Sundari was the domed capital city of the New Mandalorian faction of Mandalorians, located on the Outer Rim world of Mandalore, where it stood alongside Mandalore's traditional capital of Keldabe. Situated within one of Mandalore's white-sand desert regions, the bio-cube city of Sundari hosted a large number of New Mandalorians by the time of the Clone Wars, including the sect's leader, Duchess Satine Kryze. Automated transports ferried individuals from the city's docks into its interior, which was filled with high-technology structures made of permacrete, beskar iron, and transparisteel. Sundari was guarded by its dedicated police force, and the city's skylanes were patrolled by their Buirk'alor-class airspeeders.
During the early stages of the Clone Wars, Sundari's Memorial Shrine was the target of a terrorist attack, orchestrated by the radical and violent Mandalorian splinter group known as the Death Watch. Some time later, the city was struck by an epidemic of poisonings among its youth, the source of which was traced to a shipment of tainted tea delivered to Sundari by a contingent of Moogan smugglers. This incident was part of a larger trend of corruption among its government's officials, leading to the arrest of New Mandalorian Prime Minister Almec for his role in allowing the black market to operate on Mandalore, and his subsequent incarceration in a Sundari prison.
Two years later, in 20 BBY, Sundari was the primary target of the Death Watch's coup against the New Mandalorian regime. Having entered into an alliance with the Sith Lord Darth Maul and assembled an army of criminals known as the Shadow Collective, Death Watch played the role of heroic saviors combating the ordered onslaught of the Collective's crime lords who, in secret, terrorized Sundari at Darth Maul's command, in order to prove the New Mandalorian government an ineffective body. Winning the favor of the public by protecting Sundari's populous when Duchess Satine Kryze and her administration could not, Death Watch deposed the duchess, while their leader, Pre Vizsla, replaced Kryze as the ruler of the New Mandalorians. However, Vizsla's command was usurped shortly thereafter by Darth Maul, causing a divide in the ranks of Death Watch between those who pledged their loyalty to the Sith, and those who followed Vizsla's former lieutenant Bo-Katan Kryze and refused to recognize the rule of a non-Mandalorian, eventually leading to a vicious battle on the outskirts of Sundari between the two factions.
Nestled within a vast, black-colored dome that protected against the inhospitable desert region of the planet Mandalore in which it was located, Sundari was a large bio-cube city, and the capital city of the New Mandalorian faction. Sundari enclosed one of Mandalore's largest active mines of beskar iron ore within its outer walls, providing the city with valuable resources and a major strategic asset. It was surrounded by a number of other cube cities, smaller in size than the large black dome, and constructed by the New Mandalorians to survive the harsh conditions of Mandalore's deserts. On its outer face, Sundari hosted shipping docks for receiving supply shipments to the city, and welcoming visiting starships; automated transports waited to ferry beings from the docks into the city's interior, and officers of the Mandalorian police force patrolled the area.
Inside Sundari's black dome, the city was comprised of a complex series of rectangular and often cube-shaped buildings, constructed in close quarters with large blocks of permacrete and beskar iron, with sheets of transparisteel that ranged from translucent to transparent. Its high-technology structures rose up from the ground and hung from the dome's vaulted ceiling, alike, maximizing the space available. Skylanes filled with airspeeders wove between Sundari's glass towers, patrolled by police-owned Buirk'alor-class speeders. Near the heart of the city stood the Sundari Royal Palace, home to Sundari's leaders, and the tranquil Peace Park that housed the Memorial Shrine. Peace Park was one of several places dedicated to the natural greenery Sundari's external desert surroundings denied its people, ranging from plazas to rooftop gardens, but the city's vegetation was highly regimented, with everything from shrubbery to trees meticulously tended and trimmed from their natural forms into stark geometric shapes.
Sundari's most promising youths received an education at the Royal Academy of Government, which prepared them for leadership roles in the New Mandalorian government, while other New Mandalorian children attended a different school within the city. Among Sundari's financial establishments stood the Mandalore Banking Center, a multistory facility housing wealth-laden vaults. The city boasted its own judiciary courts, and Sundari's convicted criminals were held in a prison that stretched downward from Sundari's domed heights. The Sundari Peace Museum housed Mandalorian armor on display. By the year 22 BBY, a new hospital was opened in the city, with facilities to treat hundreds of patients, and an outdoor grounds large enough to accommodate several Aka'jor-class shuttles loaded with individuals in need of medical treatment.
