Exploring the Mandalorian Culture and World
In honor of the Mandalorian’s second season, let’s explore the world and culture of Mandalore and the Mandalorians. This is the way.
The second season of the acclaimed Disney Plus series The Mandalorian arrives on October 30th, that is incredibly close people! The series expands an interesting aspect of the Star Wars universe — the culture and prominence of Mandalore and the Mandalorian people.
The series is littered with terms and phrases associated with Mandalorian mythology. Throughout the Star Wars universe, viewers have been introduced to the Mandalorians through the likes of Sabine Wren from Star Wars Rebels, Duchess Satine Kryze from the Clone Wars, and Death Watch.
However, Mandalorian culture first became popularized in the original Star Wars trilogy with Boba Fett, one of the most badass, popular characters in all of Star Wars. He was introduced in The Empire Strikes Back as a armored bounty hunter who successfully captures Han Solo. Boba Fett is connected with the Mandalorians because of his iconic Mandalorian armor, weaponry, and gadgets. With that being said, Boba Fett isn’t truly a Mandalorian, however he is recognized for increasing their reputation in the galaxy, and popularizing them with fans. Throughout the years, the skilled assassin has garnered tons of popularity, resulting in him to be featured as a protagonist in books, cartoons, and other forms of media.
The Disney Plus series focuses on an entirely different character, a character who is genuinely a Mandalorian. In the first season of the series, the titular bounty hunter is sent on a mission in the outer reaches of the galaxy where he comes across various alien races in the galaxy, including the Jawas (who are incredibly hilarious, and a great addition) and of course, Baby Yoda. As previously mentioned, one of the series’ main focal points is the mythology of Mandalore and its inhabitants.
The Mandalorians first true appearance in Star Wars pop culture was in the the Clone Wars series, in the episode titled The Mandalore Plot. The episode was responsible for introducing Mandalorian culture and history. In the episode, a mural explains the story of the ancient Mandalorians. It highlights their violence across the galaxy, which eventually attracted the attention of the Jedi. However, one of the Mandalorians, Tarre Vizsla, became a Jedi, the first Mandalorian Jedi. Tarre Vizsla is the creator of the infamous Darksaber, which has made important appearances in the Clone Wars, Rebels, and most recently, the Mandalorian series itself. With the power and symbol of the Darksaber, Tarre Vizsla became the leader of the Mandalore system. After his death, the Darksaber was passed down throughout his family, who used the weapon to rule Mandalore as Clan Vizsla.
The war between the Mandalorians and the Jedi resulted in the destruction of Mandalore’s surface, forcing the people to reside in underground, closed dome cities. Before the events of The Phantom Menace, a civil war erupted in which Old Mandalorian warriors attempted to take control of the planet from New Mandalorians, who favored pacifism over the traditional violent means. Once again, the Jedi were involved, with Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jin and his padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi being sent to Mandalore to protect the New Mandalorian Duchess Satine Kryze.
After the Old Mandalorians were forced to retreat to one of Mandalore’s moons, Duchess Satine rebuilt Mandalore through diplomacy and peace. However, during the Clone Wars, the Old Mandalorian warriors — now referring to themselves as Death Watch — allied with the Separatists. In a three episode arc of the Clone Wars series, Death Watch, led by Pre Vizsla and the Duchess’ sister, Bo-Katan, made multiple attacks against the Republic, the Jedi, and Mandalore. Death Watch’s goal was to create a Republic invasion of Mandalore so they could defeat the invading Republic and be viewed as triumphant Mandalorian heroes by the people of Mandalore. However, Death Watch’s plan failed when a vote to commence a Republic occupation of Mandalore was not supported in the Senate.
After their defeat, Death Watch then joined forces with another villain, the infamous Darth Maul, who was creating his own criminal group; the Shadow Collective. In time, Maul eventually murdered the leader of Death Watch, Pre Vizsla, after he betrayed the former Sith. Once again, this storyline is portrayed in a three episode arc in the Clone Wars series. The arc epically ends with a battle between Maul and his former master, Darth Sidious, one of my favorite moments in all of Star Wars pop culture.
After the execution of Order 66 and the formation of the Empire, the Imperial forces populated Mandalore. As portrayed in the Rebels series, Mandalorian fighter Sabine Wren came into the possession of the Darksaber. Sabine pushed against the Empire, who were being assisted by Mandalorian fighters to enslave or murder their own people. Eventually, Sabine offered the Darksaber to Bo-Katan so she could unify the Mandalorians and lead them against the Empire.
Therefore, with that being said, what happened next? Well, that story has not been told. It is unknown whether Bo-Katan’s fight against the Empire residing in Mandalore was successful or not. However, in the first episode of The Mandalorian, a character references an event called “The Great Purge”. This reference may directly relate to an unrevealed event in Mandalorian history. With Bo-Katan rumored to play a role in the upcoming second season of The Mandalorian, more details will likely be revealed about the history of Mandalore.
The Mandalorian debuts on October 30th, and there is so much to look forward to. Every Monday, expect a new review of an episode of the show: Mandalorian Mondays.
As always, may the force be with you.