Mandalorian

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Mandalorian
Boba Fett (10584974375).jpg
A fan cosplays Boba Fett at Star Wars Celebration Europe II. Boba Fett's popularity inspired numerous works about Mandalorians.
Star Wars race
Home world Mandalore
Base of operations Concordia, Concord Dawn system
Language Mando'a, Galactic Basic
Creator George Lucas

Mandalorians are a fictional people from the planet Mandalore in the Star Wars science fiction franchise created by George Lucas. First conceptualized for The Empire Strikes Back as a group of white-armored "supercommandos", the idea developed into a single bounty hunter character, Boba Fett. Though the term "Mandalorian" is never used in the films, the popularity of Boba Fett inspired an extensive amount of works about Mandalorians in the Star Wars expanded universe, also known as Legends.

Recognized by their iconic armor, the Mandalorian people are characterized in the expended universe as a multi-species warrior people who often work as mercenaries and bounty hunters. The Clone Wars television series reintroduced them to the franchise as a human people and introduced the New Mandalorians, pacifists who wish to distance themselves from Mandalore's warrior traditions. Mandalorian warrior characters also appear in the Rebels television series.

Creation and development[edit]

In production for The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johnston designed armor intended to be worn by soldiers described as supercommandos from the Mandalore system, armed with weapons built into white suits and known for battling the Jedi.[1][2][3] Initially, the soldiers were called "Super Troopers" and were intended to look alike.[2] The group eventually developed into a single bounty hunter character, Boba Fett, and the costume was reworked, but it retained elements such as wrist lasers, rocket darts, and a jetpack.[1][2] In an 1979 issue of the Bantha Tracks, the newsletter of the Official Star Wars Fan Club, Boba's armor was described as that of the "Imperial Shocktroopers, warriors from the olden time" who "came from the far side of the galaxy" and are few in number because they "were wiped out by the Jedi Knights during the Clone Wars".[4] Mandalorians debuted in Star Wars 68 "The Search Begins", a comic published by Marvel in 1983, which describes Boba and Fenn Shysa among the supercommandos, the official protectors of the planet Mandalore.[5] Attack of the Clones (2002) introduced the character Jango Fett, who also wore Mandalorian armor and was revealed to be a bounty hunter from whom Boba is cloned. Though the term "Mandalorian" does not appear in the films, the popularity of Boba Fett inspired an extensive amount of Star Wars expanded universe works, also known as Star Wars Legends, featuring the Mandalorian people.[3]

Star Wars creator George Lucas wished to reintroduce Mandalorians in season two of The Clone Wars 2008 television series, and he worked with executive producer Dave Filoni to rework the group, its history, and its culture.

Mandalorian language[edit]

A written form of the Mandalorian language was developed by Philip Metschen for the display screens of Jango Fett's ship Slave I in Attack of the Clones,[6] and it was later reused in The Clone Wars.[7] Composer Jesse Harlin, needing lyrics for the choral work he wanted for the 2005 Republic Commando video game, invented a spoken form, intending it to be an ancient language. It was named Mando'a and extensively expanded by Karen Traviss, author of the Republic Commando novel series.[8]

Fictional history[edit]

In the animated television series[edit]

In a season two story arc of The Clone Wars television series, the Galactic Republic fears Duchess Satine Kryze is secretly building an army to aid the Separatists and sends Obi-Wan Kenobi to investigate Mandalore. However, Satine says that the local militant group Death Watch is unconnected to the Separatists: they wish to depose her, not attack the Republic. Obi-Wan and Satine follow a lead to Concordia, Mandalore's moon, and discover Concordia's governor Pre Vizsla leads Death Watch. However, he escapes.TCW 2.12 Though Satine insists Death Watch is no threat to the Republic, a doctored recording and Death Watch's attempts to assassinate Satine push the Senate to approve an invasion of Mandalore. With the backing of Sith lords Count Dooku and Darth Sidious, Death Watch moves to appear as saviors against outside invasion and seize Mandalore through popular support. However, Satine proves the truth, and the invasion is rescinded.TCW 2.14

A story arc in season three centers on corruption in the Mandalorian government. As a neutral planet during the Clone Wars, Mandalore is denied trade with non-neutral planets. This causes a rise in black market activity, and smuggled tea poisons numerous children. Satine's investigation uncovers a network of corrupt public officials. However, Prime Minister Almec is unconcerned.TCW 3.05 In a subsequent episode, Almec admits he uses black market profits to buy humanitarian aid. To end Satine's efforts against corruption, he attempts to force her to sign a false confession of corruption and remove her from power. He fails, and he is imprisoned.TCW 3.06

