*** Be warned that FULL SPOILERS ARE AHEAD, so if you haven’t watched this episode, don’t read this article. Trust me, you want to go into this one without spoilers. ***
It was reported earlier this year that Katee Sackhoff would be reprising the role of Bo-Katan Kryze for The Mandalorian, the live-action debut for the character. That happened in the third episode of this season, and it’s the second major story in which Bo-Katan has showed up this year.
It wouldn’t surprise me at all if there are plenty of people watching The Mandalorian who aren’t familiar with Bo-Katan, so I wanted to write an article explaining why people are so excited about her showing up. She was created for The Clone Wars and had a key role in the show, and later she made an appearance in Rebels as well. Earlier this year, when The Clone Wars returned for a seventh and final season, Bo-Katan played a major role in the incredible Siege of Mandalore arc. And now, she’s in The Mandalorian.
But who is Bo-Katan Kryze? I’m glad you asked!
Lady Bo-Katan Kryze was born into Clan Kryze and was the sister of Satine Kryze. Satine was the leader of Mandalore during the Clone Wars but refused to get involved in the war, maintaining pacifism. Bo-Katan didn’t hold to her sister’s ideals, thinking instead that they should embrace their warrior past, thus joining Death Watch – an outlawed terrorist group of Mandalorians under the leadership of Pre Vizsla.
At one point, the Death Watch were visited by Lux Bonteri and Ahsoka Tano at their base on Carlac, and Bo-Katan was skeptical of the young woman. When Ahsoka finally revealed herself to be a Jedi, she wound up fighting Bo-Katan and ultimately winning, which allowed her and Lux to escape.
Later, Bo-Katan and Death Watch found Maul and Savage Oppress and rescued them. They soon allied themselves with the Sith, and together they grew their Shadow Collective criminal syndicate to include the Hutts, the Pykes, Black Sun, and more. Under Maul’s leadership, the syndicate fought to take control of Mandalore – giving Death Watch the capitol, and giving Maul the chance to lure Obi-Wan Kenobi there by imprisoning Satine (an old love interest of Kenobi’s). But Bo-Katan and Death Watch turned on Maul, imprisoning him briefly before he escaped. Maul challenged Vizsla (who was in possession of the darksaber) to a lightsaber duel, and the Sith won, killing Vizsla, taking the darksaber, and establishing himself as Death Watch’s new leader. Bo-Katan and her Nite Owls resisted this, however, and fled.
They then rescued Satine from prison, with Bo-Katan telling her sister that the enemy of her enemy is her friend. But as they attempted to flee Satine was again captured by Maul’s forces – though not before getting a distress call off to the Jedi. Obi-Wan Kenobi responded – alone – to the call, but his rescue attempts were in vain: Maul killed Satine, leaving her to die in Kenobi’s arms. But as the Jedi was being taken to prison, Bo-Katan and the Nite Owls rescued him and helped him escape. Bo-Katan told Kenobi to spread word of the Civil War that had happened on Mandalore; Kenobi warned that it would mean a Republic invasion, but Bo-Katan reasoned that it was worth it if Mandalore survived and was rid of Maul’s rule.
Late in the war, Maul had resumed his control of Mandalore, and Bo-Katan and her Nite Owls spent time on the run trying to track his movements. That led them at one point to Oba Diah, the homeworld of the Pykes, where they spotted Ahsoka Tano – whom Bo-Katan recognized from their encounter on Carlac. They followed her back to Coruscant, where Bo-Katan recruited the Jedi to help her take down Maul on Mandalore. This led to Ahsoka reuniting with her former master, Anakin Skywalker, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, seeking to get their help and send a Republic invasion to capture Maul and liberate Mandalore. But before this could happen, the Jedi got word that General Grievous had attacked Coruscant, and they were forced to rush off to the capitol.
Anakin left Rex and part of the 501st with Ahsoka for the invasion of Mandalore. Ahsoka and Bo-Katan led their forces to attack Sundari, the Mandalorian capitol, and drove Maul’s forces into hiding. While Rex led his men against Maul’s Death Watch, Ahsoka dueled the Maul. Bo-Katan arrived with her forces to turn the tide against Death Watch, liberating Mandalore, while Ahsoka bested Maul and captured him.
Bo-Katan was established as the ruler of Mandalore in the aftermath, but it didn’t last long. Order 66 happened, and soon thereafter the Empire took over Mandalore. Clan Saxon allied themselves with the Empire and betrayed Kryze, leading to her being overthrown and the Empire establishing complete control of the world. Bo-Katan was once again on the run.
This would be the case for many years, until she met up with Sabine Wren and her friends. Sabine was in possession of the darksaber, and though she offered it to Kryze, her offer was rejected. But they fought together to liberate Sundari from Clan Saxon and the Empire, and in the aftermath Bo-Katan took the darksaber, intending to use it to reunite Mandalore. But at some point later, she lost possession of it and Imperial Moff Gideon came to possess it. This left Bo-Katan on the outside once again, and she and her Nite Owls spent time trying to steal weapons and resources to take back Mandalore – but for this Bo-Katan needed the darksaber.
And that’s when we meet her in The Mandalorian! She and two other Nite Owls rescue Din Djarin and the Child, then enlist his help to commandeer an Imperial cruiser. They faced much resistance from stormtroopers, but ultimately their mission was a success, as they stole the entire ship, which was filled with weapons, to continue building toward trying to retake Mandalore. As she parted ways with Djarin, she told him where he could find Ahsoka Tano.