In “The Heiress,” The Mandalorian finally brought a fan-favorite animated series character from The Clone Wars and Rebels to live-action. Played by the brilliant Katee Sackhoff, Bo-Katan comes to life as a seasoned Mandalorian leader who is as deadly on the battlefield as she ever was. Joined by her Nite Owl lieutenants Koska Reeves and Axe Woves, Bo-Katan is on a mission to steal black market weapons from the Imperials stationed on the ocean moon of Trask, where she also runs into Din Djarin and Baby Yoda.
While we don’t learn much about what’s happened to Bo-Katan since we last saw her on Rebels, “The Heiress” reveals that she’s still trying to liberate Mandalore, a mission she’s been trying to accomplish since we first met her on The Clone Wars. This time, she hopes that the stolen weapons and the Mandalorians she’s assembled will be enough to take back her home planet from what’s left of the Empire.
Bo-Katan’s return has major implications for the status quo of the show, which revealed in season 1 that Mandalore had been ravaged by the Empire and that the remaining Mandalorians had been forced to scatter across the galaxy and go into hiding. To Din’s tribe, the Children of the Watch, the planet seems lost and cursed, but Bo-Katan and her group don’t share that view. We know one thing for sure: were she to actually retake Mandalore once and for all, this could mean that the Mandalorian people would no longer have to live in secret or fear persecution.
Of course, the last three times Bo-Katan “liberated” Mandalore, things didn’t exactly go as she envisioned. During the Clone Wars, Bo-Katan helped the extremist group Death Watch oust the planet’s pacifist government, which was led by her own sister Duchess Satine. But when former Sith lord Maul used the chaos to kill Satine and take the planet for himself, Bo-Katan had to turn to the Republic, once her enemy, to free the planet from its new ruler.
With the help of Ahsoka Tano and her clone troopers, Bo-Katan and her group of Mandalorian warriors were able to take back the planet from Maul and his puppet government at the end of The Clone Wars. Unfortunately, the Siege of Mandalore took place mere days before the Republic turned into the Empire, and when the transition happened, the planet fell under the control of the Emperor.
In Rebels, Bo-Katan once again led forces to take back Mandalore, which was engulfed in a civil war between the Imperial loyalist government and freedom fighters aided by the Rebel Alliance. Once again, the good guys seemed to claim victory, and Bo-Katan was named Mand’alor — the true leader of the Mandalorians per the race’s warrior traditions — and given the Darksaber, the most sacred Mandalorian weapon.
But at some point after that, the Empire led a Great Purge on Mandalore, a genocide that claimed the lives of most Mandalorians on the planet. The live-action series explores the aftermath of that tragedy but only in short snippets of exposition. We never get a full view of the situation on Mandalore, but according to Din and the Children of the Watch, there’s not much left to actually liberate on the planet anymore.
The point is that Bo-Katan has been at this for a very long time, so long that many fans have been wondering just how old the battle-hardened Mandalorian is by the time Din meets her on Trask. Unfortunately, we don’t know when exactly on the Star Wars timeline she was born. But her history does offer up some clues as to her age.
For one thing, she was already an adult when we first met her during the Clone Wars, which took place from 22 to 19 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin). Assuming she’s at least in her 20s during that war, she would have been in her 40s by the time Luke Skywalker took down the Death Star in A New Hope. Since The Mandalorian takes place around 9 ABY (After the Battle of Yavin), it’s likely that Bo-Katan is now in her late 40s or early 50s.
Some fans have suggested that Katee Sackhoff, who also voiced the character in the animated series, looks too young to play Bo-Katan in live-action. But Sackhoff turned 40 earlier this year, which would actually make her a pretty good fit to play this older version of Bo-Katan — if the character is indeed supposed to be in her 40s or 50s. Honestly, with such a talented sci-fi actor in the role of a beloved Star Wars character, who can really complain about Sackhoff making her on-screen debut in the galaxy far, far away?
Keep up with all The Mandalorian season 2 news here.