The Vibroweapons In The Mandalorian Explained

The Mandalorian is back, baby, and the Easter eggs are coming in hot and fast. In the first episode of season two alone, we saw [spoiler redacted], the return of fan-favorite original trilogy character [spoiler redacted], and even an unexpected Anakin Skywalker Easter egg in the form of [spoiler redacted]'s [spoiler redacted].

In the opening moments of Chapter 9, Mando and his young ward head into a seedy fight club, looking for leads on other Mandalorians. Inside, audiences are treated to a glimpse at the sport of kings, the sweet science, known as "two Gamorreans smacking each other with axes." Eagle-eyed viewers will have noticed that the weapons the big green lugs are wielding seem sort of peculiar. It's subtle, but if you look hard enough, you'll see that their blades keep emanating giant clouds of blue-grey energy any time they make contact.

Any nerd worth their beskar can tell you that this visual quirk stems from a special modification. The Gamorreans are using vibro-axes, modified Star Wars weapons that never really got their share of the spotlight in the movies, but which extended universe fans know pretty well. On paper, they're powerful tools of destruction, capable of tearing most species to shreds. In practice, they're the answer to the question "How do we let non-Jedi characters have sword fights with their lightsaber-swinging colleagues?"

Those vibroweapons will mess you up

According to Wookieepedia, vibroweapons first popped up in the 1980 novel Han Solo and the Lost Legacy, a since-retconned entry in the Star Wars Legends continuity. Across books, comics, cartoons, and video games, they've popped up in a plethora of forms: vibroblades, vibrowhips, vibromaces, and even vibroknucklers (which are roughly exactly what they sound like) have been used by heroes and villains to varying degrees of success over the years.

They work by utilizing a series of high-frequency sonic pulses, channeled through the business end of an armament. When done right, the addition of a vibro-generator to a melee weapon turns it into a devastating tool. What would be a light scratch can turn into a deadly, gaping wound. Adding a cortosis-weave to the mix would make a weapon capable of deflecting lightsaber blades, which, short of a Death Star-proof umbrella, made them the last word in intergalactic home defense.

Vibroweapons have been a staple of Star Wars lore for decades, making especially prominent appearances in the Knights of the Old Republic games and spin-off media. In some continuities, they've been outlawed thanks to their ability to mess a sentient being's day right up. Interestingly, some variations on vibroweapons have even been capable of slicing through advanced personal armors, meaning that their presence in The Mandalorian might be reason for Mando to think twice about jumping into hairy situations. Then again, with Moff Gideon waving around the Darksaber, maybe they're just what our hero will wind up needing at the end of The Mandalorian's second season.