Many fans are awaiting season 2 of The Mandalorian eagerly. For some, the wait may seem too long, and they are also looking for their “Mando fix”. What to do in the meantime? Are there any other Star Wars media where we can find something related to the Mandalorians?
Here is a (by no means exhaustive) list of some of the most notable Star Wars novels, TV series and video games where the Mandalorians play a prominent role.
1. Republic Commando Novel Series
Karen Traviss’s Republic Commando novels deserve the honourable mention and the first place. Despite nominally focussing on the Clone Wars and the clones, Mandalorian culture plays a prominent role in the series.
Moreover, Karen Traviss herself essentially founded the Mandalorian culture. Before her novels, the few mentions of the warriors mostly dealt with Boba Fett as the single representative. Karen Traviss invented Mandalorian language, songs, customs and other cultural elements. The books are full of them.
The plot follows a group of clone commandos during the time of the Clone Wars. The protagonists lost their original squadmates and are made into a new unit. They need to learn to deal with each other, breaking their original predefined experience and beginning the search for their individual identity. Eventually, they embrace Mandalorian culture as part of their heritage.
The first novel, Hard Contact, deals chiefly with their initial struggles and cooperation with a young, unexperienced Jedi whose struggles mirror their own. In the second novel, Triple Zero, the Mandalorian theme comes to the fore and remains throughout the rest of the series. The crucial figure for this appears in the form of Kal Skirata, a Mandalorian veteran whom Jango Fett had enlisted to train the clones on Kamino. Skirata, a Mando in heart and soul, took it as his personal mission to turn what he saw as confused, soulless kids into proper Mandalorians. He becomes “papa Kal” to many of the clones. The theme of fatherhood runs through the series very strongly and fans of The Mandalorian TV show can look for parallels.
2. Knights of the Old Republic/The Old Republic Game Series
Knights of the Old Republic is a 2003 video game of the RPG genre (recently updated for use on contemporary computers, and even with a mobile version). It was the first game where the Mandalorians made a notable appearance. The whole game takes place in the aftermath of The Mandalorian Wars – a violent conflict between the Republic and the Mandalorians that ended with the massacre of the Mandalorians at the hands of the Jedi Revan (who subsequently turned to the Dark Side, and his apprentice is the chief antagonist of the game).
The game is a classic RPG with a strong story. The player-created main character encounters and gathers a party of NPCs. One of them, encountered fairly early on, is a Mandalorian named Canderous Ordo. After the defeat of his people by Revan, Canderous, like most other Mandalorians, became a mercenary for hire. Unlike the rest of his brethren (who appear in the game often as enemies and outlaws causing trouble on various planets), Canderous thinks that his people lost their purpose and honour and longs for the return of the spirit of true Mandalorians. In Knights of the Old Republic 2, the Mandalorians appear on one planet as an allied force, Canderous’s dream becoming true.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is an MMO game loosely following KOTOR. Out of the eight playable classes, one is the Bounty Hunter. Their class story begins with entering the Great Hunt, a Galaxy-wide competition organised by the Mandalorians. Mandalorians are encountered frequently throughout the story both as protagonists and antagonists, and during the game, the Bounty Hunter gets the chance to become one of them. Mandalorians are present throughout the rest of the game even outside the BH story, as enemy mobs, companions, quest-giver NPCs, and enemy bosses.
3. The Clone Wars TV Series
After Karen Traviss’s novels, TCW was the second narrative that strongly expanded the lore surrounding the Mandalorians. They appear prominently in the second, fifth and seventh season.
The first appearance comes with the Mandalore arc in episodes 12-14 of the second season. Obi-Wan travels to Mandalore to aid the Duchess of Mandalore against the violent Deathwatch movement. This arc originally created confusion among the audience because it portrayed the Mandalorians of the time as a pacifist, with the Deathwatch being the group wishing to bring back the old war-like traditions.
Mandalore reappears in season 3, episodes 5-6, and the Deathwatch makes a brief appearance in season 4 episode 14. Major plotline focussed on Mandalore takes place between episodes 14-16 of S5 and episodes 9-11 of S7. The show explores the events leading to the Siege of Mandalore during the Clone Wars and the loss of the Darksaber.
4. Rebels TV Series
SW Rebels provides a follow-up to some of the Clone Wars events, especially the Mandalore plot. Even though the majority of the series deals with other topics, Mandalorians play a prominent role. One of the main characters, Sabine of Clan Wren, is a Mandalorian. The topic of her wishing to reconnect with her culture comes up especially in Season 3.
Mandalorians appear in S2 E13, S3 E7, S3 E 15-16 and the pilot of S4.
For the fans of The Mandalorian, what may be essential are the episodes that deal with the origins of the Darksaber and its rediscovery. This is explored in S3 E11, 15-16. The rebellion of the Mandalorians against the Empire comes in season 4 episode 1-2. That is where the up-to-date lore on the Mandalorians ends, and so far, we have to extrapolate how did the Darksaber end up in the hands of Moff Gideon and how did the clans end up scattered after the fall of the Empire. This is what we expect to be resolved in season 2 of The Mandalorian.