- "Lieutenant Sykes, glad you made it. You've been well-trained."
- ―Captain Panaka, to Gavyn Sykes, after the latter destroys attacking hostiles near Rasker Hill
A battle took place near the south ridge of Theed, the capital of the planet Naboo, in the year 32 BBY during the Trade Federation's invasion of the planet in response to a trade dispute. The battle occurred just after Naboo's Queen Amidala and her head of security, Captain Panaka, returned to the planet and gathered local resistance leaders to brief them on their plan to retake the planet from the Trade Federation Droid Army. Droid forces attacked members of the Royal Naboo Security Forces near Rasker Hill, but they were driven off by Lieutenant Gavyn Sykes, a member of Naboo's Bravo Squadron, whose quick actions saved nearby farms. Panaka met with Sykes and ordered him to guard the south ridge.
Shortly thereafter, Sykes spotted a large Trade Federation convoy, which was preparing to depart for flanking maneuvers on the Great Grass Plains against the Gungan Grand Army. He then responded to a distress call from fellow pilot Palmer at the Naboo airbase. After Sykes destroyed the Armored Assault Tanks, droid bombers, and laser turrets that threatened the airbase, Panaka ordered him to intercept the convoy in a bomber. During his assault on the convoy, Sykes also destroyed the Trade Federation Airbase. He delayed the convoy's tanks and Multi-Troop Transports in Widow's Valley so that Panaka could place explosives on a bridge in the convoy's path. When the explosives failed, Sykes bombed the bridge and destroyed the rest of the convoy in the process.
In the year 32 BBY, Queen Amidala of the Naboo returned to her homeworld of Naboo after fleeing the Trade Federation's planetary invasion. In her absence, the Royal Naboo Security Forces had been fighting a desperate battle against the Trade Federation Droid Army, and her return united them. Under her guidance, the Naboo Resistance came up with a plan to end the enemy occupation of their world. To that end, Amidala gathered as many resistance officers as she could and secured the help of the Gungans, Naboo's other major species. The Gungans agreed to serve as a diversion for the Queen's plan and gathered their Grand Army for the planned assault on the Federation forces. The Trade Federation noticed the Gungan forces gathering in the swamps near Theed, Naboo's capital city, and sent its own army to wipe out the insurgency before it threatened their interests. After their successes in battle, the resistance cell, led by Naboo's Bravo Squadron pilot Gavyn Sykes, joined Amidala at the south ridge of Theed.
- "Panaka? Maybe he can get us organized."
"We need to locate him first. Let's move."
- ―A Naboo soldier and Sykes
After the Queen's meeting with the Gungans, Captain Panaka sent out a message on the coded Royal Security Forces emergency frequency, directing all officers who received the message to rendezvous on Rasker Hill, near the south ridge. Lieutenant Sykes, in a Gian speeder, and other members of his resistance cell in a Seraph-class speeder, received the message. Shortly thereafter, Panaka came under attack and informed the approaching reinforcements via comlink.
Trade Federation Single Trooper Aerial Platforms (STAPs) and two droid starfighters attacked civilians and resistance members at the south ridge. Sykes's resistance cell joined Panaka, who was in a Gian speeder, to fight off the Trade Federation forces. After the first group of STAPs were destroyed, another small group of STAPs appeared near Rasker Hill and were quickly defeated by the Naboo fighters. The resistance's quick actions saved nearby farms from destruction, although some farms did sustain damage.
The three Naboo speeders then met on top of Rasker Hill, where Panaka praised Sykes's training and explained the strategy by which the Naboo forces would free the planet. He ordered Sykes to take his forces to guard the rear entrance of Theed to prepare for the next battle, and to then to follow the Captain. Sykes, in turn, ordered the third speeder to head to the south ridge. Panaka and Sykes drove off Rasker Hill and parked nearby, with Panaka dismounting to continue his briefing. He reminded Sykes to call him on the coded secure emergency frequency if there was trouble and wished the Lieutenant good luck. As Sykes departed to comply with the Captain's orders, he gave his word that he would cover the Captain.
- "This is Palmer on the southern ridge. We've picked up Trade Federation forces moving our way, fast."
Meanwhile, a large Trade Federation convoy designated Army C had entered the south ridge en route to the Great Grass Plains to engage the Gungan Grand Army in a flanking maneuver. Upon reaching the area, Sykes contacted Panaka to inform him the south ridge was compromised; in turn, Panaka ordered Sykes to gather his forces to intercept the convoy. Sykes, still driving his Gian speeder, pursued the convoy, but a collapsing pillar landed on a trailing Trade Federation Armored Assault Tank (AAT) and blocked his path. Simultaneously, the Trade Federation attacked the Naboo soldiers at the south ridge proper; a soldier named Palmer contacted Sykes to inform him of the attack. As two droid bombers and a group of AATs headed toward the Naboo airbase, Sykes raced off to help. En route, he destroyed two static laser turrets and shot down the bombers. By that point, the AATs had made it to the base. When Palmer radioed again, Sykes responded that he was on his way; he moved in and saved the base from the attacking AATs and prevented the base from experiencing heavy casualties. Two N-1 starfighters and a Seraph-class speeder were parked at the base at that time. Panaka ordered Sykes to switch craft at the base's hangar to stop the convoy, and Sykes took an experimental bomber for the attack.
