- "We're very spiritual people, we Mando'ade. Communing with the manda."
- ―Mereel Skirata
The Mandalorian religion was the accumulated spiritual and mythological beliefs of the Mandalorian warrior culture. Like the Mandalorians themselves, their religion saw numerous changes throughout the course of history, with several concepts evolving or falling out of popular practice over time. The ancient Mandalorians and the culture's Taung founders were intensely devout in their beliefs, forming a deeply religious society. Creation myths such as the Akaanati'kar'oya—the "War of Life and Death"—were viewed literally, and ritual combat was waged in worship of Kad Ha'rangir the destroyer god, who the Mandalorians believed represented change and was opposed by Arasuum, the stagnant sloth-god. This obsession with battle reached it's pinnacle when the Mandalorians came to deify war itself, and believed that to wage war was to be divine.
However, this zealotry did not last. Over time, the Mandalorians grew disillusioned with their former fanaticism and war-worshiping ways. Mandalorian beliefs became more secular and pragmatic: their ancient myths of warring gods and stories of the fallen rulers of Mandalore portrayed as the night stars were viewed as philosophical parables, and modern Mandalorians sought to derive allegorical insight from these tales rather than fact. The belief in a literal afterlife waned in favor of a belief in the manda, a collective oversoul described as the very essence of being Mandalorian. A Mandalorian ignorant of their heritage and culture was considered to be dar'manda—soulless—and would have no place in the manda after death; to be dar'manda was considered a terrible fate by Mandalorians, and a great importance was placed upon knowing and living their culture as defined by the Resol'nare, the culture's six tenets.
- "I hear the Mandalorians have been wanderers, too, and that they were conquerors like us, and their god was war itself. And now—now they are not, and their worship of war itself has vanished because one of their leaders wanted things to be more civilized."
- ―Nom Anor
The ancient founders of the Mandalorian culture, the Taung, formed a religious warrior society governed by elaborate laws that evolved into the Canons of Honor. They believed in the creation story of Akaanati'kar'oya—the "War of Life and Death"—and attributed the stars shining in the night sky to the fallen rulers of the planet Mandalore. These early Mandalorians worshiped the destroyer god Kad Ha'rangir, who represented the opportunity for change and growth that destruction provided, in opposition to the sloth-god Arasuum, who stood against Kad Ha'rangir as an avatar of stagnation. The Mandalorians engaged in ritual combat in Kad Ha'rangir's name to win favor with their god, defying the temptations of idle consumption offered by Arasuum. This struggle between idleness and change was also reflected in the ancient Mandalorian belief in the afterlife: existing as a plane of spiritual energy in constant conflict between stagnation and growth, every Mandalorian who perished was believed to join the army of the afterlife, defending their families that dwelled in the eternal, peaceful homestead. Mandalorians believed that this home beyond death was the only place they could truly reach a non-transitory existence.
One of the first notable changes to the Mandalorian religion came circa 5,000 BBY. Legend claimed that the reigning leader of the Mandalorians, Mandalore the Indomitable, journeyed to the planet Shogun, and there he received a vision that inspired a revelation. Returning to the clans, Mandalore the Indomitable led his people to cease their worship of gods such as Kad Ha'rangir and Arasuum, and instead elevated war itself to the heart of their religion. War was revered, and to wage war was to be divine. It was from that point that the Mandalorians came to be known by the descriptor of Crusaders, a reflection of their view that the making of war was a holy crusade. Mandalore the Indomitable was not the last of the Mandalorian leaders to receive a vision on Shogun. Following his ascent to the role after Indomitable's death, Mandalore the Ultimate was shown a new vision on Shogun, one that led him to allow members of other species who proved themselves in combat and upheld the tenets of the Resol'nare, to be treated as equal members of the Mandalorian clans. Under his rule, the Mandalorians were certain of the approach of the mythic Ani'la Akaan, the "Great Last Battle," and found it at Malachor V, where the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders engaged the Jedi-led forces of the Galactic Republic, only to be defeated.
As time passed, the Mandalorians became disillusioned with the religious fanaticism of their ancestors and their war-worshiping ways. Their belief system moved further away from the supernatural, and a greater importance was placed on secular pragmatism. Where creation myths such as the Akaanati'kar'oya had once been regarded literally, later generations viewed these stories instead as allegory, seeking to glean philosophical insight from them rather than truth. The ancient gods were largely forgotten in contemporary times; common wisdom suggested divine masters were to be tolerated only if they were able to pull their own weight in the culture. The concept of a literal afterlife waned, in favor of a belief in the manda. The manda was described as an oversoul, a collective consciousness, and the very essence of being Mandalorian. To join with the manda after death, a Mandalorian was required to be knowledgeable of their culture, and practice its tenets in their daily lives. For a Mandalorian to be ignorant of their heritage was to be dar'manda—without a soul—and to be without a place in the collective afterlife. The concept of being dar'manda was feared in the Mandalorian culture, and was considered a terrible fate.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: Vector (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (Indirect mention only)
- Republic Commando: Triple Zero (Mentioned only)
- Republic Commando: True Colors (Mentioned only)
- Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel (Mentioned only)
- Imperial Commando: 501st (Mentioned only)
- Boba Fett: A Practical Man (Mentioned only)
- Bloodlines (Mentioned only)
- Sacrifice (Mentioned only)
- Revelation (Mentioned only)
- "The History of the Mandalorians"—Star Wars Insider 80
- "The Mandalorians: People and Culture"—Star Wars Insider 86
- The Essential Guide to Warfare