The path to Mandalorian redemption is bringing Star Wars fans to a planet that well, has never been seen before in the live-action films.
After removing his helmet and showing his face to Grogu in season two of The Mandalorian – willingly as the salty Armorer might add – Din Djarin is Mandalorian no more.
As seen on the first episode of the current third season of the hit Disney+ series, Din is back with Grogu, and Din is trying to make good and save himself from Mandalorian exile but it is not as easy as it seems. To claim himself to be Mandalorian again, he must first bathe in the Living Waters found deep within the mines of Mandalore.
But what is Mandalore? Every mention of Din’s home planet of Mandalore throughout the series has been followed by stories of how it is no longer inhabitable and is completely destroyed. Despite all the scattered whispers of the planet’s ruins, we’ve not actually seen the current state of Mandalore itself, or at least not yet.
In current post Disney Star Wars canon, Mandalore first appeared in “The Mandalore Plot,” the twelfth episode of the second season (2010) of the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The first season of The Book of Boba Fett (2021) live-action series finally gave audiences their first look at the planet of Mandalore on the day that it fell to the Empire.
The Siege of Mandalore has been an important part of Star Wars canon for some time, especially when dealing with the events of The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels. The animated shows have taken a deep dive into the history and culture of the planet, while the live-action films largely stayed away from it. Those tides have turned with the TV shows on Disney+. The Mandalorian has been slowly pulling back the curtain on Mandalore and its people over its first couple of seasons.
While we await to finally step foot into Mandalore, here’s a quick brief history of Mandalore and how it might apply to this third season of The Mandalorian.
Warning: Potential minor spoilers of The Mandalorian season three lies ahead.
What is Mandalore in the first place?
Mandalore is an ancient planet within the system of Kalevala. It is the traditional home of the Mandalorian people and used to be the home of the great Mythosaurs – giant creatures who ancient Mandalorians have not only managed to tame and ride, but also drive into extinction.
Still, mythosaurs are not the only ones the Mandalorians fought with. The Mandalorians have their own clans and great families, and often disagreed amongst themselves too. Although the people of Mandalore – no matter the odds – are often united under one sole leader, also known as the Mand’alor, it doesn’t stop many of them from venturing outside of the home system to become bounty hunters or mercenaries.
The Mand’alor is the ruler of the planet Mandalore, and the first was well, Mandalore the First. He was the one who led the Mandalorian people to the planet and is how Mandalore got its name in the first place. Since then, there have been plenty of others who ruled Mandalore. Satine Kryze is known as the pacifist ruler who led Mandalore during the final decades of the Galactic Republic Era, while Tarre Vizsla is famously known as the first Jedi-Mandalorian. At one point, Darth Maul (yeah, THE Darth Maul) was Mand’alor too. Kinda. Maul led the Shadow Collective in a takeover of Mandalore.
There are plenty of ways one can become Mand’alor but as heavily discussed in The Mandalorian, one can become a ruler of Mandalore should they possess the Darksaber and can successfully unite all the clans. Maybe Din should just point the blade at the Armorer and tell her she’s no longer Mandalorian.
The Mandalorians didn’t just fight amongst their own people, they also went to war with the Jedi order. According to legend, Mandalore the Great fought a series of battles against the Jedi and the Mandalorians also waged war against the Old Republic.
There were a series of conflicts between the Mandalorians and the Jedi Order but it was the last great struggle between the Jedi and the Mandalorian warlords that ruined Mandalore. The struggle between the warlords resulted in a large battle on Mandalore and caused a cataclysm that scorched much of the planet’s surface into lifeless white desert, ending the conflict and with the Jedi emerging victorious.
The final Mandalorian-Jedi battle rendered Mandalore uninhabitable outside of sealed dome cities and plenty of Mandalorians, till this day, still hold grudges against the Jedi for their perceived crimes against Mandalore.
Mandalorian Civil War(s)
As you can gather, unity isn’t exactly a trait the Mandalorians possess. Even though Mandalorians are known to be incredibly loyal to the creed and their clans, they don’t often get along with one another. Thus begins the Mandalorian Civil War, also known as the Great Clan Wars.
A conflict fought between the New Mandalorian peace movement and martial traditionalists, the Mandalorian Civil War lasted from 41BBY to 39BBY where both parties fought for control of Mandalore. The New Mandalorians won the war at the end and duchess Satine Kryze became the leader of Mandalore. The martial traditionalists, who took on the names of The Old Mandalorians, were exiled. The surviving traditionalists took shelter at the planet’s moon of Concordia and later evolved into the Death Watch.
Satine Kryze managed to rebuild Mandalore after the war, and the planet thrived under the leadership of the New Mandalorians but it didn’t take very long for war and violence to ravage Mandalore once more. The Death Watch formed an alliance with Darth Maul and the Shadow Collective and usurped Mandalore from the pacifist New Mandalorian government. During the usurp, Kyrze was killed by Maul, ending her rule and bringing forth yet another Civil War. Maul was eventually captured and Bo-Katan Kyrze became lady of House Kryze.
Bo-Katan was later removed and replaced and Mandalore was then ruled by Gar Saxon. Seventeen years later, a third Civil War erupted between Clan Saxon and Clan Wren. Yep, a third one. Yep, Mandalorians love to fight.
The Great Purge
As if things can’t get any worse, the people of Mandalore and the already stripped planet, went through The Great Purge. Mandalore had gone through hell and back at this point, but being Mandalorians, they persevered. They are traditional and proud warrior people, who were very resistant to the attempted takeover by the Galactic Empire. As united warriors, Mandalore managed to repel many Imperial attacks. The new overlords did get tired of the resistance though, and figured if they can’t control Mandalore no one can. The Empire conducted a massive genocide that involved heat destruction of the entire planet’s surface during a bombing campaign called ‘the Night of a Thousand Tears’ and turned most of Mandalore into glass and crystal. Most of the population were slaughtered and the planet’s prized possession of Beskar was also stolen from them. Those who survived the purge went underground and operated in secrecy.
What The Mandalorian season three means for Mandalore?
All this history brings us back to the current time in The Mandalorian, which is set after all the wars and after Star Wars: A New Hope in the overall Star Wars timeline. In this current time and place, Bo-Katan Kryze has given up her desire to unite Mandalore once more – especially since she no longer wields the Darksaber – and is convinced that Mandalore is no longer salvageable.
Our friend Din Djarin, however, had won the Darksaber in combat against Moff Gideon so with that logic, he can be the next ruler of Mandalore. Thus far, Din Djarin only seems concerned with redeeming himself and becoming Mandalorian once more so there hasn’t been any apparent desire to unite and rule all of Mandalore on his end just yet. However, we think we’ll see Din Djarin stepping up to the plate when he discovers that the state of Mandalore is not exactly what he expected it to be.
The Mandalorian is now available on Disney+. New episodes air weekly on Wednesdays.