- "I think I need something more than killing and fighting in my life. I need a purpose or something like that."
Canderous Ordo was leader of the Mandalorians in the time following the Jedi Civil War, the first Mandalore since the end of the Mandalorian Wars. A veteran soldier, he fought during both conflicts as well as in the Great Sith War. He joined the Jedi Revan in his quest for the Star Forge and travelled with the Jedi Exile in the close of the First Jedi Purge. He united the scattered clans of the Neo-Crusaders, even as he stood beside the Exile against the Sith Triumvirate. After the destruction of Malachor V, Canderous parted ways with her and awaited Revan's return from the Unknown Regions readying for a war with the True Sith.
- "I was one of the best youth warriors in clan Ordo in my time."
Canderous was born to the Clan Ordo on the Mandalorian planet Ordo, as early as to undergo his verd'goten, the warriors' initiation, in the middle of the greatest breakthrough in Mandalorian technology, when the Basilisk war droids were still being perfected. In those days, young warriors would prove themselves in real combat with unknown opponents on a number of worlds. The ones Canderous fought on were most likely among the locations of the late Krath Holy Crusade, near the close of the Great Sith War.
He would always remember his first battle, an 80 kilometer plunge through the atmosphere, dodging self-guided projectile and beam weapons, with barely fifteen centimeters of glowing-hot armor plate protecting him. During that battle, he gained considerable honor for his achievements, and became part of the most promising young warriors of his clan. Following the defeat of the Mandalorian Crusaders in 3,996 BBY, he was quickly recruited by Mandalore the Ultimate into the Neo-Crusaders.
Before the Mandalorian Wars started, Canderous witnessed what may have been the first Yuuzhan Vong scouting of the galaxy. His party was going through the asteroid belts of the Crispin system, to hunt the pirates and smugglers that used the frozen methane gas shells of the main belt for cover. Canderous targeted a small asteroid with a thermal generator to cause the outer layer of frozen gas to explode and destroy the hidden ships, but then the asteroid started rotating spraying thermal projectiles that melted armor like wax, and mysteriously fled before the Mandalorians could counter-attack. They tracked the vehicle rimward through hyperspace until they lost its trail near the galactic rim. The vessel could well have been of Vagaari origin though, as Canderous' recollection was vague.
By the time of the Mandalorian Wars, Canderous had attained the rank of commander, and was one of the few high-ranking Mandalorians to survive the Battle of Malachor V, along with Cassus Fett, the second in command of Mandalore the Ultimate. For thirteen years, before they would invade the Republic in 3,963 BBY, the Mandalorians stockpiled resources from the worlds they conquered just outside Republic jurisdiction. Of the many such battles, it is known Canderous took part to the First Battle of Althir, in which he defeated an Althiri fleet ten times the size of his own and earned the command of an entire subsect of his clan.
His task was to assault one of their flanks with a false attack so they would be drawn out, allowing the bulk of his forces to attack from the rear and defeat them. However, when the Althiri let their fleet split in two leaving the center exposed, Canderous turned his forces and got to the enemy commander, ending the battle quicker than they would have otherwise, and avoiding further losses. Regrettably, in abandoning his position, he let many of his men die. The sole survivor of that stand, Jagi, believed Canderous to be a glory hunter, and was determined to have his revenge. He would spend years tracking him down before he had the chance of a face-off with Canderous.
Though he didn't enjoy wiping out worlds for its own sake, it was Canderous' belief that the tactics the Republic used when the Mandalorians finally did enter their territory, like setting their bases inside major cities, left Mandalore little choice but to raze whole worlds such as Serroco in provocation. Despite the fact that when Revan joined the war things began to turn against his people, Canderous was increasingly satisfied with the challenge the Republic put up. Costly sacrifices, counterattacks and mass deceptions made Revan something of a hero in his eyes, and though he did regret the Galaxy was taken from their grasp, he recognized the honor in fighting the only one who stood against them, once the Sith had retreated into the Unknown Regions. The Sith he would figure years later to have been behind the very choice of challenging the Republic.
