Jaig eyes—a simplification of jai'galaar'la sur'haii'se, translating as "shriek-hawk eyes" in Mando'a, and more commonly referred to simply as jaig—were a Mandalorian sigil bestowed by clan leaders as a mark of honor, awarded for particular acts of bravery. Usually worn upon the helmet, the sigil marked Mandalorian soldiers who had distinguished themselves in battle. When the Mandalorian bounty hunter and Mand'alor, Jango Fett, was chosen as the clone template for the clone troopers of the Grand Army of the Republic, he and his Mandalorian Cuy'val Dar clone trainers passed on a number of Mandalorian traditions and customs to Fett's clones, among them the practice of awarding jaig eyes as an award of courage. Since the tradition of awarding jaig eyes to distinguished soldiers first began, a number of beings have been awarded the honor, with the likes of Mandalorian Protector and Mand'alor Fenn Shysa, Clone Captain Rex, stealth operations clone trooper commander Blackout and ARC trooper captain Fordo being among its most notable recipients.
Jaig eyes were a Mandalorian sigil, known formally in Mando'a as jai'galaar'la sur'haii'se, a name which translated as "shriek-hawk eyes" in the language of Galactic Basic Standard. Rendered as a stylized pair of shriek-hawk eyes, jaig were a mark of honor that select Mandalorian clan chieftains elected to bestow on warriors in recognition of their bravery. They were often painted on the soldier's helmet, or elsewhere on the plates of their armor.
As it's name, jai'galaar'la sur'haii'se—"shriek-hawk eyes"—suggests, jaig found their origins with the predatory shriek-hawks native to the Outer Rim world of Mandalore. Mandalorians had long possessed traditions of marking their armor with personalized sigils: these symbols were often indicative of which clan the Mandalorian belonged to, where their allegiances lay, or identifying loved ones. The jaig eyes, however, became a symbol of honor among the Mandalorians, a unique marking awarded by clan chieftains as a means of recognizing a soldier's outstanding bravery. One such example was Fenn Shysa, a constable and Mandalorian Protector so well thought of by his people, he went on to become Mand'alor, traditional leader of all the Mandalorian clans. This tradition carried over to the millions of clone soldiers of the Grand Army of the Republic, each a clone of another Mand'alor, the bounty hunter and mercenary, Jango Fett. Fett and the Mandalorian members of the Cuy'val Dar, a group Fett handpicked to train the Grand Army's special forces clone commandos, were responsible for the proliferation of a number of Mandalorian customs among the clones.
Not long after the outbreak of the Clone Wars, Mandalorian trainers responsible for educating clone officers on Kamino were responsible for issuing the traditional battle honor to Clone Captain Rex, who chose to display his jaig on his helmet as well, detailing it in the blue coloring of the 501st Legion. During an off-the-books mission to the planet Onderon that required Rex to forgo his personal trooper armor, the Republic captain carried his awarded jaig eyes over to new, non-military attire. Following the harrowing rescue of several Jedi from the clutches of the Separatist Supreme Commander, General Grievous, on Hypori, the Advanced Recon Commando Captain Fordo was bestowed the right to wear jaig eyes on his armor. During the Battle of Coruscant, late in the , the ARC trooper's red-colored jaig eyes could be seen atop his helmet. The clone stealth trooper commander known as Blackout, also wore yellow jaig eyes on the front of his otherwise black helmet.
Behind the scenesEdit
Jaig eyes originated in production concept art and early paint explorations by Joe Johnston, for the armor that would be worn by Boba Fett in the second Star Wars film, The Empire Strikes Back. Many of Johnston's initial decal designs were abandoned prior to filming, though they would later resurface as sigils adorning the armor of other Mandalorian soldiers, and upon personalized suits of clone trooper armor.
The in-universe history and cultural significance of jaig eyes, as well as their full name of jai'galaar'la sur'haii'se, were detailed in the Star Wars Insider articles Guide to the Grand Army of the Republic and The Mandalorians: People and Culture, written by authors Ryan Kaufman and Karen Traviss.
- Aurra Sing: Dawn of the Bounty Hunters
- "The Mandalorians: People and Culture"—Star Wars Insider 86
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Hasbro ARC-170 Elite Squad Battle Pack (Target exclusive)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Visual Guide
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: New Battlefronts: The Visual Guide
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "The Mandalorians: People and Culture"—Star Wars Insider 86
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Guide to the Grand Army of the Republic"—Star Wars Insider 84
- ↑ "The History of the Mandalorians"—Star Wars Insider 80
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars: New Battlefronts: The Visual Guide
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "A War on Two Fronts"
- ↑ Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 23"
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Cat and Mouse"