- "Tell the fleet to begin the jump to lightspeed! I want that conference site turned into a crater! I plan to wipe several layers of scum from beneath my boots!"
- ―Ranulph Tarkin
The First Battle of Qotile was the opening battle of the Stark Hyperspace War.
Troiken had been chosen to be the host of a meeting between the Stark Commercial Combine, Galactic Republic, and Trade Federation to debate the Combine's seizure of bacta shipments for needy worlds during an apparent bacta shortage. However, Senator Ranulph Tarkin had assembled a secret fleet with the goal of disrupting the talks.
The Jedi and Republic negotiators arrived on Troiken, meeting with Stark and his Combine co-directors. Once the inaugural meeting began, Federation Minister Nute Gunray activated a homing beacon on his mechno-chair, transmitting the coordinates of the meeting to Tarkin’s fleet. Tarkin ordered the ships to enter hyperspace, intending to attack the summit and kill both the Combine’s leadership and the Republic’s entourage.
No sooner had the Combine’s leadership been seated than Jedi Master Tyvokka, the lead Jedi negotiator present, suggested that they skip the formalities and get to what Combine leader Iaco Stark intended to be the real solution. Stark agreed, and his men drew their weapons on the Republic negotiators, using the pretext of Gunray’s treachery.
Stark revealed his knowledge of Tarkin’s fleet—as well as the fact that he had piggybacked his Combine's navcomputer virus on Gunray’s signal, incapacitating the navigational computers of Tarkin’s ships.
Many of Tarkin's vessels emerged from hyperspace in areas that would destroy them (such as near stars or black holes), others emerged in realspace safely but far off course, and only a fraction—including Tarkin’s flagship Invincible—made it to the Qotile system, where they immediately came under fire from the Combine ships that outnumbered them.
Although Republic negotiator Finis Valorum protested that he knew nothing of Tarkin’s unsanctioned plans, Stark would hear none of it, insisting that the Republic team surrender. Tyvokka, realizing that his earlier suspicions about Stark's duplicity were true, literally turned the tables on Stark’s men, with the Jedi springing into action.
Under Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn’s advice, the panicked Gunray ordered his security droids to “kill them all.” But the droids opened fire on both Stark’s men and the Jedi, mortally wounding Tyvokka and forcing the Jedi to destroy the droids while Stark and his co-directors escaped.
The Jedi and their charges quickly made their way back to their Consular space cruiser while they still could (Gunray’s transport having been destroyed just before their escape), retreating to Mount Avos.
Tyvokka died en route, ordering Adi Gallia to protect Valorum to ensure a peaceful solution, Plo Koon to rally Tarkin’s troops lest the Senate surrender (as well as to join the Jedi High Council as Tyvokka had hoped), and Jinn to seek a way to override the computer virus. En route, Koon used his telepathic abilities to scare off the Stark fighter following them. Upon arrival at Avos, their damaged Consular exploded.
Overhead, less than a fourth of Tarkin’s fleet remained. After the Invincible suffered critical damage and Tarkin received a message from Valorum informing him of their retreat location, Tarkin ordered his crews to abandon their ships and aim their escape pods for Mount Avos.
The fighting ships of Tarkin’s fleet surrounded the troop carriers while their crews left, before being evacuated themselves. The Invincible was destroyed just after Tarkin and his staff evacuated, the burning hulk impacting near Avos, as the Jedi and soldiers began to regroup inside the mountain’s abandoned spice mines.
- Star Wars 36: The Stark Hyperspace War, Part 1 (First appearance) (Appears in flashback(s))
- Star Wars 37: The Stark Hyperspace War, Part 2 (Appears in flashback(s))
- Agent of the Empire—Iron Eclipse, Part 1 (Appears in flashback(s))
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 23
- The Essential Guide to Warfare (First identified as First Battle of Qotile)