This week’s episode of The Mandalorian brought Star Wars’ original Mandalorian back into action. Boba Fett suited up again after reclaiming his armor from Din Djarin, proving his claim by establishing his legacy as a Mandalorian foundling with the chain code embedded in his suit. The episodes leave viewers with only a vague sense of what is in the chain code based on context from Din and Boba’s conversation. Luckily, some dedicated Star Wars fans weren’t satisfied with that. They went in and translated the chain code from Mando’a, the Mandalorian language, into English. It turns out the code may have brought another important Mandalorian character from Star Wars Legends lore into the new Star Wars canon.
The code refers to a “Mentor Jast” or “Mentor Jaste,” depending on which fan translation you’re looking at. Most agree that this seems to be a partial reference to Jaster Mereel, a significant character from the old expanded universe. Some longtime Boba Fett fans may remember that Jaster Mereel was initially intended to be Boba Fett’s real name back when he was believed to have stolen his Mandalorian armor. Attack of the Clones rewrote Boba Fett’s backstory, and instead, Jaster Mereel became another Mandalorian character.
Star Wars introduced Jaster Mereel in the comic book miniseries Star Wars: Jango Fett – Open Seasons. The four-part miniseries tells Jango Fett’s origin story, explaining how he ended up becoming the template for the clones in the Grand Army of the Republic.
That story reveals that Jaster Mereel was a lawman on his homeworld, Concord Dawn, in the Mandalore sector of the galaxy. He left that life behind after killing a corrupt politician and joined the Mandalorians. After earning the respect of his fellow supercommandos, Mereel ascended to the position of Mand’alor, leader of all the Mandalorian tribes.
As Manda’alor, he tried to impose a code of conduct known as the Supercommando Codex. It laid out the means for Mandalorians to lead an honorable lifestyle as highly-paid mercenaries rather than conquerors. The pacifist New Mandalorians opposed the Codex because it still allowed Mandalorians to continue their militant lifestyle. The Codex also led to the formation of Death Watch, the Mandalorian faction that wanted to return to the old ways (this is the faction that rescued Din Djarin much later).
The formation of Death Watch led to the Mandalorian Civil Wars. Mereel fought in those wars. Early on, he returned to Concord Dawn and rescued a young Jango Fett after his family was killed and their farm burned by Death Watch. Mereel brought Jango into the Mandalorian way. Mereel fathered and trained Jango until he was betrayed by his second in command and was killed by a member of Death Watch. Jango Fett followed in Mereel’s footsteps and became the new Manda’alor.
That’s all according to now-defunct canon. As with many other parts of the old expanded universe, the new Star Wars canon will likely pick and choose which bits, if any, from Mereel’s story it will implement.
New The Mandalorian episodes stream on Fridays on Disney+.
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