Who is Bo-Katan Kryze in The Mandalorian season 2?

Bo Katan
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

watch the Mandalorian season 2 episode 1

(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

Remind yourself what's happened so far with our recap of The Mandalorian season 2 episode 1, The Mandalorian season 2 episode 2 and The Mandalorian season 2 episode 3.

Spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2 follow.

Sometimes it’s nice to see a familiar helmet. When a trio of Mandalorian warriors show up to rescue Mando and the Child from a bunch of angry fishermen in season 2 episode ‘The Heiress’, there’s more to them than initially meets the eye.

Their leader is the Bo-Katan Kryze, the eponymous heiress and a key figure in the history of Mandalore – the last to carry her family’s noble name. An important character in animated Star Wars shows The Clone Wars and Rebels, she’s been an insurgent and a ruler, and both an enemy and an ally to the Jedi.

After The Mandalorian season 2's first cliffhanger ending hinted at the return of another former wearer of beskar armor, Bo-Katan’s episode 3 appearance is another example of the hit Disney Plus show wholeheartedly embracing the wider mythology of that galaxy far, far away. Here we explain the importance of the character – and how Bo-Katan Kryze ties in to The Mandalorian’s story arc.

Who is Bo-Katan Kryze?

Bo-Katan is a Mandalorian warrior, the last of noble Clan Kryze line. Along with her associates, Koska Reeves and Axe Woves, she’s trying to restore Mandalore after the so-called “Purge”, where the Empire killed most of the Mandalorian people. The Imperials also hoarded most of the planet’s beskar, the metal Mandalorians use to construct their armor.

Koska Reeves The Mandalorian season 2

Bo-Katan's Mandalorian sidekick, Koska Reeves.  (Image credit: Disney)

Where have we seen Bo-Katan Kryze before?

Bo-Katan Kryze first appeared in season 4 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, when leaders from Republic and Separatists held peace talks on Mandalore – the planet was selected because of its neutral stance in the conflict. Bo-Katan went on to appear in subsequent seasons of The Clone Wars, and also turned up in Star Wars Rebels, set in the run-up to Star Wars: A New Hope.

Who plays Bo-Katan Kryze?

Bo Katan

Katee Sackhoff has now played Bo-Katan in both animation and live-action.  (Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Katee Sackhoff was a sci-fi legend before she ever set foot in that galaxy far, far away, playing Lt Kara ‘Starbuck’ Thrace over four seasons of the brilliant Battlestar Galactica reboot. She made her Star Wars debut voicing Bo-Katan Kryze in The Clone Wars, and returned to the role in Star Wars Rebels. The Mandalorian episode ‘The Heiress’ sees Sackhoff reprising the role in live action.

Why does Bo-Katan Kryze remove her helmet, even though it’s forbidden for Mandalorians?

Throughout The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, Bo-Katan Kryze and other Mandalorians were rarely shy about removing their helmets. Instead, it’s Din Djarin, aka Mando, who’s the outlier. On the estuary moon of Trask, Bo-Katan tells Djarin he’s a “Child of the Watch”, a member of a group of religious zealots who broke away from Mandalorian society, wishing to re-establish a more traditional way of life. Mando and the other members of the covert on Nevarro clearly follow the creed of the Children of the Watch.

How did Bo-Katan Kryze fit into the Clone Wars?

Although her sister, Duchess Satine Kryze (a former love interest of Obi-Wan Kenobi), was the pacificist ruler of Mandalore when the Republic/Separatist negotiations took place, Bo-Katan had chosen a very different path. As the leader of the Nite Owls (an elite unit of female warriors, whose insignia Bo-Katan wears on her helmet), Bo-Katan had fallen in with the militant Death Watch.

Led by Pre Vizsla (voiced by The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau), Death Watch fought to overthrow Satine to restore the planet’s militaristic ways. They were subsequently expelled from Mandalore.

Death Watch eventually ran into Maul and his brother, Savage Opress, and joined forces with the Darksiders, with the aim of “liberating” Mandalore. Maul subsequently recruited crime syndicates for his “Shadow Collective”, though Vizsla told Bo-Katan that he intended to turn on Maul when Mandalore was won.

When Death Watch took control of the planet, Maul seized the throne for himself and killed Vizsla. Bo-Katan refused to accept his rule and rescued Satine from her imprisonment. Obi-Wan arrived on Mandalore to help, but he was captured, along with Satine. When Satine was killed by Maul, Bo-Katan helped Obi-Wan to escape, and started gathering intelligence on Maul.

Some time later, she tracked down Ahsoka Tano and asked for her help in removing Maul. They called Obi-Wan, requesting Republic forces to move in and capture Maul.

The Clone Troopers came to their aid and were eventually victorious, imprisoning Maul. Bo-Katan was named regent of Mandalore.

What happened to Bo-Katan Kryze after the Clone Wars?

As the Republic became the Empire and the Clones executed Order 66, Bo-Katan refused to follow Imperial orders. She was removed from the throne, leaving Gar Saxon, a former member of Maul’s Shadow Collective, to became the Emperor’s Viceroy on Mandalore.

Many years later, as the Rebel Alliance started to grow in Star Wars Rebels, fellow Mandalorian Sabine Wren and her Ghost crew came to Mandalore with the aim of installing a new ruler. When their forces overthrew Imperial Governor Tiber Saxon (who’d inherited power from his late brother, Gar), Bo-Katan was installed as leader.

Why is Bo-Katan Kryze so interested in the darksaber?


(Image credit: Disney Plus)

Because it’s rightfully hers and she wants it back.

When Bo-Katan took on the mantle of Mandalorian leader (known as the Mand’alor), Sabine Wren presented her with the ceremonial Darksaber – a unique weapon previously carried by Pre-Vizsla. It was originally constructed by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian to join the Jedi Order.

At some point between the events of Star Wars Rebels and the Mandalorian (an 11-year time period that takes in the whole of the original Star Wars trilogy), the Empire’s Purge decimated Mandalore. Somehow the Imperial Security Bureau’s Moff Gideon got his hands on the weapon during this time.

How does Bo-Katan Kryze know so much about the Jedi?

The Mandalorians are instinctively suspicious about Jedi – in fact, they fought numerous wars against them, which explains why Bo-Katan was able to imprison (former Darth) Maul in a Force-proof prison in season 7 of The Clone Wars. But she had plenty of dealings with the Order throughout the Clone Wars and – despite numerous skirmishes along the way – she trusted Ahsoka Tano enough to ask for her help in removing a “common enemy”, Maul, from Mandalore.

When Tano departed to take Maul back to Coruscant – just before Palpatine initiated the Jedi slaughter of Order 66 – there a hard-earned mutual respect had developed. That explains why Bo-Katan is able to tell Din Djarin that Ahsoka is based in the city of Calodan on the forest planet of Corvus – and that he should say he was “sent by Bo-Katan”.

Episode 5 of The Mandalorian season 2 is written and directed by The Clone Wars overseer Dave Filoni – and that's when we're likely to see what happens next with Ahsoka.

New episodes of The Mandalorian are available to stream on Disney Plus every Friday.

Richard Edwards

Richard is a freelance journalist specialising in movies and TV, primarily of the sci-fi and fantasy variety. An early encounter with a certain galaxy far, far away started a lifelong love affair with outer space, and these days Richard's happiest geeking out about Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel and other long-running pop culture franchises. In a previous life he was editor of legendary sci-fi and fantasy magazine SFX, where he got to interview many of the biggest names in the business – though he'll always have a soft spot for Jeff Goldblum who (somewhat bizarrely) thought Richard's name was Winter.