Canderous Ordo, also known as Mandalore the Preserver (Te Taylir Mand’alor in Mando’a), was leader of the Mandalorians in the time following the Jedi Civil War, and the first Mandalore since the end of the Mandalorian Wars. A veteran soldier, he fought during both conflicts as well as in the Great Sith War. He joined the Jedi Revan in his quest for the Star Forge and traveled with the Jedi Exile during the First Jedi Purge. He united the scattered clans of the Neo-Crusaders, even as he stood beside the Exile against the Sith Triumvirate. After the destruction of Malachor V, Canderous parted ways with her and awaited Revan’s return from the Unknown Regions readying for a war with an unknown threat.
“I was one of the best youth warriors in clan Ordo in my time.”
Canderous was born to the Clan Ordo on the Mandalorian planet Ordo, as early as to undergo his verd’goten, the warriors’ initiation, in the middle of the greatest breakthrough in Mandalorian technology, when the Basilisk war droids were still being perfected. In those days, young warriors would prove themselves in real combat with unknown opponents on a number of worlds.
He would always remember his first battle, an 80 kilometer plunge through the atmosphere on the back of a Basilisk war droid, dodging self-guided projectile and beam weapons, with barely fifteen centimeters of glowing-hot armor plate protecting him. During that battle, he gained considerable honor for his achievements, and became part of the most promising young warriors of his clan. Following the defeat of the Mandalorian Crusaders in 3,996 BBY, he was recruited by Mandalore the Ultimate into the Neo-Crusaders to serve as a battle tactician rather than a foot soldier.
Before the Mandalorian Wars started, Canderous witnessed what may have been an unknown species scouting the galaxy. His party was going through the asteroid belts of the Crispin system, to hunt the pirates and smugglers that used the frozen methane gas shells of the main belt for cover. Canderous targeted a small asteroid with a thermal generator to cause the outer layer of frozen gas to explode and destroy the hidden ships, but then the asteroid started rotating and spraying thermal projectiles that melted armor like wax, then mysteriously fled before the Mandalorians could counter-attack. They tracked the vehicle rimward through hyperspace until they lost its trail near the galactic rim.
“You had us outnumbered five to one. You had more ships, more troops, more supplies and the Jedi on your side. And we still made the Republic tremble before we fell!”
―Canderous to Republic pilot Carth Onasi
By the time of the Mandalorian Wars, Canderous had attained the rank of commander, and was one of the few high-ranking Mandalorians to survive the Battle of Malachor V. For thirteen years, before they would invade the Republic in 3,963 BBY, the Mandalorians stockpiled resources from the worlds they conquered just outside Republic jurisdiction. Of the many such battles, it is known Canderous took part to the First Battle of Althir, in which he defeated an Althiri fleet ten times the size of his own and earned the command of an entire subsect of his clan.
His task was to assault one of their flanks with a false attack so they would be drawn out, allowing the bulk of his forces to attack from the rear and defeat them. However, when the Althiri let their fleet split in two leaving the center exposed, Canderous turned his forces and got to the enemy commander, ending the battle quicker than they would have otherwise, and avoiding further losses. Regrettably, in abandoning his position, he let many of his men die. The sole survivor of that stand, Jagi, believed Canderous to be a glory hunter, and was determined to have his revenge. He would spend years tracking him down before he had the chance of a face-off with Canderous.
Though he didn’t enjoy wiping out worlds for its own sake, it was Canderous’ belief that the tactics the Republic used when the Mandalorians finally did enter their territory, like setting their bases inside major cities, left Mandalore little choice but to raze whole worlds such as Serroco in provocation. Despite the fact that when Revan joined the war things began to turn against his people, Canderous was increasingly satisfied with the challenge the Republic put up. Revan was willing to leave unimportant planets defenseless in order to make valuable worlds impregnable fortresses. Revan also didn’t just use standard tactics, he employed feints, counterattacks, and mass deceptions to great effect. His ferocity, tenacity, and subtlety made Revan something of a hero in Canderous’ eyes. Though he did regret the fact that the galaxy was taken from their grasp, he recognized the honor in fighting the only one who stood against them, once the Sith had retreated into the Unknown Regions. The Sith he would figure years later to have been behind the very choice of challenging the Republic.
In the close of the conflict, Canderous was among the two fleets that filled the space around Malachor V, where the Mandalorians had committed all of their forces in a last attempt at defeating the Republic. Their doom was sealed, and when the Jedi Exile, the General that commanded the Republic fleet, activated the mass shadow generator, most of the remaining ships were crushed onto the surface of the planet by its gravity well. Those outside the scope of the superweapon were able to escape the mass shadows and survive the battle. In 3,960 BBY the Mandalorians surrendered unconditionally, with Mandalore being executed by Revan while the others were stripped of their weapons and armor, and sent into exile on the Outer Rim. With nothing to call his own but the honor of having fought in the battle he just lost, Canderous became a mercenary. He eventually ended up on Taris, enforcing for local Exchange boss Davik Kang, but the best challenges that Taris had to offer were nothing to him.
