Mandalorian Season 3 Theory Reveals a Concerning Darksaber Problem
How did Moff Gideon get the Darksaber? The answer could be more complicated than you think.
The Mandalorian has consistently introduced mysteries for its viewers to solve. From Grogu’s origins to hints of Imperial cloning activities, there’s always plenty of room to speculate. But leading into Mandalorian Season 3, one mystery is particularly ripe for speculation: the Darksaber.
How could Bo-Katan possibly lose the coveted Darksaber? And how did Gideon obtain it? One detail from The Book of Boba Fett could reveal the surprising answer — and set the stage for an epic conflict in The Mandalorian Season 3.
For those who don’t live and breathe the larger Star Wars universe (or for those with terrible memories) here’s a quick refresher on the history of the Darksaber.
The Darksaber is the ancient lightsaber of Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian to become a Jedi and a revered leader in Mando culture. Over time, the Darksaber became associated with leadership, and Mandalorians grew to believe that winning the blade in combat granted them the right to rule. Conversely, the owner is deemed unworthy to lead if the sword is obtained outside of combat. (Though these have been bent or broken more than once in Star Wars canon.)
Moff Gideon is first seen wielding the Darksaber in Chapter 7, and if you’ve watched Rebels, then you know that Bo-Katan Kryze was the last known wielder before Gideon. So how the hell did a fierce warrior like Bo-Katan lose it?
Bo-Katan’s dark Darksaber history
Bo-Katan wielded the Darksaber but she didn’t earn it through combat. Sabine Wren, with honorable intentions, gifted it to Bo so she could unite the fractured Mandalorian peoples. But as noble as her intentions were, Sabine may have set in motion the events that doom her people.
In Chapter 5 of the Book of Boba Fett, the Armorer explains the pitfalls of unearned possession:
“If it is won by Creed in battle. It is said one warrior will defeat 20, and the multitudes will fall before it. 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.”
The legend recited by the Armorer is the exact fate that befell Mandalore. The Empire bombed the planet, causing a near genocide of the Mandalorian people. The Armorer believes that Bo-Katan cursed her home by accepting this gift.
Enter, The Mandalorian
In Chapter 5 of the Book of Boba Fett, Din Djarin also struggles to wield the Darksaber. The blade seems heavier with each swing, and he’s just as likely to injure himself as whoever he’s fighting.
The Armorer explains that it feels heavier because he is fighting the blade. The weight of the blade reflects the weight on Din’s mind. He is at a crossroads. His sole focus has been saving his foundling Grogu, but he’s unwittingly become the rightful ruler of Mandalore.
The blade appears to align with clear intentions. Din struggles with it, whereas Maul, Pre Vizsla, and Gideon seem to wield it easily. Applying this concept to one of the blade's previous owners may be a clue to how Bo-Katan lost the Darksaber.
A Darksaber theory
Here’s where we get into a bit of speculation. I believe the answer to how Bo-Katan lost the Darksaber mirrors Din Djarin’s current dilemma. Immediately after receiving the Darksaber, Bo was dealt a bad hand: Mandalore was already occupied by Imperial forces, and though she led a valiant effort to expel them, her efforts were in vain. The Empire launched an invasion and bombed the planet into oblivion.
This was surely not the future Bo-Katan wanted, but perhaps it was something she foresaw. Bo-Katan is practical, but a nagging thought began to weigh on her as she witnessed her home fall under the Empire’s control. The sign of her leadership, the Darksaber, wasn’t rightfully earned. The Empire at her door would no doubt remind her of the legend surrounding the Darksaber, especially the part about Mandalore being “laid to waste” if the blade is wielded by the undeserving. Increasingly haunted by these fears and insecurities, she likely experienced the same resistance that Din felt when lifting the blade.
Bo-Katan’s mental state erodes with each passing day. The Darksaber grows heavier and heavier. Eventually, she can no longer lift the activated weapon at all. She carries the hilt into battle against the occupying forces but is unable to use it. She keeps this a secret from the Mandalorian people, even those closest to her. Bo-Katan still fights, but the blade is unused until the Empire’s last assault during the Night of A Thousand Tears.
Bo-Katan’s Dark Secret
So here’s my tinfoil hat theory. In the aftermath of the Night of a Thousand Tears, Moff Gideon finds Bo-Katan and the Darksaber in the ruins of the capital. Thinking on her feet and unable to wield the activated blade, Bo-Katan allows Gideon to take the Darksaber. She plans that once he takes it, she can finally honor the tradition and win it back in combat. With or without the Darksaber, she is still a formidable foe. It’s a hail mary, a desperate gamble that, unfortunately, backfires. Gideon defeats her, rightfully claiming the sword.
This act is her dark secret. A secret that, if discovered by her followers, would ruin her. Not only was she defeated by Gideon, but he defeated her with the symbol of their people, a symbol she let him take.
What this means for Mandalorian Season 3
Din Djarin is in a tough spot. He’s stumbled into a role he doesn’t want, and he’s attracted the attention of Bo Katan, who will stop at nothing to redeem herself in the eyes of her people. Din can’t give her the blade, so like it or not, he may soon be thrust into a fight he never asked for. Will he rise to the occasion? Or run from his fate? Either way, Season 3 is setting up an intriguing rift between the remaining Mandalorians.