Zam Wesell Character Corner

Human-form Zam WesellEpisode II introduces us to a character named Zam Wesell, shape-shifting bounty hunter and accomplice to Jango Fett. Jango Fett then kills her. We don’t see much of this strange character, but now we have a chance to finally examine the life of this enigmatic figure.

Zam meets Fett

Born on Zolan, a mid-rim planet, Zam Wesell is a member of the Clawdite species. Originally part of the Zolander species, extensive genetic engineering gone awry turned this off-shoot into shape-shifters. The Zolanders ostracized them, and Zam grew up in a world either on the brink of war or fighting. Zam trained as a Mabari, a religious order of warrior-knights, and was thrown out for wanting to become a bounty hunter.

Zam Wesell first met her longtime partner (and eventual killer) Jango Fett while they hunted the same person, a smuggler wanted by a crime lord, currently held in an asteroid prison. Wesell reached the quarry first, but had to stage a riot and breakout. Fett’s arrival ruined her plans, so she decided to hijack Fett’s ship, Jaster’s Legacy. It was destroyed, forcing Zam and Fett to work together. The situation began to spiral out of control when they arrived at their destination and Fett revealed he was working a larger job, of which the jailed smuggler was only a piece.

Fett revealed he was after the location of the failed Jedi Padawan who had become leader of the Bando Gora, a Force-worshipping cult. Thanks to information gained on the current job, the pair headed to Tatooine. There they discovered the location of Bando Gora after dealing with dueling Hutt crime lords.

Zam and Fett battled with the dark Jedi and the cult, ultimately defeating them. Out of the shadows appeared Tyranus (Count Dooku), who was Jango Fett’s contact for the mission, revealing it had essentially been a test to see if Fett was worthy of being the clone template for the eventual Republic Army.

Working together
Clawdite Zam
Zam in her original Clawdite form.

Zam spent several years of working with—and against—Fett on various contracts. Fernooda, a Dug on Coruscant, contacted both bounty hunters, though separately, asking them to recover an artifact stolen from him. Barely escaping with their lives, Fett returned with the artifact. Shortly after, Zam discovered the artifact they had recovered, the Infant of Shaa, is not only capable of destroying planets, but the alien they’d returned it to, Ashaar Khorda, planned to use it to destroy Coruscant.

Appealing to Fett’s better side, the two traveled to Coruscant to stop the plot. Joining with Jedi Master Yarael Poof, the bounty hunters battled the terrorists in an attempt to save the planet. They were successful, but Poof gave his life. The next mission the two took together landed Zam in a fight against another Clawdite, posing as a decoy of their target. Their final mission together was the attempt on Senator Padme’s life. This led, directly or indirectly, to both of their deaths.

Behind the Scenes

Australian actress Leeanna Walsman plays Zam in both Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Bounty Hunter (voice only). She was originally going to be a longer-lasting character and a main antagonist of Episode II. The one-shot comic Star Wars: Jango Fett is her first canon appearance. Walsman was not made aware of Zam’s shape-shifting abilities, as it was a later addition to the film.

Thanks for reading! Come back next week for more fun fan information.

Mandalorian History

Mandalorian Mercs
Mandalorian Mercs

The esteemed Mandalorian Mercs, a group dedicated to incredible re-creations of Mandalorian suits of armor, have been our advertising partners going on two years running. Their fantastic costumes have inspired us to tell you a condensed history of the proud Mando’ade people.

Since their earliest years, the Mandalorian culture was battle-obsessed and warlike. They began as the near-human species known as the Taung. Intense fighting between them and the humans on Coruscant, led by the warlord known as Mandalore the First. They conquered planets and began a civilization, taking the name of their leader (Mandalore also became the title of the Mandalorian leader, up to and beyond Palpatine’s Empire).

