In addition to tying up several of its ongoing plot points and introducing a few new ones, the Season 2 finale of The Mandalorian also gave fans a proper look at a villain they had only briefly glimpsed before: the Dark Troopers.
As Moff Gideon explained in the show, these Dark Troopers are third generation, and rather than being operated by living beings (a sensible precaution given how inept so many Storm Troopers seem to be), battle droids are encased inside. And they are nothing if not deadly.
It took everything Mando had to take out just one of them, and he had to eject the rest out into space. Even then, it wasn’t enough to stop them; they returned to the ship (in perfect formation, no less) and it wasn’t until the arrival of Luke Skywalker that they finally met their match.
So how was it that Luke was able to so swiftly dispatch all of the Troopers, when a resourceful fighter like Mando barely escaped a scrape with one of them intact?
There are a few possible explanations, the first of which being simply that Luke Skywalker is a more formidable opponent than the Mandalorian. To be fair, he has a track record of destroying Death Stars and dethroning Emperors, not to mention he has the Force on his side. And narratively speaking, watching the hooded figure cut a swathe through the enemy droids certainly built anticipation for that reveal.
Another reason is explored in a recent video on the EckhartsLadder YouTube channel, which theorizes that the Dark Troopers’ outer shielding included beskar, the same metal that composes the Mandalorian’s armor. This would explain why Mando couldn’t even leave a scratch on the Trooper he fought, and was only able to destroy it after piercing a vulnerable, unarmored spot. The theory holds some weight: after all, viewers know that Gideon had access to the precious resource, having raided Mandalore, and would further reinforce the show’s view of the Empire as a colonizing, exploitative force.
However, the fact that Luke’s lightsaber sliced through the Troopers like a hot knife through butter would mean that if beskar was included in their armor, it was not pure. Watch the video in full for more backstory on the Dark Troopers and where they fit into the vast Star Wars universe:
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