- "I see what they're doing. I see a defense without honor. […] Let them see what such a defense deserves. Let them burn."
- ―Mandalore the Ultimate
The Battle of Serroco was an engagement during the Mandalorian Wars between the Galactic Republic and the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders in the year 3963 BBY. Anticipating that the Mandalorians would move on the muddy planet Serroco in the Expansion Region, Republic Navy Saul Karath assembled a battle group and moved to defend the world. The Navy decide to place their camps next to Serroco's Stereb cities, betting that the Mandalorians would not want to risk wrecking the cities and depriving themselves of the loot to be found within—they were wrong. When the Mandalorians arrived, their chief, Mandalore the Ultimate, deemed the Republic tactic "without honor" and unleashed a barrage of nuclear bombs that destroyed the Stereb cities. With Serroco devastated, Karath marshaled his remaining forces and retreated, hoping to link up with reinforcements further away from shattered Serroco. The Mandalorians pursued, finally catching up to Karath's flagship, the Courageous, in deep space. The Courageous was severely damaged and boarded, and Admiral Karath barely escaped with his life. The destruction of Serroco was decried as an atrocity and a crime by the Republic, and Serroco's memory became a rallying cry for the Republic throughout the rest of the war.
- "It's a big moment for all of us, Carth. This time, we're ready for them!"
- ―Admiral Saul Karath, to Carth Onasi
In 3976 BBY, the Mandalorian warrior clans, led by chief Mandalore the Ultimate, began conquering unaligned worlds on the Outer Rim. After their crusades drew no action from the Galactic Republic, the Mandalorians began to lean towards the Core, threatening resource worlds near the ecumenopolis of Taris. The Republic finally responded, sending Republic Navy forces out to the front lines to stand against the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders. True war finally broke out in 3964 BBY, with the Mandalorians launching a three-pronged offensive aimed at seizing Taris—the Mandalorians had little trouble conquering worlds like Vanquo, and besieged and occupied Taris. From there, the Mandalorians began to advance inwards. In 3963 BBY, the Mandalorians, moving from their stronghold of Jebble, set their sights on the planet Serroco, in the Expansion Region's Ploo sector. Serroco, a rainy, muddy world prone to violent storms, was the homeworld of the Stereb species—and, by 3963 BBY, a full member of the Galactic Republic. The Republic saw the Mandalorian advance on Serroco coming, and Admiral Saul Karath of the Republic Navy assembled what he called Battle Group Serroco to defend the planet.
The group was headed by the Inexpugnable-class tactical command ship Courageous, Karath's flagship. The battle group set down camps near Serroco's Stereb cities, which housed a great number of naval personnel alongside freelance tradespeople who tagged along, offering food and other services. Notably, Serroco's Camp Three featured the extremely popular Little Bivoli eatery. Unbeknownst to the Republic Navy, the Little Bivoli was run by two of the Republic's most wanted fugitives—Zayne Carrick, a former Jedi Padawan accused of murdering his whole class on Taris, and his Snivvian "accomplice" Marn Hierogryph. By setting their camps so close to the cities, the Republic was hoping that they would be better able to protect them, counting on the idea that the Mandalorians would not want to wreck potentially valuable loot in the cities. In addition to the Republic Army troopers and Navy shuttles and other craft at the camps, Battle Group Serroco surrounded Serroco with a blockade of vessels, including Hammerhead-class cruisers, similarly-designed starships, Foray-class blockade runners and a number of Aurek-class strikefighters. However, Carrick had a vision—the former Jedi Padawan, while on a break from his duties at the Little Bivoli, foresaw that Mandalore the Ultimate would order the cities destroyed out of disgust for the Republic's tactics. Horrified, Carrick resolved to warn Admiral Karath and attempt to avert disaster.
- Morvis: "Check that, check that. Bearing change on inbounds!"
- Karath: "What?"
- Carrick: "No!!!'"
- Morvis: "Missiles tracking around Courageous! Repeat, around Courageous! They weren't aimed at the fleet! They're heading for—"
- ―Commander Dallan Morvis, Admiral Saul Karath and Zayne Carrick before the missiles impact Serroco[src]
Carrick hitched a ride up to the Courageous on Republic pilot Carth Onasi's short-haul craft, the Deadweight, but upon reaching the bridge was immediately recognized as a wanted fugitive. Karath thought that Carrick was a Mandalorian spy, and refused to heed his warnings. Expecting the Mandalorians to arrive any minute, Karath decided to keep Carrick on the bridge of the Courageous, to show him what the Republic would do to Carrick's "friends"—sure enough, a Mandalorian battle group featuring a Kandosii-type dreadnaught and several Jehavey'ir-type assault ships emerged from hyperspace. It was small enough of a force to draw Karath's curiosity, as did their holding position at the edge of the Republic force's weapons perimeter. Without further ado, the Mandalorian ships launched a number of nuclear bombs that appeared to be heading for the Republic fleet. As Karath prepared countermeasures, the missiles suddenly changed course and angled around the ships—they were never aimed at the fleet. Just as Carrick had foreseen, the missiles hit the planet's surface, doing heavy damage to Serroco's Human settlements and turning the Stereb cities into glass craters.
With the Republic force on Serroco decimated by the bombs destroying their camps—their missile-defense systems were not active, and thus only eight ships on the surface were able to make a getaway—Admiral Karath was left with no choice but to retreat and find a place to make a stand. With the Courageous group on the run, the Mandalorians pursued Karath and his forces through the lanes between Serroco and the banking world of Telerath. Karath was hoping to make it to the planet Myrkr or the Ryyk Nebula, where he could merge his forces with the Tremendous battle group in the region, but faced major difficulties. Karath had sworn that he would not allow the Mandalorians to take any of the ships in his flotilla without a fight, and the Courageous saw plenty of action to this end. The Mandalorians finally caught up to the Courageous in deep space, severely damaging the Courageous and boarding the listing vessel. Karath, Onasi, and Commander Dallan Morvis were still alive, and made the decision that they had to scuttle the vessel. Faced with Neo-Crusader Shock Troopers pouring into the ship, the three retreated from the bridge under heavy fire, with Onasi narrowly saving Admiral Karath from a direct attack.
With Mandalorian troopers on three levels, Karath, Onasi and Morvis gathered several soldiers and made their way into the ship's brig, hoping to find a suitable place to make a stand. After barricading the door, they went straight for the prison cells, where the still-captive Zayne Carrick had been meditating—as the Mandalorians drew nearer, Carrick rose from his spot to reveal that he had used the Force to gradually loosen bolts in the wall behind him, opening a passage from his cell to the ship's empty cargo bay. Onasi was able to fly Karath, Morvis, Carrick and several troopers out of the fray in the Deadweight, evading Mandalorian pursuit when the ship was noticed leaving the bay. With the loss of the Courageous, the entirety of the Serroco battle group was lost.
- "You were at Serroco, when they turned the Stereb cities into glass craters."
- ―Atton Rand, to Meetra Surik
After narrowly escaping death on the Courageous, Admiral Saul Karath and the passengers of the Deadweight were roped into a scheme by Arkoh Adasca, head of the medical corporation Adascorp, to establish himself as a major galactic power by offering either the Republic or the Mandalorians the services of the massive and deadly creatures known as the exogorths. They came face-to-face with Mandalore the Ultimate himself in the process, and in the ensuing chaos Adasca was killed, Carrick escaped custody, and Karath, Morvis and Onasi were able to slip away. Admiral Karath limped back to the Republic capital of Coruscant, and immediately submitted his resignation to the Admiral of the Fleet, who refused to accept it and instead publicly praised Karath for his performance. Having claimed victory at Serroco, the Mandalorians moved Coreward to Nouane, another world that would end up being ravaged by the warrior clans. Although Serroco was severely damaged as a result of the Mandalorian attack, Carth Onasi was able to save many Stereb lives by calling in warnings from the planet's orbital watchstation and sending them to safety in Serroco's catacombs. Although life on Serroco did eventually continue, irreparable damage was done to the planet's surface—furthermore, only eight of the ships grounded on the planet were able to make an escape. One of them carried Jedi Knight Meetra Surik, who was one of a number of Jedi regularly assigned to the world.
