- "I smell fear, and it smells good."
Admiral Trench, a Harch male, was a feared and legendary commander for the Corporate Alliance and the Confederacy of Independent Systems, whose extensive naval career spanned several decades. A veteran of countless conflicts, Trench gained fame during the Andoan Wars, first defending his homeworld of Secundus Ando and then spearheading a counteroffensive against the Andoan Free Colonies. A master strategist, he became known as Ando's greatest military leader and accumulated an impressive record, eventually coming to serve the Corporate Alliance. His tactics were ruthlessly efficient, and he became feared by his enemies, whether they were pirates or veteran officers from the Galactic Republic. In 34 BBY, Trench masterminded the Alliance's blockade of the Malastare Narrows and, in the ensuing Battle of Malastare Narrows, nearly eradicated an entire Republic-backed task force under the command of Captain Wullf Yularen. When Jedi-led reinforcements arrived, Trench's flagship was destroyed and the admiral himself presumed dead, but he survived thanks to a pressure suit and his natural toughness as a Harch.
During the Clone Wars, Trench became a key member of the Confederate Navy, being one of the Confederacy's most experienced admirals. In 22 BBY, he led the Confederate blockade of Christophsis from the dreadnaught Invincible, which brought him into conflict with a Republic battle group commanded by Jedi Generals Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. When Skywalker and Trench's old rival, Wullf Yularen, attempted to use an experimental stealth ship to breach the blockade, Trench began a deadly game of cat and mouse with them. He was outsmarted when Skywalker exploited his overconfidence, crashing several proton torpedoes into the bridge of the Invincible. Trench managed to survive, albeit with partial cybernetic reconstruction, and commanded Separatist forces at the Battle of Ringo Vinda of 19.1 BBY.
The Andoan Wars
Trench was born on Secundus Ando over two hundred years before the start of the Clone Wars and began a military career. Trench made his reputation during the Andoan Wars of 57–39 BBY. During that war, Trench fought against the Andoan Free Colonies when his homeworld allied with the Spiverelda, the government of Ando. Trench defended Secundus Ando from raiders from the Free Colonies and lead counter-raids up the Horos Spine to Andosha. By the time the war ended at the Battle of Raquish in 39 BBY, Trench came out as Ando's greatest military leader, besting his enemies numerous times during the Andoan Wars.
However, Trench's victory was a pyrrhic one: the violence and ruthlessness he had displayed at the Battle of Raquish convinced the Galactic Republic to intervene and separate the two sides. The Free Colonies were saved and a Judicial fleet enforced the demilitarization of the Lambda sector. The sudden defeat radicalized both the Andoan leadership and Trench.
The Battle of Malastare Narrows
- "A corporate fleet was blockading Malastare, a fleet led by Trench."
- ―Wullf Yularen
In the decade before the Clone Wars, Trench served the Corporate Alliance as a mercenary, helping it destroy pirate bases at Ord Namurt, Engira, and seized the Kurosti Merchant fleet in a daring raid at Prospera Jang. In 34 BBY Trench masterminded a battle that would later become known as the Battle of Malastare Narrows. It was here that he made himself a part of military history. The Corporate Alliance blockaded the planet Malastare in an effort to force a settlement in a dispute over fuel allocations and Trench was given command of the corporate fleet.
Trench's force was engaged in the Malastare Narrows by a force of Republic-backed privateers. During the battle, Trench's presence and action left a lasting memory to all those who were involved, including a young Wullf Yularen, who commanded a fleet at that time, though was formally present as a Republic observer. Many lives were lost and many ships were torn apart by the fleet of the Harch admiral. However, the leadership of the Jedi Knight Kep-She ensured that the battle ended with Trench's ship being vaporized and the Corporate Alliance fleet forced to retreat. Trench was assumed to have gone down with the destroyed vessel, but in fact survived thanks to a pressure suit of Andoan mineral-fish armor and his own tough Harch hide.
In 23 BBY, the Spiverelda was one of the first governments to declare for the Confederacy of Independent Systems, and Ando and Trench's homeworld seceded from the Republic. The Corporate Alliance later joined the Separatists as well, and more than a decade after his disappearance, Trench resurfaced during the Clone Wars at the Blockade of Christophsis in command of the Separatist fleet.
The Blockade of Christophsis
- "Our orders are to blockade, not chase. I have won this round."
During the start of the Clone Wars, the Grand Army of the Republic sent a relief effort for the people of Christophsis. This mission to send aid to the Christophsians was led by Bail Prestor Organa from Alderaan. However, the planet had fallen under attack from Admiral Trench and his command units.
Trench's first priority was to cut off any supplies that were headed to the relief effort on the planet below. Commanding his fleet from his war-painted Separatist dreadnaught that had been dubbed the Invincible, the massive fire power of his cruiser allowed the Admiral to cripple any attempt by incoming supply ships to get to the surface.
