The Mandalorian and Jedi have been historical enemies throughout lore from many Star Wars publications. However, when these books, video games and comics were reduced to non-canon status, fans were curious about whether this mythology would return within the current Disney and Lucasfilm narrative.
The Mandalorians are one of the most iconic civilisations from the Star Wars universe. Originating from the planet Mandalore, these armoured warriors have inspired a tradition and mythology within the Star Wars community.
One of the significant events that have inspired fans is the Mandalorian-Jedi War. Originally a backstory to the non-canon video game
Knights of the Old Republic, the Mandalorian-Jedi War has now been adopted by the Disney and Lucasfilm productions.
Producer Dave Filoni referenced the Mandalorian-Jedi War during a discussion about the Star Wars: Rebels episode “Trials of the Darksaber”:
The Mandalorian-Jedi War that I have in my mind is very much derived from the oldest style of thinking of Mandalorians, which was that their weapons, their arsenal, their technology had a massive increase once they collided with the Jedi and found these force-wielding people that had abilities they didn’t understand.Dave Filoni
In the final episode of The Mandalorian season 1, it was explained that the Jedi and the Mandalorians had a long history of being fierce enemies.
The war was only temporarily paused when Tarre Vizsla became a Mandalorian Jedi and ruler of the planet Mandalore.
The peace held until the death of Tarre Vizsla when the Jedi returned the Darksaber to the Jedi Temple. As the Old Republic began to fall, the Mandalorians later stole the Darksaber from the Jedi Temple gaining possession of the weapon.
The Mandalorian – Jedi War refers to a series of conflicts pitting the martial Mandalorians against the Jedi Order. The final battle between the two sides was so intense that it devastated the Mandalorian home world.
The conflict was the result of the Mandalorian’s advanced technology and war-like nature colliding with the Jedi, whose abilities were incomprehensible to them. A creative people, the Mandalorians designed weapons and unique armour to combat their Force wielding opponents.
The war was touched off by some Mandalorian warriors who travelled to other worlds on crusades, which brought them into conflict with the Jedi Order. According to legend, the crusader Mandalore the Great became famous throughout the galaxy after a series of battles against the Jedi knights.
The Mandalorians vs the Old Republic
The Mandalorians also fought against the Old Republic, for whom the Jedi served as a kind of peace-keeping force. During the period of the Clone Wars that brought about the Republic’s decline and fall, members of Mandalore’s House Vizsla reclaimed a unique lightsaber called the Darksaber from the Jedi Temple.
The final great battle between the Mandalorian warlords and the Jedi knights took place on the former’s home world, Mandalore. The result was a cataclysm that turned the once fertile planet into a lifeless, white desert. The survivors found their world uninhabitable outside of a few hermetically sealed dome cities.
During their war with the Jedi, the Mandalorians turned one of their home world’s two moons, Concordia, into a mining base, strip mining it to such an extent its forests were barely recovering by the time of the Clone Wars. During this period some Mandalorians blamed the Jedi alone for the destruction of their home world and the depredations their ancestors had inflicted on Concordia as part of their war effort.
Whatever remained of the old warrior clans found themselves exiled to Concordia in the aftermath of the war against the Jedi. These decimated clans would later be revived by the treacherous governor Pre-Vizsla, who was also in command of Death Watch, a militant group active during the Clone Wars period. Vizsla’s ancestors had risen to fame during the Mandalorian-Jedi War.
With the help of Count Dooku and the Confederacy of Independent Systems, Pre-Vizsla began building an army to depose the pacifist New Mandalorians and return his people to their roots as a warrior people.
Death Watch, with the assistance of the Sith Lord Maul and the Shadow Collective achieved their goal of overthrowing the pacifist experiment of the New Mandalorians but at the cost of their people’s freedom. Vizla turned on the Sith and was killed by Maul for his betrayal and the Republic, soon swept away by the rise of the Galactic Empire, occupied Mandalore.
