The Mandalorians have been seen as a warrior class that rivaled the Jedi and Sith Orders. Like all warrior factions in the Star Wars universe, the Mandalorians have a unique history and culture. Those two elements would be introduced by creator George Lucas and broadened by one fellow creator Dave Filoni.
According to an article from Vanity Fair, Dave Filoni had joined Lucasfilm around “2005 as an apprentice to Lucas.” When developing The Clone Wars and discussing ideas about the show, the cowboy hat-wearing creative executive recalled a chat he had with Lucas about the Mandalorian people.
“I remember when I did Clone Wars, George came in and said, ‘Well, the Mandalorians are pacifists in this time period.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, well, that’s very different than what everybody thinks they were.’ And he was like, ‘Well, you’ve got to remember that people are never just one thing. Cultures evolve and they change over time.’”
At the time of the creation of The Clone Wars, there were only a handful of Mandalorians including Fenn Shysa (Star Wars comics), Canderous Ordo (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic), Kal Skirata (Omega Squad: Targets), and the characters that introduced fans to the Mandalorians: Boba Fett and his father Jango Fett.
The second season of The Clone Wars would introduce fans to a different side of Mandalorian culture that would be seen as an oxymoron. Filoni created the Duchess Santine Kryze of Mandalore, a pacifist Mandalorian who worked diligently to keep her homeworld out of the Clone Wars. The Mandalorians under Kryze were ordinary citizens who lived in peace. However, there were other Mandalorians who followed the more traditional ways of the people’s barbaric and violent history.
Filoni brought Mandalorians like Santine’s sister Bo Katan Kryze and Pre Viszla of Death Watch, a terrorist group of Mandalorians who rebelled against the pacifist government on Mandalore. Filoni also introduced the Darksaber, which was an ancient lightsaber forged by Pre’s ancestor Tarre Viszla, a Mandalorian who became a Jedi thousands of years ago. After Tarre’s death, the Jedi would keep the weapon in the Jedi Temple until the Mandalorians would take the opportunity to steal it. The legend of the Darksaber states that the weapon has to be won in traditional Mandalorian combat and whoever wields it, lays claim to Mandalore.
The Mandalorian culture would be further fleshed out by Filoni in the Disney + TV series The Mandalorian, which is about Din Djarin, a lone Mandalorian bounty hunter who finds a force sensitive child named Grogu who is of the same species as Yoda and Yaddle.
Djarin would later learn from Bo Katan that he is from The Children of the Watch, a group of zealots who follow the more old traditional ways of the Mandalorians. The Children of the Watch would worship their weapons and forbid its followers from taking off their helmets while the more mainstream Mandalorians became a little more loose with their tradition.
The show also answered the question as to whether Boba and Jango Fett were really Mandalorians.
In episode 6 of the second season of The Mandalorian, Boba shows Djarrin a chain code from his inherited Beskar armor which states that his father was indeed a Mandalorian foundling. Previously, the Mandalorian heritage of the Fetts was in question.
According to an article from Screenrant, Fiolini “made no secret of the fact that George Lucas informed him the Fetts were not Mandalorian.” This was reinforced in episode 12 of the second season The Clone Wars where Prime Minster Almec and Obi-WanKenobi were discussing Mandalore’ violent history. When Kenobi brings up Jango Fett, Almec dismisses the bounty hunter being Mandalorian by stating that “Fett was a common bounty hunter” and “how he acquired that armor is beyond me.”
The Clone Wars and The Mandalorian are now streaming on Disney+.
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