May 17, 2024

Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Season 3 of The Mandalorian.Last week’s episode the mandalorian Season 3, “The Foundling,” saw Din Djarin (Peter Pascal/Brendan Wayne/Lateef Crowder) has strained his ties to the Vizsla clan, one of the most important and powerful families in Mandalorian culture. When Ragnar was young (Wesley Kimmel) Din, Bo-Katan Kryze is kidnapped by a pterodactyl-like creature (Katee Sackhoff), and Paz Vizsla (Fletcher feature) lead a rescue team to save him. Eventually, the group defeats the beast and returns what they found to its hideout. For Paz, it’s a huge relief, as he reveals that Ragnar is his son.

We saw Ragnar join Clan Vizsla in the Season 3 premiere, “The Apostate,” but there was no indication that he was Paz’s son. Now, this new information helps us make sense of the entire Mandalorian social and power structure. Rescuing Ragnar is important not only to Paz, but to all the hidden ones, as his clan is one of the oldest and most traditional in Mandalore, and now he is their heir. Once powerful, the Vizslas ruled all of Mandalore in the distant past, but over the centuries they have lost most of their power, but they still retain their influence, and are as proud of their heritage as ever. They can be powerful allies for Din Djarin and Grogu, or their mortal enemies…and we know that too.

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Where does Clan Vizsla’s power come from?

Tarre Vizsla Darksaber
Image via Disney

The history of Mandalore is complex and multifaceted. For thousands of years, they kept their fighting ways, their traditions and their armor and helmets at all times. In this distant past they had many conflicts with the Jedi Order, but eventually a Mandalorian joined the Order, bringing a few years of peace between these two factions, who were constantly at odds with each other.

Tarre Vizsla was the leader—and probably the founder—of the Vizsla clan, and for some years he acted as a bridge between the Jedi and the Mandalorians. He was a powerful force user and attained the rank of Jedi Knight. During his time in the Order, he swam against the current by attuning to his culture and learning some of their ways. For example, he built a special variant of a lightsaber, the Darksaber. Its hilt is made of pure gorse, and it has a pitch-black blade, unlike normal lightsabers, it also has a white edge, which resembles a knife in its shape.

This did not last, however. Eventually, Tarre Vizsla left the Jedi Order and returned to Mandalore. Returning home, he united numerous clans and claimed the title Mand’alor, leader of the Mandalorian people. The Darksaber became a symbol of his authority, later the Mand’alor had to win the weapon in battle so they could claim it and the title, meaning Din Djarin still holds the weapon and title. Tarre Vizsla also consolidated the power of House Vizsla and created its own sub-clan, Clan Vizsla, which includes Paz, Ragnar and many others as direct descendants of the myth itself.

Clan Vizsla in the Clone Wars and Age of Empire

face vizsla

Despite their glorious past, Clan Vizsla also fought on the wrong side more than once, like the Clone Wars. Our first contact with them happened in The Clone Wars When Obi-Wan Kenobi becomes a Jedi Master (James Arnold Taylor) was sent to Mandalore to negotiate with their new democratic government, the New Mandalorians, and support them in the conflict. To understand their conditions, he traveled to the moon of Concordia, where a Mandalorian terrorist and fundamentalist group known as the Death Watch operated. Their leader wields the Darksaber and wants to destroy the New Mandalorians so that he can rule as the new Mand’alor. His name was – you guessed it – Pre Vizsla (Jon Favreau).

During the Clone Wars, Pre Vizsla first enlisted the help of the Separatists to fight the New Mandalorians but was betrayed by Count Dooku (Corey Burton). I’m still looking forward to defeating Duchess Satine Kryze (Anna Graves) and his New Mandalorians, then cut a deal with former Sith Lord Maul (Sam Witwer), who – you guessed it again – also betrayed him. In a duel, Maul defeated Pre Vizsla, gaining the Darksaber and the Mand’alor title, then killed Duchess Satine. The Death Watch then split into two factions: one pro-Maul, led by Gar Saxon (Ray Stevenson) and Rook Kast (Vanessa Marshall), and the Nite Owls, led by Bo-Katan, himself a former Death Watch. After a long civil war, Maul was defeated, but then came the Empire with the end of the Clone Wars.

During the Empire, Clan Vizsla was not as active as it once was, but their actions still echoed those of the Mandalorians. But House Vizsla was still important. Around this time, a Mandalorian warrior joined the Alliance Rebellion. Sabine Wren (Tiya Sircar) is a member of Clan Wren, a sub-clan of House Vizsla, and orchestrated the end of Mandala’s empire’s rule with the Phoenix Rebel Cell and Bo-Katan’s Nite Owls. He encountered the Darksaber and, upon defeating Gar Saxon (the current Imperial Governor) in battle, gave the weapon to Bo-Katan. Unfortunately, we know that’s not how possession of the sacred weapon works, which is one of the reasons the Mandalorians believe their home system fell to the Empire in the Night of a Thousand Tears directed by Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito). But the empire’s rule did not last forever, and when they fell, the Mandalorians found themselves leaderless and homeless again.

After the fall of the Clan Vizsla Empire

boba-fett-mandalorian-the-armorer-paz-viszla-darksaber book
Image via Lucasfilm

We only met one member of Clan Vizsla again the mandalorian season 1 When Din Djarin decides not to allow the Imperial Remnant experiment on Grogu, a major battle breaks out between the Nevarron Imperials and his hidden Mandalorian counterparts. Before long, however, he had to convince his friends and almost got himself into a fight with Paz Vizsla, who mocked him for revealing the hidden location.

Din and Paz rarely see each other, and have even fought a duel for possession of the Darksaber. Boba Fett’s book. However, it seems that Paz doesn’t meet the traitors of his Pre Vizsla ancestors. He is proud of his family name and believes in his right to the Darksaber, but has never considered betraying Creed or his fellow Mandalorians for his own benefit. Instead, he often puts his hidden needs and the rules of the Creed ahead of the Vizsla’s clan, despite his pride. Their support of Din in Nevarro and now Din’s support in “The Apostate” prove that they can act as allies despite their differences. Hopefully, they stay that way the rest of the time the mandalorian.

new episodes of the mandalorian come to Disney+ every Wednesday.

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