- "We're only here so you can see Keldabe, okay? A trip to the big city, that's all."
- ―Parja Bralor
Keldabe was the capital city of the planet Mandalore, the cultural homeworld of the Mandalorian people, located in the galaxy's Outer Rim Territories. Situated atop a flat granite hill forty-five degrees north of the planetary equator, the urban fort-town of Keldabe was almost completely surrounded by a bend in the Kelita River and the forests of Mandalore's north. Packed with an eclectic array of buildings of all shapes and material, ranging from durasteel to wood, Keldabe was a hub for life on Mandalore, and boasted landmarks such as the hundred-meter-tall tower of the MandalMotors company, along with the Oyu'baat, the oldest cantina on the planet. The Oyu'baat was a common gathering place for Keldabe residents and Mandalorian clan leaders, and twice a week Keldabe's streets were packed as Mandalorians bought and sold goods on market days.
Founded at a time prior to the Mandalorian Wars, Keldabe not only became Mandalore's planetary capital, but the governmental center for the surrounding Mandalore sector. Following the rise of the New Mandalorians, Keldabe stood alongside the pacifist faction's domed capital, Sundari, and during the later part of the Clone Wars, MandalMotors' Keldabe facilities were seized by Mandalore the Resurrector for use by the Confederacy of Independent Systems. As the Galactic Republic was transformed into the Galactic Empire, an Imperial garrison was established just south of Keldabe at the City of Bone, leading to a noticeable presence of Imperial troops wandering the Keldabe streets while on leave. Around this same time, Keldabe was chosen by the members of Clan Skirata to be the point where they spread a nanovirus immunogen, knowing that Keldabe's role as a planetary hub would ensure the curative vaccine spread across Mandalore and protect it from Imperial viral weaponry. During the war with the Yuuzhan Vong, Keldabe and the surrounding area sustained damage when the extra-galactic aliens attacked Mandalore, leaving buildings scarred and the nearby woodland flattened for decades after.
The capital city of the Outer Rim world of Mandalore, Keldabe was located forty-five degrees north of the planetary equator, and was situated at the top of a flat hill made of granite at a bend in the Kelita River. The river bend nearly encircled the city in it's entirety, forming something of a natural moat around Keldabe that only widened as time went on; a number of bridges were constructed to pass over the Kelita, allowing travelers to enter the city on foot. Taking its name from the Mando'a word keldab—meaning "citadel" or "stronghold"—Keldabe sat atop the granite outcrop as an example of a large Mandalorian hill-fort town. A durable stone balustrade was erected as a barrier between the city's raised outer edge and the sheer drop from the hill top into the fast-moving Kelita River below. At one point, a sluice gate was constructed in the lower parts of Keldabe nearest to the river level, but it was eventually removed and the stone archway at the end of the alley that had led to it was railed off. Spray from the Kelita soaked the Keldabe alley with water, leading to dark green frond-grass growing abundantly among the cracks in the stone arch, and its out of the way location made the alley a perfect place for private contemplation, a secret meeting with a lover, or simply hiding out. The air around Keldabe smelled of the sweet woody scent of resin trees.
Keldabe was a densely packed city, with it's numerous buildings erected in close quarters to each other. The architecture was varied in its design from one building to another, as were the materials used in their construction, ranging from stone and wood, to plastoid and durasteel. The city's layout defied conventional standards of town planning, and was considered by some to be cramped and disorganized, with streets that were narrow compared to those of Coruscant, and alleys that were often overhung by surrounding buildings. Portions of the city were left unchanged for centuries, allowing old wood-framed buildings of plaster to be found side by side with industrial warehouses and polished granite towers. Keldabe boasted an assortment of tapcafs offering refreshments such as mugs of shig, a hot Mandalorian beverage, and a variety of shops, selling an array of goods including tools, machine parts, blasters and bladed weaponry, holozines, toiletries, and wine. A number of tapcafs and shops could be found lining the length of Chortav Meshurkaane—"Gem-Cutter's Street" in Basic. Twice a week, on Keldabe's market days, Chortav Meshurkaane was filled with market stalls selling items ranging from precious metals and gemstones to leather goods, including gloves, belts, and kamas. One end of Chortav Meshurkaane opened onto an ancient paved square that during market days was often filled with stalls selling food, attracting a heavy presence of drinkers and shoppers who flocked to the numerous merchant stalls that sprung up around the city.
