- "Designed by the Dark Lord of the Sith, this web is. For now, play his game, we must."
The Clone Wars, occasionally referred to as simply the Clone War or the Separatist War, was the three-year conflict that divided the galaxy in warfare between the Galactic Republic and the breakaway Confederacy of Independent Systems. The Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious engineered the war to enable the extermination of the Jedi Order and the rise of the Galactic Empire. Prior to the conflict, Sidious amassed political power in his alter ego of the Republic's Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, while his Sith apprentice, Count Dooku, sparked a Separatist Crisis that saw hundreds of Republic star systems flock to his nascent Confederacy. Dooku, a former Jedi Master, also secretly commissioned an army of clone troopers from Kamino to serve as soldiers for the Jedi and the Republic.
The Clone Wars began at the Battle of Geonosis, in which Dooku and his Separatist Council pitted their Separatist Droid Army against the newly formed Grand Army of the Republic, with the Jedi reluctantly accepting their roles as generals of the Grand Army. As battles between Republic clone troopers and Separatist battle droids engulfed countless worlds, heroes emerged on both sides. Among the well-known Jedi Generals were Yoda, Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Anakin Skywalker, while the clone soldiers, for whom the conflict was named, displayed individuality and valor in their service to the Republic. Dooku, meanwhile, relied upon agents like General Grievous and Asajj Ventress throughout his military operations. Amidst the pan-galactic warfare, many planets—including Mandalore and other members of the Council of Neutral Systems—struggled to remain neutral, but found it difficult to escape from the carnage.
Early on, the Republic and the Confederacy vied for control of the major hyperspace lanes, ending when Skywalker and his new Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, secured an alliance between the Republic and the Hutt Clan. The Separatists resorted to technological and even biological warfare, developing weapons like the ion cannons of the battleship Malevolence and the Blue Shadow Virus to strike terror to the Republic citizenry. Key offensives occurred at Ryloth, Felucia, Malastare, and even Kamino, while other major campaigns included the Second Battle of Geonosis, which crushed Geonosis's battle droid foundries; and a Republic operation that failed to capture Grievous at Saleucami.
A year into the war, Republic Senator Padmé Amidala and Separatist Senator Mina Bonteri collaborated on an initiative to end the fighting. Dooku and Grievous sabotaged their efforts by executing a bombing on the Republic capital of Coruscant and killing Bonteri. A subsequent peace conference on Mandalore similarly failed. With no end in sight, the Jedi worked with local militaries like Mon Cala's military and Naboo's Gungan Grand Army as part of the Republic's war effort, and even trained a rebel cell to retake Onderon. The Confederacy also relied on units such as the Umbaran Militia, which waged but lost the Battle of Umbara. All the while, Sidious took advantage of the war to expand his power base, particularly through the Republic's acquisition of the InterGalactic Banking Clan.
As the Jedi faced waning public support and even dissent within the Order, Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi unearthed Dooku's role in creating the Grand Army. By that point, however, the Jedi were too entrenched to escape from the morass of the Sith's machinations. The accumulation of wartime casualties even compelled the Jedi High Council to approve a plan to assassinate Dooku, but Jedi Master Quinlan Vos and Asajj Ventress—Dooku's jilted apprentice—failed to execute him after a series of attempts. Nevertheless, the Republic eventually managed to push the Separatists into the Outer Rim Territories, initiating the Outer Rim Sieges.
In the war's third and final year, the Confederacy lost its core leadership in quick succession, with Dooku and Grievous perishing at the Battles of Coruscant and Utapau, respectively. However, Sidious had begun his endgame. He seduced Skywalker to the dark side of the Force, causing Skywalker to become his new apprentice, the Sith Lord Darth Vader. Following a failed attack by Mace Windu and other Jedi, Palpatine branded the Jedi as traitors and triggered Order 66, which forced clone troopers across the galaxy to execute their Jedi Generals, starting a galaxy-wide Jedi Purge. After assaulting the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, Vader traveled to Mustafar and murdered the Separatist Council, allowing Palpatine to declare an end to the Clone Wars and transform the Republic into the first Galactic Empire.
