- "This here uniform...well...it marks me fer a Mandalorian Protector. An' I think it's only fittin'...that I wear it...while protectin'!"
- ―Tobbi Dala
The Mandalorian Protectors—or the Mando Cabure when translated in the Mandalorian language of Mando'a—were an organization of Mandalorian supercommandos founded during the galaxy-spanning Clone Wars by the ARC trooper turned "Mandalore the Resurrector," Spar. Created in the image of the True Mandalorians of years past, the Mandalorian Protectors were formed from two hundred members of the Mandalorian police, with an additional dozen troops comprised of former members of the Death Watch splinter group, and a thousand BL-series Battle Legionnaire droids. Entering the Clone Wars on the side of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, the Mandalorian Protectors fought against the Galactic Republic as a hard-hitting shock force, gaining a reputation among Confederacy commanders as an in-demand unit capable of defeating foes in a single day that their legions of battle droids could not conquer in a month. However, due to the machinations of the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, who secretly manipulated both sides of the war for his own gain, the Mandalorian Protectors were led into a trap on the planet Norval II, where their army of Battle Legionnaire droids were destroyed by Republic clone troopers, and all but three soldiers—Fenn Shysa, Tobbi Dala, and the broken Mand'alor Spar—were killed.
At the end of the Clone Wars, as the Republic transitioned into the Galactic Empire and turned its sights on the Mandalorian homeworld of Mandalore, Fenn Shysa took up the leadership of the Mandalorians and the title of Mandalore. With the new Empire moving to establish a foothold on the planet, Shysa and Tobbi Dala began to train a new incarnation of the Mandalorian Protectors as a covert force to combat the Imperial presence should it prove hostile; his worst fears were realized as the Empire began to enslave the Mandalorians and strip-mined their world for valuable beskar iron. The Mandalorian Protectors fought against the Imperial occupiers in a guerrilla war for years, before finally killing the leader of their operations in an attack on the Empire's base within the City of Bone. Their numbers dramatically increased with an influx of freed Mandalorian slaves, the Protectors moved against Imperial Grand Admiral Miltin Takel and forced him from Mandalorian space, truly freeing themselves from the Empire at last. The Mandalorian Protectors under Shysa went on to join forces with the Alliance of Free Planets, first against the extra-galactic Nagai species, then in conjunction with the Nagai against their more dangerous mutual foe, the Tof. Shysa also rallied the Protectors in aid of Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker, to combat the forces of Lord Shadowspawn.
In 21 ABY, Fenn Shysa died on the planet Shogun, and leadership of both the Mandalorians and the Mandalorian Protectors fell to the bounty hunter and culturally estranged Mandalorian Boba Fett. The tradition of leading the Protectors in the defense of Mandalore and its people came to an end under Fett's leadership, instead becoming a mercenary fighting force. When the Yuuzhan Vong invaded from beyond the known galaxy, Fett pretended to ally the Mandalorians with the would-be conquerors in a deal to spare Mandalorian space from their aggression, while secretly ordering the Mandalorian Protectors to gather intelligence on the Vong to deliver to the New Republic. When the Yuuzhan Vong learned of the Mandalorians' deceit, they launched a devastating attack on Mandalore that killed one third of the world's meager population before the Protectors were able to repel the Vong. From that point, Fett led the Mandalorian Protectors in open warfare against the Yuuzhan Vong and in defense of the galaxy.
Organization and philosophy
- "During the Clone Wars, the Protectors believe they are fighting for the good guys, and their actions epitomize history's view that this war has heroes on both sides."
Created by Spar—"Mandalore the Resurrector"—during the Clone Wars, the Mandalorian Protectors were a group of Mandalorian supercommandos that originally numbered two-hundred and twelve soldiers strong, their ranks comprised of two hundred members of the Mandalorian police and a dozen former members of the radical Death Watch splinter group. Despite their allowance of former Death Watch troops, the Mandalorian Protectors were assembled in the image of the True Mandalorians, the army of supercommandos loyal to Jaster Mereel and Jango Fett who opposed the Death Watch during the Mandalorian Civil War decades prior to the Clone Wars. Following in the footsteps of the True Mandalorians, the Mandalorian Protectors placed an importance on high moral standards, exemplified in the Supercommando Codex authored by Jaster Mereel. The Codex outlined honorable behavior through a modernization of the ancient Canons of Honor and elaboration on the six Resol'nare, which the Protectors heeded.
Although Mandalorians of the era traditionally held little regard for official rank and preferred an informal command structure with the ultimate authority belonging to the Mand'alor, a title which meant "sole ruler" in the Mando'a language and represented the traditional leader of the Mandalorian clans, the Mandalorian Protectors instituted a more rigid structure comprised of numerous military ranks during the Clone Wars. The lowest rank in the Protector army was verd'ika, the equivalent of private in Basic, held by soldiers typically assigned infantry duties. Above verd'ika were the ranks of alor'uus and ruus'alor, which translated as corporal and sergeant, respectively. Ranks above these were considered officer ranks, and included ver'alor, alor'ad, and al'verde—lieutenant, captain, and commander. Despite the institution of more solid ranks, all incarnations of the Protectors remained under the leadership of the reigning Mand'alor.
The second incarnation of the Mandalorian Protectors, created by Fenn Shysa after the Clone Wars and upon his ascension as Mand'alor, was brought together after the Galactic Empire moved to establish a garrison on the planet Mandalore. Beginning as a fledgling, covert resistance, by the time of the Galactic Civil War, the new Mandalorian Protectors had become a guerrilla fighting force against a growing Imperial slaving operation that targeted Mandalore's citizens. Their numerical strength was nebulous, as their ranks were depleted by Imperial counterattacks, only to be bolstered with every Mandalorian slave the group rescued. After freeing the Mandalorian homeworld from its Imperial occupiers, the Mandalorian Protector ranks were swelled by an influx of volunteers from the countless slaves they had set free. With the Empire gone, the Mandalorian Protectors became literal protectors, establishing a patrolled border around Mandalorian space where they acted as a home guard. Occasionally, members of the Protectors during this era would take up mercenary work, but only with the express permission of Mand'alor Shysa, and only if the job in question posed no threat to innocents. That all changed with the death of Fenn Shysa and the ascension of Boba Fett as his replacement as both Mand'alor and leader of the Mandalorian Protectors. The traditions fostered under Shysa were largely discontinued, and Fett led the Protectors primarily as a mercenary force.
Tactics and equipment
- "See, if we can't say no, and if we can't raise the kind of conventional army that can show unwelcome visitors the door, then our only option is to be ready to do the kind of sneaky fightin' that your good selves are so fine at."
- ―Fenn Shysa, referring to the guerrilla tactics of the second incarnation of the Mandalorian Protectors
During the Clone Wars, the Mandalorian Protectors wore personally owned sets of Mandalorian armor into battle, decorated with sigils on the breastplates or helmets denoting their affiliation to the Protectors. Green, a color traditionally associated with the concept of duty in the Mandalorian culture and a popular choice of armor color among Mandalorians, was commonly utilized by members of the Mandalorian Protectors to adorn their armor plates. On their backs, the Mandalorian Protectors wore jetpacks, allowing them to take to the air, and several wielded EE-3 carbine rifles. Their meager two hundred troops were bolstered by a legion of one thousand BL-series Battle Legionnaire droids, designed by Fenn Shysa and supplied by Baktoid Combat Automata after the Protectors allied with the Confederacy of Independent Systems. These already formidable droids were equipped with Mandalorian battle harnesses, providing a range of additional weaponry that included numerous laser emplacements, a powerful claw arm, and a large trip hammer.
Under Spar, the Mandalorian Protectors operated as a powerful shock trooper force for the Confederacy. Utilizing weapons technology superior to that of the Separatists' B1-Series battle droids and Spar's own intimate knowledge of the Grand Army of the Republic from his days as an Advanced Recon Commando, Spar led the Protectors in hard-hitting blitzkrieg assaults. One successful strategy he implemented was to command the Protectors' Battle Legionnaire combat droids to attack the enemy's front line, while the Protectors used their jetpacks to drop into the middle of the enemy position, behind their lines, and strike. Assignments that took the Confederacy's droids months to accomplish could be finished by the Protectors often within a single day.
When the Protectors were reformed under Fenn Shysa in the advent of the Imperial occupation of Mandalore, their resources were severely limited. The group lacked the deadly Battle Legionnaire droids it had so enjoyed during the Clone Wars, and over time, even Mandalorian armor became scarce as sets of armor were confiscated by the Imperials that took over Mandalore. Shysa's Protectors were forced to act as an insurgent fighting force, using their familiarity with the forests of Mandalore to launch hit-and-run attacks on Imperials. Instead of actually winning battles, their focus turned to harassing the Empire's slaving operations and rescuing slaves whenever they could.
After the Empire's presence on Mandalore and surrounding Mandalorian space was forcefully removed, the Mandalorian Protectors recovered their stolen armor and weapons, and their numbers were greatly expanded by the newly freed slaves who wished to join them. The Protectors returned to their risky but hard-hitting tactics they had employed during the Clone Wars. The Mandalorian Protectors acquired a fleet of Pursuer-class enforcement ships from the MandalMotors company, and established a defensive patrol with the vessels to defend Mandalorian space. When presented with a hostile capital ship encroaching upon their region of space, the Mandalorian Protectors would forcibly board the ship, capture its bridge, and deliver it to Mandalore's spaceport in Keldabe, Mandalore's capital city. At the time of the Nagai–Tof War, the Protectors owned a squadron of twelve Cabur-class starfighters.
In the early stages of the galaxy's war against the Yuuzhan Vong, the Mandalorian Protectors under Boba Fett acted as spies and double agents, agreeing to work for the extra-galactic invaders while secretly gathering intelligence and samples of their bio-technology in order to discover their weaknesses. By engaging one of the Yuuzhan Vong warriors, the Protectors learned that crushgaunts were effective in breaking the aliens' Vonduun armor. Protector forces made use of older Pursuer-class enforcement ships during the war with the Yuuzhan Vong, in addition to Meteor-class Q-Carriers, Gladiator-class fighters, ancient dungeon ships, and a small fleet of Firespray-class attack crafts. Protector forces in the Second Galactic Civil War had access to a number of Bes'uliik-class starfighters, and by 44 ABY, the Mandalorian Protectors also possessed numerous Canderous-class assault tanks, QuickStryke assault sleds, Vyrhawk fighter-bombers, and multiple Tra'kad starships.
- "So, who's to know whether Jango had more than one son or not, or even how old he is? Come on now, Spar, it's time to be doing your bit for Manda'yaim."
- ―Fenn Shysa
The roots of the Mandalorian Protectors could be traced back to the Advanced Recon Commando Alpha-Ø2, better known by the nickname of Spar. A clone of the Mandalorian soldier Jango Fett, Spar was born on the planet Kamino, a water-covered world in the region of the galaxy known as Wild Space, where he was one of millions of clone troopers bred to serve the Galactic Republic. However, Spar was unique among his clone brethren in that he had somehow inherited the memories of his progenitor, Jango Fett. Knowing he would be reconditioned were the Kaminoans in charge of the army's production to find out about Fett's memories, Spar resolved to escape the ocean planet. Having befriended the Mandalorian doctor, Mij Gilamar—one of the one hundred members of the Cuy'val Dar brought to Kamino by Fett to train the army's clone commandos—Spar was smuggled off Kamino in the cargo hold of Jango Fett's ship, Slave I, as payment for a favor Fett owed to Gilamar.
