In all of Star Wars, there is only one lightsaber that has its own name: the enigmatic Darksaber. Come to think of it, a black lightsaber should not even exist at all, black being the actual absence of light.
However, this is sci-fi, and there are far stranger things that subsist without logic in this universe. To sweeten the deal, Star Wars fans are treated to a rich, extensive historic lore explaining the Darksaber.
Aside from the red and blue variations, there is very little explanation provided for lightsabers and their colors. This has conjured a massive opportunity for speculation and theorizing about what each color means. This is not the case for the Darksaber.
So instead of coming up with unlikely guesses about its significance and history, all we can do is marvel at such a work of art.
The Enigmatic Black Lightsaber in Star Wars
The Darksaber has a unique look which features a thin, flat blade that’s shorter than your usual lightsaber. In fact, this elegant weapon resembles a traditional sword more than a lightsaber. It is also shorter and has a curved, tapered endpoint.
If you listen closely everytime the Darksaber is wielded by Mandalorians, you will find out that even the sound this weapon makes is different from the usual lightsabers. For one, it emits a higher-pitched sound when drawn and swung, and an electrical cackle when it comes in contact with another blade, instead of the usual low hum we hear when Jedi lightsabers are deflected.
Oh, and did we mention there is literally only one Darksaber in canon existence? This says a lot about what the Darksaber signifies. But first, a little history of how it came to be.
The First Mandalorian Jedi
We begin with Tarre Vizsla. He is a Force-sensitive human who became the first Mandalorian to ever be inducted in the Jedi Order. As we all know, it is a rite of passage for young padawans to forge their own lightsabers as they become more and more attuned to the Force.
Tarre Vizsla created this unique weapon for himself, which was kept in the Jedi Temple after his passing. This was back in the days of the Old Republic. Following the fall of this faction, members of House Vizsla took the darksaber and used it to unite all of Mandalore.
In a complete turnaround of Tarre Vizsla’s legacy as the first Mandalorian Jedi, the Darksaber he created became a symbol of leadership in Mandalore. Think of it as a flag, which makes Mandalorians swell with patriotic pride wherever they see it.
In effect, the black lightsaber was used to kill many Jedis, especially at the hands of terrorist faction leader Pre Visla. At one point, the darksaber was even used to threaten the life of Obi-wan Kenobi.
However, it didn’t stay with the Vizslas for very long.
The Elder Wand of Star Wars
The Darksaber’s legacy took a wild turn when Darth Maul obliterated Pre Vizsla, and claimed the Darksaber for himself. He continued to use it for many subsequent wars, including the second battle of Dathomir. That’s where the Mandalorian rebel and weapons master Sabine Wren found it and rightfully gained it after defeating a viceroy in duel.
Another notable character who has wielded the darksaber include Bo-Katan Kryze, who led the Mandalorians against the Empire after Wren passed the black lightsaber on to him– so Bo-Katan could rebuild Mandalore from the ashes of a troubled past.
As you may have noticed in this brief history, there is only one way to gain rightful ownership of the only Darksaber in the universe: to defeat its previous wielder in combat. This reminds multi-stans of a certain Elder Wand in Harry Potter, whose ownership is only transferred by killing its previous owner.
The implications are of no small nature. Anyone who wields the Darksaber falls into a cycle of self-obsession and insecurity.
Obliterating the saber’s previous owner gives a fleeting sensation of inflated self-worth, which soon turns into the inevitable feeling of impending doom, knowing that at any point, someone else might try to go for your neck to claim the darksaber as their own.
Thus, the owner of a Darksaber is thought to be self-obsessed and irrationally careful.
The Fall of Mandalore
Bo-Katan Kryze is not the last character we see wielding the infamous darksaber. In fact, one of the most talked-about twists in The Mandalorian series was Moff Gideon emerging from the rubble, wielding a black-colored lightsaber.
Since the timeline of The Mandalorian exists separate and currently unhinged from canon, it is unclear how Gideon got hold of what is considered to be the most important artifact in Mandalorian history.
Considering the great deal of importance given to the darksaber in canon, (Cue Darth Maul and his dramatic claiming of the weapon) it is highly likely that Moff Gideon had a hand in The Great Purge, which killed many members of the proud race and destroyed the civilization they tried to hard to build. In other words, Moff’s appearance with the dark-bladed weapon is a symbol that Mandalore has fallen.
The huge reveal at the end of Season 1 that not only is Gideon alive, but is still very much in possession of the Darksaber may be a hint for us to expect a deeper dive into the Mandalorian history and culture, come Season 2.
There is too much build up around the darksaber, that the only plausible expectation to have is that soon enough, someone with strong ties to Mandalore will show up to defeat Gideon in battle, therefore taking the Darksaber back to where it truly belonged.
It may not be too far-fetched to expect an appearance from Sabine Wren, who, according to traditionalists, is still the rightful owner of the darksaber. Remember that she passed it on to Bo-Katan, even though the latter never obliterated her in combat.
She might be the unlikely heroine to defeat Moff in the animated series, what with reports saying Season 2 will incorporate characters from both the original trilogy and earlier cartoons as well.
If so, we might find out more details about the enigmatic darksaber and its painful history– come October 2020.