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- "Mandalorians don't make threats. We make promises."
- ―Canderous Ordo
The Mandalorians (called Mando'ade in Mando'a, meaning "children of Mandalore") were a warlike, nomadic group of clan-based people consisting of members from multiple species. Often, they served as mercenaries and bounty hunters.
Their culture revolved around that of battle and war being a source of honor and pride in their community. The leader of the Mandalorians typically took on the title of "Mandalore." Mandalorians were frequently allied with the Sith, most notably Exar Kun and much later as a prototype for the Clone trooper under the power of Darth Sidious and the Galactic Republic, though they would not hesitate to cooperate with the Jedi if it suited them.
In later years Mandalorian Warriors wore very distinctive battle helmets with T-shaped visors that covered the entirety of their faces, which would provide inspiration for the helmets of the clone troopers. These helmets would eventually become strongly associated with the Mandalorian people.
Originally, the Mandalorian clans were Taung from Coruscant, led by the warlord "Mandalore the First". Around 24,000 BBY they conquered a planet in the Outer Rim, which they named Mandalore after their leader. The Taung then took the name Mandalorians and were seen by many as the most skilled fighters in the galaxy, thriving in battle. They were known for their use of cutting-edge weaponry and held to a strict code of honor. These Mandalorians wore crusader armor that differed from one soldier to the next.
For thousands of years after Mandalore's conquest, its new inhabitants would not venture far from the system they inhabited. It was not until the Great Sith War of 4,000 BBY that the Mandalorians would seek to expand their conquests and, in the process, become famous (and infamous) to the Galaxy at large.
The Old Sith WarsEdit
- Main article: Mandalorian Wars
Almost three thousand years after the conquest of Mandalore, the Mandalorians wandered the Galaxy far from their home systems hoping to begin a new crusade against worthy foes. This brought them to the Empress Teta System during the period when the Krath had gained control of the system.
The Mandalorian clans became allied with the Sith after their leader, Mandalore the Indomitable, was bested in combat by the fallen Jedi turned Sith Lord, Ulic Qel-Droma. Mandalore pledged loyalty to Qel-Droma who in turn was apprentice to Dark Lord Exar Kun and in their name the Mandalorians laid waste to countless worlds in the years that followed, gaining the enmity of the Republic, and, most crucially, the Jedi.
Ten years after the defeat of Exar Kun, dozens of Mandalorians were unjustly arrested and executed after a psychotic bounty hunter named Jigger Wraith preyed upon innocents using rare Mandalorian weaponry. It was during these times that the Mandalorians would reform under Mandalore the Ultimate and begin constructing a large assortment of forces from their scattered forces. They would reconstruct defenses on Dxun as well as other Mandalorian-held worlds in order to build a mass stockpile of equipment and vessels. They would eventually be approached by the Sith and persuaded into attacking the Republic for the honor of facing "a worthy foe".
The Neo-Crusaders were an assortion of many diffent races led by Mandalore the Ultimate and started the Mandalorian Wars. During this time, the Mandalorians would cause chaos upon the Republic, committing atrocities such as wiping out most of the Cathar race, and reducing the surface of the planet Serroco to glass with nuclear bombs. The Mandalorians' victory seemed assured, until the Jedi Knights Revan and Malak led a large portion of the Jedi Order to war, no longer able to sit back and watch the Republic crumble under the Mandalorians vicious attacks. The Mandalorians were then slowly but surely pushed back to the Outer Rim, where Revan lured them to Malachor V. Revan personally killed Mandalore the Ultimate in close combat, and utterly destroyed the Mandalorian Fleet, along with a large part of the Republic's as well.
After their defeat in the Mandalorian Wars at the hands of the Jedi Revan and Malak, the Mandalorians went into a long decline. Revan destroyed their stockpiles of weaponry and battle droids, and exiled the clans into the Outer Rim. One group settled on Tatooine, but apparently lost contact with other Mandalorians over time.
Some Mandalorians were unable to accept the terms of their defeat, and turned to piracy, brigandage, and mercenary work – e.g. Sherruk's group, who became bandits and troubled the settlers of Dantooine in 3,956 BBY. Canderous Ordo, who fought side by side with a redeemed Revan against Darth Malak during the Jedi Civil War, later claimed the rank of Mandalore and led a small remnant of his followers on the moon of Dxun. It was again Ordo, who traveled the galaxy with the Jedi Exile, and gathered the scattered Mandalorians who became mercenaries. Ordo was also a key in defeating the Sith Lord Darth Nihilus on the battleship Ravager.
