The following contains major spoilers for the Season 2 finale of The Mandalorian*_.*_
The Season 2 finale of The Mandalorian presented the sort of ending that is going to likely have a lot of people talking right up until Season 3 of The Mandalorian gets started, though it could be a while until that actually happens. Still, there were a lot of developments in the 40-minute episode that will certainly have implications for the future Star Wars series on Disney+, but one of the most interesting dealt with Bo-Katan and the Darksaber. The new episode saw Moff Gideon defeated, and our hero gaining access to the Darksaber. However, that presented something of a problem for Bo-Katan's plans.
You see, Mandalorian tradition holds that the Darksaber can only be won through combat. As the blade is a symbol of Mandalorian leadership, the only way to prove one is worthy of that role is to defeat the one who holds the weapon. When Din Djarin attempts to simply give the Darksaber to Bo-Katan, she reluctantly refuses it for this reason. But there's something of a problem with that, because in Star Wars Rebels, the Darksaber changes hands through non-combat means multiple times, and one of those times, it's Bo-Katan herself who takes it.
Star Wars Rebels and the Darksaber
The Darksaber was first introduced in existing Star Wars canon in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The blade was held at that time by a Mandalorian named Pre Vizsla, who was killed by Maul. And thus Maul became the wielder of the revered blade. Technically speaking, he was defeated by Ahsoka Tano during the Siege of Mandalore (though he wasn't using the weapon at the time). The blade was seen again in Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels when Mandalorian Sabine Wren literally just picks it up off the ground on the planet Dathomir. She doesn't really have to defeat anybody particular to get it.
From there, the blade does change hands a few times among the Rebels crew, though Sabine generally keeps control of it. When her mother saw that she has the blade, the fact that Sabine didn't win the blade in combat with Maul is brought up, and her own mom disputed her claim on the matter. From there, the blade ends up in the hands of a Mandalorian named Gar Saxon, again, without Saxon having to win the blade in combat. However, Sabine eventually defeats Gar Saxon, thus, apparently earning the blade properly.
However, after all that, Sabine decides that, since Bo-Katan is the one that should lead the Mandalorian clans to take their home back from the Empire, Bo-Katan should wield the Darksaber. And so Sabine simply hands it over, and Bo-Katan, while hesitant, accepts the blade after the various Mandalorian clans pledge themselves to her. To be clear, Bo-Katan hesitates to pick up the Darksaber because she's unsure about ruling. There is no mention of the fact that she has not "earned" the blade through combat.
Bo-Katan And The Mandaloran
Based on the events of "The Rescue," and the fact that Moff Gideon is well aware of the Darksaber and its tradition, it seems quite likely that Moff Gideon obtained the blade from Bo-Katan in combat. When we met Bo-Katan earlier this season, she was well aware of who was in possession of the Darksaber, and she has been of a single mind to get it back ever since. She clearly is only really willing to join Din Djarin's rescue attempt because she'll have a chance to get the weapon back.
In the end, it was Din, and not Bo-Katan, who found and fought Moff Gideon. The two squared off, and while Gideon showed his abilities with the Darksaber, the Mandalorian ultimately came out on top. And Moff was almost excited by this, since he clearly knew what was about to happen, and so he fully relished it when Din attempted to give Bo-Katan the Darksaber, and she refused it. He totally knew she would do that, but she accepted it once outside of combat previously, so why did she refuse it now?
Why Bo-Katan May Have Refused The Darksaber
So why was Bo-Katan unwilling to accept having the Darksaber handed to her when she was willing to take it the first time? Is this a plot hole, or is the story going somewhere with this? While we certainly don't know the answer right now, and have no idea when we might get it, The Mandalorian has, if nothing else, been very concerned with franchise lore from the very beginning. And considering that Dave Filoni has played a part in creating both Star Wars Rebels and The Mandalorian, it's not like he's somehow unaware of this apparent discrepancy.
More than likely, whenever the story returns to this point and these characters, we may learn a lot more about exactly what happened during the Great Purge, and it may have gone even worse for Bo-Katan that we might suspect. While the end of Star Wars Rebels shows us that the Mandalorian clans are behind Bo-Katan, perhaps that wasn't really the case. The fact is that a lot of Mandalorians witnessed Bo-Katan obtain the Darksaber through means other than combat, and maybe, in the end, that cost her crowd support. Perhaps Bo-Katan was never really seen as a leader.
Alternatively, or perhaps related, maybe Bo-Katan never even saw herself as a leader. Maybe she felt that she had never really earned the Darksaber, causing her to doubt herself and her decisions. Maybe Moff Gideon came along and defeated her and took the Darksaber, and she saw that as a sign that she had never properly earned the blade the first time around. And with that, her single-minded focus on finding Moff Gideon and taking the Darksaber back from him by force became her only real goal.
What the future holds for this story remains to be seen. We're not entirely sure when, or even if, The Mandalorian Season 3 is a thing that is happening, or if Boba Fett is taking over the show in the future. That said, some of these topics could even play into other planned Disney+ series, like the upcoming Ahsoka. One way or another, it seems likely that we will get some sort of explanation, though it seems quite likely that answer will come with a fight.
The Mandalorian Season 2 can be streamed in full on Disney+. While waiting to hear more about the future of the franchise, head to our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule and our Winter and Spring TV rundown to see what new and returning shows are on the way.
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