Jedi Civil War
“I’m someone you don’t want to get on the bad side of.”
―Canderous to Revan at their initial meeting in the Taris Lower City
After the end of the Mandalorian Wars, while Revan took up the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith and started his own crusade against the Republic, Canderous became the most famous Mandalorian mercenary in the Taris Sector. By the time of the Attack on the Endar Spire, near the close of the Jedi Civil War, he had been fighting across the Galaxy for forty standard years, and it started not being enough for him. Unhappy with the way his life had turned, when Davik didn’t come through with the fortune he had promised to pay Canderous for his services, he decided it was time to move on. When Revan met Canderous in the Lower City of Taris, bearing the made-up identity the Jedi Council gave him, that of a soldier under Bastila Shan, Canderous was going to see to a special assignment of Davik’s.
He was put in charge of a salvage mission to the Under City, to the crash sites of a couple of escape pods from the Republic warship Endar Spire, the ship where Revan was stationed on before the Sith attack. Revan was headed to the Under City himself with fellow Republic fugitive Carth Onasi, but the Lower City swoop gangs had already sent their own salvage parties. Down the Under City west, Canderous lost some of Davik’s men to the rakghouls that roamed the place, and when Revan helped him during an attack, Canderous told him the Black Vulkars were the first to get to Bastila’s escape pod. Revan won the Tarisian Season Opener to rescue the Jedi commanding officer, who was offered as a prize by the Vulkar’s leader Brejik.
Impressed by his recklessness on the track—and skill in the battle after the race—Canderous chose Revan of all people for a plan to escape Taris, which at the time was under Sith quarantine. He needed Revan to break into the Tarisian Military Base and steal the Sith launch codes, without which any ship leaving the atmosphere would have been disintegrated by the Sith fleet’s automated defense guns, so he made a deal with him and provided a droid capable of slicing the encrypted security system that protected entrance to the base, T3-M4.
Working with Revan
“Whatever you are fighting, it will be worthy of my skill.”
―Canderous to Revan
When Revan got the codes, they took the Ebon Hawk from Davik and escaped the planet just as the Sith commenced an orbital bombardment that destroyed Taris. Canderous then traveled with Revan in his mission against Darth Malak and the Sith Empire, despite disagreeing at times with the courses of action he took in their journeys.
Canderous often regaled Revan with tales of his past battles, and would later explain that coming with him was a means of finding battles worthy of his skill, something he could not do under Davik. He also encountered Jagi, who had not forgotten him; he challenged Canderous to a duel in the Dune Sea of Tatooine to answer for his choices in the Battle of Althir. Canderous would not stand the insult and was determined to kill him so that his honor would remain unblemished. Due to his negotiation skills, Revan had Jagi see it Canderous’s way, but Canderous was still scarred when Jagi committed suicide to erase the shame to have questioned the teachings of Mandalore.
At one point, the Ebon Hawk was ambushed by Admiral Saul Karath and tractor beamed by the Sith Interdictor ship Leviathan. Revan was detained with Carth and Bastila apart from the rest of the crew, but arranged for one of the others to stage their rescue; once he was set free, the others followed Canderous’ lead to the Ebon Hawk while Revan saw to the deactivation of the tractor beam. Fighting his way to the docking bays, Canderous got his party on board unscathed.
He was glad to learn, before they set out to find the last Star Map and got to the Star Forge, that the true identity of his new employer was that of the leader of the Republic forces that, to his honor, had the upper hand against his people four years earlier; yet now he felt even more demeaned as a warrior, seeing with the wisdom that comes with age all the opportunities that had passed him by, and he decided he would do something about it as soon as his time with Revan was done. With Malak’s defeat and the triumph of the Republic, Canderous was awarded the Cross of Glory along with Revan and his companions for his part in the struggle against the Sith.
Mandalore the Preserver
“Assemble the rest of your clan. You will return to Dxun.”
―Canderous to a group of Mandalorian mercenaries
Ever since Mandalore’s Mask was seized by Revan, the Mandalorians had been without a leader. Canderous himself, after the Jedi Civil War, did not think the clans as they were could return any time soon. Still, when Revan left for the Unknown Regions, Canderous was left with instructions to unite the clans and prepare for a new war. Besides the whereabouts of the helmet, Revan told him the truth about Mandalore the Ultimate and their Sith allies, that his people had been tricked and that all along the Sith had been behind the choice of challenging the Republic.
As he journeyed to reunite the Mandalorian clans, Canderous met upon an ailing Taung who declared himself to be the true Mandalore, and claimed that the man known as “Mandalore the Ultimate” was a pretender to the Mandalore title. Before dying, this nameless Mandalorian consigned his armor and clan to Canderous, asking him to preserve the traditions. Canderous took the armor for himself, and incorporated the mask into the helmet given to him by Revan. Taking the title of Mandalore the Preserver, Canderous returned to the Mandalorian outpost of Dxun, one of the four moons of Onderon.
Only a selected few knew the identity of the new Mandalore, as he never took off his armor and helmet in the presence of others, not even while sleeping, according to rumors. While it was tradition that the leader of the Mandalorians kept his helmet on, Canderous probably had more reasons to do so, like keeping his ties with Revan secret. This was such a strong reason that even the Jedi Exile’s abilities that caused her other companions to unquestionably follow her orders would not get him to remove it.
When the Jedi Exile was attacked in the First Battle of Onderon by Colonel Tobin, the former Jedi General was forced to land on Dxun, an old battle ground of hers. Her informal master, Kreia, felt, as they assessed the situation, that something was on the moon that the Exile needed to see in order to clear away all of her past that was still unresolved. Suggesting they might come across other means to get to Onderon by exploring their surroundings, she accompanied the Exile through the jungles until they arrived to a Mandalorian Outpost, an old covert camp whose remains had been detected by the pilot of the Ebon Hawk Atton Rand as they looked for settlements. Mandalorian sentries met the Exile outside the camp and led her to their leader who wanted to meet her. Canderous agreed to give the Exile a ride to Onderon at the condition she proved she was not going to be a liability in the difficult streets of Onderon. She did better than he thought she would do, and made quite a reputation among his warriors; Canderous moved up his own timetable, having scheduled a trip for supplies the day after, and took her right away then instead.
Travels with the Jedi Exile
“The one I travel with has walked your same path—and I ask that when the end comes, that you remember that kinship, even if it seems there is nothing else left.”
―Kreia to Canderous
As soon as he had his shuttle prepped for launch he was confronted by Kreia, who was also Revan’s teacher long before, and she asked for his loyalty to the Exile. Canderous was somewhat angered initially by what sounded like lack of respect from an arrogant old woman toward his people, but Kreia expressed her esteem for the loyalty he had shown to Revan and promised to answer why her old apprentice did not take Canderous with him when he left for the Unknown Regions, at the condition he would keep the one she traveled with safe. Canderous was perplexed that the old woman knew about him and Revan, and he had her watched since.
Unfortunately, Sith Assassins attacked the camp, prompting Canderous to launch even sooner, so he left what remained of the enemy to his subordinates and made for Onderon. Arriving in the city of Iziz, he directed the Exile to an acquaintance of his, doctor Dhagon Ghent. Though Ghent was being held by local authorities as a suspect for the murder of Captain Sullio, an officer of the Onderon military, they were able to prove his innocence and Ghent arranged for a message to be smuggled in the Iziz Royal Palace to the Jedi Master Kavar, whom the Exile needed to see. Canderous was delighted to know the Jedi who the Mandalorians believed would have led the Republic forces in the Mandalorian Wars, but Tobin interrupted their meeting, forcing the Exile to return to Dxun. Canderous then decided to join the Exile against the Sith, so that the galaxy would not fall under their influence for good and pose a threat to his efforts to reunite the scattered clans of the Mandalorians.
Traveling with the Exile, Canderous met other Mandalorian clans on Dantooine and Nar Shaddaa, and had them join his force on Dxun. Esok, the leader of a group of Mandalorian mercenaries stationed on Dantooine was killed in an attempt to usurp the title of Mandalore from Canderous. The bolstering of the Mandalorian ranks did worry the Exile, who lost her connection to the Force years back trying to prevent them from taking over the galaxy, yet she saw the value in supporting a strong military force which could be used against the Sith, the Republic being in the shape it was in.
Canderous took his forces in the Onderon Civil War against General Vaklu, a man he respected, so that the planet would not become a staging ground for the Sith. The sight of a Basilisk War Droid raining down onto Onderon once more, shocked royalist and secessionist forces alike; Captain Bostuco, who spoke with Canderous and the Exile before, was relieved however when he saw it was them flying the vehicle, coming to the aid of Queen Talia. By orders of Canderous, high-ranking Mandalorian Xarga led a squadron of warriors to take control of the tomb of Freedon Nadd, whence a detachment of Sith had been dispatched to support Vaklu in Iziz; he followed a strike team of three of the Exile’s companions led by the Dxun Force Adept. The expedition was suggested by Kreia, who recognized the Sith activity picked up by Mandalorian hardware on Dxun as a determinant for the conflict in Iziz; though Canderous thought it foolhardy to divide their forces at a time like that, he trusted the Exile’s decision.
Later on, Canderous distinguished himself in the Battle of Telos IV engaging the Sith fleet alongside now Republic Admiral Carth Onasi; he boarded the Ravager with his troops and met Darth Nihilus in battle together with the Exile and Visas Marr. He also arranged for several proton bombs to be set on the ship, which were destroyed by Kex and a sorry Colonel Tobin as soon as they were back to the orbital shuttle they used to board the ship. Tobin was swayed to help the Exile when he saw the mistake it was to get involved with one such as Nihilus, so Canderous had Tobin report to his men while he took care of his master. When they were back to Citadel Station, Admiral Onasi spoke privately with the Exile, and Canderous parted ways with the Exile soon afterwards.
Little information has been discovered as to Canderous’ fate after his journey with the Exile. According to predictions made by Kreia, Canderous’ future would be one still full of battle. In these battles, Revan’s reasoning behind his order to Canderous would be explained: in ordering Canderous to reunite the Mandalorians, they would be remembered for thousands of years to come. It has been supposed that without these battles, the Mandalorians would not have been remembered as strong, honorable warriors—and without that memory, there would have been no reason for Jango Fett, and later Boba Fett, to don the Mandalorian armor.
Millennia later, the “Bloodletter” may have owned a pair of blasters that had once belonged to Ordo. Clone trooper Null-11, an Advanced Recon Commando in the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars, was named Ordo by Kal Skirata in honor of the legendary Mandalorian warrior. Around the time of the rise of the Galactic Empire, MandalMotors ground military branch created a heavy assault vehicle comparable to an AT-AT, dedicating it the Canderous-class Assault Tank. It is unknown what becomes of the Mandalore mask, as it is not worn by any future Mandalores.
Personality and traits
“I’ve killed many people. I can’t say I’m proud of it, but I have. Criminals, competitors, businessmen, police… women, children…”
A paragon of the ideals the Mandalorians sought to uphold, Canderous lived for battle. He was born and bred in a culture where pity and mercy are but a weakness to be exploited, where those who hesitate are weak, and the weak will die, unless someone strong protects them. Most civilizations would look at this sort of society as spiteful and bloodthirsty, but as he would explain to Revan, Canderous thought such conclusions were made out of fear and ignorance. What he really thirsted for was honor, which could only be achieved with challenge, through conflict with a worthy foe. Canderous was always impressed by a show of force, and was an advocate of fighting before diplomacy. He respected Revan for his attack on the Mandalorian fleet, and felt no regret or anger about being bested by a clearly superior foe. His driving personality traits were best described as ambition, discipline, aggression, and loyalty.
He tended to speak in a gruff, serious manner, often relating old war stories. Whenever he encountered war veterans, he would usually ask them about the battles they fought in or what their opinion was of the Mandalorians. He often displayed disappointment when he found that many on the Republic’s side did not share his fondness of the past. Perhaps this was a contributing factor in Canderous becoming disillusioned after the defeat of the Mandalorians. He once expressed this feeling to Revan, explaining that he was no longer the Mandalorian he once was.
It is also revealed that though Revan and Canderous are good friends, he considered Revan his “employer.” If Revan refuses to listen to Jagi, he replies: “This does not concern you, Jedi. This is between me and Canderous,” Canderous replies “This concerns my employer as well.”
Canderous idolized Revan and firmly believed that, had Revan been born a Mandalorian, then nothing in the Galaxy could have stopped the Mandalorians from reigning supreme. Near the end of the Jedi Civil War, Canderous would have the sole honor of finally meeting and to a certain extent, befriending his hero in person, yet he was unaware of this at first, since at the time, the Galaxy believed Revan to be dead, and also because of the fact that Revan himself did not know who he really was, due to amnesia and a programmed identity implanted into him by the Jedi Council.
Although he only intended to ally himself with Revan as a means of escaping Taris, and despite the fact that he had become, as Bastila Shan said, “a broken down mercenary who was serving at Davik’s heel,” Canderous still held true to the ways of his people and chose to remain amongst the crew of the Ebon Hawk under the belief that their adventures would bring him much needed glory and honor to his heavily diminished pride.
Even though he was quite the loner amongst Revan’s companions, virtually all of whom shunned and disliked him, Canderous slowly came to respect the programmed persona of Revan. When it was discovered that the highly Force-sensitive Republic soldier turned Jedi Padawan was indeed Darth Revan himself, Canderous was, unlike the rest of his companions, overjoyed. Whereas he considered Revan’s artificial persona as his employer, Canderous willingly pledged his loyalty and allegiance to the former Sith Lord, firmly believing that his service to Revan would bring him more battles and glory than he could ask for.