6. Restoring The Old Ways
What happened to the Darksaber following the fall of the Old Republic is largely undocumented (or canonical) at the time of writing, however references and hints have been littered across other source materials.
But it wasn’t until during the Clone Wars that the Darksaber made its return and was actually the first time that the Darksaber was seen on screen. At the time, Mandalore had become a very different place. Ruled by the Duchess Satine (an old flame of a younger Obi-Wan Kenobi), Mandalore had adopted a more pacifist rule as opposed to the destructive ways of her ancestors.
On a mission from the Jedi Council, Obi-Wan travelled to Mandalore to investigate a Separatist saboteur who wore Mandalorian armour, exposing a plot to overthrow the Duchess led by a Mandalorian diplomat, Pre Vizsla, a descendant of the original Mandalorian Jedi and voiced by The Mandalorian director Jon Fraveau. Vizsla led a group of extremists called Death Watch who fought to restore the old ways of their ancestors and willing to use the Darksaber as a symbol to do it.
Vizsla’s fight to restore Mandalore lasted long into the Clone Wars, eventually forming an alliance with the resurrected Sith Lord Darth Maul, and his brother Savage Oppress. Together they launched an invasion of Mandalore and successfully overthrew the Duchess Satine with Vizsla temporarily instigated as its ruler.
Knowing that he could not trust Maula and his brother, he turned upon them, having them imprisoned, but unsurprisingly they eventually escaped.
Maul invoked the old ways that Vizsla himself fought and challenged him to one-on-one combat, declaring that only the strongest could rule over Mandalore. Wielding the Darksaber, Vizsla fought the former Sith Lord, using all his skills and weapons at his disposal, but it was not enough. Vizsla fell to the very blade that he had fought with, and Maul rose triumphant, claiming the Darksaber, leadership of Death Watch, and Mandalore itself.