In the close of the conflict, Canderous was among the two fleets that filled the space around Malachor V, where the Mandalorians had committed all of their forces in a last attempt at defeating the Republic. Their doom was sealed, and when the Jedi Exile, the General that commanded the Republic fleet, activated the mass shadow generator, most of the remaining ships were crushed onto the surface of the planet by its gravity well. Those outside the scope of the superweapon were able to escape the mass shadows and survive the battle. In 3,960 BBY the Mandalorians surrendered unconditionally, Mandalore was executed by Revan while the others were stripped of their weapons and armor, and sent into exile on the Outer Rim. With nothing to call his own but the honor of having fought in the battle he just lost, Canderous became a mercenary. He eventually ended up on Taris, enforcing for local Exchange boss Davik Kang, but the best challenges that Taris had to offer were nothing to him.
Jedi Civil War
- "Whatever you are fighting, it will be worthy of my skill."
- ―Canderous to Revan
After the end of the Mandalorian Wars, while Revan took up the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith and started his own crusade against the Republic, Canderous became the most famous Mandalorian mercenary in the Taris Sector. By the time of the Attack on the Endar Spire, near the close of the Jedi Civil War, he had been fighting across the Galaxy for forty standard years, and it started not being enough for him. Unhappy with the way his life had turned, when Davik didn't come through with the fortune he had promised to pay Canderous for his services, he decided it was time to move on. When Revan met Canderous in the Lower City of Taris, bearing the made-up identity the Jedi Council have him, that of a soldier under Bastila Shan, Canderous was going to see to a special assignment of Davik's.
He was put in charge of a salvage mission to the Under City, to the crash sites of a couple of escape pods from the Republic warship Endar Spire, the ship where Revan was stationed on before the Sith attack. Revan was headed to the Under City himself with fellow Republic fugitive Carth Onasi, but the Lower City swoop gangs had already sent their own salvage parties. Down the Under City west, Canderous lost some of Davik's men to the rakghouls that roamed the place, and when Revan helped him during an attack, Canderous told him the Black Vulkars were the first to get to Bastila's escape pod. Revan won the Tarisian Season Opener to get ahold of the Jedi commanding officer, who was offered as a prize by the Vulkar's leader Brejik. Impressed by his recklessness on the track, Canderous choose him of all people for a plan to escape Taris, which at the time was under Sith quarantine. He needed Revan to break into the Tarisian Military Base and steal the Sith launch codes, without which any ship leaving the atmosphere would have been disintegrated by the Sith fleet's automated defense guns, so he made a deal with him and provided a droid capable of slicing the encrypted security system that protected entrance to the base, T3-M4.
When Revan got the codes, they took the Ebon Hawk from Davik and escaped the planet just as the Sith commenced an orbital bombardment that destroyed Taris. Canderous then traveled with Revan in his mission against Darth Malak and the Sith Empire, despite disagreeing at times with the courses of action he took in their journeys. Canderous often regaled Revan with tales of his past battles, and would later explain that coming with him was a means of finding battles worthy of his skill, something he could not do under Davik. He also encountered Jagi, who had not forgotten him; he challenged Canderous to a duel in the Dune Sea of Tatooine to answer for his choices in the Battle of Althir. Canderous would not stand the insult and was determined to kill him so that his honor would remain unblemished. Due to his negotiation skills, Revan had Jagi see it Canderous's way, but Canderous was still scarred when Jagi committed suicide to erase the shame to have questioned the teachings of Mandalore.
At one point, the Ebon Hawk was ambushed by Admiral Saul Karath and tractor beamed by the Sith Interdictor ship Leviathan. Revan was detained with Carth and Bastila apart from the rest of the crew, but arranged for one of the others to stage their rescue; once he was set free, the others followed Canderous' lead to the Ebon Hawk while Revan saw to the deactivation of the tractor beam. Fighting his way to the docking bays, Canderous got his party on board unscathed. He was glad to learn, before they set out to find the last Star Map and got to the Star Forge, that the true identity of his new employer was that of the leader of the Republic forces that, to his honor, had the upper hand against his people four years earlier; yet now he felt even more demeaned as a warrior, seeing with the wisdom that comes with age all the opportunities that had passed him by, and he decided he would do something about it as soon as his time with Revan was done. With Malak's defeat and the triumph of the Republic, Canderous was awarded the Cross of Glory along with Revan and his companions for his part in the struggle against the Sith.
