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Thanks to the popularity of Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian, the Mandalorians – a very specific and important race in the Star Wars mythos – have once again entered the spotlight. This race of exceptional warriors has become the topic of interest by a lot of fans and people keep asking different questions about them, some of which we are going to answer here, on Fiction Horizon. Ever wondered whether all Mandalorians are bounty hunters? Keep reading to find out!
Not all Mandalorians are bounty hunters. They are mostly great warriors, but there are also politicians, artists and other occupations among them, with the bounty hunters representing only a faction of the race.
When George Lucas launched the franchise in 1977, with the movie Star Wars (later titled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope for continuity reasons), no one expected that it would become one of the biggest stories of the modern area. Star Wars wasn’t initially that successful, but as the years passed, the franchise became a cult classic, attracting generations of fans and now encompassing nine main continuity movies, video games, several TV shows, comic books and a variety of merchandise that made George Lucas famous. The franchise is today owned by Disney, but wherever it might go after the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars will undoubtedly remain one of the pivotal parts of modern culture.
Now, let us see the answer to the main question.
Who are the Mandalorians?
The Mandalorians were actually a clan-based ethnic group founded on the planet Mandalore. Contrary to popular opinion, they’re neither a race, nor a people but a multi-ethnic group comprising of members of different species and races (but are predominantly human) bound together by a code. This means that anyone who adheres to the Mandalorian code and the associated culture can become a Mandalorian.
The history of the planet Mandalore – a planet in the Outer Rim – is one of violence and war. Mandalore has been a martial planet for most of its history, which culminated in the great Mandalorian Civil War, where the pacifist New Mandalorians – with the help of the Jedi Order – defeated the martial traditionalists. This was the beginning of a new area in Mandalorian history that lasted until the Clone Wars, when a new Civil War topped the pacifist regime and reinstalled the martial traditionalists. Mandalore was, because of that, subsequently occupied by the Galactic Republic and the occupation continued through the period of the Galactic Empire.
The Mandalorians didn’t get along with the Empire which resulted in a third civil war, which was part of the general uprising against the Empire. The Mandalorian order went into hiding after the formation of the New Republic, due to being hunted by the remnants of the Empire during the Great Purge. As a result, most Mandalorians were killed and the order was practically wiped out, but some members survived.
Despite not being featured in the main film universe, the Mandalorians played an important part in the history of the Star Wars franchise. They are especially known for their fights against the Jedi, whose skills initially surprised the Mandalorians (especially the Force), but ultimately inspired a rapid technological advancement, as Mandalorians needed to adapt to their opponents. The Mandalorians, although sometimes employed by the Sith, weren’t actually a pro-Sith fraction – especially later, when they even allied with the Jedi – but were just perceived as enemies by the Republic, and since the Jedi protected the Republic, clashes were inevitable.
The history and the importance of the Mandalorians is explored in the Star Wars Legends universe, so you’re always welcome to consult the comic books and the books from the expanded universe. Until they appear in the main movie continuity, you can also enjoy a look into their lore in the TV series The Mandalorian.
Are all Mandalorians bounty hunters?
Technically speaking, they are not. Namely, the Mandalorians are, like any other race in the Galaxy, a diverse group of characters with different occupations and ideologies. The bounty hunters represented in Disney’s The Mandalorian are, in fact, just a faction of the Mandalorian race, but after the infamous genocide, most of the remaining Mandalorians became bounty hunters.
Historically, the situation was dramatically different. From a historical standpoint, the Mandalorians were great warriors and mercenaries who threatened the Old Republic, which is why they were most often hunted down by it. Still, as things changed on Mandalore, the Mandalorians also became allies of the Republic, but that was usually just a temporary shift in the balance of power on Mandalore. Still, they were primarily known as warriors and mercenaries.
There were, of course, bounty hunters among them, but a lot of the prominent names were politicians, diplomats, or even artists, depending on which story you come across. Even before the genocide, bounty hunters represented only a faction of the Mandalorian community, which is why we cannot state that the bounty hunting is synonymous with being a Mandalorian. Certainly, after the Great Purge, a lot of Mandalorians became bounty hunters, but we can assume that they opted for a change in profession after being faced with very dire problems.
