The Darksaber made its live-action Star Wars debut in The Mandalorian. Specifically, the legendary weapon appeared in Moff Gideon’s hands in the season one finale. As season two of the Disney+ series played out, the weapon became even more important. Din Djarin, the titular Mandalorian, wrested the Darksaber from Moff Gideon during combat. He tried to give it Bo-Katan Kryze, but the person who wants to wield the weapon has to win it in combat. They can’t just receive it because someone doesn’t want it. And then the matter of rightful ownership continued in season three of The Mandalorian.
If you’re looking for more, here’s what the Darksaber is, where we’ve seen it before, and what it means for the future of Mandalore.
What Is the Darksaber?
If you’re a fan of the Star Wars animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, then you’ll recognize the Darksaber. Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian to join the Jedi Order, created the Darksaber. Its black-bladed design sets it apart from all other lightsabers. Vizsla used his heritage in the look too, using beskar to craft the pommel, hand guard, and blade emitter. For a time after Tarre Vizsla died, the Jedi Temple kept the blade. But after the Old Republic fell, House Vizsla raided the Temple and took the weapon.
Since that time, House Vizsla passed the Darksaber through their generations. They used it to unite their house and all of Mandalore—until they were overthrown and a pacificist government took over. But the unique lightsaber still held onto its status as a symbol of leadership. The Mandalorian people viewed it as a sacred weapon. Many Mandalorians still believe that, with the right wielder, it could unite all the clans.
When we first encountered the blade in The Clone Wars, Pre Vizsla wielded it. The Governor of Concordia, Vizsla led the insurgent group called Death Watch. But he lost the Darksaber to Darth Maul. The former Sith defeated Pre Vizsla in combat and then executed Vizsla using the blade. Years later, Sabine Wren found the Darksaber among Maul’s belongings on Dathomir.
Sabine learned to use it in hopes of bringing together Clan Wren and forging an alliance with the Rebel Alliance. After she survived the trials and fought Viceroy Gar Saxon (the Galactic Empire’s puppet ruler of Mandalore), Sabine became the rightful new owner of the Darksaber. However, she wanted to keep fighting with the Rebellion. She gave the weapon to Bo-Katan. Though Bo-Katan led Mandalore for a while, she lost the weapon after the Great Purge of Mandalore. That’s when Moff Gideon acquired it.
The Curse of the Darksaber
Some Mandalorians seem to attribute the Empire’s attack on Mandalore to a curse. In The Book of Boba Fett, the Armorer told Din Djarin:
If, however, it is not won in combat, and falls into the hands of the undeserving, it will be a curse unto the nation. Mandalore will be laid to waste and its people scattered to the four winds.
It’s why Bo-Katan refused to take the Darksaber again, though Din offered it freely. Pas Vizsla, a descendent of Tarre, tried to fight Din and win it but he failed. Din carried the Darksaber until Bo-Katan defeated his captors on Mandalore using the weapon. This was enough to count as her “winning” the weapon.
She later faced Moff Gideon again, Darksaber in hand, but the Imperial destroyed the legendary weapon.
Originally published on December 27, 2019. Additional reporting by Lindsey Romain.