- "Assemble the rest of your clan. You will return to Dxun."
- ―Canderous to a group of Mandalorian mercenaries
Ever since Mandalore's helmet was seized by Revan, the Mandalorians had been without a leader. Canderous himself, after the Jedi Civil War, did not think the clans as they were could return any time soon. Still, when Revan left for the Unknown Regions, Canderous was left with instructions to unite the clans and prepare for a new war. Besides the whereabouts of the helmet, Revan told him the truth about Mandalore the Ultimate and their Sith allies, that his people had been tricked and that all along the Sith had been behind the choice of challenging the Republic. So Canderous took the helmet for his own and returned to the Mandalorian outpost of Dxun, one of the four moons of Onderon.
Only a selected few knew the identity of the new Mandalore, as he never took off his armor and helmet in the presence of others, not even while sleeping, according to rumors. While it was tradition that the leader of the Mandalorians kept his helmet on, Canderous had probably more reasons do to so, like keeping secret his ties to Revan.
With the help of the Jedi Exile, Canderous united two additional clans to his force on Dxun, one peacefully on Nar Shaddaa, and one on Dantooine by killing its leader, Esok, and ordering the remaining Mandalorians to Dxun. Doing this helped both Canderous and the Exile, with the most immediate effect being the bolstering the Mandalorian ranks. This also ultimately helped the Exile, as Canderous was pro-Republic to the point of entering his force on the Republican side of the Onderonian Civil War and the Second Battle of Onderon against General Vaklu, a man he respected (and the sight of the dreaded Basilisk War Droids raining down onto Onderon created fear among Vaklu and Royalist forces alike); and the Battle of Telos IV against Darth Nihilus, which Canderous distinguished himself by leading a strike force that included the Exile, Visas Marr, himself, disgruntled quartermaster Kex, and several Mandalorian soldiers onto Nihilus's flagship, the Ravager. Ordo helped the Exile and Visas finish off the Dark Lord of the Sith, and escape the vessel uninjured.
Little information has been discovered as to Canderous's fate after his journey with the Exile. According to predictions made by Kreia, Canderous's future would be one still full of battle. In these battles, Revan's reasoning behind his order to Canderous would be explained: in ordering Canderous to reunite the Mandalorians, they would be remembered for thousands of years to come. It has been supposed that without these battles, the Mandalorians would not have been remembered as strong, honorable warriors—and without that memory, there would have been no reason for Jango Fett, and later Boba Fett, to don the Mandalorian armor.
Millennia later, the "Bloodletter" may have owned a pair of blasters that had once belonged to Ordo. Clone trooper Null-11, an Advanced Recon Commando in the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars, was named Ordo by Kal Skirata in honor of the legendary Mandalorian warrior. Around the time of the rise of the Galactic Empire, MandalMotors ground military branch created a heavy assault vehicle comparable to an AT-AT, dedicating it the Canderous-class Assault Tank.
- "I've killed many people. I can't say I'm proud of it, but I have. Criminals, competitors, businessmen, police… women, children…"
- ―Canderous Ordo
Canderous was a true warrior, and although some would call him a fanatic, or even a murderer, he was bound by his honor (of which he had a very strong sense) and the pressures of the militaristic Mandalorian way of life. Canderous was always impressed by a show of force, and was an advocate of fighting before diplomacy. He respected Revan for his attack on the Mandalorian fleet, and felt no regret or anger about being bested by a clearly superior foe. His driving personality traits were best described as ambition, discipline, aggression, and loyalty.
