The Empire’s Great Purge left Mandalore a wasteland of glass and buried cities. That mass bombing also turned the home of Star Wars‘ famed warriors into a desolate tomb for millions. But episode two of The Mandalorian‘s third season revealed the planet is not an inhospitable, cursed desert. Mandalore’s air is breathable and it still supports life. That includes one very large creature no one has seen for a very long time. The ancient mythosaur, the famed symbol of Mandalorian civilization, is no longer just a legend. And its gigantic presence portends a new and hopeful future for those who believe in The Way.
The History of Mythosaurs in Star Wars
An image of a mythosaur skull, with its downturned horns and giant sharp teeth, first appeared on Boba Fett’s shoulder armor in The Empire Strikes Back. The gigantic, dragon-like beast then made its official debut in a 1982 comic, Star Wars # 69 : Death in the City of Bone. However, when Disney purchased Lucasfilm almost everything we previously knew about the mythical leviathan became moot. Disney relegated the vast majority of Lucas-era stories outside the purview of films and most TV shows into the newly established category of Legends. Those tales are not officially canon, though Disney occasionally pulls from its Legends library for new canonical projects.
In Star Wars‘ Disney era, mythosaurs began establishing new canon in 2015. The modern version of the gigantic beast does shares some important similarities with its Legends counterpart. The mythosaur is a famed animal said to have roamed the planet Mandalore in the Outer Rim tens of thousands of years ago. And like their Legends predecessors, the ancient mythosaurs of Disney remains an important symbol to all Mandalorians.
What Is a Mythosaur of Mandalore?
Ancient tales say the first Mandalorians tamed the massive mythosaurs and rode upon their backs. Kuiil referenced this legend in The Mandalorian‘s first season. He mocked Din Djarin for struggling to sit atop a blurrg, an animal a mere fraction of the mythosaur’s supposed size. “Your ancestors rode the great mythosaur,” Kuiil said.
If mythosaurs ever truly existed it was many millennia before The Mandalorian. Mythosaurs are thought to have gone extinct when their lush home world became a desert following the wars between Mandalorians and Jedi. But whether the stories about the beasts were true or not, Mandalorians made the mythosaur skull a signet used by all its people. On The Book of Boba Fett, Din Djarin found his relocated clan thanks to a hidden mythousaur skull symbol, same as the one Boba Fett wore. The Armorer also adorned her cave in The Mandalorian‘s season three premiere with a small replica of mythosaur skull. And the enormous creature also lends its name to a Mandalorian weapon, the mythosaur axe.
But even the Armorer, who serves as the memory of Mandalore and lives by her ancestor’s oldest and strictest creeds, did not think mythosaurs still lived. Like everyone else, she believed them extinct. Now that we know one of those unfathomably large beasts still resides in the Living Waters below the Mines of Mandalore, though, a prophecy she shared with Din Djarin seems more possible than ever.
The Prophecy of the Mythosaur’s Return
On The Book of Boba Fett the Armorer told Din Djarin about the prophecy of the Darksaber. “Whoever wields it can lead all of Mandalore,” she said. That wasn’t the only prophecy she shared with him, either. She spoke of another sign of that portends when the promised hero will unite their people. “The songs of eons past foretold of the mythosaur rising up to herald a new age of Mandalore,” she said. But, according to the Armorer, “sadly” the mythosaur “only exists in legends.” (Yeah, it was a pretty good meta joke.)
Now that a mountain of a mythosaur in Mandalore’s Living Waters pulled Din deep below and Bo-Katan saw it with her own eyes, the Armorer’s prophecy might be imminent. However, if she’s right about what the return of the mythosaur foretells, the creature could also bring one final Mandalorian civil war with it.
Why the Armorer Blames Bo-Katan for Mandalore’s Destruction
The Armorer told Din Djarin about how Moff Gideon led the Great Purge of Mandalore. But the zealous clan leader did not lay the ultimate blame for the Night of a Thousand Tears solely at his feet. She faulted Bo-Katan Kryze for dooming the planet in the first place.. Because while she says the Mandalorian who wields the Darksaber “will defeat 20, and the multitudes will fall before it,” that’s only true if the legendary weapon is won in battle. “If, however, it is not won in combat and falls into the hands of the undeserving,” the Armorer said, “It will be a curse unto the Nation. Mandalore will be laid to waste and its people scattered to the four winds.”
That’s how Bo-Katan Kryze came to possess the Darksaber. Sabine Wren found the weapon and gave it to to Bo-Katan. Her fellow Mandalorians then named her Mand’alor for the second time. But her last reign soon ended in tragedy for her planet and people. When the Empire could no longer control Mandalore, Moff Gideon destroyed it, nearly wiping out all Mandalorians. And when she did not return with the Darksaber Gideon had stolen from her, Bo-Katan’s followers left her. Not just alone, but hopeless and bitter—at least she was.
Can the Mythosaur Unite a Splintered People?
Will the Watch ever forgive Bo-Katan for her perceived crimes? Can Bo-Katan ever work with the zealous clan? Will she even follow another who wields the Darksaber when she wants to reclaim her throne? Only a scant few Mandalorians remain in the galaxy far, far away. Another civil war between Mandalore’s people, like the one that left the planet vulnerable to Palpatine, could finish the job the Empire started. That is unless they come together under the one symbol that has always united them. Only, it’s no longer a symbol, because the mythosaur is no longer only a creature of legend.
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.