- "Mandalorians don't make threats. We make promises."
- — Canderous Ordo
The Mandalorians (called Mando'ade in Mando'a, meaning "Sons and Daughters of Mandalore") were a group of clan-based people consisting of members from multiple species. Their culture revolved around that of the idea of battle and war being a source of honour 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.
Originally, the Mandalorians were a gray-skinned warrior race descended from the Taungs of Coruscant. Later, members of other species joined their ranks, until humans made up the majority. In later years, races as diverse as Togorians, Kerestians, and Mandallian Giants also joined the Mandalorians. Mandalorians spoke their own language, Mando'a, but many spoke Galactic Basic as well.
Mandalorian Warriors wore very distinctive battle helmets with T-shaped visors that covered the entirety of their faces. These helmets were became associated with the Mandalorian people.
Originally, the Mandalorian clans were Taung from Coruscant, led by the warlord "Mandalore the First". Eventually 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 for 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 both famous (and infamous) to the galaxy at large.
The Old Sith WarsEdit
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.
The Neo-Crusaders were led by "Mandalore the Ultimate" and started the Mandalorian Wars. The Neo-Crusaders' armor was more advanced and uniform-like than their old armor. Canderous Ordo, who would later become Mandalore, wore a unique suit of silver and black armor.
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, although their fate was unknown even several years later. Some Mandalorians were unable to accept the terms of their defeat, and turned to piracy, brigandage, and mercenary work. 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. Ordo was also a key in defeating the Sith Lord Darth Nihilus on the battleship Ravager.
The New Sith WarsEdit
The Mandalorians would war against both the Jedi and the Sith. They opposed the Dark Lord of the Sith known as the Dark Underlord, but how much of a role they played in the Sith Lord's downfall is unknown. Ung Kusp, a Mandalore during this era, was tricked into a war with the Sith; whether his war was the one against the Dark Underlord, and its result, are unknown.
Five hundred years later, Mandalorian armor was present at the Sith camp following the Seventh Battle of Ruusan. Whether this meant that the Mandalorians had fought for the Sith at Ruusan, 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-orientated 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 lead 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, thanks 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."
Rebirth of the MandaloriansEdit
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 host for a Grand Army of the Republic on Kamino. One clone trooper, an elite ARC trooper named Alpha-Ø2, ended up going rogue and changing the Mandalorians forever.
Through some fluke of the Kaminoans' cloning technology, 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) at Zaadja.
Thirty years after the Battle of Endor, the Mandalorians were now ruled by Boba Fett who succeeded Fenn as Mandalore. During the Yuuzhan Vong War, Fett led his army against the Yuuzhan Vong in the Battle of Mandalore and the liberations of Gyndine and Tholatin (see Second Battle of Gyndine and Battle of Tholatin).
The Smaller ClansEdit
Before Boba Fett became Mandalore, and before Fenn Shysa became Mandalore as well, there was Desdamona Dafash. Dafash, like any other Mandalorian woman, was trained to be lethal, persuasive, and above all honerable. After the end of the Clone Wars and during the Galactic Civil War, Dafash assumed the role of Mandalore on Dxun and began recruiting some of the galaxy's best mercenaries. As in the Mereel tradition, she did not act as a normal Mandalorian and had her own organizational idea. The clans would be seperated into three: Dafash, Nectali, Gregmoli. Each member would change their sur name based on the clan they were put in. Several Mandalorians did not agree with this new Mandalore's authority and her attempts for non-individualism. Many Mandalorians such as Az-Tex or Amanda Rose left from their clans and went on their own. Amanda Rose later went on to form her own clan, mostly comprised of females. Lance Dafash, Desdamona's top assassin, has a past he tries to cover up. His son, Victor Relator is out to get him. Eventually, Relator would become Mandalore after Boba Fett's death.
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. 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. However, once the ranks of troopers were joined with other clones and regular recruits, the GAR lost it's sense of being Mandalorian.
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 would follow the way of the mandalorians. Many war-orphaned children (such as Jango Fett) would be adopted into Mandalorian society, and brought up as though they were children of the Mandalorians themselves. Even the women, who were required to be very tough, had to do their part, and when not tending to children, also fought in combat.
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 target to exterminate the Mandalorians. This attributed to the Mandalorians' survival over thousands of centuries. This also meant that many Mandalorians had not ever visited Mandalore.
Individual Mandalorians were independent warriors, bound together by the same culture. Created by their own hands, fitted to their liking, each piece of Mandalorian steel was 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.
Mandalorians were considered adults at an age as low as thirteen years. This contributed to the fact that Mandalorians married and settled down earlier than most cultures. Family bonds were a huge part of the Mandalorian culture, and as a result, they felt more comfortable around each other than they did around strangers. Mandalorian weddings were brief, and meant serious commitment to each other.
There were six acts one needed to follow to be a Mandalorian, those being wearing armor, speaking Mando'a, defending theirselves 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 silver 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.