- "This was gathered in the Great Purge."
- ―The Armorer, to Din Djarin on the beskar he obtained
The Great Purge of Mandalore, also referred to as the Siege of Mandalore by Moff Gideon, was the genocide of the Mandalorians by the Galactic Empire after it bombarded Mandalore during the Imperial Era, the slaughter of most of the Mandalore population and the collection of beskar. The Purge forced Mandalorian survivors, such as sects, akin to the Tribe, to operate in secrecy.
- "Once the Empire knew they couldn't control it, they made sure no one else could either."
- ―Din Djarin, referring to Mandalore
At the end of the Clone Wars, Mandalore was liberated from the rule of the former Sith Lord Maul by an intervention force of Galactic Republic clone troopers, led by former Padawan Ahsoka Tano and Clone Commander CT-7567 "Rex," who had allied with Lady Bo-Katan Kryze's Mandalore resistance. Kryze appointed as regent by the Jedi before the majority of the Republic troops left, and Maul's Mandalorian commanders, such as Gar Saxon, were taken into Republic custody. In addition, a clone peacekeeping force was left behind on Mandalore to ensure a smooth transition of power. However, within hours of the siege's end, Chancellor Sheev Palpatine transformed the Republic into the Galactic Empire, appointing himself as its Emperor. Using the troops still stationed on Mandalore, the Emperor ordered the occupation of the planet.
Kryze refused to obey Imperial rule, so the Empire installed Gar Saxon, one of Maul's former commanders, as governor of Mandalore. Although many clans still recognized Kryze's rule, the siege had left the Mandalorians weakened and, with many supporters of Saxon's pro-Imperial leanings, they chose to comply rather than rise up against their leaders. Aware that antagonising the Mandalorians was a dangerous route, the Empire granted Saxon considerable leeway in his rule of Mandalore, allowing him to create a cadre of Imperial Super Commandos, warriors loyal to the Empire. Thus, the Empire ruled Mandalore, its houses, and its warrior clans for years.
Eventually, a student named Sabine Wren created a superweapon that targeted beskar known as the Arc Pulse Generator, which the Empire turned against the Mandalorian people. Horrified by what she had done, Wren spoke out against the Empire, though her family and clan, Clan Wren, sided with the regime. Before escaping Mandalore with her friend Ketsu Onyo, Wren destroyed her weapon, although the Empire eventually managed to build a copy with a limited range. In time, Wren joined a rebel cell called the Spectres. In 2 BBY, Imperial rule of Mandalore was threatened when Wren claimed an ancient symbol of Mandalorian rule known as the Darksaber from Maul in the abandoned Nightsister lair on Dathomir.
After training with the blade, she returned to her clan on Krownest, where Saxon also arrived to take the Darksaber for himself. After Wren's mother, Ursa Wren, killed the viceroy to protect her daughter, Clan Saxon and Clan Wren began a civil war amongst the Mandalorian people. During a mission to Mandalore, Clan Wren united with Kryze and her clan. After they destroyed the copy of the Arc Pulse Generator developed by the Empire, which the replacement leader of Mandalore—Governor Tiber Saxon—had hoped to use against the population, various Mandalorian clans united to form a Mandalorian resistance against the Empire. Kryze accepted leadership of this resistance movement, and Wren gifted her the Darksaber. The rogue Children of the Watch were appalled that Kryze had taken the Darksaber as a gift instead of winning it in combat, believing it cursed their world to fall.
- "These were cast in an Imperial smelter. These are the spoils of the Great Purge. The reason why we live hidden like sand rats."
- ―Paz Vizsla on Imperial-forged beskar
Realizing they would never be able to control Mandalore and wanting to make sure no other faction could, the Empire instead launched the so-called "Great Purge" against the Mandalorians. Kryze and her people attempted to fight the Imperial effort, but the purge nevertheless led to the near-total genocide of the Mandalorian people. TIE/sa bombers laid waste to settlements on Mandalore and destroyed cities in what became known as the Night of a Thousand Tears. Gunships equipped with repeating blasters wiped out fields of Mandalorian recruits.
