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Battle of Kashyyyk (Clone Wars)

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Battle of Kashyyyk
CwBattle of Kashyyyk
Conflict

Clone Wars[1]

Date

19 BBY[1]

Place

Kashyyyk[1]

Outcome

Galactic Republic victory[1]

Combatants
Commanders
Strength
Casualties
  • Unknown number of droids
  • Munificent-class star frigates
  • Unknown number of Confederacy fighters
  • Unknown number of Providence-class carrier/destroyers and crew
  • At least one Recusant-class light destroyer[11]
  • A moderate number of Trandoshan slavers[2]
"When we arrived on Kashyyyk, things were just as bad as we'd feared. The droids had us outgunned, outmanevered and outmanned by a 5 to 1 margin. What none of us had counted on was the Wookiees. We'd all heard the stories of course, but we'd never fought next to them, never seen them rip apart a droid with their bare hands. They were magnificent. Even so, it was still a textbook suicide mission. At least it was until Master Yoda arrived. Then it became a battle. A winnable battle."
―Retired 501st Clone Trooper[src]

The Battle of Kashyyyk was one of the many battles that took place during the Outer Rim Sieges and among the final conflicts of the Clone Wars. It was fought on the planet Kashyyyk, the homeworld of the Wookiees and a vital Republic member world, which was being overrun by the Confederacy of Independent Systems which desired secret hyperspace routes in Wookiee archives that could turn the war in its favor.

Prelude

The mission

The commandos of Delta Squad, led by Boss, infiltrated a Trandoshan mercenary camp in order to rescue the Wookiee Chieftain Tarfful. The commandos successfully rescued Tarfful from several of General Grievous's bodyguard droids, as well as obtaining intelligence about the Confederacy's alliance with the Trandoshan mercenaries.

Delta Squad also found out the number of hostiles on Kashyyyk, which was more then the Republic High Command had thought. The squad then proceeded to sabotage the Trandoshans' outpost on Kashyyyk, destroying two of their landing pads. When the Confederacy launched their full-scale invasion of the Wookiee tree-city of Kachirho, Delta Squad was the only GAR unit planetside capable of assisting in the defense. Delta Squad managed to sabotage a bridge connecting the two sides of Kachirho, stopping the Confederacy's advance in its tracks. The commandos also secured vital munitions and ordinance depots for the Wookiees, allowing them to sufficiently arm themselves to fight against the Confederacy.

Kashyyyk mission

Their final operation was the destruction of a Recusant-class light destroyer attempting to land more battle droids onto the surface. Following the destruction of the cruiser, Sev, the team's sniper specialist, was lost; presumed MIA, but because of orders that came directly from Grand Master Yoda, Delta Squad was forced to abandon Sev. Delta Squad was then extracted and redeployed as the Republic invasion force arrived, and the Battle of Kashyyyk was joined.

Pre-battle

"My decision…? War against the invaders!"
King Grakchawwaa in response to Nute Gunray[src]

Kashyyyk was considered a major navigation hub for the southwest quadrant of the galaxy. As such, it was a strategically important system which had long been a target for the Separatist military. Confederacy leaders requested the Wookiees join their rebellion, but the Kashyyyk royal families proved indecisive. General Grievous, having become impatient regarding their decision to join the Confederacy, decided to send battle droids to "persuade" them. Accidentally, the droids killed Prince Rikummee, who was on a hunt, and King Grakchawwaa decided to oppose the Separatists.[12]

Probes Kashyyyk
CIS probe droids race towards Kashyyyk.

After a number of probing attacks throughout the war, the Separatists finally decided on a full scale invasion of the city of Kachirho in the Wawaatt Archipelago. This was to serve as a literal beach head into the rest of the forest covered planet. To this end, the Separatists made particular use of the age old hostility between the native Wookiees and their system neighbors the Trandoshans to prepare for their attack. The Trandoshans already had slave camps on Kashyyyk where they held Wookiees captive. Since it was revealed that Trandoshan slavers had something that could be seen as a pact with the CIS it was known that Trandoshans might fight for the Separatists in an upcoming battle. Eventually, the Separatists landed a large droid force in secret and prepared for an invasion. A Wookiee woodsmith, Tarkov, on a grantaloupe hunt with his son Jaccoba, discovered the invasion force and warned the nearest township, Kahiyuk. From there, the alarm clarions spread the word of invasion to the other archipelago cities of Warralokk, Grunnrurr, and Rowrakruk. The Wookiees prepared for war. However, while the system was an important strategic location and both sides believed the battle to be straightforward, it was in fact little more than a diversion by Darth Sidious.

