The history of Star Wars‘ iconic Mandalorian lightsaber sword, the Darksaber, has gotten so convoluted that even hardcore Star Wars fans have a hard time keeping it all straight. The Darksaber has made a comeback in the latest episode of new Star Wars event series The Book of Boba Fett, with The Mandalorian himself, Din Djarin, now wielding the fabled blade. However, Mando’s possession of the Darksaber quickly attracts a challenger – the descendant of the man who created the sword. That duel came with a lot of questions the average Star Wars fans still need to answer – but knowing more about the lineage of the Darksaber and its owners will definitely help!
The Darksaber was created by Tarre Vizsla, a Mandalorian who became a Jedi in the time of the Old Republic (over a Millennium before the Skywalker Saga). When Tarre Vizsla died, the Jedi kept his Darksaber in a place of honor in the Jedi Temple; however, when the Old Republic fell, House Vizsla attacked the temple and stole the Darksaber, claiming blood rights to it.
The Darksaber stayed in House Vizsla for generations, until it was owned by Pre Vizsla, a Mandalorian who existed during the Clone Wars and fall of the Galactic Republic. Pre Vizsla held to the old ways of Mandalorian warrior culture, even as Mandalore entered a radical new age of Pacificsm under Duchess Satine Kryze. Vizsla led the terrorist organization Death Watch in rebellion against the pacifist regime, but when that uprising failed, he formed an alliance with Darth Maul’s Shadow Collective criminal syndicate.
Under Maul’s leadership, Death Watch was able to finally conquer Mandalore and win public support; however, Pre Vizsla got greedy and tried to turn on Maul, challenging him in a duel to the death. Vizsla lost, and Maul took Darksaber as his prize, only to briefly lose it in his duel with Darth Sidious. Maul eventually recovered the Darksaber on Mandalore, keeping it for years after the Clone Wars ended and the Galactic Empire rose.
After the Second Battle of Dathomir Maul left the Darksaber on his home planet, where it was eventually recovered from the Nightsister lair by Mandalorian Rebel Sabine Wren. Sabine was trained in the Darksaber by Jedi Rebel Kanan Jarrus and used it to gain the support of the Mandalorian people by defeating Imperial Viceroy Gar Saxon with it in a duel. Sabine eventually gave the Darksaber over to Duchess Satine Kryze’s sister (and former Death Watch member) Bo-Katan Kryze, who had become the leader of Mandalore after Maul was overthrown in The Siege of Mandalore in the last days of the Clone Wars, before the Empire installed Clan Saxon in her place.
(Photo: Lucasfilm Animation)
This is where the canon gets muddled. The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 5: “The Return of The Mandalorian” has now helped fill in this key time gap in the Darksaber’s story:
When Sabine Wren used the Darksaber to re-install Bo-Katan as leader of Mandalore in the early days of The Rebellion, it didn’t result in the happy ending Wren thought it would. The Empire finally accepted that Mandalorians could never be brought under their rule, so they had a drastic reaction: they destroyed Mandalore. “The Great Purge” of Mandalore is still missing a lot of details – but as far as the Darksaber goes, here’s what we know:
Bo-Katan battled the Empire, lost, also lost the Darksaber, and had to flee Mandalore and go into hiding.
Moff Gideon ended up with the Darksaber (presumably having defeated Bo-Katan) and kept it from the Imperial era into the New Republic era.
In The Book of Boba Fett, the Mandalorian Armorer hints that there’s a prophecy tied to the Darksaber: Sabine Wren giving away the blade (and possibly first finding it instead of dueling for it) is said to be the curse that led to the Great Purge and the near-extinction of the Mandalorians. True or not, that prophecy is now embedded in both sides of Mandalorian culture, because Bo-Katan’s refusal of taking the Darksaber as a gift (from Din Djarin) suggests she now believes the old prophecy just as much as the Armorer does.
It seems like the next chapter of the Darksaber’s saga will be written as Din Djarin tries to use the Darksaber to once again rebuild Mandalore and rally its people. There’s also a good chance we’ll get to see the Darksaber’s first adventures with Tarre Vizsla, if (when?) Star Wars get an Old Republic franchise off the ground.
(Photo: Lucasfilm / Disney+)
You can relive the history of the Darksaber in Star Wars: Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, The Mandalorian (Season 2) and The Book of Boba Fett.