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Who Are the Nite Owls?

Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers from Season 3, Episode 3 of The Mandalorian.It’s no surprise that The Mandalorian dives deep into the history and culture of the Mandalorian people. And with a rich story already surrounding Mandalore, it’s paying off. But unlike most episodes, Season 3, Episode 3, “The Convert,” largely focuses on other parts of the galaxy, centering on Dr. Pershing’s (Omid Abtahi) time in Coruscant rather than any particular Mandalorian. Still, a few members of the warrior race have a chance to shine in the episode. Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) is allowed to return to his people as his exile is lifted after bathing in the Living Waters of Mandalore in the previous episode, a feat believed to be impossible. But he doesn’t return by himself. After her daring rescue of Din on the planet of Mandalore and her own dive into the Living Waters, Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) is welcomed by the Children of the Watch. This group of Mandalorians doesn’t often trust outsiders, even if they are from their own people. They adhere strictly to the old ways, and many Mandalorians, including Bo-Katan, do not. Yet, even before hearing her name, they do recognize her. Upon seeing her, the Children of the Watch call Bo-Katan “Nite Owl.” The title needs no further explanation among Mandalorian warriors, but for those less familiar with the culture, it may be hard to understand. Mandalorians don’t often appear (or really, at all) in the Star Wars films. Yet, additional information can be found in the franchise’s animated shows, mostly Star Wars: Clone Wars.

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Who Are the Nite Owls?

 Katee Sackhoff as Bo Katan in The Mandalorian
Image via Disney

Though these days Bo-Katan is alone, she hasn’t always been. Once, she led an elite group of Mandalorians referred to as the Nite Owls. The group consisted of female warriors with an owl-like symbol on their helmets similar (but not exactly the same) to the artwork on Bo-Katan’s. While all Mandalorians wear beskar helmets, the Nite Owls’ symbol sets them apart. Though Din is an exception, Mandalorian armor is often decorated. The Nite Owls all stick with a gray and blue color scheme. Bo-Katan is unquestionably the most recognizable member of the organization, but in Season 2, The Mandalorian also introduced Koska Reeves (Mercedes MonĂ©), who wears the symbol on her helmet. The group also includes Ursa Wren (Sharmila Devar), mother to Star Wars: Rebels lead, Sabine Wren (Tiya Sircar). While there are certainly other Nite Owls on screen, specifically during their appearances in Star Wars: Clone Wars, their names are not given. Despite their anonymity, the members of the Nite Owls accomplish a lot. The fact that the Children of the Watch instantly recognize Bo-Katan as a Nite Owl shouldn’t be surprising, considering the Death Watch and the Nite Owls are closely connected.

How the Nite Owls Are Tied to the Death Watch

Bo-Katan the Nite Owl in The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 3
Image via Disney+

Despite The Armorer (Emily Swallow) welcoming her into the Children of the Watch, Bo-Katan has been critical of the cult, mocking Mandalorian traditions at every turn. Yet it is important to remember that Bo-Katan was once a member of the Death Watch herself. More than that, she was a high-ranking member. When she joined the group, her fellow Nite Owls followed her. Under Bo-Katan, they served Pre Vizsla (Jon Favreau), the leader of the Death Watch. At the time, Bo-Katan was Vizsla’s second-in-command. As members of the Death Watch, the Nite Owls help form the Shadow Collective with Maul (Sam Witwer) and once took Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) prisoner. However, they did not remain with the Death Watch. The Nite Owls were there when Vizsla betrayed Maul, and several members saw the Vizsla vs. Maul fight for control of the Shadow Collective. When Maul killed Vizsla and declared himself the leader of the Death Watch and Mandalore, Bo-Katan opposed him. Like the rest of the Death Watch Mandalorians, the Nite Owls had to pick sides.

The Nite Owls Became Part of the Mandalorian Resistance

The Nite Owls sided with the leader, Bo-Katan, distancing themselves from the Death Watch. The Nite Owls and a handful of others who rejected the idea of a non-Mandalorian leader fought Maul and his Death Watch loyalist. They managed to free Bo-Katan’s sister, Satine Kryze (Anna Graves), whom they once opposed due to her pacifist beliefs. But they discovered it was intentional on Maul’s part, as he knew Satine would contact his old foe, Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor). And that was true. Maul recaptured Satine afterward, and the Nite Owls once again worked to save her, this time alongside Kenobi. But their mission failed, and Maul killed Satine. Bo-Katan and her Nite Owl companions kept fighting Maul, hoping Kenobi could get the Galactic Republic to aid them, but the Republic had its own war. Bo-Katan and the Nite Owls had to flee Mandalore to avoid their enemies.

Now that Maul had control of their planet, the Nite Owls had a clear goal. They and other Mandalorians who refused Maul’s rule needed to retake Mandalore. They initiated a civil war against Maul. Later, Bo-Katan and fellow Nite Owl Ursa Wren sought the help of Ahsoka Tano, who was no longer a member of the Jedi Order. She agreed to assist in getting rid of Maul, leading to the infamous Siege of Mandalore. With Ahsoka’s help and the clone troopers who came with her, the Nite Owls succeeded in capturing Maul. Yet the victory was short-lived due to the rise of the Empire. Just as Mandalore seemed settled, Palpatine instigated Order 66, and everything changed.

With troops already there, the new-found Empire instantly established a presence on Mandalore. But despite the Empire’s occupation, the Nite Owls resisted. But the Empire won out, leading to the destruction of Mandalore. Afterward, some members remained loyal to Bo-Katan, but after losing the darksaber one too many times, even her loyal Nite Owls left her. But scattered as they are, the Nite Owls remain, and their reputation precedes them. And, with the planet of Mandalore once again in play, the Disney+ series could reunite the elite group.

The Mandalorian is streaming on Disney+ with new episodes releasing every Wednesday.

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