Welcome to Character Histories. In this series, I will look at the whole story of a character or group of characters from the Star Wars canon and try to give the main events. As I do this, I will also be letting you know where you can find this story (which I will put in yellow so that you can easily see and avoid that section if you want to avoid spoilers) so that you can find out the full details. I will look to stick to the details confirmed in canon, but will also make note of any information that I believe to be the case that may not have been expressly confirmed.
Today, I will be looking at a character who recently gained widespread attention with her appearance in season 2 of The Mandalorian, but had in face first graced our screens years earlier during The Clone Wars. No, I’m not talking about Ahsoka Tano, but instead I am referring to Bo-Katan Kryze.
There are many gaps in her history at the moment, which will hopefully be filled in time, but hopefully this will help those newer to the character learn her importance to Mandalore and realise the significance of some of the events of Chapter 16.
Bo-Katan Kryze was born some time before the Clone Wars. She had at least 2 siblings, including Satine, who went on to become Duchess of Mandalore. While Satine believed in a new pacifist Mandalore, Bo-Katan took pride in her people’s martial history, which eventually led to her joining the terrorist splinter group Death Watch.
Working for Death Watch, Bo-Katan became the right-hand lieutenant of their leader, Pre Vizsla, and led a group of warriors known as the Nite Owls.
From The Clone Wars season 4 episode 14 “A Friend in Need”
After being forced out of the Mandalore system, Death Watch established a base on the planet Carlac. While here, they entered into an alliance with Lux Bonteri of Alderaan, who was looking to get vengeance on Count Dooku – who had previously betrayed Death Watch – for his mother’s death. When Bonteri arrived on the planet with information regarding Dooku’s whereabouts, Bo-Katan went to meet him. Bonteri was accompanied by the Jedi padawan Ahsoka Tano and droid R2-D2, who were unaware of his alliance, so to keep them safe, he lied that Ahsoka was his betrothed. Bo-Katan took the trio to Death Watch’s camp.
The actions of Vizsla and the Death Watch against the native people led to Ahsoka revealing her identity as a Jedi and being taken captive, however R2-D2 and the droids Death Watch used for target practice fought back, and Tano, Bonteri and R2-D2 were able to flee back to his ship in the process. Bo-Katan and a few other warriors pursued them and she fought Tano in combat, but was bested and the trio escaped.
From The Clone Wars series 5 episodes 14 & 15 “Eminence” & “Shades of Reason”
Death Watch eventually came into contact with Darth Maul, when they found him and his brother Savage Opress close to death in an escape pod. Bo-Katan wanted to kill them, but Vizsla chose instead to take them to the Death Watch camp on Zanbar, where they helped the pair recover. Maul and Vizsla realised that they had a mutual enemy in Obi-Wan Kenobi, who had previously foiled Death Watch’s plans, and the pair agreed to an alliance, which the majority of Death Watch voted for, despite Bo-Katan’s reluctance.
As part of this alliance, Death Watch and the 2 Zabraks created the Shadow Collective, allying Death Watch with the major crime syndicates, including the Hutts, Pykes and Black Sun. Though Kryze played a large role in bringing the collective together, she still remained hesitant to trust Maul and Opress, though Vizsla told her in confidence that he intended to betray the brothers once they had secured Mandalore.
The Shadow Collective began to make moves on Mandalore, with the crime syndicates and the brothers attacking the capital of Sundari to make Duchess Satine look weak. After Vizsla addressed the people of Sundari and promised that Death Watch would protect them, he, Bo-Katan and their warriors successfully “subdued” and apprehended the criminals as well as Maul and Opress. With the local population now supporting Death watch, Pre Vizsla took his moment and broke into the Royal Palace with Bo-Katan and other members of Death Watch. Satine was arrested and Kryze announced to the crowds that their saviour, Pre Vizsla was the new Prime Minister of Mandalore.
When Maul came to the Palace, Bo-Katan and a number of other Death Watch warriors turned on the Sith lord at Vizsla’s command and arrested him. Maul and Opress broke out of prison, however, and Maul returned to the Palace, where he challenged Pre Vizsla to a duel for the leadership of Death Watch, which Vizsla was honour-bound to accept. Bo-Katan could only watch on as Maul defeated Vizsla and claimed the darksaber, using it to decapitate Vizsla.
With Vizsla dead and the darksaber now belonging to him, Maul declared himself the ruler of Death Watch. However, Bo-Katan and a number of Death Watch warriors refused to swear fealty to an outsider and were forced to flee, becoming the Mandalorian Loyalists.
