- "They called themselves the 'Death Watch' and followed a barbarian called Vizsla, who believed that the Mandalorians should conquer the galaxy."
- ―Dooku, about Tor Vizsla and his followers
Tor Vizsla was a male Human Mandalorian warrior and the first leader of the Death Watch faction during the Mandalorian Civil War. He founded the splinter group following Jaster Mereel's ascension to Mandalore—leader of the Mandalorians—in 60 BBY in direct competition against Mereel's promulgation of the Supercommando Codex. While Mereel sought to root out what he saw as immoral banditry that had taken hold among the Mandalorians, Vizsla wished to continue their marauding ways, with the ultimate goal of starting a new Mandalorian War and conquering the galaxy in the name of his forefathers. To this end, he and his supporters waged war against Mereel's True Mandalorians for several years, with heavy casualties on both sides, until Vizsla was seemingly killed on Concord Dawn.
Vizsla and the Death Watch later reappeared on Korda Six where he managed to trap the True Mandalorians and kill Mereel as the Mandalore was betrayed by his second-in-command, forcing the True Mandalorians to retreat. After several more years in hiding, he laid another trap for the True Mandalorians and Mereel's successor, Jango Fett, in which a strike team of Jedi were manipulated into slaughtering Vizsla's enemies for him. The only survivor of the battle, Fett was sold into slavery and spent several years aboard a spice transport. He managed to escape, however, and recovered a suit of Mandalorian armor from Galidraan. Fett then hunted Vizsla to Corellia where Fett destroyed Vizsla's ship, the Death Rattle, and fought Vizsla hand-to-hand on the planet's surface. Vizsla injected Fett with a poison to knock him out, but before he lost consciousness, Fett slashed open Vizsla's stomach. Attracted by the scent of blood, a pack of dire-cats attacked, killing and devouring Vizsla, leaving Fett to wake up the following day, unharmed.
Hunting Jaster MereelEdit
- "They dressed themselves up as patriots wanting a return to the good old days of the Mando empire, but it was just a cover for organized crime."
- ―Kal Skirata
Tor Vizsla was a Human male member of the Mandalorian Clan Vizsla. In 60 BBY, Jaster Mereel took the title of Mandalore, claiming leadership over the Mandalorian clans that still followed their traditional warrior culture. He instituted his Supercommando Codex as a new moral standard for all Mandalorians to follow, asserting that Mandalorians should conduct themselves honorably as nothing more than highly-paid mercenaries rather than conquerors. He also hoped to eliminate the public perception of Mandalorians as amoral killers. Vizsla opposed this reform, however, and sought the title of Mandalore for himself. He advocated the belief that the Mandalorians should return to their roots as conquerors, claiming that it was their birthright to wage a second war for control of the galaxy, and destroy the hated pacifist regime of the New Mandalorians. Gathering like-minded Mandalorian hardliners to his cause, he led a violent coup against Mereel's supporters and formed a splinter group which he cast as the Death Watch, adapting his clan sigil to symbolize the movement.
Scattering Mereel and his men on Concord Dawn in 58 BBY, Vizsla's forces hunted them across the planet. Finding a young Jango Fett working in his father's fields, Vizsla questioned the boy while his companion held him at gunpoint. Learning that Jango's father had been sheltering Mereel, Vizsla brutally interrogated the Journeyman Protector. When he refused to talk, Vizsla had one of his men put a blaster to his son's head, threatening to kill the boy if the elder Fett didn't cooperate. Before any harm could come to her son, Jango Fett's mother shot and killed the Death Watchman holding him. The elder Fett urged him to run and the boy ran for the fields with several of Vizsla's men in pursuit. As they caught up to the young Fett, he was saved by Mereel and his remaining followers. Hearing the ensuing firefight in the fields, Vizsla ordered his men to burn them while they murdered Jango's parents and kidnapped his sister. Confident the fire had finished off his nemesis, the Death Watch settled in for two days of rest and recreation to celebrate their victory in a nearby town. There, they came under attack from Mereel and what remained of his army. During the battle, Vizsla took cover inside his tank and Jango placed an explosive on its underside. When the explosion cleared, Mereel searched the debris and, though no body was found, Vizsla was presumed dead.
- "Finally I get to wipe you from Mandalorian history forever…"
- ―Tor Vizsla upon Jaster Mereel's death
However, Vizsla was encountered alive in 52 BBY, albeit extensively scarred by the explosion. Luring the True Mandalorians into an ambush on Korda Six, the Death Watch decimated more of Mereel's forces with help from the native Kordans. Vizsla appeared on the battlefield aboard a tank and gunned Mereel down himself when the Mandalore was abandoned by his own second-in-command, Montross—who sought leadership of the Mandalorians for himself. When the True Mandalorians retreated, leadership passed to Jango Fett who swore to hunt down Vizsla once and for all.
When the governor of Galidraan agreed to pass information about the Death Watch's whereabouts on to Jango Fett in exchange for his Mandalorians putting down a rebellion in 44 BBY, Vizsla set yet another trap for his foes. He coerced the governor into requesting help from the Jedi Order, claiming the Mandalorians were slaughtering political activists. When Fett met the governor at his castle, Vizsla attempted to kill him, firing on Fett from behind a curtain where he hid with several of his men. Fett retreated, leaping out a nearby window and activating his jetpack, but Vizsla disabled it with a shot from his blaster pistol, sending Fett hurtling to the ground below.
Satisfied the trap was a success, Vizsla and the Death Watch took their leave to create evidence of civilian deaths while the Jedi, led by Master Dooku, arrived at the Mandalorian camp and killed every Mandalorian except for their leader. Jango Fett was handed over to the governor, who promptly had him sold into slavery.
- "You think this scratch is going to kill me?"
"No… But they will."
- ―Tor Vizsla and Jango Fett, moments before Vizsla's death.
After two years aboard a spice freighter, Fett made his escape during a pirate attack. Returning to Galidraan, he recovered his armor and held the governor at gunpoint, demanding to know where he could find Vizsla. The governor told him the Death Watch had left Galidraan only two days prior, heading for Corellia. Over Corellia, Vizsla sat in a prominent seat on the bridge of his ship, the Death Rattle, tended to by a Twi'lek servant when his troops detected an incoming projectile on the ship's sensors. Fett used a starfighter to disable the Death Rattle's engines while he himself stormed the bridge by smashing his way through the main viewport. As the ship began to break up, Vizsla fled toward the escape pods, ordering his men to abandon ship. Fett gave chase and they scuffled briefly before making their way down to the planet aboard a pod of their own.
The two men fought savagely with their fists, evenly matched, until their brawl carried them over a cliff and into a river. When they washed ashore, Vizsla injected Fett with a poison that made him near-lethargic. Before he could deliver the death blow, however, Fett slashed Vizsla's stomach open with a pair of blades ejected from his gauntlets. As Fett slipped into unconsciousness, the Death Watch leader was attacked, killed, and eaten by a pack of dire-cats who were attracted by the scent of his blood but ignored Fett completely.
- "We conquered whole star systems. We had an empire. When cities heard our armies were coming, populations fled before a shot was fired. Now we cling to a pathetic sector of dirtball planets, we scramble for the crumbs that the cowardly aruetiise throw when they want us to fight for them, and they use us as a breeding stock for their clone armies. The aruetiise will always treat us like an animal species to be used for their convenience until we stand up for ourselves again."
- ―Lorka Gedyc
Vizsla and his followers were largely reviled by the Mandalorian community long after his death. Jango Fett's clone son, Boba Fett, believed that destroying the Death Watch had been his father's lasting legacy for the Mandalorians. While the True Mandalorians remained defeated, however, the Death Watch carried on in secret for decades, continuing to resurface years after Vizsla had been killed.
Another member of Vizsla's clan, Pre Vizsla, took over clandestine leadership of the splinter group while acting as the governor of Mandalore's moon, Concordia, and publicly supported Duchess Satine Kryze of Kalevala. Under Pre Vizsla's leadership, the Death Watch undertook a terrorist bombing campaign during the Clone Wars against Kryze's New Mandalorians who controlled the city of Sundari and conspired with the Confederacy of Independent Systems in order to reconquer the whole of the planet. Their plot was foiled when Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi came to Mandalore to investigate rumors that Kryze was building a secret army to fight for the Separatists, discovering Pre Vizsla's hidden base and uncovering his true allegiances in the process.
By the end of the Clone Wars, leadership of the Death Watch had passed to Lorka Gedyc, who advocated cooperation with the new Galactic Empire as a means of regaining the Mandalorians' strength. Former members of the Cuy'val Dar—a group of training sergeants handpicked by Jango Fett to train the Grand Army of the Republic's Clone commandos—Dred Priest and Isabet Reau actively recruited for the Death Watch in the city of Keldabe. Priest remarked to fellow Cuy'val Dar member Mij Gilamar that Gedyc had changed the Death Watch for the better from the way it had been under Tor Vizsla.
By 1 ABY, Vizsla's movement had passed largely into legend. Teti Viba, having styled himself "Overlord" of the Death Watch, had moved the group's headquarters from Concordia to the forest moon of Endor. There, they continued to operate in secret, having allied themselves with Black Sun, until a band of spacers in the employ of Imperial Commander D'krn infiltrated their bunker, killed Viba, and took a sample of his blood to create a new batch of stormtroopers.
Personality and traitsEdit
Described by Count Dooku as a barbarian, Vizsla was indeed brutal and vicious in his methods. On Concord Dawn, he commanded his troops to slaughter the young Jango Fett's family, and later permitted them to take whatever they wanted from a local town. When he orchestrated the Battle of Galidraan, he ordered the governor of the planet to tell the Jedi that Fett's Mandalorians had been slaughtering women and children. When the governor protested that there was no evidence of such crimes, Vizsla promised that he would create some.
Vizsla was also narcissistic and egomaniacal. He resented Jaster Mereel for stealing the title of Mandalore from him and fed his ego by claiming that he and his followers would conquer the galaxy as their Mandalorian forefathers had intended. His followers were little more than sycophantic thugs held together by the force of his charisma.
Vizsla wore a suit of black Mandalorian armor which he adorned with a red cape and his clan sigil on the shoulders. His gauntlets mounted several weapons including a wrist rocket, flamethrower, whipcord launcher, and poison injector. He also used various blaster rifles and pistols in combat, as well as a tank on at least two occasions. He also possessed a personal starship, the Death Rattle.
Behind the scenesEdit
The character of Tor Vizsla was created by Star Wars writer Haden Blackman for the four-part comic series Jango Fett: Open Seasons, released on May 1, 2002 shortly before the premier of Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones. Initially known simply as "Vizsla", he was finally given a first name on August 18, 2009 in The Essential Atlas by authors Jason Fry and Daniel Wallace.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars supervising director, Dave Filoni, applied the name Vizsla to Pre Vizsla, the primary antagonist of the three-part Mandalorian story arc of The Clone Wars: Season Two as a reference to the Expanded Universe material, also including the name and symbol of the Death Watch. The two characters were later connected by the Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia, which retconned the Death Watch insignia into the symbol of Clan Vizsla.
- Jango Fett: Open Seasons (First appearance) (Appears in flashback(s))
- Restraint (Indirect mention only)
- Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel (Mentioned only)
- Imperial Commando: 501st (Mentioned only)
- Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice (Mentioned only)
- "The History of the Mandalorians"—Star Wars Insider 80
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 124 (VIZ1-4, Vizsla)
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars: The Comics Companion
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas (First identified as Tor)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Episode Guide
- The Bounty Hunter Code: From the Files of Boba Fett
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "The History of the Mandalorians"—Star Wars Insider 80
- ↑ 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 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 Jango Fett: Open Seasons
- ↑ The Official Star Wars Fact File 124 (VIZ1-4, Vizsla)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- ↑ The Essential Guide to Warfare
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Imperial Commando: 501st
- ↑ Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel
- ↑ Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Mandalore Plot"
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Duchess of Mandalore"
- ↑ —Features downloadable Mando'a word lists, a grammar guide, and sound files made by Karen Traviss of spoken Mando'a (last update of the Mando'a dictionary: April 2009)
- ↑ "Ready for Battle"—Star Wars Insider 115
- ↑ The Essential Reader's Companion
- ↑ Darth Maul—Death Sentence 1