Mandalorian Death WatchIn the wake of the Ithullan genocide of 200 BBY, many Mandalorian warriors expressed a desire to shed the dishonorable ways of the past. A century and a half later, the charismatic warrior Jaster Mereel became the new Mandalore, and with him a new standard of Mandalorian behavior—the Supercommando Codex. Not all agreed with the Codex however. The soldier Tor Vizsla attracted warriors fond of the old ways into his own movement, the Death Watch. In turn, Mereel's faction recast themselves as the True Mandalorians and total war broke out.
Vizsla proclaimed that the Death Watch would eventually attempt to conquer the galaxy like the Mandalorians of the past. Ill-disciplined to the extreme, they were skilled warriors nonetheless, but constant in-fighting and the egotistical nature of Vizsla's leadership of the Death Watch was its downfall. When Jango Fett finally defeated Vizsla, the remaining members of the group scattered, and it ceased to have any influence on the galaxy. While seemingly destroyed, the beliefs of the Death Watch remained amongst some Mandalorians.
- "Not everyone on Mandalore believes our commitment to peace is a sign of progress. There is a group that calls itself Death Watch. I imagine these are the renegades you are looking for. They idolize violence and the warrior ways of the past."
- ―Duchess Satine Kryze of Mandalore to High General Obi-Wan Kenobi — Listen (file info)[src]
During the formation of the Grand Army of the Republic on Kamino, Fett hand-picked a group of one-hundred individuals—75 Mandalorians and 25 men and women of other varied backgrounds—to train elite clone commandos for the army, a group that would become known as the Cuy'val Dar—"Those Who No-Longer Exist". Two of the Mandalorian trainers, Isabet Reau and Dred Priest, attempted to ingrain the beliefs of the Death Watch into their clones by secretly forming battle circles in the bowels of Tipoca City. Jango Fett discovered the existence of the battle circles and quickly put them to an end, viciously beating Priest. Long after, the two Cuy'val Dar would later attempt to resurrect the Death Watch as a means to repel the Imperial occupation of Mandalore. Pre Vizsla and the Death WatchThough weakened, the Death Watch managed to maintain a fairly secret existence into the beginning stages of the Clone Wars. They were in conflict with the New Mandalorians and attempted to return the Mandalorian people to their ruthless warrior roots. At the time, the group operated on the Mandalorian moon of Concordia where they were secretly led by Governor Pre Vizsla. In order to get support for their attempt at taking over the Mandalorian government, the Death Watch allied themselves with the Confederacy of Independent Systems. As part of this alliance, Death Watch commandos performed sabotage missions for the Separatists against Republic targets. One such mission involved a commando attempting to sabotage a Republic cruiser, but this agent was caught. However, rather than surrender, the Death Watch commando committed suicide and his actions led to the Republic's belief that Duchess Satine Kryze of Mandalore, head of the Council of Neutral Systems, was training a Mandalorian army for the Separatists.
In order to investigate this matter further, the Jedi Council dispatched High General Obi-Wan Kenobi to Mandalore to meet with Satine. At first, the Duchess and her advisers discounted any Mandalorian involvement until Kenobi showed holographic recordings of the Death Watch saboteur. She later revealed the existence of rumors of Death Watch's return. This was later proven at the capital of Sundari when a Mandalorian bombed a memorial and committed suicide. Left at the bomb site was a holographic representation of the Death Watch symbol, further highlighting the group's return. During these events Pre Vizsla communicated with Count Dooku who revealed his strategy for the Republic to establish peacekeeping forces on Mandalore. Dooku hoped this would cause unrest and lead the Mandalorian populace to the Death Watch's ideals. Kenobi later discovered the Death Watch base of operations on Concordia and Pre Vizsla revealed himself to the jedi and the duchess as the leader of the faction. The Death Watch Mandalorians managed to escape and abandoned their base, allowing them to remain at large.
In the early days of the Rebellion, a man wearing the armor of a Death Watchman was seen protecting Tungo Li during the hearing of Janek Sunber. Dred Priest led several fellow Mandalorians in an attempt that tried and failed to restart the Death Watch, as a means of fighting off the Empire.
As a child, Nashiak Llalik was impressed with the armors of this group. He read a lot about them and entertained his younger sister, Saren, with stories about those armors. As an adult, Saren regretted being separated from her brother, partly because she would have enjoyed those stories again.
In 40 ABY, Mand'alor Boba Fett believed the destruction of the Death Watch was his father's lasting legacy for the Mandalorians. Walon Vau, a member of the Cuy'val Dar, was known to say the Death Watch was the only group he truly considered his enemy.