This week’s Mandalorian whisked us back to the ravaged homeworld of the once-warrior race, Mandalore, to further delve into the complicated history of its people and its warring cultures. But it climaxed with Bo-Katan Kryze and Din Djarin uncovering something that could change the world — and what’s left of its peoples — forever.
“The Mines of Mandalore,” the second episode of The Mandalorian season three, concludes as Din Djarin is rescued beneath the surface of the fusion-bombed planet by Bo-Katan. She’s his frenemy when it comes to all things Mandalorian at the minute, thanks to both Din’s complex history with the faction once known as Death Watch, and the fact that he accidentally took her sword-shaped right to the rule of Mandalore when he claimed the Darksaber at the end of season two.
But the duo managed to form a begrudging bond as they worked their way below Mandalore’s surface to the titular mines — the location of what Din and the Armorer believe to be “sacred waters” that he must be baptized in to reclaim his status as a Child of the Watch. But just as Din begins the ritual, he’s dragged beneath the surface by a huge beast — and as Bo-Katan jetpacks down to save him, they both get an awesome glimpse at just what it is: a living Mythosaur.
What Is a Mythosaur?
Mythosaurs are gigantic, reptilian creatures that existed in the times of Mandalore’s ancient past. In Star Wars’ old expanded universe, the Mythosaurs were one of the native species on the planet that would one day become Mandalore — when the nomadic Taung chose the world to be their home, and their leader, Mandalore the First, lead them in a campaign of extinction against the creatures. After the Mythosaurs were wiped out, the Taung re-named themselves in Mandalore the First’s honour, becoming Mando’ade in their language, or the “sons and daughters of Mandalore,” and naming the world d Manda’yaim, or “home of the Mand’alor” — or Mandalore, as it became known in Galactic Basic. The creatures’ legacy lived on with their bones used for ceremonial weapons and armour by future generations of crusaders, and their skull became an emblem for the Mandalorians and their ruler.
The Mythosaurs have a similar legacy in the current Star Wars continuity, albeit in a slightly less antagonistic fashion. They too were native creatures on Mandalore, but in this retelling Mandalore the Great, one of the ancient rulers of the Mandalorian people, tamed and rode the creatures as mounts. Their extinction also came about in the current canon, as far as we know, not at the hands of the Mandalorian’s own aggression — but either way, their skull still became an important symbol in the Mandalorian’s warrior culture, and one largely left behind with the rise of the New Mandalorians in the last days of the Old Republic.
Have We Seen Mythosaurs in Star Wars Before?
Before “The Mines of Mandalore” aired, we’d never seen a living Mythosaur in current Star Wars continuity — we never saw one for much of the old Expanded Universe either, with their most prominent appearance being as literal bones.
The Mythosaur’s most prominent appearance in Star Wars was as part of a shoulder pad design for Boba Fett’s armour in The Empire Strikes Back. The skull print was eventually established in the old expanded universe as the symbol of Clan Keldau, a clan of Mandalorians known during the heights of the crusades for their military prowess, and home to many combat trainers. A living Mythosaur wasn’t seen in the Expanded Universe until just before Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm — in the 2013 book The Bounty Hunter Code: From the Files of Boba Fett — and after Star Wars canon was rebooted post-acquisition, it’s only now that we’ve seen a living one, and proof that at least one Mythosaur survived their seeming extinction.
Why Are Mythosaurs So Important to Mandalorians?
Aside as a symbol of their ancient warrior culture, Mythosaurs have taken on a more, well, mythical level of importance in recent Star Wars continuity. In The Book of Boba Fett, the Armorer — an important figure in the Children of the Watch, a nomadic group of surviving Mandalorians that was born from the ashes of the martial traditionalist terrorist faction Death Watch, which was splintered in the final days of the Clone Wars — tells Din Djarin that an ancient Mandalorian song foretold the Mythosaur’s connection to the future of their people. She, and those “songs of eons past,” believed that the Mythosaur would rise once again to herald a new age of Mandalore — whether she or the songs meant literally or symbolically now matters little considering Din and Bo-Katan both know one still lives on Mandalore.
Given everything that Mandalore itself has been through in current Star Wars continuity — a generations-spanning cycle of infighting, fairweather peace, occupation, and extermination — the realisation that the Mythosaurs survived the world’s latest scarring is no doubt going to make waves among the surviving Mandalorians.
What Does the Mythosaur Mean for The Mandalorian?
Well, it’s hard to say, other than it gives the prophecies and warnings of the Armorer — and the wider Watch, Din included — a bit more credence in the eyes of Bo-Katan, who has largely dismissed the pseudoreligion of the group thanks to their roots in her own recent past with the Death Watch. But the potent reminder in The Book of Boba Fett about a Mythosaur heralding a new age for the planet Mandalore seems to be setting up that this season will truly explore the beginnings of a new generation for the world.
After all, Din now has the proof that Bo-Katan always believed — that Mandalore was still a living world, not “cursed” by the Imperial’s savage bombing but just heavily damaged by it. Now that the seeming disparate halves of the Mandalorians’ theological and political divides will both know that Mandalore is capable of potentially sustaining life and civilisation, it seems like the quest is on for the Mandalorians to come home. But just who will lead them in this new age? Well… we know some people who could definitely have an argument about that, Mythosaurs be damned.
While you’re here, why not check out Gizmodo Australia’s guide to what’s streaming this month on Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Stan, Binge and more. We’ve also got one for all the good movies coming out in 2023 if that’s more your thing.
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