(WARNING: Spoilers for The Mandalorian and The Rise of Skywalker will be found below.)
A good rule to remember when it comes to Star Wars is: you can kill the past, but you can’t kill a bad guy. It happened in both The Rise of Skywalker, where Palpatine returned to make his granddaughter’s life miserable (classic grandpa move), and in The Mandalorian season one finale. With some help from his new jetpack (they fly now), Mando, er, Din Djarin takes out Moff Gideon’s TIE fighter, seemingly killing him in the process. Nope. In the final moments of the episode, we see Moff exit his ship, scaring some curious Jawas in the process, using his… it looks like a lightsaber, but not quite.
So, what is it? The Darksaber, obviously. Let me explain.
The black-bladed Darksaber was created by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian to join the Jedi Order; following his death, the weapon, which had been kept in the Jedi Temple, was stolen by Clan Vizsla, who used it to kill Jedis. It was later possessed by Pre Vizsla, the leader of the terrorist organization Death Watch (they opposed Mandalore’s turn towards pacifism), but he lost it to Darth Maul during a duel to the death. From there, it kept changing hands (the complete dense history can be read here) before ending up with Bo-Katan Kryze, a character from The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels and the last known holder of the Darksaber before Moff Gideon. How did he acquire it?
That’s a mystery that will hopefully be answered soon, although it probably involves the Great Purge, when the Galactic Empire wiped out most of the Mandalorians. As Din attempts to reunite Baby Yoda with his kind, Moff Gideon will follow them, hoping to cut down the Mandalorian using the weapon that was forged by his own kind.
Season two can’t get here soon enough.