The Star Wars franchise hit an interesting milestone with the release of The Mandalorian on Disney+ last fall. On the one hand, Star Wars is a sci-fi / fantasy series that has deep lore that die-hards learn and recite like scripture. On the other hand, The Mandalorian opened the door to a much bigger demographic of Star Wars viewers - mainstream viewers, who aren't really steeped in the larger franchise storyline. Even if you've followed all the Star Wars films and animated shows, there's one franchise arc that pretty confusing to everyone: the history of Mandalore.
The Mandalorian gave some brief (but crucial) sketches of where Mandalorian culture by the time period of the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy - but that's not enough. Below you can find a breakdown of Star Wars' history of Mandalore - including the unanswered questions that The Mandalorian season 2 may answer!
What Is Mandalore?
First and foremost: the planet Mandalore is located in the Outer Rim Territories. The Mandalorian culture was one of fierce warriors who loved conquer and battle, and they developed some of the galaxy's most fearsome armor and weaponry. The Mandalorians were strong enough to stand against The Jedi Order in the Old Republic, and eventually raided their temple. Years of war left the planet terrain ruined, leading to a series of domed cities. Mandalore eventually saw a pacifist regime come to power under Duchess Satine Kryze, which brings us to volatile turns of The Clone Wars...
Mandalorian Civil War
During Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Duchess Staine's pacifist government was opposed by the Death Watch movement, led by Pre Vizsla. Death Watch's disruptions allowed Darth Maul to hijack the movement, merging Death Watch into his Shadow Collective. He murdered Duchess Satine, and installment Prime Minister Almec as his puppet leader. Needless to say, it was a dark time for Mandalore, in the early years of the Clone Wars.
The Siege of Mandalore
The Clone Wars came to end with Order 66 and the rise of Emperor Palpatine's Galactic Empire. As we saw in the final season of The Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker's former apprentice Ahsoka Tano joined Duchess Satine's sister, Bo-Katan Kryze, in "The Siege of Mandalore" operation. Together, Tano and Kryze overthrew Darth Maul and his Death Watch faction, seeming to free Mandalore from the crime lord's control. But that victory was fleeting...
Bo-Katan became Regent of Mandalore after The Clone Wars and Siege of Mandalore, but her rule was brief. Bo-Katan refused to do the Empire's bidding, preferring Mandalore to remain neutral and self-governed by its own people. The Empire backed Clan Saxon (led by Gar Saxon) in overthrowing Bo-Katan, with the Empire installing Gar as Viceroy and Governor of the planet. The Empire used Mandalore as the site of an Imperial Academy, to train its soldiers using Mandalore's elite warrior ways.
Civil War II
A few years before Luke Skywalker emerges as the galaxy's new hope, Mandalore fought a second civil war. Gar Saxon came into conflict with Clan Wren, which included the trailblazing agent of the Rebel Alliance, Sabine Wren, and her mother Ursa. Ursa killed Gar Saxon in battle, forcing Mandalore to erupt in clan-on-clan conflict. While Imperial might had Clan Wren on the ropes, Bo-Katan re-emerged to join with Sabine Wren, and brought the major surviving clans of Mandalore (and its famed Protectors), to battle Tiber Saxon and the Imperial forces. After Sabine helped turn the tide and defeat the Empire, she handed the mantle of Mandalorian leadership, the Darksaber, to Bo-Katan, officially making her leader of Mandalore.
The Great Purge
Star Wars has never directly addressed this dark period in Mandalore's history onscreen, but the effects of "The Great Purge" form the entire foundation for the story of The Mandalorian. Basically, sometime after Bo-Katan took control of Mandalore in the early days of the Galactic Civil War, the Empire struck back (typical), slaughtering the Mandalorian people to apparent near-extinction. The Empire then hoarded the Mandalorians' beskar steel, the basis for their one-of-a-kind weapons and armor. It is unknown what happened to Bo-Katan Kryze, but her Darksaber ended up in the hands of Moff Gideon but we'll find out when Katee Sackhoff plays her in The Mandalorian season 2.
After The Great Purge, the surviving Mandalorians were banded together into a roving band known as "The Tribe," who eventually came to hideout on the planet Nevarro. Led by "The Armorer," The Tribe took missions across the galaxy in attempt to reclaim their beskar steel, and regain their warrior culture. The Mandalorian turns out to be a "foundling" taken in by the tribe - and at the end of season 1, The Tribe was once again scattered and on the run, as Moff Gideon came to Nevarro to hunt them down, and take Baby Yoda.
The Mandalorian Season 2
In The Mandalorian season 2, Star Wars fans hope to find out what exactly happened in The Great Purge, and how it relates to Din Djarin's mysterious origin and transformation into "Mando." Now that we know Moff Gideon took the Darksaber, we also hope to see Bo-Katan Kryze and Ahsoka Tano make a return, played by Katee Sackhoff and Rosario Dawson (respectively).0comments
And of course: We need to know how Boba Fett fits into all of this...
The Mandalorian season 2 airs this fall on Disney+.
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