Mandalorian at heart
Had you have asked me this time last year what it meant to be a Mandalorian, I would have told you it was about being ruthless, cold hearted, single-minded, and blood thirsty. All the things that Boba Fett is portrayed as in the early novels of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. But I’ve been reading through Karen Traviss’s Star Wars Commando novels lately, enjoying learning Mando’a and finding myself relating to the Mando Clones and Kal Skirata alot. Bardan Jusik in particular. I didn’t fully understand why until Saturday when Paul, Jayne, Levi and Sarah showed up to help organise support for Ben, Sarah, Tony and Lorna. It’s about family. Not the kind of family that is defined by bloodlines, but by mutual acceptance of each other. I realised that my family has been linked with the Zyntek and Phillips family for a long time, building bonds stronger than bloodlines.
It’s about helping out when you are needed, not because your brother or sister needs a hand, but because you value the ‘family’ and realise it is only as strong as the effort everyone puts in. I’ve been dwelling on this since Sunday. The Zyntek/Phillips/Fowler clan keeps growing as members meet and marry new folk. We’re going to have to come up with a name or title for the clan, (Zyller maybe?) one that reflects the fact that it is many bloodlines coming together for the good of the members, because we are all at the point where we are getting married, and names are changing – Sarah is a Jackson now – but they still remain part of the family.
The strange thing for me is that while Paul (and therefore the Zyntek family) is linked to Jayne (and therefore the Phillips family) through marriage, Sammy and I have no sure connection with either families, but have known them for more than a decade and still feel that bond. Shared experiences, trauma, accomplishments, and triumphs have joined us stronger than being raised in the same house ever could.
It feels good to belong to something like this. I have been searching for it for a while, never realising it was there with me already, and had been since I first met Lincoln and then Paul, back in highschool. In Mando’a we would be called aliit.