Expanding the Clone Wars – The Lawless Arc

In this edition of Expanding the Clone Wars we explore Episode 5.14 “Eminence”, 5.15 “Shades of Reason”, and 5.16 “The Lawless”.  Darth Maul joins forces with the Death Watch Mandalorians to take back Mandalore and seek revenge against Obi-Wan Kenobi. We explore how the new continuity created by The Clone Wars TV series fits in with the current Star Wars Expanded Universe! You can find We Talk Clones' review of all three episodes on our sister site, SoloSound.net.

Black Sun

Darth Maul founded a criminal organization known as the Shadow Collective made up of the Mandalorian Death Watch, the Pyke Syndicate, a Black Sun faction, and several Hutt enforcers. The Black Sun criminal organization first made an appearance in Shadows of the Empire, a multimedia Expanded Universe Star Wars story released in 1996 as a novel, comics series, video game, and collectibles. Xomit Grunseit was the leader of the Black Sun faction that Darth Maul took over on Mustafar and was a Falleen, the same species as the Black Sun Underlord Prince Xizor from Shadows of the Empire. It’s also interesting that the Black Sun installation on Mustafar has a similar architectural design to the shape and design of Xizor’s ship, the Virago. Grunseit and later Ziton Moj, who took over the operation, were not mentioned as being one of the nine Vigos, the lieutenants of the Black Sun who oversaw different regions of the galaxy and reported directly to the Underlord. 

Several Vigos during the Clone Wars included Cash Garrulan who retired from the Black Sun in Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, Xist who controlled his holdings from Trigalis in the Outer Rim in the Obsession series, and Ziro the Hutt who had appeared throughout The Clone Wars TV series. Prince Xizor wouldn’t take control of the organization until after the Clone Wars.

Darth Maul’s brother Savage Opress brutally beheaded all the Falleen members who refused to join Maul’s Collective and this is not the first time Maul has had a deadly run in with the Black Sun. Around 33 BBY in the comic Darth Maul, Maul was ordered by Darth Sidious to put the Black Sun into complete chaos and eliminate all the Vigos. The leader of the Black Sun had a Nightsister bodyguard named Mighella and she would recognize his Nightbrother markings. Sidious told Maul that one day the Black Sun might prove useful but at the time must be thrown into disarray so it cannot threaten the Sith Grand Plan.


Mandalore plays a major role in this arc of The Clone Wars and the continuity headaches introduced in Season Two that showed a completely different look at the culture has slowly become full circle and is steadily fitting in with existing Expanded Universe material. Karen Traviss’ Republic Commando series portrayed Mandalore as an arboreal world while in Season Two of the Clone Wars the world had been devastated and become a barren wasteland. In The Essential Atlas this canon conflict had been retconned with the Mandalore Excision. In 738 BBY, Mandalore suffered a Jedi-Republic strike force that brought devastation to the Mandalorian sectors and made parts of Mandalore into an inhospitable desert wasteland. Out of this conflict the New Mandalorians emerged and formed a new pacifistic society based in their new capital city of Sundari in the middle of the wasteland. Many Mandalorian clans continued to live out their classic warrior traditions in habitable locations on other parts of the planet in cities such as Keldabe. In Jango Fett: Open Seasons, the warrior clans were either united by Jasteer Mereel under the Supercommando Codex or under the Death Watch whose primary goal was to return to their ancient roots as warriors and conquerers of the galaxy. Mereel’s Supercommandos would be wiped out by the Jedi and the Death Watch would scatter until being reunited under Pre Vizsla. Mandalore's reconstruction fell largely upon the New Mandalorian government, now under the leadership of Kalevala native Duchess Satine Kryze. We have to assume it was around this time Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon went on a mission to Mandalore and Bo-Katan Kryze fell in with the disorganized Death Watch. It is interesting to note that the official Star Wars site refers to members of the Death Watch as super commandos, even though Supercommandos were the Death Watch’s sworn enemies many years previously. After the death of Jango Fett, the Mandalorians were left without a proper Mand’alor. Pre Vizsla believed he could continue the tradition but the true title of Mand’alor wouldn't be claimed until the arrival of Spar - a former ARC and deserter of the republic, who has appeared as a retcon in the Marvel comic The Search Begins. It would be interesting to see what different characters from the Republic Commando series were up to during the Death Watch takeover of Mandalore. Kal Skirata and the other true Mandalorians held a deep loathing and hatred of the Death Watch viewing them as a cancer to the Mandalorian way. Former Republic training sergeants Dred Priest and Isabet Reau would later been seen recruiting for the Death Watch after The Clone Wars, but would they have played a role in Pre Vizsla’s takeover of Sundari?

