In the most recent episode of The Book of Boba Fett, “Chapter 5: Return of the Mandalorian,” we see Din Djarin learning more about the darksaber from the Armorer.
Mandalorians know the saber well, as do Star Wars fans. The saber has received considerable attention in The Clone Wars and Rebels, being made by the Mandalorian Jedi Tarre Vizsla and serving as a symbol that can unite all of Mandalore. By the time of the Clone Wars, the saber was being wielded by Pre Vizsla, but the renegade Sith Lord Maul killed him and took possession of it. Many years later, Sabine Wren took the darksaber from Maul, and then rightly won it in combat by defeating Imperial regent Gar Saxon. She did not want to rule Mandalore but gave the saber to Bo-Katan Kryze, who attempted to unite the clans but failed, as Moff Gideon devastated the planet in the Night of a Thousand Tears, and he took the darksaber from Kryze, who had not won it properly. But in the rescue of Grogu, Din Djarin defeated Gideon and took the darksaber as his own, rightly claiming it.
Yet in The Book of Boba Fett, though he wields the darksaber, he does not fully understand its significance nor is he fully ready to accept all that it means for his destiny. The Armorer trains him to fight with it, and as Djarin struggles to do so, he speaks about how heavy the blade keeps growing (illustrated by him previously having wounded himself with it, and in the fight him struggling to lift it). He tells the Armorer that “it gets heavier with each move,” to which she responds, “That is because you are fighting against the blade. You should be fighting against your opponent.” She later tells him, “You are too weak to fight the darksaber. It will win if you fight against it. You cannot control it with your strength.”
In this scene, with the talk about the weight of the blade as a reluctant Mandalorian hero trains to fight with the darksaber, we are reminded of another very similar and familiar scene, one that takes place in what is among the best episodes of any Star Wars animated series ever made: “Trials of the Darksaber” in Rebels season three.
The episode centers entirely around Sabine Wren and her reluctance to pick up the sword because of all it means, struggling with her past and her future. Her father figure in the series, the Jedi Kanan Jarrus, trains her to fight with the darksaber, but even more than that, he helps her accept her past and embrace her future. It’s a brilliant episode, with superb storytelling, real emotion, and memorable music. And in the episode, Sabine also struggles with the weight of the saber.
It’s heavier than I thought,” she tells Kanan when igniting the blade. “Energy constantly flows through the crystal,” he responds. “You’re not fighting with a simple blade as much as you are directing a current of power. Your thoughts, your actions, they become energy. They flow through the crystal as well and become part of the blade.” As she grows more familiar with the saber, she says, “The blade feels lighter,” to which Kanan responds, “You’re connecting with it. It’s becoming a part of you.”
I think it’s really interesting to not only get focused attention on lightsaber training, but also to see what it look like for a non-Jedi to wield a lightsaber. To see Sabine Wren and Din Djarin both training to use the darksaber, and both struggling to embrace both its weight and its significance, makes for some really great storytelling potential. And it’s really cool to see how this moment from The Book of Boba Fett parallels such a great moment from Rebels.