|Chronological and political information|
Cassus Fett was a Mandalorian Field Marshal who lived during the time of the Mandalorian Wars. Fett was an aide-de-camp to Mandalore the Ultimate, leader of the Mandalorians, and he was highly influential in areas throughout Mandalorian society. Fett spearheaded the promotion of the Neo-Crusader movement, a sect of Mandalorian society with a more regimented structure and standardized armor than the hitherto dominant Mandalorian Crusaders. By exerting control over the clans and providing a means of converting conquered cultures into Neo-Crusaders, Fett turned the Mandalorians into a war machine intent on galactic conquest.
On the Outer Rim, Fett engaged the forces of the Galactic Republic in a series of battles, including a massacre of the Cathar people. He engineered a number of minor engagements at the edge of Republic space to determine the strength of the Republic, before launching into a full scale invasion of Republic space along three fronts in 3,963 BBY. Fett was present at the preliminary Battle of Vanquo, led the siege of Taris and eventual conquest of that world, planned an invasion of the planet Alderaan, and killed the captain of a Republic flagship at the Battle of Jaga's Cluster. After becoming the most wanted man in the galaxy, Fett was presumed dead by the time of the Jedi Civil War.
The origins of Cassus Fett were largely unknown in the galaxy; Republic Intelligence was unaware of where he came from, and even few of his fellow Mandalorians knew, though it was known that he was Human. After the close of the Great Sith War and the defeat of the Mandalorians in it, a new Mandalore rose to power, styled Mandalore the Ultimate. Mandalore, looking to redefine Mandalorian identity, called together a number of talented advisors with abilities beyond battle and war, amongst them Fett. Fett became Mandalore's aide-de-camp and top strategist; he was highly influential, both on the battlefield and off. He helped convert the disorganized rabble of the Mandalorians into an efficient, regimented organization.
Whereas the Mandalorians before Fett's time had simply conquered worlds without bringing them into the fold of Mandalorian culture, Fett saw a need to use their conquests to their advantage. He and Mandalore the Ultimate took notice of a cult that had sprung up amongst the Mandalorians. Known as the Neo-Crusaders, this group lived on the planet Mandalore; they broke from Mandalorian tradition by wearing identical suits of armor and had an unorthodox chain of command and system of labor division. Fett convinced Mandalore to incorporate their ideals, and the two Mandalorians encouraged this movement. Though Mandalore decreed the Neo-Crusader system to have widespread usage, it was Fett who implemented it. Fett converted the small-time organizational system of the Neo-Crusader cults used into one that could be used on a large scale, and he incorporated Neo-Crusaders amongst the clans to spread their ideals throughout. Fett believed that similar uniforms could help exert dominion over the Mandalorians, who were largely growing out of control. He also argued that the suits of armor the Neo-Crusaders wore should be color-coded by rank, so that new recruits could see where authority lay. While the lowest ranks wore blue armor, Mandalore's top advisors wore gold-colored suits, and Fett was one of the first to don the armor as a sign that all Mandalorians, regardless of status, should forgo their individualism. Before the invasion of the Galactic Republic began, Fett's system for converting conquered cultures into new Mandalorians was in place.
Fett was not without opposition amongst the Mandalorians, though, considering Mandalorians like Demagol and Pulsipher, a cohort of Demagol's, as his rivals. Demagol, a Mandalorian scientist, was another of those who Mandalore included in his circle of advisors, and Fett believed him to be a rival for Mandalore's attention. Demagol irked Fett in return by refusing to wear Neo-Crusader armor.
In the years surrounding the beginning of the Mandalorian Wars, but before the Mandalorian invasion of the Republic, the Mandalorians were an active force in the worlds of the Outer Rim. Fett conquered a number of unaligned worlds in this time, earning him a reputation as a master of military command. In 3,976 BBY, Fett led an attack on the planet Cathar that devastated that world, seeking to punish the native Cathar for opposing the Mandalorians in struggles long past. Leading an army of warriors on Basilisk war droids, Fett drove the Cathar into near-extinction. The remaining Cathar, defeated, were rounded up and herded into the planet's sea. As Fett prepared to execute them, a lone Mandalorian stood with the Cathar, pleading with Fett to spare them. Fett stood his ground, and his ships poured their fire onto the Cathar and the lone warrior. The massacre was so great that those Cathar who remained were afraid to speak of it for years. The Republic covered it up, fearing that knowledge of the attack would destabilize reconstruction after the Sith War. The disappearance of the Cathar remained a mystery for over a dozen years.
