The Mandalorian: What is Beskar Steel?
[Warning, minor spoilers for episode 1 “Chapter 1” of The Mandalorian are in this article.]
In the opening minutes of The Mandalorian’s debut episode, “Chapter 1”, our titular hero is accosted by a cantina patron. The thuggish looking alien voices some skepticism (or reverence) about whether or not the armor The Mandalorian is wearing is truly made of something called “Beskar Steel”. Later on in the episode, Pedro Pascal’s lone gunfighter acquires a small ingot of Beskar for himself, which bears the stamp of the now-defunct Galactic Empire.
Beskar, with no other context outside the show, is clearly a very valuable material both monetarily and culturally – and not just to Mandalorians. The Client (who bestows the ingot onto our hero) muses that “Beskar belongs back into the hands of a Mandalorian”, but what exactly is Beskar, and why is it so valuable and sought after? Welcome, my friends, to our very first deep lore dive into The Mandalorian. Buckle up.
Beskar (also called Beskar Steel or Mandalorian Iron) is an alloy that’s notoriously strong against some of the most extreme forms of damage you’d see in the Star Wars universe… Even glancing or slashing blows from a lightsaber. Beskar is also one of the only materials that can outright deflect direct blaster fire, which I believe we see firsthand during the last big firefight of “Chapter 1”, when a particularly large blaster bolt bounces off of The Mandalorian’s new pauldron (made, of course, out of Beskar).
Beskar was commonly used on Mandalore and by its natives, but the war-torn planet has only just recently pushed back the occupation of the crippled Galactic Empire. The Empire was notorious for reaping and hoarding resources from other planets for themselves, so it is very likely that they had a monopoly on Mandalore’s Beskar supply… Until now. This also lines up with The Client’s comment mentioned earlier about Beskar being back in the possession of a Mandalorian. The Client, however, bore an Imperial medallion around his neck, and was accompanied by a platoon of Stormtroopers. This leads me to further question what he and his faction’s motives are, and how he came into such a rich supply of such a coveted ore.
Aside from where Beskar is from and who its currently held by, it’s important to understand where Beskar is supposed to be used for. In one scene in “Chapter 1”, The Mandalorian walks through what looks like an underground shelter for Mandalorian refugees, complete with tiny helmeted children running around. A long, gray tunnel leads to what looks like a sacred chamber, demarcated by a huge silvery mythosaur skull, a symbol of the Mandalorian people that’s presumably made from Beskar as well.
In this chamber lies a forge that looks like the jet engines from a starship, and a more senior-looking Mandalorian warrior who is crafting pieces of armor in its fires. This person, who accepts our Mandalorian’s offering of the Beskar ingot and Calamari Flan currency, rewards him with a new pauldron forged from that very ingot. She also mentions that there will be enough material left over to craft supplies for other young Mandalorians, which is one of our only glimpses into the character of our protagonist. He was an orphan once, too – and wants to help his people rebuild.
We could go even further down the canon rabbit hole and talk about Mandalore’s Neo-Crusaders, Death Watch, the Shadow Collective, Imperial Super Commandos, Clan Wren, House Kryze, and “The Duchess”, but that’s another story for another day. I’m not an expect on Manda-lore (I’m so sorry), but hey – you’ve got Disney+ now! Go watch the Mandalore arcs in The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, and brush up on it yourself.
In any event, Beskar is very, very important – not only just to our Mandalorian, but to his people as a whole. I don’t anticipate this being the last we see of the material on Disney+’s flagship new series, and I’ll be sure to double back on this discussion once we know more.
The Mandalorian’s second episode goes live on Disney+ this Friday, November 15th.
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