There are many exotic devices used in the Star Wars universe, from lightsabers to bowcasters, gonk droids to speeder bikes. But of all the tactical equipment from a galaxy far, far away, there might not be another as cool as Star Wars' Darksaber.
Despite the unprecedented availability of Star Wars content - in Disney's Galaxy's Edge theme park, the popular video game Jedi: Fallen Order, and the climactic conclusion to the Skywalker saga, Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker - it is the Disney+ show The Mandalorian that is truly causing a stir with the fan base. Seeing Pre Vizsla's Darksaber in a live-action Star Wars project is a major coup for viewers of both The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, and its appearance in the new Disney+ series may foreshadow some fan-favorite characters making the jump from animation to live-action in Season 2.
While the reveal of the Darksaber isn't the only fan-teasing glimpse from Lucasfilm and Jon Favreau in The Mandalorian, it does tie into the history of Mandalore in a major way. So, without any more preamble, let's jump to lightspeed and break down just what the Darksaber is and why it is important to the future of The Mandalorian.
It Behaves Differently Than A Typical Lightsaber
The Darksaber not only sounds different than other lightsabers in the Star Wars universe, it also behaves differently as well. According to the Star Wars Rebels episode "Trials of the Darksaber," the instrument's current of power is directly affected by its wielder's thoughts and actions. For example, the blade will produce an electrical effect if its wielder is in a heightened emotional state.
This again flies in the face of the classical ideas of the Jedi Order. In Return of the Jedi, Yoda talks about the importance of keeping emotions leveled: "Remember, a Jedi's strength flows from the Force. But beware: anger, fear, aggression... the dark side, are they."
It Was Housed In The Jedi Temple Before The Fall Of The Old RepublicPhoto: Revenge of the Sith / 20th Century Fox
The Old Republic was first mentioned in the original Star Wars film back in 1977, and it has since become one of the fandom's favorite aspects of series lore. The Old Republic was a governmental body that existed thousands of years before the Clone Wars - only to be dissolved by Sheev Palpatine (AKA Darth Sidious) when he created his Empire.
BioWare created a successful video game about the Old Republic, and it was rumored that upcoming films from the duo behind HBO's Game of Thrones could focus on that era of Star Wars before they left the project in 2019.
Prior to the fall of the Old Republic, the Jedi kept the Darksaber locked away in the Jedi Temple. During the transition from Republic to Empire, House Vizsla of Mandalore raided the temple to retrieve the device, considering it theirs by right.
It’s Been Passed Down Generation To Generation
After snatching the Darksaber from the Jedi, House Vizsla would pass the instrument down from generation to generation. It is said in the Star Wars Rebels episode "Trials of the Darksaber" that, at one point, House Vizsla actually ruled over all of Mandalore due to the strength of the sword.
Before fighting Obi-Wan Kenobi with the Darksaber in an episode of The Clone Wars, Pre Vizsla claims "many Jedi have [perished] upon its blade." If such a claim is true, it speaks to both the power of the Darksaber and the fighting prowess of the Mandalorians at large.
Whoever Holds The Darksaber Has A Claim To Lead One Of The Largest Mandalorian Clans
It appears obvious that whoever wields the Darksaber will ultimately inspire the loyalty of House Vizsla. The right leader could presumably gain control of every Mandalorian house with the possession of the Darksaber, but the Vizslas have the strongest tie to the device and its history.
Based on the fighting ability of Mandalorians in The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, and The Mandalorian, a person leading an entire clan - let alone an entire people - could do some serious damage to their enemies. This may come into play in Season 2 of The Mandalorian, though we'll have to wait until fall 2020 to see.