- "Ahsoka Tano. I fought by her side from the Battle of Christophsis to the siege of Mandalore."
The siege of Mandalore, which engulfed the Outer Rim world of Mandalore, was one of the final battles of the Clone Wars. Former Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano and Clone Captain Rex led a Galactic Republic battalion of clone troopers to apprehend the ex–Sith Lord Darth Maul, who controlled Mandalore by proxy via a puppet leader, Prime Minister Almec. Although Rex and Tano nearly succeeded in their mission, Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine's issuance of Order 66 disrupted their efforts. Instead of murdering Maul, Tano elected to save Rex's life, and both they and Maul escaped from Mandalore as the planet descended into chaos. The Republic's successor state, the Galactic Empire, seized control of Mandalore and occupied the world, establishing an Imperial Academy there.
- "Go back to your Republic and tell them what has happened."
"That would likely lead to a Republic invasion of Mandalore."
"Yes, and Maul will die. But Mandalore will survive. We always survive."
- ―Bo-Katan Kryze and Obi-Wan Kenobi
Mandalore's neutrality during the pan-galactic Clone Wars ultimately failed to stem the violent history of the Outer Rim world. Over two years into the war, the Sith Lord Darth Maul utilized his criminal organization known as the Shadow Collective to conquer Mandalore, ousting Duchess Satine Kryze and her pacifistic regime of the New Mandalorians. Yet, Maul's takeover of the Mandalorian Death Watch led one of the splinter group's lieutenants, Bo-Katan Kryze, to form the Mandalorian Resistance, a rebel cell that opposed Maul's leadership. Maul further deepened his enmity with Kryze after he murdered her sister, Satine.
As part of a campaign against Maul's super commandos, Kryze rescued Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi from Maul's captivity. Before Kenobi left Mandalore, Kryze told him to inform the Galactic Republic of the state of the embattled planet, since she hoped that a Republic invasion would result in Maul's demise. Yet, the Jedi High Council believed that the Republic Senate would refuse to intervene in the affairs of a neutral star system like the Mandalore system.
Maul, meanwhile, was defeated and captured by his former Sith Master, Darth Sidious. Even though Maul escaped from Sidious's custody, he remained absent from Mandalore. Still, the Mandalorian Resistance kept the Republic apprised with intelligence regarding the world, including the fact that Prime Minister Almec, the puppet leader whom Maul had installed during his coup, maintained ties to the Shadow Collective. For their part, Jedi Generals like Kenobi and Mace Windu were determined not to let Mandalore fall to the Confederacy of Independent Systems. To that end, Kenobi and Windu led a Republic offensive against Maul and his Shadow Collective; however, Maul remained at large. In the end, Sidious and the Confederacy quashed the Shadow Collective, robbing Maul of his criminal power base.
During the Clone Wars' third and final year, which occurred nineteen years before the Battle of Yavin, Kryze's desire for a Republic invasion of Mandalore was fulfilled. While the Grand Army of the Republic was focused on other battlefronts as part of the Outer Rim Sieges, former Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano undertook a mission to target Maul, who had returned to Mandalore. Tano's former Master, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, was unable to assist her because he and Kenobi were sent to rescue Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, whom General Grievous had abducted as part of the ongoing Battle of Coruscant. In his absence, Skywalker allocated Tano a Republic battalion of clone troopers under the command of an old friend of Tano's: Clone Captain CT-7567, nicknamed "Rex," of the Grand Army's 501st Legion.
- "Where's your army, Lady Tano?"
"Busy defeating yours."
"It was so nice of your former masters to send you out alone and spare me the exertion of a proper fight. You're not even a real Jedi."
"It'll be a fair fight then. You're only half a Sith."
- ―Darth Maul and Ahsoka Tano
Rex and Tano's battalion of clone troops laid siege to Maul's holdings on Mandalore, causing Maul to respond with an army of his loyal forces. As entire regions of Mandalore erupted into battle zones, Tano and some of her allies baited Maul into a trap. Tano briefly crossed lightsabers with Maul, luring him into a plaza where her comrades snared him in a ray shield.