The battle

"Many ships ring this planet, Master Unduli. Many. Numbers they have, but the Force is with us. A plan I have, but move quickly we must. The enemy marches."
Yoda, upon arrival to Kashyyyk[src]

The battle initiated when the Republic encountered the Separatist blockade of Kashyyyk. This CIS blockade was one of the toughest the Republic had to break through since and many pilots were lost because of it. Yet, the Republic engaged the enemy without a fight, destroying many Munificent-class star frigates and began engaging a Providence-class carrier/destroyers. They boarded the Destroyer with LAAT/is and stole a secret holocron and received it to the Venator-class Star Destroyer Monitor. Then the Republic entered the surface of Kashyyyk to aid the Wookiees.

Tarkov Sees Sep Army
Jaccoba and Tarkov watch as the Separatists invade the planet.

Once they landed, the clone commandos of Delta Squad were dispatched to find Tarfful and unite the Wookiees against the Separatists. They assaulted a Trandoshan mercenary fortress, breaking through the external perimeter and entering the lower floors. Delta Squad liberated two imprisoned Wookiees from the slavers, one of which revealed where the Chieftain Tarfful was being held. The clone commandos were the first to observe the IG-100 MagnaGuard bodyguard droids in action, and with great difficulty Delta Squad rescued Tarfful from two of the electrostaff-wielding droids. Then, the clone commandos of Delta Squad aided the Wookiee resistance in Kachirho, destroying a major supply bridge being used by the CIS to disrupt troop movement, then using a CIS Gun battery tower against the Separatist forces, destroying the Commerce Guild destroyer in orbit. Sev was attacked and Delta Squad lost contact with him. They wanted to search for him, but orders that came directly from Yoda forbade them to. Delta Squad pulled out onto a gunship as the Cruiser landed on the CIS Gun battery, destroying both, and then the Separatist counterattack came. Later, they discovered they were an advance group for a Republic invasion force.[13]

Meanwhile, Wookiees from across Kashyyyk flocked to Kachirho, the city chosen for the battle due to it being a lagoon in the Wawaatt Archipelago, and therefore easier for orbital insertion considering the lack of blockage from the high canopies of the wroshyr trees. Among these brave Wookiees was Chewbacca, an old friend of Kachriho's chieftain, Tarfful, who feared greatly that Kashyyyk would be unable to defend itself against the might of Separatist forces.[14] Led by Merumeru, Wookiee warriors established positions deep in entrenchments and revetments. These forces, on the ground and in the ornithopters and Wookiee catamarans, included Salporin, Eugroothwa, Zittaasabba, Attichitcuk, Guanta, Gorrlyn, and Lachichuk.

A team of Aleena scouts led by the Jedi master Tsui Choi was also assembled to deliver intelligence on enemy maneuvers prior to the eruption of the battle on flying Can-cells.

SwampTrooper-ROTS
Clone troopers engage the enemies from the coast line.

The first Republic forces to arrive on Kashyyyk, the 41st Elite Corps[5][6], under the order of Commander Gree, were led by Jedi General Luminara Unduli, soon to be followed by Quinlan Vos and detachments of an unknown unit led by Commander Faie. Alongside sparse members of their respective clone army divisions, Unduli and Vos, as well as Wookiees led by an elder from the Palsaang tribe, Gumbaeki, infiltrated an encampment of Trandoshans, using the Separatist raiding party as an excuse to capture and enslave Wookiees. Destroying the encampment and freeing the hairy simians was a simple matter, but a crab droid ambushed the group shortly afterward and was subsequently destroyed by the Inferno, a ship belonging to the Devaronian smuggler, Vilmarh Grahrk, who'd had previous relationships with General Vos. Vilmarh, or "Villie," alongside his young Wookiee friend, Gumbaeki's grandson, Chak, had apparently recently been smuggling goods to Palsaang.