Strikes against the RepublicEdit
Battle of GeonosisEdit
The first battle of the Clone Wars occurred approximately twenty-two years before the Battle of Yavin and initially began as an execution of then Jedi Padawan Anakin Skywalker, Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and Senator Padmé Amidala for the charge of espionage. After a brief struggle in the Geonosis arena with a reek, nexu and acklay, a team of two hundred Jedi led by Mace Windu confronted Count Dooku, Trade Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray, Archduke Poggle the Lesser and Bounty hunter Jango Fett who were watching the planned execution. Count Dooku was nevertheless undeterred, and called upon numerous B1 and B2 battle droids to assault the Jedi. During the ensuing battle, Fett managed to kill a Jedi warrior threatening Dooku's life and engaged Mace Windu with his blaster pistols, but was grounded after his jetpack malfunctioned. Unable to escape, Fett was promptly killed by Mace Windu, much to the dismay of Dooku and of Fett's son, Boba Fett. With superior numbers, the battle eventually turned in the favor of Dooku and his Separatist Droid Army, and after surrounding the remaining Jedi, Dooku offered to spare the survivor's lives in return for their surrender. Mace Windu however, refused the offer.
About to be executed, the timely arrival of Jedi Master Yoda and the Grand Army of the Republic spared the lives of the remaining Jedi, engaging the droids in the arena with several LAAT/i gunships while larger Acclamator-class assault ships loomed overhead. After the successful extraction, the remaining Jedi were thrust into the now larger battle erupting outside of the Geonosis arena with thousands of clone troopers and battle droids from the recently formed Confederacy of Independent Systems assaulting one another. With the outcome of the battle now appearing grim for the Confederacy, numerous Separatist leaders such as Gunray and Rune Haako escaped Geonosis in numerous starships, while Poggle the Lesser entrusted the plans for the unfinished superweapon the Death Star to Count Dooku.
Before Dooku could make his escape however, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi confronted him in a Geonosian hangar, where a brief and vicious conflict erupted. Despite Kenobi's advice, Anakin Skywalker impulsively attacked the Count causing him to be thrown aside by Force lightning. Dooku eventually managed to injure Obi-Wan and cut off Anakin's arm, however the arrival of Yoda forced the Count to hasten his escape. Using the force to collapse a large pillar over the bodies of Anakin and Obi-Wan as a distraction, Dooku managed to win the valuable time needed to escape on his solar sailer as Yoda diverted the pillar with the Force. Not long after the encounter, Count Dooku under the Sith title of Darth Tyranus traveled to the Works on Coruscant to meet with his Master, Darth Sidious, who reassured the Count that the war was proceeding as planned.
In the Jedi Temple, Yoda, Windu and others pondered Dooku's warning that the Sith controlled the Senate, in which Yoda was hesitant to believe, reminding the Jedi High Council that the dark side was capable of breeding fear and mistrust. At the same time, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and Onaconda Farr oversaw the deployment of thousands of clone troopers onto Acclamator-class assault ships. The Clone Wars had truly begun.
Battle of ChristophsisEdit
Well after the Battle of Geonosis, Republic relief forces under Senator Bail Organa on the urban planet of Christophsis were suffering supply shortages and incessant Separatist attacks due to a naval blockade by the cunning Separatist Admiral Trench. Realizing the severity of the situation, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Admiral Wullf Yularen revealed a prototype stealth ship to Anakin Skywalker, in the hopes of getting much needed supplies to the ground forces below. Skywalker piloted the stealth ship past the blockade, however, he was determined to destroy Admiral Trench and his ship, the Invincible, before delivering the supplies to the troops on the surface.
After successfully defeating Trench, Obi Wan Kenobi's and Anakin Skywalker's clone troopers were preparing to fight on the planet. On Christophsis, the Republic war effort was hindered due to treacherous clone trooper Slick. Slick was in league with Asajj Ventress and leaked Republic battle plans to the Confederacy. Clone Commander Cody and Captain Rex, successfully subdued Slick. However, before he was captured, Slick destroyed several Republic walkers and gunships as well as the weapons depot.
