Since Boba Fett’s debut, Mandalorians have fascinated Star Wars fans. The success of the Disney TV series The Mandalorian is proof that, while almost exterminated, their story is far from over.
Hardcore Mandalore fans will know who Gar Saxon is and they would agree that he deserves a page/fan page in the annals of Mandalore history.
Bottom Line Up Front
During the Galactic Civil War, he served in many posts: Governor and Imperial Viceroy on Mandalore, leader of the Imperial Super Commandos, and Emperor’s Hand to the Galactic Emperor Sheev Palpatine.
His death was on planet Knownest in 2 BBY at the hands of the Ursa Wren.
The Clone Wars
During the Clone Wars, Gar Saxon was a member of Deathwatch, a faction of warriors that opposed Mandalore’s pacifist government. He was loyal to Pre Vizsla until the Deathwatch leader was killed in a duel with Maul, former apprentice to Darth Sidious.
The traditional Mandalorian warrior code dictates that only the strongest should rule. Since Gar Saxon saw Maul’s victory as a fair one, he was loyal to the new leader of Deathwatch, a Zabrak force sensitive.
Under Maul’s leadership, Gar Saxon saw many battles and adventures and battles, both through Deathwatch and the Shadow Collective, Maul’s crime syndicate. He fought against Jedi, clones, and the droid armies of the Federation.
When relations between Maul and his former mentor Darth Sidious soured, the falling out became deadly. Losing a two-on-one lightsaber duel against the Sith Lord, Maul could only watch helplessly as his brother Savage Oppress was slain. Consequently, Maul was imprisoned on the Spire of Stygeon Prime.
Almec, then Prime Minister of Mandalore, sent two of the Shadow Collective’s best warriors to rescue Maul, Rook Kast and Gar Saxon. The two Mandalorians freed their Zabrak leader and the three escaped in a Mandalorian Gauntlet craft towards Zanbar.
Failed Defense of Zanbar
Despite spiriting Maul to a secret Shadow Collective Base, the Mandalorians were still attacked, not by the forces of Darth Sidious, but by the droid forces of General Grievous on the orders of Count Dooku.
Despite the exceptional combat prowess of Maul, Saxon, Kast, and the rest of the Shadow Collective, the Mandalorians were routed. Maul, Kast, Saxon, and the surviving members of the Shadow Collective escaped to Ord Mantell.
The Stand at Ord Mantell
On Ord Mantell there were two more syndicates connected to the Shadow Collective, the Pyke Syndicate and Black Sun. Maul and his troops linked up which what was the remainder of the Shadow Collective on the planet of Ord Mantell for a final stand against General Grievous.
When the droid army of the Separatists attacked, Saxon commanded the ground troops of the Shadow Collective. Despite fighting bravely, Saxon’s forces were overrun and captured.
When all hope was lost, however, Maul managed to compel Grievous to deactivate the droids. In consequence, Saxon’s forces were able to recover and destroy the Separatist forces. Moreover, Saxon and his troops managed to rescue a Nightbrother of the Zabraks and even capture the powerful Count Dooku.
The Destruction of the Shadow Collective
Now that the Shadow Collective had defeated the Separatist forces of General Grievous, they faced a new problem. The Republic was sending a clone force under the leadership of Obi-Kenobi to crush Maul and his allies.
Saxon was also present when Maul notified his former mentor recently made enemy Darth Sidious of the defeat of Count Dooku.
It seemed that the whole galaxy was against them, the droids, the Jedi, and the Sith. Regardless, Saxon chose to stand with Maul to the bitter end.
Maul had decided that the Mandalorian supply outpost Vizsla Keep 09 would be a more defensible position than Ord Mantell. Again, Maul placed Saxon in command.
By the time the Jedi attacked, Maul had managed to convert Count Dooku from a prisoner into an ally. A force-sensitive melee ensued between Maul, Dooku, Kenobi, and other Jedi. Even though the battle was ultimately lost by the Shadow Collective, Jedi Tiplee was slain.
Maul, Dooku, Kast, and Saxon managed to escape in a Gauntlet fighter, but they left behind the remnants of their forces. Separatist forces would soon mop up the Pyke Syndicate and Black Sun making the Shadow Collective only a memory.
