This is the Way: What We Know About Mandalorians - Part I

Last November and December, Disney+ subscribers were treated to the first ever live action Star Wars television series, The Mandalorian. In addition to the show's main focus - a man protecting a mysterious child from a galaxy of threats - we also got some details about Mandalorian culture.

But this was not the first mention of Mandalorians in the on-screen Star Wars universe. There were thousands of words published about the history and culture of the warrior race. However, since those books are no longer considered an official part of Star Wars continuity, I will be focusing the two animated TV series which featured Mandalorians - Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels.



Based on what we had been shown in the animated shows, there were a few surprises in The Mandalorian. Here are a few of the revelations that I'd like to explore:
  • The Mandalorians were all but wiped out by the Empire in an event referred to as "the Purge." Din Djarin is part of an underground group of Mandalorians on Nevarro.
  • During the Purge, the Empire stole most of the Mandalorians' supply of beskar, the alloy with which Mandalorians forge their armor.
  • As a child, Din was rescued from a Droid Army attack by Mandalorians - one of whom had the Death Watch symbol on his armor. He was adopted into their culture. Din is referred to as a "foundling."
  • Mandalorians are never supposed to remove their helmets. Din has not removed his since he was a child (which would have been during or shortly after the time of the Clone Wars).
  • Mandalorian is not a race; it is a creed.
  • The Armorer says that long ago the Mandalorians were at war with a race of sorcerers. It is unknown if she is referring to the Jedi, or specifically Yoda's species.
  • Moff Gideon has the Darksaber.
In this article, I'm going to focus on the mentions of Mandalorians in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, as well as the graphic novel Son of Dathomir, which was based on some unfinished Clone Wars episodes. I'll be looking for any backstory on Mandalorian history, as well as significant Mandalorian events that occurred in the episodes. I'm also going to be looking for a group of Mandalorians that don't remove their helmets.


Season 2, Episodes 12-14 (The Mandalore Plot, Voyage of Temptation, Duchess of Mandalore)

Backstory Revealed
  • Mandalore is on the Council of Independent Systems. Duchess Satine has been leading Mandalore towards peace and leaving behind their warrior ways.
  • Death Watch is allied with Count Dooku. They want to cause enough disturbance for the Republic to come occupy Mandalore, and drive the people to rebel and rally to Death Watch.
  • Concordia is the moon of Mandalore. It has its own governor, Pre Vizsla.
  • Vizsla says the Darksaber was stolen from the Jedi Temple by his ancestors, and many Jedi have died upon its blade. [Could he be referring to the same war that the Armorer told us about in The Mandalorian?]
Significant Events
  • Pre Vizsla is exposed as the leader of Death Watch.
  • Death Watch leaves Concordia.
  • Death Watch, working with the Senator of Mandalore and the Separatist Droid Army, tries to assassinate Duchess Satine.
  • After a failed attempt to manipulate the Republic Senate into occupying Mandalore (thus rallying more people to Death Watch to resist the occupation), Count Dooku withdraws Separatist support from Death Watch.
Helmet Watch
  • Vizsla appears both without his armor (when acting as governor of Concordia) and in his armor but with no helmet.


Season 3, Episodes 5-6 (Corruption, The Academy)

Backstory Revealed
  • N/A
Significant Events
  • Remaining neutral and rejecting the Republic's help has made supplies scarce on Mandalore. The people have turned to the black market, and corruption runs rampant.
  • Almec, the Prime Minister of Mandalore, is in on the corruption.
Helmet Watch
  • N/A


Season 4, Episode 14 (A Friend in Need)

Backstory Revealed
  • Death Watch has presumably been attacking the Separatist army, because they have some Commando droids in their camp that they use for target practice.
Significant Events
  • Death Watch has set up camp on some planet, and captured and enslaved the women from a nearby village. When the chieftain asks them to leave, Vizsla orders his warriors to burn the village down and kill everyone in it.
Helmet Watch
  • Pre Vizsla, Bo-Katan, and other members of Death Watch are shown without helmets.

Season 5, Episodes 14-16 (Eminence, Shades of Reason, The Lawless)

Backstory Revealed
  • Pre Vizsla reveals that the Death Watch symbol is the sign of Clan Vizsla, and that the Death Watch are "descendants of the true warrior faith all Mandalorians once knew." [So the Mandalorian who rescued Din Djarin in The Mandalorian wasn't necessarily a member of Death Watch, but could have been anyone from Clan Vizsla.]
Significant Events
  • Pre Vizsla and Bo-Katan find Maul and Savage Oppress adrift in a damaged escape pod, and tend to their wounds. The Death Watch and Maul have a common enemy in the Jedi, especially Kenobi.
  • Maul and Savage attack Mandalore with an army of Black Sun and Pyke warriors, causing Death Watch to win the support of the Mandalorian people. Duchess Satine is imprisoned, and Pre Vizsla takes control.
  • Maul and Savage free former Prime Minister Almec from prison. Maul challenges Pre Vizsla to single combat, and kills him, beheading him with the Darksaber. He claims the right to rule. Bo-Katan and a small group of warriors loyal to her refuse to serve Maul. "An outsider will never rule Mandalore!" [This attitude doesn't sound compatible with "Mandalorian is not a race; it's a creed." Granted, the context is a little different.]
  • Maul installs Almec as a puppet ruler of Mandalore. Almec declares that Mandalore is returning to its warrior tradition.
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi (acting without the support of the Republic or the Jedi Council) arrives on Mandalore to rescue Satine. But Maul executes Satine with the Darksaber in front of him.
  • Bo-Katan and her followers rescue Kenobi, and a civil war erupts between two factions of Mandalorian warriors: those loyal to Maul and those loyal to Satine and Bo-Katan.
  • Bo-Katan tells Kenobi to leave Mandalore and tell the Republic what has happened, knowing that it will mean a Republic invasion/occupation of Mandalore.
  • Palpatine kills Savage and captures Maul.
Helmet Watch
  • Many of the Death Watch have helmets removed before Death Watch takes control of Mandalore.
  • Bo-Katan is shown with her helmet off after the civil war begins.

Son of Dathomir Comic

Backstory Revealed
  • Almec and the Maul-loyal Mandalorians are still in charge on Mandalore, and Bo-Katan is leading a resistance movement against them.
  • It is revealed that there are Mandalorian outposts in other systems in the galaxy.
Significant Events
  • Maul is broken out Palpatine's prison by two Mandalorians - Saxon and Kast, who were sent by Almec. They bring Maul to the swamp moon Zanbar, where a Death Watch army is encamped.
  • Grievous and the Droid Army attack. Many Mandalorians are killed. Maul and the rest of his Mandalorians retreat and regroup on Ord Mantell with Black Sun and the Pykes.
Helmet Watch
  • Kast is shown without a helmet.


Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for Part II, when I will look at what we learned about Mandalorians in Star Wars: Rebels. I'm sure we'll also learn something in Season 7 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which will start airing on Disney+ on February 21.

Update: Check out Part II here!

Did I miss any relevant details from The Clone Wars? Is there anything else from The Mandalorian that needs an explanation? Check out my contact information below and let me know!

Conclusion
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