- "The Mandalorian Wars were a series of massacres that masked another war, a war of conversion. Culminating in a final atrocity that no Jedi could walk away from… save one."
The Mandalorian Wars was the term given to the sixteenyears of conflict between the Mandalorian warrior culture and the Galactic Republic that began in 3976 BBY with the Battle of Althir. Occurring two decades after the end of the Great Sith War, the Mandalorian Wars spanned almost two decades themselves, though historians often disagreed on the endpoints of the conflict; the Mandalorians raided star systems in the Outer Rim Territories for over a decade before they actually came into conflict with the Republic Military in3965 BBY. Led by Mandalore the Ultimate, who pioneered theNeo-Crusader movement with the help of his lieutenant,Cassus Fett, the Mandalorians conquered systems along the eastern edge of the galaxy. Though their conquests included the near-extinction of the Cathar species, it was not until their assaults on worlds near the planet Taris that they drew the Republic's attention. After a year of small conflicts known as the False War, the Mandalorians broke through the Republic's lines and besieged Taris in 3963 BBY, and theninvaded the Republic through three separate corridors in what became known as the Onslaught.
The tide ultimately turned when a group of interventionist Jediknown as the Revanchists, led by the charismatic Revan and his friend Malak, joined the Republic Military in combating the Mandalorians. A tactical genius, Revan won several victories against the Mandalorians and began to reclaim lost territory, prompting Supreme Chancellor Tol Cressa to appoint himSupreme Commander in 3962 BBY. Driving back the Mandalorians, Revan forced a final showdown with Mandalore the Ultimate at the Battle of Malachor V in 3960 BBY. Revan personally defeated Mandalore in single combat as the Republic and Mandalorian fleets battled aboveMalachor V, and the activation of the superweapon known as the Mass Shadow Generator devastated both the planet and the participating fleets.
The Mandalorian Wars had long-reaching consequences: Revan forced the defeated Mandalorians to disarm and hidMandalore's Mask, the symbol of their leadership, and both he and Malak were turned to the dark side of the Force while investigating the Sith influence that had caused Mandalore to go to war. Many of the soldiers and Jedi who followed Revan in the Mandalorian Wars joined the two new Dark Lords of the Sith as they formed their own Sith Empire and invaded the Republic in a subsequent conflict known as the Jedi Civil War.
- "Exar Kun was defeated, but the war left both the Republic and our own Order severely weakened. For twenty years, we struggled to rebuild, trying to erase the scars of the terrible conflict."
The Mandalorian Wars were named for the Mandalorians, a warrior culture that had clashed frequently with the Galactic Republic in the past. The Mandalorian Wars occurred two decades after the Great Sith War, a conflict fought between the Republic and the forces of two former Jedi: Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma. Both had fallen to the dark side of the Force and declared themselves to beSith, and Qel-Droma earned the Mandalorians' loyalty after defeating their leader, Mandalore the Indomitable, in a duel on the planet Kuar. Mandalore'sforces served Qel-Droma ably in the Sith War, but in the last days of the conflict, the Mandalorians' attempt to conquer the planet Onderon took a disastrous turn with the arrival of the Republic. Mandalore ordered hisMandalorian Crusaders to retreat to the moon of Dxun to lose their pursuers in the moon's fierce jungles, but the warrior's Basilisk war droid was shot down, and he was killed by predatory animals. Mandalore's Mask, the symbol of leadership among the Mandalorians, was discovered by a Taungsoldier who succeeded the Indomitable as Mandalore. Most believed that the soldier assumed the nameMandalore the Ultimate, but a few believed that Mandalore the Ultimate usurped the title from the true Mandalore who had found the Mask. Years after the Mandalorian Wars, that supposed "true Mandalore"—a Taung like the Ultimate—claimed that Mandalore the Ultimate had stolen the title and mask from him.