Nevertheless, the Republic's success did not last long. Chancellor Palpatine, who was in fact Darth Sidious, issued Order 66, which forced the Grand Army's clone troopers to execute their Jedi commanding officers. During the ensuing chaos on Mandalore, Tano was presented with the opportunity to kill Maul, but she instead chose to save Rex. Rather than execute Tano, Rex removed his inhibitor chip, an inorganic brain implant that compelled each clone trooper to comply with Order 66. Both Rex and Tano escaped from Mandalore, as did Maul, while a fresh wave of violence gripped the Mandalorian homeworld.
- "Running away again, Lady Tano?"
"If you want to finish our fight, you'll have to deal with him first."
- ―During a later encounter on Malachor, Maul taunts Ahsoka Tano, who tasks Jedi Knight Kanan Jarrus with defeating him
The siege of Mandalore, as it came to be known, further disrupted the balance of power on the Outer Rim world. The Galactic Empire, which replaced the Republic thanks to the machinations of the newly christened Emperor Palpatine, gained control of Mandalore and occupied the planet. The Empire also transformed the New Mandalorians' Royal Academy of Government into a local Imperial Academy to train cadets for its nascent military. Furthermore, the Empire outlawed the Mandalorians' mercenary practices, though it paid off certain groups like the Journeyman Protectors of Concord Dawn in exchange for their loyalty.
As Palpatine initiated a galaxy-wide Jedi Purge to expunge the Jedi Order, Rex and Tano parted ways and separately went into hiding in the Outer Rim. To ensure that the Empire presumed they were dead, Rex and Tano made a false grave for the former using the corpse of another clone trooper, inscribing on the headstone that both of them had killed each other. Tano also left behind her lightsaber and shoto at the burial site to facilitate their deception. Tano nonetheless suffered from guilt due to her failure to capture Maul on Mandalore, especially since the Jedi Order was no longer around to protect the galaxy from his wrath. Maul, for his part, eventually became stranded on the Sith wasteland planet of Malachor after his starship crash-landed there. Sixteen years after the Clone Wars, Tano and Maul engaged in a rematch during an encounter on Malachor.
Behind the scenesEdit
The siege of Mandalore was first mentioned in "The Lost Commanders," the premiere episode of the Star Wars Rebels television series' second season. The episode, which was written by Matt Michnovetz, aired on October 14, 2015. Michnovetz included the mention of the event as a reference to the unreleased series finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the television series that preceded Star Wars Rebels.
Previously, as the head writer for The Clone Wars, Michnovetz detailed the siege of Mandalore for a story arc that would have concluded the series' eighth and final season. According to Supervising Director Dave Filoni, the story arc revolved around the possibility that Ahsoka Tano would rejoin the Jedi Order. However, the episodes were not completed prior to the series' cancellation in 2013.
The siege of Mandalore first appeared in author E. K. Johnston's young adult novel Ahsoka, which was released on October 11, 2016. For her novel, Johnston drew upon plot points that Michnovetz had mapped out with Filoni. Prior to then, Filoni had released a number of details about the siege of Mandalore in various forms, including concept art as well as a panel presentation entitled "Ahsoka's Untold Tales" at Celebration Europe in July 2016. Notably, Johnston's Ahsoka explained how the siege of Mandalore tied into the events of the 2005 film Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. The novel also confirmed that Tano confronted Darth Maul on Mandalore, an encounter that was first referred to in "Twilight of the Apprentice," the second season finale of Star Wars Rebels.
Nevertheless, some details of the siege of Mandalore have not yet been confirmed in Star Wars canon. In particular, concept art indicated that Bo-Katan Kryze and her loyal contingent of Mandalorian soldiers would have aided Tano and Captain Rex's efforts to capture Maul. One image even revealed that Tano would have appointed Kryze as the provisional leader of Mandalore. However, Ahsoka did not corroborate Kryze's involvement in the siege of Mandalore.
- Ahsoka (First appearance) (Appears in flashback(s))
- Star Wars Rebels – "The Lost Commanders" (First mentioned)
- Star Wars Rebels – "Twilight of the Apprentice" (Indirect mention only)
Notes and referencesEdit