The Empire’s Great Purge of Mandalore left the planet in ruins and its few survivors scattered among the stars. But in The Mandalorian‘s season three premiere Din Djarin swore to prove his peoples’ ancestral world is not lost forever. The Apostate plans to earn redemption in the Living Waters beneath Mandalore’s mines, which we now know reside in an important Star Wars location. That sacred spot wasn’t all we learned about the planet, however. The episode provided both new insight into Mandalore’s past and hope for its possible future.
But it’s a future that might not involve Mandalore’s former leader, Bo-Katan Kryze.
What Did The Mandalorian‘s Season 3 Premiere Reveal About Mandalore?
The Mandalorian‘s season three premiere showed the Children of the Watch has grown stronger. The group’s numbers have increased since we last saw the clan on The Book of Boba Fett. It’s also inducting young new members to its ranks, Mandalorians who swear to follow the group’s strict, controversial, ancient creeds. It’s not an oath one can take lightly. Once you’ve violated “The Way” there’s almost nothing you can do to earn its forgiveness.
Despite saving its members from a giant space gator, Din Djarin remains an outcast for removing his helmet in front of another living being. The Watch’s leader, the Armorer, believed he couldn’t him earn redemption for his transgression, either. That’s only granted by bathing in the Living Waters beneath the mines of Mandalore. But she told him the Great Purge destroyed them forever. But Din offered her and all Mandalorians hope they’re still there. And if he’s right, Mandalore itself isn’t completely lost.
What Was the Relic Din Djarin Gave to the Armorer on The Mandalorian?
Din gave the Armorer a relic with Mandalorian writing. It came from Jawas via a traveler who claimed to have visited Mandalore’s surface. If he told the truth about where he found that small token, it means he went to Mandalore after the Great Purge and lived to tell the tale.
There’s reason to believe the story, too. The writing fragment came encased in a green-tinged glass. That was further proof of its authenticity to the Armorer. She said the Empire “crystalized” Mandalore with “fusion rays.” Considering Mandalore’s millennia of wars left it a sand-covered desert dotted by technologically advanced biodomes, it likely is covered in glass now. The Empire’s mass bombing would have overheated the planet.
But to Din that’s not what’s important. The traveler’s successful visit means the Great Purge did not poison Mandalore and the planet might still be inhabitable. That would mean Mandalore’s sacred Living Waters might still be there beneath the ruins of the planet’s former capital of Sundari.
The Importance of Mandalore’s Capital City Sundari
The episode also revealed why all Mandalorians, not just the Watch’s religious zealots, consider the Living Waters special. They sit beneath the mines where Mandalorians got the beskar ore used to forge their sacred steel. That would seem to indicate why Mandalore built its capital city of Sundari above them. Bo-Katan, who grew up on Mandalore, told Din that’s where he can find them.
Though important to all Mandalorians, Sundari is a place of great significance to Bo-Katan personally. It’s the city where her sister, the Duchess Satine Kryze, once ruled from. As did Bo-Katan herself for a short time. But the Mandalorian leader does not share Din Djarin’s faith in the planet’s future potential. In fact, she doesn’t have faith in any sort of future for her or her people.
Why Did Bo-Katan’s Followers Abandon Her?
Din Djarin helped Bo-Katan Kryze capture Moff Gideon and take control over an Imperial fleet. But in doing so he inadvertently ruined her plans to serve as Mand’alor for a third time. Bo-Katan is sitting alone in her family’s castle on the planet Kalevala because her forces “melted away” when she returned to them without the Darksaber. They care more about what that weapon symbolizes than the individual who carries it. And that person is currently Din Djarin.
He won it in combat from Moff Gideon before offering to hand it over to Bo-Katan. She refused his offer, unlike before when Sabine Wren gave her the Darksaber freely. That launched Bo-Katan’s second reign as Mand’alor, which also ended in ruin with the Great Purge and Moff Gideon’s theft of the Darksaber. Unless she plans to fight Din for it, she cannot possess the legendary weapon that will make her people will follow her.
Bo-Katan’s former loyalists are now using the Imperial fleet she captured to work as mercenaries throughout the galaxy. They also took her hopes and dreams with them when they left.
She once told Din Djarin Mandalore is not cursed, and that their enemies only say that to keep Mandalorians apart. But now she says the planet is “ravaged, plundered, and poisoned.” She also thinks there’s nothing left of her home world to save and that Din is a fool for going there. Even if he finds the Living Waters still exist, she told him there’s nothing special about the mines of Mandalore. It provided beskar ore, yes, but everything else about them is “superstition.”
The Hope for Mandalore’s Future
If Din wants to “wave around” the Darksaber Bo-Katan believes all Mandalorians will follow him now. But she said that mockingly without joy or belief. And even if they do follow him to restore Mandalore to glory, she seems unlikely to join them. Bo-Katan is so angry about her fate she’s in denial about her role in the planet’s misfortunes.
She told Din his “cult” gave up on Mandalore long before the Purge, and that “the Children of the Watch and all the factions that came before fractured and shattered our people.” That’s true, infighting left Mandalore weak. But Bo-Katan left out was that she was one of the people responsible for that fate. She was a high-ranking member of the terrorists group Death Watch, precursor of the Watch. Bo-Katan undermined her sister’s rule and ultimately left Mandalore vulnerable to Palpatine’s machinations. For her to fault anyone else for Mandalorian’s past problems is hypocritical at best and delusional at worse.
Clearly Bo-Katan is in a bad place mentally and emotionally. No matter what she did in her past she always did what she thought best for all Mandalorians. Its why others named her ruler and followed her into combat. Now the once great warrior sits alone in an empty castle. She has given up on her people, her planet, and herself for the first time in her life. For her to find faith again she might need Din Djarin to bathe in the Living Waters beneath the mines of Mandalore. It might be the redemption all his people need. Just so long as that desert-turned-to-glass isn’t poisonous.
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.