Orbital bombardment (otherwise known as an "orbital strike") was a military strategy, where huge star cruisers (like Star Destroyers) would fire their main cannons to the surface of a planet, causing heavy damage to the enemy. This strategy was used mostly to wipe targets that were in close proximity, like regular ground troops, or was used to easily deal with large heavy targets. However, the tactic was imprecise, especially if the target was moving.
General Grievous used this tactic against Darth Maul and the Shadow Collective by bombarding the Black Sun base of Ord Mantell before landing his troops on the planet. However, the Shadow Collective managed to capture both Grievous and Count Dooku.
Orbital bombardment was a common tactic among the Galactic Empire. During the Lothal insurgency, when Agent Kallus found the Ghost crew on the planet Seelos, Admiral Kassius Konstantine proposed to kill all the rebels with an orbital strike. Agent Kallus however preferred to operate a ground attack, using All Terrain Armored Transports.
During the liberation of Kashyyyk, Grand Moff Lozen Tolruck ordered three Imperial-class Star Destroyers to bombard the surface of the planet once he realized the planet's Wookiee rebellion had gotten out of hand.
Battle of HothEdit
- "What is it, General?"
"My Lord, the fleet has moved out of lightspeed. Com-Scan has detected an energy field protecting an area of the sixth planet of the Hoth system. The field is strong enough to deflect any bombardment."
"The Rebels are alerted to our presence. Admiral Ozzel came out of lightspeed too close to the system."
"He felt surprise was wiser—"
"He is as clumsy as he is stupid. General, prepare your troops for a surface attack."
"Yes, my Lord."
- ―General Veers reports to Darth Vader
This tactic was to be used during the Battle of Hoth by the Imperial Navy. General Maximillian Veers had planned to surprise attack the Rebel Alliance by jumping in to the Hoth system from hyperspace secretly and destroying the base via orbital bombardment, but failed to do so when Admiral Kendal Ozzel jumped too close to the system. This alerted the Rebels, who in return activated their shield generator, causing the anger of Lord Vader who blamed Ozzel for stupidity and Force choked him. Afterwards he promoted Firmus Piett to the rank of Admiral. Due to the failed attempt of bombing the rebel base, Imperials landed AT-ATs, At-STs and other ground troops to take care of the shield generator from inside it.
- Star Wars: Galactic Defense
- Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir, Part Two (First appearance)
- Star Wars Rebels – "Relics of the Old Republic" (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Rebels – "Zero Hour"
- Star Wars Battlefront
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back (First mentioned)
- Aftermath: Life Debt