In 738 BBY, following a significant growth in Mandalorian militancy that alarmed the Galactic Republic and its Jedi protectors, a brief and targeted conflict that came to be known as the Mandalorian Excision broke out between the Republic and the Mandalorians, bringing devastation to several worlds within Mandalorian space. Along with swaths of Fenel, Ordo, and Concord Dawn, portions of Mandalore were transformed into deserts of white sand, while the Mandalorians were disarmed and their planet occupied by Republic forces for decades. From the caretaker government that the Republic left in charge of Mandalore in the aftermath of the Excision, arose the New Mandalorian faction; a reformist political group, the New Mandalorians renounced violence and the warrior codes of Mandalore's past, while preaching peace, neutrality, and tolerance.
The New Mandalorians used their talents as builders and inventors to create grand bio-cube cities in Mandalore's desert wastes, forging a new society isolated from Mandalore's warrior clans. They constructed the domed city of Sundari around one of Mandalore's largest active beskar mines, and claimed it as their faction's capital, in opposition to Keldabe, Mandalore's traditional capital that had stood since before the Mandalorian Wars, thousands of years prior. The New Mandalorians' dedication to peace, their love of advanced technology, and the beskar mines of Sundari, allowed for them to claim ascendancy over the disorganized warrior clans on Mandalore for centuries, leading the Republic to officially recognize Sundari as the capital of Mandalore over Keldabe, as Mandalore gained representation in the Galactic Senate. The city came under the protection of the Mandalorian police, as well as units of the Mandalorian Royal Guard.
The Clone Wars
Around 22 BBY, in the midst of the galaxy-spanning conflict between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems known as the Clone Wars, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi journeyed to Sundari on behalf of the Jedi Council in order to ascertain the truth behind rumors claiming that Mandalore—a staunch political ally of the Republic since the rise of the New Mandalorians in the wake of the Mandalorian Excision—was secretly assembling an army for the Separatists of the Confederacy. When he touched down at the Sundari docks, Kenobi was taken by automated transport to the royal palace, where he met with the New Mandalorians' Prime Minister, Almec, and their leader, Duchess Satine Kryze of the neighboring world, Kalevala.
While taking a walk with Kryze in the nearby Peace Park, Kenobi witnessed a terrorist Bombing of the Memorial Shrine housed at the park, by a member of the violent Mandalorian splinter group known as the Death Watch. Kenobi attempted to apprehend the bomber, taking part in a lengthy chase that ended at a dead-end balcony; after a short struggle, the bomber took his own life by leaping from the balcony's edge. Together with Duchess Kryze, Kenobi accompanied the deceased man's body to his home of Concordia, one of Mandalore's two moons, where he discovered the hideout of the Death Watch among the beskar mines that had been previously thought abandoned. Kenobi and Kryze escaped a skirmish with the Death Watch's troops, returning to Sundari where they boarded the Duchess' personal star yacht, the Coronet, bound for Coruscant to explain the truth of current Mandalorian affairs to the Republic senate. While Kryze spoke before the Galactic Senate, a New Mandalorian scout reported to Prime Minister Almec in Sundari, informing him of the army Death Watch had amassed on Concordia. Before they could mobilize an attack, however, Death Watch's leader, Pre Vizsla, was ordered to stand down by his ally and benefactor, Count Dooku of the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
Following Duchess Kryze's proclamation that Mandalore would remain a neutral entity in the Clone Wars, Republic funded trade routes to the Outer Rim world were largely severed, and re-prioritized elsewhere. Having cut themselves off from Mandalore's farming communities in the parts of Mandalore unspoiled by the Mandalorian Excision, Sundari began to suffer from food shortages without Republic aid, leaving many of its residents starving. To remedy the dire situation, Prime Minister Almec took it upon himself to establish a black market trade network in secret, in order to get food to the New Mandalorian people.
