The Mandalorian: What Is Death Watch?

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The Mandalorian does not only focus on Din Djarin and Grogu but also shows us other Mandalorians. The final part of season 3 of The Mandalorian focuses on the quest to take back Mandalore, and that was when a familiar Mandalorian group’s name became a short topic among the Mandalorians. One of the Mandalorian survivors mentioned Death Watch after learning how the Armorer survived the Great Purge of Mandalore. So, what is Death Watch?

Death Watch was a terrorist group that operated during the Clone Wars when Pre Vizsla led a group of traditional Mandalorians to cripple the New Mandalorian government of Duchess Satine Kryze and bring back the warrior ways of the Mandalorians. 

We haven’t heard the name “Death Watch” in a very long time already, but it was nice to hear it getting mentioned in the events of The Mandalorian for what seems to be the first time. Of course, there should be a good reason why Death Watch was brought up in episode 7. But for now, let’s learn more about Death Watch and what happened to this group.

Death Watch Explained

The events that transpired in Star Wars: Clone Wars added many different things to the canon storyline of Star Wars. Of course, one of the most interesting storylines in Clone Wars was the conflict in Mandalore, a thriving civilization at that time. This storyline starts with Obi-Wan Kenobi meeting up with an old flame in Duchess Satine Kryze, the sister of Bo-Katan Kryze. At that time, Mandalore was ruled by the New Mandalorians, who turned their backs on the warrior ways of the Mandalorians and focused more on becoming pacifists.

It was the Mandalorian Civil War that ushered in the age of the New Mandalorians. However, the traditional Mandalorians who believed in the old ways still lurked behind the shadows. One of the reasons why the Jedi went to Mandalore was the fact that there were terrorists that were stirring up trouble, and this group was called Death Watch.

pre vizsla.jpeg

At first, Death Watch operated secretly and was led by Pre Vizsla, a high-ranking official in the New Mandalorian government. However, it became apparent that this group would not keep itself a secret for a long time because Vizsla and the Death Watch went public. Their goal was to oppose Duchess Satine’s pacifist government. And even though her sister was the leader of New Mandalore, Bo-Katan Kryze served as one of the lieutenants under Vizsla.

However, Darth Maul and his Shadow Collective started working with Death Watch to oppose the New Mandalorian government and even bring down Duchess Satine’s rule. Maul killed Satine before Obi-Wan to make the Jedi Master suffer for what he did to him all those years ago. Maul eventually fought Vizsla for the right to command Death Watch, which only listened to whoever possessed the Darksaber, a family heritage in House Vizsla because it once belonged to Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian Jedi.

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When Maul killed Pre Vizsla and took control of Death Watch, Bo-Katan and a few other Mandalorians loyal to Pre rebelled and refused to recognize Maul as the new leader of the Mandalorians. As such, Death Watch became a part of Maul’s Shadow Collective after it split into two main groups. The first group was Maul’s Mandalorian super commandos, while the second group was the Nite Owls that worked with Bo-Katan.

Bo-Katan eventually asked Ahsoka Tano to help her free her people from Maul and his Shadow Collective. This led to the Siege of Mandalore, which allowed the Jedi and the Republic forces to defeat and capture Darth Maul. After Maul’s defeat, Bo-Katan was made the new Regent of Mandalore. However, her regency was not peaceful because the Empire quickly overtook Mandalore after the Republic transitioned. 

How Is Death Watch Connected to The Mandalorian?

The reason why we are bringing Death Watch up here is that it was mentioned during the events of episode 7 of season 3 of The Mandalorian. We know that almost everything included in The Mandalorian has a deeper meaning and has a reason for being mentioned. That means that the fact that Death Watch was mentioned briefly could also have a deeper meaning and relevance.

Death Watch was mentioned after Bo-Katan’s scouting group found survivors on Mandalore. While on the ship of the survivors, they were talking about the things that happened during the Great Purge around a decade ago. One of the survivors asked how Armorer and her group survived the Purge.

death watch conversation

However, the Armorer said they weren’t on Mandalore then because they were on the moon of Concordia, which was the territory of Pre Vizsla. That was when another survivor asked if the Armorer was a member of Death Watch, to which she replied that Death Watch was no more because it had already split into different groups that fought one another. In that regard, the Armorer may have admitted she was once a part of Death Watch.

Of course, we also know that Bo-Katan was also on Death Watch in the past and was actually one of the most trusted lieutenants working under Pre Vizsla. But Kryze opposed Death Watch and decided to leave it. However, we don’t know whether or not the Armorer stayed loyal to Death Watch, as it is possible that she worked for Darth Maul. This probably explains why her helmet is similar to the ones that Maul’s super commandos wore and resembles Maul’s horned head.

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The Armorer’s Death Watch past could have a bigger effect than some think. We know that she previously said that Bo-Katan was the reason why the Mandalorians were a divided people. She must have been alluding to the fact that Kryze rejected Maul’s leadership even though he was the rightful ruler of Mandalore when he won the Darksaber from Pre Vizsla. But the fact that the Armorer asked Bo-Katan to unite their people is somewhat mysterious as she used to harbor negative feelings for Mandalorians that were not part of her tribe.

As such, it is possible that Bo-Katan’s past actions when she left Death Watch would come back to haunt her if the Armorer was a spy that works for Moff Gideon. And that’s something that we just have to wait and see in the finale of The Mandalorian season 3.

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