Tag Archives: Mandalore

Mandalorians… ‘Nuff Said – SWBTF #25

Greetings! And welcome to Star Wars Beyond the Films!

This week your hosts, the Defender of the EU, Mark and the EU Guru, Nathan tackle a topic many EU Fans have been salivating for. Mandalorians.

 

And who better to help them discuss the Mandalorian culture, than Tom Hutchens; a.k.a. Mandalore the Uniter, founder of the Mandalorian Mercs. Tom brings a unique look into the Mandalorian culture through his love of metal work, making custom armor.

Also, Nathan and Tom were recently at the ConCarolinas Star Wars Panel where Nathan recorded the panel for listeners to enjoy.

Nathan sets the current stage of the Mandalorians in the Saga to catch us up.

The hosts ponder the question: Does the current state of the Mandalorians fit well to you?

The hosts all agree that Jason Fry’s Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Warfare stitches everything back together into a cohesive unit well. As Mark’s fond of saying; “if there’s a retcon: there’s a way.” Mark thinks that retcons can fix stang near everything!

Tom mentions armor, and how it fits into the culture of the Mandalorians. And Mark noticed certain elements of Jango Fett’s armor mirrored in the architecture of Mandalorian buildings in The Clone Wars. Tom has a very good explanation for this, based in the beskar’gam (armor) itself. Very deep stuff.

Speaking of The Clone Wars the hosts discuss the Death Watch, and other new characters recently introduced. Most notably Bo-Katan. Bo-Katan‘s introduction to The Clone Wars gave fans voice actress Katee Sackhoff, who plays a strong female warrior who is the equal of any man in the Death Watch.

Was Karen Traviss’s take on the Mandalorians your meat & potatoes? Or did you feel you were left with burnt toast? There was a time when she was considered by some to be “The Authority” of the Mandalorian Culture, as well as Clones, especially Clone Commandos. But then some didn’t care for what she brought to the table at all. Few fell into the “Meh” group.

Is the Mandalorian’s ever fluctuating past due in large part to George Lucas’s morphing vision? Or author carelessness? Or was it simple over-site? However it was, Jason Fry’s Essential Guide to Warfare sews it back together brilliantly.

Nathan points out that the groundwork for the retcon for The Clone Wars‘ New Mandalorians was in place well before the episodes even aired, inside the pages of Star Wars: The Essential Atlas. Many missed this at first though, perhaps owing to the higher price for the Essential Guide series prices?

 

Tom brings up an excellent question: what is the real face of Mandalore?

Poor Mandalore… it was forest and woodlands a few times, and then it gets one picture of a barren wasteland and suddenly the whole planet is totaled? Not so fast!

The whole planet’s surface does not need to be destroyed. Perhaps it was only a few locations that had been bombed out of existence. Perhaps it is the New Mandalorian Culture that felt the location was sacred or symbolic. Mandalorians- as known before we see them in TCW -were a nomadic people, they could uplift camp and leave in a moments notice. So perhaps they didn’t care that the New Mandalorians set up in these old bombed out capital locations. There are multiple ways the wastelands seen on the TV show could have happened. The hosts ponder a few.

Mark asks: Did The Clone Wars turn the Klingons of Star Wars into Vulcans?

Or in the end did it  just blend the two?

In the EU, Knights of the Old Republic (the comic) plays up the fact that the Mando’s were equal opportunity employers, a come-one, come-all attitude. It didn’t matter what species, so long as you honored the Resol’nare. Whereas the New Mandalorians seem like they are more like the empire, everyone same skin tone, hair colors, and eye color, and all human. Is there a story to be told as to why?

Kotor: War was brought up due to one of Mark’s biggest EU wishes: Mandalorian Knights! Granted this isn’t Knights of the Old Republics first foray into the land of Mandalorian Knights, Demagol tried to create an army of them with Jedi Master Arca Jeth’s DNA. But it would seem that after Demagol’s failure it was decided it would be better to have adult Jedi vs. raising them from infancy.

