What is 'The Great Purge' and why are the Mandalorians in hiding?
The history of the Empire has had significant impact on the Mandalorians
Chapter 3 of ‘The Mandalorian’ revealed that there’s more than one Mandalorian about the planet - actually there’s a whole community of them, deep in hiding. The armored warriors are obviously taking great lengths towards keeping their existence a secret - one disgruntled Mandalorian mentions that only one of them is allowed to the surface at a time. It’s the same Mandalorian who reveals that their tribe has been in hiding since the “Great Purge.” So just what is this Great Purge, and why does it have a tribe of the galaxy’s fiercest warriors on the run?
Fans of the film franchise will recognize the phrase from the ‘Star Wars’ prequels - specifically, ‘The Revenge of the Sith.’ Otherwise known as Order 66, It is the order given out by Emperor Palpatine that saw the Clone Army betray the Jedi and summarily execute them.
The Purge wiped out almost all of the Jedi Order, and was the day the Empire rose to power, setting up decades of turmoil in the Star Wars universe. The Empire’s reign only ended with ‘The Return of the Jedi,’ where Luke Skywalker and his allies in the Rebellion toppled the Empire’s control once and for all.
One of the events that happens as a a result of the Purge was that control of Mandalore was taken by the Empire, under the command of Darth Maul. During this time, Mandalore went into a period of great upheaval. All the Beskar Steel mined on Mandalore and its moon, Concordia - the only source of Beskar Steel in the galaxy - went under Empire's control. Beskar Steel, as it’s been noted, is of immense cultural significance to the Mandalorians as a people.
As for why the Mandalorians are in hiding, less is known. Mandalore is back under Mandalorian control, thanks to Bo-Katan Kryze, who overthrew the Empire and with the Darksaber reunited the Mandalorians under one banner. It is, however, possible that the Mandalorians we see on the show are an offshoot tribe, who do not recognize Bo-Katan Kryze as their leader. If that is the case, then they are all likely war criminals, on the run from their own people.
All will doubtless be revealed as the show continues, but ‘The Mandalorian’ holds its secrets close to its chest until its ready to reveal them.
The next episode of ‘The Mandalorian’ releases November 29, on Disney+.