A Crash Course on the Darksaber

Ashlyn E. Inman

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The best thing about The Mandalorian on Disney Plus is that you don’t have to be familiar with every scrap of Star Wars lore to enjoy it. But the more you watch, the more you may feel inclined to learn more about some of the characters you’ve never seen before.

If you’re totally ready to come to the nerdy side, you should probably stop reading this now and watch the Clone Wars film, the Clone Wars series, and Star Wars: Rebels series (in that order). I’m about to spoil some things. You can come back later if you need a refresher course.

But if you don’t have the time or desire to commit to consuming all the Star Wars canon, it’s okay because I did, and I am here to help. I am assuming you’ve watched both seasons of The Mandalorian so I’m warning you AGAIN that there are spoilers coming up after the following picture. Seriously, at least go watch the Mandalorian before reading this. Save the article, follow me on News Break, and I’ll see you in approximately three days after you’ve finished binge-watching.

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Art depicting Tarre Viszla by AraxussYexyr

Ready?

The first time Mando fans see the Darksaber is at the very end of The Season 1. A good chunk of the action in season two centers around the strange black lightsaber. But what is it and where did it come from?

First and foremost, it is a lightsaber. It's made with a Kyber crystal and was crafted by a Jedi. However, it is extremely important to Mandalorian culture. Remember, we talked about how Mandalorians are the group of people indigenous to Mandalore. But quick refresher: Mandalorians were always known as fierce fighters with armor made out of beskar steel. Beskar was one of the few things forged that was impervious to a lightsaber’s blade, so Mandalorians were often hired to kill Jedi because they would be evenly matched.

The Darksaber is unique because it is the only black-bladed lightsaber known of, and the hilt features a more squared off design than most sabers. The blade is shaped more like a traditional sword blade, and it's canon that the blade is influenced by the wielder's emotions.

Although in the canon timeline we first see the Darksaber in the Clone Wars series. we don't learn about its origins until Rebels season 3, Episode 15. For the sake of a linear article, we're gonna start with its creation.

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Mandalorian legend has it that the Darksaber was made by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian to ever be accepted into the Jedi Order. Since Tarre Vizsla was both a Mandalorian AND a Jedi, we can guess that he was a pretty powerful guy. Vizsla's involvement with the Jedi Order may have been a temporary ceasefire between Mandalorians and Jedi. (Has this story been written already? If not--Lucasfilm Press, email me.) After Vizsla's death, the Darksaber was kept in the Jedi Temple until members of Clan Vizsla broke in and reclaimed it.

The Darksaber became a symbol of Mandalorian leadership, in major part thanks to Tor Viszla. The weapon was passed down through the leaders of Clan Vizsla and wielded it to unify the Mandalorians. The Darksaber made its way through the years of fighting and pacifism until it reached the hands of Pre Vizsla.

During the Clone Wars, Pre Vizsla was the leader of Death Watch: the group openly opposed to Mandal ore's neutral stance in the war. Vizsla used the saber to stage a successful coup against Duchess Satine Kryze's regime. However, Vizsla's rule was short-lived. Soon after the takeover, Darth Maul killed Pre Vizsla and took control of Mandalore and the Darksaber.

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Knowing the Mandalorians wouldn't accept an outsider as their rules, Maul chose Prime Minister Almec to "rule" in his stead. Maul held on to the Darksaber for many years; it is unknown exactly when or why he relinquished control of it, but it was eventually left in an old Night sister lair on Dathomir.

The blade was retrieved years later by Sabine Wren in Rebels season 3, Episode 11. Sabine, who was shunned by Clan Wren for joining the Rebellion, is reluctant to wield the Darksaber. Even though she is taught to use it by Jedi Kanan Jarrus, Sabine states that she will only hold the blade until she finds Mandalore's rightful leader.

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In Rebels Season 4, Episodes 1-2, a group of Mandalorians from multiple clans band together to destroy an Imperial weapon. After the battle, Sabine passes the Darksaber on to Lady Bo-Katan Kryze. With the support of all the other houses, Bo-Katan is named the leader of Mandalore.

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After the Great Purge, things get a bit murky. We know Bo-Katan loses the weapon and Moff Gideon ultimately gets control of it. At this point, it's commonly accepted that the Darksaber can only be claimed in combat. As you know, Bo-Katan's entire mission in The Mandalorian is to win the weapon back from Gideon. By the end of Season Two, Din Djarin wins control of the blade in combat. Djarin wants absolutley nothing to do with leading Mandalore and offers the blade to Bo-Katan, but she is reluctant to accept it outside of combat for a second time.

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What do you think will happen with the Darksaber in season 3? Let me know in the comments!

See you next time at Star Wars School! What should we discuss next?

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I grew up in a small town in rural California, and earned my B.F.A. at Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, SC. After graduating, I moved to NYC where I lived for three years before relocating to Nashville. And that brings us to date! I've worked a variety of jobs from being on a farm to being on a stage to being in a cubicle. In short, I've lived the big city life, the small town life, the southern life, the northern life, and you get the idea. I'll be writing about entertainment and lifestyle topics for the most part because I have a background in theater, live in Music City, and also work for a fitness company! (Check out @WeightingForWarriors on Instagram!) ​ When I'm not writing you can probably find me reading, baking, crafting something, or screaming at a football game on TV.

Nashville, TN
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