Shortly before the invasion of the Republic proper, Fett helped to engineer the False War, a brief engagement in the Outer Rim with the forces of the Republic. It consisted of feigning weakness until the strength of the Republic Navy, revitalized after the Sith War, could be determined. Fett formulated the next part of the Mandalorian military plan as well: a three-front invasion of the Republic known as the Onslaught. This assault, launched in 3,964 BBY, took advantage of the recent confusion the Republic had been thrown into, with the murder of four Jedi Padawans on Taris and the escape of Zayne Carrick, the Jedi falsely accused of the crime. The planet Vanquo was one of the Mandalorians' targets, intended to draw off Republic forces to pave the way for an assault on the important world of Taris. Fett and Mandalore monitored the invasion from Mandalore's flagship, watching the progress of the Vanquo assault while they prepared to move on Taris. Fett had an orbital screen established around Vanquo so that the main force of the assault could engage the major settlements on the world's day side, while shock troopers landed on the night side to take out the mining camps there. Before the Republic could mount a defense, Fett and the Mandalorians had seized a number of worlds.
As he had done with Mandalorian organization, Fett also overhauled Mandalorian military production. He set up War Forges near the staging grounds of the Neo-Crusaders on Jebble, Tarnith, and other worlds. Quickly coming online, they provided the Mandalorian advance with the armor and weapons needed by new recruits.
By 3,963 BBY, the attack on Taris had begun in earnest. When the Republic's defensive Jebble-Vanquo-Tarnith line fell to the Mandalorians, Admiral Jimas Veltraa reformed his forces around Taris. They were ultimately destroyed, however, and the Mandalorians laid siege to the planet. As Mandalorian vessels moved into orbit around Taris with more arriving continually, adding their own firepower to the planetary bombardment, repeated attempts by Tarisian planetary defense fighters to break the siege were unsuccessful. The Mandalorians were busy on other fronts, as well. They laid waste to the world of Serroco in an attack orchestrated by Fett. When Demagol was reported dead at Flashpoint Stellar Research Station—actually having been captured by the Republic—Fett's influence rose. Mandalore personally sent Fett to Taris to aid in the siege and help with the logistics of a planetary conquest of such magnitude. The experience would help them in their eventual invasion of Coruscant, which Fett intended to be part of.
Eventually the time came to take the planet. The Mandalorians began landing their soldiers in Taris' polar regions, following this with landings in the equatorial regions, and eventually leading to a planet-wide invasion. With what a Tarisian reporter called "macabre efficiency," Fett led his troops, on foot or Basilisk war droid, to overtake the Upper City. Swoop gangs briefly took shots at the Mandalorians before retreating into hiding, and soon even the news organs were interrupted as the conquest swept the planet. With the Mandalorians' victory over the planet secure, Fett made an announcement across the world on the Taris Holofeed. Telling the people of Taris that the Republic had failed them, Fett freed them from their allegiance to the Republic and Supreme Chancellor. As he had done on a number of other worlds, Fett gave the citizens of Taris a choice between joining the Neo-Crusaders or working in their factories as de facto slaves. With a final promise of death to those who would betray the Mandalorians, Fett deactivated the Holofeed.
As the siege of Taris continued, Fett saw the tangle that arose among vessels of the invasion force, appropriated vehicles, and ships of attempted escapees. His own forces found themselves in each others' way, sometimes causing the loss of important materiél. It could have slowed the Mandalorians for months, but from his headquarters in the former Jedi Tower Fett managed traffic control on and around the world. Even as he did so, he continued to successfully wage war on the Taris Resistance. As the Lower City of Taris was still being conquered, Fett ordered the city's skylanes to be kept clear for landing ships, and those above the planet he personally directed to their destinations.
When news that Fett was headquartered in the Tower reached the Resistance, they decided to assassinate him. Their plan was to detonate a number of demolition charges in the foundations of the building, but to make sure that Fett was there when they attacked, they intended to infiltrate a reconnaissance into the Tower first. Fett, meanwhile, studied the Resistance strong points in the Lower City and realized where they were hiding. He pulled his men out of the Tower and set off to attack the Resistance base, leaving the Resistance infiltration team unable to complete their mission. They destroyed the Tower anyway, but the rest of the Resistance forces were driven into retreat, forced to fall back into the Taris Undercity.
