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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

The Mandalorian Can Bring Back One of the Coolest Droids in All of Star Wars

The Mandalorian has done a lot to recapture the spirit of the Mandalorians' warrior culture. From reuniting the disparate factions across the galaxy, to having them reclaim their ancestral homeworld from the hands of the Imperial Remnant, the Mandalorians haven't been this powerful in a long time. Granted, they are still a far cry away from their ancient ancestors, who led entire armies in campaigns against their enemies, often just for the sake of a good fight. That being said, The Mandalorian makes it clear that this show is all about getting the Mandalorian people back to their full strength.

One major way the show has yet to do this is by reintroducing one of the coolest aspects of being Mandalorian: the Basilisk war droids. These ancient machines were cooped by the Mandalorian Crusaders and used as a way to further increase their already substantial firepower. The Basilisks already have some presence within canon, making the show the perfect place to reintroduce them to the greater Star Wars galaxy. This might even be vital, considering that the interconnected stories of this era will feature the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn.

The History of the Mandalorians' Basilisk War Droids

  • The Basilisk War Droids were ancient battle mounts of the Mandalorians.

  • The Mandalorians stole them from their actual creators, the Basiliskans.

  • The Basilisks became an important cultural symbol for the Mandalorians.

In the official Star Wars continuity, there is very little information available about the Basilisks. However, the fact that they are referenced at all is promising and leaves the door unlocked for future content featuring them. In the Star Wars Legends continuum, the Basilisks have a much more detailed history. They are described as massive, semi-sentient, four-legged war droids that the Mandalorians would mount and ride into battle during the days of the Old Republic.

As one might expect, the Mandalorians were not the creators of this advanced war droid. They stole the design from one of the species they conquered during their crusades: a race known as the Basiliskan. The Mandalorians quickly implemented the Basilisks into their attack strategies, finding new and epic ways to utilize their firepower.

What's fascinating about the Mandalorians and their ancient mounts is that historically, Mandalorians did not put much stock into machines that could gain more credit than their own hard work. The Basilisks were one of the rare exceptions to this cultural norm. Only the most elite Mandalorian warriors were given the honor of a riding Basilisk, leading the Basilisk to become a strong cultural symbol within Mandalorian society.

The Mandalorians would continue to use the Basilisks until their defeat at Malachor V, during the final battle of the Mandalorian Wars. The Jedi ordered that the Mandalorians destroy their prized mounts in the aftermath, and though many clans capitulated to these demands, a handful hid their Basilisks away in secret, waiting for the day they would be needed again. The Basilisks would see some use again in the centuries following the Mandalorian Wars, but by the time of the New Republic, the best one could hope for when looking for a Basilisk was a museum piece.

The Capabilities of a Basilisk

  • The Basilisks have heavy armor and multiple forms of ranged weaponry, making them a threat in most combat situations.

  • Basilisks can function on the ground, in the air, and even in space.

One of the most notable things about the Basilisk war droids is their semi-sentience. They were entirely capable of operating on their own in battle, and they seemed to form strong, almost emotional bonds with their riders, loyally following their commands. They have even said to howl in despair when their rider is killed. For these reasons, it is most likely that the level of intelligence of the Basilisks is comparable to that of some biological animals. This allows them to be intelligent enough to make the distinction between friend and foe and to form an attachment to those who ride them into battle.

The Basilisks were covered in heavy armor, allowing them to survive the stunts that most Mandalorians would put them through. They also came with a stockpile of weaponry, each with various functions. Pulse-wave cannons, auto-firing laser cannons, and two different sets of missile launchers with a payload of four apiece. Near the Basilisk's "nose" was its primary weapon, a cluster of shockwave generator rods that could release bursts of plasma strong enough to tear through a starship's hull.

The war droids were also capable of melee combat, their heavy armor, size, and massive claws, though often used for landing, made them an excellent battering ram capable of taking down multiple foes on the ground or knocking down barricades. The Basilisks were an almost perfect means of conquest for the Mandalorians. They could function on the ground, in the air, and even operate in space. The only obvious criticism of the Basilisks it is that though they can achieve great speed in the air thanks to their rocket boosters, their heavy armor made them difficult to maneuver, so they could be in serious trouble if caught in a tight space.

How the Basilisks Might Return to the Galaxy

  • The Mandalorians might rediscover the Basilisks now that they have reclaimed Mandalore.

  • Basilisks might be a secret weapon to use against Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Returning back to the canon galaxy, it is not impossible for the Basilisks to make an appearance in Season 4 of The Mandalorian or even his upcoming movie. With Mandalore once again under the control of its native people, perhaps the Mandalorians will use this opportunity to explore their ancient past, rediscovering the schematics of the ancient war droids, or even finding some dormant ones deep beneath the wastes. It wouldn't be too surprising to find that their ancestors hid some away until the day they would be needed again.

The Mandalorians of this era have been all about reclaiming their past. Finding the Basilisks, something the galaxy hasn't seen for millennia would be a great boon, especially with Grand Admiral Thrawn returning. The Empire has made itself a clear enemy of the Mandalorians by this point, so when word reaches them that the Empire's most dangerous tactician has returned to the known galaxy, they will likely be pushed into action. Fierce fighters though they may be, Thrawn is a different kind of enemy. He will anticipate their every move and work to eliminate the threat that one of the few proactive enemies of the Empire presents.

This is where the Basilisks might come in handy. The only way to truly defeat Thrawn is to hit him with an unforeseen variable. Thrawn would have no way of knowing that the Basilisks were back in play, if he even knew what they were to begin with. The Mandalorians might use these Basilisks to recreate the ancient surprise attack strategies their ancestors used, catching Thrawn off guard and giving them the chance to achieve victory. Of course, this is all just speculation, but considering how much of the Mandalorian Legends history Dave Filoni has already adapted for modern audiences, it is totally possible that fans may get to see Star Wars' coolest battle droids enter the fray.

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