The Darksaber is an ancient black-bladed lightsaber constructed by Mandalorian Jedi Tarre Vizsla. A single-bladed lightsaber, the Darksaber emits an unusually shaped blade with a short, flat, sword-like appearance. According to Star Wars Canon, Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian Jedi, constructs the Darksaber sometime before 1019 BBY.
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Darksaber Traits and Characteristics
The archaic Darksaber differs from a standard cylindrical lightsaber in many ways. Unlike cylindrical hilts, the flat, rectangular Darksaber hilt features an angular pommel and a handguard near the slit-shaped emitter. Additionally, the Darksaber’s blade is much shorter, thinner, and flatter in appearance that a standard lightsaber blade. The Darksaber blade makes a higher pitched hum than other lightsabers as well. The Darksaber blade, which is black, is an extremely rare lightsaber blade color.
In addition to serving as a tangible weapon, Mandalorians revere the Darksaber as a symbol of leadership. Mandalorian tradition stipulates that the only legitimate way to obtain the Darksaber is to defeat the previous owner in combat.
After being passed down through generations of Mandalorians, Tarre Vizsla’s decendent Pre Vizsla acquires the Darksaber by 21 BBY. Pre Vizsla serves as the leader of Death Watch, a Mandalorian splinter group, and House Vizsla during the Clone Wars. Maul, a non-Mandalorian, duels, defeats, and executes Pre Vizsla, claiming both the Darksaber and, controversially, the leadership of Death Watch.
After defeating Pre Vizsla and claiming the Darksaber, Maul uses the weapon in many Clone Wars era battles and revenge plots. Mauls uses Darksaber to kill Duchess Satine Kryze as revenge against Obi-Wan Kenobi, to duel with his former master, Darth Sidious, to fight General Grievous and to duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu, and Aayla Secura. During the reign of the Galactic Empire, Maul stores the Darksaber in the Nightsisters lair on the planet Dathomir.
In 2 BBY, while hunting down Maul, the Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren discovers the Darksaber on Dathomir. Initially hesitant to use the weapon herself, Jedi Kanan Jarrus briefly possesses the weapon. Jarrus and Mandalorian Protector Fenn Rau convince Wren to wield the Darksaber in order to unite the Mandalorian people and inspire them to join the rebellion against the Galactic Empire. Wren earns the right to wield the weapon after defeating Mandalorian Viceroy Gar Saxon in a duel.
Wren begins seeking a Mandalorian successor worthy of wielding the Darksaber. Bo-Katan Kryze, a Mandalorian leader and sister of Duchess Satine Kryze, takes the mantle of the Darksaber with the permission of Sabine Wren. Kryze’s acceptance of the Darksaber unites several Mandalorian clans.
Moff Gideon acquires the Darksaber sometime before 9 ABY. Gideon uses the weapon to cut his way out of his wreaked TIE Outlander fighter following an encounter with the Mandalorian Dinn Djarin.
List of Darksaber Owners
• Tarre Vizsla (Darksaber creator)
• Pre Vizsla
• Darth Maul
• Kanan Jarrus (briefly)
• Sabine Wren
• Bo-Katan Kryze
• Moff Gideon
Behind the Scenes
The Darksaber first appears in Star Wars Canon in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series episode “The Mandalore Plot” (Season 2, Episode 12). The episode aired on January 29, 2010.
Pre Vizsla was originally slated to wield a vibrodagger in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series. Per the request of George Lucas, however, the show’s creative team altered the original vibrodagger concept, developing an ancient, black-bladed lightsaber for Vizsla to wield instead.
The Darksaber makes its first live-action appearance in Star Wars Canon in The Mandalorian Disney+ series episode “Chapter 8: Redemption” (Season 1, Episode 8). The episode aired on December 27, 2020. Series antagonist Moff Gideon is shown using the Darksaber to cut his way out of his wreaked TIE Outlander fighter in the final moments of the episode.
Darksaber in Real Life
Rubie’s Costume Co makes The Clone Wars Pre Vizsla Darksaber, a light up, plastic, officially licensed costume accessory. In February 2020, Hasbro unveiled The Mandalorian Darksaber Electronic Lightsaber, the first ever officially licensed toy version of the Darksaber. Hasbro plans to release the toy in 2020. Higher-end Darksaber collectibles include a Star Wars: The Black Series Mandalorian Darksaber Force FX Elite Lightsaber and the Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge exclusive Darksaber legacy lightsaber.
Several unlicensed, Darksaber inspired custom lightsabers exist. The custom Shadowblade is one of the most widely available designs. Kaizen Saber previously released a limited run hilt called Darksai. Nerfworxlab is developing a 2020 run called Darkstar. Additionally, Ripper Blades makes custom, Darksaber style, flat acrylic lightsaber blades.
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COVER IMAGE CREDIT Lucasfilm/Disney
Image depicts Mandalorian Sabine Wren wielding the Darksaber.