- "Beskar is a uniquely resistant iron that develops a wide range of properties—and colors—in the hands of skilled metalsmiths. Depending on the alloy, it can take any form from plate, laminate, and wire to foam, mesh, micronized particles, and even a transparent film. Mandalorians jealously guard their beskar-working skills and refuse to sell the formulas for any price; attempts to reproduce finished beskar elsewhere have been disappointing. The ore is found solely on Mandalore, and only Mandalorians know how to work it to maximize its extraordinary properties."
- ―Pilas Manaitis's Strategic Resources of the Galaxy
Mandalorian iron, also known by it's Mando'a name of beskar, was a near-indestructible iron ore whose only known source was the Outer Rim world of Mandalore and its moon, Concordia. The Mandalorian warrior culture that inhabited Mandalore mined their planet for beskar, using it in the creation of weapons, armor, and starships, occasionally even selling the rare and valuable metal on the galactic market. The introduction of certain additives during the smelting process served to increase the strength of the natural ore, and Mandalorian metalsmiths guarded the secrets of forging beskar from outsiders, passing along the techniques from one generation of metallurgists to the next, strictly within the Mandalorian community. A versatile metal, Mandalorian iron could be melded into multiple alloys and forged into various configurations.
Mandalorian iron was rare throughout the galaxy, as the only known source for the ore was the planet Mandalore and it's orbiting moon, Concordia, both located at the heart of Mandalorian space in the Outer Rim. The Mandalorians referred to the iron by the name beskar, and despite the word's origins in the Mando'a language, it became common for even non-Mandalorians to refer to the element as such. Mined from beneath the surface of Mandalore, Mandalorian iron was one of the toughest metals known to science. Cherished for its incredible strength and durability, beskar was notable for being able to withstand blows from even a lightsaber, and was commonly thought to be nearly indestructible, making beskar more prized than durasteel or cortosis.
The natural strength of beskar was amplified during the forging process, using techniques developed and closely guarded by Mandalorian metalsmiths. In the foundry, carbons were added to the ore to create a molecular cage structure that allowed Mandalorian iron to be lighter than contemporary metals in equal volume, while still retaining its incredible toughness. Without the addition of carbon, beskar was significantly heavier. Repeated folding of Mandalorian iron during forging further enhanced its strength. Mandalorian metalsmiths combined beskar ore with several other metals to create multiple alloys capable of being shaped into various configurations, and were also responsible for affecting the final color of the finished beskar during the smelting process.
- "If you're worth that much, you can afford some better armor. Look at the state of you. All scrapes."
"We Mando boys like to show we've been in action. Anyway, this is top-grade beskar—full density, two percent ciridium, no fancy lamination or carbon-alloy."
- ―Ny Vollen and Kal Skirata on the latter's Mandalorian armor
A versatile metal capable of being combined into a several alloys and molded into a number of forms, beskar became a common material in Mandalorian craftsmanship. Depending upon the composition of the alloy, Mandalorian iron could be rendered into solid plates, a laminate, wire, mesh, micronized particles, even a foam, or a transparent film.
Though materials such as durasteel and alum were commonly used in the creation of Mandalorian armor, Mandalorian iron was considered the most desirable choice for a soldier's armor. Armor forged of beskar could withstand blunt force, strikes from a lightsaber, and repeated blasterfire, though the force of the impact would still transfer to the wearer. Mandalorian iron was also a common resource in the production of weapons: traditional Mandalorian sabers known as beskade were forged of Mandalorian iron, with the metal folded and struck repeated during the process to create the sturdy blades. Micronized beskar was used in the creation of powerful Mandalorian crushgaunts, capable of breaking bone with ease, and bladed bes'bev flutes were cast of Mandalorian iron, as well. Beskar could be employed in the creation of lightsaber hilts in order to made them capable of resisting a blow from an opposing blade, and Mandalorian iron crafted into hand-held shields could be used for defense and offense alike, allowing the wielder to strike their opponent or cut them with edges honed to a razor sharpness.
Ancient Mandalorian manacles were made of beskar, and the tough Mandalorian iron allowed them to keep up with the advent of newer binder technology such as force shackles and laser cuffs. Many buildings in the New Mandalorian capital city of Sundari utilized beskar in their construction, and Mandalorian iron was crafted in the creation of the city's prison cells, as it had for years in powerful beskar cages. Beskar was also often used in the construction of Mandalorian starships, including the likes of the Bes'uliik-class starfighter, which featured an outer armored shell of micronized beskar.
- "Now that you have abundant beskar, you'll rearm. Roche may be outside of your sector, but the last time Mandalorians had plenty of beskar, the Mandalore sector became much, much bigger."