He tended to speak in a gruff, serious manner, often relating old war stories. Whenever he encountered war veterans, he would usually ask them about the battles they fought in or what their opinion was of the Mandalorians. He often displayed disappointment when he found that many on the Republic's side did not share his fondness of the past. Perhaps this was a contributing factor in Canderous becoming disillusioned after the defeat of the Mandalorians. He once expressed this feeling to Revan, explaining that he was no longer the Mandalorian he once was.
It is also revealed that though Revan and Canderous are good friends, he considered Revan his "employer". If Revan refuses to listen to Jagi, he replies: "This does not concern you, Jedi. This is between me and Canderous", Canderous replies "This concerns my employer as well."
- "I've fought countless battles–ones most didn't walk away from. The wounds add up–and even the implants are all that keeps me going sometimes. I may have been stronger in my youth–and stupider–but now I've got to rely more on my armor, my weapons, and my cunning."
- ―Canderous to the Jedi Exile
Canderous could resist Jedi mind tricks, his experience on the field of battle allowed him to shrug off most mind-affecting effects; fire grenades, flamethrowers and fear-inspiring Force powers couldn't stop him. He possessed great physical and mental stamina combined with strategic and tactical skills, which he proved on the Leviathan when the Ebon Hawk was ambushed by Admiral Saul Karath. During the Jedi Civil War his cybernetic implants were limited, but allowed him to regenerate minor wounds. He proposed to exploit this resource of his when Revan had to choose their Leviathan Prison Break agent. As of 3,951 BBY, however, his implants included selective ability boosters that Canderous could activate as needed. His weapon of choice since the latter part of the Mandalorian Wars was a prototype heavy repeater that never saw general production, however, when he became leader of the Mandalorians, he was known to wield a common repeating blaster rifle. Also, during that time, he donned Mandalorian battle armor which he kept in exceptional condition.
Behind the scenes
- Canderous Ordo is a playable character in the computer and video games Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and its sequel Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. He is voiced by John Cygan, and was created by David Falkner, Steve Gilmour, Casey Hudson, Drew Karpyshyn, James Ohlen, Preston Watamaniuk, and Derek Watts. Bioware had previously used the name "Canderous" for a minor NPC in their first ever RPG, Baldur's Gate.
- Although his birth date is still a mystery due to the lack of canon sources on Mandalorian time measurement, Canderous was set to be sixty-three Mandalorian years old as of 3,951 BBY.
- His name can be loosely translated in Mando'a to 'kando' meaning 'important, weighty' and 'ruus' or 'rock'—implying his significance as an foundation and anchor for events in the galaxy far, far away. *He has a tattoo on his left shoulder.
- Canderous has a Force alignment score of 30, making him the only playable Human character to have a default dark side alignment. He is also the only human party member in The Sith Lords that can't be trained in the ways of the Force.
- Game files include a Mandalore model without the helmet that is never used throughout the actual game. However, in one particular cut element, the Exile can ask T3-M4 if he knew Mandalore, in which T3 and the Exile react as if T3 is showing a hologram, possibly of Revan and Mandalore without his helmet, but the droid actually displays nothing.
- Canderous' helmet as Mandalore is probably used to show how the armor of Mandalorians developed between the Tales of the Jedi style and the movies' style, it also bears some similarities to that of Cydon Prax, a Chistori warrior of the Rise of the Empire era.
- In the non-canonical dark side path of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Canderous is the only non-droid party member who joins the reborn Darth Revan without question, save Bastila, who has already fallen to the dark side. Zaalbar may do so as well due to his life debt, only to turn on the player later on, and only if the player is persuasive enough to have him murder his best friend Mission Vao on Lehon.
- In the Star Wars Miniatures game, the Mandalorian Commander figure resembles Canderous. Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption contains a reference to Canderous in the form of the Zann Consortium's Canderous Assault Tank.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- Republic Commando: Triple Zero (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption (Mentioned only)
- The History of the Mandalorians
- Chronicles of the Old Republic
- The New Essential Chronology
- Thyferra: Bacta Basics
- Star Wars Miniatures: Legacy of the Force