Sykes approached the convoy after airborne mines and starfighter cover placed in the way failed to stop him. He dropped proton bombs on three staging areas, causing much damage to the Federation forces. The Trade Federation Airbase was meanwhile preparing to launch an attack, which Panaka warned him about. Sykes flew in to destroy the base, dedicating its destruction to his Queen. Even though the staging areas were now compromised, he still had to deal with the convoy's remaining Multi-Troop Transports and tanks, which were still moving toward its target. As he and the convoy passed into Widow's Valley, Palmer told him to watch out for the valley's unstable pillars. To further delay the convoy, Sykes started knocking down the pillars. Laser turrets placed near the Federation installations and in the valley fired at Sykes, who responded by launching a proton bomb. As Sykes flew into Widow's Valley, Panaka informed him that they had spotted a bridge ahead of the convoy and were going to destroy it. As the convoy neared the bridge, situated over a canyon, a Naboo speeder dropped off thermal detonators, which subsequently failed to go off. Just before the convoy reached the end of the bridge, Sykes dropped one of his bombs on the bridge, which went up in a large explosion along with the remainder of the convoy.
With the convoy destroyed, Panaka congratulated Sykes again and told him to report to Theed, where a speeder awaited him.
- "That was close, but good work, Lieutenant. If that convoy had reached the city, we'd be finished. We have a speeder waiting for you at the south gate. Meet us there."
- ―Panaka, to Sykes, after the destruction of the convoy
With the destruction of the Trade Federation Droid Army's flanking force in the area, the Gungans were able to hold out long enough for the Queen to enter Theed and launch her N-1 starfighters to destroy the Federation's Droid Control Ship over Naboo. After destroying the convoy, Sykes joined the battle to retake Theed, leading diversionary forces before jumping into an N-1. In space, his actions allowed the young pilot Anakin Skywalker to destroy the Federation battleship from the inside. The destruction of the Droid Control Ship shut down the Trade Federation Army and brought an end to the invasion after Amidala and the Security Forces also captured Trade Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray in Theed.
Behind the scenesEdit
The battle of the south ridge appears in the 2000 video game Star Wars: Battle for Naboo, produced by Factor 5 and LucasArts. The mission introduces the Naboo bomber into Star Wars canon. The player, flying as Sykes, has several options to end the mission. The convoy can be destroyed outright or delayed by knocking down the pillars. If the player waits for Panaka's bomb, it automatically fails to go off and can be triggered by a bomb or laser blasts. If the player bombs the bridge without hitting the explosives, Palmer chastises the player, saying it will not work, and if the player destroys the bridge, the action triggers a glitch where the bridge is destroyed but the convoy drives over the bridge as if it is still there, and the mission ends in failure. Additionally, the mission cannot be completed if the convoy reaches the other end of the bridge for any other reason, as the convoy can flank the Naboo forces. The player can also fail the mission if any of the Naboo airbase buildings are destroyed. Civilian losses in the first part of the mission do not affect the outcome. The Gian speeder and the Naboo bomber are the default crafts for the mission; additional playthroughs may be done with other ground and air vehicles.
The battle was mentioned in the 2001 video game Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds and its 2002 expansion pack in the Gungan civilization DataBank entry. The battle was also mentioned in Sykes's entry in 2008's The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia and in an article in the 2011 magazine Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 62. There is a discrepancy as to where the convoy is heading. Star Wars: Battle for Naboo indicates that the convoy is heading for Theed, but the 2003 reference book The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels establishes that Army C is a flanking force for the Battle of Grassy Plains. This article follows the latter source.
- Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds (Gungan civilization DataBank entry) (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Battle for Naboo (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds: Clone Campaigns (Gungan civilization DataBank entry) (Mentioned only)
- The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels (Indirect mention only)
- Rogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia ("Sykes, Gavyn")
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 62
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace novelization
- ↑ Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
- ↑ Star Wars: Starfighter
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Star Wars: Battle for Naboo refers to its events as taking place during the Invasion of Naboo. The New Essential Chronology establishes on page 40 that the invasion happens in 32 BBY.
- ↑ 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 5.28 5.29 5.30 5.31 5.32 5.33 5.34 5.35 5.36 5.37 5.38 5.39 5.40 Star Wars: Battle for Naboo
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 In Star Wars: Battle for Naboo, if the base is too heavily damaged, the mission fails. This article assumes the player prevented too many casualties.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 This battle was given an indirect mention in The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels in the entry for the Battle of Naboo.