- ―Sass Sikili
The ancient Mandalorians discovered beskar sometime after their conquest of the planet Mandalore around 7,000 BBY, and the use of Mandalorian iron contributed to the expansion of the Mandalore sector. Mandalorian metalsmiths developed techniques and different methods for working the iron which they came to guard closely from outsiders, and passed down from one generation to the next. However, it's incredible strength attracted the attention of many non-Mandalorians, and beskar quickly earned a reputation as one of the strongest metals known to science and one of the most desirable elements in the galaxy; armies throughout the galaxy sought to obtain supplies of Mandalorian iron, and it became one of the most valuable metals on the galactic market. Attempts to purchase the knowledge of beskar iron-working from Mandalorian metalsmiths have all failed, and all endeavors to replicate finished beskar without Mandalorian aid has met with similarly poor results.
Mandalorians furnished starships and constructed weapons with beskar, while the Jedi Master Arca Jeth utilized a heavy slab of Mandalorian iron to seal the tomb of Sith Lord Freedon Nadd on Dxun. The beskar door proved an impediment for the Dark Jedi Exar Kun, who was shocked to find that his lightsaber was rebuffed by the Mandalorian iron, and only gained access to the blocked tomb with repeated strikes of his saber at its highest power output. By the time of the Cold War, Mandalorians had come to view beskar as the ideal material for crafting Mandalorian armor, and recognized the substantial benefits it provided when battling lightsaber-armed Force wielders. The Sith Lord Darth Rivan made use of Mandalorian iron in his Sith fortress on Almas: the door to his ritual chamber and the floor of his lightsaber practice room were crafted from beskar, as was a chest Rivan used to hold his most valued Sith tomes.
Prior to the period when the Mandalorians ceased waging large-scale warfare, they turned to Mandalore's moon, Concordia, seeking beskar ore. Once an agricultural settlement, Concordia was transformed into a mining base by Mandalorian prospectors who scoured the moon in search of beskar. Ugly mines scarred the surface of Concordia, and the mining operation was so extensive that the forests of Concordia were nearly destroyed in the effort.
Following the Mandalorian Excision, the New Mandalorians made use of Mandalorian iron in the construction of their capital city, Sundari, located in the white-sand desert regions of Mandalore. Many of the city's buildings and towers featured beskar in their makeup, and durable Mandalorian iron was used in the creation of the cells at the city's prison.
By the start of the galaxy-spanning Clone Wars, the Mandalorian soldier Walon Vau possessed black beskar armor in addition to a traditional Mandalorian beskad saber. His mercenary contemporary and fellow member of the Cuy'val Dar, Kal Skirata, wore armor that was a Mandalorian iron alloy containing two percent ciridium. Skirata's armor lacked carbon in its composition, traditionally used to form a molecular cage structure that made beskar lighter, resulting in a significantly increased weight. Skirata's good friend, and another member of the Cuy'val Dar named Wad'e Tay'haai, owned a bladed Mandalorian bes'bev flute cast from Mandalorian iron. Mandalorian police units continued to make use of ancient beskar-forged Mandalorian manacles during this time, keeping them as part of their standard equipment, and the personal star yacht of New Mandalorian Duchess Satine Kryze, the Coronet, was furnished with beskar flatware for dining.
After the Galactic Republic was transformed into the Galactic Empire, Imperials began brokering negotiations with the clan chieftains of Mandalore in order to establish a garrison base on the planet and acquire the rights to mine for Mandalorian iron. An offer of eight hundred million credits was issued for exclusive beskar mining rights in the Tokursh region of Mandalore, and the MandalMotors company was solicited to refurbish old prison ships and construct new ones with Mandalorian iron enhancements, in addition to orders of specialist beskar equipment including manacles, holding cages, and security doors. However, as time passed, relations between the Empire and Mandalore changed from cordial to hostile: Mandalore was taken over by the Imperials and it's people enslaved. The Empire strip-mined Mandalore's shallow veins of beskar ore, shipping a significant amount offworld before Fenn Shysa and the Mandalorian Protectors were able to liberate Mandalore from the Empire. Around this same time, the Sith Lady Lumiya used Mandalorian iron to construct portions of her lightwhip.
Decades later, the Mandalorian soldier Goran Beviin wielded an antique beskad forged of Mandalorian iron and beskar-laden crushgaunts in battle with the Yuuzhan Vong, a race of extra-galactic invaders attempting to conquer the known galaxy. After the end of the galactic invasion by the Yuuzhan Vong and their devastating attack on Mandalore, a new source of Mandalorian iron was discovered in 40 ABY. Heeding the orders of reigning Mand'alor Boba Fett, two Mandalorians—one a geologist, and the other a minerals engineer—were returning to Mandalore when they decided to take an orbital scan of the surface damage that had been incurred by the Yuuzhan Vong. Upon comparing their findings to previous geographic data, the two elected to investigate upon planetary approach, only to find an undiscovered lode of beskar a few kilometers north of the town of Enceri; the iron had been deeper than the Imperials thought to mine during their occupation, exposed by chance by a Yuuzhan Vong singularity bomb. Foreman Herik Vorad was placed in charge over overseeing the mining of the new beskar, and as it was found on land that didn't belong to any one individual, Mand'alor Fett declared the iron to be a resource for all of Mandalore, settling on a compromise allocating a portion of the Mandalorian iron be manufactured into goods for foreign export, while another portion would be kept for Mandalorian defense armament.
