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

In my previous post, I explored what we had learned about Mandalorians in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, as well as the tie-in graphic novel Son of Dathomir. You can see my list of observations here.

To review, here are the revelations I pointed out from the Disney+ series The Mandalorian:
  • 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. If they ever remove their helmets in front of another living person, they can never put them back on again. 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 will look at the Mandalorians in  Star Wars: Rebels:

Season 2, Episode 13 (The Protector of Concord Dawn)
Backstory Revealed
  • Concord Dawn is a Mandalorian colony. Its warriors were brought in to train clones during the Clone Wars. It is not under Imperial control yet, but the Empire does occupy Mandalore.
  • Mandalorians were at war with each other years before the Clone Wars started. The Mandalorians on Concord Dawn are called Protectors. So they are presumably a different group than any of the Mandalorians we saw in The Clone Wars.
  • Sabine identifies herself to the Protectors as Clan Wren, House Vizsla. The Protectors identify House Vizsla with Death Watch and call Sabine a traitor. Sabine says that her mother was Death Watch, but that Sabine is not.
Significant Events
  • Phoenix Squadron needs a new hyperspace route in and out of Lothal, and goes to Concord Dawn to try and secure a route. Fenn Rau, the leader of the Protectors says that he speaks for the Empire, and attacks the Rebel ships.
  • The Rebels capture Fenn Rau, and he instructs his Mandalorians to allow the Rebels safe passage through their territory for the time being.
Helmet Watch
  • Fenn Rau is shown with his helmet off.


Season 3, Episode 7 (Imperial Supercommandos)
Backstory Revealed
  • The Protectors are not a clan or house. They recruit the best warriors from other clans.
  • Imperial Supercommandos are a group of Mandalorians who serve the Empire. Rau considers them traitors. They are led by Gar Saxon of Clan Vizsla. This is the same Saxon who worked for Maul in Son of Dathomir.
  • Sabine's mother stands with Saxon and the Empire.
Significant Events
  • Fenn Rau joins the Rebellion officially.
Helmet Watch
  • N/A

Season 3, Episode 11 (Visions and Voices)
Backstory Revealed
  • N/A
Significant Events
  • Sabine finds the Dark Saber among Maul's possessions on Dathomir, and takes it.
Helmet Watch
  • N/A


Season 3, Episodes 15-16 (Trials of the Darksaber, Legacy of Mandalore)
Backstory Revealed
  • The Darksaber was a lightsaber constructed over a thousand years ago by the first Mandalorian to be a Jedi, Tarre Vizsla. It is one of a kind.
  • The Jedi kept the Darksaber in their temple after Vizsla died, but members of House Vizsla infiltrated the temple and stole the blade. They used the blade to unite all the Mandalorians.
  • The Darksaber remained a symbol of House Vizsla, and later Death Watch. All Mandalorians respect the blade, not just House Vizsla. A Mandalorian wielding that blade would be able to reunite the clans.
  • Kanan says that the Jedi won a historical war with Mandalore. [Could this be the war the Armorer referred to?]
  • The Empire used weapons Sabine created to enslave Mandalore.
  •  Clan Wren lives on Krownest. They stand with the Empire.
Significant Events
  • Gar Saxon manages to get the Darksaber from Sabine, but Sabine defeats him in single combat, using Ezra's lightsaber.
Helmet Watch
  • Sabine's mother and brother are shown without helmets.
  • Saxon is shown without his helmet.


Season 3, Episodes 21-22 (Zero Hour: Parts 1-2)

Backstory Revealed
  • N/A
Significant Events
  • Clan Wren is in an open civil  war with Gar Saxon (who is backed by the Empire). But they are able to spare a few ships to help Phoenix Squadron escape Grand Admiral Thrawn's siege of their base.
Helmet Watch
  • N/A

Season 4, Episodes 1-2 (Heroes of Mandalore: Parts 1-2)
Backstory Revealed
  • The Jedi made Bo-Katan of House Kryze the Regent of Mandalore before the end of the Clone Wars. Many Mandalorians consider her to be Mandalore's true leader. When she refused to serve the Empire, the Empire put Clan Saxon in charge.
Significant Events
  • Sabine, some members of her clan, and Fenn Rau attempt to rescue Sabine's father from a prison on Mandalore. Bo-Katan and some members of Clan/House Kryze (the use of the terms clan and house seems to be somewhat inconsistent) join the fight to help Sabine.
  • Several members of Clan Wren are killed by an Imperial weapon, one that Sabine had developed for them. The weapon, called "The Duchess," specifically targets beskar armor and kills whoever is wearing it.
  • Sabine leads a mission to destroy this weapon, and the schematics used to create it.
  • During the attack, one of Saxon's top lieutenants loses faith in Tiber Saxon, thinking it is a bad idea to help the Empire perfect a weapon that could wipe out the Mandalorians. 
  • Clans Vizsla, Rook, Eldar, Wren, Kryze and the Protectors give their support to Bo-Katan as leader of Mandalore. Sabine gives her the Darksaber.
  • Bo-Katan says that the Empire will come against Mandalore even more ferociously now, after this victory. [The Purge referred to in The Mandalorian may be coming soon. I don't know if the rest of Saxon's followers will continue serving the Empire after the death of Tiber and the revelation of "The Duchess." So even these Mandalorians are in danger of Imperial retribution.]
Helmet Watch
  • Bo-Katan and at least one member of every clan removes their helmet in this episode. [At this point we have yet to see a clan or group of Mandalorians that never removes their helmets.]
So based on all of that, here are my conclusions and theories:
  • Conclusion: At one point there was a war between Mandalorians and Jedi. The Jedi won this war. But we have no idea why they were fighting in the first place.
  • Conclusion: Some time between the events of Star Wars: Rebels (which takes place a few years before A New Hope) and The Mandalorian (which takes place five years after Return of the Jedi), the Empire wipes out most of the Mandalorians, and steals their beskar. This is later referred to as the Purge.
  • Theory: The Purge is probably in retaliation to Sabine's destruction of the anti-Mandalorian weapon "The Duchess."
  • Theory: Moff Gideon takes the Darksaber from Bo-Katan, either before or during the Purge.
  • Conclusion: The Mandalorians who rescued Din Djarin during the Clone Wars were not necessarily Death Watch. All we know is that at least one of these Mandalorians was from Clan Vizsla.
  • Conclusion: Since none of the groups, clans, and houses of Mandalorians we saw in the animated series seemed to have the rule about never removing one's helmet, it stands to reason that the group that adopted Din Djarin is one we haven't seen before. 
  • Theory: We know that the Protectors were a group composed of the best fighters from each clan. My theory is that the group that adopted Din was another group made up of members of each clan, a group whose purpose was maintaining the Mandalorian culture. If bloodline was not central to this group, then perhaps adopting foundlings was a regular practice for them.
  • Theory: After the Purge, the group that had adopted Din was (for the most part) all that was left of the Mandalorians. The practice of adopting foundlings becomes essential to preserving and continuing the Mandalorian culture.

Conclusion
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