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, 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". 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.
Following the harrowing rescue of several Jedi from the clutches of the Separatist Supreme Commander, General Grievous, on Hypori, Advanced Recon Commando Captain Fordo was bestowed the right to wear jaig eyes on his armor. During the Battle of Coruscant late in the Clone Wars, the ARC trooper's red-colored jaig eyes could be seen atop his helmet. Mandalorian members of the Cuy'val Dar who continued to train clone officers on Kamino following the start of the Clone Wars, 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. The clone stealth trooper commander known as Blackout, also wore jaig eyes on the front of his helmet, colored yellow and vividly standing out from his otherwise black color scheme.
Behind the scenes
Like much of the Mandalorian sigils and imagery included in the personalization of clone trooper armor, the design for jaig eyes originates in concept art and early paint explorations of Boba Fett's armor by Joe Johnston that were abandoned prior to the filming of The Empire Strikes Back.
Clone trooper action figures produced by Hasbro exist which feature jaig on the helmets of the figures, including an Entertainment Earth exclusive with two ARC troopers and two Phase II clone troopers, and Hasbro's ARC-170 Elite Squad Battle Pack (Target exclusive) featuring two Phase II clone troopers from Razor Squadron with the distinctive markings.
- 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 references
- ↑ 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: Clone Wars – "Chapter 23"
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars: New Battlefronts: The Visual Guide
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Cat and Mouse"