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What is the Darksaber? Breaking down 'The Mandalorian's mysterious lightsaber

Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Giddeon wielding the darksaber.
Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Giddeon wielding the darksaber. (Image credit: Disney+)

So, you watched Season 1 of The Mandalorian and have some questions about Moff Giddeon's fancy weapon that everyone freaked out about. You've come to the right place. That fancy little number is known as the Darksaber, and it plays a huge part in Mandalorian lore and culture. Whole wars were fought over the weapon. Factions divided, peace threatened, the whole nine. The Mandalorians were a warrior culture, making their weaponry some of their most prized possessions, and no weapon was as treasured as this one.

What is the Darksaber?

The short answer? We don't really know. Obviously, it's a lightsaber, but it doesn't appear to be created of kyber crystals like the standard issue Jedi Knight weapon. This raises even more questions, because the kyber crystals are what make lightsabers the Jedi weapon of choice. The crystals are attuned to the Force, making their connection to the Jedi - and the Sith - more powerful.

The best description we've gotten was from StarWars.com, noting that the blade is made of a "swirling dark energy." Ok, Star Wars, we still have questions! What kind of energy? How is it powered? You know what kind of nerds you're dealing with here! 

All the same, perhaps The Mandalorian will shed more light on the mysterious weapon.

What's the blade's history?

Though the Mandalorians fought a near-constant war with the Jedi Knights, a native from Mandalore eventually became one of the most honored warriors in the galaxy. Tarre Vizsla became one of the younglings when he was, well, young, and eventually grew to create the one-of-a-kind blade. Fenn Rau taught us more about the blade's connection to Mandalorian lore in an old Star Wars Rebels episode.

“Legend tells that it was created over 1,000 years ago by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian ever inducted into the Jedi Order. After his passing, the Jedi kept the saber in their temple. That was, until members of House Vizsla snuck in and liberated it.”

House Vizsla ties back to the Galactic Civil War. After Mandalore was destroyed by the Mandalorian's own thirst for conquest, factions were formed. Satine Kryze became the Duchess of Mandalore, bringing with her a new pacifist rule. That didn't sit well with House Vizsla, then led by Pre Vizsla. The Old Mandalorians thought pacifism equated to weakness, and they were willing to stop at nothing to get their (ravaged) planet back.

In the end, Pre Vizsla would not be able to defeat Duchess Satine. That victory would go to another villain taking refuge on Mandalore. (Check out The Clone Wars if you want more on this little story.)

Who's wielded the Darksaber in the past?

Some minor spoilers for The Clone Wars and Rebels below. 

The Darksaber has been wielded by quite a few members of the Star Wars mythos, at least by lightsaber standards. Obviously, you're aware of Moff Giddeon if you're reading this, Tarre Vizsla is the blade's creator, so he got to play with it for a while as well, but several more have been tempted by the weapon's power. Some stole it, others killed for it, and few were given the blade willingly. Here's who's possessed the weapon throughout history.

  • Tarre Vizsla (creator)
  • Pre Vizsla
  • (Former Darth) Maul
  • Sabine Wren
  • Kanan Jarrus
  • Bo-Katan Kryze
  • Moff Giddeon