isn't how we do it") . There is no logical explanation for this in-universe, except that Sabine is "honorable" Mandalorian and does not want to kill defenseless foe. As for not taking him prisoner, this is actually easier to explain : it would be difficult to keep watch on experienced Noghri assassin with their limited manpower and resources, and he was not that valuable (being just alien servant to Thrawn and nobody in Imperial hierarchy) .

Out-of-universe, Rebels is a kid's show so it does not suppose to show questionable moral choices to younger audience, especially coming from main heroes. That goes especially for Sabine, somewhat Mary Sue-ish character, supposedly serving as a role model for "girl leaders" . In fact her role would be to restrain more brutish of her friends, and she does that. Note that Zeb later did kill Rukh in final episode (in combat), so fate of assassin was already decided by story team prior to "Dume" episode.


The protagonists on Rebels had been shown to kill while in combat, but had not been shown murdering prisoners; if they can't take prisoners with them, they leave them behind. Rukh was, at the time, unconscious and helpless. Moreover, the two of them know that Kanan wouldn't have done it and at the time what he would have done was very much on their minds.

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