The Mandalorian Season 3: What You Need To Know About Mandalore
Din Djarin will journey to Mandalore in The Mandalorian season 3, further linking the live-action Star Wars series to the franchise’s animated shows. The Mandalorians have been a popular element of the Star Wars mythos since their storied history was first hinted at by the Legends-era novels and comics of the 1980s, which provided fascinating details for Boba Fett and his iconic suit of armor. Expanded Universe material further built on the Mandalorians in later years, but the lore was retconned by Star Wars: The Clone Wars and other official continuity stories. The new ways of the Mandalorians will continue to play out in The Mandalorian season 3.
The Clone Wars, despite debuting during the Legends-era of the Star Wars franchise, knowingly ignored and rewrote Star Wars lore on a regular basis. Series showrunner Dave Filoni directly stated that he did not consider it part of the old Expanded Universe, making the show part of George Lucas’ canon continuity. The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, and The Mandalorian have all helped to establish the new history of the Mandalorians in the current storyline, establishing a long history of conflict for Mandalore before it factors into The Mandalorian season 3.
Mandalore Was Divided Even Before The Empire
As revealed in The Clone Wars and Rebels, the Mandalorian clans fought amongst themselves throughout their history, ravaging worlds in Mandalorian space from Concord Dawn to Mandalore itself. While the Mandalore of Legends was covered in forests, jungles, and oceans, the canon version has been decimated by warfare, to the point where it is little more than hazardous, radioactive deserts, necessitating the construction of domed cities like the capital of Sundari. As explained by Rebels and The Mandalorian, the divided clans of Mandalore were once united by Tarre Vizsla, the first and (thus far) only Mandalorian Jedi, whose rule is symbolized by his legendary black-bladed lightsaber, the Darksaber.
While Mandalorian warrior clans continued to exist throughout the Star Wars prequel trilogy era, with Jango Fett fighting in one such civil war (like his Legends-era counterpart), the rulers of Mandalore itself were the New Mandalorians by the outbreak of the Clone Wars. The New Mandalorians eschewed weapons and warfare in favor of pacifism and neutrality, but this ultimately made them the target of the Death Watch. A murderous terrorist group seeking to return Mandalore to its old, warlike ways Death Watch was led by Pre Vizsla and Bo-Katan Kryze, the latter of whom was seeking to remove her own sister, Duchess Satine, from the throne.
What Happened To Mandalore During The Clone Wars
The Death Watch opportunistically made alliances during the Clone Wars to aid in their long-sought coup, starting with their unsuccessful partnership with Count Dooku and his Separatist Alliance. Following Darth Maul’s resurfacing, the former Sith Lord established the Shadow Collective, with the Death Watch being its first member. Together, Vizsla and Maul toppled the New Mandalorians, but the two leaders’ eventually betrayed one another, resulting in Vizsla’s death and Maul becoming the rightful wielder of the Darksaber. A schism formed, and Bo-Katan and her Nite Owls went to war with Maul’s loyalists, eventually forcing Kryze to turn to the Republic for help.
The series finale of The Clone Wars depicts the climactic Siege of Mandalore, in which Bo-Katan, Ahsoka Tano, and Captain Rex led a contingent of clone troopers and Mandalorian warriors against Maul and his forces. The clones proved to be definitively superior to the Death Watch forces, overwhelming their ranks and taking survivors of the battle into custody. Maul was defeated and captured by Tano, though not in combat for the throne (thus remaining the rightful wielder of the Darksaber) and Bo-Katan became regent of Mandalore. Kryze’s rule would be short-lived, however.
Order 66, the Great Jedi Purge, and the declaration of the Galactic Empire all occurred shortly after the Siege of Mandalore, and the planet was quickly taken over by the clones, now brainwashed into Imperial service. As revealed in Rebels, Bo-Katan was soon replaced by the Imperial toady Gar Saxon (one of Maul’s top lieutenants before being betrayed during the siege). Young Mandalorians, such as eventual Rebel Sabine Wren, were sent into service for the Empire and helped develop weapons, including the beskar-targeting arc pulse generator called « the Duchess. » With Maul gone and the Darksaber with him, the Mandalorian clans lacked the unity necessary to rise against the Empire.
What We Know About Mandalore During The Imperial Era
A key portion of Mandalore’s history during the Imperial era is shown in Rebels season 4, in which the fledgling Rebel Alliance works alongside Bo-Katan to repel the Empire from the Mandalorian homeworld. The Mandalorian clans are once again united by Kryze, who obtains the Darksaber (though notably without defeating its previous wielder, Maul, who goes on to die fighting Obi-Wan Kenobi) and leads them against the Imperial Supercommandos. Although Kryze is shown to be victorious in Rebels, The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett reveal that the Empire would retaliate in what would be known as the Night of a Thousand Tears.
Seeing the Mandalorian clans rally behind Kryze, the Empire massacred the population on Mandalore, bombing their domed cities and sending survivors into hiding. The already war-torn Mandalore was left in utter ruin by the Empire and more traditional Mandalorian groups, such as the Children of the Watch, believed that the world was cursed by Kryze’s rise to power and ownership of the Darksaber without earning it in combat. The legendary weapon fell into the possession of the Imperial Moff Gideon, and Kryze was reduced once more to a power-hungry, opportunistic terrorist.
Following the Galactic Empire’s defeat at the Battle of Endor and ultimate fall at the Battle of Jakku, Mandalore remained in ruin. Having defeated Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian season 2’s finale, Din Djarin became the rightful owner of the Darksaber, putting him at odds with Bo-Katan. Djarin lost his status as a Mandalorian in the eyes of the Children of the Watch by removing his helmet, but his standing can be restored by traveling to the living waters beneath Mandalore’s mines. The Mandalorian season 3 promises to heavily feature Mandalore, adding to the planet’s lore in the Star Wars canon continuity.