We saw in the trailer of The Mandalorian season 3 that Din Djarin is now planning to go to Mandalore so that he can redeem himself in the waters of the mines of Mandalore and once again become proud enough to call himself a Mandalorian. The trailer also suggests that he set to lead and unite his people after what the Empire did to the planet during the Rebellion. But what exactly happened to Mandalore, and why was it destroyed?
The Empire bombed and destroyed the surface of Mandalore in an event called the Great Purge when it was clear that the Imperial forces could never control the rebellious Mandalorians led by Bo-Katan Kryze. As such, they had to destroy Mandalore to make sure no other faction team up with the Mandalorians.
It was the Great Purge that basically drove the Mandalorians into hiding throughout the entire galaxy, as different Mandalorian sects and groups operated in secrecy after the fall of their planet. That is why the Mandalorians are believed to have gone extinct despite the fact that they have only gone into hiding. Nevertheless, the planet itself is still intact but has become a cursed place that symbolizes the lack of unity among the Mandalorians.
What Happened To Mandalore?
Ever since the introduction of this race in the Star Wars lore, the Mandalorians have been a fixture in the storyline. Of course, Boba Fett was the first Mandalorian that we met in the original Star Wars trilogy. However, during the events of the prequel trilogy and Star Wars: Clone Wars, we met a lot of different Mandalorians. Of course, it was during the Clone Wars that the Mandalorians were quite active as they actually played a role in the storyline of the Clone Wars.
Back in the Clone Wars, the traditional Mandalorians that formed Death Watch wanted to take over Mandalore from the progressive Mandalorians led by Satine Kryze. Wielding the Darksaber, Pre Vizsla believed that this weapon was going to help him take Mandalorian back because of how it symbolized the traditional warrior ways of the Mandalorians. The battles involving Mandalore led to the death of Satine and the takeover of Mandalore by Darth Maul, who wielded the Darksaber after he earned it by defeating Pre Vizsla.
However, Palpatine defeated Darth Maul, who was forced to retreat. Since then, the Empire occupied Mandalore almost without any resistance from the Mandalorians until the events of Star Wars: Rebels, where Bo-Katan Kryze and Sabine Wren helped the Mandalorians fight back against the Empire. Sabine, who possessed the Darksaber after finding it in Dathomir, gave it to Bo-Katan so that she could help free Mandalore from the clutches of the Empire.
But we learned in the events of The Mandalorian season 2 that Bo-Katan was unsuccessful in leading the people of Mandalore, as this was quite possibly due to the fact that she was never worthy of the Darksaber, which she never won in combat. As such, Bo-Katan was trying to find a large enough force to help her take Mandalore back, and that was the reason why she helped Din Djarin in his mission to recover Grogu from Moff Gideon as she was promised Gideon’s cruiser and the Darksaber, which was in Gideon’s possession, in return.
Of course, the Darksaber went to Din Djarin after he defeated Gideon in combat. This allowed him to become the rightful wielder of the Darksaber. Then again, he lost his status as a Mandalorian when the Armorer stripped that from him after she learned that Din Djarin had removed his helmet in front of a living person numerous times in the past. And he told Djarin that the only way for him to redeem himself was to cleanse himself in the waters in the mines of Mandalore.
The Armorer, however, also said that the mines of Mandalore no longer existed. On top of that, Bo-Katan also suggested that the Mandalorians were scattered all over the galaxy and were in hiding. So, what exactly happened to Mandalore?
During the insurrection that Bo-Katan led against the Empire in the period of the Rebellion, the Imperial forces struggled against the Mandalorians and their military expertise. Of course, the Empire wanted to control Mandalore, as that was the original plan. But the Imperial forces eventually realized that controlling Mandalore had become impossible and that the only option was to purge the planet.
In an event called the Great Purge of Mandalore, the Empire sought to destroy the cities and flatten the surface of Mandalore in battles that were waged against the Mandalorians. Finally, in an event called The Night of a Thousand Tears, the Empire sent countless TIE Bombers that laid waste to the major cities of Mandalore while basically destroying the surface of the planet and killing countless Mandalorians in the process.
Due to this event, the surviving Mandalorians were scattered all over the galaxy, as there weren’t too many of them. On the other hand, Din Djarin’s traditional and religious Mandalorian order was not on the planet during The Night of a Thousand Tears. That is why their sect survived but operated in secrecy even after the fall of the Empire.
Basically, the planet itself is still intact and wasn’t destroyed during the Great Purge of Mandalore. Nevertheless, the Mandalorian cities were destroyed, and the surface of the planet was devastated during the events of The Night of a Thousand Tears. It is also possible that the remnants of the Empire still occupy Mandalore. This is why no Mandalorian has ever returned to Mandalore, as they believe that the planet is now a cursed land that would kill them if they ever returned to it.
Why Was Mandalore Destroyed?
Despite the fact that the Empire occupied with tyranny the planets under Imperial control during the reign of Emperor Palpatine, Mandalore was basically flattened and destroyed. So, what was the reason for the destruction of Mandalore?
The reason why the Empire destroyed Mandalore was due to the fact that they couldn’t control the Mandalorians. Bo-Katan’s rebellious forces proved to be too much trouble for the Empire, who just couldn’t keep the Mandalorians in line during the early part of the Rebellion and sometime after the events of Star Wars: Rebels.
As such, because the Empire felt that the Mandalorians were too troublesome, it was decided that the destruction of Mandalore was the only choice. That’s because leaving Mandalore would have allowed the Mandalorians to join the larger Rebellion and become bigger threats to the Empire. So, to make sure that no other faction would be able to use the Mandalorians against them, the Imperial forces thought that destroying Mandalore was the best option.
In that regard, Bo-Katan and her forces played a zero-sum game that led to the destruction of Mandalore and the deaths of countless Mandalorians. It may have been admirable that she wanted to unite her people against the Empire, but she never thought that the Empire would resort to a purge that basically destroyed her planet and killed her people. This is why Bo-Katan, in her last appearance in The Mandalorian season 2, was working hard to find a way to take Mandalore back, as she wanted to correct her mistakes during the Great Purge of Mandalore.