The Siege of Mandalore
After the defeats of Zanbar and Vizsla Keep 09, Maul concentrated his remaining forces on Mandalore itself in the domed city of Sundari. Prime Minister Almec ordered Saxon to prepare the troops for an invasion consisting of both the Republic forces and the Mandalorian resistance.
Saxon personally killed several clone troopers in the ensuing battle but was eventually overwhelmed. Almec ordered him to withdraw his forces to the undercity and meet up with Maul. There, in the sewers of Sundari, Saxon set up an ambush for former Jedi Ahsoka Tano.
The trap was successful and Tano’s clone troops were overpowered by the super commandos under Saxon and Kast. Tano, however, managed to escape.
Shortly afterward, Almec had been captured by Tano and the Mandalorian resistance fighter Bo-Katan Kryze. Maul ordered Saxon to eliminate Almec before he could reveal any compromising information.
Saxon managed to execute Almec in his prison cell at the very moment the Prime Minister was being questioned by Tano and Kryze. Despite being pursued by Kryze, Saxon escaped by using a falling elevator to damage Kryze’s jetpack.
Under Maul’s orders, Saxon would later lead his troops against the 332nd Company of the Republic’s clone forces. Although Saxon was winning the battle, the clones were soon reinforced by Kryze’s resistance fighters and Saxon lost the upper hand.
When Saxon requested reinforcements from Maul, the former Sith Apprentice told the Mandalorian to “die well”.
The battle ended in the capture of Maul and Saxon and effectively all surviving fighters among Maul’s forces by clone commander “Rex”. Maul’s rule puppet-master style of rule over Mandalore had come to an end.
The Galactic Civil War
After the Destruction of the Shadow Collective, Saxon decided to serve the Galactic Empire. Under Emperor Palpatine, Saxon was placed as Viceroy and Governor of Mandalore and his super commandos became Imperial Super Commandos.
Gar Saxon vs The Protectors
The new Viceroy determined that a rival faction was a threat to his power. The Mandalorian Protectors of the Concord Dawn star system were ambushed on Saxon’s orders and effectively wiped out.
The Protectors’ leader Fenn Rau was not present at the massacre, however, and would eventually ally with the rebels including Mandalorian Sabine Wren and Jedi Padawan Ezra Bridger.
Despite managing to capture and interrogate the rebels, Saxon was defeated when Rau recovered the rebel ship Phantom II and helped the freedom fighters escape.
Saxon’s defeat left him resentful of Sabine Wren and he thirsted for vengeance. Therefore, he duped Wren’s own family into luring her into a trap in their own stronghold on planet Knownest. Once the trap had been sprung, he intended to exterminate the entire Wren Clan.
Once again, his plans were foiled by a surprise attack from his old nemesis Fenn Rau. In the ensuing chaos, Clan Wren and their allies gained the upper hand over Saxon and his Imperial Super Commandos.
The firefight culminated in a Mandalorian-style, single-combat duel between Gar Saxon and Sabine Wren on a frozen lake. In typical Mandalorian fashion, the duel was not limited to light sabers. Blaster pistols, jet packs, and flame throwers were also employed by both parties.
Sabine was able to use her flame thrower to damage Gar’s jetpack and limit his mobility. She was eventually able to disarm Saxon of his Darksaber and hold both his and her weapons to the Mandalorian’s throat. Despite his betrayal, Sabine chose to show mercy.
Regardless of his defeat and the mercy he was shown, Gar Saxon attempted to shoot Sabine in the back. He was stopped, however, with a fatal shot to the heart fired by Ursa, Sabine’s mother.
Although the killing of Gar Saxon was perfectly justified and even unavoidable, Clan Saxon did not see it that way and there was a civil war between Clan Saxon and Clan Wren.
As ruthless as Gar Saxon was, his actions reflected the value of the Mandalorian people. His brother and successor, Tiber Wren, was a sheer opportunist and would pave the way for the Purge of Mandalore resulting in the liquidation of most Mandalorians at the hands of the Galactic Empire.
The Clone Wars
Darth Maul- Son of Dathomir 1 (canon comic miniseries, Dark Horse)
- Gar Saxon and Rook Krast make their free Maul from the clutches of Darth Sidious on Stygeon Prime.
Darth Maul- Son of Dathomir 2
- Gar Saxon participates in the Battle of Ord Mantell, where he rescues Night Brother Viscus and captures Sith Apprentice Count Dooku.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars- “The Phantom Apprentice”
- On Maul’s orders, Gar Saxon assassinates Prime Minister Almec.
