Spoilers below for the latest episode of The Mandalorian, so be warned!
Every week I've looked at all the major questions that each new episode of The Mandalorian has caused us to ask, and while Chapter 11 of the series certainly left us wondering about some things, it also provided us with some huge answers. We know so much more about how The Mandalorian fits into the larger Star Wars universe. This is because Katee Sackhoff's Bo-Katan Kryze, who was introduced in The Clone Wars animated series, has now made her live-action debut. Of course, if you're not actually familiar with The Clone Wars, then you may still have more questions.
Who is Bo-Katan and why is she so interested in the Darksaber? If you're up to speed on the animated side of Star Wars, you know all about it, but if not, there's a lot to unpack here. So let's dive into all the fun, new information we received from "The Heiress."
Bo Katan Kryze Is The Heiress
After Mando falls into a trap that I really feel he should have seen coming, we're introduced to the live-action version of Battlestar Galactica vet Katee Sackhoff's Bo-Katan. She's a Mandalorian, but not one like our hero. She revealed that Mando is actually part of a splinter group of Mandalorians dubbed Children of the Watch, which explains why he is so averse to removing his helmet, an act that Bo-Katan clearly has no issue with. Bo-Katan then shared that she has plans on going back to the planet Mandalore, where she plans to rule. There's just something she needs to get first.
Bo-Katan Kryze was first introduced in The Clone Wars animated series (where she was voiced, not coincidently, by Katee Sackhoff) as a member of her own splinter group of Mandalorians, called Death Watch. The similarity in the name of Mando's group is certainly interesting, and is likely related. Death Watch was interested in taking Mandalorian culture back to an earlier time as well. Back then, Mandalorian armor was only being worn by Death Watch, as the people of the planet itself had become peaceful. Having said that, Death Watch had no issue with things like removing helmets, so Death Watch and the Children of the Watch are not exactly the same thing.
While Bo-Katan was a member of a splinter group, she was also the sister of the Duchess Satine Kryze, who led the planet Mandalore during The Clone Wars. This made the former part of Mandalore's royal family, and thus, she is the heiress to the throne of the planet. However, there's a symbol of Mandalorian leadership that Bo-Katan feels she needs before she can go home, and that would be the mythical Darksaber.
What Is The Darksaber?
The new episode of The Mandalorian is the first time on the show that the word Darksaber has been uttered, but if you've watched the whole series, then you know you've seen it before. It was the weapon being brandished by Moff Gideon in the Season 1 finale episode. There was no explanation given then of what it was or what it meant, and little is said here, to be sure. However, the object was finally given its name and we now know that Bo-Katan is on the hunt for it.
The Darksaber was a lightsaber built by the first Mandalorian Jedi, and in the years since, it has became a symbol of Mandalorian leadership. When we first see the Darksaber within Star Wars continuity, it's in the hands of a Mandalorian named Pre Vizsla, the leader of the Death Watch where Bo-Katan is his top lieutenant. The Darksaber is then taken by Maul when he takes over leadership of Death Watch and Mandalore after killing Vizsla. It's at this point that Bo-Katan ends her affiliation with the group, not believing that any off-worlder should ever lead Mandalore.
Eventually, Maul was defeated, but he kept possession of the Darksaber until he was discovered and the blade was taken by Sabine Wren, a descendent of of the Vizsla clan. Sabine gave the blade to Bo-Katan so that she could use it to unite the Mandalorians in an attempt to take Mandalore back from the Empire.
What Happened Next?
The piece of the story that occurred after that is still unclear. We know that the "Great Purge" happened and Moff Gideon ended up with the Darksaber, but we don't know yet exactly how that happened. What's clear from the newest Mandalorian episode is that Bo-Katan has suspected that Moff Gideon was in possession of the Darksaber, but she didn't actually know that with certainty until now. This likely means she knows a lot more about Moff Gideon himself. Unfortunately, she didn't give any of that info to Mando, which is too bad, since Bo-Katan would probably want to know that Mando and Gideon have crossed paths.
That means that Bo-Katan will be after Moff Gideon to get back the Darksaber. And since we also know that Moff Gideon still wants The Child, we can be fairly certain that the paths of all these characters will cross again. Whether or not that confrontation will happen this season, or somewhere down the road, we don't really know. And then, of course, there's that other character from The Clone Wars, the one whose name was so perfectly dropped at the end of "The Heiress." But that's got to be an entirely separate conversation.
Fans of the animated side of Star Wars have been excited for this episode since Katee Sackhoff's casting was first announced. We're starting to finally see some of the threads between these different chapters of Star Wars brought together, and we will certainly learn more in the future, possibly as soon as the next episode, but probably not.
The Mandalorian drops new episodes on Disney+ every Friday at 3:01 a.m. ET. While waiting to see more, head to our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule to check out what new and returning shows are on the way.