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Beskad

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"I just like antiques. I've got a proper beskad, too."
Goran Beviin[src]

A beskad was a traditional Mandalorian saber, primarily forged from nearly indestructible beskar iron. Comprised of a single-edged blade with a leather-bound hilt, the beskad was weighty and incredibly resilient, capable of delivering powerful blows with each swing. Designed to batter down an enemy's defenses, beskade were favored weapons of the ancient Mandalorian warriors, though the use of the iron blade spanned millennia.

DescriptionEdit

Based on the design of ancient Taung sabers, beskade were traditionally single-edged, curved swords[3] that tapered upward to a sharp point, featuring a hilt with a protective crossguard and pommel. Typically possessed of a flat blade, forty-five centimeters in length and between five and six centimeters in width, a beskad weighed approximately two kilograms or more in total. Beskade could be made of durasteel, but were more commonly forged from Mandalorian beskar iron,[2] a nearly indestructible ore[7] found only on the planet Mandalore[1] and its orbiting moon, Concordia,[8] both located at the heart of Mandalorian space.[9] During the creation of a beskad, the metal used to forge the blade would be heated until it glowed red-hot, and shaped into a workable bar. A metalsmith would then strike and repeatedly fold the metal—traditionally with a hammer and tongs—layering the material again and again for increased strength, before finally cooling the finished blade in liquid; the rough sword edge would later be honed to a razor sharpness, and the hilt bound in leather.[2]

Due to the weight and overall shape of a beskad, wielding the Mandalorian saber traditionally required a single-handed grip. Those unfamiliar with the weapon were known to compare the beskad to an agricultural or undergrowth clearing tool,[2] such as a machete,[10] or a well-balanced warhammer.[2] Accordingly, beskade were often used to batter through enemies' defenses[3] by using the heftiness of the blade to overcome an opponent. The traditional Mandalorian style of fighting with a beskad capitalized on the full body protection offered by a warrior's armor to move in close to an enemy without fear of injury, often inside their reach in order to deprive them of maneuverability or the ability to parry, and subsequently hammer away at them.[2] A heavy swing from a beskad was capable of embedding the blade in both armor[6] and bone, and a beskar-forged saber was even capable of stopping a lightsaber.[2]

HistoryEdit

"Look, if Vau felt you lacked the killer edge, he'd crank it up a little. He'd make you fight your brother. We had a choice. We could fight each other until one was too badly hurt to stand up, or we could fight him."
"And?
"
"I opted to take on Vau. He had a real Mando iron saber, and I was unarmed. I just went at him. I never wanted to kill so badly in my life and he just cut me up."
Republic Commandos Atin and Fi Skirata[src]

The ancient Taung, the progenitors of the Mandalorian culture, were a religiously zealous people who viewed close-quarters combat as a warrior's highest calling. In battle, they relied heavily on beskade, usually wielded in combination with a kal dagger in their off hand. The legacy of the ancient warriors' use of beskade and kale led to Mandalorian armor pieces worn on a soldier's right side to be referred to as the beskad plates, counter to the left-side plates which were referred to as the kal plates.[3]

In the years prior to the Cold War between the resurgent Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic, the Mandalorian warrior Jicoln Cadera owned a beskad. Cadera's saber differed significantly from the norm, being possessed of three blades arranged in a triangular formation, with a crossguard adorned with fanged skulls meant to represent felled warriors, and a pommel in the shape of a sculpted Krayt dragon, symbolizing the hunger for war and destruction prized by Mandalorians of the era.[4]

Millennia later, the Mandalorian soldier Walon Vau came into possession of a beskad. Shortly after the opening battle of the galaxy-spanning Clone Wars, Vau made use of his beskad in a duel with one of the Republic's clone commandos whom he had trained prior to the war's outbreak. In an effort to emotionally harden the clone soldier—known by the nickname of Atin—in the wake of his recently developed survivor's guilt, Vau fought and eventually severely wounded the other man with his beskad, leaving a number of scars.[5] In 21 BBY, another commando who had trained under Vau, Sev of Delta Squad, jokingly mused about getting a beskad of his own.[11]

By the year 24 ABY, the veteran Mandalorian soldier Goran Beviin owned an ancient beskad, considered by that time to be an antique. When confronted for his possession of a pair of illegal Mandalorian crushgaunts by his contemporary, Briika Jeban, Beviin insisted that he enjoyed both his crushgaunts and beskad for their antiquarian value. However, during a confrontation on New Holgha in the early days of the Yuuzhan Vong War, Beviin used his beskad in combat with a Yuuzhan Vong subaltern, ultimately killing the extra-galactic invader with his crushgaunts.[6] Beviin continued to carry the beskar iron saber for years after, killing a number of Yuuzhan Vong warriors with the blade outside of Bralsin, during their attack on Mandalore.[2] Beviin's husband, Medrit Vasur, was a skilled Mandalorian metalsmith, capable of forging tempered beskade from raw beskar in his workshop on their family's farm.[1] In 41 ABY, Beviin taught Jedi Knight Jaina Solo to use a beskad during the course of her training on Mandalore in alternate combat techniques.[2] Solo later put this training to use in battle against her Sith Lord brother, Darth Caedus, using a beskad to remove one of his arms.[12]

Behind the scenesEdit

An iron Mandalorian saber was first mentioned in the novel Republic Commando: Triple Zero, written by author Karen Traviss and published February 28, 2006.[5] Later that same year, Traviss introduced the saber fully in her e-novella Boba Fett: A Practical Man, providing the beskad name as well as a general appearance for the weapon.[6] A beskad was later mentioned in Traviss' subsequent entry in the Republic Commando novel series, True Colors,[11] and the weapon appeared again in two of Traviss' contributions to the multi-author Legacy of the Force series, Sacrifice[1] and Revelation,[2] as well as Troy Denning's conclusion to the series, Invincible.[12]

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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