It is unknown where the future of The Clone Wars takes the Mandalorians. In the existing Expanded Universe, Spar took the name Mandalore the Resurrector, formed the Mandalorian Protectors and recruited 200 police from Mandalore including Fenn Shysa and Tobbi Dala and a dozen former Death Watch members. In the comic Republic 67: Forever Young , they would side with the Separatists and fight the Republic at Null, New Bornalex, Kamino, New Holstice, Zaadja, and even Mandalore until Sidious betrayed them after ordering them to capture Padme on Norval in a mission that turned out to be a Republic ambush as was depicted in The Search Begins.

In the New Mandalorians capital of Sundari, there were two murals that depicted ancient battles. The first mural at the foot of the royal platform had enormous artwork of a battle between steadfast ancient Mandalorians and Jedi knights. One of the Mandalorians had a helmet similar to the design of Mandalore the Lesser who fought in the arenas of Geonosis from The Return of the Mandalorians timeline of The Old Republic MMO. The second mural directly under the speaking balcony clearly depicts the Mandalorian Crusaders in battle against the Jedi possibly led by Mandalore the Ultimate from the Knight of the Old Republic era.

Death Watch

The Death Watch have slowly been turning into the Mandalorians we have gotten used to in the Expanded Universe and not the brutal terrorists from earlier episodes in the series. They have been living like nomads and following the true warrior faith as honourable soldiers. The Death Watch loyalists’ used small portable shields incorporated into their gauntlets that were developed to deflect blaster bolts since the large open space of the combat area provided no suitable cover for the super commandos. The Bounty Hunter Durge used similar wrist shields in the Clone Wars Micros Series Chapter 8 to deflect lightsaber blows. When Darth Maul cut down Pre Vizsla and seized the throne of Sundari from him, Bo-Katan claimed that no outsider can rule Mandalore. However this wasn’t the first time in the Expanded Universe a Sith defeated a Mandalorian in single combat. In Tales of the Jedi: The Sith War, Mandalore the Indomitable was defeated in single combat on Kuar by Ulic Qel-Droma and pledged his warriors and service to the ways of the Sith. Many years later in Knights of the Old Republic, Revan, a rogue Jedi Knight, slew Mandalore the Ultimate on Malachor V, defeated the Neo-Crusader army and claimed the mask of Mandalore for himself, denying the Mandalorians the right of succession causing the clans to scatter. One thing to touch on briefly is Pre Vizsla mentions the secret Sith Rule of Two. Where would he have learned about this rule if the Sith never revealed themselves publicly to the galaxy ? In the Living Force Campaign Guide, around 188 BBY during the Dark Jedi Conflict, Kibh Jeen warned the Jedi that the Sith survived and were operating utilizing the Rule of Two, yet his warning was ignored and passed on as rantings of a madman until Darth Maul revealed himself to the Jedi in The Phantom Menace. As far as we are currently aware, there were no Mandalorians present during the Dark Jedi Conflict who could have over heard Kibh Jeen’s mad rants, so the only way Pre Vizsla would know of the Rule of Two is through Mandalorian legends of Darth Revan and Darth Malak and their teachings of one master and one apprentice.


It is hard to tell how aware Mas Amedda is of Palpatine’s alter-ego of Darth Sidious at this point in the war. However, after the Clone Wars he would reclaim lost Sith artifacts for the Emperor and explored many Sith worlds in a thirst for knowledge of Sith history.

During the battle between Sidious, Maul, and Savage, Sidious fights in the Niman/Jar’kai art of lightsaber dueling with with two lightsabers. It was evident in Revenge of the Sith that he has two lightsabers because he loses one in his fight with Mace Windu before dueling Yoda. He never has an opportunity to wield them simultaneously before in the Expanded Universe.

Also cool to note that the Twilight has a cartoonish illustration of Anakin as a boy Podracer pilot, with Aurebesh text that says "WIZARD!!!"

Thanks for joining us as we explored The Clone Wars TV series and how the new continuity fits in with current Expanded Universe material! If there is any Expanded universe connections we missed in this arc, let us know in the comments below. Make sure to join us next time when we explore the next arc of The Clone Wars!

About the Author

Andy Ury joined EUCantina in 2012 as a columnist of the weekly Expanding The Clone Wars column, exploring the current Expanded Universe and fitting it in with the new continuity brought about with The Clone Wars TV series. Andy has been a huge Star Wars fan since first viewing the VHS Special Edition of the Original Trilogy in 2002, and since then he has poured over every detail of the SWEU. Andy believes every aspect of the Star Wars Expanded Universe can somehow be retconned into one cohesive continuity, including Lil’ Maul and Skippy the Jedi Droid.