Yet these new Mandalorian Knights as seen in Kotor: War are the best of both. They are Jedi who have sided with the Mandalorian people. As Jedi they are still honoring life, just not the lives the Republic Jedi want them focusing on.
On the cosplay side of things Tom explains how being a Mandalorian Knight would work in the Mandalorian Mercs. Who knew there were so many well thought out rules to wearing a Star Wars costume?
Leaping into the far future, Mark points to Hondo Karr, the secretly-Mandalorian, Stormtrooper who was a member of Joker Squadron, who would again shift sides and join the Galactic Alliance and of all squadrons, Rogue Squadron. But the Legacy series still has a Mandalorian tale to tell… Hondo was last seen donning his beskar’gam once again and setting out to hunt down the new Mandalore to seek revenge.

The hosts stop and ponder the polar opposite of the Mandalorian Knights; Mandalorian Sith!?!

Nathan explains why this concept just might not work.
Returning to the Klingonization of the Mandalorians, we have Mando’a, the Mandalorian language. Nathan asks if creating a full language going just a little too far?

The hosts ponder a lot this episode, and cover a lot of ground. Enjoy the episode, and don’t forget; if you want to chime in on anything be sure to hit up the guys through email, or their facebook page.

 

Email:         beyondthefilms@starwarsfanworks.com
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The Clone Wars Season 4 Episode 14 Review

Hello and welcome back to yet another review of The Clone Wars here at the Star Wars Report! This week the Death Watch returns as Ahsoka tries to save season 3’s Lux Bonteri from the Mandalorian terrorist group led by Pre Vizsla after Lux seeks their help to kill Dooku in the episode A Friend in Need!

The episode starts out with negotiations on the neutral planet of Mandalore, and very quickly elevates into a shootout between Republic guards and Separatist commandos after an unexpected interruption from the returning character of Heroes on Both Sides, Lux Bonteri. Later we find that this was a plan to get the location of Count Dooku from his hologram transmission. Ahoska and Lux travel to the planet of Carlacc where Lux meets up with the Death Watch. This planet is absolutely stunning! The snow, the trees, the villages, the colors all have a very Feudal Japan feel about them, which is perfect considering this is an episode about a group who’s history is a culture that fights for honor, rather reminiscent of the Samurai.

When we first see the Mandalorian camp, I found it somewhat difficult to relate this new Death Watch to the Mandalorians of old, even the past generations of their own group at times. Yes, I can understand burning villages, and their ruthless grip over the planet, the Death Watch is the more barbaric and bloodthirsty of the Mandalorians, but the target practice on the defenseless droids just seemed too easy for these warriors. I couldn’t help but think that they were just thugs wearing Mandalorian armor. In my opinion, even the splinter group they are a part of would have seeked out a tougher challenge when training, or even when it’s just for fun. Mandalorians are about being the best, right? I’ll let it pass though since the droids play into the story later. And where these thuggish Mandalorian recruits might take away from the Mandalorian experience is immediately redeemed by our returning villain Pre Vizsla, who is a much darker, intimidating, and ruthless villain than when we last saw him. He is almost unrecognizable from the Concordian governor we met in season two. A complete visual transformation is included in some of the new attachments to his already incredible helmet, I love it!

Remember the droids the Death Watch had been using for “target practice”? While I was a little hesitant to accept the fact that the Mandalorians were lowering themselves in my opinion by shooting unarmed droids, I did like how it tied into the climax neatly, and we also see how much the battle droids, and R2, can put their alliances and differences behind them to help someone in need. But whether these droids were reprogrammed by the Mandalorians to erase their objectives, or really did forget that their duty was to march, shoot at clones, and die, is left to our imagination. You can’t deny that a battle between Mandalorians and a makeshift army of now re-armed battle droids was the coolest thing to come out of season 4 so far! Especially while Ahsoka and Pre Vizsla have an awesome lightsaber duel in the midst of the battle. That is what The Clone Wars is all about!

In the end, Ahsoka and Lux escape, after fighting off the Mandalorian excellently voiced by Katee Sackhoff of Battlestar Galactica and 24 fame. It all seemed to work out, and they can finally get to Coruscant, when Ahsoka finds out that Lux is going back. So not only did we witness cool battles, the destruction of villages, and the iron fist of the Death Watch, there is powerful emotion between our two main characters! There have been a lot of really good character relationship moments in this series (romantic and not), but Lux going back to face the Mandalorians after saving Ahsoka was one of the best of them all. Could he be going to certain death? Probably, but hopefully we’ll see him again. Even if we don’t, this ending was the perfect place to leave the Ahsoka/Lux relationship. Whether it’s for good, or for sometime in the distant future, we’ll just have to wait and see.

A Friend in Need was much more enjoyable than I expected. There aren’t too many one episode story arcs that can have that much character, action, story, and memorable moments packed into twenty two minutes. The designs were amazing, Pre Vizsla was as menacing as ever, and the cliffhanger for Lux and Ahsoka was truly great. I really can’t say enough about this episode and I can honestly say it’s one of my new favorites. Well done Clone Wars team! What did you think of this episode? Did you love it? Hate it? Somewhere in between? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Thanks for reading and may the Force be with you…always!

-Ryan

 

The Clone Wars Weekly Roundup: 1/1/12

Obi-Wan's Cellmate?

After hibernating in a frigid cave on Hoth, we are back from our little winter vacation from Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  The timing is impeccable as TCW is also back from it’s own winter break.  There will be some minor spoilers below as to the subject matter of future TCW episodes in Season Four.

Where have we been in Season Four:

Season Four kicked off with the Mon Cala trilogy in which we are re-introduced to the Mon Calamari-Quarren rivalry, we parallel last season’s introduction of a young Tarkin by meeting his future slave and future leader of the Rebel navy Ackbar, and we met a new potentate in Lee-Char.  From Mon Cala we traveled back to Naboo (again) in an episode that focused on the Gungans and General Grievous, and witnessed the heroic death of General Tarpals. Then we got the slightly odd Droids duology, featuring the misadventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO.  Just when you start to wonder what the heck TCW was doing, they delivered the awesome four-part Umbara arc with the dastardly Jedi General Krell and the kick butt Clones of the 501st Legion.  Before the holiday break began we saw the first two parts of the Slaves of the Republic trilogy, which is adapting the previous Dark Horse Comics story by the same title, written by TCW Season One head writer Henry Gilroy.

Bossk is mad Obi-Wan wouldn't give him his Jell-O

Where are we going in the second half of Season Four?

Much like last years TCW season, things are going to start heating up as the show moves towards the season finale.  It is kind of odd that they choose to take the break in the middle of a trilogy, but that may be a Cartoon Network decision and not a Lucasfilm decision.  Based on what we now know about the remaining episodes for this season, we will be wrapping up the Slavery arc, we will get a stand alone story featuring the return of Lux Bonteri and Death Watch, and we will then wrap up the season with two, four-part story arcs.  The first story-arc will star Obi-Wan Kenobi as he goes under cover as a evil sniper from (dramatic pause for fanboy gasp) Condord Dawn!  Concord Dawn is a planet within Mandalorian space and has a long history with the Fetts.  Does this combined with the return of Death Watch  foreshadow TCW revisiting the Mandalorians, setting up a story arc featuring a Mandalorian Civil War and the defeat of the neutral pacifists under the leadership of Duchess Satine?  I sure hope so!

The final four-part story arc will lead nicely into the 3D re-release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace as it will star Savage Opress and his brother Darth Maul.  How will they put Humpty Dumpty Maul back together again?  I guess we will just have to wait to find out.

TV Guide.com has a brief description of the Lux-Death Watch episode, “A Friend in Need,” which will air on January 13th, 2012.

Lux renounces Dooku and the Separatists, and joins an extreme faction known as the Death Watch.

The move from patrician to Mandalorian is an interesting character development for Lux.  From the EU we know that being Mandalorian means (even the evil Death Watch version) takeing people from all species and backgrounds; it is less about your biology then it is about you adopting the culture.

It will be interesting to see how Ahsoka handles the conflict of emotions, being happy Lux is standing up to Dooku and the Separatists, but being concerned about his new friends.

It certainly sounds like TCW is going to be very interesting in the last half of this season.  I know what I will be watching this Friday night!  Will Anakin decide to join with the Zygerrian Queen or will he be able to save himself, his freinds and the Togrutan slaves?  This Friday at 8:00 P.M. on the Cartoon Network we will find out.

Come back soon to the Star Wars Report for continuing coverage of TCW and all things Star Wars!

~ Pete