Friday, March 20, 2020

Read, You Must: THE Book for The Mandalorian Fans!

While no official novels or comics directly connected to The Mandalorian have been announced (yet), there is one book that fans of the wildly successful streaming Disney+ show should have in their collection: The Bounty Hunter Code.

The title alone should be familiar with viewers of The Mandalorian as the "code" is mentioned several times in the first season. But what about the "guild", or the many specific references to Mandalorian culture? All of that and more is detailed in this book.

The Bounty Hunter Code is part of a series of In-Universe books from becker&mayer!/Chronicle Books, collectively known as the "Secrets of the Galaxy" series. This series includes The Jedi Path, The Book of Sith, and more recently The Smuggler's Guide and The Rebel Files. Each book is an industry-specific guide book or training manual presented as though it actually exists in the Star Wars galaxy, complete with handwritten notes from notable Star Wars characters, as though passed from person to person over time.
The only official The Mandalorian book yet

2013 Deluxe Edition

The Bounty Hunter Code was released in 2013 initially in a deluxe packaging set. That included a very cool case, data card, a Kaminoan saber dart, a wanted poster and an extra booklet still unavailable elsewhere. The following year it was released on its own, just the book. While it is not specifically a book for young readers, fans who are already watching the The Mandalorian will be able to handle any of the concepts presented here.

Inside what you get is a copy of "The Bounty Hunters Guild Handbook", the guide you may need to start your career in this profession. Instructions and advice follow on how to find work, how to capture and contain targets, how to collect rewards and more. What equipment to use, what weapons and vehicles too, can mean life or death in this line of work, so it's a good idea to read carefully!

Some of the bounty hunting methods like trackers and pucks are a little different in The Mandalorian than what is written here, but remember that the series takes place after the fall of the Empire, while this handbook was put together well before the Empire then updated during the height of the Emperor's reign. Generally it feels like the creators of the TV series were all told to read this book before they started writing.

This book is subtitled "From the Files of Boba Fett" and was presumably written some time before Boba Fett was born. Some of it would not be considered "canon" in Star Wars, most notably the references to Boba Fett having a daughter named Ailyn Vel, a character not established in the official timeline. For the most part though, it is very relevant to the show and the current Star Wars galaxy.

While there's no Child here (aka "Baby Yoda"), the final part of the book is filled with concepts seen in the show: included in this book is a 30-page history of Death Watch, which covers a lot of Mandalorian warrior culture and history. What is Beskar? What is a Mythosaur? These things and more are mentioned in the show but not really explained in detail. The Bounty Hunter Code elaborates on both, enhancing the understanding of what's going on screen.
The Bounty Hunter Code was collectively written by Daniel Wallace (The Jedi Path), Jason Fry (The Weapon of a Jedi) & Ryder Windham (Adventures in Hyperspace), three of the most prolific authors of Star Wars books, and wonderfully illustrated by a variety of artists. 

Ryder Windham elaborated on some of these ideas of the working life of a bounty hunter in his novel Star Wars Rebels: Ezra's Gamble, where Ezra encounters the infamous bounty hunter Bossk.

Until there is an official tie-in book series for The Mandalorian, fans of the show can find plenty to enjoy here in The Bounty Hunter Code.

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