The first season of The Mandalorian had a ridiculous amount of hype. It was the first live-action Star Wars series ever, debuting only on Disney's brand new streaming service. The show was a big deal, and for the most part, the show met the hype as it was very well regarded. It's hard to imagine how Season 2 would ever measure up. And yet, the second season may be even more hyped now that we know a whole collection of characters from other films and series will be appearing in the upcoming season. One of the most interesting is Katee Sackhoff, who will be not only appearing, but reprising her role as Bo-Katan Kryze.
But who is Bo-Katan Kryze? If you've limited yourself to live-action Star Wars to this point, you won't know her, as she has primarily appeared in The Clone Wars and Rebels the two main animated Star Wars shows. Katee Sackhoff' actually voiced the character for those shows, but now she'll be bringing Bo-Katan into live-action and if you're not familiar with who the character is, you should be, as odds are she's going to be quite important
Bo-Katan Is A Mandalorian
Let's start with the most important thing, shall we? The show is about Mandalorians, and Bo-Katan Kryze is a Mandalorian. However, whereas The Mandaloirian told us that being Mandalorian meant the following of a creed, not being born on the planet Mandalore, Bo-Katan actually was. She's a Mandalorian by birth and her armor came by way of, as far as we know, simply be being born there. In fact, until The Mandalorian, we all thought, as Greef Karga did, that being Mandalorian simply meant you were from Mandalore.
The last we saw of Bo-Katan was near the end of Star Wars Rebels, which ended a few years before the events of the original trilogy, which means that, like the rest of the Mandalorians, it's not entirely clear what has happened to her in the interim. We can't even be sure she's alive. It's always possible Katee Sackhoff's appearance will be in flashback.
Bo-Katan And Death Watch
If you thought the fact that being Mandalorian was a creed as opposed to a race was an interesting twist, it's only one of many in the history of Mandalore. While we know Mandalorians to be armor wearing warriors who frequently work in the bounty hunting profession, there was a time when that was about as far as from reality as you could get. When we first visit Mandalore in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Mandalorians have embraced peace to the point that the planet is remaining neutral in the the Clone War itself.
However, there was a branch of Mandalorians who believed the planet should embrace its warrior past. They're called Death Watch and when we first meet Bo-Katan Kryze, she is part of this group having aligned her own squad, the Nite Owls with Death Watch. The planet viewed Death Watch mostly as terrorists. Death Watch attempted to overthrow the government on more than one occasion, even teaming with Maul to finally succeed. However, when Maul kills Death Watch's leader, Pre Vizla, and declares himself the leader of Mandalore, Bo-Katan takes a stand, refusing to accept an outsider as leader.
Bo-Katan and Ahsoka Tano
Bo-Katan isn't the only character introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars who will be appearing in The Mandalorian Season 2, while it has yet to be confirmed by Disney, all signs point to Rosario Dawson bringing the role of Ahsoka Tano to life for the first time in live-action. As such, it's an easy question to ask if these two appearing in the new season are connected. It's certainly possible as Ahsoka and Bo-Katan have quite a history, and much of it just wrapped up with the final season of The Clone Wars.
Ahsoka had a long history dealing with Death Watch through the events of The Clone Wars but her real connection to Bo-Katan came when the Mandalorian recruited Ahsoka in order to help her take Mandalore back from Maul. Bo-Katan was actually the sister of Dutchess Satine, the Mandalorian leader before Maul took over, who died at the hands of the former Sith, and so Bo-Katan felt she had a duty to save her home. And eventually, the plan worked. With the help of Ahsoda and the 501st division of Clone Troopers, Maul was defeated and Mandalore was freed, for a time.
Bo-Katan Was The Leader Of Mandalore, Twice
Following the Siege of Mandalore at the end of The Clone War, Bo-Katan was named regent of Mandalore by the Jedi Council. Unfortunately, shortly there after Order 66 was initiated and the Empire took over. Bo-Katan refused to bow to the Empire, leading to another Clan of Mandalorians, the Saxons, usurping power and forcing Bo-Katan out.
Decades later, during the events of the Star Wars Rebels animated series, Sabine Wren, a member of the Rebellion who was also from Mandalore, allied herself with Bo-Katan and kicked the Empire off the planet. Bo-Katan became the de facto ruler of the planet, though exactly what happened after the clans of Mandalore united behind Bo-Katan, we don't really know. It was made clear the Empire was far from done with Mandalore and that certainly seems to be true based on Moff Gideon's comments at the end of Season 1 of The Mandalorian.
Bo-Katan And The Darksaber
The second time Bo-Katan became the leader of Mandalore, she did so holding an object we saw at the end of the first season of The Mandalorian, the Darksaber. The unique black lightsaber was obtained in Star Wars Rebels by Sabine Wren, but she passed on the blade, seen as a signifier of Mandalorian leadership, to Bo-Katan once she was convinced Kryze was the best person to lead her people.
We know that at some point there was a conflict between the Empire and Mandalore, called the Great Purge. It would appear, though we don't know for sure, that this was when Moff Gideon took possession of the Darksaber. It would seem Bo-Katan was defeated once again. The fact that Gideon now holds the weapon that Bo-Katan once had seems likely to be a major point in the coming season of The Mandalorian.
With Bo-Katan making the jump to live action we will likely get a lot of questions answered about what happened to Mandalore during the original trilogy and beyond. Bo-Katan is an important part of that history. Even if she doesn't play a huge part in The Mandalorian Season 2, she'll likely have a large role in filling in the gaps.