The Dance of Light and Shadow
However, 4 years after the Battle of Bothawui, the Empire changed tactics, and decided upon a new strategy—turn the Mandalorians against the Republic. The Sith had long since attempted to get third parties and other factions to join their side, but with little success. However, Imperial Intelligence came up with a plan to bring the Mandalorians onto their side of the war. Taking advantage of the fact that many Mandalorians fought as gladiators for money and glory, Imperial agents began infiltrating the most prominent arenas in the galaxy, posing as managers, sponsors, and sometimes even as gladiators themselves.
Imperial Intelligence singled out a young Mandalorian gladiator on Geonosis to be their pawn. Sith agents began rigging fights and drugging the competition to ensure that the young gladiator would be unstoppable. With his new Imperial allies, he was able to establish himself as the galaxy’s most powerful warrior and claim a title that not been heard of for centuries—Mandalore.
After uniting the scattered Mandalorians, the new Mandalore encouraged his followers to make war upon the Republic and confront the greatest challenge of all—fighting the legendary Jedi Knights. Following orders from his Sith superiors, he ordered the Mandalorian fleet to blockade the Hydian Way, the Republic’s most critical trade route. With that, the Core Worlds found themselves without raw goods or supplies. After several pleas from the Republic, the Jedi confronted the Mandalorians, and were soundly defeated.
The Mandalorians continued the blockade, denying the Republic raw goods and setting the Republic war effort back. Eventually, the blockade started riots on Coruscant and the Senate began to talk about surrendering to the Sith. The blockade, however, was broken by a combined Republic-Smuggler alliance led by Hylo Visz.
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