Monday, August 9, 2010

3661 BBY: The Return of the Mandalorians

Since the addition of the Mandalorians into the Great Galactic War, the Sith Empire has managed to press the action against the Republic since the Battle of Bothawui.

Moving ahead 6 years in Star Wars history, the Sith emperor is now using the Mandalorian War Machine as another arm of the Sith invasion force. The Mandalorians, setting up a blockade against the Republic over the Hydrian Way – the most vital trade route for central systems in the galaxy, is now starving out the Alliance using the ancient siege technique of cutting-off one’s opponents from vital supplies. The Mandalorians forced the Jedi Order to respond.

And respond the Jedi Order did – but their response was met with epic failure. As Master Gnost-Dural says of that moment in history: “We attacked the blockade. Our Order was defeated quite profoundly”.

What I enjoyed most about this timeline is the begrudging respect Master Gnost-Dural gives towards the Mandalorians and their culture, and the Mandalorians desire to test themselves in battle against the Jedi.

As I said in one of my earlier posts, Mandalorians are one of my favorite aspects of the Star Wars universe. Their rugged individualism, sense of honor, and desire for battle reminds me ancient Greek demi-gods and heroes. As Master Gnost-Dural says of them: “…we must acknowledge their commitment to self-improvement is not unlike our own. And there is even something respectable about their rugged sense of honor”.

What I most love about Mandalorians is their eagerness to engage with the Jedi when none other than the Sith would: “These independent warrior nomads have challenged the Jedi for centuries”, and their success when engaging the Jedi in combat, even though they do not have the Force at their disposal. The Mandalorians make the Jedi more human – more vulnerable. That’s what I like about them.

Now under the leadership of the ‘New Mandalore’, the Mandalorians were eager the meet the Jedi: “Mandalore’s call was simple: to confront the galaxies greatest challenge and fight the legendary knights of the Jedi Order.” The Mandalorians conquer only to fuel greater battles and seek out larger challenges, not simply for the sake of conquering.

The Mandalorians embody the ancient Greek notion of ArĂȘte – excellence of any kind. Their excellence is on the battle-field, where Sith and Jedi alike should know that their knowledge of the Force alone may not necessarily bring them through a conflict with a Mandalorian.

For my next post I’ll be engaging with the source The Mandalorian Blockade is Broken. Until then my friends, may the Force be with you.

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