The Darksaber’s Death in ‘The Mandalorian’

The big season three reveal? Lucasfilm doesn't care about magic swords—at least, this magic sword.
The Mandalorian Chapter

Star Wars Explained is our ongoing series, where we delve into the latest Star Wars shows, movies, trailers, and news stories to divine the franchise’s future. This entry examines The Mandalorian Chapter 24 and the Darksaber’s seeming destruction during the season three finale.

Before the season three premiere, Star Wars fandom spent too much time considering the Darksaber’s role in returning proper rule to Mandalore. The ancient weapon traveled a precarious path through Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels before shockingly appearing in Moff Gidion’s clutches in The Mandalorian‘s first season finale. The Imperial fell when he combatted Din Djarin during the second season finale, and our titular Mandalorian took control of the blade.

Djarin attempted to give it up to Bo-Katan Kryze just as Sabine Wren accomplished in Rebels, but this time, the former Mandalorian ruler denied the gift. The blade must be won in battle, we were told. Pfft. Whatever.

Before The Mandalorian season three, we understood the black-bladed lightsaber to signify strength and leadership. After the last batch of episodes, Lucasfilm wants us to let go of such fannish notions. In Chapter 24, Moff Gideon refers to the Darksaber as a trinket for Bo-Katan Kryze to hide behind. He punctuates the point by crushing the hilt with his enhanced Dark Trooper fist. The final shot of the Darksaber being of its sparking, crumpled corpse.

Will the blade ever ignite again? Should we care? Does it hold real power? Did it ever?

Let’s hit rewind for a minute. The Darksaber was the lightsaber created by Tarre Vizsla, the first Jedi Mandalorian who dominated battlefields more than a thousand years before Star Wars: A New Hope.  After he died, the House Vizsla stole the blade from the Jedi temple and kept it safe through the generations. Eventually, in The Clone Wars, Death Watch leader Pre Vizsla lost it to the disgraced Darth Maul.

In the Sith’s possession, the Darksaber struck against his former Master, Darth Sidious. The soon-to-be Emperor dispatched Maul fairly quickly. However, rescued from a Separatist prison by some Mandalorian lackeys, Maul regained the Darksaber and achieved several critical victories.

In Rebels, Sabine Wren sneakily acquired the blade from Maul’s Nightsister lair on Dathomir. She trained with the Darksaber under Jedi Kanan Jarrus’ tutelage for a period. She ultimately handpicked Bo-Katan Kryze as the rightful ruler of Mandalore and presented her with the weapon. Kryze accepted, but, as we learned during The Mandalorian Chapter 23, she gave it up to Moff Gideon in a last-ditch attempt to spare her people. The Imperial betrayed that loose trust, and the Night of a Thousand Tears commenced.

Across two animated shows and multiple books and comics, we’ve come to appreciate the Darksaber as a mighty weapon with profound importance to Mandalorian mythology. Whenever we saw it light up in the Disney+ show, we beamed with excitement. We wondered whether Din Djarin would carry it to reluctant leadership as he grew into reluctant fatherhood. We dreaded a vicious clash between him and the lovely lady Kryze.

Of course, we got neither of those things. As we lamented in The Mandalorian Chapter 22, Din Djarin used the cyborg defeat he experienced earlier in the season to pass the blade back to Kryze. While the other Mandalorians were not there, the story was good enough for them. The power transference was completed with no muss, no fuss. Anti-climactic, sure, but season three has turned into a season of subversion. For good and bad.

From the beginning, Din Djarin has not cared about Star Wars lore. He wanted nothing to do with the politics; he craved no leadership. Reluctant leaders are the backbone of many narratives, and we assumed he would get there, but we should have put more faith in Djarin’s stubbornness.

In Chapter 23, Bo-Katan Kryze tells Djarin that the Darksaber is the only thing unifying her people. Djarin dismisses the notion immediately. He recognizes the Darksaber’s power within the stories she has told him, but it means nothing to him or the people. They follow her, not some inanimate object.

“What means more to me,” he said, ” is honor, loyalty, and character. These are the reasons I follow you.”

With those words spoken, the Darksaber’s fate was sealed. With the magic sword lying crumpled like wadded paper, Bo-Katan Kryze finds her confidence with Din Djarin’s return to the battle. He fires his blasters upon Moff Gideon. Even Grogu and Axe Woves join the fight by bringing their starship into contact with the planet. Gideon goes up in a ball of flame.

You have to wonder, though. Was that the OG Gidion? Another Chapter 24 reveal involves Moff Gideon’s plans to clone himself. We witness Din Djarin shatter a corridor of Gideon clones, but those are not the only ones. Right? Giancarlo Esposito‘s days in Star Wars cannot be finished. Maybe we won’t see him in live-action any time soon, but a clone Gideon or a clone Gideon reveal will happen sooner or later in the comics, novels, or games. He’s simply too delicious a villain to leave in ashes.

Now, the Darksaber’s cool factor could be finished. Surely, the Armorer could repair the fabled black blade. Like Moff Gidion, undoubtedly, the Darksaber will return too. The weight that it carries will be forever changed. Battles being waged over its possession should cease. Its ornamental factor squandered a tad too. As a Star Wars MacGuffin, its days are definitely numbered.

What about that Mythosaur, though? After Grogu is rebranded Din Grogu, the adoptive son of Din Djarin, the little green guy stares down into the Living Waters of Mandalore. The camera dives down and finds the great beast slumbering. Possibly sensing the little Force-wielder above, the Mythosaur opens its eye.

Someone will ride the beast. We’ve speculated that Din Djarin could take the reigns, maybe Bo-Katan. We should now consider Din Grogu’s relationship with the Mythosaur and the series title. He is The Mandalorian. With each passing episode, that probability becomes more and more certain.

The Mandalorian Chapter 24 is now streaming on Disney+.

Brad Gullickson: Brad Gullickson is a Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects and Senior Curator for One Perfect Shot. When not rambling about movies here, he's rambling about comics as the co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Hunt him down on Twitter: @MouthDork. (He/Him)