Mandalorian

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Mandalorians are a group of warriors from several species in the Star Wars universe. They commonly act as mercenaries or bounty hunters. According to Star Wars Expanded Universe material, they are the cultural descendants of an extinct species called the Taung. The leader of the Mandalorians typically takes on the title of "Mand'alor," the name of their first leader, whose planet was named after him in honor. They have been portrayed in various media, including the novel, Triple Zero by Karen Traviss[1][2] and Hasbro's Star Wars Elite Forces action figure sets Mandalorians & Omega Squad and Republic Mandalorians & Clone Troopers. Karen Traviss, author of Hard Contact, expanded Mandalorian culture in the novel, as explained in Star Wars on Trial.[3] Mandalorians are most commonly portrayed as audacious and dangerous.

History[edit]

Originally, the Mandalorian clans were led by the mysterious "Mand'alor the First" and were ranked among the best fighters in the galaxy, thriving on battle. They are known for their cutting-edge weaponry and strict code of honor. These Mandalorians wear crusader armor that differs from one soldier to the next.

Mandalore itself is a temperate, albeit desolate, world located in a rather overlooked and inconspicuous area at the edge of the Outer Rim Territories. Making a living on its surface requires one to constantly battle for survival, and thus the Mandalorians know no other way of success. Most importantly, however, is the rare metal that is only found on this planet to date. It is called Mandalorian Iron, or beskar in the Mandalorian language. It is one of the few known substances that can resist the focused energy output of a weapon such as a lightsaber. The other few exceptions include cortosis ore, vibro and phrik alloy, as well as the living shell of the Vonduun crab.

The original mention of Mandalorian Iron is invariably from Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith. In the series, The Sith Lord Exar Kun goes to the tomb of Freedon Nadd on Onderon's moon, Dxun. Nadd's grave is said to be made of Mandalorian Iron and Exar Kun attempts to pierce the metal at first and it is noted that his lightsaber's blow barely even scorches the surface. Kun is then possessed by the power of the Dark Side of the Force and succeeds in breaking through and entering Nadd's tomb.

The Mandalorians play a large role in the Great Sith War, which is portrayed in the Tales of the Jedi series. During the war between the Sith and the Republic, Mandalore and its forces attack and raid the Empress Teta system, drawing the attention of Ulic Qel-Droma. After being defeated in single combat by Ulic, the Mandalore pledges complete loyalty to the Sith apprentice. He and his warriors participate in many devastating raids and attacks on the Republic, including an attempted invasion of Coruscant. However, Mandalore is finally defeated at Onderon by local military forces and Republic reinforcements. With his mighty army defeated and shattered, Mandalore flees to Dxun but is killed by one of the many monsters that inhabit Onderon's moon. A Mandalorian warrior finds his fallen mask and inherits the position of Mandalore. The new Mandalore is manipulated by an unknown Sith faction into attacking the Republic, triggering the Mandalorian Wars.

After their defeat in the Mandalorian Wars at the hands of the Jedi Revan and Malak, the Mandalorians as a united culture are destroyed, their weapons and armor taken and destroyed. Their dissolution is completed when Revan hid the mask of Mandalore, preventing a new leader from rising. They gradually evolve and change into a culture of wandering mercenaries, rather than conquerors.

When Darth Revan is visiting the various planets of the galaxy seeking out his former apprentice and betrayer, Darth Malak, he encounters numerous Mandalorians who have tried to blend in with society after losing the Mandalorian Wars to the Republic. One such Mandalorian, Gorse Bendak (nicknamed Bendak Starkiller) was encountered by Revan on the Sith controlled planet Taris. Bendak Starkiller, a former Mandalorian Field Marshall as indicated by his golden armor, was competing as a combatant in a local arena. Starkiller had a very large bounty on his head, wanted dead or alive, for openly killing his opponents in the ring - which was considered murder due to death matches being illegal on Taris. Starkiller, a retired combatant, came out of retirement at the opportunity to face Revan in the ring. Depending on Revan's choices in battle, Bendak Starkiller was either killed in battle, or committed suicide in order to avoid being turned in to the authorities alive.