This new lode of Mandalorian iron led to an economically prosperous era for Mandalore, and the creation of new starships such as the Bes'uliik-class starfighter by MandalMotors—whose CEO, Jir Yomaget, elected to provide the Bes'uliik line with micronized beskar armor instead of a beskar laminate—and the Tra'kad, which employed heavy Mandalorian iron armor plating. In 41 ABY, Goran Beviin and Jedi Knight Jaina Solo used beskar training armor and beskad sabers during sparring sessions, while Beviin attempted to teach Solo Mandalorian fighting techniques. Around the same, Beviin's husband Medrit Vasur forged a set of beskar Mandalorian armor for Boba Fett to replace his set comprised of durasteel. Fett put his new plates to good use soon after, during the Second Battle of Fondor, where his Mandalorian iron armor blocked incoming blasterfire while he and over a dozen Mandalorian supercommandos assaulted the Star Destroyer Bloodfin. When the battle was over and Bloodfin had been captured by the Mandalorians, Fett met with Imperial Admiral Natasi Daala, who revealed that she knew where much of the Mandalorian iron the Empire had stolen from Mandalore was located, and suggested the possibility of having it returned to the Mandalorians.
Behind the scenesEdit
- "Beskar is another name for Mandalorian iron, a super-strong Star Wars metal. Mandalorian armor is tough enough to withstand lightsaber strikes."
- ―Daniel Wallace
Though Mandalorian manacles had first appeared in Tales of the Jedi 5: The Saga of Nomi Sunrider, Part 3, it was only in the later The Freedon Nadd Uprising arc of the Tales of the Jedi comic series that Mandalorian iron was truly introduced to Star Wars canon. The same story was also responsible for introducing Mandalorian iron's lightsaber resistant capabilities. With the release of the Republic Commando novel series and the Star Wars Insider article, The Mandalorians: People and Culture, each authored by Karen Traviss, Mandalorian iron was given the additional Mando'a name of beskar, which has been used increasingly with more recent sources. The People and Culture article, in addition to the previous Insider article, The History of the Mandalorians by Abel G. Peña, provided details on the use, composition, and cultural significance of Mandalorian iron.
- Tales of the Jedi 5: The Saga of Nomi Sunrider, Part 3 (First appearance) (As Mandalorian manacles)
- Tales of the Jedi: The Freedon Nadd Uprising (First identified as Mandalorian iron)
- Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith 3: Descent to the Dark Side
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Knight Errant
- Bane of the Sith
- "Coruscani Dawn"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Mandalore Plot"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Voyage of Temptation"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Duchess of Mandalore"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Corruption"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Academy"
- Republic Commando: Triple Zero
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Shades of Reason"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Lawless"
- Republic Commando: True Colors
- The Feral Queen
- Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel
- Imperial Commando: 501st
- Tales of the Bounty Hunters
- Young Jedi Knights: Jedi Under Siege (Mentioned only)
- Boba Fett: A Practical Man
- Star Wars: Legacy 27: Into the Core (Mentioned only)
- The Emperor's Pawns
- "The History of the Mandalorians"—Star Wars Insider 80
- The Essential Chronology
- The New Essential Chronology
- "The Mandalorians: People and Culture"—Star Wars Insider 86
- Evil Never Dies: The Sith Dynasties
- Droids, Technology and the Force: A Clash of Phenomena
- "A Mon Alone"
- Roleplaying Game: Saga Edition Core Rulebook
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: New Battlefronts: The Visual Guide
- The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Sacrifice
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Star Wars: The Clone Wars: New Battlefronts: The Visual Guide
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 The Essential Atlas
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Imperial Commando: 501st
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Revelation
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 "The History of the Mandalorians"—Star Wars Insider 80
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 "The Mandalorians: People and Culture"—Star Wars Insider 86
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel
- ↑ Star Wars Galaxies
- ↑ Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side (real-life book)
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy
- ↑ Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic
- ↑ A Mon Alone
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Mandalore Plot"
- ↑ The Essential Guide to Warfare
- ↑ Republic Commando: Triple Zero
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Galaxy at War
- ↑ Boba Fett: A Practical Man