- Mandalorian Gunship,
THE DARK TIMES
Once a glorious world, the surface of Mandalore was laid waste by war, leading Duchess Satine Kryze to renounce the planet’s violent history and declare neutrality in the Clone Wars. Satine’s pacifism was opposed by Death Watch, an underground movement of armored warriors that celebrated Mandalore’s martial past and sought to overthrow her. Late in the Clone Wars, Darth Maul took over Death Watch and led the conquest of Mandalore. He executed Satine and installed a puppet prime minister as the planet’s new ruler, sparking a new chapter in Mandalore’s violent history. Satine's sister, Bo-Katan, refused to support Maul and helped his greatest nemesis, Obi-Wan Kenobi, escape capture.
Years later, the Empire occupied the once-proud world. Sabine Wren, a Mandalorian rebel, returned with the Darksaber, looking to unite her people and strike back against Imperial tyranny. With Bo-Katan and several clans, she destroyed the Empire's Mandalorian armor-targeting weapon. Sabine then gifted the Darksaber to Bo-Katan, and the clans aligned under her leadership.
The leader of Mandalore during the Clone Wars, Duchess Satine of Kalevala was a controversial figure. She longed to move Mandalore beyond its violent past and instituted a government that valued pacifism. Though Mandalore did begin to rebuild under her guidance, the dark shadow of the Clone Wars made the Duchess' goals difficult to achieve.
As Prime Minister of Mandalore during the Clone Wars, Almec claimed loyalty to Duchess Satine Kryze and her controversial campaign of neutrality and pacifism. Almec saw Mandalore's violent past as shameful, and feared that the return of the armored warriors of Death Watch would be unstoppable. Though Almec loudly said that he valued the sanctity of Mandalorians above all else, his politician's grin and careful words concealed a different agenda. He helped establish a profitable black-market network that brought goods to Mandalore, looking the other way when tainted goods caused the deaths of Mandalorian children. When his smugglers’ ties were discovered, Almec tried to overthrow Satine, only to wind up in prison himself. He was freed by Darth Maul, who installed him as a puppet leader of the planet.
During the Clone Wars, Pre Vizsla served as governor of Concordia, a moon of Mandalore, and appeared to be a close ally of Duchess Satine Kryze. But Vizsla had another, secret life: he was the leader of Death Watch, a hidden group of Mandalorian commandos seeking control of their planet. In truth, Vizsla despised Satine’s pacifist beliefs and longed to restore Mandalore’s warrior heritage. To accomplish this goal, he formed several alliances with nefarious parties that ultimately led to his end.
The warrior clans of Mandalore were believed to have been wiped out ages ago, their tattered remnants exiled to the Concordia moon. But as the Clone Wars swept the galaxy, the treacherous governor Pre Vizsla resurrected the Mandalorians, and with them, their legendary combat armor that was feared across the galaxy. Backed by Count Dooku and the Separatists, Vizsla began building an army to retake Mandalore from the control of pacifists who were trying to bury violent Mandalore's past. As the coup became inopportune, Dooku abandoned the Death Watch. The warriors wandered the galaxy for a time, then helped conquer Mandalore as part of Darth Maul’s Shadow Collective. Maul then became Death Watch’s leader when he killed Pre Vizsla
A Senator from Duchess Satine's home planet of Kalevala, Tal Merrik is not the man he first appears to be. Conniving and greedy, Senator Merrik will happily betray his closest "friend" if it helps him achieve his shady political goals. Merrik is secretly sympathetic to the Death Watch, and betrays Duchess Satine when she is most vulnerable -- en route from Mandalore to Coruscant aboard her starship Coronet. The slippery Merrik tries to outwit the Duchess and her protector, Obi-Wan Kenobi, but ends up running afoul of Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber.