- "Warmaster, we think too often in terms of dualism: Jedi or Sith, light or dark, right or wrong. But there are three sides to this blade, not two, opposed and similar at the same time. The third edge is the Mandalorian."
The Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club is a world-wide fan organization, officially recognized by Lucasfilm Ltd., that began as the brainchild of Tom Hutchens in March of 2007. Noticing that Mandalorian costumers had distinctive and separate needs to other Star Wars costuming groups, Hutchens decided to create a costume group based on Mandalorian culture. Utilizing a guild name from Star Wars Galaxies and references from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic video games, the Mandalorian Mercs as a costume organization was born.
During the formation of the club, Hutchens began uniting Mandalorian costumers in the United States of America and the United Kingdom; the regions were given names using the Mandalorian language developed by Star Wars novelist Karen Traviss. Talon Clan became the first Mandalorian Mercs clan in April 2007, shortly followed by Falco, Sun Raider and Storm Raider clans. The UK's Vok’Chi Clan was founded in late 2007. From humble beginnings the club has grown from five to thirty-eight clans, spanning several countries with over six hundred members as well as several hundred prospective members from new countries, including Australia and Japan.
The infrastructure of the Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club is based on references to the Mandalorian culture in the Star Wars Expanded Universe canon. The cultural leader, or Mandalore, is the public figurehead with a ruling and advisory council and command staff used to debate and guide the club’s direction.
This makes the Mandalorian Mercs Costuming Club unique as it is based on methodology and ideology as opposed to visual accuracies based on the Star Wars films. It is the goal of the Mercs to be an inclusive and family-friendly club, following the Mandalorian way of life as part of a clan, or family unit, and a clan's ability to adopt anyone who wishes to become a Mandalorian.
The Mercs Command Staff consists of:
- Mand'alor, the Mandalore
- Alor, the Council Chair
- COMMO, the Communications Officer and head of the web team
- PERSO, the Personnel Officer and head of the approval team
- CAO, the Clan Admin Officer
- PRO, the Public Relations Officer and head of the PR and art teams
- QM, the Quartermaster
- BR, the Brigadier
- CA, the Council Advisers
- CXO, the Communications Executive Officer
- ATO, the Applicant Team Officers
- RC, the Regional Commanders
- Alor'ad, Commanding Clan Officer
- Ver'alor, Executive Officer
- Ruus'alor, Sergeant at Arms
- Squad Leader, Commanding Squad Officer
Members of the Mercs not holding an officer position are referred to as "OMs" (Official Members).
In homage to the in-universe organization, the Mercs have changed and adapted over the years to support the growing amount of people interested in Mandalorian costuming. In 2008, the Mercs introduced smaller squads to allow people to better serve the communities in their region, with facilities to grow into larger clan units.
Since its small beginnings, the Mandalorian Mercs has become a rapidly-growing community of Mandalorian costumers. Like the 501st Legion and Rebel Legion, many Mercs wanted to use this popularity to give back to the community in some way. As such, clans are free to support any charity they wish, including its own Little Warrior International, developed by the Mercs to help sick or underprivileged children. LWI became an official US Charity in 2012.
Anyone who is at least 18 years and in possession of a custom Mandalorian costume from the Star Wars Universe is eligible for membership in the club. Applications can be submitted on the official site. This process typically consists of the application team checking an applicant's submitted photos and forwarding the information to the local clan or squad to which the member would belong.
All Mercs members are encouraged to create their own unique character name to use on the site's forums and at events in conjunction with their costume.
The custom nature of the club has lent itself to occasionally influencing the Star Wars Expanded Universe canon. Author Karen Traviss thanks official Mercs member Ray Ramirez in several of her novels for technical advice and friendship. Ray's Mandalorian character, Ram Zerimar, was later written into in the Legacy of the Force series.
Jeremy Bulloch, the actor who portrayed Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, was first inducted as an honorary member of the club in 2008. In 2011, Bulloch became the 500th official member of the club with his ESB Boba Fett costume.
Some other honorary members of the Mercs include:
- Joe Corroney
- Dave Filoni
- Mary Franklin
- Tom Kane
- Daniel Logan
- Peter Mayhew
- Temuera Morrison
- Katee Sackhoff
- Steve Sansweet
- Jamie Snell
- Karen Traviss
- Billy Dee Williams
- Timothy Zahn
The Mandalorian Mercs Costuming Club set the standards of Mandalorian costuming based on canon movie references of characters Boba and Jango Fett, as well as canonical television, comic book, video game and other written references in the novels by author Karen Traviss.
Custom Armor Styles AcceptedEdit
Canon Characters AcceptedEdit
- ↑ Official Star Wars Fan-sites
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 
- ↑  Comic book conventions continues to be a draw
- ↑  Tour de Force: Star Wars fans unite for ailing infant
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZdkkDd3kv8 PARADE: Fiesta Bowl 2010, Phoenix
- ↑ http://mercs.firespray.net/forum/index.php?action=ezportal;sa=page;p=3 Little Warrior International
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJrmiZTRVd0 Interview with Daniel Logan about the Season 2 finale of Clone Wars
- ↑  Karen Traviss Star Wars Novels