This Star Wars article contains spoilers.
A few well-known characters from other parts of the Star Wars saga have already appeared in The Mandalorian season 2, including infamous bounty hunter Boba Fett and Timothy Olyphant’s Tatooine marshal Cobb Vanth. Next up is Bo-Katan Kryze, the character voiced by Battlestar Galactica star Katee Sackhoff in The Clone Wars and Rebels, who reveals in the episode “The Heiress” that she’s on a mission to take back Mandalore from what’s left of the Empire.
A Mandalorian soldier who fought to unify her people as an independent society connected to their warrior ideals, Bo-Katan participated in the Clone Wars as well as the rebellion against the Empire in the early days of the Galactic Civil War. Her return in The Mandalorian has some major implications for the future of the show as well as its central character, who doesn’t believe that Mandalore can ever be reclaimed.
With The Clone Wars, Rebels, and The Mandalorian all dealing with the political footing of Bo-Katan’s people, she could easily become the pin that holds these three different stories together. Here’s a look at how she fits into The Mandalorian and what her return means for the future of Star Wars:
Who Is Bo-Katan?
As the last-known Mand’alor, Bo-Katan is the rightful holder of the Darksaber, the symbolic weapon of the leader of the Mandalorian people. But at some point, the Empire ravaged Mandalore’s surface during a Great Purge, which scattered the remaining Mandalorians across the galaxy and sent them into hiding. It might have been during this time that Bo-Katan also lost the Darksaber to Imperial Moff Gideon, who is seen holding the weapon in The Mandalorian season 1 finale.
A stern warrior, Bo-Katan has a deep affection for Mandalorian heritage and a wary eye toward outsiders. She came to power in a tumultuous time. During the Clone Wars, Bo-Katan switches sides at just the right moment to influence Mandalore’s role in the war. Her role in The Clone Wars is first as a leading member of the militant Mandalorian faction Death Watch, who want to connect with ancient Mandalorian tradition and build up their planet’s military might. During his stint as a crime lord, Maul saw this group as the muscle he needed to grow his criminal empire. In an effort to make Mandalore his base of operations, Maul killed Bo-Katan’s sister, Duchess Satine Kryze, and takes over the planet.
Bo-Katan had been willing to cause unrest against her sister’s government when it was for the Death Watch cause but drew the line at Maul killing her kin and installing himself on the Mandalorian throne. In The Clone Wars season 7, she asked the Republic for help in subduing Maul and returning peace to Mandalore. We saw as Ahsoka Tano and her clone troopers freed the planet and captured Maul. At the time, it seemed Mandalore could enjoy peace once again. As fans of Rebels know, this peace didn’t last very long.
Fast forward several years to Rebels and Bo-Katan was still trying to free Mandalore, this time working with the Rebel Alliance to rid the planet of the Empire. In the Rebels season 4 episode “Heroes of Mandalore,” the Mandalorian resistance and the rebels succeeded in freeing the planet, and Bo-Katan was named Mand’alor and given the Darksaber. At last, she could lead her people to a brighter future…
How Does She Connect to The Mandalorian?
We know that the victory Bo-Katan and the people of Mandalore enjoyed in Rebels didn’t last. Five years after Return of the Jedi, what was left of the Mandalorian culture had been was now scattered in the Outer Rim, once great warriors now underground refugees. By the time of The Mandalorian, Din operates as a bounty hunter while the rest of his people are in hiding.
This raises some questions about what happened to Bo-Katan during the Great Purge and where she went after her people fell on Mandalore. With so much focus on Mandalorian history, the live-action series will undoubtedly fill in a few blanks about Bo-Katan’s past and where she’s been since the end of the war.
Beyond being the apparently deposed leader of the Mandalorians, Bo-Katan has another very personal stake in the story. The Darksaber rightfully belongs to her, and she’s clearly on a quest to get it back in The Mandalorian season 2. With it in hand, Bo-Katan could rally what’s left of her people against the Imperial remnant to restore Mandalorian independence once and for all.
But The Mandalorian doesn’t focus on galactic politics as much as The Clone Wars did, instead telling Djarin’s individual story with a tighter focus. By the end of “The Heiress,” it seems that Bo-Katan’s retaking of Mandalore could be a big event that happens off-screen while The Mandalorian sticks to its much more intimate story. That said, we could definitely see Bo-Katan get the Darksaber back on the show since she specifically references the blade and Gideon in her debut. A bit of foreshadowing for the duel to come.
What Does Bo-Katan’s Return Mean for the Show?
Sackhoff is no stranger to live-action science fiction and it’s exciting to finally see her in-person in a Star Wars story, wearing the very cool Nite Owl armor herself. And she brings with her a major clue in Mando’s search for Baby Yoda’s people, the “ancient sorcerers” known as the Jedi. By the end of “The Heiress,” Bo-Katan, like Ben Kenobi before her, points the protagonist to a legendary Jedi Knight who can help him on his quest.
Bo-Katan reveals that fan-favorite Jedi hero Ahsoka Tano is in the city of Calodan on the forest planet of Corvus, a new location we’ve never seen before. Why Ahsoka is there is not exactly clear and it remains to be seen whether finding her will really be as easy as asking around Calodan. So far, that’s helped Mando find other Mandalorians but Jedi are far more elusive, especially at a time when there aren’t all that many left in the galaxy.
While it doesn’t seem like Sackhoff will stick around as a recurring character for the rest of the season, as she flies off to execute the next step in her mission to take back Mandalore and the Darksaber, she’s already proved to be a key character in Mando’s quest. We always expected she would be.