Shortly after the invasion of Taris, the Republic began broadcasting propaganda on Mandalorian frequencies in an attempt to reduce morale and sway Neo-Crusader converts. Fett contacted Mandalorian officer Koblus Sornell to discuss the transmissions and any potential information in them. As the Mandalorians prepared an invasion of the planet Zongorlu from Taris, the Republic's broadcasts attempted to discourage them with reports of deadly conditions and dangerous inhabitants on the world, as well as immense ships at the Republic's command. Fett, meanwhile, had Sornell work on creating a mobile signal station for the invasion fleet, to communicate with him upon arrival. Sornell informed Fett of the problems that the transmissions were causing within the newly recruited ranks; warriors distracted by them had had several accidents, some of them deadly. When Sornell and the fleet at last invaded Zongorlu, they discovered that the broadcasts had been a farce; the world was temperate, its native species was a sessile plant, the massive ships did not exist, and the broadcasts had come from a tiny transmission station on the world. Sornell reported back to Fett with his findings, and Fett ordered him to hold station for a week, a much shorter time than the intended operation. While the transmission had ceased upon the invasion, they soon resumed, this time offering the Mandalorians a deal; in exchange for peace, the Republic would give them a portion of taxation from the worlds they had invaded. Sornell answered them with a refusal, and Fett soon contracted him, reprimanding him for not waiting. Sornell defended his decision.
After the battle with the Resistance, Fett took a number of troop transports and moved on to Jebble, a Mandalorian-controlled ice world being used as a staging area, where captured criminals were being trained into the Neo-Crusaders' ranks. With these new soldiers he planned to launch an invasion of the Core World Alderaan, deep in Republic space. Before Fett could arrive, though, Pulsipher— another Mandalorian rival of his—reached Jebble on his own with a prize he had found in the Undercity of Taris: the Muur Talisman, a powerful Force artifact. When he put it on, Pulsipher accidentally let loose a plague that turned its victims into Rakghouls. Soon, the ranks of Mandalorians stationed on Jebble were transforming into the beasts.
Meanwhile, the Jedi fugitive Zayne Carrick had stowed away onto Pulsipher's transport and was now on Jebble. Having escaped the waves of Mandalorians and Rakghouls, Carrick found a communications station and contacted the approaching Mandalorian fleet. He warned Fett that the plague had broken out and told him not to land, but Fett, who knew that Carrick had been involved in the assassination attempt, was dubious. Meanwhile, Pulsipher, through use of the Talisman, had found himself in control of the Rakghouls; he intended to put Fett in his place by attacking the landing transports and, from there, spreading his influence throughout the galaxy. Pulsipher was killed, however, and Carrick made his own escape from the planet when his friends came to his rescue. Fett arrived as Carrick was leaving, and, convinced of the Jedi's sincerity, annihilated the surface of the planet with missiles. He then contacted Carrick and stated he was in the Jedi's debt.
Later that year, the truth about Cathar broke. A charismatic Jedi known as The Revanchist brought the Jedi to Cathar in search of answers. Upon finding the mask of the lone Mandalorian who had stood against Cassus Fett, the gathered Jedi had a vision of Fett's massacre. Spurred by the fate of the Cathar, the Jedi, led by Revan and his friend Malak, promptly joined the war against the Mandalorians.
When Zayne Carrick was in the Rogue Moon Project Command, Carrick realized that Demagol and Jarael were on Osadia, but he did not know the coordinates of the planet. Realizing that the only way to gain the information was to capture slaver Dace Golliard, he asked Rohlan to contact Cassus Fett, banking on the war leader's willingness to repay his debt.
After enlisting Fett's aid, Carrick's next move was to anonymously contact the Republic's Defense Ministry and claim that Fett and a Mandalorian raiding party was planning to hit an asteroid-mining facility near the planet Ithor. Admiral Saul Karath, his reputation burnished by the Republic's cover-up of the destruction of the Draay Estate was sent to deal with the imminent threat. In accordance with Carrick's plan, Fett broadcast an unscrambled signal before the attack, hoping to attract the attention of Dace Golliard. The plan worked to fruition as Golliard concealed the Gladiator behind some asteroids and planned to pick up survivors for the Crucible's use. However soon after the two sides engaged in battle, Fett's ships jumped to hyperspace, per the plan. He then contacts Carrick via hologram to tell him that his debt is repaid. He also tells Rohlan to remain dead so as not to lower moral among the Mandalorian ranks and to make Demagol is also.
Fett would later engage Revan and Malak in the Battle of Jaga's Cluster, where he became famous for killing the captain of a Republic frigate flagship. Fett eventually became the most wanted man in known space. The Mandalorian Wars were ultimately won by the Republic, and by 3,956 BBY Cassus Fett was presumed dead.
