In the ever-expanding Star Wars franchise, few things are as important to the narrative as the Darksaber, a black-bladed lightsaber with unique properties. The weapon was originally created by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian to be accepted in the Jedi Order, at some point before 1032 BBY. Tarre made his Jedi weapon reflect his Mandalorian heritage. It is shorter than traditional lightsabers and has the appearance of a single-edged traditional sword. Tarre used Beskar, the metal the Mandalorians utilize to make their armors, to build the Darksaber’s angular pommel, hand guard, and slit-shaped blade emitter.
During the age of the Galactic Empire, it came into the possession of Bo-Katan Kryze of the royal house of Kryze. And yet, in ‘The Mandalorian,’ which takes place after the fall of the Empire, the Darksaber is revealed to be in the possession of Moff Gideon. If you are wondering how Bo-Katan lost the weapon, here is what we think. SPOILERS AHEAD.
How Did Bo-Katan Lose the Darksaber?
After Tarre’s death, the Darksaber was kept in the Jedi temple until members of the House Vizsla raided the temple during the fall of the Old Republic and took the Darksaber (The Mandalorians predictably like to say they “liberated” the weapon). During the Clone Wars, it was in possession of Pre Vizsla, Governor of Concordia, who told Obi-Wan Kenobi that since his family claimed the Darksaber, it had been used to kill several Jedi knights. However, he failed to do the same to Kenobi, who escaped with Duchess Satine Kryze, Bo-Katan’s older sister.
Over the centuries, the Darksaber became a symbol of leadership on Mandalore, especially among the members of the House Vizsla. According to the Mandalorian custom, the Darksaber can only be claimed by defeating the previous owner. Gaining it in any other way is regarded as dishonorable and illegitimate. The Children of the Watch, the orthodox religion order Din Djarin is part of, believes that the Darksaber carries a curse for those who gain the weapon outside combat, bringing about the destruction of Mandalore.
The former Sith, Maul, came to possess the Darksaber after defeating and executing Pre Vizsla. During the age of the Galactic Empire, Sabine Wren found it on the planet Dathomir and later used it to rescue her father, Alrich Wren, from Imperial custody on Mandalore. This is when she encountered Bo-Katan and offered her the Darksaber. Knowing exactly what it was, Bo-Katan was reluctant to accept it, believing she was unworthy. She helped Sabine destroy the Duchess, a superweapon that Sabine made while serving as an Imperial cadet. Afterward, Sabine finally convinced Bo-Katan to accept the weapon. Representatives of other important Mandalorian clans also spoke up in favor of Bo-Katan taking the Darksaber, including Rook, Vizsla, and Eldar. Fenn Rau, the last of the Mandalorian Protectors, also swore allegiance to Bo-Katan.
Not much is yet known about what happened after this that led to Bo-Katan losing possession of the Darksaber, but it’s quite possible that the viewers will find out in season 3 of ‘The Mandalorian.’ After Bo-Katan and her people rebelled against the Imperial authority, the Empire launched the Purge. As Gideon describes it to Din Djarin, gunships armed with heavy repeating blasters “laid waste to fields of Mandalorian recruits in the Night of a Thousand Tears.” And then, the bombings from the TIE/sa bombers began decimating the domed cities of Mandalore, including its capital, Sundari. The KX-series security droids and probe droids were sent after this to kill off the survivors. Although Bo-Katan survived the Purge, she lost the Darksaber in a yet-to-be-revealed incident.
According to the Mandalorian Armorer, the leader of the Children of the Watch, Bo-Katan is a cautionary tale. “She [Bo-Katan] once laid claim to rule Mandalore based purely on her blood and the sword you now possess. But it was gifted to her and not won by Creed. Bo-Katan Kryze was born of a mighty house, but they lost sight of the way,” the Armorer tells Din after the latter asks her about the Mandalorian princess.
It’s possible that Bo-Katan lost the darksaber directly to Gideon. In season 2, she desperately wants to defeat Gideon in combat and reclaim the weapon. She is extremely disappointed when it is revealed that Din has defeated Gideon and is now the rightful wielder of the Darksaber. When Din learns the ramifications of his actions, he immediately offers the weapon to Bo-Katan, but the latter refuses to accept it, likely remembering the aftermath of the last time she received the Darksaber without earning it.
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