Famous Mandalorians who were not bounty hunters
Now that we’ve seen that not all Mandalorians are bounty hunters and that there were other professions among this proud race, we’ll give you a brief insight into some of the more famous Mandalorians that were not bounty hunters:
- Satine Kryze was a human Mandalorian duchess and the pacifistic leader of the New Mandalorians during the Clone Wars. Kryze was an ambitious and powerful woman, allied with several high profile politicians in the Galactic Senate. Kryze was close friends with Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, who protected her during the Mandalorian Civil War. Later deposed by the rogue Sith Lord Maul, Kryze died in Kenobi’s arms during the Mandalorian Civil War, impaled by the Darksaber before his eyes as part of Maul’s revenge against his nemesis but not before proclaiming her love for the Jedi Knight.
- Pre Vizsla was a human Mandalorian warrior who led a terrorist organization, known as Death Watch, during the final years of the Galactic Republic. Formerly the governor of Concordia, Vizsla longed to restore the warrior heritage of his homeworld, by overthrowing Duchess Satine Kryze’s pacifist regime. Drawing on the support of his Mandalorian commandos, Vizsla made his bid for power during Clone Wars but failed several times. Vizsla later joined the renegade Sith Lord Maul’s Shadow Collective. As a result of their pact, he ultimately succeeded in taking over Mandalore with widespread public support. Having achieved his goal, Vizsla turned against Maul, leading to a lightsaber duel. In the end, Vizsla was defeated and executed by Maul.
- Bo-Katan Kryze was a Mandalorian human who was the leader of the Nite Owls and a lieutenant in Death Watch, a terrorist group, and later during the Imperial Era, became Mand’alor. During the Clone Wars, Kryze’s sister, Satine, ruled as the Duchess of Mandalore, and Kryze sought to undo her pacifistic teachings, believing that Mandalore should take pride in its martial history. Later, Kryze and Vizsla discovered the Sith Lords Maul and Savage Opress. With the Sith, they plotted to reclaim Mandalore, and through Maul’s planning, united several criminal syndicates to form the Shadow Collective. Launching a takeover of Mandalore, Satine’s rule was overthrown, and Vizsla took control of the planet.
However, Maul challenged Vizsla, and the Sith Lord defeated him, taking the throne. Kryze and a group of Mandalorian loyalists refused to recognize Maul’s rule, and they liberated Satine from the royal prison, contacting Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi for help. Before Kenobi left the planet, Kryze requested that the Galactic Republic be informed of the events, hoping that a Republic invasion would result in Maul’s death. Less than a year later, Kryze’s desire was fulfilled, and the Republic laid siege to Mandalore, driving Maul from the planet. She later opposed Palpatine, despite Mandalore recognising the Empire and entering into several new civil wars.
- Sabine Wren was a human Mandalorian warrior and revolutionary leader during the early rebellion against the Galactic Empire. Her artistry during the rebellion inspired the symbol of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, and her claim over the ancient Mandalorian weapon known as the Darksaber made her a symbol to Clan Wren and the hopes of freeing her people’s homeworld of Mandalore from the rule of the Empire. Prior to becoming a rebel, Wren was a cadet at the Imperial Academy of Mandalore. She built weapons she believed would be used for peace but were instead used against her family and her people. After aiding her family in the Mandalorian Civil War, Sabine returned to aid the Rebel Alliance’s struggle against the Empire. After the Empire’s fall in the Battle of Jakku, Wren and Ahsoka Tano launched a search for their missing friend.
- Alrich Wren was a human Mandalorian, and the husband of Ursa Wren, leader of Clan Wren. Upon his marriage to Ursa, Alrich elected to adopt his wife’s surname, because of the power and respect it held in Mandalorian society. The couple had two children together. Alrich, unlike his wife and children, was not a warrior, being an artist instead. Sabine inherited his artistic talents, although he humbly credited her prowess to Ursa. At some point in time following the Battle of Atollon, Alrich’s daughter Sabine led a mission to rescue her father from Imperial custody. Amid a heated ambush of an Imperial convoy transporting Wren to the Mandalorian capital of Sundari for execution, Wren was successfully rescued by the rebel agent Ezra Bridger, and reunited with his daughter.
And this are just few, better-known names of Mandalorians who were never bounty hunters, but there are many more and the whole idea of the Mandalorian race is not based on all of them being bounty hunters.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!