1 (edited by Ralin Drakus Saturday, March 20, 2010 2:40 am)

Topic: The CounterCulture- A Different Take on KT's Mando'ade

Ok, for those who have never heard of it, Karen Traviss's first work on Mandalorians was an article in the Star Wars Insider with her version of Mandalorian lifestyle and some history.  After finally getting a copy of it, I was sad to see that she varied from the path I'd always seen the Mandalorians in.  However, I decided to take her work and rewrite it, attempting to make her vision of the Mando'ade the MODERN truth, and use my old ideas as the basis for a Crusader era Mandalorian history. 


*EDIT*
For those just discovering this thread, here is a LINK to the thread I am currently working on that shows KT's original, unedited article that I based this revision on.  It offers a clear and unbiased look at her vision without my notes and comments, giving you a better understanding of where she is coming from and what she sees for the Mando culture.


This revision is in some places a rewording of KT's work, in a few places a flat out copy of her work, with a LOT of additional information from me about the Crusader Mandalorians that I've added to give a comparison of Mando life then and now. 

I value any and all feedback, and hope some find this of interest.





THE MANDALORIANS: PEOPLE AND CULTURE

A revision of Karen Traviss's Mandalorian history and an alternative view of the Mando'ade by Ralin Drakus

In five millennia, the Mandalorians have fought with and against thousands of armies on as many worlds across the galaxy.  They absorbed and improved upon the weapons, technology, and tactics of every culture they have encountered, and have welcomed recruits from any and every planetary system.  And yet, despite the overwhelming influence of so many alien cultures, their own distinct language and cultural identity has not only survived but evolved very little over time.   Their warrior's ideals, strong sense of family, and devotion to their clan and nation have remained all but untouched in their storied history.  Their armor, though universally recognizable, is not what makes a Mandalorian.  It is simply a manifestation of an impenetrable, unassailable heart.     

Note: Despite their mention, the Neo-Crusaders are not covered in this history.  This is due to their deeper and well-known coverage in other articles, as well as the short duration of their existence.


ORIGINS

Mandalorians are a people of contradictions.  They have an unmistakable identity, yet they are not a race.  Mandalorians have accepted varied species into their ranks for generations.  They have a nationalistic pride, yet no home world or country in the typical sense.  Though the planet Mandalore is a safe haven and home to many, countless Mandalorians have never even seen the ancestral home of their culture.  Their way of life revolves around war and bloodshed, yet have the tightest family bonds that extend beyond blood relation.  It is a common practice for Mandalorian warriors to adopt orphaned children, even those of their enemies.  This unique blend of harsh yet accepting, brutal yet loving characteristics has made the Mandalorians a mystery to much of the galaxy

Anthropologists disagree about the roots of the modern day Mandalorian, or Mando'ade in their native language.  Were the first Mandos humans, or as some academics claim a gray skinned, near-human race who were driven from ancient Coruscant millennia ago by humans?  The real answer may never be known.  Whatever the case, what is known is that humans have been the predominant species of the Mandalorian nation for the last four thousand years if not longer.  This being said, any species who follows the laws and lifestyle of the Mando'ade is considered Mandalorian.  It is their unique way of life that sets them apart from the rest of the galaxy, and not their shade of skin.

Many question how the Mandalorian culture has survived intact for so many generations.  The answer is quite simple.  For the vast majority of species, culture is the unique expression of their being.  With most species, as they are overrun or otherwise enveloped over time by their neighbors, the two cultures are melded.  The conquered species adopts much of the newcomer's mode of life while retaining and sharing elements of their ancestral culture. The Mandalorians are no exception.  The difference is that, perhaps through sheer hard-headedness but more likely due to their loose knit cultural structure, the Mandalorians have all but completely evaded conquest or absorption into another culture's lifestyle.  Outside species are adopted or are invited based on their pre-existing similarity to the Mando culture already, and their highly mobile and decentralized structure have protected them from invasion.  Thus they have maintaining one of the few truly long lasting civilizations in the galaxy.  This long-lived cultural identity has served to further increase the sense of belonging that is already inherent in Mandalorian society.  Ironically, the Jedi Order is probably the closest parallel that the Mandalorians have.  The Jedi are almost surely the only group to have maintained an all but unchanged code of living that is (probably) older then the Mandalorian culture.   

The only moment in known Mandalorian history in which their culture took a noticeable change of direction was after the catastrophic end of the Mandalorian Wars.  Over the next four thousand years, slavery vanished as a common Mandalorian practice, women took a truly equal role as men in all aspects of Mando life, and their modern mode of a truly nomadic lifestyle took root.  Despite these drastic cultural fluxes, the heart of Mandalorian ideals remained the same.  Their Honor Code went unchanged, their language never altered, and none of their core values were touched.


CURSADER CODE VS. MODERN MANDO'ADE: A Comparison in the Evolution of the Mandalorian People


The Law - Past and Present

Of the cultural differences between Modern Mandalorians and their Crusader ancestors, the most visibly obvious change is in their different Laws, or Tenants.  The original Crusader Code was longer, deeper, and much more clearly defined then the modern Six Actions, making the old code much less open to interpretation.  This original code of laws, which has been recently recovered in an archaeological dig on Dxun, read as follows:

1. Honor gained in battle is the lifeblood of the true Mandalorian.  The more worthy the foe, the greater the Honor gained in victory.

2. A true Mandalorian fights not just for Honor, but with Honor.  A Mandalorian may use any means necessary to achieve victory, but he will not maim, torture, or destroy needlessly.  An Honorable enemy deserves a quick, clean death.  The dishonorable foe warrants no quarter, and may be exterminated by any means.

3. The Crusade is the greatest right of passage for the Clans.  When Mandalore decrees that the clans are ready, he will lead them through the galaxy or beyond to search for the worthiest adversaries.  If you are worthy, you will sweep all before you.  Of failed Crusades, past and future, let none see shame in the survivors or their defeat if they fought with Honor.  They have gained the Glory of battling the greatest of enemies and lived.  Their mission must then turn to rebuilding the clans and preparing them for the next Crusade as their forefathers did before them.

4.  Surrender is an option only if Mandalore has been slain or he decrees that the enemy has proven they are stronger and the crusade has ended.  If the Crusade still lives, victory or death should be a point of Honor to the true Mandalorian.

5.  Be calm in the midst of chaos, strong in the presence of weakness, alert in the embrace of darkness, resolved in the face of indecision.  Do not fear your emotions, but never allow them to rule you.

6. Be loyal to your clan leaders, a comrade to your clan brothers, a protector to your mate and children, a son to your Mandalore.  A true Mandalorian's loyalty is unquestioned.

7. Conquest of the weak gains the True Mandalorian no Honor.  The meek should be left to their own devises unless their destruction is a necessary means of achieving a greater plan. 

8. The true Mandalorian keeps what he conquers.  To the warrior the prizes of battle, to each clan the spoils of victory, and to the greatest of our people the title of Mandalore. 

9. Anyone who obeys the commands of Mandalore and follows the Law is Mandalorian.  If one is Mandalorian in his heart, then his skin matters not.

10.  Family is more then blood.  Every youth deserves training, every orphan deserves a father, every soul deserves the Manda *See 'Religion and Spirituality' below for information on 'The Manda'*

11.  Know the history of our people and your Clan.  Let not the struggles of your fathers be forgotten.  He who knows and understands the past shall master the future.

12.  Disownment is the most extreme act a Mandalorian can take.  If one of your own should dishonor himself and cannot or will not redeem himself, he should be disowned.  If a warrior defies the Law and does not recant his actions, he should be disowned.  None are above the Law.


As can be seen, this code is very clearly directed toward a totally warlike nation of people. 

This is in contrast to the modern day 'Six Actions,' which are generalized and in no special order: A basic knowledge of battle and combat, Knowing the Mandalorian language and passing it on, Defense of one's self as well as his/her family and clan, Passing on the Mandalorian culture and history to one's children, Contributing to the clan's welfare, and Rallying to the reigning Mandalore when called.  Because of their broad nature and the far flung nature of the Mandalorian people today, these Actions can vary slightly from one Mando to the next, but the general meaning behind each law is universal to most all.  Anyone who practices these laws is considered Mandalorian.  Despite the Action's obvious roots in the ancient Crusader Code, they are much broader and open to interpretation, and more achievable to a less warlike people. 


Evolution of the Warrior Society

Despite the retention of their core values after the Mandalorian Wars, there was a great deal of change in the Mandalorian way of life following the events at Malachor V.

Despite their tendency to roam, the early Crusader Mandalorians rarely followed a true nomadic lifestyle like most of their modern descendents.  The pre-Mandalorian Wars Mandos had dozens of very large permanent settlements in the Outer Rim, including the massive City of Bone on Mandalore, and wide spread settlements in neighboring systems like Concord Dawn.  An Aliit, or clan, would often have one or more colonies on wild or conquered planets and raid their non-Mando neighbors from these permanent bases.

All of these facts are in stark contrast to most of today's Mandos.  The vast majority of Mandalorians today who still follow a militaristic career are almost always independent mercenaries or bountyhunters, not unified soldiers fighting for their own banner.  These individuals usually have nothing more permanent under their feet then their starship, if they even have one.  And then there is the large percentage of Mandos who don't follow a military path at all, choosing frontier life, scouting, or simple migratory subsistence, although their military prowess can return very quickly if the need arises due to strict adherence to the Six Actions.

Rank and status has evolved since the end of the Crusader era.  During ancient times, Mandalorians were dominated by the rule of the strong.  Leaders of any level, even Mandalore himself, could be challenged for their rank in a test of combat.  Times of war, which were often, would require that such challenges be relegated to annual events that were usually accompanied by a great deal of celebration.  In certain cases, popular rulers who were no longer physically a match for new contenders would be forced to allow a champion to fight for him.  These cases were rare however, as most leaders who were no longer fit enough to fight for his title would often retire to a lesser status or join a council of advisors, preferring not to hold a rank they couldn't fight for.  However, strength alone was no substitute for leadership skills.  Any new leader would face a great deal of scrutiny by his former peers until he'd proven himself.  Any Mando who proved to be a less able leader then his predecessor could find himself removed by popular demand, which would lead to the return of the former leader or a new set of trials.

Modern Mandos are something of the reverse.  Seniority is the dominant factor in rank.  However, the generally individualistic nature of most modern day Mandos makes the leadership in coordinated efforts a rare question.  More often a single Mandalorian is hired by a government and no matter what his stated rank is he becomes the dominant advisor.  This being said, when Mandalorians do work together they still have few peers on the battlefield.  A generally informal command structure is quickly sorted out, and their energies are focused on reaching their common goal.   

The use of slavery is a huge difference between the ancient Crusader Mandalorians and their descendants.  At the height of the Mandalorian Wars, their war machine was powered by tens of millions of slaves.  Not a new concept for the Mando'ade, slavery was a common practice employed by earlier Mandalorian Crusaders as they conquered new colonies and took prisoners on raids.  All children under the age of eight were typically adopted into the clan, while all the rest would be relegated to building the colony and its defenses.  Interestingly, the Crusaders rarely had any long-term interest in slaves, and seldom raided with the specific aim of acquiring them.  Having a historical preference for droids anyway, sentient slavery was simply a means to putting the local or captured populace to some use.  All children born to the slaves would be adopted into the Clan as well as a select few of older age who might impress their captors in some way as being a Mandalorian, and the slave population would be allowed to eventually die off or be otherwise disposed of *transfer to another project, limited freedom granted, removal, or termination depending on the circumstances.* 

Slavery is almost a taboo among the modern Mandalorians.  They have little care regarding its employment among other species, but it is now an unheard of practice by Mandalorians.  This is rooted in their fierce independence and in the individualistic nature that has developed over the past generations.  A modern saying common among Mandos highlights this sentiment: No one owned, Owned by no one.      

The role of the sexes has evolved over the past four thousand years as well, if not as drastically.  The roll of the modern Mandalorian man is, as it always has, the primary defender of the family and the one to answer his Clan's call to arms if needed.  The woman's roll is all but equal to his in the current era.  Women are now expected to have equal skill in battle as the man, have entirely equal representation in Clan affairs, and can hold as high a rank among her peers as anyone else.  The only difference common to Mandalorian men and women are the rolls of child care: women are expected to care for young children and daughters, while men take on the training of their sons at the age of eight.  If they have no children or they have reached adulthood, the Mando woman's roll is entirely indistinguishable from the man's.     

The reason for this even division of power lies in the crushing defeat of the Mandalorians at the Battle of Malachor V.  Women of that era had similar social requirements: physical fitness and combat training were highly prized qualities in Mando women, and the care of the young children and daughters fell almost solely on them.  However, they were rarely front line combatants, and there was a strict class line dividing men and women.  The marriage ceremony of the era was a clear indication of where the man was meant to be seen in the relationship.  The ceremony consisted of a head to head duel between the proposing Mando and his perspective bride. If he could best her in the fight, which could consist of anything from a bare handed wrestling match to a fully armored warrior's battle including edged weapons where any death blows were usually pulled back, the marriage would be sealed. If she won, the warrior would be disgraced and the engagement called off.  Mando women were generally accepting of this process, being taught from childhood that any male who couldn't best them in battle was not worthy of their hand.  This unusual tradition was rooted in the Crusader Code law of warriors keeping what they conquer.  It was also a public display of prowess, with suitors challenging highly skilled and dangerous mates, which the Mandalorians believed would ensure the most compatible matches and strong children.  Situations of love would often lead to a mock battle where the wife would quickly give in to her soon-to-be husband.  This was acceptable, but all fanfare and status revision that would go with an actual marriage duel would be forfeit.  Traditionally, a newlywed wife would give her new husband a trophy; a symbolic gesture showing that she accepts the outcome of the duel and gives herself to him.  Many clans required young girls to grow a braid of hair that would only be cut upon their wedding and given to their husband, but this was not universal.  Other marriage gifts included pieces of armor, weapons, or symbols painted onto their armor.   

After the battle of Malachor, however, there was a sudden situation where women on the home front vastly outnumbered the males in the society.  Women had no choice to take a much more leading role in the society on all fronts.  Probably the only reason Mandalorian culture didn't reverse into a totally female dominated society during this critical point in history is Mando reverence of tradition.

The Mandalorian marriage was equally simplified to hasten the re-population of the culture.  Duels and battles were eliminated as part of the marriage requirement.  Instead, only a simple chant is required:

We are one when together,
We are one when apart,
We share all,
We shall raise warriors.

Upon repeating this phrase to one another, a couple has entered a legal commitment to each other.  As in the ancient times marriage is considered for life and monogamous, although some believe male faithfulness may have been more lax during the Crusader era, where situations of non-Mando concubines or captured females were kept for the purpose of producing more offspring. 

Adoption, especially of children, is one element of Mandalorian life that hasn't changed since the Crusader era.  Orphans of a Mandalorian's enemies will be adopted by a Clan nearly as fast as a fallen comrade's children would be.  This process by which the Clans have expanded has been in use for as long as Mandalorian history has been chronicled.  This process has been practiced for the simple strengthening of the Clans, as well as an almost obligational duty to offer a young soul a chance to enter The Manda.

Children, both adopted and blood related, are equally loved and trained.  As part of a warrior culture, children are taught to deal with hardships and to earn their privileges.  Never pampered, Mandalorian children are allowed a fair level of childhood freedom before the age of eight while under their mother's care.  This period is still a time of basic instruction in Mandalorian history, culture, and learning one's duty, as well as a good deal of low level training.  Fathers will assist during this time, giving more advanced lessons and sharing his experiences.  At the age of eight, sons *as well as daughters if there are no sons to be trained* leave their homes with their father to begin advanced training.  In this form of cultural apprenticeship, they learn their father's trade first hand.  This practice is typical in both the Crusader and the modern eras.


Religion and Spirituality

The Crusader Mandalorians at the end of the Mandalorian Wars were among the last true believers in their culture's original creation myth.  They fanatically worshiped war, believing glory gained in battle earned them higher rank in the Mandalorian afterlife, or The Manda.  They believed in the endless war that would rage for all eternity between the sloth god Arasuum, who represented idle consumption and stagnation, and the destroyer god Kad Ha'rangir, who forced change and growth in the universe.  The ancient warriors of this era were certain of their place in a literal afterlife, a place where their numbers would add to the eternal battle that raged among the gods, and their glory would know no end.   

This faith began to slip with the Neo-Crusader movement during the Mandalorian Wars, and soon after its disillusioning aftermath the literal faith in The Manda began to disappear completely.  Today, the average Mando views the ancient myths with a pragmatic eye, but almost all believe in a redefined version of The Manda.  The Manda is characterized in the modern era as more of a collective state of being or an oversoul; very similar to the Jedi view of the Force.  Few Mandalorians believe it is a literal heaven, but they almost universally agree that the Manda does exist as a collective consciousness, and that following the Six Actions and knowing the Mandalorian heritage is all that is required to become part of The Manda.  This is one of the reasons that adoption of orphans is such a common practice; sharing one's heritage with another gives that person a soul, without which he or she would have been lost to oblivion. 


Every Day Life - Then and Now

The every day life of early and present day Mandalorians is starkly different in many ways, but rooted in the same fundamental philosophy on living. 

The Crusader era Mandalorians benefited from larger, more tightly knit Clans then their predecessors.  They were usually migratory only in the sense that they would leave a permanent settlement only if there were no more foreign worlds within reasonable traveling distance of raiding.  But fundamentally they were generally not nomadic, creating or occupying permanent settlements that were within striking distance of bordering systems, but rarely far from friendly home space. One exception would be a clan that maintained claims to more then one planet, rotating from one settlement to the next depending on various outside factors.  Another would be the rare clans that chose not to maintain a planetary settlement, choosing instead to live on board their ships.  Few clans had the fleet capacity to do this for any length of time however, and those that did would almost always stay in one of the several Mandalorian cities rather then spending all their time aboard ship.   

Settlements were always centrally planned around a large 'Warrior's Hall,' which served as government center, community event facility, and all round focal point of activity.  Depending of the size of the building and community, the hall was usually in a T shape, with the main entrance at the bottom of the T, and apartments for Clan leaders in the second story section of the T's cross.  Some small Clan outposts would have only a Warrior's Hall, which served as a single barracks as well as its other functions.  On the other end of the scale, some Mandalorian War Lords would lavishly decorate and stock massive halls.  A hall's size and accommodation would often reflect the Clan's prowess and prestige.  It's a rare evening when a Warrior's Hall is dark and silent; large parties and celebrations complete with Mandalorian ale and the results of the day's hunt roasting over an open fire were all but mandatory. Larger clans would often have several Halls; one controlled by the clans leader, and the others ruled by his captains and officers.  On the planet Mandalore in the City of Bone is the last of the great Warrior's Halls.  Made from the bones of an ancient Mythasaure, its walls echoed with the commands of generations of Mandalores, and is still the center of Mandalorian political conventions.  All other buildings and homes are usually clustered around the hall within a protective perimeter wall, though some Mandos may choose to settle outside the colony in more isolated structures.               

The modern day Mando lives a mixed life depending on each individual situation.  Few Clans still travel the galaxy together.  Most that do are based on one of the core Mandalorian words. The majority of Mandos not rooted on any planet travel the space lanes from one job to the next.  Some are subsistence farmers and seasonal settlers, but most Mandalorians never stay in any one place long enough to call it home.  There is rarely a moment of certainty regarding a Mando and his place of lodging.  Even places a Mando has stayed in for years, their way of life dictates that little if any effort is exerted into making the place more then functional, and they are usually ready to leave in a moment's notice. 

Burial practices have altered with the times as well.  With today's Mando'ade, actual burial is usually impractical due to their constant space travel.  Even when death occurs planet-side, it has become the custom to cremate and scatter the remains.  A common practice that has been maintained from the ancient times is the retention of one of the deceased's possessions.  Anything from entire suites of armor, single pieces from it, or some other article that was of importance to the dead person is often kept by loved ones as a memorial.  Each night each Mando must recite the names of fallen comrades as a conscious act of keeping their memories - and thus their existence - alive. 

Most of these practices were retained from the ancient Mandalorians.  The only difference would be the actual cremation process.  Rather then a controlled funeral procedure, the ancient Mando'ade would send the bodies of comrades who fell in battle into the heart of a star.  Those who died peacefully would usually be given standard cremations.


Armor

By far the most identifying and easily recognizable feature of a Mandalorian is his armor.  The design made famous in this era, the segmented body plates topped with a full T-visored helmet, is a throwback to the Crusader era.  Even more so then today, Crusaders were fiercely independent as to the design and style of their armor.  Interchangeable and standardized parts were very rare.  Each warrior would spend his lifetime customizing and upgrading his kit to fit his exact specifications, no matter what the mission.  Although most modern armors are lighter and have fewer plates then the ancient Crusader armors typically had, this is as much a symptom of Mandalorian armor's utter rarity as it is a modern preference toward less bulky kits. 

Although Mandalorian armor has been made from several different types of material, by far the most desired and rarest are those sets made from Mandalorian Iron *known as Beskar.*  This all but impenetrable metal, made so by both the material's natural properties as well as the forging techniques of master Mandalorian smiths, has protected both ancient Crusaders and modern mercenaries.  It's customarily handed down from one generation to the next, with some suits tracing back in the same Clan line for hundreds of years. 

Armor colors and markings have come to indicate a myriad of different meanings.  The Clans of the Crusader era often had their own colors, and warriors from each clan would usually have at least one noticeable item that identified them as being part of it.  This was not universal however, and there was usually no set rule to the rest of a Mando's colors other then his own personal taste.  By contrast, the Neo-Crusaders shortly afterward had a standardized set of armor for every Mando, with a strict code of color based rank identifications.  Today, a Mando's colors can identify him as either of the above, or a whole host of other possible meanings.  The choice could be as simple as personal taste, a localized identification code used by certain clans or just families, or even a warrior's state of mind or mission.  Sand gold has at some point over the years come to represent vengeance, while some view black as representative of justice.  Some color schemes identify a particular Mando's fighting style; camouflage for those that like to attack unseen, bright and flashy on those who don't care or even prefer their query sees them coming. 

Clan and family sigils are commonly, though again not universally, displayed on a warrior's armor.  Some marks are only worn as a reward for bravery in some clans, like medals worn by some other cultures. 

There is a deep-rooted connection nearly all Mandalorians share with their armor.  It is a physical representation of their heritage that is universally recognized, and protects them from the hazards inherent in their line of work.  However, every Mando youth is drilled with one rule before he may possess their first set of armor.  It is the man or woman inside that makes the Mandalorian, Not the armor.  Without you, the armor is useless; within the armor, you are still Mandalorian.

"You set a code to live by.  I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted...I won't be laid a hand on.  I don't do these things to other men, and I require the same from them."

Re: The CounterCulture- A Different Take on KT's Mando'ade

Wow, that took a while to read. So, what was KT's version like?

Re: The CounterCulture- A Different Take on KT's Mando'ade

I tryed to keep to KT's original intent as far as the modern day Mandos are concerned.  I skimmed some info out to focus more on the content I wanted to add, but I think I stayed true to what her vision of the Mando'ade is like; I just relegated it to a modern day era rather a universal view.  Every point where you see a comparison of 'Crusader' vs. 'Modern' Mandalorians, the Crusader info is created by me, while the 'modern' is my interpretation or a straight up copy of KT's vision.  Feel free to comment on which you like better or if you think this history as I've written it could work; I'd love to get an idea if more people then just me feel the same about what Mando's were probably like in the Crusader era. 

I would have posted her original artical with this to give you a better idea of my changes, but unfortunately I don't have a digital copy of her original work.  I'd have to copy everything over, and her artical is actually just as long if not longer then my revised one *left a couple pages out that didn't really apply to my comparison piece*

If anybody has a link to the original artical I'd appreciate it if you could post it here.  If not I'll see about copying it over when I can.

"You set a code to live by.  I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted...I won't be laid a hand on.  I don't do these things to other men, and I require the same from them."

Re: The CounterCulture- A Different Take on KT's Mando'ade

well done Ralin, very well done

"Those with the ability to lead, have the responsibility to do so."

Re: The CounterCulture- A Different Take on KT's Mando'ade

Thank ya sir!  smile

Again, this is a re-write of KT's original work, so I don't take much credit for the style or structure, or any at all for the perspective on the modern day Mando of course, as it's not entirely even a view of the Mando'ade that I'm overly fond of.  I'm just trying to give life to the perspective of the Mando cutlure that I originally thought was true when I first becme a fan with the KotOR series. 

If anybody thinks I'm flawed in my views of the KotOR era Mandos, knows of facts that contradict my ideas, or would like to add information, I'd love too hear other points of view on the subject here as critiques on this work.

"You set a code to live by.  I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted...I won't be laid a hand on.  I don't do these things to other men, and I require the same from them."

6 (edited by Ralin Drakus Saturday, March 20, 2010 2:34 am)

Re: The CounterCulture- A Different Take on KT's Mando'ade

Ok, with time constraints and the simple fact that copying this is just a plain pain in the butt, it's gonna take a while for me to copy over KT's original work on the Mandalorians.  So rather then waiting forever to copy the whole thing and then posting it, I'll just copy bits as I write them.

I'll probably make a new thread with just her work when the whole thing is up, but until then, I'll use it as a comparison piece for my rewrite.  With each post, I'll also copy my rewrite of that part with some notes on why I changed certian parts.  I invite any and all comments on what you think of her work and/or mine, and hope I can get some constructive feedback so I can streamline my Old Republic theories.

Here's KT's intro and first part:


THE MANDALORIANS

By Karen Traviss

In five millennia, the Mandalorians fought with and against a thousand armies on a thousand worlds.  They learned to speak as many languages and absorbed weapons and technology and tactics from every war.  And yet, despite the overwhelming influence of alien cultures, and the absence of a true homeworld and even species, their own language not only survived but changed little; their way of live and their philosophy remained untouched; and their ideals and sense of family, of identity, of nation, were only strengthened.  Armor is not what makes a Mandalorian.  Armor is simply a manifestation of an impenetrable, unassailable heart. 


ORIGINS

Mandalorians are people of contradictions.  They have an unmistakable identity, yet they’re not a true race.  They have no country in the conventional sense and are scattered across the galaxy.  These feared warriors have a savage reputation but they cherish family life and will adopt children orphaned by war, rather then kill them as other species might.  This odd blend of tough pragmatism, brutality and affectionate family life makes them a mystery to many.

And they’re probably not even the original Mandalorian race.  Anthropologists disagree about their roots; did they begin as humans or, as a few academics still claim, a gray-skinned non human species?  Whichever theory you find most convincing, they became a species of predominantly human nomadic warriors.

For the vast majority of species, culture is the unique expression of their being.  When species are overrun by other cultures, and adopt their beliefs and practices, they still retain something of their old ways.

But the Mandalorians are an exception.  They adopted a culture and became totally defined by it.  Their nearest parallel, ironically, is the Jedi – with whom the Mandalorians have had so much antagonism and conflict.

Whatever drove the first humans to adopt Mandalorian customs and language, they remain a people who accept anyone willing to follow their code, and non-human species are welcomed into the community.  Mandalorians believe that you are what you do, not what an accident of birth dictates. 

But they're still predominantly human, and a large percentage of the population shows genetic markers typical of the peoples of Concord Dawn and nearby planets.  Although there is no true Mandalorian ethnic type, the prevalence of common gene indicates that specific populations were either absorbed by the Mandalorians or joined them. 

Concord Dawn is a good example.  Jango Fett, one of the icons of Mandalorian history, was adopted.  And yet his genome already shared many markers with his adopted community, without deliberate planning, Mandalorians nevertheless selectively bred themselves for certain traits that are now considered their defining characteristics; discipline, close family bonds, extraordinary physical fighting skills, and intense loyalty.   



And again, here's my revision for your camparing pleasure:


THE MANDALORIANS: PEOPLE AND CULTURE

A revision of Karen Traviss's Mandalorian history and an alternative view of the Mando’ade by Ralin Drakus

In five millennia, the Mandalorians have fought with and against thousands of armies on as many worlds across the galaxy.  They absorbed and improved upon the weapons, technology, and tactics of every culture they have encountered, and have welcomed recruits from any and every planetary system.  And yet, despite the overwhelming influence of so many alien cultures, their own distinct language and cultural identity has not only survived but evolved very little over time.   Their warrior’s ideals, strong sense of family, and devotion to their clan and nation have remained all but untouched in their storied history.  Their armor, though universally recognizable, is not what makes a Mandalorian.  It is simply a manifestation of an impenetrable, unassailable heart.     

Note: Despite their mention, the Neo-Crusaders are not covered in this history.  This is due to their deeper and well-known coverage in other articles, as well as the short duration of their existence.


ORIGINS

Mandalorians are a people of contradictions.  They have an unmistakable identity, yet they are not a race.  Mandalorians have accepted varied species into their ranks for generations.  They have a nationalistic pride, yet no home world or country in the typical sense.  Though the planet Mandalore is a safe haven and home to many, countless Mandalorians have never even seen the ancestral home of their culture.  Their way of life revolves around war and bloodshed, yet have the tightest family bonds that extend beyond blood relation.  It is a common practice for Mandalorian warriors to adopt orphaned children, even those of their enemies.  This unique blend of harsh yet accepting, brutal yet loving characteristics has made the Mandalorians a mystery to much of the galaxy

Anthropologists disagree about the roots of the modern day Mandalorian, or Mando’ade in their native language.  Were the first Mandos humans, or as some academics claim a gray skinned, near-human race who were driven from ancient Coruscant millennia ago by humans?  The real answer may never be known.  Whatever the case, what is known is that humans have been the predominant species of the Mandalorian nation for the last four thousand years if not longer.  This being said, any species who follows the laws and lifestyle of the Mando’ade is considered Mandalorian.  It is their unique way of life that sets them apart from the rest of the galaxy, and not their shade of skin.

Many question how the Mandalorian culture has survived intact for so many generations.  The answer is quite simple.  For the vast majority of species, culture is the unique expression of their being.  With most species, as they are overrun or otherwise enveloped over time by their neighbors, the two cultures are melded.  The conquered species adopts much of the newcomer’s mode of life while retaining and sharing elements of their ancestral culture. The Mandalorians are no exception.  The difference is that, perhaps through sheer hard-headedness but more likely due to their loose knit cultural structure, the Mandalorians have all but completely evaded conquest or absorption into another culture’s lifestyle.  Outside species are adopted or are invited based on their pre-existing similarity to the Mando culture already, and their highly mobile and decentralized structure have protected them from invasion.  Thus they have maintaining one of the few truly long lasting civilizations in the galaxy.  This long-lived cultural identity has served to further increase the sense of belonging that is already inherent in Mandalorian society.  Ironically, the Jedi Order is probably the closest parallel that the Mandalorians have.  The Jedi are almost surely the only group to have maintained an all but unchanged code of living that is (probably) older then the Mandalorian culture.   

The only moment in known Mandalorian history in which their culture took a noticeable change of direction was after the catastrophic end of the Mandalorian Wars.  Over the next four thousand years, slavery vanished as a common Mandalorian practice, women took a truly equal role as men in all aspects of Mando life, and their modern mode of a truly nomadic lifestyle took root.  Despite these drastic cultural fluxes, the heart of Mandalorian ideals remained the same.  Their Honor Code went unchanged, their language never altered, and none of their core values were touched.


NOTES

This was one of the passages where I tweeked KT's work a little more then just adding my own material because, obviously since this is the 'Origains' section, she's delving into what I hope will be my territory of ancient Mandalorian history.  In all honesty, I found her work here a bit lacking, and I felt the need to add information to her arguments, or in some places contradict her outright.  I found her writing to have more contradictions then the Mandos themselves... 

Like I've come to expect in her books, she tells a lot more then she shows.  I edited the first paragraph of the Origins section because she gave no real examples for her assertions.  I hoped to fix this while still staying true to her ideas. 

Second paragraph had some holes as well.  It comes close to being a contradiction of the paragragh just before it.  "Anybody can be Mando... but they're all human" was the general theme I got from it.  I just gave a little more historic reference to the human surge in the Mando ranks, and reminded everybody that it's still the case that anybody*thing* can be Mando

The next two paragraphs made not sense to me whatsoever.  Nothing wrong with the first one, but then it's challenged by the second.  Apparently KT thinks that the Mandalorians ARE an exception to the rule that culture is their unique expression of a group's being, and that if overrun that culture will then evolve.  I'm not sure how their adoption of their "...culture and became totally defined by it" makes them different from anybody else.  And then she fails give any further explaination of why the Mandalorians are different.  I tried to give a historical explanation for why the Mando culture has survived, while flatly disagreeing with her assertion.  Hope to hear what y'all think of this one

Third to last paragraph I'd already covered, so it was omitted

Last two paragraphs were also repetitive to information I'd already added to fill holes I felt were in KT's writing, and completely removed them from my work as well.     


Very eager for comments, arguments, complements, suggestions, or any combination there of    smile

"You set a code to live by.  I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted...I won't be laid a hand on.  I don't do these things to other men, and I require the same from them."

7 (edited by Ralin Drakus Tuesday, June 16, 2009 6:08 am)

Re: The CounterCulture- A Different Take on KT's Mando'ade

Ok, one more addition before I crash for the ni....day   tongue

Giving this a seperate post because it'll be part of my second set of notes.  In my rewrite the next section incorporated this as well as the next several of KT's little 'chapters.'  I'll add them all up here so that each post ends in my notes comparing my work and hers. 

Here's the WIKI LINK to the Star Wars Insider issue that this was written in.  If anybody could upload/find a digial copy for me and link it here you'd save me the work of actually copying everything over by hand   smile   Even if I get the link, however, I'm still into adding these comparison posts and my notes to shed light on where I'm coming from with my ideas and hopefully get some feedback.  I can't stress enough how much I'd love to get some opinions to bounce off of, good or bad

Here's the next unedtited section of KT's original piece:


WARRIOR NOMADS

Nomadic peoples prize portable skills more then possessions, and this aspect of the Mando mindset still underpins their society even when settled on Mandalore.  Even when living in settled communities on Mandalore, their nomadic warrior ethic remains. 

Inevitably, a nomadic warrior race with no fixed territory to defend becomes associated with mercenary activity.  For centuries the Mando’ade --- or children of Mandalore, as they call themselves --- have been seen as little more then bounty hunters, assassins, and mercenaries.

But not all Mando’ade spend their lives as hired soldiers.  Their mercenary history is very recent and relatively brief, and they have other trades related to soldiering that earn them a living when they aren’t at war. 

Many, scattered across the galaxy in small communities, earn their living as weaponsmiths, bodyguards and other occupations that the host population finds too dangerous or too dirty.  Many remain in the Mandalore sector, working the land or laboring in factories and workshops.  All of them, though, are capable of becoming an army at a moment’s notice.

Over the centuries, some have questioned the Mandalorian compulsion to cling to nomadic ways despite having a home world in Mandalore.  The practice, though, is more then attachment to tradition.  Mandalorians spread themselves to avoid presenting enemies with a convenient target.  Despite repeated attacks that were thought to have wiped them out, the resilient Mandalorians keep coming back.

While they have earned their living more recently as soldiers of fortune, most of the Mandalorians’ history has been spent fighting for their own purposes, not others.  But although they’re a ruthless enemy, they display an unexpected gentle side in warfare by adopting war orphans.

"You set a code to live by.  I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted...I won't be laid a hand on.  I don't do these things to other men, and I require the same from them."

8 (edited by Ralin Drakus Sunday, July 5, 2009 6:05 pm)

Re: The CounterCulture- A Different Take on KT's Mando'ade

Here's another chunk of KT's original artical.  Hopefully I'll have another part or two I can post before the end of the night.  I'll stop adding notes in between as I'm working on a seperate thread for the Mandalorian Mercs boards that will be devoted only to giving a critique of her article, which I will also post on these boards when I'm done with it.  Here's a LINK to another thread I just posted here on these boards that is devoted only to KT's article in case you'd like to read it in a completely unbiaseded and seperate thread from my work and comments. 

Enjoy   smile

What Makes A Mandalorian

Geography has played a nebulous role in Mandalorian identity.  Although Mandalore is regarded as their homeworld, many Mandalorians were not born there and many have never even seen the planet.

Their society places no emphasis on birthplace, species, or citizenship, and so Mando’ade have not “state” as modern galactic politics understands it.  They ignore rank and status and prefer to judge by actions and achievements, true meritocracy; the Mandalore, or leader of the clans, is the nearest they have to a head of state.  And yet nobody mistakes Mandalorians for any other people when they see them.

Mando’ade[i] regard the following six acts --- known as the Six Actions, or [i]Resol’Nare --- as central to Mandalorian identity: wearing armor, speaking the Mandalorian language, defending themselves and their families, raising their children as Mandalorians, contributing to the clan’s welfare, and rallying to the Mand’alor when called to arms.  Anyone who practices them is considered Mando’ade.  The emphasis is on carrying out these acts daily, not simply paying lip service to them.

For a people who appear to have little interest in rank or hierarchy, Mandalorians are extremely co-operative in combat.  The rugged individuality so marked in their approach to most things is set aside to reach a common goal, and they’ll do whatever it takes to achieve their objective.  Their fighting forces settle into informal command and not personal ambition.  This instinctive flexibility is also what makes them superb mercenaries. 

Because they’re self-selecting, they attract and retain people with the same mindset and genetic predisposition, which reinforces these traits.  The more that soldiers are to inclined to co-operate on the battlefield, the more likely they are to survive and produce children with the same characteristics.   


Mandalorian Society

There is no gender in the Mandalorian language.  This mirrors the equal status of men and women and the general flexibility of societal roles, despite what appears to many to be a traditional division of tasks along gender lines.

Men are expected to be warriors and to raise and train their sons to be the same.  Women maintain the home wherever the nomads happen to travel, and raise the daughters.  But women also are expected to have the combat skills of a man in order to defend the homestead when the men are away.  Women also fight alongside men on the battlefield.  If they have no dependent children to care for, they’re expected to share the responsibilities of defense and warfare.

Not surprisingly, the Mandalorian femail ideal that men respect is not fragile and graceful physically strong, enduring and gritty.  The word laandur (delicate), is a common insult among women.  If you imply that a Mando woman is a bad mother, a poor fighter, or a landur (weakling) you’ll find out the hard way that she’s none of these things. 

Marriage is expected to be for life --- which is sometimes prematurely short for warriors –- and usually takes place soon after Mandalorians turn 16.  A couple enters into a legal commitment simply by making the following pledge to each other:


    Mandalorian        Translation
    Mhi solus tome        We are one when together
    Mhi solus dar’tome    We are one when parted
    Mhi me’di        We share all
    Mhi ba’juri verde    We will raise warriors


Despite their emphasis on fidelity and chastity before marriage, Mandalorians are surprisingly forgiving and relatively unconcerned with parentage.  As they prize action and pragmatism above words and intentions, they take the view that aliit ori’shya tal’din (family is more then bloodline).  It’s the daily affirmations of the family life that matters to them, which explains their propensity for adoption and even welcoming adults into the Mando fold.  With many widows and orphans in the Mandalorian community, suitable foreign adult males are not only welcome but also necessary. 

The adoption process, like marriage, is a simple statement of intention: the gai bal manda (name and soul) takes its place in the declarations ni kyr’tayl gai sa’ad (I know your name as my child).  That, and the ongoing adherence to the six tenants of Mandalorian life, is all it takes to become Mandalorian.

Just as it’s possible to become a Mandalorian, it’s also possible to lose your Mandalorian status, renounce it, or even have it taken from you.  Exile is a rare but feared punishment.


The Mandalorian Family

[i]”Their definition of offspring or parent is more by relationship then birth; Adoption is extreamely common, and it’s not unusual for mercenaries to take war orphans as their sons or daughters if they impress them with their aggression and tenacity.”
(Mandalorians: Identity and Its Influence on Genome, published by the Galactic Institute of Anthropology.)

In exceptional circumstances, such as abandonment or a failure to live up to responsibilities, partners and divorce each other simply by declaring that they are shuk’la riduurok (a broken love).  Children may also disown their father or mother by declaring them dar’buir (no longer a parent).  This is rare and usually only follows abandonment or an act of cowardice that shames them family. 

If the first child is a son, parents may wait eight years before having another child so that the first is old enough to accompany his father and be trained as a soldier for five years until he reaches adulthood at 13.  Then his father is free to train a younger son.  At 13, both girls and boys undergo a rite of passage in military and survival skills that makes them legally adults. 

If the firstborn is a girl, the couple may try for a son soon afterwards.  A daughter will usually stay with her mother until she marries.  But if a couple has only daughters, the girls will be trained as warriors by their father exactly as boys would be.  Boys learn their earliest lessons from their mothers before the age of eight, so her fighting skills are critical; a couple pledges to raise warriors, and this is a joint commitment.

Women are expected to train their daughters in combat skills, but fathers also take part in their daughter’s education.  Despite their fiercely masculine reputation, Mandalorian men play an active role in raising their families.  Most have a strong parenting instinct, one of the reinforced genetic traits from absorbed populations. 

The parents’ duty is to train their child in survival skills and Mandalorian culture and language, and to prepare them for raise the next generation of warriors.  Elder imbue children with the essential Mandalorian ideals of loyalty of clan and family, personal discipline, courage, and respect for their heritage.

The Mandalorian way of life is a dangerous one and widows and orphans are a fact of life.  Families never hesitate to adopt orphans, and unmarried men and women regard is as their duty to take widows and widowers as spouses.

"You set a code to live by.  I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted...I won't be laid a hand on.  I don't do these things to other men, and I require the same from them."

Re: The CounterCulture- A Different Take on KT's Mando'ade

Noticed that my Crusader Code was slightly out of date since I posted this; I've added two more laws to the code since.  Also cleaned out the coding errors from the first post; will get to the rest when I can.

As stated in the first post, if anybody would like to comment on my version of the Mandos I'm still eagerly searching for competing ideas or additional concepts.

"You set a code to live by.  I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted...I won't be laid a hand on.  I don't do these things to other men, and I require the same from them."

Re: The CounterCulture- A Different Take on KT's Mando'ade

What I have the hardest problem with is very simple...
Boba Fett was/is a bounty hunter. He is basically, in the originally SW continuity a bad guy...he hunted and captured Han Solo (hero), he was willing to blow away Chewy at the carbon freezing chamber but Darth Vader put a stop to that. He was also willing to kill Luke and probably anyone else he saw as an enemy during the desert skiff battle. Boba Fett was ALWAYS meant to be a bad guy. So, where the hell is all this "mando culture" crap when it comes to Boba Fett in the films? I mean really and truly the only canon is the three original films.   It seems to me, and for those of you who like Karen Traviss I'm sorry, that most of the Mando culture stuff is bunk and inspired by fans. So then, who's writing the story? Karen Traviss, George Lucas or the fans. In my view, BF was so much cooler before he and his "culture" became so elaborated. I mean really, this guy was an enigma even to the film makers until he finally made it to the screen.
I remember back in the day when nobody knew what the mandolorian shock troops ever were and that Boba Fett was simply wearing their armor. Waaaay back when he was a mail-away figure.  But then again I am really old school!

"D'oh!"
[url=http://www.bobafettfanclub.com/multimedia/galleries/thumbnails.php?album=lastupby&uid=1624]My Fan Art[/url]

Re: The CounterCulture- A Different Take on KT's Mando'ade

I've responded to your similar posts on a couple different threads; not sure if you haven't seen them or we're just gonna agree to disagree and not really debate it, but I do want to mention a couple points you have here in this new one.

I still hold to my guns that no matter what the creator’s original intent, I'm not sure what your problem is with the fans trying to give life and backstory to a 'bit character.'  I don't think anybody disagrees that yes, it was literally a very minor character; but since you are a member of this site, you must also agree that he is an incredibly intriguing and thought provoking minor character.  If you didn't I don't think you'd be a fan or care one way or the other.  I also agree with you to a point that he is meant to be a 'bad guy.'  However, keep in mind that probably the most famous and loved character in all of Star Wars is freeking Darth Vader.  Yeah, he gets redeemed at the end, but that's not what he's known for, and that certainly wasn't what got him so much attention in the first two movies and the first 9/10ths of RotJ.  People love him because he's a straight up BA, and there's nothing really wrong with that.  Lots of ppl love a good bad guy, and solid fan bases for the bad guy really isn’t uncommon.

All that being said...again... I actually want to agree with you on one point this time.  I am NOT a whole hearted fan of KT; if I was I wouldn't have taken the time write this whole thread that offers an alternative to KT's overly idyllic version of the badest warrior nation in the lore of Star Wars.  I think she came up with some very interesting and quality concepts for a Mandalorian culture, a culture I love and worship more then even the honored Fetts, but one of her key references is very flawed I believe. 

She wants the Mandaorians to be likened with modern day American and British type soldiers.  This is not a comparison that should be made, at least not in the manner she uses them.  Traviss’ Mandalorians have a brutal history of conquest and makes their living as mercenaries.  Both titles are an insult I believe to our armed forces when you get down to the core of our military's mission.  In general *there are always exceptions to every rule, but...* the average military man and woman's core motivation for joining the military is the voluntary act of selflessly serving their nation so that we can enjoy our freedoms as a non military state.  They give their lives in defense of our way of life, not to fulfill some cultural lust for war.  And they are certainly NOT mercenaries.  A mercenary is a causeless, wandering, and usually honorless *despite what Hollywood would have you believe* lot who do anything for the highest bidder.  Our servicemen are compensated fairly minimally, respect and obey the laws and regulations set before them, and serve their nation countrymen rather than just an employer.   

Our modern military is a perfect example to reference from in so far as tactics go or for examining military forms of comradery and individual behaviors and reactions in combat.  But that’s where the depth of the reference should end.  The Mandalorians, based on all their past history and their cultural foundation on combat and warfare, must be classified in a different category than the average real life military man.  Any of KT’s characters, with a very few alterations, would fit very well into a story about an American team of Special Operations agents in Iraq or Afghanistan.  Her characters would be perfect for a story about an average unit of Stormtroopers or Rebel infantrymen.  But they shouldn’t be Mandalorian in my mind.

Going back to your point, ‘What is the connection between KT’s Mandos and Boba of the films?’  I really can’t find much of one, but maybe some of her diehard supporters would like to chime in on that one.  To me her characters are a mixed bag of contradictions that are far too tortured, meek, unrealistically motivated, lacking in confidence, and generally not representing my idea of a true Mandalorian.  So I’ll give you that one

"You set a code to live by.  I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted...I won't be laid a hand on.  I don't do these things to other men, and I require the same from them."

Re: The CounterCulture- A Different Take on KT's Mando'ade

Ralin Drakus wrote:

I've responded to your similar posts on a couple different threads; not sure if you haven't seen them or we're just gonna agree to disagree and not really debate it, but I do want to mention a couple points you have here in this new one.

I still hold to my guns that no matter what the creator’s original intent, I'm not sure what your problem is with the fans trying to give life and backstory to a 'bit character.'  I don't think anybody disagrees that yes, it was literally a very minor character; but since you are a member of this site, you must also agree that he is an incredibly intriguing and thought provoking minor character.  If you didn't I don't think you'd be a fan or care one way or the other.  I also agree with you to a point that he is meant to be a 'bad guy.'  However, keep in mind that probably the most famous and loved character in all of Star Wars is freeking Darth Vader.  Yeah, he gets redeemed at the end, but that's not what he's known for, and that certainly wasn't what got him so much attention in the first two movies and the first 9/10ths of RotJ.  People love him because he's a straight up BA, and there's nothing really wrong with that.  Lots of ppl love a good bad guy, and solid fan bases for the bad guy really isn’t uncommon.

All that being said...again... I actually want to agree with you on one point this time.  I am NOT a whole hearted fan of KT; if I was I wouldn't have taken the time write this whole thread that offers an alternative to KT's overly idyllic version of the badest warrior nation in the lore of Star Wars.  I think she came up with some very interesting and quality concepts for a Mandalorian culture, a culture I love and worship more then even the honored Fetts, but one of her key references is very flawed I believe. 

She wants the Mandaorians to be likened with modern day American and British type soldiers.  This is not a comparison that should be made, at least not in the manner she uses them.  Traviss’ Mandalorians have a brutal history of conquest and makes their living as mercenaries.  Both titles are an insult I believe to our armed forces when you get down to the core of our military's mission.  In general *there are always exceptions to every rule, but...* the average military man and woman's core motivation for joining the military is the voluntary act of selflessly serving their nation so that we can enjoy our freedoms as a non military state.  They give their lives in defense of our way of life, not to fulfill some cultural lust for war.  And they are certainly NOT mercenaries.  A mercenary is a causeless, wandering, and usually honorless *despite what Hollywood would have you believe* lot who do anything for the highest bidder.  Our servicemen are compensated fairly minimally, respect and obey the laws and regulations set before them, and serve their nation countrymen rather than just an employer.   

Our modern military is a perfect example to reference from in so far as tactics go or for examining military forms of comradery and individual behaviors and reactions in combat.  But that’s where the depth of the reference should end.  The Mandalorians, based on all their past history and their cultural foundation on combat and warfare, must be classified in a different category than the average real life military man.  Any of KT’s characters, with a very few alterations, would fit very well into a story about an American team of Special Operations agents in Iraq or Afghanistan.  Her characters would be perfect for a story about an average unit of Stormtroopers or Rebel infantrymen.  But they shouldn’t be Mandalorian in my mind.

Going back to your point, ‘What is the connection between KT’s Mandos and Boba of the films?’  I really can’t find much of one, but maybe some of her diehard supporters would like to chime in on that one.  To me her characters are a mixed bag of contradictions that are far too tortured, meek, unrealistically motivated, lacking in confidence, and generally not representing my idea of a true Mandalorian.  So I’ll give you that one

"D'oh!"
[url=http://www.bobafettfanclub.com/multimedia/galleries/thumbnails.php?album=lastupby&uid=1624]My Fan Art[/url]

Re: The CounterCulture- A Different Take on KT's Mando'ade

Ralin Drakus wrote:

I've responded to your similar posts on a couple different threads; not sure if you haven't seen them or we're just gonna agree to disagree and not really debate it, but I do want to mention a couple points you have here in this new one.

I still hold to my guns that no matter what the creator’s original intent, I'm not sure what your problem is with the fans trying to give life and backstory to a 'bit character.'  I don't think anybody disagrees that yes, it was literally a very minor character; but since you are a member of this site, you must also agree that he is an incredibly intriguing and thought provoking minor character.  If you didn't I don't think you'd be a fan or care one way or the other.  I also agree with you to a point that he is meant to be a 'bad guy.'  However, keep in mind that probably the most famous and loved character in all of Star Wars is freeking Darth Vader.  Yeah, he gets redeemed at the end, but that's not what he's known for, and that certainly wasn't what got him so much attention in the first two movies and the first 9/10ths of RotJ.  People love him because he's a straight up BA, and there's nothing really wrong with that.  Lots of ppl love a good bad guy, and solid fan bases for the bad guy really isn’t uncommon.

All that being said...again... I actually want to agree with you on one point this time.  I am NOT a whole hearted fan of KT; if I was I wouldn't have taken the time write this whole thread that offers an alternative to KT's overly idyllic version of the badest warrior nation in the lore of Star Wars.  I think she came up with some very interesting and quality concepts for a Mandalorian culture, a culture I love and worship more then even the honored Fetts, but one of her key references is very flawed I believe. 

She wants the Mandaorians to be likened with modern day American and British type soldiers.  This is not a comparison that should be made, at least not in the manner she uses them.  Traviss’ Mandalorians have a brutal history of conquest and makes their living as mercenaries.  Both titles are an insult I believe to our armed forces when you get down to the core of our military's mission.  In general *there are always exceptions to every rule, but...* the average military man and woman's core motivation for joining the military is the voluntary act of selflessly serving their nation so that we can enjoy our freedoms as a non military state.  They give their lives in defense of our way of life, not to fulfill some cultural lust for war.  And they are certainly NOT mercenaries.  A mercenary is a causeless, wandering, and usually honorless *despite what Hollywood would have you believe* lot who do anything for the highest bidder.  Our servicemen are compensated fairly minimally, respect and obey the laws and regulations set before them, and serve their nation countrymen rather than just an employer.   

Our modern military is a perfect example to reference from in so far as tactics go or for examining military forms of comradery and individual behaviors and reactions in combat.  But that’s where the depth of the reference should end.  The Mandalorians, based on all their past history and their cultural foundation on combat and warfare, must be classified in a different category than the average real life military man.  Any of KT’s characters, with a very few alterations, would fit very well into a story about an American team of Special Operations agents in Iraq or Afghanistan.  Her characters would be perfect for a story about an average unit of Stormtroopers or Rebel infantrymen.  But they shouldn’t be Mandalorian in my mind.

Going back to your point, ‘What is the connection between KT’s Mandos and Boba of the films?’  I really can’t find much of one, but maybe some of her diehard supporters would like to chime in on that one.  To me her characters are a mixed bag of contradictions that are far too tortured, meek, unrealistically motivated, lacking in confidence, and generally not representing my idea of a true Mandalorian.  So I’ll give you that one

Well, I am certainly willing to agree to disagree but your post doesn't really address my primary question..who is writing the story here? I mean what happens if George Lucas decides that "The cone Wars" isn't enough? And then he decides to go on to elaborate the "mando", that word leaves a bad taste in my mouth, culture and that it needs a TV series too! I am 1000% certain that all the crap that Traviss has written will be "gone with the wind"...Not that I think that is going to happen anytime soon..but..what if. All I am really saying, and I have paid attention to your posts in the past, is that I just don't think all the elaboration is necessary or even worth the effort. Long Story short...all I see KT's writing is as fan fiction.

"D'oh!"
[url=http://www.bobafettfanclub.com/multimedia/galleries/thumbnails.php?album=lastupby&uid=1624]My Fan Art[/url]

Re: The CounterCulture- A Different Take on KT's Mando'ade

And I am posting a separate post here on purpose...
why do the "mandos" need a culture?

"D'oh!"
[url=http://www.bobafettfanclub.com/multimedia/galleries/thumbnails.php?album=lastupby&uid=1624]My Fan Art[/url]

Re: The CounterCulture- A Different Take on KT's Mando'ade

tachyonblade wrote:

Well, I am certainly willing to agree to disagree but your post doesn't really address my primary question..who is writing the story here? I mean what happens if George Lucas decides that "The cone Wars" isn't enough? And then he decides to go on to elaborate the "mando", that word leaves a bad taste in my mouth, culture and that it needs a TV series too! I am 1000% certain that all the crap that Traviss has written will be "gone with the wind"...Not that I think that is going to happen anytime soon..but..what if. All I am really saying, and I have paid attention to your posts in the past, is that I just don't think all the elaboration is necessary or even worth the effort. Long Story short...all I see KT's writing is as fan fiction.

On the issue of what is and isn't canon, we seem to be on exactly the same page; I have posted the exact same thing myself on a couple threads.  My only difference with you would be that Lucas doesn't "elaborate" on the topics in the EU, he totally bulldozes them as if they don't exist and replaces them with something else.  You're right about KT's work being "Gone with the Wind," some people think it already has been made non-canon by some of the content that has been in the cartoon.  KT has reportedly said shes' not going to write any more for Lucas on her Commando books because her previous work as been glossed over by new Lucas material that ignores her work. 

So yes, I totally agree.  The message coming from George seems to be that everything from the EU is little more, if more at all, than well funded FanFictions.  If there was more to them than that, he shouldn't be able to completely disreguard them the way he does at ever turn.

My answer would be and has been to believe in whatever version of Star Wars makes you happy.  I mean face it, Star Wars IS an alternate reality.  Make it what you like, not what someone tells you it is; especially as far as the EU goes where there really isn't anybody who can say what is and isn't applicable anymore anyway.  And honestly, what is any movie, novel, comic book, or naritive than a fanfiction?  The Original Trilogy is Lucas's personal fanfiction that pays tribute to every form of storytelling that came before it; there's very little original about it, just old stories retold on a different format and with ground breaking visual affects.  I don't get all that caught up in what I don't like about Star Wars because, really, I just ignore it.         

tachyonblade wrote:

  And I am posting a separate post here on purpose...
why do the "mandos" need a culture?

Short answer would be why not?  Boba Fett BEGGS to be explained because he's just so damned interesting, or so I think.  The dark, man with out a name *or in this case without a face* character is what drew most of us to Boba, but some of us want more than that.  I wont say I'm happy with all the explanations of him, but like I said above, if goold 'ol George taught us anything it's that we can totally blow off whatever parts of the EU we don't like and come up with something new and *hopefully* better.  I truely and utterly fell in love with the Mandalorians from the KotOR games and comics.  THOSE I think should be the heritage of Boba and Jango. 

So why should they exist?  Cause I think they're friggin cool.  I can't really think of a better answer than that.  It's the reason Star Wars itself should exist.  It doesn't further society or help feed the poor, so why does Lucas's plot-hole filled FanFiction run amuck need to be told either?  'Cause it's so damn cool.

"You set a code to live by.  I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted...I won't be laid a hand on.  I don't do these things to other men, and I require the same from them."

Re: The CounterCulture- A Different Take on KT's Mando'ade

Fair enough, I just grew up in a time when there was no "back story" to BF and I enjoy him all the same. I don't have issues with people like Jetter using the character within the context of the SW universe but when people start "creating" canon I start to yawn.

"D'oh!"
[url=http://www.bobafettfanclub.com/multimedia/galleries/thumbnails.php?album=lastupby&uid=1624]My Fan Art[/url]

Re: The CounterCulture- A Different Take on KT's Mando'ade

Nearly forgot I wrote this..  Seems a lifetime ago lol

"You set a code to live by.  I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted...I won't be laid a hand on.  I don't do these things to other men, and I require the same from them."