Is Bo-Katan Kryze a villain? No. Is she perfect? Absolutely not. But her arc in The Mandalorian Season 3 proves that sometimes, the final destination is worth the journey.
Star Wars is complicated. There are so many interwoven stories across so many different time periods that following one character across eras is sometimes a challenge. But storytellers have succeeded with Bo-Katan. She went from a questionable borderline antagonist to the hero in a long story of growth, loss, and change.
Many fans roll their eyes at Bo-Katan being classified as a “hero” because of her past ties to Death Watch. These criticisms point to her early appearances in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, when she fought alongside Pre Vizsla to return Mandalore to its war-driven foundations.
Bo-Katan aligned herself with Death Watch and participated in their deadly dealings — against their own people. That was bad. It was a bad thing.
Seeing where this character is at the end of The Mandalorian Season 3 makes her shady beginnings quite impactful. Despite the wrong ways she went about trying to “protect” Mandalore, its culture and history and the people associated with it, deep down, she always wanted Mandalorians to operate on a united front. She always wanted peace among her people.
She just didn’t know how to achieve that goal.
Until the finale of The Mandalorian Season 3, when it finally dawned on her that it was her approach to accomplishing the task that was flawed.
“Mandalorians are stronger together,” she sneered not long before Gideon met his fiery fate and Grogu saved her from the flames.
That’s it. That was the lesson Bo needed to learn all these years. The darksaber wasn’t what would ultimately unite the Mandalorian people. Mandalore itself wasn’t even the key. It was the Mandalorians themselves. Fighting for each other, not against one another. Sacrificing themselves to save the others, not to honor a name or a place or an ideal.
We’re so used to character growth occurring quickly, in one arc of a book or movie or one season of a show. We forget that Bo-Katan Kryze has been a character for over a decade. It took multiple Star Wars shows and many losses and hardships for her to get to where she is now. But she got there. She figured it out.
Our past wrongdoings cannot be undone. No one — especially not Bo herself — has forgotten what she has done. Where she has come from. Who she betrayed.
That does not mean she does not deserve her moment. To light The Forge once more, to declare once and for all that Mandalorians are one people, all fighting for the same rights, the same outcomes, the same abilities to take up space and exist in the universe.
She would not have grown to reach this point if she had not opened herself up to the possibility that Mandalorians can think and act differently and still call themselves Mandalorians.
It was a long journey. But she made it. She arrived.
All episodes of The Mandalorian Season 3 are available to stream on Disney+ now.
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