On Mandalore, only the strongest rule!
So, you are a fan of the Mandalorians and their culture, huh? What clan or house do you rep? Which faction do you claim? These are legit questions that could start wars on Mandalore, if not met with a suitable answer.
While you are here, though, let's put our blasters away and dive into the different Mandalorian factions that have been mentioned in the official Star Wars canon.
Mandalorians have been around for over 10,000 years. One of the earlier factions of Mandalorians were known simply as the Crusaders. There isn't much information on them in the official canon, but we do get to see them in various pieces of art seen in the television series STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS.
As you can see from the artwork, the Mandalorian Crusaders are depicted as sword wielding warriors who wore helmets and robes. In both pieces of art, they are shown battling ancient Jedi Knights of the Republic. One of the pieces is especially brutal with a Crusader holding the severed head of their enemy.
You are probably wondering, "when did they say those were the Mandalorian Crusaders?" Well, don't worry. The answer can be found in the episode guide, on the official Star Wars website, for THE CLONE WARS season 5 episode "Shades of Reason." Here's to hoping we learn more about these ancient Mandalorians.
If we were lacking on information for the Crusaders, it is even more non existent when it comes to the Neo-Crusaders. These guys and gals get no fancy artwork showing their legendary battles against the Jedi. Instead, an ancient Mandalorian Neo-Crusader helmet can be seen among the trophies kept in the Trandoshan hunting lodge from season 3 episode 22 of THE CLONE WARS television series.
You wouldn't even know they were named dropped unless you read the episode guide on the official Star Wars website.
Another ancient group of Mandalorian warriors, the Protectors served as the royal guards to the leader of Mandalore. Think of these Mandalorians as the kingsguard or queensguard to the Mand'alor (the Mandalorian ruler). The Protectors recruit the best warriors from all the clans. These recruits go on to bring a balance of control to Mandalorian society.
The Protectors are such a respected tradition of Mandalore's past, that even the New Mandalorians would keep them around even though they largely did away with any of the warrior traditions of the past. What a good transition that is....
Probably one of the most controversial additions to Mandalorian lore, the New Mandalorians are a faction who want nothing to do with the warrior ways of the past. They came to power during the years before the Clone Wars and stayed in power for much of the Clone Wars.
Led by Duchess Satine Kryze, the New Mandalorians saw that the warrior ways of Mandalore's past were destroying their way of life. Honestly, can you blame them? Mandalorians literally fight and kill each other for fun. It's what they do and why we like them so much because they love to kick ass. But what does all that fightig do to a society? It has completely destroyed their planet, to the point they must live in bio-cubes because Mandalore's surface is inhabitable.
They destroyed the planet Concord Dawn....
Now that I think about it, Satine was right about a lot of things. Some of you aren't ready for that conversation, though. For another time.
Okay, so ummmm.... the Death Watch just might be my all-time favorite faction of Mandalorians. So this section might be what you would call bias. No shame here, though.
Led by Pre Vizsla, Death Watch wants nothing more than to bring back the warrior ways of Mandalore's past. With the rise and rule of the pacifist New Mandalorians, the warrriors were all exiled to the Mandalore's moon Concordia. But a Mandalorian warrior isn't going to just put aside their armor and live out their life in such a disgraceful manner. They are going to want to go out fighting like their ancestors did.
The members of Death Watch all sport that beautiful Mandalorian armor we know and love. When fans talk about wanting the old Mandalorians back and how they want to see Mandalorians kicking ass, instead of being peaceful, well you are speaking Death Watch's language. Maybe you can join them. They seem to be open to recruits when it suits them.
Are you a fan of the Disney+ series THE MANDALORIAN? Want to learn about Bo-Katan Kryze and her story? Well, she started off as a member of Death Watch and you can watch her "rise and fall" in the television shows STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS and STAR WARS REBELS. You will not regret the time spent watching those shows.
Darth Maul's Mandalorian Super Commandos
There are some things that are just made for each other. Darth Maul and a group of Mandalorian super commandos are one such pair. Combine one of the most iconic looking villains in Darth Maul with some of the most iconic armor from any sci-fi/fantasy franchise in the Mandalorians. What do you get? Red and black armored Mandos with horns on their heads!! Sign me up NOW!!!
So, Darth Maul's Mandalorians are basically the Death Watch members who chose to side with him, when he killed Death Watch leader Pre Vizsla. According to Mandalorian law, if you challenge their leader in single combat and win, the Mandalorians will be honor bound to follow you. This was tested when the former Sith claimed himself as the rightful ruler of Death Watch and Mandalore. To show their loyalty to their new leader, many Mandalorians would paint their armor red and black and some would even add horns to their helmets.
Children of the Watch
We're still learning about this group, but they seem to be a small minority among mainstream Mandalorian society. These Mandalorians follow the Way of the Mandalore. This doctrine has them taking in foundlings (children adopted by Mandalorian warriors) and wearing their helmets at all times. Now fans of Mandalorian lore know Mandalorians remove their helmets all the time. This group, however, strongly condemns the act. They even go so far as to say you are not a Mandalorian if you have ever taken your helmet off in front of anyone.
Other Mandalorians seem to look down on those who are Children of the Watch, calling them a cult and religious zealots. Their views were considered ancient by the time of the New Republic.
Imperial Super Commandos
There are some Mandalorians who saw the rise of the Galactic Empire as a way of gaining power and status on Mandalore. These Mandos swore loyalty to the Empire and became Imperial Super Commandos. Don't confuse them with Imperial Commandos who are just special force soldiers. The "super" is how you can tell the difference, if that makes it easier for you. So, yea, we are talking Imperial Super Commandos who are Mandalorians that have pledged their loyalty and support to Palpatine's Empire.
Now, I have to be real with you all. Their armor is sick!! That Mandalorian armor with a hint of stormtrooper in it. What's not to love about their look.
Well, you've made it to the end and now you are trying to decide which faction you are part of. In the end, it doesn't matter because they'll all just fight each other anyway. This is the way.