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The Mandalorian: Why The Darksaber Twist Doesn't Actually Mean Much

This article contains spoilers for the Season 3 finale of "The Mandalorian," "Chapter 24: The Return"

To cap off a mixed bag of a season, the Disney+ "The Mandalorian" presented "Chapter 24: The Return" on April 19, 2023. The episode has everything "Star Wars" fans could want, from intense action to plenty of landmark revelations. One of the arguable highlights is the battle that pits Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), Grogu, and Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) against Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), which is jam-packed with memorable moments. Although, one such moment that sees Gideon destroy Kryze's coveted Darksaber isn't nearly as impactful as it should be.

As the ancestral weapon of the Mandalorian people, Gideon's crushing of the Darksaber should be a huge deal. In reality, it's not. Going back to "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) battle over Luke Skywalker's (Mark Hamill) legendary lightsaber only to break it in half. This should've been a major moment too, but "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" undercuts it by having Rey repair the saber and use it throughout the movie. With this precedent set, don't be surprised if the Darksaber is fixed up as well and utilized in future "Star Wars" tales.

This all speaks to a larger issue with "Star Wars" media as of late: an inability to disrupt the status quo.

Star Wars isn't very good at moving forward

While there's no indication that the Darksaber will return down the road, if it is repaired and brought back into the spotlight, it'll further highlight how desperate "Star Wars" productions are to keep things stagnant. It's as if there's little desire to change the status quo even if doing so would give fans new, interesting stories. For example, "The Mandalorian" Season 3 hosts the return of IG-11 (Taika Waititi) as IG-12, somewhat lessening the impact of his Season 1 sacrifice. Not to mention, in "The Rise of Skywalker," Luke's lightsaber is repaired, we're led to believe that Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) is dead only for him to be fine, and in an emotional scene, C-3PO's (Anthony Daniels) memory is wiped until R2-D2 restores it in seconds.

Thankfully, there are still some "Star Wars" stories out there willing to make earth-shattering changes to push their narratives in new directions. Surprisingly, "The Mandalorian" deserves credit in this regard, killing off Moff Gideon and his vats of clones in "Chapter 24: The Return." Another recent example comes from "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" Season 2, where Tech (Dee Bradley Baker) gave up his own life to save those of his allies from Imperial forces. "The Book of Boba Fett" also features the titular bounty hunter killing his old mentor-turned-rival, Cad Bane (Corey Burton and Dorian Kingi). Of course, this is the "Star Wars" universe, so who knows if these major character deaths will endure or somehow be wiped away in the coming years.

We'll have to wait and see if the Darksaber has a future in the "Star Wars" timeline. Given the franchise's track record with such things, odds are good fans haven't seen the last of it.