The Future of THE MANDALORIAN’s Darksaber and What It Means for Mandalore

Bo-Katan with her helmet on holds the Darksaber like a baseball bat on The Mandalorian

The Darksaber has been a major part of The Mandalorian‘s story since season one ended with Moff Gideon wielding the famed weapon. It also played a significant role in Mandalore’s fate on both The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. And The Book of Boba Fett provided even more insight into how the lightsaber’s history gave Mandalore hope for the future. But the weapon’s importance seemed to come to an end in The Mandalorian‘s season three finale. Gideon destroyed the iconic saber. For a unique laser sword that has loomed large over the franchise for many years, it was a shocking turn that raised major questions for Mandalorians everywhere.

Can Bo-Katan lead her people without it? Can anyone? Did Gideon’s childish insolence doom Mandalorians to an eternity of civil strife? Or was everything we knew about that weapon merely a myth with no real power? The answer to those questions might not matter since a far more powerful symbol of Mandalore resides in its Living Waters. But whether the Mythosaur can replace the Darksaber in spirit and significance might not matter, either, because Mandalorians don’t need one person holding one specific weapon to lead them. They are “stronger together.”

The crushed Darksaber crackles with light on the Mandalorian

The tale of the Darksaber and the Mandalorian Jedi who created it has become a well-known story to Star Wars fans—as are both the prophecy around the weapon and the its rules of ownership. That has led to much speculation about who would ultimately hold it and therefore, in theory, lead Mandalore into a new age. Someone like Bo-Katan.

Gideon’s destruction of the Darksaber has now made all of that speculation moot, only not for the obvious reason. The Darksaber can be—and very likely will be—fixed if it wasn’t turned to ash in that inferno. Rey and Kylo Ren split Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber in two in The Last Jedi and it was fully restored in The Rise of Skywalker. The galaxy far, far away is full of fixers. They mend people, droids, and ships all the time. A single lightsaber hilt is as easy to restore to its former glory as it is to just build a new one.

Which is why the reason the Darksaber’s lore is now moot has nothing to do with its actual destruction and everything to do with both the mythosaur and what happened after Gideon crushed it.

Moff GIdeon's hand crushed the Darksaber hilt held by Bo-Katan on The Mandalorian

The mythosaur is the true symbol of Mandalore and its people. All clans wear and honor the ancient creature’s skull, not the Darksaber. That’s because the mythosaur and its significance go back to the very beginning of Mandalore’s founding. The very first Mandalorians and their unknown first Mand’alor leader tamed and rode the giant beasts together. Meanwhile, the Darksaber was merely a weapon created by one man as part of his induction into the Jedi Order. Its roots are from another society altogether. And while that sword might be one thousand years old, that’s nothing compared to the mythosaur’s history. Their legend dates back 25,000 years.

If someone were to tame the mythosaur in the Living Waters that would bestow them with far more authority than the Darksaber ever could. Taming a mythosaur would mean more than holding any weapon no matter how legendary. And that might soon happen. This episode teased a connection between the animal and Grogu after the Armorer baptized him in the Living Waters. If he does tame the mythosaur, Din Djarin’s son might ultimately prove to be the leader Mandalorians so desperately seek to reunite them on their newly recaptured home world, not Bo-Katan or anyone else.

The mythosaur opens its eye under water on The Mandalorian

But that’s assuming they need a leader or the mythosaur’s presence at all. They very well might not. The Darksaber is a single item meant to be used by a single Mandalorian so they can lead alone. But doing things by yourself is not the Mandalorian way. As Bo-Katan told Gideon after he destroyed the Darksaber, “Mandalorians are stronger together.” They work best in clans, supporting one another, fighting for one another, and protecting one another. That’s what Din Djarin did for her in that moment. It’s how they finally defeated Gideon. And that’s why the only people who could ever destroy Mandalorians were themselves. Centuries of in-fighting left them splintered and vulnerable to the Sith. Forgetting the true source of their strength led to their planet and their peoples’ near annihilation.

And for a weapon they deemed so important, all of that happened after the Darksaber’s creation. That sword, once used by Death Watch’s leader to sow even more divisiveness between his people, has played a big role in dividing and weakening Mandalorians. The power of the Darksaber’s story is how Darth Maul ended up leading Mandalore, paving the way for Palpatine’s takeover of the planet..

Bo-Katan without her helmet smiles while on the ground on The Mandalorian

Was any of that the Darksaber’s fault? Did an inanimate object control the fate of Mandalore? Of course not. Mandalore’s problems are the fault of Mandalorians who couldn’t stop fighting among themselves long enough to realize they don’t need one leader, one clan, or even one sword to solve their problems. Just as the solution to their problems remains in their own hands, not the hand of someone holding a weapon. They need each other. That’s the only story that matters, not the one they told themselves about a lightsaber someone could easily crush.

Whether they fix the Darksaber or build a new one, and whether or not Grogu or someone else tames a mythosaur, the only thing they need to look to the Darksaber for is the final lesson that weapon taught them. It’s the lesson Bo-Katan and Din Djarin taught Moff Gideon when they defeated them: Mandalorians are stronger together.

Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at  @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.

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