Posts Tagged ‘Mandalorian Mercs’



“Which Side Are You On?” — This Winter’s Pensacola and Lexington Cons

John "Dak" Morton | April 8, 2014

John Dak Morton with the 501st

One of the last conversations I have at the March 2014 Lexington Comic & Toy Convention is with a miner from Eastern Kentucky. He comes to my table with his teenage daughter, a pretty cosplayer all decked out in pink, heels a tad too high for her rail-thin legs. A rugged, handsome man, he says proudly he’s a fracker who has coal-mined all his life — except during the years when he had an unhappy experience out West working in oil and gas. “It was crazy out there,” he says. He’s glad to be back in Kentucky, in coal.

“Which Side Are You On?” is a protest song from the late 1930s famously covered by Pete Seeger. The legendary folksinger/activist left us this winter at the age of 94. As one who began his entertainment career in the early Sixties as a Greenwich Village-inspired folkie, I regard Seeger, along with Woody Guthrie and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, as one of my pre-Bob Dylan Yodas. The song is about a 1931 miners’ strike in Harlan, Kentucky. It was in fact written by a coal miner’s daughter, Florence Reece, who was also the wife of one of the strike organizers. The Eastern Kentucky Coalfield also spawned another folkie, Jean Ritchie — and well-known country music artists like coal miner-daughter Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gayle, The Judds, Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley, Patty Loveless, Dwight Yoaka, and Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley’s dad.

So, which side are you on? Well, Dak’s a Rebel. Those of you familiar with his backstory know he was raised in captivity in the Kalist VI labor colony. As a teenager, he worked in a mine as a laser drill operator blasting away one of the ores that is a constituent of transparisteel.

Recently I have been asking fans at conventions that very question. In February, Peter Mayhew, Daniel Logan, and I were in Pensacola, Florida, at Pensacon. The first day, we three were on a Star Wars panel before a packed house of fans, and I put it to them. The show of hands indicated: 30 percent Imperials, 30 percent Rebels and 30 percent Underground, consistent with what I have found in my previous surveys.

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Rise of the Mandalorian Mercs, Part 3: SDCC and Mando Weddings

Tom Hutchens | March 24, 2014

Mandalorian Mercs

By the end of 2007, Mandalorian Mercs had started to really take off as a group. Our scattered membership had taken part in many events, and we had gotten our first European Clan. By the time 2008 rolled around, we had five very active clans and just over 50 official members. We had our first real test in damage-control in late 2007 with the death of our website and forum, but we came through that, and by 2008 had a brand new platform running strong for the group. In fact, it’s the same website and forum we continue to use today.

One of my most memorable moments of 2008 was participating in the “Mandalorian Wedding” at San Diego Comic-Con. Two of our members (who had been married in May) had wanted to do a Mandalorian-themed Star Wars wedding. After speaking with them, we all decided that San Diego Comic-Con would be the perfect place to have the “Mando” wedding. It was Mandalorian Mercs’ first year as a fan-group at SDCC, and making sure we presented ourselves and the organization well to the fans was a top priority. I booked a ticket, packed up my newly finished Mark 2 armor, and flew from North Carolina to California to help with our presentation, and the wedding.

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A Star Wars Love Story, Mandalorian Style

Tom Hutchens | February 14, 2014

 Mandalorian Mercs fan group trading card

Series-0 MMCC trading card.

Ten years ago, a silver haired male Zabrak in a dirty black desert coat stumbled into Mos Eisley Cantina. While enjoying a mug of Jawa beer at the bar, out of the corner of his eye he noticed a green female Twi’lek on the dance floor. She wore black CorSec issue trousers while waving a staff around haphazardly as she danced, which immediately caught attention of the Zabrak at the bar. Should he shoot, duck for cover, or attempt to rescue her from herself? Noticing the Zabrak staring at her, she turned around and said “Hello!”

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The History of Mandalorian Armor

Tom Hutchens | January 31, 2014
Early Mandalorian armor

Crusader armor (3996 BBY), Neo Crusader armor (cir 3060 BBY), and Supercommando armor (60 BBY).

Few sights strike as much fear and awe in the Star Wars universe as the sight of a Mandalorian warrior clad in traditional armor. Star Wars fans were first introduced to it with Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back, with its iconic helmet, sleek weaponry, and very cool jetpack helping to make the bounty hunter a fan favorite. Since then it has made appearances in subsequent Star Wars movies, television shows, books, comics, and games. The armor is, without a doubt, the most iconic symbol of Mandalorian culture.

Mandalorian armor is known as beskar’gam (iron skin) in the Mandalorian language, and is worn exclusively by warriors. It is worn by both men and women, and while it gives excellent protection, it also creates a common appearance regardless of species or gender. The highest quality sets are made by lightsaber-resistant beskar (Mandalorian Iron), but the exceptionally high cost and rarity of beskar has led to the use of durasteel, alum, and duraplast in armor production. Mandalorian metalsmiths have traditionally kepth the methods for working beskar into an alloy a highly guarded secret, but the element could be mixed with other metals such as ciridium to create a highly dense and almost indestructible set of armor. (a)

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Mandalorian Mysteries: The Icons of Mandalore

Tom Hutchens | December 18, 2013

mando_symbols_lgtout

In our last installment, we discussed what makes Mandalorian characters and culture so attractive to Star Wars fans. If we dive further into the culture as it’s written in the Expanded Universe, we find that Mandalorians attach great significance to the icons and imagery of their culture. From the first Mandalorian Crusades to the resurgent Mandalorian Death Watch, events and changes in Mandalorian culture were marked often times by specific symbols and icons. Come take a journey with me as we investigate some of the more well-known Mandalorian icons.

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Heeding the Call: Rise of the Mandalorian Mercs, Part 2 – Uniting the Clans

| December 4, 2013
Mandalorian Mercs from across the US/Canada at DragonCon 2007

Mandalorian Mercs from across the US/Canada at DragonCon 2007.

Welcome to the second installment of “Heeding the Call,” in which I recount the history of the Mandalorian Mercs fan group. (And a big thanks to everyone who commented and wrote in about part one.) Let’s resume our flashback to 2007, shall we?

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Heeding the Call: Rise of the Mandalorian Mercs

Tom Hutchens | October 2, 2013

The Mandalorian Mercs

Very few Mandalorian fans ever start out without being an aficionado of the first Mandalorian: Boba Fett. That’s where this story begins, with the “WOOSH” of a 7-year-old boy who’s lifting his Boba Fett figure out of a haphazardly made Sarlacc pit in 1985. Long before novels would bring him back in the Expanded Universe, Boba was very much alive for me.

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Long Beach Comic Con: I Should Have Expected To Find You Here

Lawrence Green | November 8, 2012

IMG_5307

Star Wars fans from around the globe have their minds full of possibilities and excitement since the spectacular news broke that Disney had acquired Lucasfilm Ltd., and the eye-popping announcement that after many years of speculation and hope, additional episodes of the Star Wars saga will be released! While global fandom and movie news sites wait for the next bit of news on what the future has in store for Star Wars, fans in Southern California were able to enjoy a weekend of Star Wars glory and fun, turning out en mass for the 4th annual Long Beach Comic Con.

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