The season finale of The Mandalorian surprised and delighted fans for a number of reasons. However, one of the best moments for longtime fans of Star Wars came in the final moments. Moff Gideon, played by Giancarlo Esposito, was revealed to have survived his TIE Fighter crash. And he escaped the cockpit of his ship by slicing through the metal hull with what appeared to be a lightsaber. However, unlike normal lightsabers which are a bright color, this was black outlined in white. This is not a new weapon to the universe, though. Rather it’s an important piece of Star Wars lore called the Darksaber. If you are wondering what the Darksaber is, and how it fits into the culture of the Mandalorians, we’ve got you covered.
What Is the Darksaber?
This unique weapon is a lightsaber, but unlike any one ever created by the Jedi or Sith. The crystal that powers it produces a flat blade more like a traditional sword than lightsaber blade. First introduced in The Clone Wars series, also executive produced by Dave Filoni, it is a symbol very important to the people of Mandalore and those who follow the Mandalorian code of honor.
Tarre Vizsla was the first (and maybe only) Mandalorian to ever be inducted into the Jedi order in the time of the “Old Republic.” This version of the Republic lasted for about 3000 or so years, falling as war broke out between the Jedi, Sith, and the Mandalorians. Then the Galactic Republic, which eventually became the Empire, took its place. Tarre Vizsla lived before the fall of the Old Republic, and the Darksaber was his weapon. After his death, the weapon was kept in the Jedi Temple, until Mandalorians took it back sometime during the war the ended the Old Republic.
Since then, whoever wielded the Darksaber was the unofficial ruler of the Mandalorians. As time went on, the planet of Mandalore became pacifist, rejecting the old, warrior ways. A group of warrior Mandalorians, known as Death Watch, rose during the Clone Wars.
What the Darksaber Meant During the Clone Wars and Who Is In Possession of It
The Darksaber first appeared in canon Star Wars media during The Clone Wars series. Obi-Wan Kenobi fought Pre Viszla (voiced by Jon Favreau, creator of The Mandalorian) who wielded the Darksaber. Interestingly, despite its history, Obi Wan does not seem to know what the Darksaber is. The Death Watch group sided with the Separatists, led by Pre Viszla. However, a rejuvenated Maul (technically no longer a “Darth”) killed him and took the saber for himself. (This is why the Death Watch soldiers are seen fighting the droid army in the final episode of season one.) Eventually, however, Maul lost his position but kept the Darksaber.
Later, during Rebels, Maul still has the Darksaber at his lair on his home planet of Dathomir. It’s taken from him by the titular heroes and given to Sabine Wren. Sabine is a Mandalorian (who removes her helmet all the time, by the way). She is trained by the Jedi Kanan Jarrus to fight with it. She uses it to unite the Mandalorians for the rebellion. Sabine gives it to Bo Katan, another Mandalorian leader. Sometime between then and the “purge” of Mandalore, the Darksaber is lost and ends up in the hands of the Empire. Specifically, it is with Moff Gideon five years after the fall of the Empire, when this series takes place.
What Is the Darksaber Going to Mean to the Mandalorian?
Image via screengrab
The second season of The Mandalorian won’t be released until the Fall of 2020. So, that gives fans plenty of time to speculate and theorize about what this weapon will mean to the central hero of the series. Surely, he will know about the weapon and its history. Yet, does it hold a special meaning to him? The Armorer and the Mandalorian himself both seem to know very little about the Jedi, despite them only being gone for about 25 years at this point. If they don’t know that Tarre Viszla was a Jedi and that the Darksaber was his weapon, will they know what the significance of the weapon is at all? Also, what about the other Mandalorians who unmasked or are still hiding around the galaxy? Will the Darksaber be the thing that unites them? Only time will tell.
What do you think the point of bringing the Darksaber into The Mandalorian is? Share your thoughts, theories, and fan-story ideas in the comments below.
Featured image via Lucasfilm
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.