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The Mandalorian Armor and Weapons Explained: What Is a Whistling Bird?

Spoilers ahead for The Mandalorian.

I hope you’re all caught up on Chapter Three of The Mandalorian. If not, remedy that now, or bookmark this article until after you’ve done so.

This latest episode, “The Sin”, featured an all-out battle sequence acted out by the title character. In a crisis of conscience, Mando heads back to retrieve Baby Yoda from the clutches of The Client, but he has to traverse a maze of a compound that’s absolutely swarming with stormtroopers. And if that wasn’t difficult enough, Mando then has to escort Baby Yoda back to the safety of the Razor Crest by fighting through every activated bounty hunter in the vicinity (and there are a lot of them).

So while Greef Carga’s heel turn was somewhat expected–bounty hunting is a complicated profession, after all–it was a nice surprise to see the other Mandalorians emerge from their underground headquarters (called the Culvert, if I heard correctly) to defend one of their own. That was awesome. The whole sequence also serve to show off not only the title character’s armaments but those of his fellow fighters, as well. (And, rather unfairly to our hero, they get some awesome upgrades like some sort of belt-fed heavy assault rifle; whatever it is, it trucks.)

But what about the armor and weapons our hero gets to employ? We’ve broken down everything he’s used (and will yet use) below:

Beskar Steel: Cuirass, Pauldrons, Signets, and More

mandalorian-armor

Image via Disney+

It should go without saying that armor is essential to Mandalorians. A warrior culture with a strong code of honor, their armor is almost as legendary as the Mandalorians themselves. Forged, ideally, from beskar–the Mando’a name of Mandalorian iron–the iconic armor is one of the few known materials to be resistant to lightsaber strikes. A skilled Mandalorian metalsmith can craft available beskar into just about any shape for any function. Our title hero has plenty of beskar after a successful bounty delivery–even if it came from an Imperial forge after The Purge–so he finally some shiny new gear, from the cuirass on down. There was even enough for a signet, but The Mandalorian opted not to receive it because he didn’t defeat the Mudhorn on his own. Just what his sigil will become remains to be seen, but the beskar didn’t go to waste; the smith managed to turn it into a number of “Whistling Birds”, which we’ll get to in a moment. But first!

Helmet and Visor: Complete with HUD

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Image via Lucasfilm

The first piece of beskar armor the Mandalorian came equipped with was his helmet, which remains in place still today. We’ve yet to see the Mandalorian without it and, if that bit about their code and culture is to be believed, we may never see him sans helmet. (That’s got to be rough on the skin and facial hair, no?) With its typical T-shaped visor, the Mandalorian’s helmet hides more than just his face. There’s a built-in heads-up display with scanners, telescoping optics, and more sensors built in. And it likely keeps the desert planet’s sun(s)’ glare out of his eyes, which is very important when bounty hunting.

Whistling Birds: Good for Crowd Control

mandalorian-whistling-birds

Image via Disney+

Remember that spare beskar? Waste not, want not. The Armorer offered to make it into Whistling Birds, also sparing some to support the Foundlings at The Mandalorian’s request. As far as I can tell, this name and perhaps this particular weapon is new to the canon. It’s essentially a seeking cluster of tiny missiles that are very useful for crowd control, but is limited by the amount of munitions available. Luckily, we get to see the Mandalorian use the Whistling Birds while attempting to escape The Client’s compound with Baby Yoda, and it works swell, taking out numerous stormtroopers who have surrounded them. Not so luckily, the Mandalorian may have been better off saving that ace up his sleeve for the dozens of bounty hunters waiting for them in the alleys and streets outside…

Vambrace: Grappling Line, Flamethrower, Blasters, and More

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Image via Disney+

Speaking of something up his sleeve, the Mandalorian has yet more weapons squirreled away in his vambraces. These geared-up gauntlets have a grappling line, flamethrower, and blasters, all of which we’ve seen him use so far. Other known devices on armor are sonic repulsors, shield emitters, and paralyzing darts, all uniquely suited for bounty hunting and battling Jedi.

Amban Rifle: The Swiss Army Knife of Star Wars

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Image via Disney+

Perhaps the most versatile weapon in the Mandalorian’s arsenal is this modified Amban rifle. In the lore, it first showed up as the main weapon carried by Boba Fett in the Star Wars Jon Favreau Holiday special; was so smitten with it that he got the creative team behind The Mandalorian to craft one up and then gave it to their title character. But what exactly is it?

Well, as we’ve seen in the first three episodes of the series, it’s a sniper rifle with disintegration ray that can vaporize targets, a sonic detector that allows the Mandalorian to listen in on distant conversations, and a worthy melee weapon as the forked front can shock enemies into unconsciousness or just deliver good, old-fashioned, blunt-force trauma. As a back-up weapon, the Mandalorian also wields a modified heavy blaster.

Vibroblades: A Cut Above the Competition

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Image via Disney+

Speaking of back-up weapons, we get a surprise appearance of the vibroblade not once, but twice (so far)! These are pretty much what they sound like: vibrating blades. They can be short daggers, utility knives, or full-on swords. They can more easily cut through materials that a simple blade would struggle to pierce, slash, or carve into, like a stormtrooper’s armor, for example.

The Mandalorian used one in “The Child” as his last means of defense (not knowing about the Force-wielding Baby Yoda at the time) against the rampaging Mudhorn, ultimately using the weapon to kill the beast and harvest its egg. In the very next episode, “The Sin”, two Mandalorians square off using vibroblades, making the tense skirmish even deadlier. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed.

Razor Crest: Space Travel in Style

Okay, so maybe this isn’t as essential to the Mandalorian as their armor and weapons, but everyone in the Star Wars universe has to have a signature starship. The Razor Crest was once a gunship used to patrol Mandalore territories prior to Imperial control, but now the Mandalorian uses it as his main mode of transport, place of residence, and temporary holding facility for his bounties, most of whom get frozen in carbonite. We haven’t seen it in any dogfights just yet, but it should be capable of holding its own when push comes to shove. We have, however, seen just about every inch of the ship inside and out thanks to a group of Jawas who practically dismantled the whole thing, forcing the Mandalorian and Kuiil the Ugnaught to put it back together again.

Jetpack: Taking Bounty Hunting to New Heights

But if there’s one mode of conveyance that ever kid and bounty hunter wants, it’s a jetpack! The Mandalorian himself shows jetpack-envy at the end of “The Sin” when the rest of his fellow Mandalorians fly to his rescue with the aid of the fiery flying devices. The thing is, we already know (or can presume) that our hero will get a chance to fly without the aid of his ship because we’ve seen it in the trailer. So, yes, yet another one of our sci-fi/fantasy heroes will get to fly via jetpack before we can do such things in the real world. Ain’t fiction fantastic?



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