- Saxon’s forces battle with 332nd Company of the Republic’s clone forces.
- Saxon and Maul are captured by 332nd Company Commander “Rex”.
The Galactic Civil War
Gar Saxon is installed by Emperor Palpatine as Governor and Viceroy of Mandalore and is referred to as the Emperor’s Hand.
Star Wars Rebels- “Imperial Supercommandos”
- Gar Saxon orders the massacre of the Protectors on the third moon of the Concord Dawn star system.
Star Wars Rebels- “The Legacy of Mandalore”
- Gar Saxon dies after a Mandalorian duel with Sabine Wren.
“You heard him — Let’s go scrap some droids! Victory or death!“
Gar Saxon to Rook Kast before breaking Maul out of the Spire on Stygeon Prime
“I don’t know what Lord Maul’s big plan is, but it’s not working.”
“Rein it in, soldier. We don’t question the strategy—we ensure its success.“
Black Sun soldier and Saxon
“It’s been a while since we had a fight like this. Are you ready?”
Gar Saxon to Prime Minister Almec.
“Clan Wren is clearly a threat to the Empire, and must be taken care of.“
Gar Saxon giving orders for the extermination of Clan Wren
Question: What Inspired the Design of Gar Saxon’s Armor?
Answer: Gar Saxon’s armor is distinct in that his armor is painted red and black and his helmet has a crown of horns. This is actually an attempt to emulate the appearance of Darth Maul, Saxon’s master after the death of Pre Vizsla.
When he swore allegiance to the Emperor after the end of the Clone Wars, he changed his armor just as he had changed sides. He lost the Zabrak horns but kept the color red.
Question: What was Gar Saxon’s Armor Made of?
Answer: Beskar. Like most Mandalorians, Saxon’s armor was made of beskar, a Mandalorian metal alloy that is also referred to as Mandalorian iron or Mandalorian steel.
Question: How Often has Gar Saxon Switched Sides?
Answer: Gar Saxon rebelled against the Duchess, the rightful ruler of Mandalore when he joined Deathwatch and followed Pre Vizsla. Despite the fact that Saxon was a Mandalorian, he allowed Maul, a Zabrak, to kill the Duchess of Mandalore.
Then when Pre Vizsla, the leader of Deathwatch, was killed by Maul in a duel, Saxon swore loyalty to his former leader’s killer. He also, on the Zabrak’s orders, personally assassinated the Prime Minister of Mandalore, Almec.
Then, when the Shadow Collective had been crushed by the Republic and the Republic had been crushed by the Empire, Saxon swore fealty to the Emperor.
This was despite the fact that Emperor Palpatine had imprisoned Maul, Saxon’s former master, and executed Maul’s brother Savage Oppress.
Finally, Saxon made a deal with Ursa Wren. Despite the fact that Ursa had kept her side of the bargain, Saxon attempted to exterminate the whole clan.
When he fought a duel with Sabine Wren and lost, despite having very legitimate grounds to kill him, Sabine spared the Viceroy’s life. He repaid her mercy with an attempt to shoot her in the back, which was against the Mandalorian code of honor.
Gar Saxon’s life was a microcosm of the Mandalorian people. He lived as other Mandalorians did, by the mercenary code. And, like Gar Saxon, the Mandalorians did not come to a good end.
A society of mercenaries is doomed because its very foundation is cracked.
Mercenary honor is an oxymoron. Honor means nothing if it is always on the market to be sold to the highest bidder. Time and time again Gar Saxon sold out to whomever he thought was the winning side and there was definitely something in Mandalorian society that agreed with that principle.
They valued strength and honor but they also valued winning at all costs. What they couldn’t see is that they too would be cast aside when they had outlived their usefulness.
With the Duchess, the people of Mandalore had a chance to save themselves and choose a different path. Unfortunately, Deathwatch, with the help of Gar Saxon and Mail, murdered the Duchess and destroyed that hope.
Despite his horrible flaws, Gar Saxon was no coward. Likewise, despite the genocide of the Mandalorian people, some did survive, as did whatever was good in the Mandalorian people.
As can be seen in the actions of Mandalorians like Bo-Katan Kryste, Sabine Wren, and the title character of the Disney TV series The Mandalorian, there’s always hope.
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