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"I am Pre Vizsla of Clan Vizsla. Death Watch is here to save you from these intergalactic gangsters that threaten our great city. This is a war, and we will win. Join me, and let us defend Mandalore against the criminals. We need action, not pacifism!"
―Pre Vizsla, to the people of Mandalore[src]

Pre Vizsla (pronounced /'pri vizlɑ/) was a human male Mandalorian warrior who led a terrorist organization, known as Death Watch, during the final years of the Galactic Republic. Formerly the governor of Concordia, Vizsla longed to restore the warrior heritage of his homeworld, the planet Mandalore, by overthrowing Duchess Satine Kryze's pacifist regime. Drawing on the support of his Mandalorian commandos, Vizsla made his bid for power during the galaxy-wide Clone Wars but failed several times in his efforts to conquer Mandalore. Following his failed alliance with the Confederacy of Independent Systems, however, Vizsla joined the renegade Sith Lord Maul's Shadow Collective. As a result of their pact, he ultimately succeeded in taking over Mandalore with widespread public support following the collapse of order and stability due to Maul's machinations.

Having achieved his goal, Vizsla turned against Maul, leading to a lightsaber duel to the death. In the end, Vizsla was defeated and executed by Maul, who claimed his one-time ally's weapon—the Darksaber, a Jedi-Mandalorian relic of Clan Vizsla—and therefore leadership over all Mandalorians. Despite Maul's victory, his claim was opposed by one of the late Vizsla's lieutenants, Bo-Katan Kryze, who refused to accept an outsider as her leader. This act tore Death Watch asunder between Kryze's supporters and those who declared their loyalty to Maul, becoming known as his Mandalorian super commandos.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Plot to overthrow the Duchess[edit | edit source]

"For generations, my ancestors fought proudly as warriors against the Jedi. Now, that woman tarnishes the very name Mandalorian. Defend her, if you will."
―Pre Vizsla, on Satine Kryze, to Obi-Wan Kenobi — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

Kenobi and Vizsla engage in combat

Seeking to overthrow Duchess Satine Kryze and her pacifistic government, in order to restore Mandalore to its warrior past, Vizsla secretly allied himself with Count Dooku and his Confederacy of Independent Systems. While governing Mandalore's moon, Concordia, and maintaining loyalty to Kryze in public, Vizsla led the Death Watch in secret from several Concordian mining camp bases. The Death Watch's attack on a Jedi Cruiser and terrorist attacks on Mandalore came to a head when Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi arrived on Concordia with Kryze to follow leads on the Death Watch. When Kenobi discovered the Death Watch's secret base, Vizsla revealed himself as the renegades' leader. He then addressed Kenobi, proclaiming that Kryze tarnished the very-name Mandalorian with her peace-seeking government. Returning Kenobi's lightsaber, which his men confiscated earlier during the Jedi's capture, Vizsla drew the Darksaber and explained some of it's history before attacking Kenobi. Confident that he would be able to best the Jedi Master, Vizsla was quickly proven to be no match for him and was quickly forced onto the back foot, first by a Force-push that sent him hurling backwards several meters and then with a kick that knocked the Darksaber out of his grip. Vizsla continued his assault on Kenobi, who used unarmed combat techniques to create a temporary gap in the fighting to receive his fallen lightsaber.[5]

This time, Vizsla used his jetpack to employ greater altitude in flight, but Kenobi simply jumped and intercepted him in the air, battering him toward the ground. Defeated, he decided to have his warriors finish the Jedi Master themselves. The three Death Watch members each fired a missile from their jet packs, but Kenobi and Satine retreated by jumping through a mine-shaft to avoid the explosives. The three warriors inspected the damage and told Vizsla if they can still go after Kenobi. However, Vizsla ordered them not to, since there wasn't time, but noted they will catch up with the Duchess soon enough.[5]

Assassination attempt on Kryze[edit | edit source]

Vizsla and his army report to Count Dooku.

