- "This is tense! Whoa! Artoo, get us off this auto-pilot! It's gonna get us both killed!"
- ―Anakin Skywalker, to R2-D2
The Naboo Space Battle was the skirmish in orbit around planet Naboo during the Invasion of Naboo in 32 BBY that marked the end of all battles down on the planet. Queen Padmé Amidala of the Naboo formulated the plan to end the invasion, enlisting the help of the Gungan Grand Army to stage a diversion while the Queen battled to retake the planet's capitol and capture the Trade Federation's Viceroy, Nute Gunray. The space battle, concurrent with the battles down on the surface, was between the Trade Federation and the pilots of Bravo Squadron, the latter of whom were trying to destroy the Federation Lucrehulk-class Droid Control Ship Vuutun Palaa. The Droid Control Ship was responsible for conducting the mechanized army down on the planet's surface.
Ric Olié led his squadron against the Droid Control Ship. Their N-1 starfighters faced heavy resistance from the first wave of droid starfighters, but they were able to fight their way through. Olié ordered Bravo Flight A to attack the starfighters and Bravo Flight B to attack the Control Ship's transmitter. He and Dineé Ellberger joined a strafing run against the Control Ship, launching proton torpedoes at targets along the superstructure. Olié lost two pilots in that assault, including Rya Kirsch. Lieutenant Gavyn Sykes, Rhys Dallows, Arven Wendik, Porro Dolphe, Bravo Eight, and Bravo Twelve attacked the fighters. As they moved in closer to the Control Ship, Palmer was drawn into range of the hangar's guns by the tractor beams and killed. Sykes and another pilot destroyed all the tractor beams to clear the path. Dallows, meanwhile, attacked the Receiver Stations and destroyed them, temporarily preventing the launching of more droid starfighters. After the Receiver Stations were destroyed, a mercenary pilot joined the assault, shooting down one of the Naboo pilots. Dallows engaged him, eventually pursuing him inside the ship, where they dueled in the hangar to the point of the mercenary's death.
Down on the planet, the young boy Anakin Skywalker crawled into the cockpit of an N-1 and accidentally launched it. Its autopilot brought it up to the space battle, where he engaged several droid starfighters. His ship was damaged and he landed inside the left-hand hangar, where his fighter shut down. Sykes saw his entry and reported it to Olié, who ordered Sykes to provide cover. Sykes destroyed the external shield generator, which protected the reactor cores. Once Skywalker's ship rebooted, he launched two torpedoes, which homed in on the main power generators, destroying them and starting a chain reaction which consumed the ship. He and Dallows managed to escape from inside the ship, and the Naboo pilots celebrated their victory as Captain Panaka reported that the Droid Army had shut down.
In 32 BBY, the Trade Federation was forced into the invasion of the planet Naboo by its hidden master, Darth Sidious. Over the course of the engagement, the Federation failed to capture the planet's Queen, Padmé Amidala, despite the assistance of the Sith Lord Darth Maul. She fled to Coruscant to plead her case to the Galactic Senate, and the Federation lost support for the blockade. By the time Amidala returned to the planet, only the Lucrehulk-class Droid Control Ship Vuutun Palaa was left. Upon landing, she gathered support from the surviving security officers and the Gungan Grand Army. She, along with Captain Panaka, hatched a plan to end the blockade by capturing the Federation's Viceroy, Nute Gunray while the Naboo pilots of Bravo Squadron knocked out the Control Ship. The Gungan Grand Army staged a diversion while the Queen entered Theed. During the battle to retake Theed, the pilots infiltrated the Theed Hangar and acquired their N-1 starfighters. Once airborne, Olié transmitted rendezvous coordinates to every N-1 starfighter.
- "The deflector shield is too strong! We'll never get through it!"
