Aside from Baby Yoda, the most intriguing thing from Disney’s The Mandalorian is the armour that ‘Mando’ is willing to risk his life for, but what is Mandalorian armour and how strong is it?
Mandalorian amour is the stuff of legend in the Star Wars universe and has played a critical role in the hugely popular Disney series, The Mandalorian.
Despite ‘Mando’ not giving much away about its physical properties, we actually know quite a lot about the infamous armour from older stories in the Star Wars canon.
Mandalorian armour is the traditional armour worn by the warrior clans of the planet Mandalore and is an iconic symbol of fear. Not only does the armour have cultural significance, but it’s the best personal protection that anyone can wear.
The armour is widely considered to be indestructible, but how is this possible?
What is Mandalorian armour made from?
Mandalorian armour is made out a highly durable iron ore called Beskar, a material that can only be found on the Outer Rim world of Mandalore and its moon, Concordia.
From the mined Beskar ore, Mandalorians forged their notorious armour and a variety of weapons from it. There are even legends that they once made an entire spaceship from it, making it the only known battle station to be completely impervious to starfighter blaster fire.
Remarkably, Beskar could also be forged into laminate foam, making documents pretty much indestructible – which explains why Mandalorians take job contracts so seriously (the document is literally everlasting).
Whilst Beskar was naturally extremely durable, it was the “introduction of certain additives during the smelting process that served to increase the strength of the ore.” Interestingly, the addition of carbon made Beskar lighter and stronger just like how real-world blacksmiths also add carbon to steel in order to increase strength.
Due to the extreme durability, sets of Beskar armour could be hundreds of years old and as we see in The Mandalorian series, the metalsmiths who fashioned it would give their lives to protect their smelting secrets. However, due to the rarity of the material, not all Mandolorians could afford to wear pure Beskar armour.
A range of variants was created including Durasteel which itself was “far stronger than steel.” Notably, Jango and Boba Fett wore Durasteel armour despite not being Mandalorian warriors as did Darth Vader before he upgraded to pure Beskar amour.
How strong is Mandalorian armour?
As we see in The Mandalorian, smelted Beskar armour is capable of withstanding direct blaster fire from the vast majority of commonly-used weapons in the Star Wars universe.
Any damage that we actually see is purely aesthetic, coming from blaster fire marking up the armours paint job rather than actually causing physical breaks in the metal.
As the power of a standard blaster shot has been compared to the power generated by a small hand grenade, Mandalorian armour would be impenetrable to the vast majority of modern-day firearms and explosives.
Impressively, the armour can also tolerate a glancing blow from a lightsaber without experiencing severe damage – this is one of the main reasons why the Mandalorians were capable of going toe-to-toe with the jedi.
The jedi themselves then began to adopt the Mandalorians armour into their own defences, using Beskar for lightsaber hilts and forearm armour, preventing their opponent from striking at the fingers or hand.
Within the Star Wars canon, only the Arc Pulse Generator was capable of superheating the Beskar alloy and incinerating the wearer. Although it is worth noting that this imperial superweapon has only been seen a few times and can therefore be considered extremely rare outside of large Mandalorian-Empire battles.
So, blaster fire from the majority of weapons wont even dent the Mandalorians armour, a lightsaber won’t be able to consistently to damage and Darth Vader is made out the same stuff? That seems pretty ridiculous to me.