"Jaig Eyes" On Clone Helmets Are A Mandalorian Tradition
Josh and I had the pleasure of featuring the "Boba Fett Hot Toys ESB 40th Anniversary Movie Masterpiece figure" (say that 3 times real fast) on a recent episode of the Holochronicles. Among the many accessories that it came with was an alternate helmet. This helmet looked exactly like an Empire Strikes Back Boba helmet with one distinction: it had what are known as "Jaig eyes" painted atop the helmet.
The Jaig eyed helmet was a pre-production design that never made it onto the screen in any movie, but Hot Toys added it as a sort of "easter egg". The lore behind the markings came 20+ years later during the Prequel Trilogy (PT).
Jaig eyes were a Mandalorian sigil, known formally in Mando'a as jai'galaar'la sur'haii'se, a name which translated as "shriek-hawk eyes". Jaig were a mark of honor that select Mandalorian clan chieftains elected to bestow on warriors in recognition of their bravery. They were often painted on the soldier's helmet. - Wookiepedia
In Attack of the Clones, we learn that the Galactic (Clone) Army derived from the genetic template of the Mandalorian Jango Fett. Jango handpicked members of the Mandalorian Cuy'val Dar, to train the Grand Army's special forces clone commandos, and passed down a number of Mandalorian customs to the clones. Only 3 clones were known to bear the Jaig eyes on their helmets: ARC77 Captain Fordo, Commander Blackout, and most famously, Captain Rex.
DID YOU KNOW the Phase 1 Clone has commonalities with a Mandalorian helmet - mostly the visor and Macrobinocular Viewplate/Scanner.
DID YOU KNOW that Boba Fett and Captain Rex are the same age? They were cloned on
Kamino (by their "father" Jango) around the same time, only Boba was not made to have accelerated growth. Rex would look twice as old as Boba. It's not known who bestowed Rex with the Jaig eyes honor but it is possible that they came from Jango. I wonder if Rex and Boba knew each other as kids?....Probably not, but it's fun to think about.
DID YOU KNOW that in the Rebels animated series, Kanan Jarrus adorned a mask with Jaig eyes? It's likely that Sabine, a Mandalorian, painted them on his mask for his bravery in battle while blind. A less likely explanation is that they are an homage to his friend Rex.
The layers of meaning for the smallest of details in Star Wars continues to blow me away. This is why it's so much fun being a SW fan. There is a REAL and LEGIT connection with Mandalorians and Clones that ripples out to Kanan. Tidbits like this allow my mind to wander and think that if the ruler of Mandalore claimed the Clone Army as his own (with legitimacy) . . . imagine how that could have changed history!
Star Wars is so much fun.