The Mandalorians and Jedi share a fated relationship that has long been mired in a rivalry that was started by conflict and perpetuated by continued antagonistic events. The entire history and timeline behind this ancient feud have not yet been fully revealed, but as indicated by the new Mandalorian series, pieces of info are being revealed slowly over time.
Why Did the Jedi and Mandalorians Start Fighting?
The Mandalorians are a proud cultural group with warrior skills, and this caused them to naturally cross paths with the Jedi. One of the most historic events that proved this was when a group known as the Mandalorian Crusaders launched an unprovoked attack against an inner-rim planet. The Jedi intervened and put Mandalore on high alert. From this point on, Mandalore would be a critical planet for political reasons that would cause them to cross paths with the republic, separatists, Jedi, and the Sith.
Now let’s dive in deeper details and events chronicling the conflict between Mandalorians and Jedi throughout Star Wars canonical history.
Star Wars Clone Wars S2 E12 The Mandalore Plot
Viewers start to gain more knowledge about the relationship between the Jedi and Mandalore in episode 12 of the Star Wars: Clone Wars season 2 series. At this point in time, things are neutral between the two sides. But Obi-Wan visits the planet of Mandalore to investigate rumors that the Mandalorians plan to go against the Republic. The Jedi are concerned since the Mandalorian Duchess Satine has promised to be a peaceful ruler of New Mandalore.
Eventually, it’s revealed that governor Pre Viszla of Mandalore is the leader of the Death Watch clan and plans to work with Count Dooku and the Separatists to overthrow Duchess Satine. The Death Watch have a base on Concordia, Mandalore’s moon. During Satine’s rule, it was believed that all of the exiled Mandalorian warriors passed away on this moon.
Obi-Won is forced to duel Pre Viszla who uses the Dark Saber but loses Obi-Won and flees. This milestone event is another example of why the Mandalorians and Jedi have clashed. Even though the ruler during this time sought peace, the violent warriors of Mandalore eventually take over after siding with the Sith. Viszla also declares how the Mandalorians are naturally born to be warriors and cannot pursue peace.
One last important clue first revealed in this episode is the cubist mural of the Mandalorian Crusades. The first conflict between Jedi and Mandalorians seems to have stemmed from the Mandalorian Crusades which appear to be the most apparent catalyst for the constant feud between the two. More on this war is explained in the next section.
Mandalorian S1 E8 Redemption & Canon of The Mandalorian-Jedi War
When Din Djarin revisits the armorer in this episode, he explains to her how the foundling he’s with, Grogu, has powers of the mind. The armorer responds with knowledge about the Jedi sorcerers who fought against their legendary leader Mandalore the Great. She goes on to refer to how the Jedi were enemies. This also marks the first time Mandalore the Great was ever mentioned in Star Wars canon.
The rest of the historical data about the Mandalorian-Jedi War were fully established in the book The Essential Atlas, and also pieced together through various canonical sources such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Complete Season Two Featurette: Creating Mandalore. Sources such as these explain how Mandalorians would often encounter and lose battles to the Jedi due to their lightsabers and magical powers. From there, the Mandalorians created their Beskar armor and arsenal of weapons to give them the advantage to fight back and win.
The pinnacle of these battles saw a group known as the Mandalorian Crusaders who chose to attack an inner-rim planet known as Ubduria. They viewed this race as dishonorable cowards who deserved death. This led to the aid of the Jedi Knights who fought back against the ancient Mandalorian Crusaders. This milestone time in Mandalorian history is another key reason why so many Mandalorians automatically view the Jedi as natural enemies of their kind.
And finally, after this ordeal, there was one final epic battle between the Mandalorians and Jedi Knights that took place on Mandalore. This plant-destroying battle saw the Jedi emerge as the victors, at the cost of the Mandalore planet being turned into a white desert.
Star Wars Clone Wars S5 E15 Shades of Reason
In this episode of the Clone Wars CGI animated series, we learn how the peaceful rule of Duchess Satine and her neutral relationship with the Jedi are forever ruined once Death Watch and the Sith cooperate to murder her and take over Mandalore. Their evil plot is successful and Satine tragically dies in her beloved Obi-Won’s arms. Sadly, the developing romantic relationship between Obi-Wan and Satine seemed like a way to form a peaceful bond between Mandalore and the Jedi.
To further the rift between the Jedi and Mandalorians, once Pre Viszla establishes rulership over Mandalore, he betrays Darth Maul and his brother Savage Opress, imprisoning them both. The Sith brothers eventually escape and Darth Maul duels Viszla, and the dark Sith beheads the Mandalorian. At that point, Darth Maul himself takes over Death Watch and puts Mandalore in extreme opposition to the Jedi.
Star Wars Rebels S3 E15 Trials of the Darksaber
This CGI-animated episode has one of the most direct references to Mandalore’s history. The Mandalorian Fenn Rau meets with the Jedi Knight Kana Jarrus and shares the history behind the legendary Dark Saber. Fenn explains how Tarre Vizsla was the first Mandalorian inducted into the Jedi order. He forged his own special weapon, the Dark Saber, which he wielded until his passing. Afterward, his Dark Saber was kept in a Jedi temple.
Members of House Viszla, one of the clans of Mandalorian society, who later became known as Death Watch, stole the dark saber from the Jedis. With the Dark Saber, House Viszla slayed any who opposed them, forcing their dominance. Their quest for rule caused them to defeat all who tried to resist them, including any Jedi. This all circles back to Death Watch, Pre Viszla, and the Clone Wars. This move might also have been one of the most significant encounters that renewed conflict between the Mandalorians and the Jedi.
What Does the Future Hold Between Mandalorians and Jedi?
These are the best explanations as to why the Jedi and Mandalorians fight and we’re just as excited as you to see Disney / Lucasfilm further explore this interesting canonical history. It’s evident to see that the Mandalorians are prone to pursuing violent means when they choose to attack other planets or oppress their own kind, and when doing so, there’s a good chance they’ll face off against Jedi Knights. And as long as they’re still around, the Jedi will attempt to help and protect the defenders and oppressed against any adversaries.
In the current live-action Mandalorian series, there have been more setup for Bo-Katan, the sister of Duchess Satine, who still wishes to rule over Mandalore and bring glory back to her people. And let’s not forget, Dar Djarin has been helping the Jedi by rescuing Grogu, and has formed a fatherly familiar bond with the little green guy. All of this bodes well for the relationship between the Mandalorians and Jedi, and hopefully, things will continue to improve with these developments.