From The Clone Wars season 5 episode 16 “The Lawless”
Bo-Katan and her loyalists broke Satine out of prison and attempted to help her escape. They were stopped by Maul’s Mandalorian super commandos, but Satine managed to send a request for help to the Jedi Temple.
This led to Kenobi coming alone – as Mandalore remained a neutral system, the Republic and Jedi could not get involved – but it was a trap and he was taken before Maul, who stabbed Satine and allowed her to die in Kenobi’s arms. The defeated Jedi was taken to be imprisoned, but Bo-katan and her loyalists freed him on the way. Pursued by more super commandos, the Mandalorian loyalists get Kenobi tot he dockyard, where other loyalists are already engaging Maul’s forces. Bo-Katan escorts Kenobi to a ship and tells him to inform the Republic about Maul’s takeover.
Kenobi had predicted that Maul’s takeover would lead to the Republic invading Mandalore, but that didn’t come to pass as Maul’s former master Darth Sidious had come to Mandalore, killed Opress and defeated Maul, taking him prisoner. Maul was freed by his Death Watch warriors and went back to leading the Shadow Collective, though not as brazenly openly.
Bo-Katan, her Nite Owls and other loyalists such as Ursa Wren continued operations, trying to get as much information as possible on Maul and his movements.
From The Clone Wars season 7 episodes 7 & 8 “Dangerous Debt” & Together Again
One such mission saw Bo-Katan, Ursa Wren and another Nite Owl on the Pyke homeworld of Obah Diah While there, they became aware of the actions of Ahsoka Tano as she tried to escape the Pykes along with her new friends Trace & Rafa Martez. Recognising Tano from their fight on Carlac, Bo-Katan chose to keep an eye on Tano, and the group followed Tano and the sisters back to the sisters’ repair shop on Level 1313 of Coruscant.
Bo-Katan approached Tano and explained that they had a common enemy, Maul, and asked Tano to join her. Tano accepted the offer and left with the Nite Owls.
The Siege of Mandalore
From The Clone Wars season 7 episodes 9-11 “Old Friends Not Forgotten”, “The Phantom Apprentice” and “Shattered”
As Bo-Katan and Tano made plans to retake Mandalore, they knew that they would need more forces in order to effectively lock down Sundari to prevent Maul escaping. They therefore reached out to Tano’s former master, Anakin Skywalker, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Though the Jedi were called aay to help rescue the Chancellor after his kidnap at the Battle of Coruscant, the 501ˢᵗ Legion were split in 2 and the newly created 332ⁿᵈ Division, under the command of the newly-promoted Commander Rex, were sent to assist in the Siege of Mandalore.
Under the command of Bo-Katan, Tano and Rex, the combined Mandalorian and Republic Forces successfully laid siege to Sundari. Maul’s forces were defeated, Maul himself was captured after being defeated in combat with Tano, and Bo-Katan became regent of Mandalore. Tano and Bo-Katan parted on good terms as the former escorted Maul back to Coruscant. While some of the 332ⁿᵈ went with Tano, many also remained to help secure the planet.
Rise of the Empire
This section is largely speculation as the details are not yet known.
Soon after Tano left, the Republic transitioned into the Empire, and the forces that were meant to help keep the peace became an occupation. Bo-Katan resisted alongside many Mandalorians, which resulted in her being forced to abdicate, and Clan Saxon taking control.
From Rebels season 4 episodes 1 & 2 “Heroes of Mandalore”
A couple of years before the Battle of Scarif, the Mandalorian outcast Sabine Wren – part of the Rebel Alliance’s Phoenix Squadron – came into possession of the Darksaber. This led to her returning to her family and convincing them to stand up to Clan Saxon, resulting in Ursa Wren killing Gar Saxon, the Imperial Viceroy and Governor of Mandalore. This began a new civil war on Mandalore.
Bo-Katan and her Nite Owls came to Wren’s aid during a skirmish at a prison outpost, and agreed to help their Rebellion. Wren did not believe that she was the right person to wield the Darksaber – and therefore rule Mandalore – so she offered the weapon to Bo-Katan, who declined due to her previous failure as Regent.
Bo-Katan helped Wren free her father from captivity, but as they did so, a number of their forces were killed by a new Imperial weapon called “The Duchess” – previously created by Sabine, who never expected it to be used against her people – and Arc Pulse Generator that targeted beskar armour and incinerated the wearers.
The Rebels devised a plan to infiltrate Tiber Saxon’s Star Destroyer and destroy The Duchess, as well as deleting records of it from the Imperial Database. Seeing that Wren was genuinely sorry for it’s creation and use against her people, Bo-Katan agreed to help. Working together, Bo-Katan and Sabine Wren successfully destroyed The Duchess, creating a chain reaction that destroyed the entire Star Destroyer, killing Tiber Saxon.