Another Mandalorian found by Revan on the planet Taris was Canderous Ordo, who was acting as a mercenary for a gang in the Taris Lower City. He escaped the Sith controlled planet before it was utterly destroyed by intentional Sith bombardment from orbit. Canderous Ordo would eventually achieve the mantle of Mandalore - becoming Mandalore the Preserver, uniting the scattered Mandalorian clans on Dxun, a moon of Onderon. Canderous at one point joins forces with Darth Revan, seeing an opportunity to restore his honor. While on the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk, the two encounter a former subordinate to Canderous, a Mandalorian named Jagi. Jagi had a great hatred for Canderous, believing that he ordered Jagi and the rest of his squad into a battle they would all die in. After escaping with his life, Jagi spent years searching the galaxy for Canderous Ordo in order to face him in a one on one death match for the restoration of glory. The two met in the Dune Seas of Tatooine, where Jagie ambushed Canderous and Revan with two Dark Jedi. Canderous and Revan managed to overcome the two Dark Jedi, and slew Jagi.

In the years following the Mandalorian Wars, many Mandalorian survivors chose exile, and came to Dantooine because of its seclusion preferred by the Jedi, who had an enclave there. Over the years, more and more Mandalorians came to Dantooine, and began expanding farmlands they took from the farmers as their own territories. When Darth Revan came to Dantooine searching for Darth Malak, the Mandalorian presence there was substantial, so much so that the local authorities had issued a bounty, collectable only on the condition that all Mandalorians in the Dantooine planes be killed, including the leader there who had the actual price on his head, a former Mandalorian officer named Sherruk. Because the Mandalorians had contracted mercenaries, the mercenaries also had to be killed in order to collect the price on Sherruk's head. Two Jedi had attempted to stop Sherruk and his mercenary band from terrorizing the innocent people there. Sherruk, however, proved much more skillful than the Jedi had anticipated. Although it is unknown whether this was a joint attack, or two separate occasions, it is known that Sherruk proved more than a match for his Jedi assailants. During the wars, Sherruk had received training from the Sith in order to become a Jedi hunter, so it is unknown how many Jedi he slew in the Mandalorian Wars. The Sith training, combined with his training in Mandalorian combat, however, made him the ideal killer, and when the two Jedi came to stop his terror, Sherruk easily killed both of them in battle, decapitating them and then taking their lightsabers as trophies. When Revan came to Dantooine and learned of the price on Sherruk's head, he set out to eradicate the Mandalorian presence there and collect the bounty. After searching all over Dantooine's planes, encountering numerous Mandalorian campsites and mercenary outposts, Revan discovered Sherruk at his camp in a grove. He was identified by his red armor indicating his former rank as officer (the other Mandalorians on Dantooine were all wearing the standard blue armor - indicating that they were regular soldiers, except for one Field Marshall in the Grove.) In addition to Sherruk, there were two Duros mercenaries, one Mandalorian soldier and one unnamed Mandalorian Field Marshall - indicated by his gold armor (because the rank of Field Marshall is above Sherruk's, it is unknown why Sherruk would be the leaders of the Mandalorians on Dantooine, it is possible this was due to the fact that Sherruk arrived on the planet earlier, and the Field Marshall came later, and because there was no organized Mandalorian hierarchy at that time due to the result of the war.) Once Revan approached Sherruk's camp, the Mandalorian leader mistook Revan for a Jedi, but immediately labeled him a hostile because he was aware of Revan attacking the Mandalorians in the area. After a heated exchange of words, Sherruk armed himself with two lightsabers (presumably taken from the two Jedi he had previously killed), and the Sith Lord armed himself with his own lightsaber. A battle ensued, in which Revan killed the two Duros mercenaries, the Mandalorian soldier, the Field Marshall, and finally Sherruk himself. With the Mandalorians utterly exterminated in that sector of Dantooine, Revan collected the substantial bounty that had been placed on Sherruk's head. Mandalorians would not return to Dantooine until the years following the death of Darth Malak. While trying to re-organize the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders at a base on Dxun, Mandalore the Preserver (Canderous Ordo) encountered a campsite on Dantooine occupied by Mandalorian exiles, though unlike Sherruk's band, these Mandalorians were friendly and had not been murdering the settlers and farmers. They followed Mandalore back to Dxun to reorganize themselves against the massing Sith fleets returning to Republic space.

