- "We will not be seen as butchers of innocents, but rather as protectors."
- — Cadden Blackthorne, Mandalore
The Mandalorian Protectors, also known as the Mando Cabure in Mando'a, were a branch of the Mandalorian Supercommandos during, and for some time after, the Clone Wars. In 15 ABY, Cadden Blackthorne took the mantle of Mandalore and began a campaign to unite the Mandalorian clans under one banner. From that point, the Protectors became the official governing body of the Mandalorian people.
At the start of the Clone Wars, the Grand Army of the Republic was established to combat the increasing threat of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. This army of clones was created by using the Mandalorian bounty hunter Jango Fett as a prime clone template. Among those clones formed were the ARC troopers who were to serve as elite soldiers, and amongst one of these commandos was Alpha-Ø2. However, unlike some of his brethren, he was born with the imprinted memories of his progenitor, Jango Fett. He ultimately went rogue and left Kamino for Mandalore with the intention of reforming the Supercommandos.
After arriving on the planet, Alpha-Ø2, who became known as Spar, went to the teachings of the Supercommando Codex of the True Mandalorians that had perished in the Battle of Galidraan during the Mandalorian Civil War. Once on Mandalore, Spar decided to reforge his people back into their noble traditions and found many willing recruits amongst the native police forces which even attracted members of the Death Watch into their ranks. As many felt that Spar was the son of Jango Fett, the former clone trooper decided to adopt the title of Mandalore the Resurrector. Eventually, his recruitment led to the group numbering 212 Protectors and included Fenn Shysa, Tobbi Dala, Locke Rekkon, and Gandon Belak.
Once formed, the Protectors entered into the Clone Wars on the side of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. This stemmed somewhat from the fact that Spar felt the Jedi responsible for the destruction of the True Mandalorians at the massacre on Galidraan, a sentiment that would last for decades to follow amongst many of his brethren. Thus, these Protectors worked to combat the Galactic Republic during the conflict and were responsible for a number of victories. Their alliance with the Separatists also provided them with better weaponry as well as an army of a thousand BL-series Battle Legionnaire droids. They participated in the a number of campaigns which included the Battle of New Bornalex, Battle of Null, and the Battle of New Holstice in 21 BBY. Shortly afterward, a number of them were apparently massacred by their allies, the Geonosians, at Zaadja, and suffered another defeat at the Second Battle of Kamino.
They continued their operations until they fell into a disastrous mission to Norval II in 19 BBY, where they had been betrayed by Darth Sidious. At the time, they were tasked with a mission to capture Republic Senator Padmé Amidala of Naboo. During the battle, the majority of the Protectors were killed and left only three survivors; Spar himself along with Shysa and Dala. Following their near destruction, Spar seemingly disappeared and the leadership of the Protectors fell to Shysa who attempted to rebuild their numbers.
The Galactic Civil WarEdit
Following the end of the Clone Wars, the Galactic Empire was formed which saw the rise of slaving operations in the Mandalore System. At the time, Shysa was training the Protectors from members of the Mandalore's elite police force in order to covertly attack their oppressors who had taken over the Mandalorian government. During this time, Suprema, the leader of the slavers, had the infamous Mandalorian armor confiscated which saw the Protectors change their tactics. In order to fund their operations, Shysa had his Protectors took some mercenary work at the time and eventually they succeeded in freeing themselves from Suprema's rule shortly before the Battle of Endor. This only occurred when Tobbi Dala sacrificed his life to destroy the Suprema and the City of Bone.
Upon gaining their freedom, Shysa worked tirelessly to restore the Mandalorian Protectors as with the death of the Suprema; he now had many freed Mandalorians willing to join the organization and more importantly, he gained resources in the form of weaponry as well as their armor. In this period, the Protectors were sometimes seen as a mercenary unit though they worked as a homeguard detachment for the Mandalore Sector.
At some point after the Battle of Endor, Fenn died. The nature of his death remained unknown, but its effect on the Mandalorians was dire. With nobody to succeed him as Mandalore, the clans were broken and scattered among Mandalorian space. Despite this, three Supercommandos managed to keep the planet Mandalore in order, establishing a temporary government that oversaw the protection of the world. Headed by Locke Rekkon, Gandon Belak and a new addition to the Supercommandos, Kiar Jensen, watched over the world with vigilance, prepared to fend off any external threat and quell any internal conflicts.
