Disney Star Wars continues their tradition of breaking down characters and turning them into sad, hollow shells of themselves. The latest example comes via The Mandalorian and Katee Sackhoff’s Bo-Katan Kryze.
Mark Hamill famously coined the description of Rian Johnson and Disney Star Wars’ version of Luke Skywalker as Jake Skywalker.
In an interview ahead of the release of The Last Jedi, Hamill opined, “I said to Rian. I said, ‘Jedis don’t give up. I mean even if he had a problem he would maybe take a year to try and regroup. But if he made a mistake he would try and write that wrong.’ So right there we had a fundamental difference. But it’s not my story anymore. It’s somebody else’s story and Rian needed me to be a certain way to make the ending effective. ”
Hamill later stated, “That’s the whole crux of my problem. Luke would never say that, I’m sorry. Well, in this version, see. I’m talking about the George Lucas Star Wars. This is the next generation of Star Wars. So I almost had to think of Luke as another character. Maybe he’s Jake Skywalker. He’s not my Luke Skywalker, but I had to do what RIan wanted me to do because it serves the story well.”
This archetype continues with Bo-Katan Kryze. In the Season 3 premiere of The Mandalorian, Din Djarin takes a visit to the planet Kalevala, where Bo-Katan resides in an empty Mandalorian castle.
As for why the castle is empty, Kryze informs Djarin, “There is nothing left to join. … When I returned without the Darksaber, my forces melted away.” She goes on to inform that the fleet she stole is now “making their way through the galaxy as mercenaries.”
She then tells Djarin to lead the Mandalorians back to Mandalore given he still has the Darksaber. She instructs him, “Wave that thing around, and they’ll do whatever you say.”
When Djarin says she’s given up, she retorts, “Your cult gave up on Mandalore long before the Purge. Where were you then? The Children of the Watch and all the factions that came fractured and shattered our people. Go home. There’s nothing left.”
In The Mandalorian Season 2 Episode 3 “The Heiress” Bo-Katan was anything but defeated in her mind and soul. She informed Djarin, “Trask is a black market port. They’re staging weapons that have been bought and sold with the plunders of our planet. We’re seizing those weapons and using them to retake our home world.”
“Once we’ve done that, we’ll seat a new Mandalore on the throne,” she added.
In the Season 2 finale, Bo-Katan also informs Djarin, “Not all Mandalorians are bounty hunters. Some of us serve a higher purpose.”
After a brief fighting involving Boba Fett and Koska Reeves, Bo-Katan informs Djarin, “If you should manage to finish your quest, I would have you reconsider joining our efforts. Mandalorians have been in exile from our home world for far too long.” She then informs him she wants to kill Gideon and reclaim the Darksaber.
Clearly, Bo-Katan had not given up hope even without have the Darksaber. But now given she didn’t obtain it from Moff Gideon she’s fallen into despair. It makes no sense.
On top of the season premiere’s characterization contradicting the previous season’s characterization of the show, it is also trying to push the retcon that the Darksaber somehow holds a power over the people of Mandalore as Moff Gideon indicated in the Season 2 finale.
Gideon tells Djarin, “She can’t take it. It must be won in battle. In order for her to wield the Darksaber again, she would need to defeat you in combat.”
When Djarin attempts to give the Darksaber to Bo-Katan, Gideon retorts, “Oh, no. It doesn’t work that way. The Darksaber doesn’t have power. The story does. Without that blade, she’s a pretender to the throne.” Bo-Katan would then double down on this obvious lie saying, “He’s right.”
And indeed it is a lie and a massive continuity error for Star Wars. Bo-Katan originally wielded the Darksaber when she was gifted it by Sabine Wren during Star Wars Rebels.
Sabine tells Bo-Katan, “Now I understand why the saber came to me. It came to me so I could pass it to you.’
Bo-Katan responds, “I accept this sword for my sister, for my clan, and for all of Mandalore.” Clearly, the Darksaber does not have to be won in combat.
Even before Sabine Wren gave the Darksaber to Bo-Katan she gave it to her mother, Ursa, believing she could lead Clan Wren in uniting Mandalore and rebelling against the Empire.
However, her mother betrays her daughter and uses the Darksaber in negotiations with Gar Saxon in order to secure Sabine’s freedom. After coming into possession of the Darksaber Saxon labels Clan Wren as criminals harboring Rebels. A battle between Saxon’s pro-Imperial forces and Clan Wren breaks out. If the Darksaber united Mandalorians through its story Clan Wren wouldn’t have fought back against Gar Saxon.
To this point, before Sabine Wren ever came in possession of the weapon, Maul claimed the weapon by defeating Pre Vizsla in a duel while on Mandalore. After claiming the weapon and executing Viszla, Bo-Katan and her Nite Owl faction of the Death Watch instantly rebelled against Maul’s rule despite him having the Darksaber in his possession.
The justification at the time was that he was not a Mandalorian and thus could not rule Mandalorians. However, as noted above Clan Wren fought back against Gar Saxon despite him having the Darksaber in his possession.
Maybe the biggest point of contention with Darksaber continuity is that the planet had united under the rule of Bo-Katan’s sister, Satine, who did not wield the Darksaber at all.
The depiction of Bo-Katan Kryze and the rejection of Darksaber continuity shows The Mandalorian is just more of the same from Disney Star Wars: low quality deconstruction and demoralization.