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The Mandalorian finally made good on this season’s dangling plot thread

You’ll never guess who has the Darksaber now!

An image of the Mandalorian, the main character from The Mandalorian — photoshopped with a color wash and large letters that say “SPOILERS.” Image: Lucasfilm via Polygon

A lot of major events have happened during this season of The Mandalorian. After our hero Din Djarin took a bath because he’s a dirty, filthy apostate (boo!) and rejoined the loving embrace of his fellow Mandalorian cultists, the season dedicated an entire episode to exploring the bureaucratic banality of evil and the “difficult” (not that difficult) question of whether all space Nazis are bad, and hey, even everyone’s favorite big furry Lasat star pilot from Star Wars Rebels, Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios, showed up in the fifth episode! Everyone loves Zeb!

Another major upset occurred at the end of this week’s episode, “Guns for Hire,” that spells big movements for the future of Mandalore. Let’s talk about the mythosaur in the room.

[Ed. note: This piece contains spoilers for The Mandalorian season 3, episode 6, “Guns for Hire.”]

Bo-Katan Kryze, former leader of the Nite Owls Mandalorian unit, and now-apparent member of the Mandalorian religious sect the Children of the Watch, is the rightful owner of the Darksaber and leader of ... all of Mandalore? Who could’ve seen that coming?

(L-R) Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) standing next to Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) as she brandishes the Darksaber in The Mandalorian.
Bo-Katan wielding the Darksaber in The Mandalorian S3 E6, “Guns for Hire”
Image: Lucasfilm

Some laser sword backstory: In the Star Wars Extended Universe, the Darksaber is a black-bladed lightsaber that was created and wielded by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian ever inducted into the Jedi Order. The Darksaber was passed down through the generations of Vizsla’s family and used to unite the warring factions of Mandalore under one banner. Whoever wields the Darksaber is considered the rightful heir to the throne of Mandalore, but to attain the weapon, one must defeat the previous wielder by either killing them or otherwise convincing them to yield. However, as seen in “Guns For Hire,” there appears to be a loophole in the rules of that particular urban legend.

When I wrote about Bo-Katan and the Darksaber weeks ago, I erroneously stated that she took possession of the weapon in the second episode of this season, “The Mines of Mandalore.” As several commenters on that article stressed to point out, I was wrong, there actually was a brief scene in which Din Djarin is seen clipping the Darksaber back on his belt after being rescued by Bo-Katan. I apologize for misleading readers to believe then that Bo-Katan was in possession of the fabled Mandalorian-forged lightsaber at that point.

What I will not apologize for is that, despite my error, my argument was still correct! Bo-Katan became the rightful owner of the Darksaber after rescuing Din Djarin from that awesome, creepy Phil Tippett-ass monster. As we see at the end of this week’s episode, it appears that even Din himself seems to agree with that argument.

“While exploring Mandalore, I was captured and this blade was taken from me,” Din tells the former members of the Nite Owls on Plazir-15. “Bo-Katan rescued me and slayed my captor. She defeated the enemy that defeated me. Would this blade then not belong to her?”

A screenshot of Din Djarin, the masked protagonist of The Mandalorian, with close-captioned text reading, “Would this blade then not belong to her” in The Mandalorian
Din Djarin, being correct and right in The Mandalorian S3 E6, “Guns for Hire”
Image: Lucasfilm

The Nite Owls appear to agree, with Axe Woves — their just-defeated leader — verbally acknowledging the veracity of his argument. Din Djarin hands the blade over to Bo-Katan, who subsequently activates the blade before the episode cuts to the credits. This episode did reveal a vital piece of information that was obfuscated in “The Mines of Mandalore:” that Din himself knew that Bo-Katan had used the Darksaber to save him in the bowels of Mandalore. That means that Din knew she was the rightful heir to the weapon and still chose to carry it around this whole time. Dick move!

As Moff Gideon said in the season finale of The Mandalorian’s second season, “The Darksaber doesn’t have power; the story does,” and if no-one is around to witness the story, it’s just the same as if the story never happened. But with Din having been conscious enough to testify to that story, Bo-Katan’s path to claim the throne of Mandalore and unite the fractured Mandalorian tribes is now finally clear. All she has to do is return to Mandalore, tame that not-so-mythic Mythosaur, and start planning her coronation. Simple!

At the end of the day, I think we can all agree on one thing: The “rules” regarding the Darksaber are murky at best and absolute ad hoc bullshit at worst. It’s just one of those rules that bends to fit the story, like Leia having memories of her mother in Return of the Jedi when Revenge of the Sith shows Padmé’s death right after giving birth, or Poe Dameron’s infamous “Somehow, Palpatine returned” line from 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

If the third season of The Mandalorian so far has taught us anything it’s that the best thing and the worst thing about Star Wars is that its creators — in this case executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni — don’t really have a plan and are just making this shit up as they go along.

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