The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 5 has come and gone, and it injected a new sense of excitement within the Star Wars fandom. Reports whispered Lucasfilm's second live-action Disney+ series would serve as The Mandalorian Season 2.5, and it doesn’t seem like they were wrong. Din Djarin is back.
This new episode solely focused on Mando in the aftermath of obtaining the Darksaber and leaving Grogu in the more than capable hands of Luke Skywalker. The Mandalorian’s Season 2 finale certainly left fans stunned back in December 2021, treating fans to an emotional thrill.
However, the chapter also left audiences with lingering questions about Star Wars canon and Mandalorian mythology.
In the finale, titled “The Rescue,” Din Djarin defeated Moff Gideon in combat using a Beskar spear. In doing so, he took possession of the Darksaber from Gideon. The Darksaber was an ancient weapon created by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian Jedi.
Over the years, House Vizsla used the blade to defeat enemies of Mandalore and unify the other clans. The blade’s rich history symbolizes power amongst Mandalorians. Whoever wields it may lead Mandalore, but The Mandalorian revealed a slight catch to this belief.
In the episode, Din attempts to give the Darksaber to Bo-Katan Kryze, but Moff Gideon disclosed the tricky rules behind the possession of the blade:
“It must be won in battle. In order for her to wield the Darksaber again, she would need to defeat you in combat…The Darksaber doesn’t have power. The story does. Without that blade, she’s a pretender to the throne.”
Star Wars Rebels, however, tells a different story. Sabine Wren came across the Darksaber in Season 3 of the animated series. She trained with the sword in “Trials of the Darksaber.” Then, she earned its possession by dueling and defeating Gar Saxon.
Eventually, Sabine worked with Bo-Katan to free her father from Imperial imprisonment in the two-part Season 4 premiere. By the end of the episode, the Mandalorian clans united around Bo-Katan. Sabine gifted her the Darksaber, and everyone recognized her as the ruler of Mandalore.
This plot hole left many confused: how could Bo-Katan accept the Darksaber as a gift from Sabine Wren, but not accept it from Din Djarin? The Book of Boba Fett is here to solve everything…
Why Bo-Katan Didn't Accept The Mandalorian's Darksaber
In Chapter 5, “The Return of the Mandalorian,” the infamous Armorer offers important details about what happened to Bo-Katan and Mandalore after Rebels:
“She once laid claim to rule Mandalore based purely on blood and the sword you now possess. But it was gifted to her and not won by Creed. Bo-Katan Kryze was born of a mighty house, but they lost sight of the way. Her rule ended in tragedy. They lost their way, and we lost our world.”
Sometime after Bo-Katan received the Darksaber from Sabine Wren, the Empire realized its political maneuvers to maintain control of Mandalore were pointless. From this came the Great Purge.
Imperial forces launched a bombing raid against Mandalore, obliterating the capital city of Sundari and killing almost all the planet’s denizens in the Night of a Thousand Tears.
The Empire seized the beskar from Mandalore, as the Great Purge forced the remaining Mandalorians to scatter across the galaxy. This new information adds a completely new layer to Bo-Katan and Katee Sackhoff’s performance in The Mandalorian Season 2.
When Din offers Bo-Katan the Darksaber she remembers exactly what happened when she accepted the blade from Sabine in Rebels. In accepting the weapon she took the responsibility as leader of Mandalore and implicitly accepted the responsibility of a potential curse on the nation.
From the Armorer’s point of view, the curse came to fruition through the Great Purge and Night of a Thousand Tears. The Mandalorians were massacred and pushed to the brink of extinction. Their planet was lost.
Bo-Katan most likely blames herself for the destruction of Mandalore and the death of her people. She is burdened by her past, a past that defines her rule as illegitimate.
She broke from tradition when she accepted the saber from Sabine, and the cost was great. Now, Bo-Katan can’t bring herself to accept it from Din because, in her eyes, she would be making the same mistake all over again.
Not only did The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 5 fill this plot hole from The Mandalorian, but it added depth to Bo-Katan and her character development since she was introduced in The Clone Wars. However, this was not the only question the episode answered.
Helmet On or Helmet Off?
In Season 2 of The Mandalorian, audiences learned that Din Djarin was a child of the Watch.
Star Wars animation fans likely perked up upon hearing this phrase, as it was very similar to the sect known as Death Watch.
Death Watch was an extremist group of Mandalorians who opposed the pacifist regime spearheaded by Bo-Katan’s sister, Duchess Satine Kryze, during the Clone War. They were violent and believed that Mandalorians should follow the old warrior ways of Mandalore’s past.
This may sound extremely similar to the Watch (Din Djarin’s tribe) introduced in The Mandalorian. It was even revealed in Chapter 5 that the Children of the Watch were secluded on Mandalore’s moon, Concordia, during the time of the Great Purge.
This is the same moon Death Watch was exiled to, along with other Mandalorians who followed the ancient tradition of their people. Many rightfully assumed that Death Watch and Children of the Watch were one and the same.
But there was one key difference between the Children of the Watch and every other Mandalorian presented on-screen before 2019: the former never remove their helmets.
In The Clone Wars and Rebels, Mandalorians took their helmets off often. Even Death Watch took off their helmets numerous times. So what changed?
The Armorer notes how “those born of Mandalore strayed away from the path” and that the only survivors of the Great Purge were those cloistered on Concordia. As established earlier in this article, those who followed the ancient ways of Mandalore were exiled to that moon.
Death Watch was always a sect of extremists who followed the warrior heritage of the Mandalorians. After the Great Purge, perhaps the group became even more entrenched in this faith, evolving into the Watch depicted in The Mandalorian.
These events may have pushed them over the edge. This new, modified version of the faction would now follow Mandalorian tradition in a stricter manner than ever before, including never taking their helmets off.
Of course, the Children of the Watch could have always been an entirely separate group from Death Watch, and they were simply not mentioned in Star Wars until The Mandalorian.
Either way, it’s clear that, over time, Mandalorians became less and less stringent about their traditions. The Armorer believes their legacy was preserved after the Great Purge because they followed “the Way” of Mandalore and strictly adhered to the Creed.
This complex religious structure of Mandalore sets up a fascinating dynamic with the Mandalorians in our current timeline. Bo-Katan once belonged to Death Watch, though she eventually saw the error in their way.
Although the former regent of Mandalore still follows the warrior path of their ancestors, she was never as strict as the Watch. Now, according to the Armorer, she has faced consequences for not following the path.
How will this affect Bo-Katan moving forward? It remains to be seen.
But Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have brilliantly utilized these Disney+ shows to answer burning questions about Mandalorian legend and breathe to life a new context for many key elements of this universe.
Chapter 6 of The Book of Boba Fett premieres next Wednesday on Disney+.