Warning: This is the way toward major spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2 episode 8, so turn back now if you haven’t watched Chapter 16!
The Mandalorian season 2 episode 8 saw the return of Bo-Katan Kryze and Koska Reeves, who help Din Djarin on his rescue mission to save baby Grogu from the clutches of Moff Gideon. Bo-Katan is keen to see Gideon, considering he is in possession of the Darksaber – which she wants back in order to reclaim her position as ruler of Mandalore.
But a problem arises when Din ends up being the one to win the Darksaber from Gideon when he defeats him in a Beskar spear vs saber duel. According to the weapon’s ancient rules, that means Mando is the rightful owner – and so, technically, Mandalore’s ruler. Bo-Katan must now win it back, which could spell trouble for Din in the future.
Except, eagle eyed fans have pointed out that Bo-Katan didn’t technically win the Darksaber in the first place. In fact, Sabine Wren handed it to her, and she accepted. So why would Bo-Katan refuse Mando’s offer to give her the weapon now? We do our best to explain…
What is the Darksaber?
The Darksaber is an ancestral weapon that must be won through combat for a person to become its true owner. Whoever wields the weapon is considered the ruler of Mandalore – which is why Bo-Katan is so eager to get it back in her hands.
When did Sabine Wren give Bo-Katan the Darksaber?
Sabine Wren, another Mandalorian, found the Darksaber after Darth Maul discarded it on Dathomir. Though she hadn’t won it in combat, she did eventually become the rightful owner – and gave it over to Bo-Katan, who was at first reluctant to accept, but eventually took the weapon to become Mandalore’s ruler.
What happened to the Darksaber after that?
Somewhere along the line, Bo-Katan lost the weapon in combat to Moff Gideon. We still don’t know how or why, but Katee Sackhoff, who plays Bo-Katan, has assured us “there is a story there and we will find out.”
Why couldn’t Bo-Katan take the Darksaber from Mando?
This is definitely a good question, considering Bo-Katan didn’t need to win the weapon from Sabine to feel okay about taking it. One theory, suggested on Reddit (opens in new tab), is that Bo-Katan needs to win the saber back this time, after losing it, to strengthen her claim as ruler of Mandalore. Also, you could argue that Maul – who dismissed the blade, only for Sabine to find – was not a Mandalorian and therefore was never "worthy" of having the Darksaber or being the leader of Mandalore.
Plus, considering the Empire caused so much destruction to the planet during the Great Purge, failing to win the Darksaber back from an Imperial could be a serious blow to Bo-Katan’s credibility. Whether she’ll actually challenge Mando for possession of the weapon or not, the fact that she wouldn’t accept it from Din shows she takes the rules very seriously indeed now.
We’ll have to wait until 2021 to find out what happens next with both Mando and the Darksaber – and we’re getting a Boba Fett show in 2021, too. Until then, check out our The Mandalorian timeline to get up to speed with the galaxy's goings-on.