One of the biggest surprises of the season one finale of “The Mandalorian” was the reveal that Moff Gideon now possesses the fabled Mandalorian dark saber. The saber has passed through several hands before coming into Gideon’s possession, including these four previous owners.
Tarre Vizsla was the first Mandalorian to ever be inducted into the Jedi Order. Legend says that he created the dark saber, which would eventually become the symbol of leadership for House Vizsla on Mandalore. After leaving the Jedi Order, Vizsla would go on to become the ruler of Mandalore and posses the saber until his death. After his death, the saber was kept in the Jedi temple, until it was reclaimed by members of House Vizsla during the fall of The Old Republic.
For a time, during his quest for revenge against Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth maul teamed up with the Death Watch, a splinter group rebelling against the pacifists who ruled Mandalore during the events of the prequel trilogy. However, when Death Watch’s leader, Pre Vizsla betrayed Maul, Maul challenged him to a duel and defeated him, claiming both the dark saber and the allegiance of part of the Death Watch. Maul was the de facto leader of Mandalore for a time and continued to wield the dark saber in numerous conflicts, including a battle with his former master Darth Sidious.
During the events of “Star Wars Rebels,” Mandalorian weapons expert, Sabine Wren, retrieved the dark saber from the Nightsister lair on Dathomir, Maul’s homeworld. Jedi Knight, Kanan Jarrus, trained Sabine to use the dark saber. Sabine used the weapon to defeat Viceroy Saxon as part of her attempt to secure her family’s support for the rebellion, making her the rightful wielder of the weapon by Mandalorian custom.
Bo-Katan Kryze was the sister of Satine Kryze, the former Duchess of Mandalore, who was murdered by Darth Maul. Sabine Wren gave her the dark saber in the hopes that the divided Mandalorians would unite behind her as their leader.
It remains unknown how the dark saber passed from Bo-Katan’s possession to Moff Gideon’s. It is possible he may have defeated her in combat and taken the weapon, or he may have simply found it or taken it from someone else during the Great Purge. This mystery is sure to be one of the most anticipated storylines of season 2.