Extracts from the travel diaries of Sally I.; scholar and philosopher. This documentary series, Galactic Misunderstandings, is brought to you by Starwire Discovery Programmes

Galactic Misunderstandings: Mandalorians

It has been quite the journey. When I started my first week, I was a veritable ball of preconceptions about Mandalorians, their nature and their value to the galaxy at large. In truth, I expected to have those preconceptions altered, but I did not imagine the range and variety that I experienced. It is no surprise that a culture that thrives on adaptation should have diversity, which of course means that no stereotype stands the test of every Mandalorian individual; with the exception of a few exceptionally common traits encouraged by the Resol’nare.

Sadly, while I feel better about my understanding and found many ways to extol seeming paradoxical virtues from the culture, part of suvarir—to understand—is to accept the bad as well as polish the good to a mirror shine.

Extracts from the travel diaries of Sally I.; scholar and philosopher. This documentary series, Galactic Misunderstandings, is brought to you by Starwire Discovery Programmes

Galactic Misunderstandings: Mandalorians

Perhaps the most basic factor in any culture is the presence of some kind of hierarchy. For complex systems like the Galactic Republic—a sprawling, multi-layer comprehensive bureaucracy supporting a democracy—it is quite frankly hard to keep track of power, money and resources. As you might expect, the Mandalorian system is mercifully bureaucracy-free.

In fact, the position of Mand’alor—the ‘sole ruler’—is barely defined or officially described. It is a title claimed, and if unopposed, kept. If opposed, it must be defended; traditionally violently. It is a level of accepted seniority and respected skill and wisdom to which the vast majority—if not the entirety—of the Mandalorian clans owe enough respect to obey. You could viably cry ‘dictator’ but bear with me here. Remember how much like family Mandalorians are, and join me for the final nari of the Resol’nare.

Extracts from the travel diaries of Sally I.; scholar and philosopher. This documentary series, Galactic Misunderstandings, is brought to you by Starwire Discovery Programmes

Galactic Misunderstandings: Mandalorians

As a pentalingual, you might imagine that I quite like learning the nuances of cultural communication; and you would be correct! As with many cultures, you can tell quite a lot by the flavour and cadence of the Mandalorian tongue. Mando’a, as it is called, is easily identified in a few ways (not least by the fact it keeps turning up in italics whenever I read the text-transcribed version of this documentary).

Language is another of the most obvious ways a culture distinguishes itself; even within the same language. It evolves with the people and takes on the tone and role that the culture assigns it, whether inherited or adopted from others. Mando’a is a defining element of the Mando’ade, to the point of demanding its’ own place in the Resol’nare. They are even protective of it to an extent; not all those I met were especially happy that I could speak it myself. But that just goes to show how much cultural identity there can be in language.

Extracts from the travel diaries of Sally I.; scholar and philosopher. This documentary series, Galactic Misunderstandings, is brought to you by Starwire Discovery Programmes

Galactic Misunderstandings: Mandalorians

When anyone brings up Mandalorians in conversation, whatever the context, there is one thing so iconic it makes it into just about every person’s mental image of a Mandalorian. A T-visored helmet, segmented armour, resplendent in a variety of colours of variable meaning. While there is great variety, from the light plates and flexible weave of the scout to the shielded walking tank of a heavy gunner, certain elements have a cultural consistency.

Armour is in Mandalorian’s blood, so to speak. Ancient heirlooms or fresh from the forge, it is always there. Try as I might to interpret the beskar’gam - that is, ‘iron skin’ - action of the Resol’nare in a philosophical sense, I think this one is practical even if it does have elements of symbolism, representation, and image. Like any clothing, armour can tell you something about the wearer; and Mandalorians are no exception.

Extracts from the travel diaries of Sally I.; scholar and philosopher. This documentary series, Galactic Misunderstandings, is brought to you by Starwire Discovery Programmes

Galactic Misunderstandings: Mandalorians

With a handful of exceptions, one galactic constant is family. Nobody knows this better than Mandalorians who have it inscribed in their code to live by. Aliit, or clan, is a strong unifying concept that transcends the biological notion of family. The face of the Mando’ade that the galaxy sees is one of eternal belligerence and crude honour, but to see this as all they are is a disservice.

The Resol’nare, the Six Actions as you may recall, pursue only one principle goal: survival. Central to the culture is the notion of perseverance, resilience. The aliit action acknowledges that no one Mando’ad, no matter the talent or mastery, is an island. They are stronger together as a family and as a culture; while many are competitive, self-centred or arrogant, such traits are better explained under different actions.  Not to worry; we’ll get to those, but first, the essence of community spirit. Of course, with aliit comes platonic love. The warrior culture of Manda’yaim generally means that such love is explored in very odd, violent or dysfunctional ways; not universally, but regardless of the format, never underestimate the power of Mandalorian fellowship.

Extracts from the travel diaries of Sally I.; scholar and philosopher. This new documentary series, Galactic Misunderstandings, is brought to you by Starwire Discovery Programmes.

Galactic Misunderstandings: Mandalorians

I, like many others, found myself adrift on the open ocean of stars after the galactic order received something of a sizable boot to the unmentionables half a decade ago. Even before the eventual surrender of those subject to the aforementioned boot I was wandering alone, though. When one lives the life of a well-meaning transient, you can learn a great deal about people and the way they think. Reflect a moment: how hard is it to believe something different when all those you respect seem to think one way?