Despite the Heavy Cannons being the only pieces of weaponry salvaged, the Republic prepared for an attack led by General Loathsom. The attack seemingly failed as a counterattack was launched shortly afterwards, in which Skywalker, Rex and a small squad of clones destroyed the Confederacy's three advancing tri-droids. Once Loathsom realized that the Republic's heavy cannons were the main obstacle to his force's advance, he once again pulled back to set up a deflector shield. Meanwhile above the planet, the battle between Republic and Separatist Armadas raged on, during which Admiral Yularen dispatched Padawan learner Ahsoka Tano to the surface where she revealed that she was apprenticed to Skywalker, much to his alarm. Skywalker, Kenobi and Tano tried to relay a message to the Jedi Temple, through the Resolute, but more Separatist ships arrived and forced Yularen and the Republic Fleet to withdraw, trapping the Jedi on the planet.
Loathsom finally finished setting up his deflector shield and launched yet another attack against Republic forces. Skywalker, Kenobi, Tano and Rex meanwhile devised a plan of attack in which Skywalker and Tano would infiltrate the Separatist-held ground and eliminate the shield generator, whilst Kenobi and Rex would gain time for them by defending the base. Once the attack commenced, Kenobi and Rex tried using the heavy cannons against the Separatist forces, but to no avail. As soon as the droids' deflector shield passed over them, Kenobi led a charge on the droids and jumped straight into the fray. Rex and his men began to lure the Separatist troops into the buildings, where the clones had the advantage. With his forces overwhelmed by the Separatists, Rex was forced to order his men to retreat. Kenobi met with Rex and ordered the captain to organize his troops in a defense of the heavy cannons while the Jedi General himself delayed the droids. Rex reluctantly agreed and retreated as Kenobi battled the droids alone. However he was soon cornered by Loathsom and his droids where he supposedly surrendered and began negotiating with the Separatist General, but his ulterior motive was in fact to stall the general until the shield generator could be destroyed.
Skywalker and Tano successfully managed to sneak behind enemy lines and reach the generator, but Tano's impatience accidentally caused her to activate a group of retail droids. Skywalker engaged them whilst Tano planted the explosives. Skywalker quickly became surrounded, but Tano carefully pulled a wall down destroying the droids and saving his life. Loathsom finally realized that Kenobi was tricking him and ordered him to call off his troops, but at that moment Tano detonated the shield generator and the shield began to dissipate. Witnessing the disappearing shield, Rex ordered the cannons to fire on the Separatist forces and Kenobi grabbed Loathsom, who ordered his troops to stop firing. Admiral Yularen, along with Master Yoda, returned to the system with a larger fleet where they engaged the Confederate blockade which in turn retreated. The Republic had gained a major victory over the Confederacy.
Battle of RylothEdit
Shortly after the Battle of Christophsis, Ryloth was invaded and blockaded by the Separatist Alliance under the leadership of Techno Union Emir Wat Tambor. The Separatist ground forces then attacked the Republic garrison under the command of Jedi General Ima-Gun Di and Clone Captain Keeli. However, they then received help from the Twi'lek resistance forces under Cham Syndulla. Soon supplies started run low and their heavy weapons were going offline. Di then contacted the Republic fleet under Admiral Dao. However, Dao's fleet were running low on fuel, ammunition and supplies as well. Di then ordered him to contact the Jedi Council for support. Dao was able to contact the temple telling Masters Yoda, Mace Windu and Obi-Wan Kenobi that he would not be able to re-supply the Ryloth garrison, his cruiser's main reactor was then hit and the ship destroyed.
