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armphid's Avatar

12.07.2012 , 06:33 PM | #17
I should preface my comments by saying that I haven't read any of the books you're talking about. My Mandalorian experience has essentially come from the movies (which I'm not entirely sure even ever have the word Mandalorian come up in them), the 90's Star Wars books (when I was a kid), and the KotOR series of games. I'd also state that this is just my opinion; I feel it's got a solid basis but it is just that.

I know that for me, my biggest problems with the Mandalorians don't have anything to do with them fighting/killing Jedi or Sith. Jedi are mortal, death happens. I'm fine with Jedi and Sith being killed by normal people; particularly if they're careless/sloppy/weakened/etc. That's how fighting works, no matter how good you are.

There are two things that bother me about them.

First, it's that they spout a lot of what seems to be crap about honor and fighting worthy opponents and then act like cowards. I remember a companion conversation with Canderous Ordo in KotOR I where he glowingly tells you about some orbital dive attack he was in against a planet that had no defenses anyway and talks about that as an example of how great the Mandalorians are. (It has been a while since I played the game, but I think I recall the gist of that conversation) Okay, you can sucker punch people who aren't able to fight back; what does that have to do with honor or proving your strength?

Similarly, in their other conflicts that I know of (mostly in the games, including TOR) the Mandalorians surprise attack, usually when there's an existing conflict happening so they don't have to fight an already engaged professional military. As I recall the history of TOR, that was their involvement in the Great Galactic War.

That's just personal though, there are some people who like that kind of culture and they're welcome to it. The larger issue for me is that the Mandalorians aren't original. I'm going to get lots of hate for even saying this, but this warrior culture thing was done in mainstream sci-fi/space opera before Star Wars and that's my (personally) biggest problem with them; they're Klingons with a different color palette and not as tight pants. Fewer head lobsters too.

Warrior culture based on personal honor and glory in combat? Check. Talking big about fighting directly and with honor and then sneak attacking? Check. Idiomatic sayings based on those of Earth warrior cultures? Check. Their own made-up language? Check. Disdain for those who are "sneaky" or "underhanded" despite doing the same things themselves? Check. Strong 1st quarter team that fades in the second half? Check.

I think that's one of the big problems with the Mandalorians for a lot of people. They've been done before, some would say better, some would say worse; but either way they really feel like taking a chunk of someone else's universe and trying to shoehorn it into Star Wars where it doesn't necessarily fit.
"It's a shallow life that leaves few scars." -- Garrison Keillor