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Separatist Droid Army

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"With these new battle droids we've built for you, you'll have the finest army in the Galaxy."
Wat Tambor to Dooku[src]

The Separatist Droid Army was a massive droid army that was created and used by the Confederacy of Independent Systems in an effort to secure power throughout the Galaxy during the Clone Wars. It was comprised of battle droids from the Trade Federation's army and other corporations that allied themselves with Count Dooku's Separatist movement.

The Separatist army had several skilled commanders in charge of various campaigns through the Clone Wars—most notably General Grievous, Sev'rance Tann, Asajj Ventress, and Durge.

History

What would ultimately become a Separatist army originally began as several immense forces comprised almost exclusively of droids.[1] When merged, these formed a colossal army numbering in the quintillions.[2]

File:Attack of the clones 4.jpg

The land elements encompassed an enormous ground force which was comprised of battle droids and ground attack vehicles. The ground forces utilized many vehicles, such as the Heavy Missile Platform, the Hailfire droid tank, and the aquatic Manta droid subfighter. The Droid Army also employed a large space force, with a number of different types of droid starfighters, such as Vulture droid starfighter. The various services were eventually reorganized into the Separatist Droid Army by Count Dooku. Dooku would eventually deploy the new Separatist army to overthrow the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars[3]—it was countered by the Jedi-led Grand Army of the Republic.[1]

This droid army drew upon of the battle droids of the Trade Federation[3], the Techno Union[4], the Commerce Guild[5], the InterGalactic Banking Clan[3], the Corporate Alliance[1], and other independent Separatist factions. These groups were subtly manipulated by Darth Sidious to expand their forces in response to seemingly random attacks of piracy from groups like the Nebula Front, which were also controlled by the Sith Lord. Coupled with a series of assassination (both physical and of character) led to these groups being led by a cabal of gullible and greedy patsies that Darth Sidious could control.[6]

Under his orders, these corporate giants began to purchase huge orders of battle droids from the millions of factories controlled by companies such as Baktoid Combat Automata, Colicoid Creation Nest, and Haor Chall Engineering over a decade before the start of the Clone Wars.[7] While the Invasion of Naboo provided an inkling of what was to come, it was not until Count Dooku deployed over a million B1 battle droids, one hundred thousand B2 super battle droids, and three thousand droidekas, plus many other types, at the Battle of Geonosis that the Republic understood the scope of the threat.[8]

While the Confederacy had an enormous number of soldiers, they initially lacked proper military leadership. Command of the army was initially given to Count Dooku's protégé Sev'rance Tann, a Chiss general, whose penchant for personal combat made her a counter to the Jedi. However, she was killed early on in the war by Echuu Shen-Jon.[7] However, she was soon replaced by the Kaleesh warlord who was known as General Grievous. After proving to Count Dooku that his cybernetic enhancements were sufficient by defeating Asajj Ventress and Durge aboard the Trenchant space station, Grievous was formally awarded the title of Supreme Commander of the Droid Armies.[9] A few other commanders, including Ventress, Durge, and Alto Stratus, held lesser commands in various battles through the war.[7]

The Clone Wars

"Our friends from the Trade Federation have pledged their support. And when their battle droids are combined with yours, we shall have an army greater than any in the Galaxy. The Jedi will be overwhelmed. The Republic will agree to any demands we make."
Count Dooku[src]

Backed by the millions of warships comprising the Confederate Navy, the Separatist challenged the rule of the Republic across the Galaxy. Though initially outnumbered as of the start of 21 BBY, the Separatist forces had grown in strength by the time of the Mission to Vjun in 20 BBY to the point where Count Dooku questioned the need for continual subterfuge between the governments and thought the Separatists could simply win outright.[7]

The strategy of the Separatists could be thought of as exceptionally defensive—their deployment at the start of the war was designed to deflect any attack on their territory, while they continued to built up the strength of their military. Though this frustrated some Republic generals such as Mace Windu, it also allowed the Republic time to muster its own forces to challenge the Separatists—exactly as the Darth Sidious intended. The first offensive moves on the part of the Confederacy sought not immediate victory, but instead to deny the Republic advantages and sow fear among the civilians. They also sought to discredit or kill those on the Confederate side who would end the war too swiftly.[7]

Hypori droids

B2 super battle droids on Hypori.