After the death of Jango Fett in the opening battle of the Clone Wars at Geonosis, Spar journeyed to the planet Mandalore with the intent to rebuild an army of Mandalorian supercommandos the likes of which hadn't been seen since the True Mandalorians were struck down decades earlier on Galidraan. In need of soldiers for his new Mandalorian Protector army, Spar recruited two hundred Mandalorian police, and another dozen recruits came from former members of the Death Watch faction. Among the first to rally to Spar's call were Tobbi Dala and his lifelong friend Fenn Shysa, a local constable and Mandalorian clan chieftain. Shysa convinced Spar to act as Jango Fett's heir, believing that Fett's reputation as a Jedi killer could be used as a symbol of strength for the Mandalorians, and spread the rumor that led many to believe Spar was Fett's son. Spar won out over the pacifistic New Mandalorian faction that had been ascendant on Mandalore for centuries but had recently been broken by the machinations of a reborn sect of the Death Watch. As a symbol that the traditional warrior ways would regain their prominence over the New Mandalorians' pacifism, in addition to being an inspiration to his troops, Spar claimed the title of Mand'alor, taking the sobriquet of "Mandalore the Resurrector."
The Clone Wars
- "Mandos. You ever fought those guys? I have. They keep popping up in Sep forces. They kill us."
- ―Clone sergeant Barlex
With his authority as Mand'alor, Spar officially allied the Mandalorians and the planet Mandalore with the Separatists of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, and the Mandalorian Protectors seized the facilities of the MandalMotors company in Keldabe, Mandalore's capital city, for exclusive use by the Confederacy. The Mandalorian Protectors' numbers were bolstered by a battalion of BL-series Battle Legionnaire droids, designed in part by the Protector Fenn Shysa, and constructed in a limited, thousand-unit run by Baktoid Combat Automata in Separatist-owned droid foundries.
Under Spar's leadership, the Mandalorian Protectors became renowned as a Separatist shock force. While the Confederacy's droid army relied on the relatively weak tactic of simply overwhelming Republic's military forces with sheer numerical advantage, the Mandalorian Protectors made use of superior weaponry and elite training to outmatch their foes. Other units of Protector supercommandos were deployed to perform more covert operations on behalf of the Confederacy. Over time, the Mandalorian Protectors garnered a reputation for effectiveness, and were in high-demand among the Separatist leadership. When faced with Republic holdouts that their onslaught of droids could not defeat, sometimes even after a several month-long engagement, Confederacy commanders would requisition the aid of the Mandalorian Protectors, who were often capable of eliminating the problem within a single day.
The Mandalorian Protectors struck hard against the Republic at the Battle of Null and again during the battle on Zaadja, securing victory for the Separatists, though the fighting on Zaadja wrought a number of Protector casualties. At New Holstice, the Mandalorian Protectors engaged the Grand Army of the Republic's 327th Star Corps under Clone Commander Bly. Though they were eventually forced to enact a full retreat, the Protectors had reduced the 327th to an effective fighting force of only sixty percent. After the death of a prominent Confederacy leader, the Mandalorian Protectors executed a blitzkrieg assault on New Bornalex, where they faced off against the Galactic Marines. Amidst the battle, Commander Bacara and the Marines earned themselves a fierce reputation for literally tearing the Protector's super battle droids reinforcements apart using their suits of powered spacetrooper armor, but the Protectors were ultimately able to claim victory over the Republic at the cost of a significant number of their own Battle Legionnaire droids. In another blitzkrieg attack in response to the Separatist leader's death, the Mandalorian Protectors struck at the clone troopers' homeworld of Kamino. There, they besieged the cloning facilities, devastating them in a move that earned the Protectors the ire of Kaminoan scientists like Taun We for decades after.
The Mandalorian Protectors' role in the Clone Wars finally came to an end when they were contacted by Darth Sidious, the secretive Sith Lord that had orchestrated and manipulated both sides of the Clone Wars for his personal gain. Darth Sidious contracted the Protectors to capture Republic senator Padmé Amidala on Norval II, but in his alter ego of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine of the Galactic Republic, Sidious simultaneously arranged a trap to await the Mandalorian forces. When the Protectors arrived at Norval II, Republic troops ambushed them, and in the resulting battle, the Protectors' Battle Legionnaire droids were all but wiped out and only three of the Protectors escaped alive: Spar, Fenn Shysa, and Tobbi Dala. The three returned home to Mandalore, where a shell-shocked Spar stepped down as Mand'alor, despite Shysa's repeated attempts to get him to reclaim the title.
Rebirth and insurgency
- "You still want me and the Cuy'val Dar to train your resistance, is that it?"
"Resistance sounds a bit too romantic and hasty for my tastes. I'm thinking of it more as...an intention to respond in kind if the Empire doesn't turn out to be the reliable and reasonable tenant any self-respecting Mand'alor would want."