Fett had a family amongst the Mandalorian clans, and at least one son. Thousands of years later, the famed bounty hunters Jango and Boba Fett would carry his surname, but historians did not know what the relationship between them and Cassus was, if any existed.
A suit of Fett's armor ultimately wound up in the possession of the merchant Adum Larp of Dantooine, and his heavy blaster pistol likewise came into the keeping of B'ree, a Czerka Corporation merchant on Korriban.
Cassus Fett was almost unrivaled in his knowledge of tactics and held a reputation as a master of command. A methodical man, he was the architect of many of Mandalore's victories in the war, and by the time of the invasion of Taris he held the position of Field Marshal. He was knowledgeable in a number of languages, including High Galactic and Mando'a. Fett's influence extended throughout Mandalorian affairs, reshaping their entire culture. His contributions to Mandalorian strategy ranged even down to the mundane matters of traffic control. Fett's notions of exerting control over the Crusaders and utilizing logistics were foreign to the Mandalorians, but they aided the Mandalorian cause greatly, turning them into a force capable of threatening the Republic's hold on the galaxy. He understood that his system was unorthodox to the Mandalorians and their nomadic way of life, but believed it would bring them ultimate victory. Fett was known by his fellow Mandalorians for the ruthless tactics he used, willing to wipe out millions to preserve the greater cause of his people. He would freely kill large populations for revenge or to eliminate a potential threat. Republic propaganda portrayed Fett as Mandalore the Ultimate's thug.
Fett considered the Mandalorians to be a new order, replacing the old order of Republic rule. He spoke of himself as a liberator of worlds, believing that the Republic's inability to defend them made it unworthy of those worlds' allegiance, and offering the path of the Neo-Crusaders to them with the promise of joining the Mandalorians in victory. Though he offered peace to those who joined the Mandalorians, he would not brook betrayal and promised death to those who feigned loyalty. Fett did not trust his enemies easily, but once convinced of their sincerity, he was willing to put himself in their debt.
Fett had little in the way of peers or friends. He held rivalries with other Mandalorians, such as Demagol and Pulsipher, and was glad to hear when they were reported dead. For his part, Pulsipher did not think highly of him and was upset at the amount of resources Mandalore put in Fett's hands.
To show his support for the color-coded system of armor he helped implement, Fett wore for a time a suit of yellow Neo-Crusader armor, initially donned only by Mandalore the Ultimate's closest advisors. Fett also possessed at least one other suit of armor, colored purple. He wielded an adaptable heavy blaster pistol, which he was rarely seen without.
Fett could issue orders to Mandalorian Kandosii-type dreadnaughts to use fission weapons, which saw use many times in the course of the war. At times he led soldiers mounted on Basilisk war droids into battle, as he did at Cathar.
Cassus Fett was first mentioned in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, where the player can purchase his armor and blaster from two vendors; brief bits of information on Fett are provided in the flavor text for these items. There are in fact two items in the game's files labeled "Cassus Fett's Battle Armor," though only one is included in the game; the other, unused, has a different texture.
Though Fett's first actual appearance was in the comic Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 8: Flashpoint, Part 2, this was not known for some time, as the comic itself does not identify him. When John Jackson Miller, author of the Knights of the Old Republic comics series, was asked as to whether the Mandalorian in question was Fett, he stated that he would let the "text speak for itself" and not reveal it elsewhere. Fett was first named in the series in the The Taris Holofeed: Invasion Edition feature of issue 18 and first associated with a picture in the subsequent The Taris Holofeed Special Proclamation feature of issue 21, which reused a panel from 8 for its image of Fett. Miller at last made explicit that the Mandalorian in 8 was Fett in the notes for the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Handbook on his website.
Fett also received a profile in the Handbook. The images from issue 8 were too small for inclusion, and his appearance in issue 23 was not available yet, so a red-armored Mandalorian from issue 20 was recolored gold to represent him. However, the character himself is not actually in issue 20.
Miller has compared Fett to Darth Vader in that he feels the character is best used sparingly. Many of Fett's inclusions in the series are as a result in name only, where the reader only sees how other characters react to him.
Miller spent some time trying to find the right tone for Fett's speech in The Taris Holofeed Special Proclamation, in which the character announces that the Mandalorians are now in charge of Taris. On a vacation to New Mexico, he found his inspiration in a speech by General Stephen W. Kearny, who made the proclamation that claimed New Mexico as part of the United States. Though the situation there was different from the one Miller was writing, he used it as a loose model for the terseness of Fett's announcement.