The loss of the Courageous threw some Republic planets, such as Telerath, into a panic, and the "crime" of Serroco was immediately condemned by the Republic. The Courageous itself was melted down for scrap by the Mandalorians, and part of it was fashioned into a battle-axe carried by Mandalore the Ultimate. The memory of Serroco would become a rallying cry for the Republic going forward in the war. In transmissions aimed at the Mandalorians, Republic propagandist Benegryph Goodvalor named his imaginary warship the Serroco, a name that would later be lent to a real Republic ship by the time of the Galactic War several centuries later. Incidentally, "Goodvalor" was a Serroco survivor himself—he was Little Bivoli host Marn Hierogryph, who along with the Trandoshan cook Slyssk had escaped the carnage in the nick of time by stealing a Republic troop transport, saving half a sleeping battalion in the process. For this, he was celebrated as the "Hero of Serroco", and the episode was turned into a propaganda story by the Republic Defense Ministry. About a decade after the Battle of Serroco, during the Dark Wars, a group of Republic veterans of the battle formed a gang in the Refugee Sector of the Smuggler's Moon, Nar Shaddaa.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Battle of Serroco was first mentioned in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, a video game released in 2004. The event was mentioned as part of the background of the game's main character, Meetra Surik—it would not actually appear until Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 15: Days of Fear, Part 3, a comic written by John Jackson Miller and released in 2007. The actual destruction of the planet takes place in Days of Fear—the conclusion of the space battle takes place in a later issue, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 17: Nights of Anger, Part 2. The battle was mentioned in a number of other Knights of the Old Republic issues, and other sources such as Miller's novel Knight Errant, the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG, The Essential Atlas and The Essential Guide to Warfare.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 14: Days of Fear, Part 2 (Vision to Zayne Carrick)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 15: Days of Fear, Part 3 (First appearance)
- The Taris Holofeed: Siege Edition
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 16: Nights of Anger, Part 1 (Mentioned only)
- The Admiral's List: Remember Serroco! Edition (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 17: Nights of Anger, Part 2
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 18: Nights of Anger, Part 3 (Mentioned only)
- The Taris Holofeed: Invasion Edition (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 19: Daze of Hate, Part 1 (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 20: Daze of Hate, Part 2 (Indirect mention only)
- The Adjudicator Special Report: Tools of the Trade (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 21: Daze of Hate, Part 3 (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 22: Knights of Suffering, Part 1 (Mentioned only)
- The Admiral's List: Karath Home Safely (Mentioned only)
- Galactic Republic Defense Ministry Daily Brief KD0092 (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 32: Vindication, Part 1 (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 47: Demon, Part 1 (Appears in flashback(s))
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 49: Demon, Part 3 (Indirect mention only)
- (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: War 1 (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: War 3 (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (First mentioned)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (Mentioned only)
- Knight Errant (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Handbook
- Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. III, p. 140 ("Serroco")
- The Essential Atlas
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 The Essential Atlas
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 21: Daze of Hate, Part 3
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 15: Days of Fear, Part 3
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 14: Days of Fear, Part 2
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 The Admiral's List: Karath Home Safely
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 17: Nights of Anger, Part 2
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 19: Daze of Hate, Part 1
- ↑ Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 8: Flashpoint, Part 2
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Handbook
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 The Admiral's List: Remember Serroco! Edition
- ↑ Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 11: Reunion, Part 1
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 The Essential Guide to Warfare
- ↑ In Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, the main character Meetra Surik is mentioned as having been on Serroco at the time of the Mandalorian attack. Since Jedi involvement in the war had not yet begun, this was rectified by the later Galactic Republic Defense Ministry Daily Brief KD0092 which says that there were Jedi on regular assignment to Serroco and one was able to get away on one of the few ships to escape. Logically, this would have to be Surik.
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 18: Nights of Anger, Part 3
- ↑ The Taris Holofeed: Invasion Edition
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 20: Daze of Hate, Part 2
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic—Flashpoint: "Taral V"
- ↑ Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 47: Demon, Part 1
- ↑ Knight Errant
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic