The Mandalorian Culture was based on fighting against worthy foes in battle to gain honor. They accepted members based on adoption. Anyone of any age could be adopted in either by choice or conquest. They were strong believers in family and took them with them even into combat.
Their homeworld, such as they accepted, was Mandalore, though they also had colonies. Among them was Concord Dawn. But Mandalorians were largely nomads.
From ancient times, they collided with The Old Republic and Jedi, sometimes siding with the Sith. In the more modern era, they were hired as mercenaries and known for their skill. Their ancient besalisk war droids were famous, as were their ship skills and armor skills.
Eventually, Jaster Mereel attempted to restore honor to the Mandalorian by reinstituting warrior codes long forgotten. This was resisted by a group called the Death Watch. He was eventually killed.
Jaster’s surviving group members where betrayed by a man who hired them. Jedi, tricked into believing them terrorists, killed all but one on Galidraan, who had been duped into believing them terrorists. More than half the Jedi were killed. One of the surviving Jedi was Dooku. The surviving Mandalorian was Jango Fett, who was sold into slavery by the man he was delivered too. This would have long term consequences for everyone. Dooku’s disillusionment with the Jedi began when he realized the mistake. Jango Fett swore revenge and eventually escaped.. By joining forces, Jango provided for the newly christened Lord Tyrannus the DNA for a clone army…which would be used to betray the Jedi. He also demanded in payment one unaltered clone: Boba Fett, who he raised as a son and would become a famous bounty hunter.
Due to The Clone Wars TV show Mandalorian history becomes confused. In the show they are depicted as blond humans on a world destroyed by war and enclosed by domes, led by a neutral non warring government. However, even in the show it’s revealed that this is not how they always were and many are dissatisfied.
The Clone troopers of the Republic in many cases were trained by Mandalorians and adopted their culture, as Jango Fett was Mandalorian by adoption.
The true leader was known as the Mandalore.
During the Imperial years, the Empire cracked down on the world and enslaved its people to mine its famous iron. Fenn Shysa became Mandalore and formed a resistance. After the war, Fenn Shysa’s dying wish was for Boba Fett to become Mandalore, which he did.
Fett led them into a two sided battle during the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, pretending to work for the enemy but secretly aiding the New Republic. The retaliation devastated the world but the Mandalorians scattered throughout the galaxy heeded the call to return and rebuild it.
Central to their way of life was the Resol’nare’, 6 important codes of conduct and honor. These included:
- speaking the Mandalorian language
- wearing the armor
- defending the family and self
- raise your children to be Mandalorian
- contribute to one’s clan
- rally to the call of the Mandalore
Actions are far more important to being Mandalorian than one’s past history or birthplace. For someone to become Mandalorian, their past is considered wiped clean to begin anew.
Famous Mandalorians Include (but aren’t limited to):
Mandalore the Indomitable who was defeated by Uliq Qel Droma and joined the Sith in the war led by Exar Kun.
Canderous Ordo – fought both against and alongside Revan. Mercenary
Rohlan Dyre – aka Rohlan the Questioner
Demagol – war criminal
Jaster Mereel – created the supercommando codex, seeking to restore the honor of the commands though bringing back the warrior codes.
Tor Viszla – founder of the Death Watch, a warrior group who opposed Jaster Mereel’s reforms.
Jango Fett – adopted by Jaster Mereel after the death of his family, Mandalore, and template for the Clone army of the Republic.
Fenn Shysa – Mandalore during the Imperial years and after
Boba Fett – didn’t at first care to learn his heritage, but eventually returned to it and became Mandalore.
Kal Skirata – trainer of Clones, he went on to help set up a system for clone defectors trying to flee both the Old Republic and the Empire at the end of the Clone Wars.
The Mando’a language is commonly used in the stories. Here is a Mando dictionary.
Dark Horse Comics
Knights of the Old Republic: Daze of Hate
Knights of the Old Republic: Knights of Suffering
Knights of the Old Republic: War
Star Wars: Jango Fett
Star Wars: Zam Wesell (note, this is sequel to Jango Fett and does include him.)
Jango Fett: Open Seasons
Blood Ties Jango and Boba Fett
Blood Ties Boba Fett is Dead
The Bounty Hunter Wars Trilogy
A Barve like That (Tales from Jabba’s Palace)
Republic Commando: Hard Contact
Republic Commando: Triple Zero
Republic Commando: True Colors
Republic Commando: Order 66
Imperial Commando: 501st
Legacy of the Force Bloodlines
Legacy of the Force Sacrifice
Legacy of the Force Revelation
Boba Fett: The Fight to Survive
Boba Fett: Crossfire
Boba Fett: Maze of Deception
Boba Fett: Hunted
Boba Fett: A New Threat
Boba Fett: Pursuit