Star Wars Theory Explains The Biggest Mandalorian Plot Hole
The Star Wars brand is finally putting The Mandalorian at center stage, thanks to the TV show following one lone gunslinger in a new version of the iconic armor. Armor worn by Jango Fett and his son Boba, two of the most well-known Mandalorians... who weren't Mandalorian at all.
That's the change to Star Wars canon that has created if not the largest plot hole in the new Star Wars universe, then the most impossible one to explain away. Jango Fett was the greatest warrior that the Mandalorian culture had produced, making his reputation known across the galaxy (just like his son Boba's would be one day, too). It was for that reason that he became the model of the Republic's Clone Army. So how does his story make sense if the leaders of Mandalore now claim he was an imposter?
We've got a theory to explain it without erasing Jango's legacy, but it will require a quick history lesson on the Mandalorian way of life, and code of honor. Because the more you learn about the Mandalorian culture... the more it makes sense that Jango Fett wouldn't be Mandalorian, at all.
- This Page: The TRUE Mandalorian People Explained
- Page 2: Why Jango Fett Was Likely Cast Out By Mandalore
The casual fan would think that the Mandalorians would be a major player in the Star Wars story: they're deadly, inherently cool, and wear fantastic armor. But trying to dive into the history of the warrior culture is more difficult than ever, thanks to Disney purchasing Lucasfilm and the Star Wars brand along with it... and claiming all existing novels, comic books, and video games that chronicled the millenia-long Mandalorian history were no longer canon. They remain Star Wars 'Legends,' but aren't official until stated so. But that doesn't mean it's been wiped away, either.
Audiences who watched Clone Wars have only glimpsed a span of years in the Mandalore culture, and will wrongly assume they know who the Mandalorians really are. A society that started by loving warfare, was eventually punished for its warring ways, and is more likely to implode than advance (hopefully Star Wars: Rebels gives them a chance). But with an origin that stretches back thousands of years, even earlier than the formation of the Old Republic, the story of how the Mandalorians became also helps to explain why Jango and Boba Fett would eventually be disowned by them completely.
First things first: the animated Clone Wars may only show human beings in the Mandalorian armor, but that was never the spirit of their people in the original universe. The Mandalorian stand apart from almost all other Star Wars civilizations by having no 'standard' race, thanks to their greatest leader - known as Mand'alor - who saved the Mandalorian people from extinction. After encountering the Republic and their (let's be honest, easily dislike-able) Jedi warrior monks, the expansionist Mandalorians were driven back, and paid the price for hostility.
It was then that the saving Mand'alor rose to claim the rank and mask worn by the leader of all who followed the Mandalorian way. Opening the society's borders to all who would join, adhere to their code of honorable warfare, and worship progress and evolution through martial arts and conquest, the Mandalorian people spread until they laid claim to an entire Republic-free region of space. With war behind them, acting as mercenaries and bounty hunters became their new means of worship.
The exact identity of this history-changing Mand'alor, and the era in which he united the tribes of Mandalore has been changed from canon to non-canon. And while Clone Wars portrayed the progressive, non-violent, pacifistic New Mandalorians as the only 'right' future, Star Wars has always been a mythology best examined from more than one point of view. When united, the Mandalorians are a a strong, intelligent, and honorable re-imagining of gunslingers, samurai, or sellswords.
It's for that reason that it's so easy to accept that Jango Fett may have been exiled, or implicitly outcast by anyone truly honoring the Mandalorian way. No matter what the Republic or pacifists might say, the Star Wars universe only rewards those who can fight to protect the people and things they care about. It's that belief that created the Mandalorian way. And if you believe the rumored plot of The Mandalorian TV show, the new hero may be trying to restore those very values to the Mandalore of the Star Wars future.
Page 2 of 2: Why Jango Fett Was Likely Cast Out By Mandalore
From a certain point of view, this is a mix-up asking to take place, with Mandalorians defined by armor that could practically be worn by anyone, regardless of their heritage of belief system. Obi-Wan Kenobi presumed that Mandalorian armor=Mandalorian in "The Mandalore Plot," season 2, episode 12 of The Clone Wars. When beginning his questions about possible rogue Mandalorian agents, his questions about Jango Fett keeping their 'deadly' reputation alive were immediately dismissed by Prime Minister Almec, clarifying with obvious indignation that "Jango Fett was a common bounty hunter. How he acquired that armor is beyond me."
It's here where the plot hole forms, essentially putting Jango Fett's entire story and role in question. To some, the fact that Prime Minister Almec plays with the truth later in the season means he's lying here, too (even if there's no real reason to). But it's possible to make this scene work with the lore Star Wars fans have surrounding Jango Fett. Especially since his embodiment of the perfect Mandalorian way of combat is exactly why he was chosen as the model for the Grand Army of the Republic.
This is speculation on our part, making the assumption that the Clone Wars team was hinting at a much larger story--instead of erasing one for kicks. If Almec is one thing, it is performative-ly outraged if it keeps up appearances. Which means his description of Jango Fett as "a common bounty hunter" may have more to do with how he's seen by Mandalorians, than if he was a citizen of Mandalore before The Clone Wars. Knowing what we know about the Mandalore tradition, Jango definitely did the one thing his warrior nation would look down upon. Even if they wouldn't learn about it until an endless army of clones spread across the galaxy.
The Attack of the Clones movie outlines the plan: Jango is hired to contribute DNA to the Kamino cloners, so they can create an army of Fetts. In the previous Star Wars novels, that story was expanded to include the Cuy'val Dar--"those who no longer exist." These were 100 people (mostly fellow Mandalorians) recruited by Jango Fett to disappear from the galaxy for a decade, training the Clones in the art of war in total secrecy. Naturally, the Mandalorians passed on their beliefs, and the Clones they shaped had a better chance of survival.
The question fans will ask is: what happened after the decade was up? Most of the Cuy'val Dar returned to their lives, or took on new ones. They had the freedom of anonymity... because it wasn't their face on every Clone soldier. If Jango was as famous a bounty hunter as he seemed, every Mandalorian would know that he allowed his blood, his training, his beliefs, and his culture to be mass-produced. Copied into thousands of soldiers designed to die for the Republic, and not Mandalore. If you ask us, the idea that Mandalore would disown Jango as a traitor is completely believable.
That's our theory for why Jango Fett could have been publicly and enthusiastically exiled and disowned by every follower of the Mandalorian way. But for Boba Fett, the explanation is even simpler: he's not Mandalorian because... well, he never became one. It's safe to assume that Jango passed on some of his culture and Mandalorian ways to his "son" before being killed. But instead of taking his larger step into the Mandalorian way of life, Boba Fett took up with cutthroat bounty hunters and hired guns, instead (a childhood chronicled in Clone Wars).
If our theory is accurate--or at least based in the same expanded universe fiction the Clone Wars writers were leaving possible--Boba was probably better off finding his own set of Mandalorian armor instead of trying to recover his father's. And we suppose there is some poetry in Boba actually becoming what his father was seen as for bringing him into the world: a common bounty hunter.