"So what's wrong with being a mercenary? Is your war worth fighting? If it is, then why does it matter who fights it for you? Aren't we imbued with the righteousness of your cause when we take up arms for you? Would you rather your own men and women died to make the point? And if your war is so noble, so necessary—why aren't you fighting it for yourself? Think of all that before you spit on us, aruetii."
- ―Jaster Mereel[src]
Jaster Mereel was a Human male and former Journeyman Protector from the planet Concord Dawn who would go on to become Mand'alor, the leader of the Mandalorian clans, and Al'Ori'Ramikade—"Commander of Supercommandos". He was also the adopted father of war orphan Jango Fett. Six years later, Mereel was gunned down by his rival, Tor Vizsla, on Korda 6 during the Mandalorian Civil War.
Fighter for reformEdit
- "Jaster will do what's right for the Mandalorians—he always has."
- ―Jango Fett[src]
Prior to joining the Mandalorians, Jaster Mereel was a Journeyman Protector on his homeworld of Concord Dawn, an agricultural world in the Mandalore sector. However, he would be stripped of his position and exiled from Concord Dawn on charges of murder. Joining the Mandalorians, Mereel would eventually go on to become the Mand'alor, leader of all the Mandalorian clans, around 60 BBY. Hoping to hold the Mandalorians to a higher standard of behavior than the wide-spread savagery that had become prevalent in some circles, Mereel declared that the Mandalorians were merely highly-paid soldiers and created the Supercommando Codex, in which outlined proper terms of conduct for the Mandalorian mercenaries.
Mereel's ideas were not unanimously accepted throughout the Mandalorian community, and there was dissension from those who wished to see the Mandalorians return to their ancient conqueror roots. As malcontent grew, a splinter faction known as the Death Watch was formed under the barbaric leader Tor Vizsla. Mereel would lead his own faction known as the True Mandalorians in what would come to be called the Mandalorian Civil War. It was around this time that Mereel would have some manner of dealings with the Regent of Mek va Uil, acting as both Mand'alor and Al'Ori'Ramikade—"Commander of Supercommandos". Jaster Mereel rescues a young Jango Fett from the Death Watch.In the year 58 BBY, Mereel returned to his homeworld as the Mandalorian Civil War spilled onto Concord Dawn. Hunted by the Death Watch after a lost firefight, Mereel and his men were forced to rely on the kindness of the Journeyman Protector who'd replaced Mereel, a man by the name of Fett. He offered them refuge on his family farm and brought them food in the fields. Unfortunately, the Death Watch captured Fett's young son Jango and attempted to use him, in addition to a brutal beating, to force the Journeyman Protector to reveal the location of Mereel and his True Mandalorians. Fett would not give in and a chaotic firefight erupted when Fett's wife attempted to save her husband and son. Sadly, both Fett and his wife were killed, although Mereel was able to step in—giving up his cover—in order to save young Jango's life. Jango led them to an irrigation pipe that would take them safely out of the crop field the Death Watch was now intent on burning to the ground. Mereel regrouped his forces in a nearby town and laid in wait until the Death Watch arrived, at which time he sprung an ambush. With his soldier's opening fire on the Death Watch troops, Jango placed an explosive charge on the underside of the armored speeder Vizsla rode into the town upon. The tank exploded, although Vizsla would escape. As the battle came to a close, Mereel located Jango standing over the body of the Death Watch soldier who'd murdered his parents. Praising the boy's courage, Mereel decided to take Jango with him as the Mandalorians departed Concord Dawn, and he eventually came to consider the boy his son.
Betrayal on Korda 6Edit
- "Keep an eye on your ammo—and each other. Everybody comes home."