Vizsla conspired with Mandalorian Senator Tal Merrik to capture Kryze during her journey to Coruscant, where she intended to plead her case directly to the Galactic Senate, but Merrik was defeated before he could complete his assignment.[6] Amassing an army of Death Watch troops on Concordia in preparation to take over Mandalore, Vizsla was forced to wait until his and Dooku's plot to turn Mandalore against the Republic was completed. Vizsla dispatched an assassin to Coruscant to kill Kryze, as her death would remove the opposition to the Senate's upcoming vote to have Republic troops occupy Mandalore—an occupation which would allow the Death Watch to gain the support of Mandalore's populace and "liberate" them from the Republic. However, the assassin failed to murder Kryze, and the plot itself fell through, with the Senate voting against occupying Mandalore. With this turn of events, Vizsla was forced to postpone his attack on Mandalore, as his forces would be unable to hold the planet without its people's support.[7]

Plot against Dooku and Carlac[edit | edit source]

Vizsla dueling Ahsoka on Carlac

Following the aborted takeover of Mandalore, Vizsla then met with Dooku. During this meeting, Vizsla was betrayed by Dooku and scarred across his cheek[8] by the Sith Lord's lightsaber.[9] Vizsla then broke ties with the Confederacy and vowed to kill Dooku.[8]

The Death Watch under Vizsla maintain a small base on the world Carlac,[8] but the once strictly regulated army now was merely a group of ruthless outlaws.[10] where they committed dishonorable acts against it's native species, the Ming Po, forcing their women to work for them. Eventually Lux Bonteri, in an attempt take revenge against Count Dooku for death of his mother, Mina Bonteri, allied himself with Vizsla. Death Watch used Bonteri to attempt to find and assassinate Dooku, but were unsuccessful. When Bonteri traveled to Carlac to meet with them, he brought along the Jedi Ahsoka Tano, who was disguised as Bonteri's close friend.[8]

Shortly after meeting with Bonteri, Vizsla was then confronted by the Ming Po elders who had demanded the return of their women. At first they complied, but Vizsla showed his true colours the next day when he attempted to murder the Ming Po chieftain with the Darksaber, caring not when the man's innocent granddaughter threw herself in front of him and took the blow instead, before ordering the village burned to the ground. However, Tano revealed herself as a Jedi, taking out several Death Watch members before being subdued. Upon return to the Death Watch camp, Vizsla expressed his disappointment in Bonteri for bringing a Jedi. Despite Bonteri convincing him to spare her, Vizsla was adamant to execute her. Bonteri accused Vizsla of murderous dishonor before the latter retorted to the young boy that he was no different with his bloodlust towards Count Dooku. Bonteri insisted that he wanted justice, not revenge, yet Vizsla would not have it. Vizsla then stated like Bonteri wanting justice for his mother's death, Vizsla would kill Tano for the Jedi Order's supposed crimes against Mandalore, which in Vizsla's eyes, was justice as well. Before Vizsla could kill Tano, R2-D2 entered the hut, creating a distraction and arming Tano with her lightsabers. After freeing herself and decapitating four Death Watch soldiers who restrained her, she then dueled Vizsla for a time; but after the Jedi's saber caused Vizsla's jetpack to explode, she and Bonteri escaped.[8]

Shadow Collective and death[edit | edit source]

"Like you said: only the strongest...shall rule."
―Pre Vizla's last words[src]

Vizsla and Maul forged an allegiance based on their mutual animosity towards Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Following the events on Carlac, Vizsla and the Death Watch established a camp on the swamp moon Zanbar, and once again set about plotting the downfall of Duchess Satine, and the restoration of the Mandalorian's warrior creed.

