- "Men of Mandalore! Your chains are gone and freedom is yours—if you're willing to take it!"
- ―Leia Organa
During the Galactic Civil War, in the year 3 ABY, the Galactic Empire and the local Mandalorians of the planet Mandalore fought a decisive battle in the Mandalorian City of Bone, headquarters of the local Imperial leader, the Suprema. The battle began in revolt of the Imperial slaving operation on the planet, when the energy source to the slaves' energy links was destroyed, freeing them and triggering an ensuing uprising.
Although initially meant to be a simple rescue mission of Tobbi Dala, who had been captured by Imperials and detained in the City of Bone, the rescue soon spread to all the Mandalorian slaves in the city. Led by the Mandalorian Protectors Fenn Shysa and Dala with help from Rebel leader Leia Organa, the Mandalorians stormed the Suprema's office to open the blast doors to the city, which had been closed at the beginning of the battle. After overpowering the Suprema, Dala decided to stay behind to open the gates to the city since he had sustained a mortal wound during the struggle.
Aboard a commandeered hovercraft, Shysa and Organa were able to exit the city to join the freed slaves and Shysa's forces, who had triggered the attack. After their escape, Dala closed the blast doors behind them to stop the pursuing Imperial squadron. However, the Imperial ships were unable to change course away from the closing doors and crashed into the walls of the city. As the Imperial craft exploded, they ignited the fuel in the city, creating a chain reaction that filled the structure with fire, killing all inside.
Prelude[edit | edit source]
- "We found things had changed durin' our leave. Our homeworld had been overrun by slavers sanctioned by the Empire, an' they'd turned Mandalore into a conscription center fer slaves needed to work the fact'ries, farms an' mines what kept the Imperial war machine runnin'."
- ―Fenn Shysa
Following the end of the Clone Wars and the emergence of the Galactic Empire from the ashes of the Galactic Republic, the planet Mandalore was in dire straits, having been driven into poverty by siding with the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the war. The premier business on the world, MandalMotors, who had helped build starships for the Separatists, was subject to a hostile takeover by the Empire, and the board was replaced with Imperial advisers and the lead Imperial adviser, the Suprema, was brought in to round up the populace for forced conscription. The slaves were to be subjected to hard labor with the dual purpose of crushing their spirits and using the slave labor to help run mines, farms, and factories to fund the Imperial war machine.
The Suprema established his operations in the City of Bone, a massive structure built as a then defunct adventure tourist attraction and made in the image of a 400-meter Mythosaur skeleton that resided on the outskirts of Mandalore's capital city, Keldabe. Originally sold to the Empire as a local garrison for credits greatly needed by the local Mandalorian clans, the city became a distribution center for the captured slaves, bound by energy link restraints as they awaited assignment. The Imperial slavers reveled in torturing the hapless slaves, feeding them out of gruel troughs and beating them for even small outbursts.
In a few short months, the Suprema had enslaved the majority of the population, but he was not without opposition. The Mandalorian Protectors, Fenn Shysa and Tobbi Dala, two of only three survivors of the Mandalorian attack on Norval II years prior during the Clone Wars, had begun forming an armed guerrilla resistance in the days following the Empire's first arrival on Mandalore, when the galactic government had attempted to appear benevolent and their interactions with the Mandalorians over beskar mining operations, legitimate. But once the Empire's grip over their homeworld had become strangling, Mand'alor Fenn Shysa and his secret resistance were labeled as outlaws, though members of the Mandalorian clan-based government decided to secretly help the two soldiers recruit others and train them to fight against the Imperial authorities.
Working out of their forest headquarters, the Mandalorian strike force raided slaving convoys, killing the Imperial slavers and freeing their kinsmen. During this long struggle for independence, the Mandalorians were visited by Princess Leia Organa and her protocol droid C-3PO, who were on a mission to Mandalore in search of the bounty hunter Dengar. Dengar had been rumored to have been working with Boba Fett during the search for the Millennium Falcon following the Battle of Hoth. The Rebel commander hoped that Dengar would lead them to Fett's location, who was in possession of the captured Han Solo, trapped in carbonite.
