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. Although the term "Mandalorian" is never used in the films, the popularity of Boba Fett inspired an extensive number 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 expanded 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.Contents
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. Initially, the soldiers were called Super Troopers and were intended to look alike. 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. In a 1979 issue of 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".
Mandalorians debuted in Star Wars #68 "The Search Begins", a comic book published by Marvel in 1983, which describes Boba and Fenn Shysa among the supercommandos, the official protectors of the planet Mandalore. 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.
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.Fictional history In the animated television series
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. Satine reassures him that the local militant group Death Watch is a small group based on Concordia, Mandalore's moon, that will soon be eliminated. Obi-Wan's investigation uncovers that Pre Vizsla, the governor of Concordia, leads Death Watch. However, he escapes. Death Watch seeks to depose Satine and assume control of Mandalore. With aid from Separatists and Sith lords Count Dooku and Darth Sidious, Death Watch will push the Senate to send peacekeeping troopers to Mandalore; Death Watch will appear as saviors against Republic invasion and seize Mandalore through popular support. 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. Once Satine proves the recording is altered, the order is rescinded.
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. 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.
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, Death Watch convinces the public Death Watch can maintain order better than Satine. 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. 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.
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. 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-which features a prominent Mandalorian character named Sabine Wren-the Rebel Alliance requests permission to pass through the Concord Dawn system, controlled by Mandalorian warriors called the Protectors. The diplomatic party is attacked 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. In season three, Gar Saxon, named Imperial Viceroy in exchange for service to the Empire, destroys the Protectors in Rau's absence. Without his people and impressed by Sabine's adherence to the ways their people, Rau agrees to aid the Rebellion. Sabine reclaims the darksaber from Maul, and with Rau's support and pledged loyalty, she reluctantly learns to wield it and rally the Mandalorian people to join the Rebellion. However, to unite the Mandalorian people under her leadership, she must first gain the support of her estranged mother Ursa. After succeeding in doing so, she rallies clan Wren and takes arms against clan Saxon, who has the backing of the Empire but has lost its leader, Gar Saxon, killed by Ursa after being defeated in single combat by Sabine.In the Expanded Universe
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 an independent planet, although 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 again reunite the Mandalorian people.Mandalore
Mandalore is the fictional home planet of the Mandalorian people, located in the Outer Rim in the sector and system of the same name. It has an inhabited moon called Concordia, a mining settlement to which Mandalorian warriors were exiled. Concord Dawn, located in the Mandalore sector, is also the homeworld of Mandalorian characters including Jango Fett, and the base of operations for the Protectors.
In The Clone Wars, Mandalore is largely uninhabitable desert, caused by a war with the Jedi that occurred before the setting of the series. The New Mandalorian people built their cities, such as the capital Sundari, in large biodomes. The design of Sundari draws on Cubist elements, and murals located in the city mimic Pablo Picasso's Guernica. The concept of Mandalore as a "large desolate planet of white sand with these cube-like buildings" was developed by Lucas early in development for The Clone Wars season two. Lucas also wanted layers of glass incorporated into the design. Because Sundari did not look enough like a giant city, the production team developed it into a dome with cubes on it. Filoni noted that the desolate and barren appearance was "kind of a Moebius-influenced design". Filoni had the shapes of Boba Fett's armor worked into the windows and the design of the architecture, feeling that the shapes were "emblematic" and that the warrior culture was so strong it was embedded into the architecture.
In Legends, Mandalore is the adoptive home planet of the Mandalorian people. The planet is originally inhabited by the Taung species, who rename themselves Mandalorian and originate the culture practiced by later non-Taung Mandalorians. Mandalore is largely sparsely populated wilderness, and its capital city Keldabe is located on a river that acts as a natural moat. Keldabe is described as an "anarchic fortress" characterized by dissimilar architectural styles. Mandalorian iron, beskar in Mando'a, is a highly versatile, lightsaber-resistant metal ore unique to Mandalore and Concordia.Mandalorian language The Mandalorian script as created for Attack of the Clones.
A written form of the Mandalorian language was created by Philip Metschan for the display screens of Jango Fett's ship Slave I in Attack of the Clones, and it was later reused in The Clone Wars and Rebels. 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.
Mando'a is characterized as a primarily spoken, agglutinative language that lacks grammatical gender in its nouns and pronouns. The language is also characterized as lacking a passive voice, instead primarily speaking in active voice. It is also described as having only three grammatical tenses—present, past, and future—but it is said to be often vague and its speakers typically do not use tenses other than the present. The language is described as having a mutually intelligible dialect called Concordian spoken on the planet Concord Dawn, as stated in the Traviss' novels Order 66 and 501st, and a dialect spoken on Mandalore's moon Concordia is heard in "The Mandalore Plot", a season two episode of The Clone Wars.References