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Expanded Universe

Can We See More: Mandalorians

Can We See More is a series that looks at certain aspects of the Star Wars universe that were compelling and deserve a more thorough treatment in some form of media.

Current Mandalorian crest.
Image from Wookieepedia

Renewed Interested

One of the most anticipated media events to come out of Lucasfilm in the Disney era is certainly The Mandalorian. We’ve heard rumors for years of a live-action Star Wars series. But for all the development that took place over the years nothing ever materialized. Even after the success of the Clone Wars, when it seemed there was demand for Star Wars television, the pieces never lined up to bring a live-action series to fruition. That all changed of course with the release of Jon Favreau’s six-episode show in the Fall of 2019.

The Mandalorian delivered on many things that fans had wanted to see. It was a deep dive into the Star Wars universe, there were new interesting characters, captivating new places, and a plot that was compelling but still felt true to the Star Wars ethos.

The show also renewed interest in a famous yet still enigmatic part of the Star Wars universe: Mandalorians.

History

Mandalorians were introduced to the universe through one singular character, Boba Fett. His theatrical debut was in The Empire Strikes Back. However, the character was first shown to fans in the now infamous Star Wars Holiday Special. During a short animated film that took place in the middle of the live-action television special, the heroes were pitted against this faceless armor-wearing bounty hunter.

Boba Fett’s initial role was limited. After tracking down Han Solo and helping to deliver him over to Darth Vader he met his demise roughly a year later during the skirmish at the Great Pit of Carkoon. In this battle Fett was thrown into the Sarlacc pit where he presumably would be digested for the next millennium.

Of course Boba Fett’s contribution to the universe would not ultimately end there, and much more of his background would be fleshed out in books, comics, films, etc. But he still stands as our first introduction to a people/creed/group know as Mandalorians. A mysterious, honorable, code-following, armor wearing band of mercenaries.

The Disney+ show follows this group for its story. However, it is the much earlier nomadic clan that I am interested in. That’s what I want to see more of.

Mandalore

Crest of the Mandalorian Crusaders established by Mandalore the First. Image from Wookieepedia

The Star Wars universe has already developed quite a bit about Mandalorian history and culture. But there is still so much that could be explored and brought to life on screen. The Mandalorian people originally came from the planet Mandalore, which was conquered by Mandalore the First. According to the historical accounts given it was Mandalore that established the fierce warrior tribe that would one day span across the entire galaxy and bear his name. These events take place long before the Battle of Yavin, being set in the Old Republic era. (For reference Mandalore’s life was somewhere between 24,000 and 7,000 years before the Galactic Empire and battle over Yavin IV).

Some media in the Expanded Universe have given us glimpses of this original Mandalorian culture. The Knights of the Old Republic video game gives you a companion who is a Mandalorian warrior that fought in the Mandalorian wars.

What is described of those wars, is a large conflict between the Old Republic and a fierce group of Mandalorian fighters. Only the Sith Wars would eventually eclipse the calamity that Mandalorians were causing. Seeing this conflict on a screen somewhere would give us the opportunity to see a fresh new storyline that is still placed squarely inside of a familiar universe.

While Boba Fett, and the Mandalorians seen in the current show are intriguing characters and interesting to see in their own right, they are still only following in the steps of a far more robust and sophisticated culture that has been hinted at in many different places. But rarely given a full look for any length of time.

I’m not holding my breath for a series or movie about ancient Mandalorian culture and the wars fought between them and the Old Republic but it would certainly be something to see if there was.

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