Why The Mandalorian Couldn’t Just Give Bo-Katan The Darksaber Explained
There was a lot in The Mandalorian season 2 finale to be excited about, and it felt very much like the ending of a chapter in this story. Yet, there was something that appeared to be a bit of set-up work for season 3, which probably won’t hit Disney+ until 2022. It involves Pedro Pascal’s Din Djarin and Katee Sackhoff’s Bo-Katan Kryze, the darksaber, and the ruler of the Mandalorian people. In fighting off Giancarlo Esposito’s Moff Gideon, Djarin essentially “won” the Darksaber and, with it, all the power it holds over Mandalorians. While some of us (okay, me) think that Grogu will definitely return for season 3, it seems that the next arc of Din’s story will focus on the Mandalorian people more than his quest to give Grogu a safe home with his “own kind.”
Of course, what makes this interesting is that this not the first time this issue arose in Star Wars canon. In fact, the darksaber has a long history in Star Wars, dating back to The Clone Wars series when George Lucas still called the shots. Since then, his padawan learner Dave Filoni carried on the story not just in The Mandalorian but also in Star Wars: Rebels. The darksaber was the laser sword carried by one of the only Mandalorian Jedi we know of. Since then, it became a symbol of the Mandalorian people, even as their culture changed in the last years of the Republic.
So, let’s explain why Bo-Katan couldn’t just accept the darksaber from Din Djarin, and why Star Wars fans in-the-know say she did it once before. In fact, because she took the saber once is why she cannot take it again.
Where the Darksaber Was Before The Mandalorian
Image via screengrab
The term “beskar” has been around since the early 2000s, replacing the old term for the distinctive armor material: Mandalorian Iron. While it’s most prominent use in canon comes from The Mandalorian, it was mentioned in Star Wars Rebels. The Empire had a weapon that would electrify the alloy, vaporizing the person inside. Thus, they turned the culture’s greatest defense into its greatest weakness. Yet, as a symbol of the martial dominance of the Mandalorian people, the darksaber was enough to unite the many clans. How it happens is worth finding out via the series, but it suffices to say that Bo-Katan ended up with the darksaber. Only, it was given to her. She didn’t win it. (Spoilers for Rebels in the video.)
We now know that after the events of Rebels, the Empire instituted the “Purge,” likely using their beskar weapon. That’s what Werner Herzog’s client was talking about, obliquely, when he talks about the beskar rightly belonging to our then-unnamed Din Djarin. It was literally the armor of the Mandalorian people killed in the purge, melted down into ingots. While we don’t know what the purge was exactly nor who survived, we can guess a few things. First, whatever happened came despite Bo-Katan’s leadership. Also, Moff Gideon likely won the saber from her in combat (though, he surely didn’t fight fair). So, after Din wins the saber from Gideon, he can’t just hand it over to Bo-Katan.
It’s not just whether or not the remaining Mandalorian clans would trust Bo-Katan to wield the darksaber, either. She doesn’t trust herself because I would bet an ice-cream maker full of beskar that no blames the fall of Mandalore on Bo-Katan more than herself. Her journey in season 3 will likely be reconciling that while, possibly, trying to kill Din Djarin.
What do you think? Do you think this is why Bo-Katan can’t accept the Darksaber from the Mandalorian? Share your thoughts, reactions, or your own theories in the comments below.
Featured image via screengrab
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.