- "You think that hurts? No, this hurts."
- ―Walon Vau
A "Keldabe handshake" was a euphemistic slang term for a Mandalorian unarmed combat technique that consisted of violently gripping a Humanoid opponent's groin. Debilitatingly painful for the victim, the technique was noted for its ability to neutralize a Human foe with one hand. The term derived its name from Keldabe, the capital city of the planet Mandalore, and a play on the handshake, a common gesture of greeting across the galaxy.
In 22 BBY, during the takeover of the Galactic City Spaceport by a group of Korunnai terrorists, the Mandalorian sergeant Kal Skirata used a "Keldabe handshake" on the Republic senate's Head of Public Affairs, Mar Rugeyan, when the bureaucrat disparagingly referred to the clone commando Fi—whom Skirata had personally trained on Kamino—as a grunt, after the commando had rescued several officers of the Coruscant Security Force from a grenade. Though Skirata did not inflict enough pain to be debilitating, Rugeyan hastily removed himself from the scene when he was released.
Nearly three years later, in 19 BBY, Skirata's Mandalorian contemporary and fellow member of the Cuy'val Dar, Walon Vau, was hired by the Galactic Republic to cross-train standard clone troopers with commando skills. During a sparring match with one trooper at Arca Company Barracks, Vau utilized a "Keldabe handshake" that left the veteran clone soldier incapacitated for several moments after.
In 25 ABY, early in the war against the extra-galactic race of invaders known as the Yuuzhan Vong, a group of Mandalorians attempted to subdue a pilot on the planet Birgis in order to relay covertly gathered intelligence on the Yuuzhan Vong to the New Republic. The pilot, a female Human who struggled heavily due to the belief that the Mandalorians were hostile, was finally brought to heel after the Mandalorian soldier Dinua Jeban used a "Keldabe handshake" on her.
Behind the scenes
The violent grip applied to a being's groin by a Mandalorian was first shown in the Republic Commando short story, Omega Squad: Targets, written by Karen Traviss and published March 2005 in the eighty-first issue of Star Wars Insider. A similar situation was again featured in Traviss' 2006 e-novella, Boba Fett: A Practical Man. However, it was only with the release of Traviss' 2008 novel Order 66, that the act was identified as the "Keldabe handshake".
- "Omega Squad: Targets"—Star Wars Insider 81 (First appearance)
- Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel (First identified as Keldabe handshake)
- Boba Fett: A Practical Man