The Darksaber: Star Wars’ black light laser sword, where it came from and what it has to do with The Mandalorian …

In the eighth and final episode of The Mandalorian’s first season on Disney+, the first live-action Star Wars TV series suddenly went where its animated ancestors have gone several times.

Spoilers follow for The Mandalorian.

In “Chapter 8: Redemption,” Giancarlo Esposito’s Moff Gideon defied apparent death when Din Djarin disabled his TIE fighter, leaving it burning and a tempting target for scrap-seeking Jawas. But the imposing Imperial Security Bureau official carved his way out of the crashed starfighter after his high-flying confrontation with the Mandalorian with an odd object: a black light lightsaber.

But this is no ordinary lightsaber. Considering Gideon’s confessed ties to the planet Mandalore and its misfortunes, it must be the Darksaber: a legendary artifact of the first Mandalorian Jedi, Tarre Vizsla, and passed down as a symbol of leadership by Clan Vizsla and later the extremist Death Watch faction when Mandalore is divided by civil war during its neutrality in the Clone Wars.

The Darksaber first appeared on screen in the CG-animated Clone Wars series, where it was wielded by a resurrected Darth Maul when he briefly conquers Mandalore (an underworld coup brutally cut short by his former master, Darth Sidious); it later appeared on the animated Rebels series, when Mandalorian maverick Sabine Wren has it thrust upon her in an attempt to unify her people against Imperial rule. And it’s on Rebels where its origin story is first told:

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away …

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