Season five of The Clone Wars revisits Mandalore with a story arc following its fall to civil war. With aid from Darth Maul and crime syndicates,TCW 5.14 Death Watch convinces the public Death Watch can maintain order better than Satine.TCW 5.15 Having gained popular support, Vizsla deposes and imprisons her. However, Vizsla betrays Maul and the syndicates and imprisons them as well. Maul escapes, kills Vizsla in a duel for control of Death Watch, and installs Almec as puppet leader. However, Bo-Katan refuses Maul's leadership and defects with a minority group.TCW 5.15 She helps Satine contact Obi-Wan for aid, but Maul ultimately kills Satine and captures Obi-Wan. The capital is engulfed in civil war, and Bo-Katan frees Obi-Wan so that he can alert the Senate. When Obi-Wan warns it will trigger a Republic invasion, she accepts this as the price for Maul's death and assures him that the Mandalorian people will survive.TCW 5.16

Filoni intended for the final story arc of The Clone Wars to center on the Republic's siege of Mandalore, set simultaneously with Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, but the series was cancelled.[9] Henry Gilroy, writer for The Clone Wars, suggested that the planet's importance leads to "soft occupation" where the Republic installs a new puppet state. After the establishment of the Galactic Empire, an Imperial Academy is opened on Mandalore.

In season two of the Rebels television series, the Rebel Alliance requests permission to pass through the Concord Dawn system, controlled by Mandalorian warriors called the Protectors. The diplomatic party is destroyed by Fenn Rau, and the Rebels order a retaliation. Rau is captured, and fearing an Imperial invasion of Concord Dawn should the Empire learn of his capture, he instructs the Protectors to allow the Rebels to travel unhindered.STR 2.12

In the expanded universe[edit]

In Tales of the Jedi, set thousands of years before the original Star Wars film, the Mandalorians are a major military power who side with the Sith in their war against the Jedi, and their leader is manipulated by the Sith into triggering a war with the Republic. They are defeated with the aid of Revan and Malak, and Revan ensures a new Mand'alor, the sole ruler of the Mandalorian people, cannot rise. Their unity as a people dissolved, the Mandalorians develop into a culture of wandering mercenaries. Through instructions from Revan, as depicted in Knights of the Old Republic and Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Canderous Ordo assumes the title of Mand'alor and reunites the warrior clans.

Jango Fett: Open Seasons, set shortly before the Clone Wars, depicts the fighting between two factions: Death Watch, led by Tor Vizsla, and the True Mandalorians, led by Jango Fett's adoptive father Jaster Mereel and later Jango Fett himself. A ruse orchestrated by Vizsla tricks the Jedi into attacking and killing all of the True Mandalorians except Jango, but Jango eventually kills Vizsla and scatters Death Watch.

In the Republic Commando novels, set during the Clone Wars, Mandalore is a Separatist-aligned planet and many Mandalorian warriors fight for the Separatists. However, a group of Mandalorians had also acted as training sergeants for the clone trooper army under the direction of Jango Fett, and many clone troopers practice Mandalorian customs and traditions. After the establishment of the Galactic Empire, the Mandalorian people are characterized as wary of and reluctant to aid the Empire but unwilling to declare open rebellion because Mandalore lacks the resources to wage war. However, Death Watch reappears and openly supports the Empire. The Empire wishes to mine the planet for its beskar, a lightsaber resistant iron, and establishes a garrison in the capital. Mandalore and its people reappear again in the Legacy of the Force novels, set forty years after the original Star Wars film, where Boba Fett is convinced by his granddaughter Mirta Gev to assume the title of Mand'alor and lead the people.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Johnston, Joe; Rodis-Jamero, Nilo (1980). The Empire Strikes Back Sketchbook. New York: Ballantine Books. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-345-28836-3. 
  2. ^ a b c Windham & Ling 2000, p. 39.
  3. ^ a b "Creating Mandalore" at 0:20–1:52
  4. ^ Windham & Ling 2000, p. 45.
  5. ^ Windham & Ling 2000, p. 49.
  6. ^ "Holographic Artist: Philip Metschan". LucasFilm. July 16, 2002. Archived from the original on October 22, 2004. Retrieved April 23, 2016. 
  7. ^ "The Academy Trivia Gallery". StarWars.com. Lucasfilm. Retrieved January 29, 2016. 
  8. ^ Bielawa, Justin (March 8, 2006). "Commando Composer: An Interview with Jesse Harlin". MusicOnFilm.net. Archived from the original on January 8, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2016. 
  9. ^ Whitbrook, James (July 15, 2016). "The Untold Stories of Ahsoka Tano Broke Our Hearts—And Ahsoka's, Too". io9. Retrieved July 22, 2016. 

Bibliography[edit]

Books[edit]

Visual media[edit]

Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Star Wars Rebels
DVD features

External links[edit]