- "Whoever is reunifying the Empire is carrying out the Emperor's decision to discipline us… with these new World Devastators!"
- ―Admiral Ackbar
Six years after his technical death at the Battle of Endor, Emperor Palpatine returned in a clone body. He retook control of the Imperial forces and, striking from Byss, retook the New Republic capital world Coruscant.
To punish the Mon Calamari for supporting the New Republic, he unleashed his new superweapons—the World Devastators. These deadly machines were able to recycle an entire world's surface to create weapons of war. Palpatine planned to lead the final attack on the world personally from the Eclipse, but never had the chance.
The Imperial forces attacked Mon Calamari from Byss, which was the Emperor's capital world in the Deep Core. World Devastators descended to the planet's surface and began devouring shipyards, floating cities and its defenses. The Mon Calamari defenders fought back, but they were hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned.
In one sector, only the Third Battalion under Captain Gammack was left alive, and losing soldiers by the minute. They sent an emergency message to the New Republic High Command, which had reformed at Pinnacle Base. Admiral Gial Ackbar immediately ordered forces to head to Mon Calamari and aid the evacuation of the world. Blue and Green squadrons were dispatched to escort several MC80 evacuation cruisers to Da Soocha V.
New Republic reinforcements arrived quickly and were lead by Wedge Antilles and Lando Calrissian. Commanding the fleet from the captured Imperial-class Star Destroyer Emancipator, the duo directed a formidable array of warships, including the Mon Remonda, a few of the new MC90 Star Cruisers, several escort frigates, and some small support vessels.
However, there was an Imperial blockade at Mon Calamari to ensure that the World Devastators went unhindered. The New Republic fleet that arrived from hyperspace had to fight through the blockade. Catching the Imperial communications ship Super Star Destroyer Allegiance and its escorting Star Destroyers with their shields down, the New Republic forces managed to shatter the blockade with minimal losses.
Yet, the World Devastators had already accumulated enough resources to produce hundreds of new assault vehicles, including TIE/D automated starfighters and A-Q5 Waveskimmers. Catching the New Republic squadrons by surprise, the new Imperial fighters destroyed countless starfighters. Other starfighters were lost attacking the World Devastators.
Loss of the EmancipatorEdit
Eventually, the Emancipator was consumed by one of the World Devastators, forcing its crew into escape pods or face a fiery death in the superweapon's furnaces. Onboard the last escape pod, Lando, Wedge, and the surviving bridge crew watched as their flagship was slowly reduced to its most basic elements. The tide of battle shifted in favor of the Empire as the remaining New Republic warships struggled to maintain their attacks and recover escape pods.
However, the timely arrival of New Republic reinforcements kept the battle from turning into a rout. The New Republic forces consisted of multiple escort and rescue frigates, as well as the new E-wing escort starfighter. The new fighters, led by Knave Squadron, engaged the TIE/D automated starfighters while the rescue frigates gathered the escape pods from the Emancipator. At some point, Antilles took direct command of Rogue Squadron, part of which assailed a triad of smaller World Devastators in V-wing airspeeders and part of which undertook a separate offensive in X-wing superiority starfighters. The Rogues engaged took out three of the Devastators and destroyed squadrons of droid TIE fighters which were attacking Mon Calamari cities on the land. Kasan Moor flew a V-wing with Rogue Squadron at the behest of Antilles, though she had not flown with the squadron for years. In addition, three smaller-scale World Devastators were also destroyed by Rogue Squadron, exploiting their weak deflector shields by destroying two of their "legs."
Even the E-wings could not penetrate the heavy defenses of the World Devastators, with several of the new fighters being lost. Luckily for the New Republic, Luke Skywalker though having apparently joined the Emperor and become his Supreme Commander, had tampered with the Master Control Signal on Byss. This caused the loss of three Devastators.
Help arrived again in the form of Han Solo, Leia Organa Solo, Salla Zend, Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2 aboard the Millennium Falcon. Luke had hidden the master control codes for the World Devastators in R2-D2. The droid was able to shut down the World Devastators' shields, weapons, and propulsion systems.
The World Devastators still churned out deadly A-Q5 Waveskimmers, which streamed out to engage oncoming water bound New Republic forces. The Sea Commandos, led by Gammack, raced towards the World Devastators aboard Amphibion transports while exchanging fire with Waveskimmer units. Soon the fighting moved to the top of the World Devastators themselves, with stormtroopers and sea commandos fighting a deadly close quarters battle.
Meanwhile, R2-D2 used the codes stored in his systems to create a virus, intended to interfere with the Devastator's central computers. This code started up the Devastators again, this time tasked with devouring each other.
The mighty World Devastators began devouring each other, accompanied by the cheers of New Republic and local Mon Calamari forces. The defense of Mon Calamari was an important victory against the reborn Palpatine's forces.
- "This was no battle, this was a massacre."
- ―Admiral Ackbar reflecting on the battle
The New Republic had ensured that their Mon Calamari members were safe, though the world would take years to recover from the losses. Several floating cities were damaged or destroyed, with millions killed or wounded. The shipyards themselves suffered moderate damage as well, setting back production of the new MC90 Star Cruiser for over a year.
The Quarren blamed the Mon Calamari for the attack and threatened to move off-world en masse. Several Mon Calamari, including Admiral Ackbar, believed that might be for the best; however, few if any Quarren actually carried out their threat. Ackbar himself, although worn out by the experience of the attack to the point of considering retirement, helped lead the reconstruction effort.
A number of Mon Calamari refugees were relocated to Da Soocha by the New Republic during and after the battle.
Behind the scenesEdit
The First Battle of Mon Calamari first appeared in the issue Dark Empire 2: Devastator of Worlds of the Dark Empire series of comics. The battle was conceived and written by authors Tom Veitch, was drawn by artist Dave Dorman and colored by colorist Cam Kennedy. Veitch used this as one of the early conflicts of the subplot to bring about the conflict between Palpatine's Imperial Remnant and the New Republic.
The First Battle of Mon Calamari would eventually be featured in the Dark Empire audio drama, which witnessed the terror and destruction of the battle take on a whole new personality through the voice acting of John Cygan (Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles), Joe Hacker (Han Solo), Andy Cowan (Admiral Ackbar) and Nick Jameson (Emperor Palpatine). The audio version also includes an additional character Captain Gammack who does not appear in the original comic version.
The last campaign level of the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron video game featured the First Battle of Mon Calamari and allowed the player to assume the role of Wedge Antilles, leading several members of Rogue Squadron in an audacious counterstrike against World Devastators on the planet's surface. The presence of Antilles aboard the Emancipator in Dark Empire, as well as the fatal susceptibility of the Devastators to precision attacks by player craft in the game, renders the canonicity of the level to be somewhat questionable. It is probably safe to assume that Antilles did fly a V-wing airspeeder into battle against the Devastators, likely after the loss of the Star Destroyer he was seen commanding in Dark Empire, but the question of how the Rogues were able to destroy the supposedly nigh-invulnerable Devastators with their V-wings has never been definitively addressed and this element of the mission may be non-canon. The strategy guide for the game, however, rectified the confusion by stating that they were smaller-scale, weaker versions of the World Devastators with the shields being in a different location.
- Dark Empire (First appearance)
- Dark Empire audio drama
- Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
- Jedi Search (Mentioned only)
- Dark Apprentice (Mentioned only)
- Children of the Jedi (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Legacy 41: Rogue's End (Indirect mention only)
- The Lucasfilm Fan Club Magazine 16
- Dark Empire endnotes
- Dark Empire Sourcebook
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Second Edition
- The Art of Star Wars Galaxy: Volume Two (Picture only)
- "The History of R-Series Astromech Droids"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 7
- The Jedi Academy Sourcebook
- The Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels
- Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
- The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons
- Rogue Squadron: Official Nintendo Player's Guide
- The Essential Chronology
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 96 (MON1, Mon Remonda)
- Geonosis and the Outer Rim Worlds
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 105 (MON1-4, Battle of Mon Calamari)
- The New Essential Chronology
- Threats of the Galaxy
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 1.45 1.46 1.47 1.48 1.49 1.50 1.51 1.52 1.53 1.54 1.55 1.56 1.57 1.58 1.59 1.60 1.61 1.62 1.63 1.64 1.65 1.66 1.67 1.68 1.69 1.70 1.71 1.72 1.73 1.74 1.75 1.76 1.77 1.78 1.79 1.80 Dark Empire
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 The Essential Chronology
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Dark Empire audio drama
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Dark Empire Sourcebook
- ↑ The Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels
- ↑ Ryan Kaufman's StarWars.com Blog (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
- ↑ Rogue Squadron: Official Nintendo Player's Guide
- ↑ Dark Empire II 1: Operation Shadow Hand