Codex Lore #47 – The Basilisk War Droids


The Basilisk is an ancient War Droid whose incorporation in Mandalorian Culture spans several thousands of years. However the Mandalorian’s did not create this machine, rather stealing the technology from one of many races they conquered throughout ancient history.

The Basilisk, or ‘Bes’uliik‘ in Mandalorian originated from the planet Basilisk, located very close to Coruscant. At the time Mandalore the Indomitable lead a genocidal campaign against the native lizard-species known as the Basiliskians, who used the technologically advanced Basilisks War Droids to defend themselves. The Basilisk themselves were a semi-sentient droid capable of forming strong bonds with their ‘owners’ or ‘riders’ which would heavily suit the Mandalorian Culture that would overtake them later.

After long periods of fighting, the Basiliskians were eventually defeated even with the aid of the Jedi. The native species poisoned their own planet, wiping themselves out in order to deny a true Mandalorian Victory, but the Mandalorians managed to loot several Basilisks, in which they were able to reverse engineer and reconstruct the War Droids for their own use which would last for thousands of years.

Many years later during the Mandalorian Wars, when Jedi Knight Revan defeated the Mandalorians at the battle of Malachor V, he implaced in his terms of surrender that the Basilisk War Droids be destroyed. While many Mandalorians did so, a small number secretly rebelled the order and instead hid their Basilisks, saving a few which prevented the total extinction of the Basilisk War Droids in the Galaxy.

By the time of the Cold War and Wars against the Eternal Empire, and later the new renewed Republic-Empire War, the Basilisk War Droids had all but faded from use by Mandalorians. It would not be until an upstart organisation known as the Hidden Chain began engineering and experimenting with Basilisk’s on Ruhnuk that it would come to the attention of the current Mandalore Shae Vizla and her technologically savvy niece, Lane Vizla.

Despite their ever increasing rarity within both Mandalorian Culture and the Galaxy, even by the time of the Galactic Civil War and after the death of Darth Vader, the Basilisk War Droids were still a technologically advanced and formidable opponent known to be seen rarely across the galaxy.

The bes’uliik–or “Basilisk war droids,” as most Basic-speaking species know them–are perhaps the most recognizable symbol of the bloody years of Mandalorian crusades and expansions. These “Iron Beasts” were once the terror of the skies, filling the citizens of conquered worlds with dread as the Mandalorians descended on the backs of swarms of bes’uliik.

Heavily armored in their construction, the Basilisk war droids could easily carry a Mandalorian warrior through a planet’s atmosphere. The droids were also built to carry large, powerful weapons, and their extremities could be utilized in melee combat or to destroy physical obstacles.

Although the bes’uliik were designed as the ultimate weapons of destruction, the Mandalorians also came to see the semi-sentient droids as close companions. The Mandalorians’ attachment to the bes’uliik made their defeat in the Mandalorian Wars that much more difficult, as the terms of their surrender at Malachor V included destroying the Basilisk war droids on the orders of the Jedi Knight, Revan. A few bes’uliik, however, did survive the purge, as some Mandalorians secretly defied Revan’s command.
Codex Entry: Bes’uliik: Basilisk War Droids
“Basilisk was once a lush, humid world located not far from Coruscant. Its inhabitants, the Basiliskans, were an intelligent, lizard-like species who were known throughout the Republic for expertly crafting fearsome droids that were nothing short of weapons of war.

At the dawn of the “Great Shadow Crusade” (the moniker by which the Mandalorians know the time of the Great Sith War), the Mandalorians turned their bloodthirsty gaze to Basilisk. The ruthless warriors ravaged the planet without mercy, seeking to enslave the Basiliskan people and their war droids.

The Basiliskans, however, proved to be formidable foes. Some even earned the respect of the Mandalorian invaders through their determination and willingness to fight. But the resistance was not enough, even with Republic and Jedi reinforcements. Ultimately, the Basiliskans were no match against the relentless onslaught dispatched by the Mandalorian Crusaders….”

–From a historical account of the Great Sith War, found in the Jedi archives on Tython
Codex Entry: The End of Basilisk: Part 1
“Facing complete domination, and with few desperate options left, the Basiliskans resorted to chemically scorching the entire surface of their homeworld, rendering Basilisk an uninhabitable wasteland.

The calamity forced Mandalore the Indomitable to order a retreat, briefly withdrawing his warriors from Basilisk. With the Mandalorian forces’ attention momentarily diverted offworld, they had no way of knowing that–in a final act of defiance–the Basiliskans launched several beacons carrying the secrets of building their war droids: schematics, diagrams, even elements that could only be found on Basilisk.

When the Mandalorians returned, the remaining Basiliskans faced their full wrath and were swiftly defeated. Without the full knowledge of building new Basilisk war droids, the Mandalorians took the ones that remained for their own. Those Basiliskans that survived the Battle of Basilisk were then enslaved, to be used as the new Mandalorian war mounts….”

–From a historical account of the Great Sith War, found in the Jedi archives on Tython
Codex Entry: The End of Basilisk: Part 2


“The History of the Mandalorians” – Star Wars Insider 80
Codex Entry: Bes’uliik: Basilisk War Droids – Legacy of the Sith: Ruhnuk
Codex Entry: The End of Basilisk: Part 1 – Legacy of the Sith: Ruhnuk
Codex Entry: The End of Basilisk: Part 2 – Legacy of the Sith: Ruhnuk

Basilisk Mounts – Star Wars GalaxiesAn Empire Divided

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