You might remember that I’m married to one of the world’s largest Star Wars’ fans. In the past, he’s written guest posts for me on Five Reasons I Wish I Was a Jedi and Ace Combat: Wedge Antilles vs. Kara Thrace. Since we were out of town most of last week, he agreed to visit my blog today with another Star Wars post. Please give him a warm welcome and some comment love.
Mandalorians aren’t all bad guys—even Boba Fett.
In Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, the Mandalorian bounty hunter Boba Fett helps the Sith Lord Darth Vader freeze Han Solo in carbonite. He then loads the now-frozen Han into his ship, Slave I, for the flight to Tatooine, where he turns Han over to the crime lord Jabba the Hutt. The situation is made all the more poignant because it comes on the heels of Han and Leia finally coming to terms with their feelings for each other.
Thus begins a years-long feud of sorts between Boba Fett, considered a typical honorless Mandalorian, and Han and Leia, who become heroes to most of the civilized galaxy. Throughout the Expanded Universe books (and somewhat in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi), Mandalorians are portrayed as violent, money-loving, honorless, uncultured brawlers who care more about their bounty commissions than about anything else.
But that perception of Mandalorians, long held by even major Star Wars nerds like myself, is wrong. It’s often said that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Mandalorians are a perfect example.
In fact, I’ve become quite a fan of Mandalorians because their culture, while seemingly at odds with the rest of the galaxy, embraces some of the attributes that I personally value and strive to incorporate into my life. I think there are four ways in which we should all be like Mandalorians.
A Mandalorian’s Word Is His Bond
It used to be true that, when a man gave his word, you could count on it. If a man told you he’d do something, he did it. Everybody was more or less able to trust everyone else. Mandalorians are the same way—their word (or contract) is always kept, exactly, no matter what. You can always trust a Mandalorian to keep his word to you.
Mandalorians Spend Time With Their Families
Mandalorians take their children into battle with them starting at age 8, and Mandalorian children are considered adults at 13. Both mothers and fathers teach their children how to fly, fight, cook, and perform the family trade. Mandalorians take an active role in raising their children, and they also take an active role in the greater good of Mandalore (their planet).
Mandalorians Take Care of Their Own
Mandalorians have a very Marine Corps-like mentality when it comes to taking care of their own. Even though, in the heat of battle, they put their mission’s success above all else, when the fighting is done, they regroup, take stock, and take care of any of their casualties. Mandalorians don’t leave anyone behind on the battlefield. They also don’t shirk their responsibility to the dependents of those who die. It’s very common for a Mandalorian to adopt the children of a comrade who died in battle. In fact, Mandalorians are habitual adopters, and think nothing of enlarging their clans through adopting those in need.
And this leads me to my next point…
Mandalorians Don’t Discriminate
It doesn’t matter to a Mandalorian who you are, where you come from, what you did in the past, or even what species you are. Anybody who throws their lot in with the Mandalorians becomes Mandalorian, with no exceptions, no questions asked. All that matters to Mandalorians is what you do starting now. If you do right by your fellow Mandalorians, they’ll do right by you. Remember: a Mandalorian’s word is his bond.
Which Mandalorian quality do you think we need more of?
Photo Credit: Aksoy on www.sxc.hu