Mandalorians are a fictional group of warrior from several races in the Star Wars universe. They commonly act as mercenaries or bounty hunter. According to Expanded Universe material, they are the cultural descendants of an extinct race called the Taung. The leader of the Mandalorians typically takes on the title of "Mandalore," the name of their home planet. They have been portrayed in various media, including the novel, The Mandalorian Armor by K.W. Jeter and Hasbro's Star Wars Elite Forces action figure sets Mandalorians & Omega and Republic Mandalorians & Clone Troopers. Karen Traviss, author of Hard Contact, expanded Mandalorian culture in the novel, as explained in Star Wars on Trial. Mandalorians are most commonly portrayed as audacious and dangerous.
Originally, the Mandalorian clans were led by the general Vistar "Mandalore the First" and were ranked among the best fighters in the galaxy, thriving on battle. They are known for their cutting-edge weaponry and strict code of honor. These Mandalorians wear crusader armor that differs from one soldier to the next.
Mandalore itself is a temperate, albeit desolate, world located in a rather overlooked and inconspicuous area at the edge of the Outer Rim Territories. Making a living on its surface requires one to constantly battle for survival, and thus the Mandalorians know no other way of succession. Most importantly, however, is the rare metal that is only found on this planet to date. It is called Mandalorian Iron, or beskar in the Mandalorian language. It is one of the few known substances that can resist the focused energy output of a weapon such as a lightsaber. The other few exceptions include cortosis ore, as well as vibro and phrik alloy.
The Mandalorians play a large role in the Great Sith War, which is portrayed in the Tales of the Jedi series. During the war between the Sith and the Republic, Mandalore and his forces attack and raid the Empress Teta system, drawing the attention of Ulic Qel-Droma. After being defeated in single combat by Ulic, the Mandalore pledges complete loyalty to the Sith apprentice. He and his warriors participate in many devastating raids and attacks on the Republic, including an attempted invasion of Coruscant. However, Mandalore is finally defeated at Onderon by local military forces and Republic reinforcements. With his mighty army defeated and shattered, Mandalore flees to Dxun but is killed by one of the many monsters that inhabit Onderon's moon. A Mandalorian warrior finds his fallen mask and inherits the position of Mandalore. The new Mandalore is manipulated by an unknown Sith faction into attacking the Republic, triggering the Mandalorian Wars.
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