The Jedi Council then sent Senator Bail Organa of Alderaan and Representative Jar Jar Binks of Naboo to Toydaria to negotiate the use of the planet as a staging ground to administer supplies to the population of Ryloth. Despite objections from Senator Lott Dod of the Trade Federation, King Katuunko did agree (albeit secretly) to use Toydaria to aid the humanitarian effort on Ryloth. Back on the battlefield, General Di ordered a gunship to be filled with explosives and then detonated to block a canyon and one of the fronts that the Droid army could engage them on. After the explosion, Syndulla and the other members of the Twi'lek resistance escaped over the mountains, whilst Di, Keeli and the rest of the clone troopers engaged the advancing Separatist forces. After a brief battle all the clones were swiftly killed leaving just Di, he survived long enough to see Organa's supplies arrive, before falling himself. Thanks to his and his men's final stand though, the Twi'leks received the supplies and managed to resist the droid army for a long time to come.
Sometime later, the Republic decided to liberate the planet. The first objective was to break the Separatist blockade under the command of Captain Mar Tuuk, a task led by General Anakin Skywalker, along with Commander Ahsoka Tano, Admiral Wullf Yularen, Captain Rex and his forces. Skywalker sent his apprentice and a squadron of starfighters to attack the blockade, but Tuuk brought in reinforcements, giving him the upper hand. Despite this Tano disobeyed both her master and Yularen's orders and continued her attack and soon Tuuk's forces broke through. Eventually Tano did retreat, but whilst this was in progress a droid starfighter flew into the Republic command ship's bridge, severely injuring the Admiral. Tano and the surviving members of her squadron eventually docked, however the Republic did lose another cruiser before entering hyperspace.
Skywalker later decided to attack the blockade again, this time using an evacuated cruiser, that was beyond repair and ram it into the Separatist Command Ship. He then left Tano in command of the remaining ship, where she came up with a plan to entrap the remaining droid forces and outflank them with the bombers. Rex and another officer were a little weary to accept the plan, but a recovering Yularen convinced them otherwise.
When Skywalker arrived, he contacted Tuuk and told him that he was surrendering the ship, so that the Twi'leks could receive supplies in exchange. When one of Tuuk's droids revealed that Skywalker was the only life form onboard. R2-D2 boosted the engines on the Republic Cruiser and along with Skywalker, escaped in a pod, just as Tano's cruiser arrived. Realizing that he'd been defeated, Tuuk himself escaped his vessel just before it was destroyed. The remaining Separatist forces attacked Tano's cruiser, but her plan worked and the frigates were destroyed. Tano then contacted Masters Windu and Kenobi, informing them that they could now land on Ryloth. Skywalker soon after took control of the space around the planet too.
As the Republic made their descent to the landing area, they came under fire by the Droid Commander, TX-20's proton cannons, which forced General Windu to send in General Kenobi, Commander Cody and Ghost Company to secure the area and destroy the cannons. TX-20 assured Tambor that the Jedi would not risk a ground assault as he was using the Twi'lek survivors as living shields. Kenobi and his forces landed at the outskirts of the city and began their attack.
After getting past the outer defenses, Kenobi sent Cody along with Wooley, Waxer and Boil to scout ahead. The four split into two groups, where Cody and Wooley found the survivors had been taken hostage, whilst Waxer and Boil came across a young Twi'lek girl, Numa. TX-20 then sent out recon droids, whilst Cody informed Generals Kenobi and Windu of the prisoners, the latter made it the top priority to rescue the prisoners and get them to safety. When TX-20 realized Kenobi was leading the attack, he released a herd of starving Gutkurr onto the Republic forces. Waxer, Boil and Numa came under attack first, but managed to escape through the tunnels. Soon after Kenobi, Cody and the others also became attacked with the Gutkurrs eating and killing several clones. Kenobi however, used a mind trick on the creatures and trapped them in an alley. After that the forces came across Waxer, Boil and Numa coming out the tunnels. Kenobi asked Numa whether there was a tunnel that he could use to get to the prisoners. She said yes and Kenobi told Cody to prepare a diversion.
Cody, Wooley and the remainder of Ghost Company prepared to attack the droids, whilst Kenobi, Waxer, Boil, and Numa then made their way through the Gutkurr's cages, where they waited until Cody and his men attacked the droids. This left only a few guards and the gun crews as TX-20's battle droids and tanks took on the clones. Kenobi, Waxer and Boil then freed the prisoners and once they were safe, they took control of one of the cannons, using it to destroy the other four. However, TX-20 was informed of this and turned his tank around and destroyed Kenobi's cannon. Numa seeing this ran out and helped up Waxer, Boil and finally Kenobi. TX-20 held them at gunpoint and laughed that Kenobi had lost. But the freed Twi'leks then came charging at his tank, pulling him out and ripping his head off. Windu and the transports then landed and prepared to take the capital and free the rest of Ryloth.
