"The Mandalorian": Bleeding Cool's (Ongoing) Glossary of Terms/Phrases You Should Know [PART 10]
With the end of the first season of The Mandalorian, Disney+ has completed an extremely successful launch of an instantly successful streaming service. New episodes of the series will be coming in fall of 2020 thanks to the streamer knowing they had a hit on their hands even before the series or the service launched; showrunner Jon Favreau was working on scripts months before the first season debut and started shooting a month before the November launch of the series.
The series has distinguished itself in several ways. The memes featuring The Child are legion; for a series of crazy cycles, news outlets seemed to believe that there was actual news value in reporting the reason that Disney would not have toys in the stores for Christmas featuring the little one. Phrases like "This is the way" and "I have spoken" seemed to flood social media and become familiar catchphrases almost the moment they were on the screen. It's predictable that these phrases feel weighty and notable in the series. The series is a paean to visual filmmaking. There are long stretches where no dialogue is used to convey events or the emotion of a scene.
That said, there are some words and phrases that deserve some discussion. The Star Wars galaxy's 42 years' worth of history means that there is a lot of source material to draw from, and producer Dave Filoni loves to include deep cuts (the nine previous entries in our glossary series are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).
● Death Watch: Mandalorian clan with a distinctive tri-pronged sigil whose members rescues The Mandalorian when he is a child, saving his life from a B2 Super Battle Droid attack. This clan borrows its clan sigil from that of its leader, Tor Vizsla. The sigil is meant to represent a diving Shriek-hawk.
Death Watch has a storied history going back to the Clone Wars. As depicted in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Death Watch was at various times allied with the Separatists as well as various underworld groups. The upcoming final season of Clone Wars will depict the Siege of Mandalore which no doubt involves Death Watch heavily.
● Bacta: A suspension of two bacteria in a liquid, bacta is used to heal wounds. First depicted in The Empire Strikes Back as a large tank where Luke is submerged to help him heal from the Wampa attack and extreme cold exposure, bacta is known to regenerate tissue, nerves, and skin. In Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, we see that Darth Vader is sometimes submerged in a similar vat of bacta in his castle on Mustafar. Bacta can be applied using patches, sprays such as that used by IG-11 to heal The Mandalorian, and in a rather novel application, in bombs where mass healing is required.
● Darksaber: Laser sword with a black blade that has a long history in Mandalorian culture. Created by Tarre Vizsla, the first person from Mandalore to be accepted into the Jedi Order, the sword has served as a powerful symbol of leadership of the Mandalorian people for generations. It was inherited by the leader of Clan Vizsla for nearly a thousand years and wielded by Pre Vizsla (a role played in Star Wars: The Clone Wars by Favreau, who also created The Mandalorian series) during the Clone Wars.
The sword functions much like a lightsaber and is able to cut through metal similar to its Jedi counterparts. It can parry a lightsaber but has a slight attraction to the blades of other sabers whereas other blades seem to repel one another. Given the long history and symbology among the Mandalorian people of the darksaber, Moff Gideon wielding it will likely not be greeted with any appreciation at all should it come to light that he has it (and the principle of Chekhov's lightsaber seems to indicate that they will indeed find out down the road).