Back at the camp, Sabine again offered Bo-Katan the Darksaber, and with the support of Fenn Rau (the sole surviving Protector), Ursa Wren and representatives from numerous other clans, Bo-Katan this time accepted the weapon and her role as leader.
The Great Purge
This section is largely speculation, as all that is known is that the Empire retaliated with an event that became known as the Great Purge. It would appear that many Mandalorians were wiped out, with most survivors going into hiding, while the planet was left in such a bad state, many considered it uninhabitable.
It would appear that during this time, Bo-Katan lost possession of the Darksaber, which came to a Imperial Security Bureau Agent who would go on to become Moff Gideon – though it is currently unclear how the weapon changed hands.
My personal feeling is that this resulted in Bo-Katan feeling that she had not been worthy to lead, as she had not won the Darksaber in combat – the accepted way – and instead accepted it from Sabine Wren.
With the Empire gone – though remnants remained in the Outer Rim – following the destruction of the 2ⁿᵈ Death Star and the Battle of Jakku a year later, Bo-Katan turned her thoughts to reuniting the surviving Mandalorians to retake their planet.
Speculation: This is likely when Bo-Katan and Ahsoka Tano got back in contact, as Tano was MIA for much of the Galactic Civil War
From The Mandalorian Chapter 11: “The Heiress”
About 5 years after the Battle of Endor, Bo-Katan was on the Estuary moon of Trask along with her warriors Koska Reeves and Axe Woves. The trio were hitting Imperial transports to steal the weapons. The group came to the aid of the Mandalorian Din Djarin and his foundling, who were being attacked by Quarren on a boat. The trio took out the Quarren and rescued the pair, however Din was put off by the trio removing their helmets, leading to Bo-Katan’s realisation that Din had been raised by a cult called the Children of the Watch. Not believing her to be a true Mandalorian, Din flew away with his foundling.
The trio saved them again back at the dock, when another group of Quarren came looking for revenge for the loss of those on the boat, and Din agreed to have a drink with them. Din explained that he was on a mission to find a Jedi to train his foundling. Bo-Katan agreed to direct him to a Jedi, as long as he helped the trio infiltrate the next Imperial freighter first, explaining that it was carrying weapons to Moff Gideon’s remnant.
The four successfully infiltrated the ship and secured the weapons, before making it to the bridge just in time to stop the commander deliberately crashing the ship. Bo-Katan interrogated the commander as to the location of the Darksaber, however he told her that if she was asking, she already knew, before committing suicide.
Bo-Katan tried to convince Din to stay with her group, but he remained set on completing his mission, so she directed him to the city of Calodan on the planet Corvus, where he would find Ahsoka Tano.
From The Mandalorian Chapter 16: “The Rescue”
Djarin later tracked down Bo-Katan to request help rescuing his foundling, Grogu, who had been captured by Moff Gideon. Bo-Katan agreed and joined the team alongside Reeves, Boba Fett, Fennec Shand and Carasynthia Dune, under the proviso that she would get custody of Gideon’s command cruiser and the Darksaber, and most importantly that Moff Gideon would surrender to her.
Bo-Katan created the plan and along with Reeves, Shand and Dune, she created a diversion for Djarin by fighting their way to the bridge, allowing Djarin to make it to Grogu’s cell undetected. Bo-Katan had expected to find Moff Gideon on the bridge, but he was not there. She next saw him being escorted onto the bridge by Djarin, who was wielding the Darksaber – making it clear that Moff Gideon had surrendered to him.
Moff Gideon taunted her that she would have to now fight and kill Djarin in order to win the weapon. Djarin tried to hand her the weapon but she refused to accept it, while Moff Gideon continued to goad her in front of the group that she would be a pretender if she accepted the weapon from Din. The situation went unresolved as Moff Gideon’s dark troopers infiltrated the ship and the group had to lock themselves in the bridge and prepare to fight, only for the Jedi Master Luke Skywalker to arrive. Bo-katan could only watch on as Skywalker single-handedly destroyed all of the droids, before leaving with Grogu to train him how to use the Force.
And so ends (for now at least) the story of Bo-Katan Kryze. I fully expect to see Bo-Katan as a major character in season 3 of The Mandalorian, as I feel that the show will now shift from Din looking after Grogu to helping take back Mandalore. I can’t wait to see what happens with the character of Bo-Katan and how the situation with the Darksaber is resolved – will Bo-Katan become an antagonist for Din, will she accept his rule or will she decide to accept the weapon as she did before with Sabine? I can’t wait to find out more!
What did you think of this history? Is there someone you would like to see me cover?
Thanks for reading. This is the Way…