- ―Kal Skirata and Fenn Shysa
Following the end of the Clone Wars and the Republic's transformation into the Galactic Empire, the new Empire set its sights on occupying Mandalore, just as the Republic had attempted during the Clone Wars. Though the clan chieftains agreed to the Empire's request to purchase land on Mandalore in order to establish a base in the sector, Fenn Shysa was wary of the Imperial interest in the Mandalorian world; as the Empire arrived, Shysa accepted the title of Mand'alor in accordance with public opinion, succeeding Spar, who eventually left Mandalore to wander the galaxy. The Empire ultimately purchased the defunct, mythosaur-shaped amusement park outside of Keldabe known as the City of Bone, and while Imperial forces worked to install their new garrison within the park's skeletal shell, Shysa likewise began to lay the foundation for a new organization of Mandalorian Protectors in case they one day needed to resist the Empire. Together with Tobbi Dala, Shysa began training a contingent of new recruits, including volunteers from the Mandalorian police, even seeking the aid of Mandalorians formerly with the Cuy'val Dar—Jango Fett's hand-picked band of soldiers contracted to train the Republic's clone commandos—and attempting to recruit the clone deserters of Clan Skirata in order to seamlessly infiltrate the ranks of the Empire's clone stormtroopers. Shysa's fears regarding the Empire were vindicated when the Imperial presence became an tyrannical occupation, focused on enslaving the Mandalorian populace and strip-mining Mandalore of beskar iron ore, a highly valuable and highly resilient metal capable of withstanding blows from even a lightsaber.
The new generation of Mandalorian Protectors became outlaws, fighting a covert war against the Imperial slavers and their leader, a Shimholt known as the Suprema, who had begun to confiscate the armor of Mandalore's warriors. Without the Battle Legionnaire droids they had fought beside in the Clone Wars, and Mandalorian armor growing in rarity among the troops, the Mandalorian Protectors were forced to become an insurgent force making due with their training and what little equipment they had. Shysa personally undertook victimless mercenary work to help finance the Protectors' operations, including the race to acquire the Tessent. The Protectors focused their efforts on harassing Imperial slaving operations, attacking slaver convoys, and freeing Mandalorian slaves. Reduced to hit-and-run missions, the Mandalorian Protectors' guerrilla tactics were based on their members' familiarity with the Mandalore's forests, allowing them to vanish into the planet's plentiful veshok trees before the Imperials could muster a counter attack. The damage these raids caused did not go unnoticed by the Empire: a bounty was put out for Shysa, and it was during one such attack that Tobbi Dala was captured by the Imperials. When the bounty hunter Dengar came to Mandalore for the price on Shysa's head, he was captured by the Mandalorian Protectors and held hostage in the hopes of initiating a prisoner exchange with the Imperials, swapping Dengar for Dala.
The Mandalorian Protectors' plans were derailed by the arrival of Princess Leia Organa on Mandalore, seeking Dengar for information on the whereabouts of her close friend and love, Han Solo. Organa became involved with the Protectors after stumbling into one of their strikes against a convoy of slavers, and upon learning that Dengar was being held in their custody, set out to free him and take the bounty hunter off world. Her plan backfired, however, when Dengar signaled the Imperials once he was free, and Organa was captured, taken to the Imperial base within the City of Bone.
With Dengar gone and Dala still imprisoned, now joined by Organa, Shysa decided to personally mount a rescue attempt. He ordered the Mandalorian Protectors to get into position at the edge of the forest near the City of Bone, and dressed himself in stormtrooper armor stolen from a scout to get himself inside. Once he had made it into the base, Shysa located Organa, knocked her trooper escort unconscious, and freed her. Together with the Princess' protocol droid, C-3PO, Shysa and Organa made their way to Tobbi Dala's cell, where they disabled another stormtrooper and freed Dala. From a window, Shysa fired a flare, signalling the waiting Mandalorian Protectors to attack; the Protectors charged from the forest, assaulting the exterior of the City of Bone. In the resulting chaos, Shysa and the others recaptured Dengar, and stole an airspeeder to make their escape, destroying the master control unit that powered the energy cuffs binding the imprisoned slaves in the process. Set loose, the slaves revolted, while Shysa and his allies stormed the Suprema's office in order to open the blast doors trapping everyone inside the base. There, the Suprema shot and wounded Tobbi Dala before being violently subdued by Shysa; the mortally wounded Dala demanded that Shysa leave him behind to open the doors so that his old friend could escape with Organa, Dengar, and the former slaves. Though the slaves and the Mand'alor's speeder made it out, Dala closed the blast doors behind them, knowing full well that the Imperial squadron pursuing them would not be able to stop or break off from their course in time, and the resulting explosion from both fuel and ammunition would consume the base from within. Dala sacrificed himself to destroy the Imperial base and the Suprema.
Most of the freed slaves volunteered to join the Mandalorian Protectors, bolstering their numbers by the hundreds, as the Protectors rearmed with liberated weapons and reclaimed armor. Shysa rallied his soldiers to strike at Grand Admiral Miltin Takel, Imperial overseer of the Mandalore sector, eventually ousting the Grand Admiral and his forces from Mandalorian space.
Protectors of Mandalore
- "You've got a short memory. Or maybe you were still in diapers when Shysa had to kick some pride back into us."
- ―Baltan Carid
Under Shysa's leadership, the Protectors flourished, and the reinvigorated unit of supercommandos returned to the devastating high-risk tactics that made them famous during the Clone Wars. Following the Battle of Endor and the death of Emperor Palpatine aboard the second Death Star, the Mandalorian Protectors effectively locked down the Mandalore sector, which they patrolled with a fleet of Pursuer-class enforcement ships from MandalMotors. Acting as a home guard, when hostile ships ventured into Mandalorian space, the Protectors attacked and boarded the vessel, taking command of its bridge and delivering it to Mandalore's spaceport in the capital city, Keldabe. When not defending the Mandalore sector, the members of the Mandalorian Protectors occasionally accepted for-hire mercenary work from outside independent parties, but only if the job in question did not cause harm to innocents, and only with the approval of Mand'alor Fenn Shysa.