Circa 9 ABY on the Star Wars calendar, The Mandalorian Din Djarin realized that the child he’d been protecting, Grogu, had telekinetic abilities. The Mandalorian armourer later told Djarin that epic songs from eons past spoke of great battles fought by the legendary Mandalore the Great against Jedi knights, who were said to possess similar abilities.
This led the Mandalorian bounty hunter to wonder if he should see Grogu as an adversary and he retained these suspicions even after the Armourer explained that it was only the child’s ancestors who had been Mandalore’s enemies.
Told by the Armourer that he needed to return Grogu to his own kind, Djarin at first thought that he would be searching for his people’s enemies, but she informed him that this task was in fact The Way of Mandalore.
In the final moments of the finale of the 1st season of Disney+’s The Mandalorian, the villain Moff Gideon cut himself out of his crashed ship using a black lightsaber. Such a weapon was never seen in any of the Star Wars films but was already a known quantity in the extended Star Wars universe.
This weapon, called the Darksaber, was prized by the Mandalorians before it fell into the possession of Moff Gideon.
The Darksaber made its first appearance in 2010 in an episode of the animated Clone Wars series. The blade was carried by a terrorist named Pre-Vizsla who fought many battles against the Jedi.
Pre-Vizsla’s ancestor, Tarre Vizsla, who was the first Mandalorian to become a Jedi, had created the Darksaber during the time of the Old Republic (prior to the stories told in the trilogy of prequel films). Unlike other lightsabers, the Darksaber is curved and looks more like a sword. Legend had it that the blade changed based on the emotions of the user.
Is the Mandalorian – Jedi War in canon?
The conflict between the Jedi Order and the Mandalorians was first indirectly mentioned in the 12th episode of the animated series, ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’, which is considered in canon.
When writer/director Dave Filoni referenced the Mandalorian – Jedi War he includes all the conflicts considered canon between these two factions. These include Star Wars Legends sources where different parts of the conflict called the Mandalorian Crusades, the Mandalorian Wars and the Mandalorian Excision were first introduced to Star Wars fans.
The Mandalorian – Jedi War from Legends
The Mandalorian Wars were first mentioned in Bioware’s 2003 video game, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The conflict was part of the backstory provided for some of the main characters in the game, including Darth Malek, Canderous Ordo and Revan.
The developers later expanded on their creation in a 2004 sequel, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, The Sith Lords.
The concept wasn’t touched upon much in other media until the end of 2005, when it was referenced in The New Essential Chronology.
In 2006, John Jackson Miller’s Knights of the Old Republic comic book began to visually depict the long running conflict, starting in the 6th issue of the series. The comic would go on to portray various battles in the Mandalorian- Jedi war in a number of story arcs.
The starting date of the conflict between the Mandalorians and the Jedi has varied between sources. The first Knights of the Old Republic Game gave two dates, with Mandalorians in game saying the wars began in 3976 BBY but representatives of the Republic claiming it began earlier, in 3963 BBY.
The Knights of the Old Republic comics reconciled the video game’s conflicting accounts of when the war started by explaining that the Mandalorians had been raiding worlds in the Outer Rim for years before what was called the ‘False War’, which was fought between 3965-3964 BBY.
The Old Republic Campaign Guide, released in 2008, changed the date of the important Battle of Malachor V from 3961 BBY to 3960 and placed the False War into the conflict’s overall timeline, saying that the Mandalorian Wars officially began in 3965 BBY.
The guide further fleshed out this bit of Star Wars history by explaining that the Mandalorians had started raiding Outer Rim worlds in 3976 BBY. The Republic began to fight back a little more than a decade later and the Mandalorians moved from scattered raids to a full invasion in 3964 BBY.
A 2009 reference guide called the Essential Atlas reaffirmed the dates provided by The Old Republic Campaign Guide and gave readers more information on the conflict through the inclusion of a map that introduced a number of new battles.
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