During the Purge, the Mines of Mandalore were destroyed. Moff Gideon participated in the Purge and managed to acquire the Darksaber from Kryze. Some Mandalorians, including Kryze, survived the Purge and fled Mandalore, though they scattered across the galaxy. As spoils of their victory, the Empire gathered Mandalorian beskar and cast the metal into Imperial ingots. The purge was what forced the Mandalorian group known as the Tribe, who had been on Concordia during the purge, to operate in secrecy, even after the fall of the Empire in 5 ABY. Members of the Tribe came to believe that Mandalore was a cursed world, fearing that anyone who traveled there would be killed.
Secrecy is survival
- "Our secrecy is our survival. Our survival is our strength."
"Our strength was once in our numbers. Now we live in the shadows and only come above ground one at a time. Our world was shattered by the Empire, with whom this coward shares tables."
- ―The Armorer and Paz Vizsla
Kryze continued to lead the Nite Owls and, together with Axe Woves and Koska Reeves, went on missions with the intent of reclaiming Mandalore. Instead of again taking the Darksaber as the gift from anyone who managed to aquire it, she planned on taking the Darksaber from Gideon in combat to cement her rule as legitimate. By circa 9 ABY, an Imperial remnant had quantities of beskar from the Great Purge, and used one piece as a down payment with the rest in a camtono for hiring the bounty hunter Din Djarin for a job. Djarin later brought the down payment of beskar to the Armorer of the Tribe, who stated that it was gathered in the Great Purge.
After Djarin completed the job and gave the bounty—an Force-sensitive infant named Grogu who was a member of a rare species—to the Imperial remnant, he was fully paid with the rest of the beskar. When Djarin brought the camtono of beskar back to the covert to give to the armorer, it captured the attention of the other Mandalorian warriors. There, Paz Vizsla confronted the Armorer and Djarin, and spoke about how the beskar was cast in an Imperial smelter, and reminisced about how the Great Purge was the reason the Tribe was operating in secrecy like sand rats. The Armorer countered that their secrecy was their survival and their strength, to which Vizsla said that their strength was once from their numbers, and now they were forced to go above ground one at a time. Vizsla then turned his attention to Djarin, and continued to say that the Empire shattered their world and that the he was in cooperation with them. Vizsla then attacked Djarin, although the confrontation was quickly defused by the Armorer.
While Djarin was on a mission to rescue a prisoner with a team of mercenaries, the Devaronian Burg questioned why he was part of the team, to which fellow mercenary Migs Mayfeld replied the Mandalorians were believed to be the strongest warriors in the galaxy. Burg then asked why they had all died.
Eventually, Djarin and Boba Fett attempted to recruit Kryze and her allies to help rescue a captured Grogu from Moff Gideon. To convince her to join him, Djarin informed Kryze that the Moff had a light cruiser that she could use in her fight to retake Mandalore. When Fett heard this, he expressed his disapproval, saying that the Empire "turned 'that planet' to glass". This upset Koska Reeves, who attacked Fett. The fight was quickly broken up by Kryze, who claimed that had they shown that kind of strength to the Empire, then they wouldn't have lost the planet in the first place.
Recounting the massacre
- "Had our sect not been cloistered on the moon of Concordia, we would have not survived the Great Purge"
- ―The Armorer referring to the Tribe's survival of the Great Purge
Sometime after Djarin's rescue of Grogu and the foundling being put under protection of Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker, Din Djarin found himself proactively partaking within the profession of bounty hunting once again - he collected on a bounty to attain information on how to reach the sub-strata of the space station he was in. The contractor informed him that an access shaft was down Kolzoc Alley.
