Force Organizations: Mandalorian Knights
By: Jason Dietzel
One of the most popular story arcs in the Star Wars Expanded Universe is Knights of the Old Republic (KotOR). The 2003 video game became a fan favorite, quickly adding a sequel game, as well as a comic book series set before the original game. The game introduced us to a new look at the Star Wars universe, reminiscent of first being introduced to it in the original trilogy. Much like how the original movies teased our imaginations of the Clone Wars, so too did the Knights of the Old Republic game tease our imaginations of the Mandalorian War.
We got to see the Mandalorian War when the comic book series came out, introducing us to a new set of heroes and villains. One such group, though small in nature, briefly added to the fray of this devastating war, which tossed the galaxy into turmoil and set up a whole chain of galactic events that would change its landscape. This organization was a group of Force users known as the Mandalorian Knights.
The brief history of this group begins with its founder, Dorjander Kace. Kace was a Jedi Knight who fought the Sith/Mandalorian forces during the Great Sith War thirty years prior. During a battle, he was captured by Mandalorian forces and forced to live among them on one of their planets. However, during his time in captivity, he learned the traditions of the Mandalorians, accepted them as his own, and fell in love with a Mandalorian woman. Kace’s partner became pregnant with a child, but unfortunately his new life came to a halt when the Jedi Order attacked the planet, and in the ensuing battle his wife and unborn child were killed. The grieving Jedi blamed the Jedi for her death, believing that it was wrong for his family to be killed by the Jedi, as they possessed an unfair advantage being Force users. He felt she should have had a fair chance to defend herself against the Republic and not their Jedi “servants.”
With the war’s end and Exar Kun defeated, Dorjander Kace, still grief-stricken, returned to the Jedi Order and quickly move up through its ranks, eventually becoming a Master on the High Council. Come the start of the Mandalorian War, Kace was one of the masters who cautioned patience and restraint on behalf of the Jedi Order, remembering the destruction befallen upon his family. However, with the rise of the Revanchists, pleads from the Republic for Jedi assistance, and politics within the Order, Kace soon found himself estranged when it came to the Jedi’s non-involvement and he was replaced on the High Council with a pro-war Master.
At this point, the Mandalorian Knights were born. Kace saw the opportunity to create his own Force organization and ally with the Mandalorians. He found other Jedi who were disgusted with the bureaucracy and corruption of the Jedi and Republic. And so, they secretly joined the ranks of the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders, thinking they would be a better group to help keep the galaxy united. Dorjander Kace and his Mandalorian Knights feigned loyalty to Revan’s Jedi forces, all the while undermining their plans by feeding information to their real allies.
Unfortunately, as previously mentioned above, the Mandalorian Knights were short lived. Kace planned a pretty bold attack on the Dantooine Jedi temple, in hopes of capturing the academy and its younglings and younger Jedi. His plan was to convince them to join the Mandalorian Knights and expand his order generations out. This plan, however, was thwarted by Jedi Knight Zayne Carrick and the Mandalorian Knights, including Kace, were arrested and shipped to Coruscant to stand trial. Without their leader, it is believed the Mandalorian Knights disbanded. It is possible that whomever remained of the order were part of the Jedi not loyal to Revan that were wiped out by the Mass Shadow Generator during the climactic Battle of Malachor V.
Not much was discussed about the philosophy or teachings of the Mandalorian Knights, other than they based their order around Mandalorian cultural traditions, including the importance of family, community and improvement through combat and struggle. During the short time of the order, the Mandalorian Knights donned gray Neo-Crusader armor, mainly to conceal their identities, and wielded lightsabers with bronze/orange blades, emulating Kace’s lightsaber.
Following the Mandalorian War, the Mandalorian Knights slipped into obscurity amongst both the Jedi and Mandalorians. What became of Kace and his fellow Mandalorian Knights following their trials remains unknown. It is not clear if they were sentenced to prison or were exiled like other “fallen” Jedi, possibly falling victim to the subsequent Jedi purge years after the end of the Jedi Civil War. Perhaps we could see a rebirth of the Mandalorian Knights in future material of Expanded Universe content.