So far, The Mandalorian season 3 has been a surprising ride, resolving much of the lingering drama from season 2 and The Book of Boba Fett quicker than anyone had anticipated. And one of its biggest surprises has been how much narrative weight has been put on Bo-Katan Kryze (played by Katee Sackhoff), the fallen leader of the Mandalorians during the war against the Empire.
Veteran diehards of Star Wars animation are familiar with Bo-Katan and Mandalore’s troubled history. However, casual viewers and Star Wars fans who have limited themselves to the live-action side of the ever-growing franchise might be confused by some of the ideas and names being thrown around at the moment.
While we believe The Mandalorian bosses Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have done an excellent job so far at introducing stuff from the cartoons into the show, it’s true that some deep cuts may need further explaining. That’s where we come in with this article, which is supplementary to the extensive Everything you need to know about the Mandalorian home planet we posted a while back.
If you want to keep track of how much fan speculation is coming true in season 3, be sure to check out our brief list of hopes and theories (5 things we want to see in The Mandalorian Season 3) as well as the article on the other upcoming Star Wars TV shows you should be on the lookout for. It also seems like Disney and Lucasfilm are just getting started with Star Wars TV – we’ll probably learn more about upcoming Disney Plus projects during Star Wars Celebration 2023, coming to London in April 2023. This is the way.
Who is Bo-Katan Kryze?
Bo-Katan Kryze was a Mandalorian princess, daughter of Adonai Kryze, born into Clan and House Kryze. Red-haired and with light green eyes, she wasn’t too similar to her sister Satine, who was blonde and blue-eyed. Moreover, Bo-Katan was always more interested in Mandalore’s warrior past versus her sister’s idealistic views and peaceful hopes for New Mandalore.
As a member of the Nite Owls, Bo-Katan wore a set of Mandalorian armor painted blue and white, the traditional vambraces, and a Z-6 jetpack. In combat, her weapons of choice were two WESTAR-33 blaster pistols, complemented with a wrist laser, dart launchers, gauntlet blades, the classic whipcord launcher, and a combat plasma shield.
Bo-Katan: Early history
Bo-Katan Kryze was born on Mandalore because of House Kryze’s status as the royal family of Mandalore during the final years of the Republic. However, she spent most of her childhood on Kalevala, the home world of her house, located in the Mandalore system.
While her sister Satine focused on the political side of Mandalore from an early age, becoming the Duchess of Mandalore and advocating for pacifist teachings after their father died, Bo-Katan inherited a set of Mandalorian armor that had been passed down through several generations of her family, and took the Mandalorian Creed in the Living Waters located in the Mines of Mandalore. She believed there was nothing special about the Living Waters though.
At some point, however, she joined the radical Mandalorian terrorist group Death Watch in order to revive their civilization’s warring heritage, something that she strongly believed in as it related to her upbringing and was more than magic and legends.
Bo-Katan during The Clone Wars
Governor Pre Vizsla of Concordia, a moon of Mandalore, led the Death Watch even when they were exiled from the system. In 19 BBY (before the Battle of Yavin), and after a failed alliance with Count Dooku and his Confederacy of Independent Systems, Pre and Bo-Katan came across the former Sith lord Maul and his brother, Savage Opress. With their help and that of Maul’s Shadow Collective (consisting of several criminal syndicates), they plotted to reclaim Mandalore.
Satine’s democratic rule was overthrown, but Pre Vizsla’s rule was cut short when Maul challenged him to duel and won. Prime Minister Almec became a puppet leader, and the government was turned into an offense many Mandalorian loyalists, such as Bo-Katan, wouldn’t accept. Realizing they had made a terrible mistake, they liberated Satine from the royal prison and contacted Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, who was a good friend of the family and had faced Maul in the past, for help.
Kenobi was forced to come alone to Mandalore due to the planet’s neutrality in the larger Republic-Separatist war, and it wasn’t long before the Mandalorians loyal to Maul captured him. Maul killed Satine in revenge against Kenobi, who was later saved by Bo-Katan and her rebels.
The sole Kryze heir requested the Republic’s help to put an end to the new civil war engulfing the planet. The Siege of Mandalore, which happened right before Order 66 and the fall of the Jedi Order, was a success and ended with the Jedi Ahsoka Tano defeating Maul and driving him from the planet.
Bo-Katan effectively became the Lady of House Kryze and Regent of Mandalore, but her new position was short-lived, as she refused to answer to Emperor Palpatine’s Galactic Empire.
Bo-Katan during the Age of the Empire
Clan Saxon betrayed the Kryze heir and kicked her from the throne before pledging loyalty to the Empire. As a result, Gar Saxon became the Imperial Viceroy and Governor of Mandalore for almost two decades without interruptions.
In 2 BBY, Clan Wren of Krownest, an icy world in the Mandalore sector, chose to resist the Empire with the assistance of the Rebel cell Phoenix, throwing Mandalore into yet another civil war. Countess Ursa Wren killed Gar Saxon, who was then succeeded by his brother Tiber Saxon, who was also destroyed eventually alongside his star destroyer.
With Clan Wren’s approval and after some doubts which included Sabine Wren potentially taking on the responsibility, Bo-Katan accepted the mighty Darksaber, the weapon created by the first Mandalorian who became a Jedi, Tarre Vizsla, and united the Mandalorian clans to fight against the Empire. Her support wasn’t universal, though, as she had accepted the Darksaber as a gift instead of winning it in combat like tradition dictated.
The Empire realized they’d never be able to control the Mandalorians nor occupy their planet, so the “Great Purge” was launched against Mandalore. The operation resulted in a massive genocide, and Bo-Katan also lost the Darksaber to Moff Gideon.
It’d take a few years and the fall of the Galactic Empire after the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, but Bo-Katan and her Nite Owls formulated a plan to reclaim the weapon from the Moff, now leader of an Imperial remnant, and rebuild Mandalore.
Bo-Katan after the fall of the Empire
Around 9 ABY, Bo-Katan and her team met the Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin and his Force-sensitive foundling on the estuary moon of Kol Iben, Trask. With Din’s help, the group easily stole a shipment of Imperial weapons and captured an entire Gozanti-class cruiser.
Shortly afterwards, Din recruited Bo-Katan and her comrade Koska Reeves to rescue the foundling – now known to be named Grogu – from Moff Gideon. Although they secured victory inside Gideon’s light cruiser, Din unknowingly won the Darksaber from the Imperial warlord. The Kryze heir refused to take it from the bounty hunter, as she believed Mandalore was lost to the Empire because the Darksaber had been gifted to her and she failed to completely unite their people.
Season 3 of The Mandalorian begins shortly after these events and three key episodes that, for some weird reason, were part of The Book of Boba Fett. So, if you haven’t started watching yet, go can now go ahead with a clear idea of who Bo-Katan is, her history, and just her entire deal – you’re all prepped and ready to enjoy season 3 of The Mandalorian and watch her journey unfold.
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Fran Ruiz is our resident Star Wars guy. His hunger for movies and TV series is only matched by his love for video games. He got a BA of English Studies, focusing on English Literature, from the University of Malaga, in Spain, as well as a Master's Degree in English Studies, Multilingual and Intercultural Communication. On top of writing features and other longform articles for Space.com since 2021, he is a frequent collaborator of VG247 and other gaming sites. He also serves as associate editor over at Star Wars News Net and its sister site, Movie News Net.