Later, Vizsla and his soldiers came across an escape pod lost in deep space which held the stranded former Sith Lord Maul and his brother Savage Opress. Harboring a common hatred of Obi-Wan Kenobi for his actions against them, they planned on having their revenge after their planned conquest of Mandalore. Gathering an army of criminals including the Hutts, the Pykes, and the Black Sun.[4]

Maul striking Vizsla down

The criminal alliance attacked the capital, allowing Death Watch to act as heroes to a desperate population after the Duchess's forces failed to stop the criminals. With the support of the Mandalorian people, Vizsla ousted Satine and appointed himself Prime Minister, also assuming the title of Mand'alor. He also betrayed his Sith allies who were imprisoned but who managed to escape. Maul challenged Vizsla to a duel to determine the true ruler of the Mandalorians. After a long and difficult duel, Maul defeated Vizsla and publicly beheaded him in front of the Death Watch for his failures, before claiming his position as leader of the Death Watch. But because Maul was not a Mandalorian, Bo-Katan Kryze and the Nite Owls refused to follow him[2] and would eventually ignite another Mandalorian civil war.[11]

Skills and abilities[edit | edit source]

Vizsla dueling Maul

As a Mandalorian warrior, Vizsla had advanced training in many forms of combat from ranged weaponry to hand-to-hand combat. A skilled unarmed combatant, Vizsla was able to compete with Obi-Wan Kenobi[5] and Maul[2] in his duels with the two Force-wielding warriors. Vizsla was also a highly capable marksman, even able to shoot the lightsaber out of Maul's hand in their bout.[2] In addition to his unarmed and ranged abilities, Vizsla had at least some degree of training with the Darksaber and was skilled enough to keep even a Jedi at bay.[12]

Equipment[edit | edit source]

Vizsla's helmet

Vizsla wore the traditional and resilient combat armor of the Mandalorian warriors.[13] This armor was equipped with dual antennas, a jetpack variant, magnetized boots and a pair of Mandalorian vambraces. Vizsla's vambraces were equipped with at least paired blaster barrels,[8] a flamethrower, whipcord thrower and a launcher that fired disc-shaped buzzsaws.[2]

In addition to his armor, Vizsla wielded a pair of WESTAR-35 blaster pistols and the Darksaber, a legendary lightsaber created by his ancestor Tarre Vizsla that had been used by his clan and House to rule all of Mandalore long ago.[5]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

"I thought it would be a really cool thing for Jon, and fun for fans if he did the part. And he did a great job of playing Pre Vizsla; he's the one guy that, in this whole Mandalorian world, is the defender of the historic Mandalorian past. He's the one character who knows what the Mandalorians were and what they should be, and wants to get them back to that reality. He's a great character and I think that he'll become a favorite of many fans."
―Series Director Dave Filoni, on casting Jon Favreau in the role of Pre Vizsla[src]

The character of Pre Vizsla was created for the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series and first appeared in the series' 2010 second season after being mentioned in several issues of the Star Wars Insider magazine. He was featured as the primary antagonist of the episodes "The Mandalore Plot," "Voyage of Temptation," and "Duchess of Mandalore," all of which formed a story arc centered around the Mandalorians in the series. Vizsla was voiced in his television appearances by American actor Jon Favreau, the director of the popular Iron Man film series, whose role in portraying Vizsla marked his first contribution to Star Wars canon. Favreau was recruited for the part by Series Director Dave Filoni. According to an interview with Filoni that was featured in Star Wars Insider 115, the name "Pre" is a title of stature, like "pre-eminent," while the "Vizsla" name came from Tor Vizsla, the original leader of the Death Watch who was featured in the 2002 Jango Fett: Open Seasons comic book series.[14] Vizsla was given an entry in the The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia book, released in June 2010.[15] He was also featured in Hasbro's 2010 toy figure line.[16]

Pre Vizsla's concept model sheet shows the Mandalorian symbol on his cape.

A concept art model sheet that was published in Star Wars Insider 116 indicated that Vizsla's name was originally spelled "Visla." On the same model sheet, the symbol on his cape was depicted as the Mythosaur, suggesting that the symbol was originally that of the Mandalorians and was adjusted to the Shriek-hawk for the final version of "The Mandalore Plot."[17] Because "Voyage of Temptation" was produced with the television series' first season, well before the other installments in the Mandalorian story arc, the character model used for Vizsla in the episode was based on the Phase I clone trooper armor design—disguised only by his serape—instead of the finalized character design used in the later episodes.[18]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

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Notes and references[edit | edit source]

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