Din Djarin is on a quest for redemption in the first episode of The Mandalorian season 3, and that quest leads directly to the Mandalorian home planet of Mandalore. We’ve been to Mandalore a few times in the Star Wars universe so far (at least the canon version of it), including in the Star Wars Rebels animated series and in flashbacks on The Mandalorian. But we still haven’t gotten a full look at that planet, even in its ruined state, though the new season of The Mandalorian may be able to change that.
In an interview with Polygon, director and executive producer Rick Famuyiwa explained that Mandalore is incredibly important to this season of the show, and is where much of its biggest action beats will take place.
“The idea of Mandalore, the story around it and the lore and the Great Purge and its effect on this society of people, both what they did in the animated series and what’s hinted at on the show, has been very central,” Famuyiwa told Polygon. “[It has been] part of the story that’s hung over it all and what it all means, particularly for this covert of Mandalorians that are in hiding. The place now gets to have some context and sort of gravitational pull toward the events that are happening.”
With all of its newfound importance to the story, here’s everything you need to know about Mandalore before Din Djarin and Grogu actually arrive.
What is Mandalore, exactly?
Mandalore is an ancient planet and, along with its moon Concordia and another planet within the system, Kalevala, it is the traditional home of the Mandalorian people and culture. Mandalore is also home to beskar, the super-durable metal that Mandalorian armor is made out of, which can only be found in a few select spots in the galaxy. The planet also used to be home to a massive creature called a Mythosaur, which was supposedly tamed by a legendary Mandalorian warrior and whose skull is now the crest of the Mandalorian.
What’s up with the Mandalorian civil wars?
Alongside its precious metals and its peoples’ warrior ways, Mandalore was also famous for the ferocity of its civil wars. In fact, so frequent and horrific were those wars that most of the surface of Mandalore became inhospitable, and its people were forced to live mostly in massive domed cities or underground.
Who ruled Mandalore?
In and around all of these civil wars, Mandalore has always generally been ruled by specific family houses, clans, or factions. Among those is the Kryze family, which Bo-Katan is a member of, but there have also been others, like the Shadow Collective, which was ruled by Darth Maul.
What was the Great Purge?
The Mandalorians were, unsurprisingly for a proud and traditional warrior people, very resistant to the attempted takeover by the Galactic Empire. So much so that they repelled many Imperial attacks before the galaxy’s new overlords became tired of the resistance and simply decided to stamp Mandalore out of existence (or close to it) instead. To do this, the Empire conducted what The Mandalorians now know as the Great Purge, a massive genocide that involved the heat destruction of the entire planet’s surface, during a bombing campaign known as the Night of a Thousand Tears, turning most of it to glass and crystal — thus finishing the job of wrecking the planet that Mandalorians themselves had done by accident for hundreds of years.
This event more or less ended Mandalore’s time as one of the galaxy’s greatest and most powerful planets.