- ―Olié, after his failed strafing run
Once in orbit over Naboo, the pilots of Bravo Squadron, including Porro Dolphe and Arven Wendik, the latter flying his personal starfighter Bravo 3 assaulted the Droid Control battleship, which coordinated all droid forces on the planet. Dineé Ellberger, flying her personal starfighter Bravo 5 also joined the assault. Squadron leader Ric Olié in his starfighter Bravo 1 ordered Bravo Flight A to engage the enemy fighters and Bravo Flight B to make a run on the transmitter. Various wings of pilots, including Lieutenant Gavyn Sykes, Rhys Dallows, Bravo Eight, and Bravo Twelve engaged the ship, taking down its first wing of droid fighters. DFS Starfighter Squadron, the squadron of starfighters assigned to protect Trade Federation command ships, featured advanced targeting routines. Dallows led the strikes on the battleship's fourteen Receiver Stations and knocked them all out. The loss of the control signal prevented the battleship from launching additional fighters. Three pilots chased the last droid starfighter and destroyed it. Dallows and other Naboo pilots then realized the ship would be destroyed only if they could enter it through one of the hangars and reach the main reactor. At that point, a mercenary leader, allied with the Federation, appeared and took out one of the Naboo starfighters. Dallows and other pilots engaged him before chasing him inside the ship, flying into the right-hand hangar bay when the hangar shield was lowered to launch another C-9979 landing craft. Dallows made it in after him but the others were cut off when the shield reactivated.
After the first wave of droid starfighters was down, Bravo Squadron moved in close to engage the Control Ship. Olié ordered Wendik to attack the bridge. One of the Naboo pilots and Rya Kirsch in his starfighter Bravo 4 were killed during a strafing run by the battleship's quad turbolaser cannons, which used complex recursive algorithms to target enemies, but the Naboo pilots managed to land hits on the Droid Control Ship with their proton torpedoes. The torpedoes were not strong enough to affect the Federation ship. Palmer was captured by the hangar tractor beams and drawn into range of the hangar guns. Her engines were knocked out, and she was sent plummeting down to the planet and her death. One of the Naboo pilots subsequently knocked out a tractor beam generator, then Sykes took out the remaining three. The battleship was able to reroute the control signal and launch additional starfighters to harass the Naboo pilots.
- "Bravo Leader! One of our fighters just flew into the hangar!"
"I copy. Buy him some time to escape. And nobody else try that stunt."
- ―Lt. Sykes sees Skywalker fly into the hangar
As the battle raged in space, down on the planet the young individual Anakin Skywalker accidentally entered the battle when he inadvertently launched his starfighter refuge and took off from the Theed Hangar on autopilot. He asked his astromech droid R2-D2 to disengage the autopilot; Skywalker then succeeded in taking down several droid starfighters before having his own starfighter shot down, and he landed in the battleship's left-hand hangar while its shield was down.
Dallows, meanwhile, was engaging the mercenary leader, chasing him into the depths of the ship, first into the hangar bays and then into the power grid and finally into the last hangar, where Dallows killed the other pilot. Dallows also attacked and destroyed the interior ceiling turrets and Lander Assembly Cranes. He discovered that transports were still being loaded.
Lt. Sykes attempted to assist the pilots trapped inside the battleship by destroying key systems, including the shield generators, from the outside. After hearing about Skywalker's stunt, Olié ordered Bravo Squadron to not try to repeat it.
- "We're losing power. There seems to be a problem with the main reactor."
"Impossible! Nothing can get through our shields."
- ―Tey How and Daultay Dofine moments before their deaths
In the hangar, Skywalker's ship landed on the hangar floor, overheated. He ducked down to avoid discovery as battle droids surrounded his ship and ordered the pilot to come out. After his starfighter rebooted, he unintentionally launched a pair of torpedoes into the main reactor when trying to escape. Communications officer Tey How reported the disturbance to Captain Daultay Dofine, who dismissed these reports after claiming that it was impossible for a starfighter to get past the deflector shields. However, the reactor explosion caused by Skywalker managed to create a massive explosion that ripped the ship in half. Shocked over the explosion, Skywalker quickly escaped through the ship's main hangar.
The explosion disabled the shields of Rhys Dallows' fighter, but he narrowly escaped by destroying the shield generator inside Hangar 3 and escaping through the entrance to a side hangar.
A puzzled Dofine and crew saw the starfighters retreating from the ship in a fast manner, but failed to realize what was happening when the control computer in front of them malfunctioned and exploded, killing Dofine and the entire crew in an instant; this process deactivated all the battle droids stationed on Naboo and thus marked the end of the Federation's invasion of Naboo. The Bravo Squadron pilots cheered, and Olié congratulated them. Captain Panaka then contacted the squadron and informed them that Naboo was free at last.
- "This is Captain Panaka to Bravo Flight. Great work, group. The Trade Federation Army is out of commission. Naboo is finally free."