Eventually Kenobi freed more villages and the Republic gained control of the southern hemisphere of Ryloth. Windu, Commander Ponds and their forces then worked alongside General Syndulla's resistance to liberate the Capital of Lessu. They were also able to capture Tambor.
Chasing the MalevolenceEdit
Dooku then gave Grievous command of the Confederacy's new secret weapon the Subjugator-class heavy cruiser, the Malevolence. Using its Ion cannons, Grievous launched numerous surprise attacks that left no survivors. His surprise attacks ended when Jedi General Plo Koon, Commander Wolffe and their men were rescued by General Skywalker.
Grievous then attacked a medical transport convoy near the Ryndellia system. Grievous was then given the coordinates to the Kaliida Shoals Medical Center and was ordered to destroy it. However, Grievous was stopped by Skywalker's Shadow Squadron of Y-wing bombers that disabled the Malevolence and its hyperdrive. As Grievous retreated slowly, he was then given Senator Padmé Amidala and her protocol droid, C-3PO as hostages by Dooku. The Malevolence was then boarded by General Kenobi and Skywalker. Amidala and 3PO were rescued and Skywalker was able to program the Malevolence to crash into the moon. Grievous then fled in personal star fighter, much to Dooku's chagrin.
Battle for KaminoEdit
Weeks after the Confederacy's loss of the Malevolence, Grievous launched an invasion to destroy Kamino and its' cloning facilities. Ventress went there to act as his spy and prepare for the invasion. To ensure element of surprise, Grievous sent to two boarding ships loaded with commando droids posing as asteroids to seize the tracking station. The commandos were successful in taking the base, but were stopped by the base's survivors who alerted the Republic by destroying the base. Grievous was forced to retreat
Despite the setback, Grievous and Ventress continue with the attack sometime after the station's destruction. The Republic fleet under Kenobi and Skywalker intercepted a message and reinforced the Republic forces under Jedi General Shaak Ti at Kamino. While Grievous attacked the blockade, Ventress, and her Aqua droids in their Trident-class assault ships then attacked Tipoca City. Ventress went after a DNA sample while Grievous attacked the Clones' barracks. However, they failed in the attack and were forced to retreat.
Last days of the RepublicEdit
- "Why general? Why kill your own men?"
"Because I can. Because you fell for it. Because you're inferior."
"But you're a Jedi. How could you?"
"A Jedi? I am no longer naive enough to be a Jedi. A new power is rising. I've foreseen it. The Jedi are going to lose this war, and the Republic will be ripped apart from the inside. In its place is going to rise a New Order, and I will rule as part of it."
"You're a separatist."
"I serve no one side. Only my own. And soon, my new master."
You're an agent of Dooku."
"Not yet. But when I get out of here I will be. After I've succeeded in driving the Republic from Umbarra, the Count will reward my actions, and make me his new apprentice."
- ―Jedi defector Pong Krell and CT-7567, during the Battle of Umbara.
Battle over CoruscantEdit
During the latter days of the war, General Grievous managed to capture Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine and hold him hostage, resulting in a large-scale naval battle between the Separatist and Republic forces. Leading this attack were the Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. The battle resulted in the death of Count Dooku, the leader of the Separatists. This was a massive blow to the Separatists and droid General Grievous became its new leader. The pair of Jedi afterwards managed to escape the ship along with the Chancellor. Grievous also escaped and fled to Utapau.