In 4 ABY, Mandalore came under attack by the Nagai, a chalk-white species from the satellite galaxy Firefist. Shysa led the Mandalorian Protectors in defense of the planet, but their forces were not enough to keep the Nagai at bay, leading Shysa to the forest moon of Endor where he and the Protectors accepted a commission with the Alliance of Free Planets, committing their troops and a squadron of twelve Cabur-class starfighters to the Alliance forces during the Second Battle of Endor, and continuing to aid in the war effort against the Nagai. When it came to light that the Nagai had arrived in the galaxy while fleeing from the aggressive Tof race, who had pursued them from their home galaxy and began to strike at the new worlds they found, the Nagai joined forces with the Alliance of Free Planets to oppose them. Though the Tof presence was eventually defeated, the Nagai abandoned Mandalore and other worlds they had won, and returned to their home galaxy of Firefist to take back their homeworld of Nagi from the Tof; Shysa led the Mandalorian Protectors to follow them, and aided the Nagai in retaking their home planet before returning back to Mandalore.
After the Alliance of Free Planets had transitioned truly into the New Republic, around six hundred Mandalorian mercenaries were contracted by the Galactic Empire to defend an Inner Rim world from the New Republic. The mercenaries captured several trineutronium power plants, threatening to detonate them if New Republic vessels attempted to land on the surface, in a devastating blast that would kill more than three and half billion sentients living on the planet. Amid negotiations at an asteroid base within the system, between the mercenary commander and diplomatic negotiator Leia Organa, Fenn Shysa was asked to intervene as Mand'alor. Though Shysa appealed to the mercenaries' sense of honor and duty to their Mand'alor as laid out in the Resol'nare, it was only when Shysa's associate Lando Calrissian stated that the New Republic would acquiesce to their terms and refrain from landing ships, informing the mercenaries that since the Imperial presence had already fled the star system they were unlikely to be paid, that the Mandalorians agreed to cease hostilities. Calrissian subsequently hired the mercenaries to aid the Jedi Knight and New Republic General Luke Skywalker in his fight against the darksider Lord Shadowspawn. The six hundred mercenaries were eventually won over by Shysa, joining the ranks of the Mandalorian Protectors before touching down on the planet Mindor. There, they became a critical part of Lord Shadowspawn's defeat, assaulting and capturing the dark Force-user's defensive fortifications among Mindor's volcanos with the help of stormtrooper defectors, before helping to evacuate innocent civilians from the area and subsequently protecting them when the troopers attempted to slaughter the civilians on the command of Shadowspawn.
Nearly forty years after the Clone Wars, the Mandalorian Protectors' actions during the war returned to haunt Shysa as the Kaminoan scientist Taun We hired bounty hunter Boba Fett to kill Shysa, the last living Protector responsible for attacking Kamino in service to the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Fett hunted Shysa and eventually confronted him on the planet Shogun in 21 ABY, where the two came under attack by the Sevvets. Shysa was mortally wounded while saving Fett's life, and begged Fett to promise to replace him as Mand'alor upon his death. Unable to save him, Fett gave Shysa his word, before mercifully killing Shysa rather than leave him to the Sevvets. Fett departed Shogun with Shysa's helmet, with which he erected a memorial to the fallen Mandalorian leader on Mandalore, in the Keldabe suburb of Bralsin. True to his word, Fett succeeded Shysa as Mand'alor.
Yuuzhan Vong War
- "So we're going to spoil their grand plan."
"What do you have in mind? It'll take time to mobilize a whole army on Mandalore."
"And we'll take massive casualties if we make a move before we know exactly what we're dealing with here. This is technology we've never seen before."
"Sit and wait? You must be—"
"They fooled us. Now we fool them. We play nice and look like we're on their side while we gather intel until we have enough to hit them hard. We pretend to be in it for the money."
- ―Boba Fett and Goran Beviin
The Mandalorians were among the first beings in the galaxy to have contact with the extra-galactic Yuuzhan Vong. Approached by their advanced scout Nom Anor, under the alias of "Udelen," the Mandalorians were contracted to engage in mercenary work throughout the galaxy that was unknowingly in accordance with the Yuuzhan Vong's agenda for galactic domination. In 25 ABY, Mand'alor Boba Fett and a small assembly of other Mandalorians bore early witness to the Yuuzhan Vong fleet as it entered the galaxy. Aboard one of their miid ro'ik warships, Fett learned of Anor's deception and the Yuuzhan Vong's plans to conquer, enslave, and terraform the worlds of the galaxy to suit their societal and religious demands. Faced with the reality that the Yuuzhan Vong would see the known galaxy transformed into something unrecognizable, Fett offered the invaders a deal: in exchange for the Mandalore sector's immunity from harm, the Mandalorians would continue to work for the Yuuzhan Vong. His offer was accepted by Anor, but in truth, Fett had already begun to plot against them, collecting penetrating radar schematics and bio-samples from the organic vessel where he met with Anor to be analyzed later.
The Mandalorians were seen by most as under the employ of the Yuuzhan Vong, when in reality, they acted as double-agent spies, and saboteurs. At Birgis, the Mandalorian Protectors Cham Detta and his brother Suvar, Tiroc Vhon, Briika Jeban and her daughter Dinua, and Goran Beviin, were tasked with destroying a spaceport. However, together with Fett, they attempted to pass along intelligence they had collected to a female New Republic pilot amidst the fighting, and got her off world aboard Cham Detta's Gladiator-class starfighter under the cover of a false pursuit. Though the New Republic authorities later received the intelligence the Protectors had passed on, they believed it to be fraudulent and ignored the information due to its supposed enemy source, and as such, New Holgha was left vulnerable to the Yuuzhan Vong's attack three months later. However, during the battle on New Holgha, the Protectors saw an opportunity to win the New Republic's trust when they were informed of a Jedi being hunted by a Yuuzhan Vong subaltern named Bur'lorr. Rescuing the Jedi—a New Republic Intelligence agent by the name of Kubariet—the squad of Mandalorians attempted to delay and mislead the Yuuzhan Vong warrior, but the encounter quickly erupted into a fight. The Mandalorians wrestled Bur'lorr to the ground, where Goran Beviin was finally able to squash his throat with a pair of crushgaunts; however, the sharp spikes of Bur'lorr's armor had slipped between Briika Jeban's armor plates as she fought him to the ground, and inflicted a deep stab wound to her chest. Despite every attempt to save her life, Jeban died of blood loss, and her orphaned daughter was adopted by Beviin.