Revan later tells his friend Canderous Ordo to unite the Mandalorians after he leaves for the Unknown Regions and tells him where to find the mask. Ordo then takes the mantle of "Mandalore" and gathers a new Mandalorian army on Dxun. These events are covered in detail in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, where Mandalore recruits and trains Mandalorians across the Galaxy, eventually encountering the Jedi Exile, with whom he begins travel. During this time, the Jedi Exile's group visits Malachor V, a planet bearing scars of the most atrocious battle of the Mandalorian Wars. Malachor V is the site of the single largest loss of life during the Mandalorian Wars, after the majority of Mandalorian and Republic soldiers were killed, due to an Iridonian technician, Bao-Dur, who creates and deploys a weapon called the Mass Shadow Generator. While attempting to enter Malachor V, the party's ship is downed due to Malachor's unusual gravity and vicious storms. Although they aren't seen again in the game, it is possible in conversation to make Darth Traya reveal their futures to you. She reveals that none of them die there, including Mandalore.

The Treaty of Coruscant[edit]

For centuries afterwards, the Mandalorians remained unaligned and lacked leadership, until the rise of a young gladiator in the Geonosian arenas, calling himself the New Mand'alor. He rallied his people for a new challenge against the galactic order, and allied his forces with the Sith Empire. United once more, the Mandalorians worked to blockade the Hydian Way, threatening to choke the primary route for republic military aid to the Outer Rim, as well as the main route for bringing raw goods to the core worlds. The Jedi Order attacked the blockade, but was defeated profoundly. So effective was the Mandalorian blockade that even as long standing Republic holdouts in the Outer Rim began folding to the empire, supply shortages lead to planet-wide rioting on Coruscant and talk in the Senate turned towards surrender to the Sith. It was only once Hylo Visz led an intrepid group of smugglers against the blockade, with Republic support, that the blockade was broken, and the Republic granted a vital reprieve.[4]

Mandalorian Civil War[edit]

Shortly before the fall of the Republic, the Mandalorians became split and they began fighting among themselves. The cause was a man named Tor Vizsla. Jaster Mereel, a reformed murderer, who said that the Mandalorians were high-priced mercenaries, formed the True Mandalorians faction, while those loyal to Vizsla, who believed the Mandalorians should conquer the galaxy, formed the Death Watch. During a battle on Concord Dawn, Jaster Mereel's forces were retreating and were hidden by the local "police officer", a man named Fett. For helping Jaster's men, the Death Watch kills the entire family, except the youngest son, Jango Fett, who while running from Death Watch, bumps into Mereel and his men. Mereel kills the two pursuing members of Death Watch, and, after escaping a fire, takes pity on Jango for being the fault of his family's death. Later they find out that Jango's sister, Arla Fett, also survived. Jango Fett becomes Mereel's protege, and arguable adopted son. On Jango's first mission with a squad many years later, Vizsla ambushes the Mandalorians. Jaster gives the order to evacuate to avoid more deaths. While saving his second in command he falls behind and is trapped with the other Mandalorian. Jango runs back to save Jaster, but arrives too late and was witness to Mereel's death at the hands of Vizsla shortly after the betrayal of his second-in-command, Montross, who escaped because he had a jetpack at the time. Jango took command of the remaining True Mandalorians, but unknowingly led them into a trap at the Battle of Galidraan, where they were framed for murder, resulting in the complete destruction of the True Mandalorians at the hands of the Jedi. Jango is the only survivor, and before being captured, slays half of the members of the Jedi Council as well as a few Jedi Knights single-handedly. This massacre of both sides is also what causes Count Dooku to leave the order. This greatly reduced the number of Mandalorians active in the galaxy. Fett escapes and becomes a bounty hunter, eventually making such a name for himself that he was chosen by Tyranus as the genetic source for the clone army being created on Kamino. It is revealed in Republic Commando: Order 66, that Fett was possibly motivated to serve as the genetic template for this army and later train some elite units in an effort to create a "Mandalorian army" capable of one day annihilating the Jedi Order in revenge for Galidraan. Moreover, clone "trooper armor and equipment is based in part on the battle gear of the Mandalorian..." and a large section of the clone army special forces units were trained by Mandalorian mercenaries such as Kal Skirata, Walon Vau,and Rav Bralor. Jango recruited 100 individuals to help train Clone Troopers, 75 of which were Mandalorians. These 100 individuals were known as the Cuy'val Dar (Those who no longer exist, in Mando'a). When recruited, they were paid in credits, but had to disappear from the galaxy and were not allowed to leave Kamino. These men and women trained clone troopers for close to ten years. Most of the individuals took to being commando sergeants, while Fett personally trained the Alpha-class Advanced Recon Commandos (Alpha ARC's).[5]