Rise of the New OrderEdit
On Utapau, Grievous, along with the rest of the leaders of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, await instructions from Sidious. Soon enough, Sidious sends the Confederacy to the Mustafar system before Republic forces arrive. Not long after, Republic forces led by Obi-Wan Kenobi attacked the base. Kenobi managed to confront Grievous and the two began to fight. In the hassle, Kenobi managed to rip open the armor covering Grievous' gut sack. The Jedi then shot it with the General's blaster several times, killing the cyborg. The death of Grievous put Nute Gunray in charge. Meanwhile, on Coruscant Palpatine reveals to Skywalker that he is the Dark Lord of the Sith, prompting Skywalker to tell Jedi Master Mace Windu. Not long after, Mace Windu along with Kit Fisto, Saesee Tiin, and Agen Kolar attacked the Chancellor. Palpatine quickly admitted to this and killed Fisto, Tin, and Kolar. He later killed Mace Windu with the help of Anakin Skywalker, who needed Sidious to save his wife Padmé from death. The Sith quickly declared the Jedi the enemies of the Republic and sent out Order 66, which saw the clone troopers turning on their Jedi generals. Skywalker then surrendered to Sidious and the Sith Lord re-named him Darth Vader. Vader was sent to the Jedi Temple where he killed every Jedi left in it. On Utapau, Clone commander Cody ordered his men to fire upon Kenobi, but the Jedi survived this, however. On Kashyyyk, Commander Gree with another clone attempted to assassinate Grand Master Yoda, however the master beheaded the two with his lightsaber before they could blast him. Many other Jedi were killed during Order 66, including Ki-Adi-Mundi, Aayla Secura, Plo Koon, and Stass Allie. After murdering the Jedi on Coruscant, Vader headed to Mustafar to eliminate Nute Gunray and the rest of the leaders of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, who were hiding on the planet. The fallen Jedi turned Sith Lord then received a order from Sidious to send a shutdown signal that turned off all remaining Separatist droids, ending the war in the process.
- "No longer certain that one ever does win a war, I am. For in fighting the battles, the bloodshed already lost we have. Yet, open to us, a path remains that unknown to the Sith is. Through this path, victory we may yet find. Not victory in the Clone Wars, but victory for all time."
The war accomplished exactly what Palpatine had set out to achieve: the Jedi Order was destroyed, and the Republic was transformed into the first Galactic Empire, with Palpatine as its Emperor. The Empire expanded its reach across the galaxy, using the memory of the Clone Wars by promising order to a galaxy tired of war. After it became clear that the Empire was oppressive, however, the Rebel Alliance was created to oppose the Empire's rule. Palpatine's victory in the Clone Wars lasted just over two decades, as the Galactic Civil War led to the fall of Palpatine and his Empire.
- "I survived one war. I'm not ready for another one. I saw what it did."
"To the Jedi?"
- ―Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla
Following the creation of the Galactic Empire, the Empire tried to sweep away the memories of the troubled times of the Clone Wars. They housed veterans of the struggle in poorly maintained places like Crispus Commons, where they were forced to deal with shabby maintenance and low-paying jobs. Despite this, some, such as Skelly, managed to piece together the truth about the Clone Wars. There were those, such as Bail Organa, who remembered the bravery of those like the Jedi Knights during the Clone Wars. He passed this knowledge to his daughter, Princess Leia Organa, who later sent a holographic message to Obi-Wan Kenobi appealing to him in the name of his service during the Clone Wars. It would remain as one of the most destructive conflicts in galactic history, with billions of casualties on both sides.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Clone Wars were first mentioned in canon in the original Star Wars film, Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. There were no other mentions of the conflict anywhere in the original trilogy, but the Expanded Universe, now known as the non-canon Star Wars Legends brand, occasionally made brief references to details of the conflict. The canon details of the conflict were revealed in the prequel trilogy films Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. A number of Legends stories expanded upon the war with stories set between the two films. 2008 saw the inception of an animated television series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, as well as a film by the same title.
Both The Clone Wars film and the television series are part of the official Star Wars canon, as they reflected the vision of George Lucas, while Legends stories about the war became non-canon. As a result, the full beginnings of the war, including the Jedi's first encounters with Ventress and Grievous, are canonically unknown, as the earlier Legends Clone Wars series covered these events.
Notes and referencesEdit
- Clone Wars on Wikipedia