This continued for some time, and the clans lost contact with each other, each planet controlled by Mandalorians coming under the control of a regional Alor, which translated from Mando'a to mean, roughly, a warlord. With the clans fractured and scattered, Locke, who refused to take on the mantle of Mandalore due to his lack of influence and charisma required to reunite the clans, was left with little else but hope for a better candidate.
The Xen'Chi WarEdit
During the first year of the Xen'Chi War, the Mandalorians remained predominately out of the conflict, instead selling themselves out as mercenaries to the highest bidder and protecting their own territories. It wasn't to be for another year before this would change. Early in 15 ABY, a lone ship arrived in the Mandalore System and, subsequently, exploded. When Locke and Gandon went to investigate the matter, they discovered a single individual floating in space, unconscious and barely alive due to the vacuum environment and failing life support in his armor. The two Mandalorians took the man to a medical building in Keldabe where he underwent full recovery.
Upon his awakening, they learned the man's identity as Cadden Blackthorne, and that he was guided to Mandalore to fulfill a premonition he had. Neither Mandalorian much liked the idea of a Jedi among them, but they were tempered by the history of Blackthorne's family, and allowed the man to prove himself. Cadden underwent arduous trials, forsaking his Jedi self and fighting and adhering to the Mandalorian way. He passed all the trials they set forth with skill unmatched, even without his seeking the aid of his Force abilities. While Gandon remained reluctant to place his fealty in the hands of a Jedi, fighting as a Mandalorian with a Mandalorian heritage or not. Eventually, however, he seceded to these views and, unanimously, the informal government the three Supercommandos formed was quickly torn down as a new Mandalore rose up.
Blackthorne was quick to rally the combat-capable indiivduals on Mandalore and, as his first act, he initiated a campaign to reunite the clans. He brought swift action against the regional warlords, and gradually the planets turned over their fealty to the new Mandalore and his Protectors. Following the end of his war, Blackthorne initiating an intense training regimen to induct new members among their ranks while, simultaneously, initiated the escond part of his crusade; Operation: Dissection.
Beginning with the Second Battle of Mechis III and ending with the Battle of Myrkr, Operation: Dissection was meant to pave the way for the portion of Xen'Chi occupied space between the Perlemian Trade Route and Hydian Way to be reclaimed. The Protectors did not occupy a single planet, but rather wiped out all Xen'Chi presence on each battlefield. At this time, thousands of new Mandalorian shock troopers were trained for each world under Mandalorian control, thus effectively spreading out their defense of the Protectors' borders. Roughly nine thousand of these Mandalorians were positioned on Mandalore, in the anticipation of a Xen'Chi counter-attack to Operation: Dissection. The anticipation came far more swiftly than Blackthorne or his Council could have anticipated, and Mandalore saw devastation following the alien invaders' response to their aggression, but the scale of destruction the alien invaders left was relatively minimal.
Upon the successful completion of Operation: Dissection, Cadden left the Mandalorians, but did not return. Following Blackthorne's next plan of attack, Garen lead the Mandalorians on Operation: Hammerfall, which was to claim Xen'Chi occupied worlds, such as Bandomeer, as Mandalorian territories and add to the Protectors' ranks. It was during this time, not long after the attack on Bandomeer, that Garen reluctantly accepted the fact that he was to become the new Mandalore, given that Blackthorne failed to return or contact the Protectors during his absence. The Mandalorians thus assumed that their leader was likely to be dead, a sentiment not all of the members of the Protectors shared and one of the many contributing factors to the great political unrest following the change in leadership.
Operation: Hammerfall ended just before the Battle of Chil'a'Chin. The Protectors became an active, and arguably crucial, force in the battle against the Xen'Chi homeworld. During this time, the people of Mandalore worked with MandalMotors and MandalTech to reconstruct the Mandalore Defense Force.
Under Starfall as the new Mandalore, the Protectors began to rebuild after the Xen'Chi War. Garen followed in his predecessor's footsteps, and oversaw the rebuilding efforts from their losses in the war, and looked for new ways to defend their territories from external threats. Seeing the Jedi as a potential enemy, despite the growing, yet shaky, relations between the two, he sent Togra Locklear to Onderon to request from the Jedi Council an outpost to be built on the planet's largest moon Dxun following the Cult of Shadow's attack on the Jedi Temple. The council later approved the request, and a company of Mandalorians were sent to set up camp, with the purpose of aiding the Jedi should another assault happen upon the world. Secretly, however, Garen had in mind that the outpost would monitor the Jedi, should they need to be kept in check by his own people.
When Mandalore fell under attack by what appeared to be forces from the Galactic Empire, Garen launched a decisive counter-attack operation. This was an operation orchestrated by Darth Trayus to divert their attention from other priorities, notably his attack on Onderon. Following the end of this campaign, Garen was informed by one of his generals, Nedth Dinsan, that new lodes of beskar ore had been found north of the city Enceri, after cleaning up the wreckage left by the Imperial assault from earlier.
With the new beskar ore found, Garen was able to lead the Mandalorians into a new state of economic incline, which effectively began a process that countered their losses from their campaign on the Rimma Trade Route.
Much of the Mandalorian Protectors' teachings came from the Supercommando Codex, which contained many commandments that not only resurrected but modernized the ancient Canons of Honor. Thus, they highlighted the many tenants of the resol'nare which governed Mandalorian society. In addition to these tenets, Mandalore Cadden Blackthorne revised the Canons of Honor into the Code of Honor, which served as a means to guide the warriors to their former glory. Unlike the Mandalorians of old, who were crusaders facing various other races for honor, these Mandalorians simply protected the borders of the Mandalore Sector. They also were the closest thing the Mando'ade had to a police force and worked to protect the Mandalorian people as a whole. Despite this being the case, they were at times involved in operations if the fate of the galaxy was at stake. Part of the reason of the governing body was to stem the mercenary style ways of the Mandalorian people who had often previously fought only for money. At the time of the Clone Wars, however, its members believed in the righteousness of their cause.
In terms of tactics, their strategies varied during the different periods the Protectors were in operation. At the time of the Clone Wars, they served as elite shock troopers who made use of superior weaponry as well as training to decimate their foes. Furthermore, Spar's origin as a former clone trooper meant that he knew critical weaknesses within the clone army which allowed for devastating blitzkrieg style attacks. They also made use of battle droids to distract their foes while the Protectors themselves used jetpacks to outmaneuver their foes. In the post-Clone Wars era, many of the resources the group possessed were gone and thus they had to alter their combat strategy. This led to them becoming an insurgent movement that used their police training to wage a guerrilla campaign against their enemy. However, once they regained their freedom, they returned to the old tactics of heavy weaponry and battle tactics.
The missions of the Protectors were often high profile and difficult targets that were incapable of being overwhelmed by simple brute force. As a result, the Protectors preferred the use of tactics, employing mind over matter. Due to there being only 212 members in the organization, the group often found itself very busy during the Clone Wars. In the post war period, they were simply involved in liberating their homeworld and conducted hit-and-run operations against their foes. Following that period, their mission profile simply involved the strict protection of the Mandalore Sector, and under Fenn Shysa's and Cadden Blackthorne's leadership, extended to galactic protection.
The Mandalorian Protectors were heavily centered on rank, a practice that owed itself to their culture's long tradition of discipline and the values of respect. The lowest rank was that of a private, or verd'ika. The next rank was corporal (alor'uus). The sergeant or ruus'alor was followed by the lieutenant, or ver'alor. Above these ranks were the captain (alor'ad) and commander, which, in Mando'a, was the al'verde. One single Mandalorian was chosen as the General of the Army, though this was considered more of a term than an actual rank. The ultimate authority over the Protectors was the Mandalore who served as commander-in-chief of the group.
Note: The following list is structured based on position over rank, to avoid repetitiveness.
- Beviin Aden
- Durus Ferrum
- Jahaal Aden
- Jorso'ran Tracinya
- Kevin Rasok
- Kiar Jensen
- Nasrey Aden
- Togra Locklear
- Concord Dawn was home to many Mandalorians, including the infamous Jaster Mereel and Jango Fett.
- Concordia was the moon of Mandalore, governed by Pre Vizsla during the Clone Wars. During the New Mandalorian Crusade, the moon was fully integrated into the Mandalorian war effort, and maintained its membership status in the Protectors after the end of the Xen'Chi War.
- Dxun, also known as the Demon Moon, was the largest of four moons that orbited the Inner Rim world of Onderon. Like its parent planet, it was covered almost entirely by dense jungles that were populated by many species of fierce, predatory animals. The Protectors reclaimed the world after the Xen'Chi War, setting up an outpost that was meant to supplement the defenses of Onderon, but secretly was also designed to keep a watchful eye on their supposed allies.
- Gargon was a planet that produced much of the galaxy's phobium, a dense metallic mineral most famous for its use in the Death Star's power core.
- Kalevala once housed the New Mandalorian group, which later joined the original incarnation of the Protectors. Located in the Mandalore system, it was a world that was reclaimed by the new Protectors during their New Crusade.