The illegal intake of supplies to Sundari came at a dangerous cost: Moogan smugglers arrived in Sundari, bribing their way passed a customs official in order to unload shipments of Ardees Beverage tea. Seeking to increase their total profits from the shipment, the Moogans diluted the tea with the chemical slabin from a warehouse at Sundari's docks, but instead of a harmless mixture, the slabin dosage was incorrectly calculated, contaminating the tea. The tea was distributed to a number of New Mandalorian schools, resulting in hundreds of children becoming violently ill, and many were taken to a recently opened hospital in the city. The hospital was set to be toured that day by Duchess Kryze and her offworld guest, Senator Padmé Amidala of Naboo, and upon discovering the outbreak of poisoned youths, Kryze and Amidala set out to discover the source of the illness plaguing Sundari's schoolchildren. Upon visiting one school that had been affected, the two politicians discovered the Ardees bottled tea to be the source of the poison, and traced the shipment back to the Sundari warehouse from which the Moogan smugglers were operating out of. Following a brief shootout between the smugglers and several officers of the Mandalorian guard, the operation was dismantled and an antidote was provided to the hospitalized children.
The corruption that Kryze and Amidala exposed among Sundari's officials—with the superintendent of a school afflicted by the poisoned tea, and the head of the shipping company responsible for dealing with the Moogans among the guilty—the New Mandalorian Duchess requested a member of the Jedi Order come to Mandalore in order to help stop the black market trade network, and lecture against the perils of corruption at the Royal Academy of Government. Agreeing to the request, the Jedi Council dispatched Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano to Mandalore; Tano landed at the Sundari docks with her master and a detachment of clones from the 501st Legion. Though her master and the clones departed Sundari shortly in order to return to the war, Tano was welcomed to the city by Kryze, Prime Minister Almec, and a group of cadets from the Academy.
For two days, Tano lectured at Sundari's Royal Academy, speaking on the subject of corruption among government leadership, and the duty of the common citizen to ensure lawful behavior among society's rulers. Taking the Jedi's words to heart, a group of cadets aware of Sundari's food shortages, decided to investigate the city's warehouse district for signs of improper conduct. There, the children discovered a government warehouse being used to store black market goods, and a group of smugglers meeting with Prime Minister Almec. Fearing the repercussions of his discovery, Almec moved against the cadets and had them arrested by the New Mandalorian Secret Service, in addition to Duchess Kryze, who had been informed by her cadet nephew Korkie of their findings. Almec incarcerated the Duchess and the students in a Sundari prison, only for Padawan Ahsoka Tano to mount a rescue that resulted in Kryze and the students being freed, while Almec and his conspirators were jailed for their crimes, found guilty on charges of corruption by Sundari's courts. With the black market network shut down and its orchestrator in prison, Tano departed Sundari to return to her duties under her master.
Later in the war, Sundari hosted a conference at the royal palace, between a delegation from the Republic and Confederacy of Independent Systems seeking a peaceful end to the Clone Wars. Proceedings broke down, though, when the disenfranchised Separatist senator Lux Bonteri stormed into Duchess Kryze's throne room accusing the Confederate leader Count Dooku of murdering his mother, Mina Bonteri. The young Bonteri was forcibly removed from the hall by a cadre of Separatist BX-series droid commandos, and taken to the Confederacy's C-9979 landing craft at the Sundari docks where he would have been killed were it not for the intervention of Togruta Padawan Ahsoka Tano, who had returned to Mandalore as part of a security detail for the Republic's diplomats. Tano rescued Bonteri, and fled Sundari aboard a Republic vessel.
Downfall of the New Mandalorians
- "I will use my army of crime lords to attack different targets across Sundari, and sow chaos to undermine the Duchess's rule. Our gangsters will make her look too weak to maintain control. Then you and your Death Watch will capture and arrest us, bringing order where Satine's weak government cannot."
"We'll be saviors."
