Throughout history, the galaxy has seen atrocious events taking place, especially during the rise of the Empire. However, hardly any event can match the horror and devastation of the Great Purge of Mandalore. That night left the planet crumbled to dust and its people slaughtered. So, what is the Great Purge of Mandalore?
The Great Purge of Mandalore, also known as the Night of a Thousand Tears, was a mass genocide and destruction of Mandalore during the Imperial era. TIE/sa bombers brought cities to the ground. Most of the Mandalorian population got wiped out, and beskar steel was stolen.
It was a horrible event that made what was left of the Mandalorians scatter across the galaxy, living like “sand rats” and hiding in the shadows. Different Mandalorian groups and clans blame each other, but there just might be hope for the people to be reunited and the planet liberated and redeemed. Here’s everything you need to know about the Great Purge of Mandalore.
What Exactly Is The Great Purge Of Mandalore?
Mandalore, as we know, is a great planet of the galaxy’s finest warrior. Well, it WAS a great planet before the Great Purge happened. So, what exactly is the Great Purge?
The Great Purge was a devastating battle between the Empire and the Mandalorians that saw the planet of Mandalore completely devastated and its people almost completely wiped out. Millions of lives have been lost, and those who survived had to hide, escape the planet, and live in exile. The horrible event is also known as the Night of a Thousand Tears.
The Empire had control over Mandalore for years. However, constant turmoil on the planet and gradual loss of power made the Empire realize they could never have complete control. Leaving wasn’t an option, as they couldn’t let the Mandalorians reunite and grow in power again.
So, they realized the best way to stop a Mandalorian resistance would be to make sure there were no Mandalorians around to complete it. They launched one of the biggest strikes on Mandalore ever.
Countless TIE/sa bombers, along with an army of droids, brought hell on Mandalore, wiping out entire cities and fleets of Mandalorian warriors. To ensure there were no survivors, the Empire had droids comb through the war site and kill any potential survivors. Very few Mandalorians managed to hide and escape, while the Empire stole all the beskar steel, too.
After the Great Purge, Mandalore was left in ruins, while the few survivors lived in small groups or clans across the galaxy, living underground and operating secretly. Many believe that the events preceding the Night of a Thousand Tears are what ultimately led to Mandalore’s downfall.
There’s a lot of blame to throw around, with both sides having their arguments for their view of things. I’m not talking about two sides meaning the Empire and the Mandalorians. I’m talking about a divided Mandalorian society, between the New Mandalorians and groups like the Death Watch, Mandalorians who still live by the Way of the Mandalore.
You see, before the Great Purge, a Civil War between the Mandalorians happened. And, as big on an issue as it was for the planet’s future, it might just be the thing to eventually save Mandalore. I’ll explain how in a bit.
When Did The Great Purge Of Mandalore Happen?
While the exact year of the Great Purge has never been stated, we know it was during the Imperial Era, after the Mandalorian Civil War. The Civil War came as a rift among the Mandalorians. One side wanted to rebel from the Imperial rule and turn to a more pacifistic approach, dropping the strict Creed and the traditional Way of the Mandalore.
On the other hand, groups like the Death Watch wanted a leader who would reinstate the Way, as they believe it’s the main pillar of Mandalorian future that can’t ever be abandoned. The extremist traditionalists lost, and the Death Watch was eventually banished to live on the moon, Coruscant.
In the meantime, the resistance, led by Lady Bo-Katan Kryze – who had a blood right to be the Mandalorian leader – destroyed the Imperial Arc Pulse Generator replica that had the power to destroy beskar and be used against Mandalorians.
Bo-Katan was gifted with the Darksaber from Clan Wren and formed the Mandalorian resistance who fought for the liberation of the planet. The Darksaber is a blade passed on through Mandalore history, where the wielder was their leader.
However, the banished, traditional Mandalorians believed that the abandonment of the Way cursed Mandalore.
Who Is To Blame For The Great Purge Of Mandalore?
According to the Armorer, the Darksaber can’t be gifted – the leader has to win it in a battle to be the true Mandalore. If that doesn’t happen, the blade turns into a curse:
“If it (the Darksaber) is not won in combat and falls into the hands of the undeserving, it will be a curse unto the nation. Mandalore will be laid to waste and its people scattered to the four winds.”
That means that, as soon as Bo-Katan took Darksaber and the reigns as the Mandalorian leader, the curse sealed Mandalore’s fate. According to them, the Great Purge was inevitable, and now, anyone who walks on the planet is destined to die. Well, we know it’s not really true.
As awesome as I find the Way of the Mandalore and their Creed, I don’t think one should blame Bo-Katan and the resistance who wanted to liberate the planet.
The biggest part of the blame falls on the Empire. The Civil War events and the formation of Mandalorian resistance certainly played a huge part in the decision to destroy Mandalore, but at the end of the day, the Empire pulled the plug and caused the Night of a Thousand Tears.
Another guilty party is Moff Gideon, who had his fingers all over the Great Purge. He led the Imperial forces and got out of Mandalore safe and sound. No matter how you turn it, and no matter what the Children of the Watch think, the least blame should be put onto those who tried to resist.
Who Survived The Great Purge Of Mandalore?
Only a handful of Mandalorians managed to survive the Great Purge. I’m talking, maybe dozens. Among the survivors who somehow escaped was Bo-Katan Kryze, who lost the Darksaber to Moff Gideon, proving she wasn’t the right person to be the Mandalorian leader. However, Kryze and a few other warriors weren’t the only survivors.
Remember when I told you that the banishing of the Death Watch members might be the event to eventually save Mandalore? There are several reasons why that’s true.
First, the Mandalorians who were banished to Coruscant didn’t perish in the Great Purge. Although their numbers were tiny, there were still Mandalorians left alive. They scattered across the galaxy and lived in secrecy, forming smaller clans such as the Tribe, later known as the Children of the Death Watch.
The sole fact that there are still Mandalorians left alive offers a glimpse of hope that Mandalore might finally be liberated and reunited under the leadership of the right person. And, as it turns out, we might have a guy who we can see unite the traditionalists and the New Mandalorians.
Will The Mandalorians Ever Be United?
The second reason why the banishing to Coruscant might eventually lead to the saving of Mandalore – is Din Djarin.
Din was picked up by a member of the Tribe and raised under the Way of the Mandalore. He proved to be one of the best warriors the Mandalorians ever saw, but also the one with a pure heart and strong morals.
Djarin was raised by the Children of the Watch and cooperated with the Armorer, but also saved the Child and worked with Bo-Katan Kryze, as well as the Jedi, Ahsoka Tano, and Luke Skywalker. He has all the qualities to reunite and liberate Mandalore – but he also has the one thing that makes him worthy in the eyes of both sides.
You see, Mando now has the Darksaber – and it is rightfully his because he wasn’t gifted the blade – Din won it in a battle against Moff Gideon. That ought to be enough to “lift the curse,” reunite the Mandalorians and gradually lift Mandalore back to glory.
With the Child safely returned to his own kind and Mando helping out Boba Fett, I can see the liberation of Mandalore playing a key plot point in The Mandalorian Season 3.