Why The Mandalorian Struggles With The Darksaber But Moff Gideon Didn’t

The Book of Boba Fett episode 5 revealed Din Djarin is struggling to use the Darksaber - but why was Moff Gideon able to use it more easily?

The Book of Boba Fett episode 5 revealed Din Djarin struggles to wield the Darksaber – but it’s unclear why his enemy Moff Gideon didn’t have similar difficulties The Mandalorian season 2. The ancestral weapon of the ruler of Mandalore, the Darksaber was created by an ancient Mandalorian Jedi named Tarre Vizsla. Whoever wields the Darksaber is considered the rightful ruler of Mandalore, and traditionally it can only be won by conflict. However, this doesn’t explain the discrepancies between the blade’s two most prominent wielders.

The Mandalorians lost the Darksaber when the Empire launched a devastating attack on Mandalore, but it resurfaced years after Return of the Jedi – in the possession of Moff Gideon, leader of one Imperial Remnant that seems to have been based in the area around Tatooine. Din Djarin unwittingly claimed the Darksaber in The Mandalorian season 2, when he defeated Moff Gideon in a duel, although he was entirely unaware of the magnitude of his actions. But, as skilled as the Mandalorian may be with most weapons, he’s clearly not proficient with the Darksaber; the ancient weapon grows heavier as he uses it, and during one battle he accidentally clipped his own leg as he struggled to hold it. This, however, raises a serious question as to why Moff Gideon didn’t face similar problems.

In order to understand this, it’s first necessary to understand why the Darksaber grows heavier in combat. In the canon book Secrets of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker explained that using a lightsaber is less like swinging a sword and more like directing a current of power. This is why the best lightsaber-users are Force-sensitives; when they are attuned to the Force, their thoughts and actions become part of the same flow of energy, which is then directed through the kyber crystal and into the lightsaber’s blade. Moff Gideon was relentlessly focused on his goal, utterly dedicated to the re-establishment of the Empire, with no hint of doubt within him; he could therefore bond with the blade without any real difficulty. In contrast, Din Djarin’s mind is chaotic and undisciplined, torn between competing relationships and identities, unsure of his place in the galaxy or the cause he should stand for. Ironically, the more Din Djarin uses the Darksaber the greater those issues likely become, because he knows this weapon should be used by the ruler of the Mandalorians – and he doesn’t feel up to that task.

It’s interesting to note, though, that even Moff Gideon may well have felt some sense of weight when using the Darksaber. He held it in a double-handed grip, as though holding something quite heavy; what’s more, he tended to use the Darksaber almost like a sledgehammer, as though trying to pummel his opponent into submission beneath its weight. He’d certainly never trained in using it; Moff Gideon styled himself after Darth Vader, but he possessed none of the Dark Lord of the Sith’s expertise. He showed no knowledge of even basic sequences, let alone the specific lightsaber forms, and was unable to use the Darksaber defensively.

Fortunately, Din Djarin has powerful and skilled allies. As seen in The Book of Boba Fett episode 5, he clearly knows how to find his former ward Grogu – which means he knows where Luke Skywalker is. It’s quite possible Luke will give Din Djarin basic training in the use of the Darksaber, just as Ezra trained Sabine Wren in Star Wars Rebels. No doubt the story of the Darksaber will continue to be told in The Book of Boba Fett and The Mandalorian season 3.

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