While rarely the subject of abject loneliness per sé, I found it only natural to consider engendering camaraderie with whoever the river of fate deigned to place me with. No more pertinent was this to me than when I found myself with some of the most misrepresented professional belligerents in the galaxy.


Fenrir Wolfblood *Interested Visor* 'tis is good. I like this.
Ruusaan Vey I won't lie, third image was great to see. Also eagerly awaiting others in this series.


Chut-chut gizkas. Different subject matter, this week. I’m starting on a packet of noodles dedicated to the general enrichment of characters; creating a deep, cushy bed on which to build character action, allude to backstory and embiggen [sic] your chances of snaring other writers’ interest.

I’ll start with arms, as perhaps the most imposing topic. Do you waltz around the Prom’ with a pair of Point-Five-Oh-Full-Auto-Mega-Slugthrowers? Do you tote a phrik-beskar-alloy cortosis-weave mega lightning cleaver? Do you play a super assassin droid who killed sixty-three Jedi last week? There’s an alternative to the shallow pantomime of ‘who’s got the biggest railgun in their pauldrons.’ Listen while Uncle Lisk tells you where it's at.

Equipment should reflect character, but should never be used as leverage against others. That’s the first and most important tenet here. Other than general enrichment, why? Well, it’s a lot easier to get things done with the respect of our peers. We hammered this out in Conflict. The moment folks perceive that we’re trying to cheat them (e.g. here’s my gun that will one-shot you through your lightsaber), we lose our footing. We lose the leverage we would have gained with sensible writing. Therefore, do not snatch for the biggest, deadliest, baddassiest weapon your character could handle. Or even ones far too big for them to handle, as well we have all seen. Adversity is the mother of development. Start small, enrich and entangle. 

Here’s how.

TheScythe I agree entirely. Equipment should definitely reflect character. I do however find it amusing that I have a character th...
Solyc Shahruun Another nice read with a nice glass of... Apple juice, anyway! Great read, keep them up. I really enjoy these, looking a...

Ok, so let’s go for a hypothetical situation. You are the commander of a small military craft. You have a good few years of service behind you. Forty women and men serve under you; you are responsible for their lives. 

You have been called to assist the Republic in the war efforts against an impending Mandalorian attack. The fleet is in orbit above the Serroco before it was destroyed by the Madalorian Neo-crusaders.   

After retreating, the main military command vessel, headed by Admiral Karath, has been boarded, and all hope seems lost. You face destruction at the hands of genocidal Mandalorians. 

Before I continue, let us take a look at these Mandalorian Neo-crusaders. An army of thugs formed at the end of the Great Sith War, they were pioneers of a sort that adopted new methods of combat and conquered non-aligned planets.  Eventually they even took over planets such as Taris. (We all know how that turned out. Great job, guys!) They began to recruit from the planets they conquered by offering a choice: slavery or the life of a Neo-crusader. 

Many took up the banner of the Mandalorian mantle. However, the use of poorly skilled thugs, criminals, and those not trained for the hard vigour of the old Mandalorian way meant that these 'crusaders' became little more than an army of space pirates, pillaging their way through the galaxy.

So, would you take flight? Or fight, knowing you will very likely lose your own life and the lives of your crew? Your chances are slim!

Adhock42 What exactly are you asking me to do? If I'm in another ship, are you asking me to board the command ship and recov...
Captain Shanks My character faces these decisions everyday, being a captain of a corvette pirate ship. Retreat, no second thought, scr...
Thralle +1 for being a mandalorian on a character, who hails them and demands a duel with whoever's in charge, then pulls o...

From time to time we all take a moment to consider why it is that we choose to role-play. Our motivations, the reasoning as to why some of us might take the time out of our day to day lives to throw off the mantle of the real world and therefore sink into a virtual reality; a world set within a galaxy far far away, in a time long forgotten.

The reason is often as simple as wanting to share something innate within all of us: imagination. Some yearn to exchange the multitude of worlds of which we manage to conjure within the mind's eye on a day to day basis, to make a connection with other role-players. Many simply wish to experience the Star Wars universe, to live within the confides of that reality, to escape into a world of Hutt peoples and Mandalorians, Sith alchemy and the turmoils that might exist within the setting of the Empire.

Perhaps you simply wish to live a life of light-sided contemplation upon the planet Tython, learn the ways of the Jedi and to someday fight the 'evil' Empire.

There are so many options for each and every one of us within the vast and expansive Star Wars universe, and for me, being a part of this community means all of the above and more! So, what is it that brings you here?
Otta It is quite hard to explain why I sometimes stand hours in the same virtual room, with only an occasional emote or mood ...
Nimeia/Tanysha There are various reasons why I RP. Escapism is surely a huge factor, put away everyday life for a while to immerse myse...
Ganden a Jar Jar Binks. That's why.

The Mandalorian language, spoken by all Mando’ade. When spoken, it is understood that we speak only amongst each other. In hiding the language from aruetiise, we ensure our culture remains with us. And we ensure that our language remains protected. The day that aruetiise can speak to us in our own tongue is the day that we've sacrificed part of our own souls. Mando'a is a language of battle, it is the language of our people, it is not a language to be thrown around casually in mixed company. To understand the language and its importance is to truly be Mandalorian.

He is the embodiment of te Sol’yc Mand’alor and the protector of our culture and lifeway. It is the Mand’alor who calls us to arms in defense or conquest. A leader who has proven they have the prowess and strength to lead us and be the father of us all. As Mandalorians, we are Mando’ade, the sons and daughters of Mand’alor.

Excerpt from "The Faces of Our Fathers" by Cicciu Jorbe
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