- ―Jaster Mereel, just before the battle that ended in his death.[src]
Six years later, in the year 52 BBY, Mereel lead his True Mandalorian Supercommandos to the planet Korda 6. Employed by the Korda Defense Force, Mereel and his men had been hired to extract a rookie security team pinned down under fire by a force of local hostiles. Kordan intelligence suggested minimal resistance; the natives had no formal army and were poorly armed. Considering the mission "easy credits", Mereel divided his men into three teams: Vertigo Company, an aerial unit utilizing jetpacks under Mereel's second-in-command, Montross, "Jango's Grunts" which would provide cover fire and hold the extraction zone, under the command of a now teenage Jango, and Headhunter Company, Mereel's own unit, charged with reaching the recovery site and extracting the security team. As the Mandalorians boarded their ships, Mereel spoke briefly with Jango, asking the boy to make him proud. On the approach to the planet's surface, Mereel's ships took heavy damage from ion cannon fire, forcing most to make the best of rough crash-landings. The "minimal resistance" estimated turned out to be vastly inaccurate and almost immediately, the Mandalorians came under heavy fire. Mereel was helpless as numerous soldiers fell victim to enemy blasters, and it wasn't long until the Mand'alor called for them to abort the mission and retreat. Montross wouldn't have it, refusing to have a retreat on their record, and pushed forward, only to fall prey to a grenade blast that left him wounded and in need of rescue himself. That rescue would come from Mereel, who shot and killed no fewer than three enemy Kordan before angrily reiterating his orders for a retreat. At the same time as Jango and his team stumbled upon a Death Watch ambush, Vizsla arrived on the battlefield in a four-wheeled tank. Mereel berated Montross' foolhardy actions as the reason they were in such a situation, swearing to have him ejected from his supercommando crew if they survived the battle. Vizsla was determined to see that would not survive, launching a wrist rocket that injured Mereel, although Montross was able to avoid it using his jetpack. As Vizla opened fire with a barrage of laser cannon fire, Mereel called to Montross for an airlift. But Montross had decided he would no longer take orders from Mereel and turned his back on the Mand'alor, leaving him to die alone on the battlefield while he returned to the other Mandalorians. Mereel soon fell to fire from Vizsla's tank, though Jango tried desperately to reach him. It was in Jango's arms that Mereel would succumb to his injuries.
Montross would attempt to take over leadership of the Mandalorians upon his return to camp, claiming that Mereel was dead and that Jango had perished trying to save him. However, Jango returned to the camp carrying his adopted father's body and, after exposing Montross as a liar and a traitor, he was proclaimed the new Mand'alor as Jaster would have wanted. Jango also took ownership of Mereel's personal starship, which he would rename Jaster's Legacy in his honor, and treasure for years to come.
Jaster Mereel wore traditional Mandalorian armor of a metallic-grey color, with red shoulder plates and red trim around the visor. Due to its inability to stand up to heavy blasterfire, it's doubtful that the armor was beskar. On the left shoulder, Mereel bore the custom Mythosaur skull insignia of the True Mandalorians, and his chest plates were adorned with a yellow-colored diamond. Mereel also wore a red cape, and utilized a short-barrelled blaster rifle. He also possessed two blaster pistols which he kept holstered around his thigh plates.
Jaster Mereel's clan sigil, later used by Boba FettJango's son, the infamous bounty hunter Boba Fett, used Mereel's name as an alias during his brief occupation as a Journeyman Protector sometime between 19 BBY and 12 BBY. This led to rumors that Jaster Mereel and Boba Fett were the same person, rumors which Fett did nothing to dispel, as they only added to his mysterious aura. Boba also wore Mereel's clan sigil on his armor's chestplate, and the knowledge of the circumstances surrounding Mereel's betrayal and death would serve to keep Boba wary even in the presence of allies.
Jaster Mereel was originally proposed as the true identity of Boba Fett in the novella The Last One Standing: The Tale of Boba Fett and repeated in Fett's entry in the The Essential Guide to Characters. When Attack of the Clones was released, its depiction of Fett's childhood relegated the other backstory to non-canon status.
Jango Fett: Open Seasons retconned the Jaster Mereel character to be a different individual entirely, and the mentor of Fett's father, Jango. It was also revealed that Boba Fett sometimes used Mereel's name as an alias, thus saving the story from being apocryphal.
- Jango Fett: Open Seasons (First appearance) (Appears in flashback(s))
- Star Wars: Bounty Hunter (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Zam Wesell (Mentioned only)
- Republic Commando: Triple Zero (Mentioned only)
- Imperial Commando: 501st (Mentioned only)
- The Hutt Gambit (Mentioned only)
- Rebel Dawn (Mentioned only)
- The Last One Standing: The Tale of Boba Fett (First mentioned)
- Boba Fett: A Practical Man (Mentioned only)
- Bloodlines (Mentioned only)
- Sacrifice (Mentioned only)
- Revelation (Mentioned only)
- The Essential Guide to Characters
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The New Essential Chronology
- Attack of the Clones: The Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary
-  "The History of the Mandalorians"—Star Wars Insider 80
-  Boba Fett in the Databank
-  Jango Fett in the Databank
- The Essential Atlas
- Galaxy at War