Spoilers ahead for The Mandalorian season finale. Moff Gideon was clearly a powerful and ruthless member of the Empire even before The Mandalorian revealed his numerous crimes. But fans have been given another reason to fear Moff Gideon — the Darksaber, revealed in The Mandalorian finale. The Darksaber hasn't been featured in any of the Star Wars films, but fans of Star Wars video games, comics, and the animated shows The Clone Wars and Rebels recognize it as a formidable weapon with connections to the Mandalorians as well as the Jedi.
In the finale, Mando had seemingly killed the former governor of the Galactic Empire. But, just as he escaped his execution for war crimes, Moff Gideon survived, cutting through his fallen ship with a unique lightsaber. While that final moment of The Mandalorian Season 1 was pretty epic in its own right, fans of the extended universe of Star Wars were pumped for another reason. That lightsaber Moff Gideon had is no ordinary lightsaber. It's the one and only Darksaber that was created a millennium ago by the first Mandalorian to become a Jedi, Tarre Vizsla.
The weapon was first introduced in The Clone Wars Season 2, wielded by the character Pre Vizsla when he began a civil war among the Mandalorians. He wanted to take control of the planet Mandalore away from Duchess Satine Kryze's pacifist government of the New Mandalorians. When facing off with Obi-Wan Kenobi, who fought for Satine, Pre Vizsla brought out the unnamed Darksaber. "For generations, my ancestors fought proudly as warriors against the Jedi," Pre Vizsla said. "This lightsaber was stolen from your Jedi Temple by my ancestors during the fall of the Old Republic. Since then, many Jedi have died upon its blade."
Pre Vizsla eventually assumed control of Mandalore after he joined forces with the Sith. But Siths don't make for loyal allies and Darth Maul killed Pre Vizsla and took the Darksaber for himself in Season 5's "Shades of Reason." And it's worth noting that The Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau and executive producer Dave Filoni were very involved in this plot — Favreau voiced Pre Vizsla in The Clone Wars and Filoni acted as supervising director for the animated series.
The backstory of the Darksaber was more directly outlined in Rebels, another animated Star Wars show that Filoni had a hand in creating. In the Season 3 episode "Trials of the Darksaber," the Mandalorian Fenn Rau explained how the Jedi Tarre Vizsla had created the saber. When he died, the saber was stored in the Jedi Temple until Vizsla's ancestors took it back and united the Mandalores with it. Even though Pre Vizsla eventually used it to tear apart the Mandalorians, the weapon was still revered by the people.
As for how the Darksaber ended up in Moff Gideon's hands, it probably occurred during the second Mandalorian Civil War in the year 2 BBY (about a decade before the events of The Mandalorian) when the Mandalorian Sabine Wren wielded the Darksaber for good against the evil Empire. Sabine then passed it on to Bo-Katan Kryze and somehow the non-Mandalorion Moff Gideon took control of the weapon, most likely during the Great Purge of Mandalore. As Mando explained, Moff Gideon was an Imperial Security Bureau (ISB) officer during the purge where most of the Mandalorians were killed.
While it is not good news that Moff Gideon has the Darksaber, fans who are well-versed in this aspect of the franchise are still excited to see this weapon in action. As for what it means for The Mandalorian, Mando could be the warrior who takes this weapon back for his people — with a little help from his Force-wielding buddy Baby Yoda, of course. First though, Mando and Baby Yoda will need to survive Moff Gideon's attacks. But if anyone can defeat this Imperial governor, it's a Mandalorian and a baby Jedi.