In the decades that followed the Sith War, the Republic and the Jedi Order experienced an era of peace and rebuilding known as the Restoration Period. To restore the Republic's economy and infrastructure, a group ofpoliticians decided to guarantee various corporations throughout the galaxy safe passage and trade along thehyperlanes in exchange for commercial investment in the Republic. As a result, the Republic was able to rebuild its military and economy, supplying much-needed goods to the rest of the galaxy, and hyperspaceexplorers resumed exploration of the galaxy to discover new routes. However, while the Republic Navy was bolstered by the influx of commerce and funding, taking the place of corporate defense forces, some groups attempted to manipulate the government for their own profit. The city-world of Taris, an influential trade world in the Northern Dependencies region, was admitted to the Republic in 3966 BBY after a number of corporations, including Lhosan Industries, bribed Republic senators into admitting the planet.
The Mandalorians also continued their nomadic existence under Mandalore the Ultimate's leadership, rebuilding their ranks. Less than a decade after the end of the Sith War, Mandalore the Ultimate was approached by the Zeltron scientist Antos Wyrick, who had been Mandalore the Indomitable's own student during the Sith War. Wyrick had acquired a genetic sample from the Arkanian Jedi Master Arca Jeth, Ulic Qel-Droma's teacher, and believed that he could genetically engineer Force-sensitives who could be used as a kind of Mandalorian Jedi. Mandalore agreed to Wyrick's proposal, and the Zeltron started the New Generation Project, which was headquartered on the planet Osadia and sought to produce Force-sensitive children fromArkanian Offshoot parents. However, Wyrick's dealings with the Crucible slaving organization led to the project's destruction, as the Crucible raided the Osadia School around a decade after 3988 BBY and kidnapped all of Wyrick's students. Wyrick was unable to recover his students after years of searching and ultimately rejoined the Mandalorian cause as Mandalore's chief scientist, torturing and experimenting on captured Jedi in order to discover the source of their powers. Wyrick became known as "Demagol," a contraction of the Mando'a term demar agol and a name that literally meant "the flesh carver." Another of Mandalore's lieutenants was Cassus Fett, a warrior who became Mandalore's aide-de-camp and top strategist.
Influenced to war
- "The Sith took the remains to give to his Master, and in exchange he told Mandalore of a vision his Master had of the Mandalorians rising up against the Republic. He told him they would conquer world after world, crushing their enemies until the Republic collapsed in on itself. He promised the Mandalorians a glorious victory, and Mandalore believed him."
- In 3978 BBY, Mandalore was approached by a member of the Sithspecies who introduced himself as an emissary of a powerful Sith Lord, and the emissary enlisted the warrior's help in locating the tomb of his master's rival, Dramath the Second, on the planet Rekkiad. Upon discovering the tomb, the emissary told Mandalore of a vision that his master had experienced of the Mandalorians sweeping across the Republic and conquering many worlds before ultimately crushing the Republic in a glorious victory. Unbeknownst to Mandalore, the emissary was a servant of the Sith Emperor of a hidden Empire, and the warrior was being manipulated through the Force by the emissary—the Emperorsought to use the Mandalorians as a weapon against the Republic and thereby test the Republic's defenses. Completely under the Sith's spell, Mandalore took up the idea of invading the Republic as his own and began to reorganize and marshal the Mandalorian clans in preparation for the forthcoming battles. Mandalore the Ultimate returned to Mandalorian Space and instituted a number of reforms: Firstly, the Mandalorians would begin to accept non-Taung warriors who proved themselves in battle and upheld the Mandalorian warrior code. Secondly, the Mandalorians would no longer pillage worlds and then move on to the next target; instead, they would hold their territory and build an industrial society based on the Mandalorian code.
