The Mandalorian season 3 is right around the corner, featuring Din Djarin as the all-new wielder of Star Wars’ legendary Darksaber. Created back during the days of the Old Republic, the Darksaber was forged by the galaxy’s first-ever Mandalorian Jedi. As such, the blade is just as unique as its crafter, having had significant appearances in multiple Star Wars shows beyond just The Mandalorian.
In The Mandalorian season 3, Din Djarin will be facing new struggles following the end of the second season, when he inadvertently laid claim to the Darksaber after besting Moff Gideon in combat, the blade’s prior owner. However, the Darksaber was once the property of Bo-Katan Kryze, the former regent of Mandalore who sought to reclaim the blade in order to unite the various Mandalorian clans under one banner; Djarin has very much complicated those hopes. Here are the biggest must-watch episodes involving the Darksaber and its history that should be viewed ahead of The Mandalorian season 3.
“The Mandalore Plot” – Season 2, Episode 12 (The Clone Wars)
In The Clone Wars season 2, the Mandalorian extremist clan known as the Death Watch was introduced. After being discovered, their leader Pre Vizsla faced off against Obi-Wan Kenobi with the Darksaber, and the episode serves as the blade’s very first appearance in Star Wars. Alluding to its ancient history and the reveal that Vizsla’s ancestors stole it from the Jedi Temple, the unique Darksaber is still unlike any weapon that’s been introduced since in the Star Wars galaxy.
It’s a fun bit of history to point out that future Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau provided the voice for Pre Vizsla and is currently the voice of Paz Vizsla during the era of The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. The Clone Wars and The Mandalorian showrunner Dave Filoni once revealed that the Darksaber was created by George Lucas himself. Originally, Pre Vizsla would wield a preexisting weapon known as a vibroblade, but Lucas didn’t like the idea of a common sword being able to counter a lightsaber. As such, the Darksaber and its ancient history were born.
“Shades of Reason” – Season 5, Episode 15 (The Clone Wars)
Following a handful of subsequent appearances in Pre Vizsla’s possession, the Darksaber exchanged hands after Vizsla attempted to betray Darth Maul and his brother Savage Oppress, whom the Death Watch had been allied with in The Clone Wars season 5. Challenging Vizsla to a duel to the death, Maul emerged victorious, decapitating Vizsla with the Darksaber and claiming the blade as his own, along with the right to the Mandalorian throne. Maul would go on to keep the Darksaber in his possession through the Clone Wars and into the reign of the Empire.
“Visions and Voices” – Season 3, Episode 11 (Rebels)
As seen in the Star Wars Rebels animated series set just before A New Hope, the Darksaber leaves Maul’s possession following the Ghost crew’s encounter with him in the third season. Facing the former Sith on Dathomir, Sabine Wren recognizes the Darksaber and its reputation among her people. As such, the Mandalorian artist reluctantly claims the blade and takes it with her. Thanks to this episode, the Darksaber is finally liberated from the likes of Maul, who’d been keeping it as little more than a trophy and reminder of his power.
“Trials of the Darksaber” – Season 3, Episode 15 (Rebels)
Continuing the narrative in Star Wars Rebels season 3, a large portion of the Darksaber’s history is revealed through a discussion between Jedi Knight Kanan Jarrus and Mandalorian Protector Fenn Rau. Seeking to learn more about the legendary blade Sabine recovered, Kanan learns from Rau about the Darksaber and the Jedi-Mandalorian who forged it during the Old Republic, Tarre Vizsla. Having been stolen by Clan Vizsla from the Jedi Temple after Tarre’s death, the legend was born that the wielder of the Darksaber would be given the right to rule Mandalore and unite all the clans as one.
As such, the Darksaber became a key tool to be used against Clan Saxon, who had allowed Mandalore to be occupied by the Empire. However, Sabine first had to learn how to wield the legendary blade, needing to embrace its power by finding her own inner-peace. Thanks to Kanan’s training, Sabine soon becomes a capable owner of the Darksaber while also gaining a stronger resolve to save and support her estranged family on Mandalore.
“Heroes of Mandalore” – Season 4, Episode 1 (Rebels)
In what’s currently the final animated appearance of the Darksaber, Sabine had used the blade to unite her family and their fellow clans against Clan Saxon. Following a major victory, Sabine gave Bo-Katan Kryze the Darksaber so she might become the new regent of Mandalore following the death of her sister Satine during the Clone Wars. While this technically made Bo-Katan the Darksaber’s new wielder, it would later be confirmed that it should have been earned through combat. This was the mandate according to the Darksaber’s legend that was ultimately ignored, potentially leading to the hardship that followed for Mandalore, which many believed to be a curse brought on by Kryze’s actions.
“Redemption” – Season 1, Episode 8 (The Mandalorian)
Following the events of the original trilogy of Star Wars films and the birth of the New Republic, the Darksaber makes its first live-action appearance in The Mandalorian season 1 finale. Wielded by Moff Gideon, the leader of the Imperial Remnant used the blade to escape the remains of his TIE Fighter, which Din Djarin brought down to keep Grogu out of enemy hands. Serving as the final shot of the first season to tease an exciting future, the Darksaber did indeed become a major part of The Mandalorian series going forward.
“The Rescue” – Season 2, Episode 8 (The Mandalorian)
Having allied himself with Bo-Katan and her Nite Owls to rescue Grogu from the Imperial Remnant in The Mandalorian season 2, Din Djarin agreed to help Bo-Katan reclaim the Darksaber from Moff Gideon – who’d taken it from her during the Empire’s genocide of Mandalore. However, the finale episode of season 2 saw Djarin defeating Gideon in combat to save Grogu, resulting in his inadvertent claim to the Darksaber and the throne of Mandalore that comes with it. Unless Bo-Katan decides to challenge Din Djarin for the Darksaber, he currently has the authority and power she desperately sought to restore the Mandalorian homeworld.
“Return of the Mandalorian” – Season 1, Episode 5 (The Book of Boba Fett)
Following the end of The Mandalorian season 2, Djarin resumes bounty hunting after Grogu went with Luke Skywalker for Jedi training. Upon returning to the remaining members of his clan, the Armorer reveals more of the Darksaber’s history, as well as the particulars behind the Mandalorian purge known as the Night of a Thousand Tears. This was the same dark event where Gideon conquered the blade from Bo-Katan. Djarin learns to embrace the power of the Darksaber, rather than resisting it as he had been. Thanks to the Armorer’s instruction, Mando slowly becomes more proficient with the blade, successfully defending his right to wield it after being challenged by Paz Vizsla.
After reuniting with Grogu in The Book of Boba Fett’s finale, Djarin is now ready to visit Mandalore to be forgiven for the sin of removing his helmet. However, a reunion with Bo-Katan has also been teased for The Mandalorian season 3. With that dynamic coming into play, the Darksaber will continue to be a major source of power and conflict when the new season begins streaming March 1 on Disney+.