Dengar was currently working for the slaving ring to capture Fenn Shysa, who was leading the resistance on his own due to Tobbi Dala's capture following a failed mission to the City of Bone. Shysa had actually managed to capture Dengar and was in the process of exchanging the bounty hunter for Dala during Organa's arrival. However, Organa managed to disrupt the exchange by releasing Dengar and attempting to bring him back to the Alliance base on Arbra. The attempt to steal Shysa's prisoner was foiled when Dengar transmitted a message to the Imperial command. Organa and C-3PO were captured and brought back to the City of Bone to be imprisoned alongside Tobbi Dala.
The battle[edit | edit source]
Infiltration and revolt[edit | edit source]
- "Hmm, this outlaw assault is rather conveniently timed. And why are they attacking the perimeter when the greatest prizes—the prisoners—are inside the skull? Perhaps I'd best take steps—to assure that they remain inside!"
- ―The Suprema ponders the beginning of the assault on his fortress
Undetected by the Imperials, Fenn Shysa infiltrated the city, disguised as a stormtrooper. He then freed both Organa and Dala from their imprisonment in the city's detention cells and led them to the hangar bay. As the group tried to figure out a way to escape from the Imperials, Shysa shot a flare out of a side window. Shysa's Mandalorian forces, who were hiding in the woods awaiting his signal, immediately began their attack, firing at the Imperials stationed at the perimeter. The attack was meant to distract the Imperials as Organa, Dala, C-3PO, and Shysa made their escape. However, the Suprema had anticipated the maneuver and ordered the city to be sealed by closing the blast doors.
At the same time, Dala commandeered a hovercraft from Dengar who was in the hangar bay. After tying Dengar up and placing him in the back of the craft, the Rebels made their way for the exit, only to find the doors sealed. The stormtroopers and slaver guards began to fire on the craft, trying to bring it down, since the hovercraft was stranded in the air with nowhere to go. As the Rebels exchanged fire with the Imperials, Organa ordered Shysa to pilot the ship towards the energy link master control, which powered the slave restraints. By concentrating fire on the box, the device was destroyed, freeing the Mandalorian slaves residing in the city. Organa called out to the slaves, encouraging them to rise up against their oppressors.
Assault on the Suprema's office[edit | edit source]
- "You are a man of delusions, Dala. Potentially—deadly delusions!"
As a major battle began to erupt in the city, the Rebels took the opportunity to pilot their craft toward the Suprema's office. The group planned to force the slaver to open the blast doors to let them make their escape. Leaving Dengar tied up in the hovercraft, the group stormed their way to the Suprema's position only to find the door locked. Organa quickly improvised by blowing down the door, but found the Suprema waiting for them with a blaster drawn. Dala attempted to fire on the Imperial slavelord, but was hit in the chest by a blaster shot. As the Suprema attempted to shoot at the rest of the Rebels, Dala threw himself forward, grabbing the Suprema's blaster hand, preventing any further attack.
While the Suprema and Dala struggled in the office, Shysa jumped forward, kicking the Suprema and knocking the blaster out of his hand. Distraught over the wound that Dala had sustained, Shysa began to strike the Suprema with the butt of his blaster, in an attempt to beat the Imperial officer to death. However, Organa was able to stop Shysa, telling him that they might need the Suprema later. Shysa relented and went to attend to his fallen friend. Unfortunately for the Mandalorian leader, Dala had sustained near fatal injuries, and he bid his friend farewell, promising that he would open the doors to the city. After an emotional goodbye, Organa, C-3PO, and Shysa left both Dala and the wounded Suprema and made their way back to the hovercraft, where Dengar was still tied up.