The Clone Wars - The Rise of Death Watch[edit]

During the time of the Clone Wars, Mandalore had become a peaceful world under the leadership of Duchess Satine Kryze, who looked to forget the warrior past of Mandalore. This however made her certain enemies, members of her own royal staff who would betray her. A Mandalorian terrorist group named Death Watch was formed, which coordinated planned attacks on Mandalore, and the Republic. Their leader was the governor of Mandalore's moon Concordia, Pre Vizsla of Clan Vizsla who betrayed Satine for her tarnishing of the Mandalorian name and his ancestors. Vizsla earned the attention of the Republic and the Separatists, as Count Dooku formed an alliance with Vizsla and orchestrated that the Republic would send clone troopers to Mandalore to keep the peace, which would in turn have the people see the Death Watch as liberators. Obi-Wan Kenobi who was visiting Mandalore discovered Vizsla's terrorist group and had Satine moved to Coruscant for protection, but they were betrayed by Senator Tal Merrik, who was also a member of Death Watch, but he was killed by Anakin Skywalker when he took Satine hostage. When Death Watch failed to get the Republic to send its clones to Mandalore, Dooku ended his alliance with Vizsla.

The Death Watch were later apparently driven away, and went to the snow planet Carlac, where they aimed to have revenge on Dooku with the help of their new recruit, former Separatist Lux Bonteri, who Vizsla merely saw as a pawn to help him find Dooku. But the Death Watch were once again defeated by Ahsoka Tano, forcing them to leave Carlac. The Death Watch later found a new way to conquer Mandalore, when they found the Sith Lord Darth Maul, and his brother Savage Opress wounded from their encounter with Kenobi. They formed an alliance, and started to form the Shadow Collective, a crime organization with troops from the Black Sun, Pikes, and support from the Hutt Clans. Together they were able to overrun Mandalore with the criminals, while the Death Watch arrested them to look like heroes, which ended up working, and Vizsla became the new prime minister of Mandalore. Vizsla then double-crossed Maul, putting him and Savage in prison. However the Sith brothers escaped, enlisting former Prime Minister Almec to replace him, and Maul challenged Vizsla for rule of Mandalore. The warriors dueled in Lightsaber combat, but Maul ultimately won, and beheaded Vizsla, claiming his darksaber and leadership over Death Watch. He was betrayed by Vizsla's first lieutenant Bo Katan, who left Death Watch and rebelled, starting a war against Maul and his new Death Watch. The outcome of this conflict is unknown, as Maul and Savage were subsequently defeated in battle by Maul's former master, Darth Sidious, who murdered Savage and took Maul as his prisoner.

Post-Imperial Times[edit]

Twenty-three years after the Battle of Yavin, Boba Fett became Mand'alor after Fenn Shysa's death on the planet Shogun and continues the tradition of leading the Mandalorian Protectors. During the Yuuzhan Vong War, Fett led the Mandalorians in the defense of Mandalore and liberated numerous planets like Tholatin and Gyndine; however, this effort came at a huge cost to the Mandalorians. The Yuuzhan Vong retaliated and attacked Mandalore, damaging the capital city of Keldabe severely in the process. Though the Vong are eventually defeated, the attack permanently scarred Mandalore and leaves over a million Mandalorians dead, nearly a third of the population of Mandalore.

During the peak of Mandalorian culture, one of their production factories, MandalMotors, spawned branch plants on a few other planets, and this corporation continued to operate in limited capacity. Only two known examples of the Mandalorian battle armor existed, worn by the bounty hunters Boba Fett and Jodo Kast. Fett killed Kast for imitating him and soiling his name. Fett inherited his armor from his father's mentor, Jaster Mereel, and placed his father's into storage. Jodo Kast procured his armor when he killed the Mandalorian bounty hunter Feskitt Bobb, whose suit of Mandalorian armor made Kast initially mistake him for Fett.