Across the ancient square from Chortav Meshurkaane was the Oyu'baat tapcaf, the oldest cantina on the planet Mandalore. The Oyu'baat's prominence made it a convenient and popular meeting place for Mandalorians in the Keldabe area, and the tapcaf served as an unofficial center for the loose government formed by the Mandalorian warrior clans for much of Mandalore's history. That duty was shared with the communal building known as MandalMotors Hall, after it was constructed in Keldabe and donated to the clans by the MandalMotors company in 40 ABY. By that same year, Keldabe was home to Hayca Mekket's veterinary offices, Cikartan's tapcaf, and Novoc Vevut's home, where the Mandalorian soldier lived with his clan and crafted weapons in the attached workshop. One of Keldabe's most renowned landmarks was MandalMotors' tower headquarters, which stood one hundred meters tall and was adorned with the company's mythosaur skull logo. The tower became a common point of reference for pilots navigating around the Keldabe spaceport, and could be seen from as far away as the small suburb of Bralsin. An open air animal market sat at the outer edge of Keldabe, and on the outskirts of the city, Mandalorian domains could be found built into the trunks and branches of trees amidst the woodland surroundings. It was near the city that the forest encampment used by the Mandalorian Protectors during the Galactic Empire's occupation of Mandalore was located. Nearly ten kilometers outside of Keldabe sat the Beviin-Vasur farm, as well as the farm belonging to the Mandalorian named Levet.
Early history through the Clone WarsEdit
Founded at a time prior to the onset of the Mandalorian Wars, Keldabe established itself as the capital city of the Mandalorians' cultural homeworld of Mandalore. Though the planet was largely abandoned by the Mandalorian Crusaders under Mandalore the Indomitable during the Great Sith War in 3996 BBY, as Mandalore the Ultimate led the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders to expand the Mandalore sector through conquest, Keldabe became the governmental center for all of Mandalorian space. In the aftermath of the Mandalorian Excision of 738 BBY—a brief but overwhelming Jedi-led assault on the Mandalore sector by the Galactic Republic, orchestrated to curb a rise in Mandalorian militancy so soon after the end of the New Sith Wars that frightened the Republic—the pacifist New Mandalorian faction arose, espousing peace and establishing their own capital in the desert wastes left behind by the Excision, the domed city of Sundari, that existed alongside Keldabe.
At one point, a sluice gate was constructed at the edge of Keldabe and into the Kelita River, though it was later removed and the pathway leading to it was barred. Several hundred years before the start of the Clone Wars, the Mandalorian shocktrooper Gustav Zenlav founded the MandalMotors company, headquartering the enterprise in Keldabe. The one hundred-meter-tall tower of MandalMotors became a Keldabe landmark, with many a Mandalorian pilot making use of the tower to navigate their way to Keldabe's spaceport by eye. Late in the Clone Wars, MandalMotors' headquarters was seized by the Mandalorian Protectors under the command of Mandalore the Resurrector. Having allied his world and people with the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the war against the Galactic Republic, Mandalore the Resurrector ensured that MandalMotors' Keldabe facilities were put to exclusive use for the Confederacy. After the Mandalorian Protectors were defeated and largely destroyed at Norval II, the army's three survivors—Fenn Shysa, Tobbi Dala, and Spar, the former Mandalore the Resurrector who resigned from his post after the devastating loss—returned to Mandalore. There, Shysa and Spar met with the former clone commando Fi Skirata and his girlfriend Parja Bralor, at the Oyu'baat tapcaf in Keldabe, where they attempted to get the clone of one-time Mand'alor Jango Fett to step up as Fett's lost heir and claim the title of Mand'alor, himself. Skirata declined, however, and Shysa later acquiesced to popular opinion and took up the position himself at the end of the Clone Wars.
- "Do you see the Keldabe garrison as an occupying army?"
"You would, if this was Gibad."
"But your leader let them come here and rent land."
"We're in no shape to fight that big an army. If Shysa had told them to get lost, you know what would have happened next. Better to watch and wait. Build our strength."
- ―Ovolot Qail Uthan and Kal Skirata
Though the people of Keldabe celebrated, most were unaware that Shysa had only become the new Mand'alor in response to the newly risen Galactic Empire's interest in a garrison on Mandalore, and Shysa's own misgivings toward an Imperial presence that had been ratified by the clans in need of the funds the Empire had offered. South of the Kelita River bend that surrounded Keldabe, an enterprising Mandalorian had constructed a theme park in the shape of a mythosaur skeleton in the hopes of attracting offworld tourism. The park, known as the City of Bone, never opened, but when the Empire arrived on Mandalore, a group of Mandalorians including the park's founder, his brother Hayar, and friend Jarkyc, convinced the Imperial commander that the structure was in fact a Mandalorian temple of great religious significance to the people, prompting the Empire to purchase the defunct park and establish the Imperial base and garrison inside it. The new base's proximity to Keldabe made the city a prime target for Imperial stormtroopers to walk about during their afforded leave from the base, though the bartender of the Oyu'baat cantina ensured the Empire's troops stayed out of his establishment. It was around this time that Clan Skirata ventured into Keldabe in order to covertly spread an immunogen designed to inoculate an individual against the Empire's deadly FG36 nanovirus. Walking the streets of Keldabe on one of the city's market days, the infectious members of the Skirata clan propagated the cure to dozens of unwitting others as they would the common cold, by breath or by touch, knowing that Keldabe's nature as a social hub for the entire planet would lead to the immunogen's dispersal across all of Mandalore. During the trip, however, Mij Gilamar—a close friend of Clan Skirata—had a run in with the Death Watch member, Dred Priest, that turned violent. Priest was stabbed and killed by Gilamar, and his body dumped into the Kelita River.
Around 18 BBY, the Jedi Knight-in-hiding Jax Pavan journeyed to Mandalore in pursuit of information on the whereabouts of his friend, Thi Xon Yimmon, leader of the anti-Imperial Whiplash organization. Touching down at the Keldabe spaceport, Pavan donned a scoundrel's disguise and set out for the Oyu'baat cantina seeking the aid and resources of Black Sun lieutenant Tyno Fabris, who had set up an office in the ancient tapcaf in order to oversee the crime syndicate's dealings on Mandalore and its moon, Concordia. While Pavan made contact with Fabris at the Oyu'baat and attempted to negotiate a bargain, the Jedi's traveling companions Den Dhur and the droid I-5YQ went to a Keldabe warehouse store to shop for parts in order to upgrade the 5YQ-series protocol droid. Pavan's meetings with Fabris drew the attention of Fabris' superior, the Falleen Black Sun vigo known as Xizor, who knew Pavan from a previous encounter and traveled to Keldabe in order to broker a deal in person, a deal in which Xizor would provide his aid in Pavan's search for Yimmon in return for a valuable favor of his choosing from the Jedi Knight. Though Pavan relented to Xizor's terms, the vigo later went back on their bargain, leading to a shootout at the Oyu'baat from which Pavan was forced to flee, departing Keldabe with his comrades aboard their ship shortly after, leaving Mandalore for Kantaros Station in Bothan space.
The Empire's presence on Mandalore eventually turned from cordial to hostile, occupying the Mandalorian homeworld, enslaving the Mandalorian people, and strip-mining the planet for valuable beskar iron ore. In opposition to the Empire, Mand'alor Fenn Shysa established a second generation of the Mandalorian Protectors as an insurgent force that waged a guerrilla war against the Imperials from their encampment in the forests within walking distance of Keldabe. During the occupation, Imperial advisors were placed on MandalMotors' executive board at the behest of the Empire. These advisors allowed the company to remain in business under the Empire's reign, and during that time, MandalMotors developed the Keldabe-class battleship, producing it alongside Mandal Hypernautics. The powerful battleship was named for the Mandalorian capital. After destroying the City of Bone and ousting the Empire from Mandalorian space, the Mandalorian Protectors reclaimed Keldabe and established a lockdown on the sector, patrolled by a fleet of Pursuer-class enforcement ships. When a hostile capital ship entered Mandalorian space unauthorized, the Protectors would board the vessel, capture its bridge, and deliver the ship to the spaceport in Keldabe.
Yuuzhan Vong War and Mandalore's resurgenceEdit
- "What do you want, make Keldabe a tourist spot or something? I can see it now. Visit Mandalore before Mandalore visits you. Take home some souvenirs—a slab of uj cake and a smack in the mouth."
- ―Baltan Carid
In 25 ABY, the undercover Yuuzhan Vong scout, Nom Anor, traveled to Keldabe to meet with Boba Fett—who had replaced Fenn Shysa as Mand'alor upon his death—under the guise of the assumed name "Udelen." There, Anor and Fett discussed future prospects for Mandalorian employment during the war Anor warned was coming, all while under the watchful eye of a Keldabe Air Traffic Controller. When the truth of Anor's identity and the Yuuzhan Vong's plans for the galaxy came to light, Fett pledged the Mandalorians' support for the extra-galactic aliens in exchange for amnesty for the Mandalore sector, all the while secretly intending to gather intelligence and sabotage the Yuuzhan Vong's efforts from the inside. When the Yuuzhan Vong discovered Fett's duplicity, they struck back at the Mandalorians by launching an assault on Mandalore that severely damaged portions of Keldabe and flattened large swaths of the nearby forest. Even decades after the attack, a number of Keldabe buildings still bore the scars, including MandalMotors' tower.
By the start of the Second Galactic Civil War, Boba Fett had come to reside at the farm belonging to his friend Goran Beviin, on the outskirts of Keldabe, a city he had once described as resembling a run-down factory complex someone had dropped in a forest. Fett's granddaughter, Mirta Gev, had joined her lover Ghes Orade and his father, Novoc Vevut, at his Keldabe home. The two Fett family members became regular patrons of the Oyu'baat cantina, and in 40 ABY, both Fett and Gev attended a meeting of Mandalorian clan leaders, industry heads, and other Mandalorian soldiers at MandalMotors Hall in Keldabe, where the topic of discussion was Mandalore's place in the emerging galactic conflict. There, Fett decreed Mandalore neutral in the war, and as Mand'alor, summoned two million Mandalorians living in diaspora throughout the galaxy to journey to Mandalore in order to rebuild the damage done to the planet by the Yuuzhan Vong. As far-away Mandalorians arrived on Mandalore, the population of the world and Keldabe swelled; the discovery of a new lode of beskar iron near the town of Enceri led to a prosperous industrial period for MandalMotors, whose Keldabe facilities churned out powerful new ships with the beskar, including the Bes'uliik-class starfighter and the Tra'kad-class assault ship. During the galactic bolo-ball tournament of 41 ABY, Keldabe residents packed the Oyu'baat to watch the games on the cantina's large viewscreen. That same year, Mirta Gev and Ghes Orade were married, and a large, festive reception was held at Orade's Keldabe home.
Behind the scenesEdit
In February of 1983, the capital city of Mandalore was first introduced to Star Wars canon in Marvel Comics's Star Wars series. Called "Kedalbe" in the comic series' sixty-eighth issue, the city would later appear as the similar but differently spelled "Keldabe" in Abel G. Peña's 2005 article for Star Wars Insider, The History of the Mandalorians. While creating the fictional Mando'a language, author Karen Traviss established that the word Keldabe was the plural form of the Mandalorian word keldab, meaning citadel or stronghold. Traviss also used the new Keldabe spelling in the e-novella Boba Fett: A Practical Man, her Legacy of the Force entries Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice and Legacy of the Force: Revelation, and her Republic and Imperial Commando novel series. The Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption video game, the Rebellion Era Campaign Guide, and The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia also make use of the more recent Keldabe spelling. Despite this widespread use, The Essential Atlas by Jason Fry and Daniel Wallace, reused the original Kedalbe spelling. This article assumes the Atlas was in error in this respect, and favors the Keldabe spelling as it has been the most wide-spread in canon.
The Dorling Kindersley reference book What Is a Sith Warrior?, written by Glenn Dakin, mistakes the New Mandalorian capital of Sundari for Keldabe when referring to the events of the bombing of the Memorial Shrine, as seen in "The Mandalore Plot."
- Republic Commando: True Colors (Mentioned only)
- Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel
- Imperial Commando: 501st
- The Last Jedi
- Star Wars 68: The Search Begins (First mentioned as "Kedalbe")
- Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption (Mentioned only)
- Boba Fett: A Practical Man
- Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice
- Legacy of the Force: Revelation
- Legacy of the Force: Invincible (Mentioned only)
- "The History of the Mandalorians"—Star Wars Insider 80 (First identified as "Keldabe")
- Aliens in the Empire
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: What Is a Sith Warrior?
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 The Essential Atlas
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Boba Fett: A Practical Man
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Imperial Commando: 501st
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice
- ↑ 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 Legacy of the Force: Revelation
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Mando'a dictionary
- ↑ "The Mandalorians: People and Culture"—Star Wars Insider 86
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Star Wars 68: The Search Begins
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 The Essential Guide to Warfare
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 The Clone Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 "The History of the Mandalorians"—Star Wars Insider 80
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Galaxy at War
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Star Wars 69: Death in the City of Bone
- ↑ The Last Jedi
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Rebellion Era Campaign Guide
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars: What Is a Sith Warrior?
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Mandalore Plot"