Their rescue of the Jedi Kubariet earned the Mandalorians his trust, and through him, the Mandalorians were able to pass on useful information to the New Republic while keeping up appearances as loyal soldiers for the Yuuzhan Vong. Fett trained and inducted new recruits to the Mandalorian Protectors on Raxus Prime, a waste-covered world in the Outer Rim, where only the strongest were allowed to join the Protectors' ranks. Over time, the Yuuzhan Vong began to notice that the Mandalorians weren't being as effective as they should have been, and eventually discovered Fett's duplicity. As recompense for the Mandalorians' double-cross, the Yuuzhan Vong launched an attack on Mandalore in 29 ABY, and Fett led a legion of the Protectors' supercommandos in defense of the planet. Unlike the other planets the invaders had sought to terraform, the Vong intended to destroy the Mandalorian homeworld: the Yuuzhan Vong blew large craters into Mandalore's surface using singularity ordnance, destroyed wide tracts of forested landscape and poisoned once fertile farmland. Close to one and a half million Mandalorians were killed during the attack, but through the use of underground tunnels, Mandalore's rough terrain, and sheer martial ability, the Mandalorians defeated and ultimately repelled the Yuuzhan Vong. Though Mandalore's population had been reduced by nearly a third, the Mandalorians, both living and dead, were remembered as the only people to defeat the Yuuzhan Vong on their own.
Having turned openly hostile against Mandalore, Fett led the Mandalorian Protectors against the Yuuzhan Vong in defense of the galaxy. Deploying in Pursuer-class enforcement ships and aboard Meteor-class Q-carriers from an ancient dungeon ship, the Mandalorian Protectors liberated the planet of Gyndine from the Yuuzhan Vong that occupied it, and later drove the extra-galactic aliens from Tholatin. At Caluula Station, Fett and a number of Mandalorian Protectors including Baltan Carid, a Calibop, and Bothan Mandalorian, engaged an attacking force of Yuuzhan Vong warriors, allowing the majority of the station's inhabitants to flee toward the planet below or into hyperspace. The Protectors fought so fiercely as to strike the fear of Mandalore into the Yuuzhan Vong. The war finally came to an end later that year, when the Yuuzhan Vong were defeated at the galactic capital of Coruscant and peacefully exiled to the living planet, Zonama Sekot.
- "I thought I had made myself quite clear, but apparently Jedi need things explained in the simplest terms. I am here for a single, specific purpose. And that purpose is to take Sothais Saar and Turi Altamik into custody. This is not Sothais Saar, nor is it Turi Altamik. I am not here to negotiate, discuss, or even capture and interrogate. No one leaves the Temple until this matter is resolved. Anyone attempting to do so will be dealt with in this same manner. You now have twenty-four hours to turn over the Jedi. At the end of that time, your Temple will be leveled, your people slain, and Altamik and Saar recovered. The girl stays here, as a reminder. Any attempt to recover her body and we will open fire on the Temple."
- ―Mandalorian Protector Belok Rhal, after killing Kani Asari on the steps of the Jedi Temple
In the wake of the Yuuzhan Vong War, the Mandalorian people were left to repair the damage done to their world by the extra-galactic invaders, without any aid from the Galactic Alliance— a multi-governmental political conglomerate established during the war formed from the New Republic, Imperial Remnant, and a number of other independent states—despite their role in defending several worlds threatened by the Yuuzhan Vong. The importance placed on rebuilding led Boba Fett to declare Mandalore a neutral world during the Second Galactic Civil War, between the Galactic Alliance and a new Confederation, though the Mand'alor did not attempt to ban an individual's right to mercenary work for either side. By 41 ABY, the Yuuzhan Vong War-era Mandalorian Protector Cham Detta had become a bartender at the Oyu'baat cantina in Keldabe, and his one-time comrade Goran Beviin, had come to spend the majority of his time working on his family's farm. Because of Mandalore's established neutrality, when Mand'alor Fett was contracted by Imperial Admiral Natasi Daala to provide aid to her old colleague, Gilad Pellaeon, Fett took a cadre of fifty Mandalorian commandos with him to Fondor, instead of the Protectors.
In 44 ABY, after a number of Jedi had fallen victim to a mysterious Force psychosis and gone mad, the then Galactic Alliance Chief of State, Natasi Daala, hired a contingent of one thousand Mandalorian Protectors under the command of the ruthless soldier Belok Rhal, to lay siege to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant in order to force the Jedi to surrender their afflicted Knights, Sothais Saar and Turi Altamik. Rhal's detachment of the Protectors jammed communications and established a heavily armed perimeter around the Temple, utilizing multiple Tra'kad starships, several Canderous-class assault tanks, and numerous other ground vehicles, in addition to QuickStryke assault sleds, and a number of Vyyrhawk fighter-bombers. Rhal publicly demanded the Jedi release Saar and Altamik into Galactic Alliance custody within thirty-six hours, under threat of hostile action should they refuse. When interim Grand Master Kenth Hamner's apprentice, Kani Asari, was sent out to negotiate with Rhal, the man went against every ideal the Mandalorian Protectors had traditionally stood for and shot the unarmed Asari dead on the Temple steps, decreeing that any other Jedi beside Altamik and Saar that came out of the Temple would meet the same fate, and any attempt to recover Asari's body would result in the destruction of the Temple. The siege eventually came to an end after Luke Skywalker, the Jedi Grand Master in exile, put an end to the source of the mysterious psychosis, and both Altamik and Saar were publicly shown to be cured of the disease.