- ―Darth Maul and Pre Vizsla
In 20 BBY, Sundari and other New Mandalorian territories on Mandalore came under attack by the Shadow Collective, an assembly of criminals drawn from Black Sun, the spice-dealing Pyke Syndicate, and the Hutt Cartels. These offworld crime lords were secretly in collusion with the Death Watch as their leader, the Sith Lord Darth Maul, had forged an alliance with Death Watch commander Pre Vizsla to topple the New Mandalorians' pacifist regime. As part of a plan to exemplify the ineffectiveness of the New Mandalorian administration, the Collective's thugs rampaged throughout Sundari, overwhelming a police force that proved incapable of defending against the aggressors. Sundari's docks fell quickly into Collective control, while Pyke gangsters assaulted the Mandalore Banking Center, and Black Sun foot soldiers opened fire on the Peace Park with reckless abandon, killing civilian and police officers alike. Panicked, the people of Sundari gathered at the Royal Palace to demand action from their leaders, only to be advised to remain calm and cautioned to keep to their peaceful principles by Duchess Satine Kryze. It was then that Death Watch appeared, swooping down on the Sundari palace via jetpack, as Pre Vizsla pledged to do what Kryze could not: defend the New Mandalorians against the crime syndicates and keep Sundari safe.
Across Sundari, Death Watch's soldiers engaged the Shadow Collective's criminals in staged battles; the Collective had played the role of villains to be vanquished by the Death Watch well, and as the Mandalorian warriors triumphed over the offworld gangsters, the populous of Sundari applauded their efforts and lauded the Death Watch as saviors. At the docks of Sundari, Death Watch troops subdued the Black Sun and Pyke forces holding the dock workers captive, freeing the grateful New Mandalorians and taking the criminals into custody. In Peace Park, Pre Vizsla's loyal lieutenant Bo-Katan and her handpicked unit known as the Nite Owls rescued a number of New Mandalorian children from Black Sun footsoldiers, binding the gangsters with fibercord, while Vizsla himself apprehended a team of Pyke thugs led by Darth Maul's Sith apprentice, Savage Opress, as they attempted to flee the pilfered Mandalore Banking Center. With the backing of the New Mandalorian people now firmly his, Pre Vizsla stormed the Sundari Royal Palace with a cadre of Death Watch soldiers, deposing and imprisoning Duchess Kryze and her supporters, while proclaiming himself the new Prime Minister and Mand'alor, the traditional leader of the Mandalorians.
With Vizsla's own ambitions met, he betrayed his Sith allies and had both Maul and Opress jailed. Yet Maul had suspected that Vizsla would turn on them once he had what he desired, and planned accordingly, allowing himself to be taken into custody in order to find a more malleable candidate with which to replace Vizsla among the political prisoners Death Watch had arrested. Breaking free of their cell using the Force, Maul and his apprentice came upon the incarcerated former Prime Minister Almec and struck a deal with the disgraced New Mandalorian leader. The two Sith freed themselves from their confines and stormed the Royal Palace, where Maul challenged Vizsla for the right of leadership under the ancient Mandalorian codes Death Watch sought to resurrect. Vizsla and Maul engaged in a furious bout of single combat from which Maul emerged victorious, slaying Vizsla and claiming the right to lead. Almec was instituted as the new Prime Minister—a puppet ruler and the public face for Maul's new rule—while Death Watch fragmented between those who bowed to their new Sith leader, and those who refused to obey a non-Mandalorian. The Death Watch rebels rallied behind Pre Vizsla's lieutenant, Bo-Katan, and fled the Royal Palace amid a heated firefight with their former comrades. With his new authority, Almec appeared before the people of Sundari to announce his reinstatement and the death of Pre Vizsla, blaming the deposed Duchess Kryze for his murder, before assuring the New Mandalorians that Vizsla's goals of remilitarization would live on.
Weeks after she had been imprisoned, Duchess Kryze was rescued from jail by Bo-Katan and a team of her rebellious Death Watch, along with Kryze's nephew Korkie and several of his school friends. The group attempted to escort the deposed duchess out of Sundari, but were pursued and attacked by units of Mandalorian super commandos loyal to Darth Maul. Kryze's defenders were defeated and she was recaptured, though not before she could transmit a message to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, alerting Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi to the state of affairs plaguing Sundari. Intent to rescue his one time lover, Kenobi traveled to Sundari alone, in disguise and aboard a borrowed freighter; he succeeded in sneaking Kryze from her prison confines, but his escape attempts never made it beyond Sundari's docks. Kenobi's ship was destroyed and he was captured alongside Kryze, taken back to the Royal Palace where Kryze was killed before his eyes by Darth Maul as revenge for the wounds Kenobi inflicted upon the Zabrak Sith Lord nearly a decade prior. Kenobi was subsequently taken from the palace and bound for Sundari's prison, as Maul preferred to let the Jedi live with his anguish rather than kill him outright.
Before Kenobi could reach the cell he had been bound for, his captors were ambushed by Bo-Katan and her forces, who quickly killed the Sith loyalists and freed Kenobi, intent on getting the Jedi Master out of Sundari. The group raced through Sundari's skylanes with their jetpacks—even Kenobi, who had been gifted a spare by Bo-Katan upon his rescue—fighting off pursuers on the way to Sundari's docks, where they found open conflict raging between the two factions of the Death Watch, those loyal to Maul and those loyal to Bo-Katan. Fighting their way through the larger hostilities, Bo-Katan called down a Kom'rk-class fighter/transport to evacuate Kenobi. While she stayed to continue the fight, the Jedi Master was taken from Sundari, and off of Mandalore.
At the same time war raged between the fractured Death Watch, the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious arrived in Sundari, having sensed the whereabouts of his former apprentice, Darth Maul. Journeying to the Royal Palace, Sidious confronted Maul and his own apprentice, Savage Opress, over a breach of the Sith Order's Rule of Two. The three darksiders became embroiled in a lightsaber duel that raged through the palace throne room, out onto a balcony overlooking Sundari, and then down into the square below. During the fighting Opress was killed, and the duel came to an end soon after as Maul was overpowered by his former master and subdued with the power of Force lightning. However, Sidious elected not to kill the defeated Maul, preferring to keep him alive for his own future purposes.
As the Clone Wars came to an end, the Galactic Republic was transformed into the Galactic Empire, under the newly crowned Emperor Palpatine. Though the new Empire's relationship with Mandalore was cordial at first—offering large sums for mining rights in the beskar-rich Tokursh region of the planet, and brokering starship contracts with the MandalMotors company—the Imperial grip on the Mandalorian homeworld later tightened harshly. Aided by elements of the reborn Death Watch, the Empire took control of Mandalore, including the city of Sundari, and operated an Imperial Academy on the subjugated world.
Behind the scenes
- "Hoping to alleviate some of the tensions rising in the capital city of Sundari, Satine has called upon her friend Padmé Amidala to make a diplomatic visit."
- ―Newsreel for "Corruption"
Sundari was first introduced to Star Wars canon in the 2009 The Art of Star Wars: The Clone Wars reference book. The city subsequently appeared in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series second season episode, "The Mandalore Plot," the newsreel of the following episode "Voyage of Temptation," and again in the "Duchess of Mandalore." The series' third season episodes "Corruption" and "The Academy" again featured Sundari, as did the fourth season episode "A Friend in Need." Star Wars: The Clone Wars's fifth season marked another return to Sundari, as the city appeared in the episodes "Shades of Reason" and "The Lawless," as well as the young reader adaptation of those episodes, The Clone Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy.
The city of Sundari shares its name with the mining planet Sundari, first introduced to the Star Wars universe in the Star Wars Adventure Journal story Turning Point, authored by Charlene Newcomb and published February 1, 1995.
Since the release of The Art of Star Wars: The Clone Wars reference book, the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series has referred to Sundari as the capital of the planet Mandalore, a role previously filled by the city of Keldabe, since the release of the sixty-eighth issue of Marvel's Star Wars comic series in February of 1983. With the release of The Essential Atlas by Jason Fry and Daniel Wallace, Keldabe was again named as the capital of Mandalore, while the pacifist Mandalorians that appeared in the television show were retconned to be members of the New Mandalorian faction, with Sundari explicitly deemed the capital of their political faction, per Fry's later young reader novel, Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy. The DK reference book Star Wars: The Clone Wars: What Is a Sith Warrior? by Glenn Dakin confused the two Mandalorian capitals, mistaking Keldabe for Sundari, while discussing the Bombing of the Memorial Shrine.
- The Clone Wars: Secret Missions 4: Guardians of the Chiss Key (Appears in hologram)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Mandalore Plot" (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Voyage of Temptation" (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Duchess of Mandalore"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Corruption"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Academy"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Assassin" (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "A Friend in Need"
- The Clone Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Eminence" (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Shades of Reason"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Lawless"
- Friends Like These
- (First identified as Sundari)
- The Art of Star Wars: The Clone Wars
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded