What is the Mandalorian Darksaber?

By Adam Volk

As one of the most iconic weapons in the Star Wars universe, the Mandalorian Darksaber™ is a powerful and mysterious artifact that has appeared in numerous TV episodes, video games, comic books, and novels.

It’s a lightsaber™ with a curved glowing black blade and a hilt forged from pure beskar™ steel, but it’s far more than just a Jedi™ weapon. In fact, it has played a pivotal role in the history of the Star Wars galaxy.

But where exactly did the Mandalorian Darksaber come from and who has control of it now? In this article, we break down everything you need to know about this legendary weapon.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for episodes of The Mandalorian™, The Book of Boba Fett™, The Clone Wars, and Rebels

Who made the Darksaber?

The Darksaber was originally created over 1,000 years before the rise of the Galactic Empire. It was forged by Tarre Vizsla™, a skilled warrior and the first Mandalorian to become a Jedi Knight™.

Eventually, Tarre became ruler of Mandalore™ itself. He also founded House Vizsla, a powerful faction of Mandalorian warriors dedicated to carrying on his legacy and perfecting their skills in the arts of war.

After Tarre’s death, the weapon was kept in a Jedi Temple as a sacred artifact before later being stolen by members of the House Vizsla during the fall of the Old Republic. It was then passed down from generation to generation via trial by combat.

Who owns the Darksaber?

Trial by combat remains one of the key tenants that guides ownership of the Darksaber. In theory, to claim the weapon as your own you must defeat the previous owner in one-on-one combat (although as you’ll see below, in many cases, this rule isn’t always followed).

Eventually, after several centuries, the Darksaber ended up in the hands of the Pre Vizsla™, the leader of a Mandalorian terrorist group known as Death Watch™. This group was active during the Clone Wars™ and obsessed with returning Mandalore to its warrior roots by overthrowing the ruling pacifist government.

Pre would wield the weapon while briefly battling Jedi Knight Obi Wan Kenobi™. The Mandalorian terrorist would later enlist the aid of former Sith Lord Darth Maul™ to help in his plans to stage a coup on Mandalore. Maul, however, would eventually turn on Pre and take the Darksaber for himself, using it in several battles before taking it to his home planet of Dathomir™, where he left it in the hands of the Nightsisters™, a group of powerful Force-sensitive witches.

Notably all of these events are chronicled in multiple episodes of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series.

How did Sabine get the Darksaber?

Several years after the Clone Wars, the Darksaber ended up in the hands of Sabine Wren™, a Mandalorian warrior and member of the burgeoning Rebel Alliance.

Sabine and her crew of rebels ended up on Dathomir. There, they discovered the Darksaber in the Nightsisters’ lair that Maul had used. Despite the rules of ownership by combat which supposedly govern the weapon, Sabine claimed it for her own without any resulting bloodshed.

Sabine’s main concern was keeping the weapon out of the hands out of the hands of the Empire, who had since assumed control of Mandalore and established a puppet government. Later, Sabine helped overthrow this government, as seen in multiple episodes of the Star Wars: Rebels animated television series.

How did Bo-Katan get the Darksaber?

The Darksaber was next handed down to Mandalorian warrior Bo-Katan Kryze™, who had helped Sabine overthrow the corrupt government of Mandalore. Kryze was also a former member of the Death Watch organization. Her first appearance was in The Clone Wars animated series.

Sabine’s primary concern, however, was growing the Rebellion, so she turned down the leadership of Mandalore. Instead, she named Bo-Katan her successor and granted her the Darksaber with the hopes that she would use it to unite their people.

Again, this seems to go against the supposed law which governs that weapon being claimed only in one-on-one combat, since Bo-Katan received the weapon without actually having to fight Sabine.

How did Moff Gideon get the Darksaber?

We later learn that Bo-Katan lost the Darksaber during the Great Purge of Mandalore™, an event in which the Empire laid waste to the planet, killing millions and scattering the few surviving Mandalorians across the galaxy.

The exact details of what happened to the Darksaber aren’t totally clear. Eventually, it came into the possession of Moff Gideon, a high ranking Imperial officer who would later take control of the remnants of the Empire shortly before the New Republic came into existence.

Gideon was instrumental in overseeing the Purge and would later use the Darksaber as his own personal weapon, both because of its impressive combat abilities and its political and religious significance to the Mandalorian people. The details of these events are briefly discussed during season 2 of The Mandalorian series.

How did Din Djarin get the Darksaber?

Moff Gideon later lost the Darksaber after battling Din Djarin™ (AKA The Mandalorian™) in one-on-one combat. After the battle, Din offered the Darksaber to Bo-Katan, but she refused, citing the oft-overlooked rule that it can only be earned in battle.

Shortly after taking control of the Darksaber, the Mandalorian warrior Paz Visla™ challenged Din Djarin for control of the weapon by. Paz Vizsla is likely a descendant of the original creator of the weapon, Tarre Vizsla.

The Darksaber switches owners yet again

Din was able to defeat Paz in combat, with the battle witnessed by The Armorer™, the mysterious Mandalorian weapons maker. Surprisingly, Din was also allowed to keep the Darksaber, despite removing his helmet, a sacrilegious act that effectively exiled him from his clan.

As of season 3 of The Mandalorian, Bo-Katan has regained ownership of the Darksaber. After confronting her former Mandalorian associates and besting Axe Woves™ in combat, she steps further into her role of Mandalorian leader. Din points out that Bo-Katan defeated the enemy who had previously disarmed him, thereby earning her the right to wield the Darksaber again.

Why is the Darksaber heavy to use?

One interesting thing to note about the Darksaber is that, despite its size, it can actually be far heavier than a typical lightsaber. In fact, when Din attempts to use the weapon to battle a group of criminals during a pivotal scene in The Book of Boba Fett series, he finds it is extremely unwieldy. He’s even injured in the process.

This is because the power of the Darksaber is fueled by the wielder’s thoughts and actions (something which is mentioned in the Rebels series when Sabine first learns to use the weapon). In other words, the more emotional and unfocused the wielder is, the more difficult the Darksaber is to use.

What’s your favorite Star Wars moment featuring the Darksaber? Keep the conversation going over at side.show/geekgroup, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!

Looking for the latest collectibles from the world of The Mandalorian and Star Wars? This is the Way. Sideshow has star systems full of figures, statues, and art as epic as the legendary Darksaber itself.