Moff Gideon brandished the darksaber at the end of The Mandalorian Season 1, but can he really claim ownership over the legendary weapon constructed by the first Mandalorian Jedi? There are still some missing pieces in the darksaber's history that could answer this question in Season 2, but a closer reading of the weapon's code could reveal a surprising true owner who might turn up in The Mandalorian this fall: Luke Skywalker.
According to Wookiepedia (the primary source of all Star Wars knowledge), there's only one way to rightfully claim the darksaber as your own. Here's a key line from the weapon's entry, which cites an episode of the canonical show Star Wars Rebels as its source:
According to Mandalorian custom, one could only obtain the Darksaber by defeating the previous owner in combat. Should they have claimed it any other way, their claim was considered illegitimate.
It's unclear whether "defeating" means kill or just beat in a battle, but considering the Mandalorian people's history, we have to assume its the former. And that's the basis for an intriguing fan theory from Reddit user ImpulsiveBeetle, who points out that along with killing its previous owner, you can also inherit the darksaber from your family.
Titled, "Luke Skywalker is the Rightful Owner of the Darksaber (Spoilers)," the post argues that if you trace the ownership of the weapon from Pre Viszla (the first character we see holding it, in Clone Wars) it eventually reaches Luke Skywalker. (What happens after Luke dies is unclear, but more on that in a bit).
Let's back up for a second. Pre Visla was killed by Darth Maul, who claims both the weapon and leadership of the Mandalorian faction Death Watch. Maul loses the darksaber and it's claimed by Sabine Wren, but she didn't kill Maul. So who did? Obi-Wan Kenobi.
If Obi-Wan "legally" owned the darksaber, then it was passed to Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader when he cut his old master down in A New Hope. From there, we have to assume that Luke inherits the weapon from his dad at the end of Return of the Jedi (since Vader wasn't killed in a duel).
So if Luke has a legitimate claim to the darksaber, is it possible he'll show up in The Mandalorian Season 2? From a timeline perspective, it makes sense. Luke, Leia, and Han are all alive and kicking during the Disney+ show, though they're busy rebuilding the Republic and the Jedi order. That said, we know Luke was also on a mission to track down Palpatine, so it's possible his search could lead him to Moff Gideon and the darksaber.
As for what happens after Luke's death in The Last Jedi, that's the biggest mystery of all. He wasn't killed in a duel and, as far as we know, he doesn't have any children. I guess Ben Solo could inherit the darksaber as Luke's nephew, but by the end of Rise of Skywalker he's dead too.
So what does the Mandalorian code have to say about people who change their names to join a new family?
The Mandalorian Season 2 premieres this October on Disney+.