There, Djarin found the survivors of the Tribe—Paz Vizsla and the Armorer—after they had been wiped out on Nevarro. Here, the Armorer took note of the beskar spear Ahsoka Tano had gifted to Djarin and, whilst it was being reforged, Djarin asked her of information on Bo-Katan Kryze. She stated that she considered Kryze and her adherents to be a cautionary tale because they "lost sight of the way," which resulting the loss of Mandalore to the Galactic Empire, and the eventual eradication of "everything they knew and loved" on the Night of a Thousand Tears. She referred to the purge as a "curse, that was prophesied within the creed" and the scattering of Mandalorians across the galaxy.
Behind the scenes
In "Chapter 8" of The Mandalorian, the Night of a Thousand Tears was originally stated to have occurred during the Siege of Mandalore. However, "Chapter 5" of The Book of Boba Fett confirmed that the event in fact occurred during the Great Purge of Mandalore. This article assumes that Moff Gideon had simply referred to the Great Purge of Mandalore as the "Siege of Mandalore" despite the distinction between the two events.
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 1: The Mandalorian" (First mentioned)
- The Mandalorian: Season 1: Volume 1 (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Mandalorian Junior Novel (Mentioned only)
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 3: The Sin" (Mentioned only)
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 6: The Prisoner" (Indirect mention only)
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 7: The Reckoning" (Indirect mention only)
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 8: Redemption" (Mentioned only) (First identified as Siege of Mandalore)
- Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season 2 Junior Novel (Mentioned only)
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 11: The Heiress" (Mentioned only)
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 14: The Tragedy" (Mentioned only)
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 16: The Rescue" (Indirect mention only)
- The Book of Boba Fett – "Chapter 5: Return of the Mandalorian" (First appearance) (In flashback(s))
- The Star Wars Book
- "Jedi Master's Quiz" – Star Wars Insider 198
- Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian: Making of Season Two
- "Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season Two Companion" – Star Wars Insider 202
- "A Certain Point of View" – Star Wars Insider 202
- Star Wars: The Mandalorian: Guide to Season One
- "Din Djarin and Other Bounty Hunters and Criminals" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: Character Encyclopedia, Updated and Expanded Edition
- Star Wars: The Mandalorian Handbook (First identified as Great Purge of Mandalore)
- "Launchpad" – Star Wars Insider 208
- (Picture only)
- Disney Gallery: The Book of Boba Fett
- (Picture only)
Notes and references
- The Star Wars Book
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 1: The Mandalorian"
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 3: The Sin"
- The Book of Boba Fett – "Chapter 5: Return of the Mandalorian"
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 6: The Prisoner"
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 8: Redemption"
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 11: The Heiress"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Shattered"
- Star Wars Rebels: Heroes of Mandalore
- Star Wars Rebels – "Imperial Supercommandos"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Legacy of Mandalore"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Trials of the Darksaber"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Blood Sisters"
- Dawn of Rebellion dates the events of Star Wars Rebels: Steps Into Shadow seventeen years after the end of the Clone Wars, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 19 BBY; therefore, the events of Steps Into Shadow must take place in 2 BBY. According to Star Wars: On the Front Lines, Mon Mothma's denunciation of the Galactic Empire and the Declaration of the Rebel Alliance take place 2 years before the Battle of Yavin or 2 BBY. As "Legacy of Mandalore" is set between Steps Into Shadow and "Secret Cargo," the events of the episode must also take place in 2 BBY.
- Star Wars Rebels – "Visions and Voices"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Zero Hour"
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 16: The Rescue"
- The Mandalorian is set around five years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 4 ABY. Furthermore, "A Certain Point of View" – Star Wars Insider 202 dates the skirmish on Nevarro and the second rescue of Grogu—which are depicted in the The Mandalorian episodes "Chapter 7: The Reckoning" and "Chapter 16: The Rescue," respectively—to "9 ASW4," or nine years after the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which corresponds to 9 ABY according to Galactic Atlas. Therefore, the events of "Chapter 1: The Mandalorian" through "Chapter 6: The Prisoner" must have taken place around 9 ABY, while the events of "Chapter 7: The Reckoning" through "Chapter 16: The Rescue" took place in 9 ABY. establishes that