Star Wars: History Abridged Pt 5
Continuing our countdown to ‘May the Fourth’ and ‘Revenge of the Fifth,” I keep covering the Old Sith Wars era of Star Wars. My last three posts were about the Great Sith War that saw the return of the Sith and the Jedi put to the test. In the end, they won the won, but at a high cost. As they and the Republic looked to rebuild, though, a familiar threat emerged beyond their borders. That of the Mandalorians Wars.
Rise of Mandalore the Ultimate
In my last entry, I wrote how the Mandalorians got their butts kicked at Onderon in the last days of the Great Sith War. Now I wish to elaborate: after being pushed back, Mandalore the Indomitable had his warriors retreat to Dxun. However, he crashed far from help and got killed by the local predators. A scout out searching for him found his remains helmet. In accordance with his people’s customs, he claimed it for himself, becoming the new Mandalore, Mandalore the Ultimate.
As his first act, Mandalore the Ultimate sought to wipe away the stain of defeat from the Great Sith War. He united his scattered people and grew their ranks by recruiting warriors of all races and creeds. Beyond the borders of the Republic, he trained his new armies in the Mandalorian way. Then, around 3,976 BBY, he sicced them on the Outer Rim.
For the next ten years, the Mandalorians took every world they could get their hands on. With each victory, they grew in size, strength, and skill. By 3,966 BBY, they had reached the borders of the Republic. Battles between the two sides broke out along the border world of Taris. It was only a matter of time before the Mandalorian Wars would escalate.
The Mandalorian Wars Proper
After several months of stalemate, the Mandalorians broke through Republic lines around Taris and forced the Republic into retreat. Multiple fronts were opened along Republic space as Mandalore’s warriors struck deep into Republic territory. Entire worlds were nuked, burned, and otherwise wrecked.
Now, you’re wondering where the Jedi are during all this? Protecting people is part of their job. Well, after the Great Sith War, they didn’t want to get involved in another war. They were still healing from the damage Exar Kun did. However, not all of them thought that way.
The Rise of Revan
One vocal critic of the Jedi’s neutrality was a young Jedi Knight whose name remains unknown. What’s known is that he was one of the most powerful of the Jedi, was very charismatic, and had a strong moral compass. And with his best friend, Alek, he began to draw other Jedi with similar feelings.
This “Revanchist” as the media dubbed him, gained more and more traction as he spoke out against the Jedi Council. Frustrated, the Council confronted the Revanchist on the (abandoned) planet Cathar and told him to stand down. That’s when he found an old Mandalorian mask in the dirt, and when he picked it up, it triggered a mass Force vision.
In the Great Sith War, the feline-like Cathar had bested the Mandalorians, and they held a grudge for it. When they reached their planet, they proceeded to kill every last Cathar they could find; 90% of them, wiped out. That mask belonged to a Mandalorian warrior who objected to the genocide and was killed for it.
Outraged beyond all reason, this Jedi donned the mask, took on the name Revan, and vowed not to rest until the Mandalorians were stopped.
The Tide Begins to Turn
Meanwhile, the Mandalorian Wars were not going well. Despite a few victories, nothing seemed to be able to stop them. By 3,962 BBY, they had gotten as far as the Core. That was as far as they’d get. Under the leadership of Revan and Alek (now called Malak), the Jedi joined the war effort and began to push the Mandalorians back.
As it turned out, Revan was a genius at the art of war, creating masterful strategies and meeting the invaders with such aggression, even the Mandalorians were left in awe. Under his leadership, the Republic began to push the enemy back, retaking the worlds they had lost before pushing the Mandalorians back into their own territory.
These actions made Revan and Malak heroes to the Republic, but as the war dragged on, it began to change them. Every battle would harden their hearts, making them more ruthless. Eventually, they became almost as violent as the enemy they sought to defeat. Years later, this would cost the Galaxy in ways few could imagine.
Final Victory at Malachor V
By 3,960 BBY, Revan had thrust deep into Mandalorian territory. At the ancient Sith world of Malachor V, Mandalore the Ultimate and his people made their last stand. Revan personally boarded the Mandalorian leader’s flagship and slew him in single combat. Meanwhile, as the battle began to reach a stalemate, one of Revan’s generals activated a device that weaponized the planet’s own gravity. Thousands of ships were pulled down from the sky, driving themselves deep into the planet’s crust. Battered and beaten beyond measure, the Mandalorian people unconditionally surrendered.
The Mandalorian Wars ended in victory for the Republic, with the Mandalorians being dealt a blow they’d never recover from. Their people scattered across the Galaxy to survive, with their descendants becoming the bounty hunters and warriors we know from the films.
As for Revan himself, he didn’t return from Malachor V. Instead, he took his fleet into deep space in search of remnants of the Mandalorians. For a time, they were not heard from, with many fearing the heroes of the Republic to be dead. They weren’t. A year later, they would return, but not as heroes. But that’s a story for another day.
Pretty amazing story, huh? I like this because it introduces my all time favorite Star Wars character Revan. Come back tomorrow to learn why he’s my favorite.
If you want to learn more about the start of the Mandalorian Wars, read the Knights of the Old Republic series by Dark Horse Comics.
May the Force be with you!
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