The Original Mandalorians
The Original Mandalorians

After thousands of years of conquest, the Great Sith War began, and the Mandalorians were defeated in battle – and swore fealty to – Jedi-turned-Sith Lord Ulic Qel-Droma, but they and the Sith were defeated. After twenty years of peace, and the Mandalorians began rebuilding under a new leader, alien warriors were recruited into the clan system, and a more uniform armor system – as opposed to custom-made individual armors – was implemented. A period of aggressive expansion followed, as the Republic was wary of entering another war and did not interfere. In 3964 BBY, the Mandalorians struck the Republic in the first offensive of what would later be known as the Mandalorian Wars. The wars lasted until 3960, when the current Mandalore, backed by his lieutenant Cassus Fett, were defeated over Malachor V.

Revan, the Jedi General that led the defeat of the Mandalorians, destroyed their armor and weapons, and took the ceremonial mask used to declare a new leader, leaving the Mandalorians splintered and directionless. Many Mandalorians took to pirating, mercenary work, and becoming gladiators. In the year 3661, the Sith made an unexpected return to the galaxy and again asked the Mandalorians for help. However, the Mandalorians, once more led by a Mandalore named Canderous Ordo (a character from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic), refused. The Sith then found a Mandalorian warrior willing to work with them and built him up as the new leader. He became the new leader when the title was thrust upon him, and brough the Mandalorians into the war. They were again defeated, but remained an ally of the Sith until the New Sith Wars, until the stage was set for a war between the Mandalorians and the Sith.

In 738 BBY, a new brand of Mandalorian arose: the peaceful. Calling themselves . . . well, the New Mandalorians, they pushed for peace, tolerance, and neutrality. They utilized their talents of inventing and building, growing in power and eventually forcing the more war-like factions to leave the planet of Mandalore, and relocate to the moon of Concordia. While a large number of clans eventually adopted the peaceful ways of the New Mandalorians, some did not. In 60 BBY, Jaster Mereel became Mandalore and brought about more changes after a century and a half of butchery. He was opposed by Tor Vizsla, who desired a return to the warring ways of yore.

Original, "Crusader" and Neo-Crusader Mandalorian armor
Original, “Crusader” and Neo-Crusader Mandalorian armor

This led to the Mandalorian civil war between the New Mandalorians and the Death Watch, a faction familiar to anyone who’s seen the animated Star Wars: Clone Wars television series. For years the battle raged. During the war, Mereel befriended an orphan named Jango Fett, whose parents were killed in a firefight. Fett became a leader and warrior for the True Mandalorians, and after a battle in 44 BBY the Death Watch was left crippled. However, Vizsla was able to trick the Jedi into attacking Fett and capturing him, but Fett escaped and slayed Vizsla, ending the war. Fett would grow to become the bounty hunter that we see in Episode II. He would form the base of the Republic’s grand clone army.

The Mandalorian civil war simmered during the Clone Wars, re-emerging as Pre Vizsla led the Death Watch, but they were again defeated. Shortly after, the Galactic Civil War culminated in the destruction of the republic and new Imperial leadership under Palpatine, followed swiftly by an attempt by the Empire to weaken the Mandalorians, which proved mildly successful, but the Mandalorians – helped by Leia Organa – eventually pushed the Empire out, shortly before the destruction of the second Death Star.

Due to Disney and Lucasart’s restructuring of what is and isn’t canon, we’ll end the story there – since relating the rest of the EU as it applies to the Mandalorians would take hundreds of pages. We’ll end with the prophesied end of the Mandalorians:

In approximately 3951 BBY, the former Jedi Kreia, also once a Sith Lord, user her Force insight to see the end of the Mandalorians. Eventually, she foresaw, the Mandalorians would become weak, experiencing a decline over thousands of years, untila single man in Mandalorian armor remained. He, Kreia prophesied, would meet his end at the hands of a Jedi, ending the Mandalorian people with him.

More Mercs!
More Mercs!

Thanks for reading! We hope you’ve enjoyed this short look at the Mandalorians. Be sure to check out the Mandalorian Mercs, and come back soon for more fun information!