Canderous Ordo, later known as Mandalore the Preserver (Te Taylir Mand'alor in Mando'a), was a Mandalorian of Clan Ordo who fought in the Mandalorian Wars from 3976 BBY to 3960 BBY. While serving with the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders, he participated in several battles, earning significant glory and prestige with his bold tactics and leadership. Despite their many successes, the Mandalorians were decisively defeated by Republic forces under the command of the Jedi Knight Revan, and Ordo was among the survivors who were forced to give up their weapons in unconditional surrender. The Mandalorians scattered across the galaxy and Ordo began working as a mercenary, eventually settling on the planet Taris. Under the employ of local crime lord Davik Kang, Ordo encountered his former enemy, Revan, although Ordo did not recognize him, as Revan was suffering from amnesia and now served as a Republic soldier.
Having grown bored of his life as an enforcer and eager to seek new challenges, Ordo decided to join the Republic soldier and left Taris, traveling with Revan and his companions to Dantooine for a meeting with the local Jedi Council. Revan, who was retrained in the Jedi ways, was given the task of finding the location of the Star Forge, an ancient superweapon being used by Darth Malak's Sith Empire. Ordo accompanied Revan on his mission, confident that he would find new challenges along the way. Contributing his experience as a warrior and commander, Ordo helped Revan throughout his journey, content with having found a task worthy of his efforts. When Revan finally regained his memories and revealed his true identity, Ordo remained loyal and declared that he was proud to serve alongside such a formidable warrior. After Darth Malak was defeated and the Star Forge destroyed, Ordo, along with Revan and his companions, were honored by the Republic for his role in the conflict.
After the conflict, Ordo reclaimed the mask of Mandalore with Revan's help and became the second leader of the Mandalorians since their defeat in the war. Revan soon regained memories of a threat in the Unknown Regions and left known space, instructing Ordo to restore the strength of the Mandalorians in preparation for his return. Ordo then began the arduous task of reuniting the scattered clans and rebuilding their military power. While reestablishing the Mandalorians, Ordo encountered another former opponent from the Mandalorian Wars, Meetra Surik, also known as the Jedi Exile. After learning that Surik was being hunted by the Sith Triumvirate, Ordo decided to aid her in gathering the Jedi Masters who had survived the Sith assassination campaign in order to prevent the Sith from regaining their power. While traveling with Surik, Ordo continued recruiting Mandalorian clans and was instrumental in helping Surik defeat the Sith Lord Darth Nihilus. After Surik eliminated the Sith Triumvirate, Ordo parted ways with her and awaited Revan's return from the Unknown Regions, keeping the Mandalorians ready for war.