Notable Mandalorian Protectors
- "You know that Shysa even got a clone deserter to pose as Jango Fett's heir, just to give the aruetiise the idea that we were solid again? Nobody really knew who or what was under the armor. Worked...for a while."
- ―Goran Beviin
An Alpha-class Advanced Recon Commando originally known by the designation Alpha-Ø2, Spar deserted the clone trooper homeworld of Kamino before the start of the Clone Wars. Unique among his clone brethren due to the genetic memories of Jango Fett he possessed, Spar traveled to Mandalore following the death of Fett at the start of the Clone Wars, where, with the support of clan chieftain Fenn Shysa, he claimed the title of Mand'alor and set out to create a new army of Mandalorian supercommandos. As the newly christened Mandalore the Resurrector, Spar recruited two hundred and twelve Mandalorian soldiers to his army known as the Mandalorian Protectors, and won out over the pacifist New Mandalorian faction, leading the Mandalorians into an alliance with the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars.
Under Spar, the Mandalorian Protectors became a devastating force for the Confederacy, often doing in days what their army of droids could not accomplish in months. However, the Protectors eventually fell victim to the machinations of Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith manipulating both sides of the war for his own gain. As the secret leader of the Confederacy, Sidious ordered the Mandalorian Protectors to capture Senator Padmé Amidala at Norval II, while ordering Republic troops to ambush the Protectors there, as the Republic's Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. The Mandalorian Protectors were decimated in the resulting battle, with only Spar and two others—Fenn Shysa and Tobbi Dala—emerging from the conflict with their lives. The shell-shocked Spar abandoned his place as Mand'alor, and refused Shysa's attempts to get him to reclaim the title once they had returned to Mandalore. Spar eventually left to wander the galaxy, finally coming to the Extrictarium Nebula, where, suffering from clone madness, he was shot and killed by the vengeful daughter of Boba Fett, who mistook the clone for her father.
- "Shysa led us to kick out the Empire. Didn't you, Fen'ika? A great Mand'alor. But he always wanted Fett as the front man, and Fett wasn't having it. Shysa got his way in the end, though."
- ―Goran Beviin
Fenn Shysa was a Mandalore native, born on a small province off the coast of Mandalore's largest continent. Over time, he grew to become a well-respected clan chieftain and, together with his childhood friend Tobbi Dala, a local constable. Aware of his homeworld's history of being marginalized by the Galactic Republic, and the destitute state that loomed over a number of Mandalorians living on the planet, when Spar called for recruits to his force of Mandalorian Protectors, Shysa more than willingly joined, spurring Spar to become the new Mand'alor and spreading the rumor that the clone deserter was truly Jango Fett's heir. Shysa designed the Protectors' Battle Legionnaire droids in part, and fought alongside them throughout the Clone Wars at New Bornalex, Null, and Kamino, up until the disastrous battle at Norval II, where Shysa was one of only three Mandalorian Protectors to make it out of the fight alive, along with his good friend Tobbi Dala and Spar. Spar abandoned his post as Mand'alor, and though Shysa would attempt to get him to reconsider, it was Shysa himself who succeeded Spar as Mand'alor following the rise of the Galactic Empire.
As the Empire established a presence on Mandalore, it was Shysa who began to reform the destroyed Mandalorian Protectors, forming them into a guerrilla fighting force to covertly resist the Empire. Under Shysa's leadership, the Protectors harassed convoys of Imperial slavers and freed Mandalorian slaves, until they finally broke the Empire's hold over Mandalore during the battle at the Imperial base in the City of Bone. Shysa then led the Mandalorian Protectors to oust Imperial Grand Admiral Miltin Takel from Mandalorian space, and rebuilt the Protectors into an organization capable of defending the entire Mandalore sector. His ties with the Alliance of Free Planets led Shysa to rally the Protectors to the government's aid during the Nagai–Tof War, and he aided the subsequent New Republic at the Battle of Mindor, against the darksider Shadowspawn. However, Shysa's actions against Kamino during the Clone Wars had far-reaching repercussions, and decades later, the Kaminoan scientist Taun We hired the renowned bounty hunter Boba Fett to kill Shysa. Fett confronted Shysa on the planet Shogun, where the two came under attack by the Sevvets. Shysa was mortally wounded while saving Fett's life, and asked that Fett succeed him as Mand'alor. Fett gave his word, before killing Shysa in an act of mercy, rather than leave him to suffer with the Sevvets.
- "That's when me an' Tobbi went underground to form an outlaw band, an' we been fightin' to give Mandalore back to the Mandalorians ever since!"
- ―Fenn Shysa
Growing up alongside Fenn Shysa, Tobbi Dala stood together with his childhood friend whether it involved becoming constables or drinking mugs of Mandallian Narcolethe after a long day, and when Shysa readily joined the Mandalorian Protectors, Dala was quick to join, as well. Dala fought for the Mandalorian Protectors throughout the Clone Wars, until the battle at Norval II, when he was one of only three Protectors to survive a Republic ambush, along with Shysa and Spar. Dala returned to Mandalore after the battle, eventually joining up with Shysa's reborn force of Mandalorian Protectors, covertly battling against the newly risen Galactic Empire and the Imperial occupation of Mandalore.
