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SYFY WIRE The Mandalorian

Giancarlo Esposito: Moff Gideon's Darksaber plays 'key' role in Mandalorian Season 2

By Josh Grossberg
The Mandalorian Moff Gideon

Call it Tales of the Darksaber. After scoring an Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama category for his turn as Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian, Giancarlo Esposito opened up about his mysterious new Star Wars villain and previewed just how important his darksaber will be to future storylines.

When last we saw Moff Gideon in Disney+'s hit series, he had crash landed his tie-fighter in the season finale, but managed to escape using the power of his fantastically cool-looking jet-black lightsaber, an ancient weapon that looms large in the expanded Star Wars mythology.

According to Esposito, fans will learn more about the origins of the famed darksaber as it plays a central role in Season 2 of The Mandalorian, which just nabbed a Jabba-sized 15 Emmy nods this morning.

"You’ll see more of the darksaber, you’ll get the explanation of this ancient weapon to the modern world, a collapsed world," the actor told Deadline. "Where did this saber come from and how was it revived? It’s a key in our second season, which will be back sooner than later."

Moff Gideon, of course, is an Imperial governor whom Mandalorian mastermind Jon Favreau deftly set up in a cliffhanger to be the titular bounty hunter's foil in upcoming adventures. And Esposito teased that this intimidating sidearm will explain much about his character's motivation and what he's planning to do after the fall of the Empire.

"[The darksaber] is a key to Moff Gideon’s past, which possibly has a lot to do with where he comes from and his desire to build a planet and bring it back together,” added the thesp.

Esposito's  previous Emmy nominations came for playing drug kingpin Gus Fring in AMC's Breaking Bad, for which he earned two, and spinoff Better Call Saul, which also garnered him one this year for Best Supporting Actor in addition to his nod for The Mandalorian.

SYFY Wire first looked into this legendary weapon of the Dark Side when it first turned up on an episode of Star Wars: Rebels three years ago.

As series lore has it, the darksaber was forged some 1,000 years ago by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian member of the Jedi order (which makes sense because Mandalorians love forging things).

The only one of its kind, the darksaber was passed down through the generations until it was stolen by some Mandalorian leaders, one of whom was Pre Vizsla who used it to keep various guild factions in line. Vizla, however, was killed by Darth Maul who wielded it for his own ends until it fell into the hands of Sabine Wren.

A female Mandalorian warrior, Wren deployed the darksaber in the early rebellion against the Emperor in hopes of freeing her people on her home world of Mandalore. Sabine helped unite various Mandalorian clans when she swore allegiance to fellow Mandalorian, Bo-Katan Kryze.

How Moff Gideon came to possess it will likely be answered when the second season of The Mandalorian premieres sometime in the fall on Disney+.