What Is The Darksaber And Why Is It Important To The Future Of 'The Mandalorian'?

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 Skywalkerit 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

  • The Idea For The Darksaber Came Straight From George Lucas

    The Idea For The Darksaber Came Straight From George Lucas
    Photo: gameraboy / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0

    In a 2010 interview with IGNThe Clone Wars supervising director Dave Filoni described how George Lucas himself came up with the idea for the Darksaber at the last minute. Originally, a Mandalorian character named Pre Vizsla was meant to face off against a Jedi using a vibroblade, but Lucas nixed the idea. 

    "George let me get away with it in the early phases of design and in the early shooting," Filoni explained. "But when the color came back and he was watching the lightsaber we want to have combating this vibroblade, he said there's no way that can happen; there's no way that a non-lightsaber could block a lightsaber. So he had us do away with the vibroblade in that episode really late in the game, and he created something called the Darksaber." 

  • It's An Ancient Relic Of The Mandalorian Culture

    The Darksaber has only been around in Star Wars media for about a decade, but it has quite the legacy in the annals of the Star Wars universe. More than 1,000 years old, the Darksaber is a symbol of power and strength for the Mandalorian people.

    The people of Mandalore are known for their martial spirit, and their "warrior's pride" is the defining attribute of their culture. It makes sense that a Mandalorian weapon strong enough to parry a lightsaber would become an integral part of their storied history.

  • The Darksaber Is Shaped Differently Than A Traditional Lightsaber

    The Darksaber is not shaped like a traditional lightsaber. With its flat edge and tapering point, it resembles a traditional sword more than the glowing batons wielded by the Jedi. Behind the scenes, this is because it was originally designed as a vibroblade, but in-universe, it adds to the saber's Mandalorian mystique.

    While speaking to IGN, Filoni talked about how they made the sword even more outstanding. "We designed a special sound for it when it's fighting a lightsaber," Filoni stated. "It hums differently; it sings a little more, like a tuning fork. Also, a lightsaber if you look top-down on it, it has a round blade all around; it's an energy beam. The Darksaber is flat like an actual sword, so it's thinner on one side and it's wider when you turn it."

  • It Was Created By The First Mandalorian To Become A Jedi

    The Darksaber is a Mandalorian artifact created by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian to be inducted into the Jedi Order.

    It comes as no great shock that Mandalorians would come to idolize both the device and Vizsla himself. As warriors that value strength and honor, they would undoubtedly consider Vizsla's ascension to Jedi knighthood as proof of his great power.

  • 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 Republic

    It Was Housed In The Jedi Temple Before The Fall Of The Old Republic
    Photo: 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.