I’m sure you’ve seen the Star Wars Resistance trailer by now and like most things Star Wars, it's full of images that remind us even though it’s a big galaxy; it’s also a shared one.
The trailer itself is only a minute long but within that timeframe there are lots of little Star Wars goodies to grab your attention. One of those is a quick shot of a symbol in the background around the 0:37 minute mark. It’s a blink and you’ll miss it type of thing but behind Tam and Neeku on screen is a banner with a Mandalorian symbol on it. While the symbol might not be familiar I almost guarantee you’ve seen it before if you've watched Star Wars: The Clone Wars or Star Wars Rebels.
The symbol belongs to the “Journeyman Protectors” or simply the "Protectors”, who were an ancient group of Mandalorians which served as the royal guards for the ruler of Mandalore. Most notably, during the Clone Wars, they were led by Fenn Rau and tasked with the protection of the Duchess Satine Kryze, the ruler of Mandalore at that time. While ultimately loyal to Mandalore, they fought alongside the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars and were tasked with training clones in combat and as pilots.
After Mandalore was lost to the Shadow Collective and the Imperial occupation began shortly after, they left their home world and established a base on the third moon of Concord Dawn. While never officially joining the Empire, Rau and the Protectors maintained a working relationship with them while they protected their hyperspace routes.
After the Protectors attacked a Rebel convoy travelling through their routes, injuring Captain Hera Syndulla in the process, Rau was taken prisoner by Kanan Jarrus and Sabine Wren. It was during this time Rau began to empathize with the Rebels and decided to join in their fight against the Empire, realizing he had been fighting on the wrong side.
Learning of this betrayal, Governor Gar Saxon who was appointed ruler of Mandalore, and his super commandos attacked Concord Dawn killing all the remaining Protectors minus Rau, who was still with Phoenix squadron.
Fully on board with the Rebels now, Rau stuck with Wren and the Phoenix squadron throughout their battles against the Empire. He accompanied them to Mandalore where he aided them in destroying an Imperial outpost and Governor Tibor Saxon along with it. They accomplished this with the help of Bo-Katan Kryze, and her Night Owls, who was seen as the rightful Mand’alor and who Rau pledged his allegiance to after the battle, representing the Protectors.
As for the actual look of the symbol, the inspiration came from early sketches of Boba Fett by artist Joe Johnston when prepping for The Empire Strikes Back. In the end Fett would sport a more traditional “Krybes” symbol in its place on his left shoulder.
So what exactly is this symbol doing on a banner hanging on the refueling station "Colossus" way out there in the Outer Rim territory? Tough to say since it takes place roughly 30 years after the events just described. We don't have any record of Fenn Rau past 2 BBY and he would be very old by this point so doubtful he's kicking around. In the years since we last saw him, perhaps he recruited a new generation of Protectors to serve as royal guards to Bo-Katan Kryze, the last known Mand'alor?
The show is a self-described “high-flying adventure” with a lot of starships and sky racing action and the Protectors were known as expert pilots so they wouldn’t exactly be out of place. They flew what was known as “Fang Fighters”, combat ships that were extremely fast and maneuverable so does all this mean there are Mandalorians sky racing and are they flying “Fang Fighters”? Or is it someone just familiar with the history of the Protectors and hangs their sigil as a sign of admiration and respect?
We’ll know much more in the coming weeks as I’m sure a full length trailer is in our future along with more episode descriptions. That should tell us quite a bit more before the premiere date on Sunday October 7th and here’s hoping it’s something they touch on and not just set dressing. But usually in Star Wars, everything means something.
What does everyone think? Is this just a coincidence or are there remnants of the Protectors kicking around the Outer Rim? Or is it just simply a group of mechanics and pilots who are aircraft enthusiasts and students of history?
Star Wars Resistance premieres in the United States on Sunday October 7th at 10pm on the Disney Channel.
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