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How Mandalore Was Destroyed—Twice

Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin holding Grogu and firing a blaster in The Mandalorian

When it comes to the destruction of Mandalore, you’re gonna have to be more specific, because the Mandalorian’s home has had quite a few cataclysmic events in its checkered history. Events more tragic than Pedro Pascal being forced to hide his hot dad face behind a mask. More tragic than the fact that Grogu does not actually exist and I will not ever able to pinch his baby Yoda cheeks while he deals with dust bunnies. I’m sure it’s hard for you, dear reader, to imagine tragedies greater than this have happened. But trust me, they have.

How was Mandalore destroyed the first time?

Long ago, Mandalore was a steamy and lush jungle. Then, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. And by “Fire Nation,” I mean the Jedi. WAIT, WHAT? I know what you’re thinking: why would the Jedi attack Mandalore? Well, to be fair, the Mandalorians did try to steal the mystical darksaber from the Jedi. That might have been a faux pas. After centuries of violence and bloodshed, the surface of Mandalore was reduced to a barren wasteland. The event is known as the Mandalorian Cataclysm, and is generally viewed as a Rather Unfortunate Thing. It effectively ended the era of the Ancient Mandalorians and ushered in the rise of the New Mandalorians.

How was Mandalore destroyed the second time?

Okay, this is where things get even UGLIER. How could anything be uglier than a war that reduced a jungle planet to a desert? You’re about to find out. It all starts with the Empire deciding to be assholes (because they never miss the opportunity to do so) and making an effort to subjugate the planet during the Clone Wars. Darth Maul (the spiky-headed red guy) overthrew the New Mandalorian government with the help of his Shadow Collective, an organized alliance of some of the galaxy’s most notorious criminals. The planet was then made a colony of the Galactic Empire.

In order to quell Mandalorian resistance on the planet, the Empire engaged in a mass bombing campaign of the planet called the Night of a Thousand Tears. Most of Mandalore’s cities were leveled, and millions upon millions of Mandalorians died. Those who were not killed outright by the bombing were hunted down and terminated by droids and soldiers during the Great Purge of Mandalore. The goal of the genocide was to secure the planet so it could be mined for beskar, a nigh-indestructible metal alloy found only on Mandalore.

After the Great Purge, groups of surviving Mandalorians were scattered across the galaxy. Perhaps the most famous group of all is called the Tribe, which takes many customs from the traditions of the ancient Mandalorians, such as forbidding members to remove their helmets in the presence of others. And just in case you forgot, our favorite Mandalorian Din Djarin is a member of this very tribe!

(featured image: Disney)

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