- Mandallia was located in the Mandalore system and was home to the Mandallian Giants. This world was reclaimed by the Protectors during their New Crusade.
- Mandalore was the capital of the Mandalorian Protectors. Though its location was generally known throughout the galaxy, most of the galactic citizens believed the Mandalorians to be extinct, and didn't care to worry about the planet, until the events that led to the Protectors' renown.
- Ordo, home to Clan Ordo, was a long-standing member world of the Mandalorian people. Though it held no real significant importance, its sheer pride of being the homeworld of one of the previous Mandalores in history made it a place of value to the Mandalorian Clans.
- Shogun, a crystalline world, was conquered many generations ago, and remained under Mandalorian control since.
- Vorpa'ya, located near Concord Dawn, was an early target during the New Crusade and became one of the first planets to join the Protectors as a result.
- The Crimson Deaths were an elite group of Mandalorians whom specialized in Special Operations. They were led by Kiar Jensen, and consisted of a majority of her clan.
- Dha Werda Verda were a second elite group of Mandalorians. This special breed of warriors were the commando division of the Protectors. Different from Kiar's Crimson Deaths, the Shadow Warriors were much more combat-focused than their SpecOps bretheren. They often found themselves behind enemy lines, and generally making a mess of their fortifications and defenses. This unit was created by Cadden shortly after the unification of the clans.
- Mando'ade Kandosii Adu (The First Noble Sons of Mandalore) were the first individuals to be trained personally by Gandon Belak to become the drill instructors for the new generation of Mandalorians. With the anticipation of rapid growth, the decision to create this special group of individuals was a very important one, and Mandalore Cadden Blackthorne wasted no time in issuing the order for these warriors to be put aside for their specialized training.
- Spectres were the elite of the elite. Hand-picked by Garen Starfall and his Mandalorian council, Spectres were chosen to do the most dangerous of missions. Often operating alone, or with very minimal support from the rest of the Protectors, these individuals were chosen only from the finest of warriors.
- Shock Troopers - This is the standard unit for the Mandalorian Protectors. Most members of the Mandalorian army are shock troopers. Highly trained soldiers with a warrior's ethic and code instilled, these individuals are something akin to a super-soldier in terms of skill. Though nowhere near as skilled as their Supercommando bretheren, they will still do their job well. All pilots and vehicle-operating crewmembers are trained to be shock troopers as well. A typical shock trooper will go through over five standard months of training and advanced training in order to prepare them for the higher standards of the Mandalorian war machine. The Mandalorian term that best describes new shock troopers is Ge'verd, meaning "almost a warrior". Some shock troopers progress their training to become supercommandos, but most simply become warriors. The latter of the two can happen at any time between surviving their first battle to training intensely for months and passing a personal trial.
- Warriors - It should be noted that shock troopers, while many will never become supercommandos, will often go on to become full Verde, "warriors", and earn the right to wear their own full suit of hand-crafted Mandalorian armor, much like their supercommando bretheren. Though not as specially-trained as supercommandos, warriors are, by no means, lesser than the elite caste. Warriors are essentially shock troopers who progress from Ge'verd to full Verd, thus completing their training as frontline elite soldiers. This is typically done through battle, and is often considered the Mandalorian "trial by fire".
- Supercommandos - The elite of the elite, these individuals are led personally by the Mandalore. Warriors both by heart and discipline, the supercommandos are the most dangerous of Mandalorians. Supercommandos hold the standard shock trooper training, but take it to the next level by spending several months in intensive training programs, honing their skills and becoming ruthless, lethal warriors in combat. A supercommando can expect to spend nearly another standard year of this type of training regiment before receiving the honor of this title. Several supercommandos go on to train in piloting or vehicle operations, though this is nowhere near as common as their shock trooper bretheren.
- Drill Instructors - Highly trained shock troopers, drill instructors are responsible for recruiting and training individuals into the Mandalorian army, turning them into shock troopers. Only a select few drill instructors are qualified to continue shock trooper training, transforming the most capable individuals into supercommandos.
- The Fleet - While mostly an in-your-face confrontational people, even honor-bound warriors require space supremacy if they are to survive in this volatile galaxy. As such, the Mandalorians have created the Mandalore Defense Force to guard their borders against outside threats. Additionally, the Mandalorian First Assault Fleet was created to serve as a frontal attack force against Mandalorian enemies, and will often employ warriors and supercommandos at the controls of their fighters and other single-manned craft.