Escape[edit | edit source]
- "You guys gave us our freedom! An' while most of our lot's escaped, we stayed behind to return the favor!"
- ―Former Mandalorian slave
Before the Rebels had broken into the office, the Suprema had been able to get a transmission out to Shrike Squadron, a flight group made up of Imperial escort fighters, who came to the city to quell the uprising. As the Rebels made their way to the exit in their hovercraft, they came under attack by the Shrikes. Although they attempted to return fire, they were outnumbered, and the Imperials threatened to overwhelm them. However, several freed slaves decided to help the Rebels escape. Many of the former Mandalorian slaves were able to escape from the city during the fighting, but those had stayed behind to rescue their liberators. As the hovercraft passed by, the former slaves threw a gruel trough in the path of the pursuers, knocking one of the Shrikes out of the air and causing it to crash.
The diversion allowed the Rebels to make space towards the exit, which had been opened, true to Dala's word. As the craft exited the city, Shrike Squadron converged on the Rebels, continuing their pursuit. However, before they could get to the exit, Dala closed the blast doors. Unable to turn away in time, the airspeeders crashed headlong into the city walls. The massive explosion ignited the fuel and ammunition within the city, consuming the city in fire and killing all the Imperials inside, including the Suprema and Tobbi Dala. As the hovercraft carrying Dengar and his Rebel captors departed the city back to the Mandalorian camp, they witnessed the destruction, their triumph sobered by the sacrifice of their friend.
Aftermath[edit | edit source]
- "The attack force got away with light casualties, Fenn—and most o' the slaves have agreed to join us!"
- ―Mandalorian soldier
Back at the forest base, the Mandalorians celebrated their victory. Many of the former Mandalorian slaves decided to join Shysa's resistance, bolstering their forces. Shysa interrogated Dengar, but he had not actually been Fett's accomplice, only overhearing a conversation that Fett had a secret base in the Anga system. Although Organa was depressed over not being any closer to finding Solo, she was encouraged by the victory and returned to the Alliance headquarters. Shysa claimed that the attack was not a fatal blow to their enemies, but the battle proved more damaging than Shysa had first surmised, and Dala's sacrifice became the pivotal blow in ridding the world of Imperials.
Following the battle, Shysa decided to reform his force into the new Mandalorian Protectors. Due to Leia Organa's aid in the operation, the Mandalorians joined the Rebel Alliance. Under Shysa, the Protectors began a campaign against Grand Admiral Miltin Takel who oversaw the Mandalore sector.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
The battle of the City of Bone was the main conflict appearing in Star Wars 69: Death in the City of Bone, written by David Michelinie and drawn by Gene Day and Tom Palmer. Following the end of the battle, Shysa claims that, "the blow [they] dealt the slavers was cripplin' but not final," apparently showing that the battle did not mark the end of the Imperial presence on the planet.
However, the 2005 article, The History of the Mandalorians by Abel G. Peña, claims that Tobbi Dala's sacrifice helped remove the slavers from Mandalore, apparently confirming that the battle was more crippling than Shysa had first presumed. The battle was mentioned once again in the Hyperspace article, Aliens in the Empire, written by Peña and Rich Handley, when it gave the history of the Suprema who was present and killed during the battle.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Star Wars 69: Death in the City of Bone (First appearance)
- Legacy of the Force: Revelation (Indirect mention only)
Sources[edit | edit source]
- "The History of the Mandalorians"—Star Wars Insider 80
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, II ("Dala, Tobbi," "Suprema")
- The Essential Atlas
- Galaxy at War
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- Star Wars 68: The Search Begins
- The New Essential Chronology places the events of the Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire series after Star Wars 69: Death in the City of Bone.
- Star Wars 69: Death in the City of Bone
- The New Essential Chronology, p. 121
- The Essential Atlas, p. 77
- "The History of the Mandalorians"—Star Wars Insider 80
- Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel
- Aliens in the Empire