The titular character in Disney’s “The Mandalorian” wouldn’t have made it to the end of Season 3 were it not for one character we’d previously seen in the animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” in the fourth season: Bo-Katan Kryze. Katee Sackhoff, who’d voiced the character of Bo-Katan in the animated show, reprised her role as the live-action version of the character in “The Mandalorian” for the first time in Season 2 Episode 11, titled “The Heiress.” Here, we explore the several struggles and hurdles that Bo-Katan endured in her journey to become the leader of Mandalore by the end of Season 3 and how she grew into her role as the newest ruler of the home planet of all Mandalorians.
When we first saw Bo-Katan, she flew in with her skeleton of Koska Reeves and Axes Woves to save a Mandalorian they didn’t know by fighting off Quarrens. Bo-Katan was a princess, the heiress to the planet all Mandalorians call home, and her days after the Clone Wars were spent trying to gather resources to seek out the Darksaber. This mythical weapon was used as the symbol of power wielded by every ruler of Mandalore, and having the Darksaber would give Bo-Katan the right to reclaim her hereditary throne as the leader of Mandalore. However, in her early days, Bo-Katan lacked the experience that a leader would need to rally an army behind them to reclaim a planet that has been rumored to be cursed. Although, unlike the man she’d just rescued, Bo-Katan was not insular and conservative; instead, she gladly offered a position to the Mandalorian with a small child in her crew as they went up against an empirical Gozanti freighter in order to gather weapons. She was fully aware that the other Mandalorian, who was a part of the Children of the Watch, didn’t approve of Bo-Katan casually removing her helmet.
Even if Bo-Katan wasn’t fully ready to lead an army by Season 2, she was an enormously capable fighter who led the assault on the Gozanti freighter and managed to capture the entire ship from the Stormtroopers and the Empire’s soldiers. From early on, it was clear that the heiress to Mandalore was an honorable fighter, never once refusing to help Din Djarin, aka Mando, and she was equally courageous from the start. She clarified from the start that Moff Gideon was to be brought to her and no one else because she’d made plans for him, but when she realized Gideon had tricked her and Mando by making him fight Gideon, she had every right to be upset if she wanted. By defeating Gideon, Mando had become the rightful claimant to the Darksaber and hence the future ruler of Mandalore. Watching the man she planned to help assume the role that was supposed to be hers would make anyone furious, but Bo-Katan didn’t let Mando face her wrath for stepping into Gideon’s ploy.
By the time Season three kicked off, things weren’t looking too great for Bo, as she was sitting all alone in a castle on the planet Kalevala, and when Mando showed up, she informed him that once she lost the Darksaber, her crew left her. It’s difficult not to feel bad for the would-be leader of Mandalore, who lost out on her chance to sit on her ancestral throne because of a twist of fate. She gave Mando the directions to the planet Mandalore and sent him on his way, but when his ship returned yet again, it seemed she wanted to get rid of the guest for good. However, every angry thought was wiped from her mind when she saw Mando’s little child, Grogu, being the only one on the ship. She immediately tracks the ship’s last location and fights through extreme odds to help Mando because he’s in trouble. She didn’t have any real reason to save a man who’d taken away her right to rule Mandalore, but she was raised like a princess, and she knew to value the life of every Mandalorian, irrespective of whether they were natives of the home planet or not. Additionally, she showed great skill with the Darksaber when taking down a strange monster that had overpowered Mando, exhibiting that she’d come a long way as a fighter too. After rescuing him, she accompanied him to the Living Waters, where Mando had to take a dip to atone for his sins, but he sank like a stone the moment he went into the water. Without a second thought, Bo-Katan followed, jumping straight into the water and rescuing the unconscious Mando.
Soon afterward, Bo-Katan was added to the guild of the Children of the Watch, and she even saved the son of Paz Vizsla, a descendant of Tar Vizsla, who’d used the Darksaber for the first time to unite the Mandalorians. Having proven herself countless times, Bo-Katan was trusted to bring in every other Mandalorian, irrespective of the fact that they didn’t walk the Way. She and Mando recruited her old crew after Bo-Katan defeated Axe Woves in a warrior’s challenge, and Mando announced that Bo was now the unanimous owner of the Darksaber because she’d defeated the captor of the owner of the Darksaber, aka Mando. When the leader of the Children of the Watch, the Armorer, chooses Bo-Katan to lead the mission to reclaim Mandalore, it’s all but agreed that she’d be the one to rule the planet. By now, she was much more used to making decisions and giving commands and had grown into the role of a leader that was expected of her.
On the planet Mandalore, Bo-Katan told Mando that people were following her because of the saber she was carrying; he corrected her, saying he was following her because he believed she could help the planet. She truly helped, saving as many of the Mandalorians as possible from the sudden attack of Moff Gideon and the Stormtroopers for the final showdown. In the ultimate clash between her nemesis Gideon and herself, Bo-Katan was beaten back when she spoke what could be the war cry for the next generation of Mandalorians: “Mandalorians are stronger together.” Mando and Bo-Katan jointly defeated Gideon, with a little help from Grogu, and thus led to the advent of a new age for Mandalore. Bo-Katan lit the fire for the Great Forge of Mandalore as every surviving member of the planet shouted, “For Mandalore!” in honor of their newest leader, Lady Bo-Katan of the Clan Kryze.