History of Star Wars is our series where we take a close look at the galaxy far, far away and examine important organizations, locations, and events that may play into what’s ahead in the series and movies.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is returning. The animated series set during the prequel era of Star Wars was canceled in 2013, but will now continue on Disney’s streaming service with 12 episodes. We don’t have any confirmed details about what the 12 installments will include, but the trailer for the return hints at the Siege of Mandalore because it ends with Ahsoka Tano appearing in a hologram alongside Bo-Katan Kryze, a Mandalorian. And because of comments from The Clone Wars executive producer Dave Filoni and information in the novel Ahsoka, we know Ahsoka’s path led to Mandalore. Let’s break down what we know about the Siege of Mandalore.
What is the Siege of Mandalore?
The Clone Wars came to an end with Order 66. Until the moment the clone troopers carried out Supreme Chancellor Palpatine's lethal order and killed the Jedi, the war raged on; the Siege of Mandalore was one of the final battles of the war and went right up to the execution of Order 66.
Though neutral during the Clone Wars, Mandalore didn't escape conflict. Darth Maul took over the Mandalorian Death Watch, a violent dissenting group that opposed Mandalore's pacifist government, and leveraged his power to kill the ruler of Mandalore, Duchess Satine Kryze, and take over the planet's government. He used his criminal organization, the Shadow Collective, in his climb to the top.
When Bo-Katan, a former member of Death Watch and Satine's sister, saw what Maul was doing, she beseeched Obi-Wan Kenobi to go to the Republic and tell them what happened. Obi-Wan cautioned, "That would likely lead to a Republic invasion of Mandalore." Bo-Katan was fine with that if it meant the end of Maul. So invade the Republic did. When Maul returned to Mandalore after a brief time away, the Republic targeted him and his forces.
Who’s involved in the Siege?
The key participants in the Siege of Mandalore include Republic Army clone troopers led by Ahsoka Tano in her post-Jedi Order days (she volunteered for the mission) and Captain Rex. Bo-Katan allied with the Republic; Mandalorians that opposed Maul and Death Watch fought in the siege against Maul's forces. The Republic's primary enemy was Darth Maul; they wanted to weaken his grip on the planet.
Anakin Skywalker was going to assist the Republic’s efforts on Mandalore, but he was called away to rescue Supreme Chancellor Palpatine from General Grievous—an event that takes place at the beginning of Revenge of the Sith.
What do we know about the timeline and events?
Based on the fact that Anakin got called away to help Palpatine, we know the Siege of Mandalore started sometime before Revenge of the Sith. Ahsoka, the novel, details some of the events through flashbacks. Ahsoka recalled Mandalore burning because of the fighting. Anakin warned Ahsoka before he left, telling her, “Maul is tricky. And he has no mercy in him at all.”
Indeed he is. And he's a survivor. We know he lived past the events of the prequel trilogy to form Crimson Dawn, as seen in Solo, and then to eventually face Obi-Wan a final time on Tatooine, as seen in Star Wars Rebels. He escaped the Republic's grasp on Mandalore because of Order 66. The conflict lasted all the way up to the fateful event. The clones that had fought by the Jedi's sides turned against them, and in that moment, Ahsoka had the opportunity to kill Maul in the confusion . Instead, she decided to save Rex, who had removed his inhibitor chip and was no longer susceptible to Palpatine's instructions.
The Clone Wars has plenty of room on the timeline to fill in more details about the siege. We'll likely see a four episode arc focused on Mandalore with more Ahsoka and Maul.
Images: Lucasfilm, Disney-Lucasfilm Press
Amy Ratcliffe is the Managing Editor for Nerdist. She likes Star Wars a little. Follow her on Twitter.