Mandalore's new vision of society was one where warriors would rule and be supported by farmers, artisans, and manufacturers who had accepted the Mandalorian way. As a result of his decision, the ranks of the Mandalorians rapidly swelled with all manner of Humans and aliens, primarily Mandalorian vassals, such asMandallian Giants and Jakelians. This new system was dubbed the Neo-Crusader movement, and with Cassus Fett's aid, Mandalore the Ultimate pioneered the movement as a successor to the Indomitable's Crusaders. The Neo-Crusader name originated as an extremist cult that called for the reestablishment of the Crusader traditions, and Mandalore adapted their views to suit his own ends—the Neo-Crusader movement, though slow to take hold, gradually shaped the Mandalorians into a more disciplined and organized fighting force. Fett spearheaded the movement in Mandalore's name while also serving his commander as a strategist and aide, and the Mandalorians began constructing new warships at Breshig and Arda-2; theseships were built using war matériel stolen from the shipyards at Foerost and Abhean during the Sith War. As the Neo-Crusaders expanded their domain, they inducted members from varying species, such as Hrakians,Togruta, Devaronians, Nalroni, Zygerrians, Drackmarians, and Elomin.
War in the Outer Rim
- "We started by conquering worlds just outside the Republic. We did it quietly so the Republic wouldn't really know what was going on until too late. When we finally did hit the Republic worlds, they had no idea we were coming."
- ―Canderous Ordo[src]
In 3976 BBY, Mandalore the Ultimate's forces made their first move: a raid on the industrialized planet Althir III in the Outer Rim Territories. A fleet of Neo-Crusader warships stormed the world,though the battle lasted a total of five days, as the Althiri managed to hold off the Mandalorians—a stalemate that was finally broken by the unit of a young warrior named Canderous Ordo, who was tasked with feinting against one of the enemy flanks in order to draw the enemy out of formation. However, Ordo saw an opening in the enemy ranks and took the initiative, forcing the Althiri to fend off assaults on two sides and exposing their vulnerable command ships. Ordo's forces quickly eradicated the Althiri fleet, which was ten times the size of their own, and Ordo was rewarded with command over an entire sub-sect of his clan. Althiri became a productive part of Mandalore's war machine, and three years later, Mandalore's forces struck at another world—Cathar, home of the feline Cathar species.
The Battle of Cathar was led by Cassus Fett, who directed his forces to herd the defenseless Cathar population into the ocean. There, Fett's forces massacred the Cathar, despite the protests of a single Mandalorian woman, who was killed along with the Cathar. Basilisk war droids swept across the planet, killing the remaining population—only a few hundred survived, with over 90 percent of the Cathar population dying during the massacre. The Republic learned of the event but chose to suppress news of the battle in order to prevent rioting and panic, and it mobilized the Republic Navy to guard Dxun—still home to some defiant Mandalorian clans—and the planet Taris, which sat along the trade route known as the Mandalorian Roadand linked the planets Corsin and Mandalore.
Over the next eight years, the Mandalorians also raided worlds such as Corsin and Azure, and Mandalorian warships expanded their territory into the Tion Hegemony and Hutt Space on the eastern edge of the galaxy. Starting with the capture of the Lianna system, the Mandalorians traveled up the Perlemian Trade Route andtook the Makem and Quermia systems before heading southeast along the Overic Griplink hyperroute,conquering the Kaelta system and then taking the Florn system. At the same time, another campaign was launched from the Lianna system—the Mandalorians first took the Jaminere system, then headed south to theSy Myrth system, and finally intruded on Hutt Space by taking the Taskeed system, capturing the Dennogra system, and then seizing the Dernatine system. The Hutts resorted to hiring mercenary armies to defend their territories, but frequently the Mandalorians simply recruited the mercenaries into their own ranks. Some Neo-Crusaders suggested using kryotin, a powder from the planet Veroleem, as a bioweapon to soften up targets, but most Mandalorians were disgusted by the idea. A forward supply post named Unity was established on the planet Caillte to support the planned advance into the Mid Rim.
Commander Rohlan Dyre served in the early battles in the Outer Rim but began to question Mandalore's goals and reasoning for testing the Republic's defenses. When his questions went unanswered, Dyre responded by refusing to fight the next time he was called upon. Dyre was placed on the front lines anyway, so he escaped during the fighting and went in search of answers on his own, investigating "DoctorDemagol's" history and talking to people who knew the scientist before he joined the Mando'ade. "Rohlan the Questioner," as he became known, was eventually captured and placed back on the front lines, but he ran away again—a cycle that continued to repeat over the next few years. By 3964 BBY, Dyre had been caught and sent back to the front lines six times. In 3966 BBY, when Taris's resource worlds of Jebble,Vanquo, Tarnith, and Suurja began to be threatened by the Mandalorians, the Republic established theJebble-Vanquo-Tarnith line, a protective cordon around Taris that linked those three planets; Admirals Jimas Veltraa and Noma Sommos were among the officers tasked with holding the line.
