‘The Mandalorian’ has a darksaber problem

Jon Favreau, the creator of The Mandalorian, has been linked to this story for a long time. He was cast as Mandalorian Pre Vizsla in the clone wars, the descendant of Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian to also become a Jedi Knight, and the original owner of the Darksaber.

Pre Vizsla was the heir to the Darksaber and a fierce opponent of the Jedi. In the anime series, he fights Obi-Wan Kenobi with it, although his character was originally meant to use a vibroblade (like the dagger Mando uses in The Mandalorian to kill the mud beast). But it didn’t go over well with George Lucas.

“George didn’t like the logic of the vibroblade being able to parry a lightsaber,” Favreau said of the scene. He had to come back and record new lines once Lucas found the alternative: the Darksaber.

“I had to read the whole monologue about how he was found in a Jedi temple. And I was telling my wife, she’s like, ‘This is the coolest thing in the world.’ And it got so cool that we ended up making a whole TV show out of it,” Favreau said. “This whole idea and how deep this thing is, that Tarre Vizsla was both Mandalorian and Jedi, it’s so implying because they were two diametrically opposed warring factions. So what does this mean? These are the clues that we look for, those little anomalies and those things that instead of running away, we dig deeper and kind of explore.

It’s a very cool weapon with a rich history. Tarre Vizsla bridged the gap between Jedi and Mandalorian – something Mando and Grogu could do in the current storyline – and when he died, the Darksaber was kept in a Jedi temple before being stolen by the Mandalorians and passed down into the Vizsla bloodline. It was eventually taken by Darth Maul and later again by Sabine Wren, before finally surrendering to Bo-Katan, who then lost it to Moff Gideon.

At the end of season 2, Mando defeats Moff Gideon in battle and takes the Darksaber, not knowing that the blade duty be won in battle or taken from a reluctant enemy or it curses the wielder. Bo-Katan should fight Mando for the blade, which she doesn’t want to do.

This created a problem which Season 3, Episode 2 solved. When Mando was captured by the alien in the Mines of Mandalore, he lost the Darksaber. When Bo-Katan showed up and defeated the alien (using the Darksaber to kill him), the blade should have reached him on the spot. In fact, it was extremely confusing afterwards as it was unclear who should have the weapon in the future and none of the characters discussed it. This was odd given how much Bo-Katan coveted the Darksaber and felt like a massive oversight in the script.

But then, in Episode 6, when Ax Woves tells Bo-Katan that she should challenge Din Djarin instead of him if she wants to rule, Din explains that it’s already Bo-Katan by right. He explains what we’ve all been thinking since Episode 2: Bo-Katan narrowly won it and it’s his. The Mandalorians all agree and he hands it to her.

It’s almost like winning the Darksaber on a technical point. This is about the most disappointing way for Bo-Katan to get the blade you can imagine. Although it would have been great if she had won it in episode 2 and when she tried to give it back he said “No it’s yours now” instead we had to wait four episodes and getting the transfer at the end of an episode that was about something else entirely – a weird side quest stuffed to the brim with celebrity cameos.

The Darksaber is absolutely one of the coolest things in Star Wars, but like the rest of The Mandalorian third season, the execution of its scenario is rather badly done. This whole season seems to have lost its way, with Mando and Grogu fading into the background and no clear overarching story to follow (or a villain to root against). Hopefully the next two episodes pick up the pace and get things back on track. We don’t need a quest with The Rock and Amy Schumer.

Here’s my video on Darksaber’s misfortunes this season:

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