ATTENTION: This article contains spoilers for The Mandalorian 2×03. We get to know Bo-Katan Kryze, one of the most tragic and gray characters in recent Star Wars history.
The Star Wars canon is chock full of characters that aren’t good, but aren’t necessarily bad either. The shades of gray that exist in the galaxy created by George Lucas were not always really defined so differently, beyond the illustrious presence of Mr. Han Solo, who despite being a scoundrel, was one with a good heart. Or maybe Lando Calrissian, a character who was put between a rock and a hard place in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
Over the years, Star Wars has received more characters that we can define as gray. Characters that are not pure and good like the Jedi (or how you want to give the impression that they are the Jedi), or bad, like the Empire (same case). In this way we arrive at Mandalore, a planet that has not had special relevance in the history of the Star Wars films., beyond some specific references, but that is crucial in the Expanded Universe.
To help you understand Mandalore, we are going to make a simile with Game of Thrones. The planet and its dominions is a regime where several clans / family houses rule with a system very similar (if not equal) to the feudal. Each clan is characterized by serving a type of ideals, although not always all members of a clan are one hundred percent faithful to the ideas of the rest of their family. This is where we will start talking about Bo-Katan Kryze.
A family broken by ideals
During the Clone Wars, the Kryze clan ruled Mandalore through Duchess Satine Kryze, an old acquaintance of Obi-Wan Kenobi (more than acquaintances), who is the visible head of a “new Mandalore” who embraces peace and se it departs from the old ideals of the Mandalorian culture where challenges and war are the way to prove that they are better than others. However, Bo-Katan sees a weakness in this style of “new Mandalorians”, something that becomes more evident when Satine declares Mandalore’s neutrality in the Clone Wars between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
Bo-Katan will separate himself from much of his family and join a group known as the Death Watch., an organization considered terrorist by his sister’s government and which is secretly run (initially) by Pre Vizsla, governor of Concordia, the moon of Mandalore, and a member of the legendary Vizsla clan. At this point in the story, Bo-Katan is depicted as a villain, well, not even that, as a Pre-Vizsla fan without more. He will even have a confrontation with Ahsoka Tano later on.
Vizsla will be discovered and outlawed by the Mandalore government with the help of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the Death Watch will continue to operate much more clandestinely to try to gain control of Mandalore. It will not be until season 5 of The Clone Wars when the arrival of Darth Maul and Savage Opress make it possible to destabilize the government of Satine Kryze enough to be able to take the throne in the face of the inaction of the Duchess, who now has no support. of the Republic for nothing.
However, Maul’s plans will be revealed when the Sith lord challenges Pre Vizsla and they have a brutal combat where Maul snatches the dark sword (of which we will now talk) and life from Pre Vizsla. Bo-Katan refuses to see an outsider on Mandalore’s throne and vows revenge. He will help his sister, Satine Kryze (here we will know her relationship) escape with the help of Obi-Wan. Sadly, they are caught and Satine will die executed by Darth Maul in an attempt to destroy Kenobi’s spirit.
A revenge that would take years to arrive
The death of Satine Kryze was an affront to Bo-Katan, who planned his revenge for a long time, although we would not see it materialize until the seventh season of The Cone Wars, which arrived in 2020. With the help of Ahsoka Tano and part of the 501st Legion, Mandalore is freed in the dying moments of the Clone Wars. Bo-Katan would regain the Mandalore throne, as well as the Vizsla clan’s dark sword, though Darth Maul would manage to escape (with the help of Ahsoka) when Order 66 came into being..
Then the Galactic Empire appears, and Darth Sidious’s ambitions to dominate Mandalore to control his beskar mines, one of the scarcest materials in the galaxy. The Great Purge claimed thousands of Mandalorian lives and enlisted the help of a specific Mandalorian clan, the Saxon clan., who faced the other clans with the support of the Empire and quickly overthrew Bo-Katan, who spent part of the Galactic Civil War in the shadows until she was found in Star Wars Rebels by Sabine Wren.
Much more than just a weapon
Let’s make a small paragraph to talk about the dark sword, or the dark saber as many of us prefer to call it (original name, Darksaber). This legendary weapon was created by Tarre Viszla, the first Mandalorian to join the Jedi Order, an unusual combination that clashes with the violent past that existed between the Mandalorians and the Jedi. We can use another simile to speak of the symbolism of the sword and compare it with Excalibur, the sword of King Arthur that symbolized almost more than the throne of Camelot itself.
Well, after countless generations in the Viszla clan, Pre Viszla lost her to Darth Maul almost at the same time as his life. Bo-Katan would briefly retrieve the weapon before it fell back into enemy hands. Eventually Sabine Wren would get her back and ultimately the sword would return to Bo-Katan’s hands in Star Wars Rebels, where the heiress of the Kryze clan is supposed to try to reconquer Mandalore for her people.
A conflict that is far from over
At this point we have no idea how Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) got the dark sword. We saw how the imperial officer brandished the Mandalorian-made weapon at the end of season 1 of The Mandalorian, something that caused more than one fan to explode his head. Now, Bo-Katan’s appearance in The Mandalorian 2×03 has placed the character played by Katee Sackhoff on the trail of the weapon he needs to unify his people.
Bo-Katan Kryze get some clues in the episode after threatening an Imperial officer who commands more than the entire First Order combined. She will be the one who puts Din Djarin on the trail of Ahsoka Tano, serving as a bridge to understand the nature of the Child (Baby Yoda) and the Jedi. But it is clear that the Mandalorians have quite a bit of trouble on their hands. There are still many ideologies between them that keep them apart, something that we have seen in the chapter of The Mandalorian.
Bo-Katan is going to have a job if he wants to reunify the Mandalorian people under one banner. So far we have left her on the trail of the dark sword with a good load of weapons to supply her followers. We’ll see if we see it again in this season or successive Star Wars series. Of course, if you ask me, I hope so, because the character of Katee Sackhoff has proven to be the most “badass” in this episode.
Broadly speaking, this is all you need to know about Bo-Katan Kryze. Of course, it is always better that you see The Clone Wars y Star Wars Rebels to enjoy all those nuances that cannot be enjoyed in a text and that will make you appreciate much more what has been seen in The Mandalorian 2×03.