The darksaber: An incomplete history

Giancarlo Esposito is Mof Gideon in the Disney+ series THE MANDALORIAN.
Giancarlo Esposito is Mof Gideon in the Disney+ series THE MANDALORIAN. /
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The Mandalorian
Mof Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) in THE MANDALORIAN, exclusively on Disney+ /

The Darksaber will likely show up again in The Mandalorian. Here’s all the background information we have on the origins and significance of the weapon in Star Wars.

Lightsabers have been a central staple in Star Wars lore since the very beginning. Darth Vader’s menacing blade ushered us into a completely new universe way back in 1977. In the same movie, we watch Luke Skywalker learn to wield his own saber with the help of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The longer Star Wars has gone on, the more creative storytellers have gotten with the types of weapons used in various forms of combat throughout the galaxy far, far away.

Though not the first unique weapon to be introduced in the past 40+ decades, the Darksaber might be the most renowned due to its appearances in both The Clone Wars and The Mandalorian.

It’s the only “dark” lightsaber that exists. And it has quite a wild — though, at this point, frustratingly incomplete — history.

Origins of the Darksaber

Star Wars: The Mandalorian
Giancarlo Esposito is Mof Gideon in the Disney+ series THE MANDALORIAN. /

"“I didn’t know Mandalorians developed a type of lightsaber.“ “We didn’t, this was one of a kind. Legend tells that it was created over a thousand years ago by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian ever inducted into the Jedi Order.” — ―Kanan Jarrus and Fenn Rau, “Trials of the Darksaber,” Star Wars Rebels"

The Darksaber was a one-of-a-kind weapon that was already thousands of years old by the start of the Clone Wars. The black-bladed lightsaber was crafted by the first Mandalorian to join the Jedi Order, Tarre Vizsla.

Even though the Jedi kept the weapon in their temple after he passed, it didn’t stay there forever. During Old Republic conflict between the Jedi and the Mandalorians, House Vizsla liberated and reclaimed the saber.

Generations of Vizsla warriors kept the Darksaber in their possession. Even after Mandalore abandoned its warrior traditions in favor of pacifism, Pre Vizsla held onto the weapon. That was only the beginning of all the terrible things that would happen while the saber exchanged hands over the decades that followed.

The Darksaber first appeared in “The Mandalore Plot” in the second season of The Clone Wars. Once Pre Vizsla was revealed as the leader of Death Watch, he used the weapon to take down his New Mandalorian opponents. He even engaged in a duel with famed Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi using the ancient blade.

The Darksaber helped Vizsla lead a coup on Mandalore, and he quickly seized control of the planet from Duchess Satine and became its unofficial leader. That is, until Maul came along.

Maul became the leader of Death Watch when he defeated Vizsla and rightfully claimed the Darksaber. He would go on to use the weapon to murder Duchess Satine Kryze in an attempt at revenge toward Kenobi before using the saber to spread even more violence across the galaxy.