During one of the Protectors' raids on an Imperial slaving convoy, Dala was captured and imprisoned in the Empire's Mandalore base within the City of Bone. Around the same time, the bounty hunter Dengar had attempted to collect an Imperial bounty on Fenn Shysa, only to fail and be captured by Mandalorian Protectors. The Protectors negotiated a prisoner exchange with the Empire, offering Dengar for Dala; this plan was ruined, however, by the arrival of Princess Leia Organa, who sought Dengar for her own purposes. She freed the bounty hunter but was betrayed and taken by the Imperials herself. Shysa mounted a rescue of both Dala and the princess under the cover of a Protector assault on the City of Bone. Shysa succeeded in freeing both Dala and Organa, but Dala was mortally wounded in a confrontation with the Imperial overseer, the Suprema. Dala demanded Shysa leave him behind and rescue the Mandalorian slaves that had been captured by the Empire, sacrificing himself once they were away to blow up the City of Bone and break the Imperial hold on Mandalore.
- "For a man who says he doesn't care about anyone else, you always come good for the Mando'ade when you're needed."
"I'm Mandalore. It's just my job."
- ―Goran Beviin and Boba Fett
The cloned son of Mand'alor Jango Fett, Boba Fett had only just begun his Mandalorian training when his father was killed at the Battle of Geonosis. Though he set out to follow in his father's footsteps as a bounty hunter, rising to earn a place of both esteem and notoriety as one of the greatest bounty hunters of his era, Fett remained estranged from his Mandalorian heritage for the majority of his life. It was only when Kaminoan scientist Taun We, whom Fett had grown up with on Kamino, offered a bounty on the life of Fenn Shysa for the damage he and the Mandalorian Protectors had wrought on Kamino during the Clone Wars, that Fett was brought back into contact with the Mandalorian culture. Fett hunted Shysa to the planet Shogun, where they were both attacked by the Sevvets and Shysa was mortally wounded while saving Fett's life. As he was dying, Shysa asked that Fett become the next Mand'alor after he was gone, believing in the symbolic strength of the Fett name. Fett gave Shysa his word, before mercifully killing him so as to spare him from suffering under the Sevvets. True to his word, Fett became the new Mand'alor, leading the Mandalorians during the Yuuzhan Vong War and bringing the Mandalorian Protectors to bear against the extra-galactic invaders in defense of the galaxy. Together with the Protectors, Fett fought off the Yuuzhan Vong's attack against Mandalore, and engaged them at worlds such as Gyndine, Tholatin, and Caluula. After the war came to an end and the Yuuzhan Vong settled peacefully on the living planet Zonama Sekot, Fett made a priority of helping Mandalore rebuild. With a third of the planet's population killed in the battle with the Yuuzhan Vong, Fett called for two million Mandalorians throughout the galaxy to journey to Mandalore in order to reinvigorate the planet's infrastructure. He declared the world neutral during the conflict between the Galactic Alliance and the Confederation, and donated a portion of his accumulated personal wealth to the restoration of Mandalore.
Behind the scenes
The Mandalorian Protectors first appeared in Star Wars canon in the sixty-eighth issue of Marvel's Star Wars comic series. Entitled The Search Begins, the issue was written by author David Michelinie, illustrated by Gene Day, and published in February of 1983. They appeared again in the subsequent issue, Star Wars (1977) 69, and the leader of the Mandalorian Protectors, Fenn Shysa, continues to make further appearances throughout the series.
Details of the Mandalorian Protectors' exploits during the Clone Wars and beyond were later provided in The History of the Mandalorians, a Star Wars Insider article written by Abel G. Peña and published in the March 2005 issue of the magazine. The article retcons the idea of the Protectors being led during the war by Boba Fett—an idea made impossible following the release of the second prequel film, Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones, and the revision of Boba Fett's origins within—by introducing the rogue clone trooper Spar to fill the place of Fett. The History of the Mandalorians also provides information on the Protectors' equipment and vehicle usage. The later sourcebook Galaxy at War, by Daniel Wallace, supplements this with a significant amount of additional information on the history, tactics, and organization structure of the Mandalorian Protectors.
Karen Traviss's novel Order 66, the fourth entry in her Republic and Imperial Commando novel series, featured Fenn Shysa and Spar as a prominent secondary characters. The end of Order 66, and Shysa's continued appearance in Traviss' next novel, Imperial Commando: 501st, hint at Shysa's formation of the second iteration of the Mandalorian Protectors as the Empire begins to establish a presence on Mandalore. Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, a 2008 novel by Matthew Stover, featured Shysa during his tenure as a Mandalorian Protector, mentioning the group, and introducing a number of Mandalorian mercenaries who join Shysa by the novel's end.
- Republic 67 (Corpses)
- Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back novelization (First unnamed mention)
- Star Wars (1977) 68 (First appearance)
- Star Wars (1977) 69
- Star Wars (1977) 100
- Star Wars (1977) 108 (as "Mandalorians") (Mentioned only)
- Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor
- Boba Fett: A Practical Man
- "Revenants" — Star Wars Tales 18
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
- Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines
- Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice
- Legacy of the Force: Revelation
- Legacy of the Force: Invincible
- Fate of the Jedi: Allies
- Fate of the Jedi: Allies audiobook
- Fate of the Jedi: Vortex
- Fate of the Jedi: Vortex audiobook
- "The History of the Mandalorians" – Star Wars Insider 80
- The Essential Chronology
- (Indirect mention only)
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Story of General Grievous: Lord of War
- Starships of the Galaxy, Saga Edition
- The Clone Wars Campaign Guide
- The Essential Atlas
- Galaxy at War
- (Mentioned only)
- Galaxy of Intrigue