The New Sith WarsEdit
During the New Sith Wars, the Mandalorians would wage war against both the Jedi and the Sith. They opposed the mysterious Dark Lord of the Sith known as the Dark Underlord, having cut a deal with the Jedi Master Murrtaggh to assault the Dark Underlord's camp in a diversionary role, while Murrtaggh sneaked into the fortress of the Sith Lord to slay him.
The Mandalorian distraction was successful: they engaged the Dark Underlord's Zeltron general and drew off his forces while the Jedi Master assassinated the dark side master, giving himself over to the dark side in the process.
Centuries later, Mandalorian armor was present at the Sith camp following the Battle of Ambria. Whether this meant that the Mandalorians had fought for the Sith at Ambria, that Mandalorians had attacked the Sith camp, or only that some Sith used captured or purchased Mandalorian armor, is unknown.
With the end of the wars, and the beginning of a thousand years of peace, the Mandalorians began to forget their warrior past, and, over the next few centuries, the Mandalorians slowly transformed into a less clan-based, more mercenary-oriented culture.
The Mandalorian Civil WarEdit
Some one hundred years before the Battle of Yavin, the leader of the Mandalorians was assassinated by the bounty hunter Durge. The Mandalorians struck back, and inflicted terrible tortures on the bounty hunter, but he managed to escape and entered into hibernation to heal his wounds.
In 60 BBY a schism occurred in their ranks. A violent splinter group, known as the Mandalorian Death Watch, revolted against the leadership of Jaster Mereel, who led the True Mandalorian loyalist faction, due to Mereel's proposed Supercommando Codex reforms.
Eventually the civil war between these groups spilled over to the pastoral world of Concord Dawn. Here the Death Watch leader Vizsla attempted to murder Jaster. However, thanks to the assistance of a young orphan named Jango Fett, Jaster and his followers escaped the trap. Eventually, Vizsla caught up to Jaster and the Mandalorians on a distant world and, due to the treachery of fellow Mandalorian Montross, Jaster Mereel was killed in battle.
Jaster's protégé, Jango, took over the reins of leadership, despite Montross's disparaging comment that it would mean a "child leading them." Jango's tenure as Mandalorian leader ended at the Battle of Galidraan, where a Jedi task force under the leadership of Master Dooku led to the death of every remaining Mandalorian, except for Jango. Dooku remembered Jango and later employed Jango to be the Prime Clone after Dooku left the Jedi Order.
During this time, Mandalorians of an unknown faction massacred Ryyk's family.
After this disaster, the Mandalorians were effectively ended as a fighting force in the galaxy. Individuals survived on both Mandalore and in other isolated pockets of known space, but they played little influence on galactic affairs until the Clone Wars, when Jango Fett became the template for a Grand Army of the Republic on Kamino.
However, sometime before 32 BBY and while Palpatine was still a mere senator, the corrupt Governor of Mandalore, Vrox, started to send out members of the Mandalorian Armed Forces on sanctioned raids against worlds in nearby systems in order to plunder them and steal their riches. In addition to this, Vrox began producing outlawed battle droids, known as JU-9 Juggernaut War Droids.
The Republic soon sent a Republican Army task force along with several Jedi, including Voli Quana, to bring an end to the raids and stop the production of the droids. The ensuing battle was bloody, and once again ended in the near annihilation of the Mandalorian forces, as well as the capture of Vrox.
With Jango Fett being the clone donor, many elements of the Mando'ade culture made it into the Grand Army of the Republic ranks. This was boosted by the Cuy'val Dar, and Mandalorian training sergeants like Kal Skirata and Walon Vau.
Kal Skirata trained the Null ARCs, and they viewed him as a father and them his sons. Kal taught the Mandalorian culture and language to the Null ARCs, as well as the Clone commandos. Eventually, the language and culture began to spread through the ranks of clones, and warrior chants like Vode An and Rage of the Shadow Warriors became commonly sung as a morale booster, although some clones did not appear to display appreciation of their Mandalorian heritage.
Throughout the war, the clones would be faced with many grueling situations, and often took heavy casualties, despite their Mandalorian training.
However, following the rise of the Galactic Empire, the transition of clone troopers into Imperial stormtroopers, the ranks of the troopers were joined with other clones and regular recruits. It is unlikely that the Empire continued to recruit former Mandalorians and Death Watch soldiers to train the clones of any template, thus future Fett clones grew up without their template's Mandalorian heritage and the once pure Jango Fett clone army lost its sense of being Mandalorian.
However, many retired clone commandos and troopers from the Clone Wars married and moved to one of the neighboring planets of Mandalore. Eventually, this planet was viewed as one of the homeworlds of the Mandalorians and was often used for training.
Rebirth of the MandaloriansEdit
Because Jango took part in training the ARCs, Alpha-Ø2 had memories of Jango Fett. He went to Mandalore and started rebuilding the Mandalorian supercommandos into the Mandalorian Protectors from soldiers of local police forces and even former members of the Death Watch. Alpha-Ø2 became Mandalore the Resurrector, leading his men alongside the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
Among his troopers were Tobbi Dala and future Mandalore Fenn Shysa, both who believed Alpha-Ø2 to be Boba Fett, an unaltered clone of Jango. In 20 BBY, the Mandalorians were defeated at the Battle of New Holstice. Shortly afterwards, a number of them were massacred (apparently by their allies, the Geonosians, for some unknown reason) at Zaadja. Near the end of the Clone Wars, the Mandalorians embarked upon a devastating blitzkrieg, attacking several important military targets, including Kamino and New Bornalex. Following the Mission to Norval II, only Spar, Fenn Shysa, and Tobbi Dala survived.
The Galactic Empire enslaved the planet Mandalore. Fenn Shysa and Tobbi Dala led a resistance group until 3 ABY, when Dala sacrificed himself to destroy the City of Bone and the Suprema. The Mandalorian people rallied behind Mandalore Fenn Shysa and rose up against Grand Admiral Miltin Takel.
The Mandalorians later assisted the Alliance of Free Planets during the Nagai-Tof Invasion following a Nagai attack on Mandalorian space, participating in space battle above Endor. The Mandalorians later helped the Nagai drive the Tof off Nagi. During the Battle of Mindor, Shysa's forces played a decisive role in defeating Lord Shadowspawn. Despite offers to join the New Republic, Shysa declined, choosing independence for his people.
The Future of the MandaloriansEdit
Thirty years after the Battle of Yavin, the Mandalorians were now ruled by Boba Fett who succeeded Fenn as Mandalore. He trained his new Supercommandos on Raxus Prime, and decided to ally with the Yuuzhan Vong during the Yuuzhan Vong War. However, by the final year of the war, the Mandalorians had apparently come to the conclusion that serving the invaders was not in their best interests. Fett led his army against the Yuuzhan Vong in the Battle of Mandalore and the liberations of Gyndine and Tholatin (see Fourth Battle of Gyndine and Battle of Tholatin). He also led a small attachment with him to Caluula where he participated in the Battle of Caluula and there saved Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo.
Ten years later, Boba Fett realized that he was dying. Though he was later healed he decided that Goran Beviin would be his chosen successor in case something happened to him. Also at this time Mirta Gev was revealed to be Boba's granddaughter. The two set out to restore the House of Mandalore and Mirta started to teach Fett small facts about his mandalorian heritage so that he may better carry out his duties as Mandalore.
After returning to Mandalore, Fett made a few controversial decisions. First, he decided the Mandalorians would not take sides in the widening Second Galactic Civil War, though he did not forbid individuals from selling their services in the Mandalorian tradition. Second, he supported the idea of consolidating Mandalorian holdings first. In order to accomplish this, Fett called for two million Mandalorians to return "home" to boost the population to pre-Yuuzhan Vong War levels again. He also called for an increased economy with individuals such as himself and the MandalMotors corporation subsidizing some of the initial costs. This seemed to be made a moot point however, as a rich vein of the valuable Mandalorian iron was soon discovered in a crater created during the Yuuzhan Vong War. This metal was soon incorporated into MandalMotor's new Bes'uliik assault fighter and with a trade agreement with the technologically advanced Verpine, the future of the Mandalorians seemed secure.
The Mandalorians later sided with the Jedi Coalition at the Second Battle of Fondor. They later came to the aid of the Verpine during the Battle of Roche. During this time, Mandalore Boba Fett was also training Jaina Solo for a conflict with her fallen brother, Darth Caedus. Fett succeeded in his training Solo; she defeated and killed her twin brother in a vicious duel on the Anakin Solo.
As Natasi Daala was installed as Chief of State of the Galactic Alliance, her old alliances and working relationships with Boba Fett served beneficial for the Mandalorians as they were provided with a much increased role in government and galactic affairs as elite security operatives and intelligence operatives. Daala also used them as GA forces against rogue Jedi, such as Seff Hellin in 43 ABY, much to the consternation and concern of Luke Skywalker and the Jedi Order.
- "In five millennia, the Mandalorians fought with and against a thousand armies on a thousand worlds. They learned to speak as many languages and absorbed weapons technology and tactics from every war. And yet, despite the overwhelming influence of alien cultures, and the absence of a true home world and even species, their own language not only survived but changed little; their way of life and their philosophy remained untouched; and their ideals and sense of family, of identity of nation, were only strengthened. Armor is not what makes a Mandalorian. Armor is simply a manifestation of an impenetrable, unassailable heart."
- ―Passage from "Mandalorians: Identity and Language"
- "You can't rule Mandalorians. You just make sensible suggestions they want to follow. And since when have Mandalorians needed to be told what makes sense?"
- ―Boba Fett's view on Mandalorians.
Mandalorian culture consisted of a very straight-forward nomadic society, influenced by many other cultures around the galaxy. As a whole, Mandalorians were not prejudiced of any species, but tolerated all Mandalorians, as long as they followed Mandalorian principles. Many war-orphaned children (such as Jango Fett and Mira) would be adopted into Mandalorian society, and brought up as Mandalorian children.
The Mandalorians were nomadic warriors, despite the fact that they had the home world of Mandalore. The Mandalorians kept their nomadic ways so that in the event of attack, there would be no easy way to exterminate the Mandalorians. They also built no straight roads on Mandalore in order to make it much easier to ambush and pin down any invaders. Tactics such as these contributed to the Mandalorians' survival over thousands of years. This also meant that many Mandalorians had never visited Mandalore.
Individual Mandalorians were independent warriors, bound together by the same culture. Each piece of Mandalorian steel was created, chosen and customized by a Mandalorian to their level of skill. The armor had great cultural significance for the Mandalorians, and each set told about the Mandalorian underneath. However, there was a saying in Mando'a: Verd ori'shya beskar'gam, meaning a warrior is more than his armor.
Not all Mandalorians constantly fought on the front line. There were farmers, regular factory workers, engineers, and doctors too. However, all Mandalorians were warriors at heart, and all knew how to fight.
There were six acts one needed to follow to be a Mandalorian, known as Resol'Nare (Six Actions). They consisted of: wearing armor, speaking Mando'a, defending themselves and families, raising children as Mandalorians, helping the clan succeed and sustain itself, and when called to arms by the Mandalore, rally to his cause.
The only leader of the Mandalorians was the Mandalore himself, and he held his rank as long as he commanded the respect of his fellow warriors. In battle, Mandalorians would be assigned to different squads and jobs, depending on their area of expertise. The Mandalorians worked together to the best of their ability in battle. Mandalorians were not promoted to better jobs, since they did not have jobs—only in battle would some kind of organization need to occur.
The only exception to this would be the way Jaster Mereel ran the Mandalorians. He often diverted from the culture of the Mandalorians, but only slightly so. His armor was different from everybody else's, which was gold and red, perhaps signifying rank. His second in command, Montross, wore silver and blue armor. This armor-rank system was carried on by Jango Fett, who wore Jaster's armor, and had his second in command, Myles, wear the blue-silver armor. Like Jaster, Jango did not act like a traditional Mandalorian.
Sometimes the color of a Mandalorian's armor had a specific meaning. Black, for example, signified justice, while gold armor was for vengeance. Green armor signified duty. Blue was for reliability, gray for mourning a lost love, and red was to honor a father. Or the color of a Mandalorian's armor could signify nothing more than that they liked the look.
Despite their rather gruff appearance and style of combat, the average Mandalorian was more sociable and kind than one would expect. As long as individuals spoke their mind, accepted a meal when offered, looked them straight in the eye (or the horizontal section of their visor), took off their boots when guests, paid their debts, fussed over their children, never made a pass at a Mandalorian of the opposite sex (unless the individual planned to become part of the culture) and respected the elderly, anyone who encountered a Mandalorian was not likely to be killed.
The Resol'Nare is the most sacred law that all Mandalorians follow. It is:
Ba'jur, beskar'gam, Ara'nov, aliit, Mando'a bal Mand'alor- An vencuyan mhi.
Education and armor, Self-defense, our tribe, Our language, our leader- All help us survive.
Family and womenEdit
Family was very important to the Mandalorians, yet when compared to most other cultures, they held very different beliefs as to what constituted a familial relationship. Despite the fact that fidelity and chastity before marriage was highly emphasized, they were unconcerned about parentage. Believing that aliit ori'shya tal'din (Family is More Than Bloodlines), it was common for orphaned children, and even adults, to be brought into the culture. The ceremony for adoption of a new Mandalorian is named gai bal manda, which means literally "name and soul". For the Mandalorians, there was no difference between a biological child and an adopted one.
Mandalorian children were usually raised by their mothers up to their third birthday, and then by their fathers, who would train them in the art of war until they became adults. Mandalorians were considered adults at the age of thirteen, when they would undergo a trial (the verd'goten, or coming of age) turning them into warriors. This contributed to the fact that Mandalorians married and settled down earlier than most cultures. Family bonds were a large part of the Mandalorian culture, and as a result, they felt more comfortable around each other than they did around strangers.
Mandalorian women were expected to have the same combat skills as men, in order to defend their homes when the men were away. If they didn't have children to raise, they fought alongside men on the battlefield. The ideal Mandalorian woman was physically strong and resilient.
Homosexuality and same-sex marriage were apparently accepted by the Mandalorians, as Goran Beviin and Medrit Vasur were an openly gay married couple living on Mandalore, who were fully integrated into Mandalorian society.
List of clansEdit
Although there were thousands of Mandalorian clans, some notable clans were:
- Main article: Mando'a
Mandalorians had a language distinct from Basic, known as Mando'a. Although this was their main language, they knew many others, as they fought in many battles and on many planets and learned the language of that planet. The language was complex, and many phrases in galactic basic were given their own word in Mando'a.
- Main article: Mandalorian religion
Mandalorians had no religion of their own. Mandalorians may have had various religions at one point, and as tolerance of people other based on their background was emphasized, but physical proof of the exestance of "the force" eventually lead them away from all religions.
- "Home is where the armor is."
- ―Mandalorian saying
Behind the scenesEdit
Many of the Mandalorians on Dxun (in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords) speak with a New Zealand accent, following Temuera Morrison. By the same token, Fett and all the Mandalorian characters in Legacy of the Force novels' audio adaptations are given approximate New Zealand accents by reader Marc Thompson.
The Mandalorians are the third-most used group in the franchise, after the Jedi and Sith.
Mandalorians have an idiosyncratic culture and were the first species/people in Star Wars to have their own fully-constructed language. Most of those elements were created and developed by Karen Traviss. Their idiomatic character and culture have their own fan following called Fandalorians.
In the Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back novelization, the Mandalorians are referred to as warriors wiped out by Jedi during the Clone Wars. While many Mandalorians were killed, they were not completely destroyed, nor did the massacre occur during the Clone Wars, but rather, a decade previous.
The name "Mandalorian" may come from the Latin word "Mando," meaning "order". In Sasha ot Sulem's dialect which could be related to Mando'a, the word 'Mandalorian' is translated as 'Manlorey'.
The Mandalorian warrior culture is based of the ancient Celts as said by Karen Traviss on the FAQ part of her web site.
The Mandalorians even have their own following in the costuming world. Founded by Tom Hutchens (aka Novall "Beskar'lovik" Talon), the Mandalorian Mercs Costuming Club is a custom Star Wars costume club who's goal is to celebrate Mandalorian characters and culture based off the Star Wars Universe. Although they have been around for a few years, they are still a relatively new organization to the costuming club scene. Over the past years, they have participated in nearly 100 events world wide and made a name for themselves within the Star Wars costuming community. They are the fourth largest such group in the world behind the 501st Legion and the Rebel Legion and have also been given a seal of approval from Lucasfilm by being allowed the use of the "Jaing" skull as their logo. And even though no Mercs characters have been in the official canon movies, several Mercs characters represented in the club have been "canonized" in the Expanded Universe.
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Notes and referencesEdit
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