During this time, the Confederacy instead worked on projects such as chemical weapons like swamp gas, Trihexalophine1138, and a clone-targeting nanovirus.[10] However, since no army won by retreating, the Confederacy was soon on the move, seizing planets left and right in a string of victories. After his existence was officially revealed to Republic forces at the Battle of Hypori[11], General Grievous became known as the architect of the Separatists' victories—on his orders, he brought about by his hatred for the Republic and the modifications to his mind, the army was responsible for immense amounts of carnage and destruction. The Clone Wars saw the devastation of over a thousand worlds, including Atraken, Honoghr, and Humbarine. These horrors, perpetrated by droids and alien species, led to much of the prejudice that ruled the Galaxy a generation later.[7]

The Clone Wars was essentially one giant game against the Galaxy, and, like every game, it had a closing move. Desperate to throw the Jedi off his trail, Darth Sidious ordered General Grievous to carry out an attack on Coruscant. Hundreds of millions of droids swarmed the planet, successfully distracting the Jedi from their search. The attack was a ruse to draw Anakin Skywalker over to the dark side of the Force and eliminate Count Dooku. While initially successful, the battle ended in a rout when Generals Kenobi and Skywalker arrived with the Open Circle Fleet and defeated the Separatist while rescuing the Supreme Chancellor.[12]

The defeat did not end there, though, as days later Kenobi killed Grievous on Utapau and Darth Vader—formerly Anakin Skywalker—executed the Separatist Council on Mustafar. After completing his murder spree, Vader used the master control signal to transmit the order to deactivate all the Confederate droids across the Galaxy. On planets as distant as Murkhana, the droids simply deactivated immediately when the order was relayed, much to the confusion of the commanders.[12]

Aftermath

"The war is over! Lord Sidious promised us peace! We only want—"
Nute Gunray's last words[src]

The new Galactic Empire was swift to absorb the remnants of the Separatist Droid Army into their ranks, including the DSD1 dwarf spider droids of the Commerce Guild and the Armored Assault Tanks of the Trade Federation. These units were used to force the once-Separatists strongholds to join the Galactic Empire. Many LM-432 crab droids and B3 ultra battle droids found their way to Carida, where they were used to help train stormtroopers. Many Scorpenek annihilator droids were studied by the Imperial Department of Military Research before being shipped to the Emperor's citadel on Byss.[13]

Destroyer Droid

A droideka on Geonosis.

However, not all Separatist droids became parts of the Imperial Army. Some worlds, such as Enarc, still used battle droids against the new Empire and refused to surrender. Also, the Geonosian Gizor Dellso reactivated a portion of the army on Mustafar in 11 BBY, requiring the 501st Legion to storm the planet afterward.[14]

Also, a few droid units would be recovered and re-programmed by various beings, such as the Vagaari, who would later use a droideka during their attempted destruction of the remains of Outbound Flight, years after the Battle of Endor.[15] Other independent factions were able to seize some droids for their own purposes on a number of occasions. Notable examples would be the B2 battle droids that later became the famous Orange Panthacs[13], the slaughter of an Imperial garrison on Jaguada's moon after a group of smugglers reactivated the leftover droids there[16], or the use of droideka Mark IIs by Tyber Zann in the Galactic Civil War.[17]

Some droids were not shut down. The droids of Geonosis did not require a control ship to activate and deactivate, as discovered by Plo Koon and Ki-Adi Mundi during the Battle of Geonosis. Therefore, the droid "leftovers" from Geonosis survived the deactivation. Wedge Antilles found this out the hard way after his X-wing crashed on Geonosis during the Galactic Civil War.[18] During the Yuuzhan Vong War, Jedi Klin-Fa Gi along with Uldir Lochett encountered a type of drone on Wayland that had somehow not been deactivated. It is possible it was a droid tri-fighter.[19]

Also, some droids not only didn't shut down, but the managed to form their own societies. On Arzid, a squad of E4 baron droids overthrew the existing government to rule the settlement. Surviving A-series assassin droids returned to the wilds of Kashyyyk. There was even a case of several dozen Manta droid subfighters founding a colony on Mon Calamari, where they formed a symbiotic relationship with some native Quarren.[13]

Battle droids

Infantry

Hailfire droid

A Hailfire droid.

Ground vehicles

Aerial vehicles

Aquatic weapons

Transport vehicles

Appearances

Sources

Notes and references

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