Nevertheless, as revealed in the Legacy of the Force series, the Mandalorians still exist and maintain a presence in the galaxy. There are numerous small communities and clans scattered around the galaxy, with the majority centered around Mandalore. Also, the ending of the second book in the series, Bloodlines, implies that Boba Fett will use his position as Mandalore to restore the power and glory of the Mandalorians.

After returning to Keldabe, Boba Fett immediately begins instituting reforms to rebuild Mandalore. He begins by recalling all Mandalorians to return to Keldabe. As a result, one of the returnees, a geologist, discovers a huge vein of Beskar. Ironically, this vein was revealed after the vicious Yuuzhan Vong attack. Fett quickly exploits the situation, using the Beskar to rearm the Mandalorians and increase their economic power. Currently, Mandalmotors can now produce the Bes'uliik, a heavy fighter that outclasses the X-Wing. Fett has also forged a mutual defense and technology deal with Roche, a major Verpine technology corporation. The Mandalorians have now become an economic and military powerhouse that could destabilize both the Galactic Alliance and Confederation. Though as a result of attacks on Roche by the Imperials and the Mandalorian retaliation, the Imperial Remnant moffs create a nano weapon that targets the Fett genetic code only. For this reason Boba Fett, the current Mand'alor, and his granddaughter Mirta Gev were forced to abandon their homeworld.

Language[edit]

Mandalorian
Mando’a
Created by Philip Metschan, Karen Traviss and Jesse Harlin
Date started in 2005
Setting and usage The Mandalorians of Star Wars
Purpose
Sources constructed languages
 a priori languages
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)

Prior to 2002, a typeface consisiting of narrow vertical characters was developed to represent the written form of the Mandalorian language. It was developed by Philip Metschan at the request of George Lucas to be used throughout Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones. The typeface was originally featured on displays within Jango Fett's Slave I and is now used throughout The Clone Wars series to denote instances of written Mandalorian. The spoken Mandalorian language (Mando’a) was being developed into a working language by Karen Traviss however this has ceased since she ceased writing the Republic/Imperial commando series due to "creative differences" with the publisher.

A common misconception is that the written form of Mandalorian was developed by Karen Traviss and Jesse Harlin, for the Republic Commando multimedia project. While they did develop the Mando'a spoken language and its associated grammatical rules, they are not responsible for the original written visual depiction developed by Metschan. Karen Traviss often credits a 23-letter alphabet to Jesse Harlin. However, at the time, he was simply working from an incomplete version of Metschan's typeface licensed to them by LucasFilm.

Portions exist in the its spin-off books, Republic Commando: Hard Contact, Republic Commando: Triple Zero, Republic Commando: True Colors, and Republic Commando: Order 66. Order 66 recently added new words to the list which are found at the link: http://www.karentraviss.com/page20/page26/downloads/index.html. A recent article in Star Wars Insider contained a guide to the language, and online audio clips have been released as well.

The language started in the video game Star Wars: Republic Commando as a song heard in the main menu of the game has lyrics by Jesse Harlin at LucasArts, and it is from that that Traviss had begun developing the language.

References[edit]

  1. ^ A.L. Sirois, Review of The Mandalorian Armor Book 1 in The Bounty Hunter Wars trilogy, The SF Site (1999): http://www.sfsite.com/01a/star48.htm
  2. ^ "Review of The Mandalorian Armor"
  3. ^ Keith R.A. DeCandido, Tanya Huff, and Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Star Wars on Trial: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Debate the Most Popular Science Fiction Films of All Time, ed. David Brin Matthew Woodring Stover (Benbella Books, 2006), 164.
  4. ^ "Star Wars: The Old Republic galactic timeline, "The Return of the Mandalorians"". Swtor.com. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  5. ^ The Complete Visual Dictionary of Star Wars: The Ultimate Guide to Characters and Creatures from the Entire Star Wars Saga (Hardcover) by DK Publishing (DK CHILDREN, 2006), 104.

External links[edit]