- ―Captain Panaka, to Bravo Squadron
After the battle was over, peace returned to Naboo. Viceroy Gunray was captured and forced to sign a treaty, officially ending the war. The Gungan people and the Naboo united as one world, and a celebration took place in Theed. Reports on the battle suggested that the droid starfighters were sluggish due to an overwhelmed Central Control Computer, which also had to direct a large number of ground forces. Despite a series of trials in the Courts, Gunray would remain as the Viceroy. With his apprentice presumed dead, Darth Sidious would have to find another one. Eventually, Amidala would become the senator for Naboo, replacing Palpatine.
During the Clone Wars, Skywalker recounted his story to members of the 501st Legion; the story later served as an inspiration for three clone troopers who, acting against orders, utilized Skywalker's tactics of taking out a ship's reactor from the inside when they blew up a Separatist supply ship during the Battle of Umbara.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Naboo Space Battle first appeared in materials relating to the release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace in 1999. According to Star Wars: The Making of Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the sequence was produced through a combination of computer animation and motion-control model photography.
2000 brought the release of the video game Star Wars: Battle for Naboo. The player, using an N-1 starfighter in the role of Gavyn Sykes, flies in this battle in the game's final campaign mission. The battle takes place over two parts; the player must first wipe out a wave of droid starfighters, then after a cutscene, move in to engage the Droid Control battleship. The next portion involves destroying three tractor beam generators, allowing access to the ship. Portions of the battleship, including the Receiver Stations, are able to be destroyed but have no effect on the game. After a while, Skywalker flies into the hangar and the player is ordered to destroy the shield generator. When the generator blows, the mission ends with a message by Captain Panaka to Bravo Squadron. The destruction of the shield generator was later confirmed as canon by Leland Chee on Christian J Simpson's StarWars.com Blog.
The 2001 video game Star Wars: Starfighter showed the battle from the point of view of Rhys Dallows, who also flew an N-1 starfighter as the mission's default craft. The player was tasked with first destroying the droid starfighters and receiver stations. After those targets were destroyed, a mercenary craft appears in a cutscene, and the player must land hits on it before the mercenary retreats inside the Federation battleship. The player chases the mercenary through the ship. If the player chooses to do so, certain secondary targets can be destroyed to fulfill the mission's bonus requirements, although this is not necessary. After the mercenary's ship is destroyed, a scripted event happens: Skywalker destroys the reactor, as in the movie. The player must destroy a shield generator in the hangar to escape before the ship explodes. The game's strategy guide walks the player through the mission's goals and lays out the path to follow while inside the battleship. The guide also recommends ignoring the droid starfighters until the receiver stations are destroyed. This article assumes all parts of the video games are canon and attempts to lay out the battle in chronological fashion.
There are inconsistencies as to the number of N-1s participating. Star Wars: Battle for Naboo shows seven starfighters, not including Skywalker's in the opening cutscene. Four are seen leaving, including Skywalker, with one confirmed loss (Palmer) during a cutscene. Star Wars: Starfighter shows 8-9 fighters at the beginning, not including Skywalker's; 6 show up at the ending cutscene, with one confirmed loss in a cutscene at the hands of the mercenary leader. The Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace comic shows 7 taking off from Theed, as does the film itself. In a deleted animatic from Episode I, 12 starfighters participate, with one shot down by a droid starfighter.
The Naboo Space Battle is re-imagined in LEGO form as a bonus level in the 2007 compilation LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga. It can be played with one or two players, flying N-1 starfighters. The player(s) use their starfighters to attack targets on the Droid Control Ship. When enough targets are destroyed, a hatch opens and the player(s) fly inside, blowing up doors to reach the reactor. The reactor is protected by a shield, which drops on a timer, allowing the targets to be destroyed.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 Star Wars: Starfighter
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Star Wars: Battle for Naboo
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 4.25 4.26 4.27 4.28 4.29 4.30 4.31 4.32 4.33 4.34 4.35 4.36 4.37 4.38 4.39 4.40 4.41 4.42 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 The New Essential Chronology establishes on page 40 that the Invasion of Naboo happens in 32 BBY.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 The Essential Guide to Warfare
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Theed Palace Limited (Card: CARD NAME)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace novelization
- ↑ Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace comic
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
- ↑ Star Wars: Outbound Flight
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Plan of Dissent"