Mandalorians are a fictional group of warriors in the Star Wars universe. The name refers to the native human population of the planet Mandalore. They commonly act as mercenaries or bounty hunters. One Mandalorian, Tarre Vizsla, became the first of his people to join the Jedi. His Darksaber, a rare, black-bladed lightsaber variant, became the symbol of the ruling house of Mandalore, passing down from leader to leader through successive generations after it was taken from the Jedi Temple until Darth Maul became ruler of Mandalore after defeating and killing Pre Vizsla, its previous wielder. The weapon was eventually recovered by Sabine Wren of House Vizsla, who would use it as a symbol to unite the Mandalorians under her banner. Mandalorians were once common in the galaxy, but roughly five years after the Battle of Endor, they were almost on the verge of extinction due to the Galactic Empire committing genocide against them in an event known known as The Great Purge that killed off most of the people on their planet and resulted in most of their precious beskar armor being melted down as spoils of war. Only a few tribes, such as that of Din Djarin, survived by hiding in secrecy.
Mandalorian armor is also known as beskar’gam (iron skin) in the Mandalorian language, and is worn exclusively by warriors. It is worn by both men and women, and while it gives excellent protection, it also creates a common appearance regardless of species or gender. The highest quality sets are made by lightsaber-resistant beskar (Mandalorian Iron), but the exceptionally high cost and rarity of beskar has led to the use of durasteel, alum, and duraplast in armor production. Mandalorian metalsmiths have traditionally kept the methods for working beskar into an alloy a highly guarded secret, but the element could be mixed with other metals such as ciridium to create a highly dense and almost indestructible set of armor.
The armor had become somewhat of a rare site in the times leading up to the Clone Wars. The armor became popular once again among Mandalorians after the fall of the New Mandalorians in 20 BBY. Five years after the Battle of Endor, Mandalorian armor became rare again after the near-extinction of the Mandalorian people at the hands of the Galactic Empire. Most of the armor and the Beskar'gam it was made from harvested by the Galactic Empire during this time was relegated to the smelting pits as spoils of war.