The Separatist's true intentions in invading Kashyyyk would soon be revealed when a dying Trandoshan, Karniss, revealed that the CIS came in search of the hidden Claatuvac hyperspace routes that would give them much strategic advantage, which Quinlan would soon discover fell into the hands of Vilmarh, with some assistance from Chak, whose grandfather was a member of the Claatuvac Guild. Come his arrival through dangerous Kashyyyk orbit (due to surmounting Separatist spaceforces) with Chieftain Tarfful from Coruscant, Jedi Master Yoda, who'd maintained good relations with the Wookiees in previous Trandoshan incidents (and earned the title, "Defender of the Home Tree") was informed of these routes, but spoke that he already knew of them and had larger concerns, speaking of focus on the conflict at hand.

After receiving a transmission from the Jedi Council concerning General Grievous's discovery on Utapau, Yoda went into battle meditation, and Republic forces, out on Kachirho's beachfront, engaged the enemy.[14]

WookieeCharge-ROTS
Wookiees defend their homeworld from invading Separatist forces.

Master Yoda ordered the defense of Kachirho as the Separatist shield generator was lowered and the enemy forces rushed across the lagoon with haste. Merumeru's Wookiee forces rushed across the beachfront to confront the enemy as more warriors swung from the cliffs along the archipelago to place mines on the combustible droid forces. Meanwhile, clone troopers fired from trenches and clone sharpshooters sniped out enemies from along Tree Kachirho. On the vehicle front, Wookiee Oevvaor jet catamarans were aided by Juggernauts, AT-AP and AT-RT walkers and other assault vehicles. They faced enormous opposition from Separatist NR-N99 droid tanks, DSD1 dwarf spider droids and Heavy Missile Platforms.[14]

Yoda's battle plan

"This is it, men. We have to hold this beach head until reinforcements arrive. No retreats. No excuses."
― Command issued to all 501st clone troopers, at the start of the battle.[src]

The job of the 41st Elite and detachments of the 501st Legion, supported by Wookiees, was to fight on the beachfront defending the sea wall and to hold the line until Separatist forces were fully committed. When this occurred, Yoda gave the word to Master Unduli to charge on the left flank of the droid army. Simultaneously, Quinlan Vos, along side Chewbacca and Tarfful, was sent across the lagoon to lead an attack on approaching Separatist forces, but Villie still felt it necessary to join in on the action, a decision that led to the ultimate destruction of the Inferno by an enemy gunship. Vos, and the surviving Villie and Chak were immediately sent to a Juggernaut for recuperation.

SepKashyyykForces
Separatist forces press the attack during the battle

Beaten back

"The droids have started up their main power generators."
"Then now, the time is, Commander."
―Clone Commander Gree and Yoda[src]

As the clone forces were being beaten back on several fronts, the massive blockade of Trade Federation cruisers surrounded the planet and blocked any reinforcements attempting to relieve the beleaguered garrison on the planet. So, the pilots of the 501st Legion were dispatched to cut a path through the fleet. Destroying the Munificent-class star frigate defenses, the fleet focused all firepower on the nearest Providence-class carrier/destroyer. Using a high-altitude LAAT gunship, a squad of clone troopers formed a boarding party and sabotaged the inside of the ship, destroying the command bridge, life-support, and engines. They came across a battle-plan holocron, which contained the Separatist's strategies for the ground battle, and delivered it safely back to their Star Destroyer. With a path cut through the blockade, the 501st touched down on the planet and allowed more reinforcements to support the 41st Elite.

The battle seemed to go back and forth until, despite the best efforts of the combined Wookiee/Republic defense, Kachirho became in danger of being overrun by the Separatists. The 501st Legion had been beaten back by Separatist forces, which were advancing on the Kachirho seawall and attempting to destroy a crucial oil refinery.

Atop the seawall were two concussion turrets and multiple Clone Troopers, all of which were defending the seawall. Few attempts from the CIS to destroy the seawall were made from the Wookiee refinery, and eventually the tide of the battle turned in favor of the Republic.

BoK-ROTS
Clone troopers fire down on the advancing CIS forces.

The best efforts of Clone engineers and TX-130S fighter tanks managed to keep the sea wall intact until General Yoda could arrive to push the CIS back. With the foiling of this crucial mission, the droid army began to retreat from the refinery.

The main battle would have continued for weeks if not for the deactivation of the droids.

Order 66

"It will be done, my Lord."
Clone Commander Gree to Darth Sidious[src]

Suddenly, Master Yoda was shocked by a strong disturbance in the Force as Order 66 was carried out throughout the galaxy. Clone Commander Gree received a comlink-call on a frequency-locked channel reserved for the commander. Supreme Chancellor Palpatine instructed him to execute Order 66 against General Yoda. A 41st trooper joined Gree and attempted to assassinate Yoda.[14] As the clones prepared to execute him, Yoda drew his lightsaber, sensing what was about to happen, and in one fell swoop decapitated his would-be assassins.[14] Yoda then proceeded to escape into the nearby jungle along with Wookiee warriors Tarfful and Chewbacca, after fighting through swarms of clone troopers. Their quick escape was fortunate. A minute later a Juggernaut fired at the meeting hall, obliterating it.

TheDeathofCommanderGree
Yoda kills Commander Gree.

Outside, the battle between Republic and Separatist forces was slowing down: Wookiees stacked wrecked droids while clone troopers assessed the damage to their equipment. Jedi Master Luminara Unduli was conferring with eight clone troopers on the transportation of wounded soldiers back to medships when Order 66 was executed and she was pelted with blaster fire from all directions. Jedi Master Quinlan Vos was reflecting on his decision to leave the Order for his love, Khaleen Hentz, when he was suddenly shot by the laser cannon of a nearby Juggernaut, under command of Faie, who'd just received Order 66.

Quinlan survived, although severely burned, and vengefully slew all the 41st Elite Corps troopers under Faie's command who were searching for him. Eventually, he ran into Faie and killed him, but not without suffering dire wounds from his DC-15S blaster. Cleverly, Vilmarh Grahrk found him and burned Faie's body, then tricked the clone troopers into thinking it was Quinlan's. After nursing him back to good health in a bacta tank, Vilmarh and Quinlan would return eight months later, where the noble Jedi would reunite with Khaleen and meet his new son, Korto Vos.

Yoda and the Wookiees would proceed to escape into the nearby mountains. Later that evening, Chewbacca and Tarfful brought Yoda to an escape pod. After exchanging farewells, Yoda left the planet in the pod, and the two Wookiees would go to rejoin their fellows.[14]

Aftermath

"We left as heroes. Years later, we'd return, as conquerors."
―Retired 501st trooper[src]

As the Republic forces that came to defend the planet from the invaders became the invaders and executed their commanders in cold blood, the Battle of Kashyyyk was over. However, the Separatists were able to break their lines for a second, because of the confusion of Order 66. Reinforcements were able to push them back. At that point, an AT-RT patrol squad patrolling Kachirho and the commando Triton Squad began killing fugitive Wookiees throughout the forest. The Republic forces pulled out of the system soon after the deactivation of the battle droids, allowing the Wookiees to begin salvaging the masses of wrecked military hardware that the battle had left strewn across their world. Ironically, the Wookiees would put this equipment to good use against Imperial forces in the later battle.[15]

Behind the scenes

SWRofB Battle of Kashyyyk
The two armies fight to the last brick.
"The Separatists have launched a desperate attack on the Wookiee homeworld. We cannot allow this planet to fall into Separatist hands. Defend Kashyyyk and drive the enemy off the planet."
―Yoda briefing the player before the mission.[src]

A climactic battle between the technologically advanced Empire and a race of primitive hairy aliens, the Wookiees, was present in George Lucas's original treatment for A New Hope. As the story changed and the trilogy structure was solidified in Lucas' mind, the battle was postponed until Return of the Jedi, where it developed into a battle featuring Ewoks on the forest moon of Endor. At the same time, the Wookiees developed into a more technologically savvy, though not less hairy, species. Lucas' original conception of the battle featured hundreds of Wookiees on screen. Due to costs, the original idea was scrapped and replaced by a battle featuring relatively few diminutive Ewoks, who did not play a very significant tactical role in the battle. A large-scale battle with hundreds of characters was eventually realized in The Phantom Menace.

The fight was also parodied in Lego's Revenge of the Brick spoof of Revenge of the Sith.

In LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game, an alliance of sorts between the clones and droids is depicted following the execution of Order 66. Needless to say, this is not a canonical event.

Appearances

Non-canon appearances

Sources

Notes and references

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