The coming storm
The False War
- "Mandalore spends years picking off unaligned rimworlds—the Senate sits. Mandalore gets too close to one full of Republic business interests—and the Senate throws it Republic membership and a security cordon so long it would take five fleets our size to crew it. I'm sure Mandalore did a little dance when he heard the Republic had pledged to defend Taris. They've called these last few months "War." I think you can see it's nothing of the sort!"
- ―Saul Karath[src]
- The Mandalorians' progress came to a halt at the end of the year 3965 BBY—the Republic Navy's forces around Taris blocked the invaders' attempts to capture more star systems in the Outer Rim, and the Mandalorians went eight months without a victory. Finally, the Mandalorians made progress along the Mandalorian Road and captured the planet Flashpoint, home to the Flashpoint Stellar Research Station, after a brief skirmish with Republic forces. Flashpoint Station was repurposed as a laboratory for Demagol, a place where captured Jedi were to be brought so that the scientist could experiment on them. A few months later, the Mandalorians made an attempt to take the agrarian world of Suurja, which sat along the cordon between Tarnith and Jebble, but they were engaged by Republic forces under the command of Captain Saul Karath, and the battle was inconclusive. Over the next six weeks, three further battles were fought at Suurja, but all three of the skirmishes were likewise inconclusive.
- Around that time, a charismatic young Jedi began to move through the Jedi Order, calling for Jedi intervention in the conflict with the Mandalorians. He advocated revanchism, or the retaking of territories lost to the Mandalorians, and his views were met with suspicion and hostility by the increasingly conservative Jedi High Council, which remained wary of intervention due to the threat of the dark side. Encouraged by his Jedi Master, Kreia, the young Jedi began to openly challenge the Council and gathered a following of like-minded Jedi, including his friend Alek. The movement became known as the Revanchists, and their leader was branded "the Jedi's own crusader" by the Republic media. Defying the Jedi Council's wishes, the "crusader" led Alek and the other Revanchists on ascouting mission to the battlefront, and they stopped on Taris in hopes of recruiting some of the Jedi who were stationed at the planet's Jedi Tower. When the Jedi failed to sway any of the five Jedi Masters there or theirPadawans, they departed for the planet Suurja. However, the "crusader" left his followers on Suurja shortly afterward to investigate Mandalorian activity on Onderon and Dxun, and the Revanchists were unprepared for an ambush by Mandalorians led by Rohlan Dyre. Alek and the other Revanchists were taken to Flashpoint, where Demagol tortured and experimented on them in hopes of determining the source of their powers.
However, everything changed when the galaxy learned of the Padawan Massacre. Four of the five Padawans at the Jedi Tower were slain by their Masters, who were members of a secret Jedi Covenant dedicated to preventing the return of the Sith, and Master Lucien Draay's Padawan, Zayne Carrick, was blamed for the murders. Carrick and the Snivvian con man Marn Hierogryph evaded the Covenant Jedi and Taris's police officers, and their inability to capture Carrick sparked a public loss of faith in the Jedi Order's ability to police them. The same day as the Revanchists' capture on Suurja, Carrick was captured by a bounty hunter namedValius Ying and brought to the Jedi Tower. The news of Carrick's capture caused planet-wide celebrations on Taris, as companies such as Lhosan Industries had begun to pull out from the planet in light of the Massacre, but when Carrick escaped from the Jedi Tower with the help of his friends aboard the junk hauler The Last Resort, mass panic and rioting broke out over the following days. The police force was overwhelmed, withConstable Noana Sowrs's children being kidnapped in the chaos, and the five Jedi Masters were recalled to the Republic capital of Coruscant.