Such an attempt was made by Anakin Skywalker and the cruisers under his command. The Jedi were met with suppressive fire from Trench's destroyer and were forced to retreat behind the moon of Christophsis. While the Jedi retreated and regrouped, Trench felt that he had won this round. His tactical droid was puzzled and asked Trench if they should pursue. The Admiral instead ordered his troops not to follow the enemy, as per the commands he was issued by higher authority; after which, Trench commanded his droids to recycle the ship's shields and allow the cannons to recharge to full power. The Admiral, satisfied with the proceedings, seated himself at the bridge and awaited for the return of the enemy ships.
However, Trench's old adversary from Malastare Narrows, Wullf Yularen, was also present at Christophsis. After recognizing Trench's distinctive insignia painted on his flagship, Yularen studied everything Republic Intelligence had gathered on the Admiral's tactics, allowing him to plan a counter-attack. This came in the form of a stealth ship, piloted by Anakin Skywalker himself and Admiral Yularen. Unaware of the existence and capabilities of the cloaked ship, Trench became impatient and ordered a squadron of Hyena-class bombers to attack the surface, particularly the command center of Bail Organa. The bombing was planned by Trench to draw the Republic "cowards", as the Harch admiral viewed his adversaries, out of hiding.
Although the stealth ship was undetected by the Admiral, Trench suspected that there was something odd going on. His suspicions proved correct, when Skywalker's ship presented itself and fired its torpedoes at Trench's cruiser. This move proved the Admiral's suspicions to be true; however, the maneuver had little effect and Skywalker failed to do any damage. Admiral Trench responded quickly and raised his ship's thermal shields to prevent his bridge being destroyed by the Republic's sneak attack. Angered by this act of foolishness, Trench countered by firing his own torpedoes at the stealth ship. Skywalker managed evade the torpedoes by ordering flares shot in four different directions. As a result of the successful trick, Skywalker saved himself and his crew for the moment.
After the engagement, the stealth ship went into hiding again. Unsure of where the targeted ship was, the furious Admiral fired a spread of lasers, but to no avail, as Skywalker managed to navigate the "wave" of laser fire. Seeing how the short skirmish played out, Trench was now sure that he was not dealing with mere clone pilots, but with a Jedi. He made an open-frequency transmission on the comlink channel so that he could demonstrate himself to his adversaries. Threatening the crew of the stealth ship and advising them to retreat while they still could, Trench ended the transmission with a warning that he would be their doom.
The final stand
- "Turn back now, retreat while you can, for I am your doom."
- ―Trench to Anakin Skywalker and his crew
Having displayed himself to his enemies, he awaited the next Republic attack. Trench pointed out that the Jedi could have easily passed the blockade, but rather decided to attack. This gave the Admiral a sense of what the Jedi was capable of and what kind of enemy he was facing. Trench prepared himself for the Jedi's inevitable second offensive. Eventually the cloaked vessel revealed itself, but this time, the crew had knowledge of Trench's tactics when dealing with ship cloaking devices. Trench tracked the magnetic signatures of ships so that he could follow and destroy them. The stealth ship opened fire upon Trench's flagship (the attack itself was only a diversion) and Skywalker's ship again cloaked itself. Trench then locked on to the ship's magnetic signature and ordered his tactical droid to fire a torpedo at the source of the signature on his command. However, he would forced to lower his shields to do so and the droid advised that such a maneuver would be unwise. In a moment of compulsive anger (and against his droid's advice), Trench gave the order and the torpedoes were launched.
This had been the moment Skywalker was waiting for. The stealth ship, with torpedoes on its tail, turned around and headed towards the bridge of Trench's command ship. Surprised by the bold attack, the Admiral ordered the shields to be raised, but Trench's tactical droid reported that the shields were still recharging and the ship was left defenseless. Trench was caught off-guard and, seeing the Republic ship speeding towards him, the Admiral was unsure of what to do or how to react. Accepting his defeat, he closed his six eyes and awaited his demise. The stealth ship narrowly missed Trench's own vessel and the torpedoes slammed straight into the bridge, destroying Trench's flagship and bringing chaos to the blockade. Trench was believed to be dead after the skirmish had ended, though Yularen did not accept that his old adversary had been killed.
At some point after the battle of Christophsis, it was revealed that Admiral Trench survived. His left arms, left eye, one of his chelicerae, and part of his head had received cybernetic replacements, however. Trench was in command of the Separatist forces at Ringo Vinda, and it was he who discovered the strange behavior of Tup. Trench was able to avert the premature discovery of Order 66 by informing Count Dooku of the clone's bizarre actions. After this, Trench orchestrated a successful attack on the shuttle that transporting Tup to Kamino for further examination. The clone trooper was captured by super battle droid rocket troopers and brought to the Harch Admiral to present to Count Dooku.
The Sith Lord congratulated the Admiral on his success and ordered Trench to have Tup sent to him. Trench complied and tasked his super tactical droid Kraken to escort the Clone personally to Count Dooku's location. The mission failed, however, and Tup was recaptured by Republic forces. The Republic fleet withdrew from Ringo Vinda several days later.
Personality and traits
- "We need to add some pressure on those who are sent to rescue our enemies on Christophsis. Send the Hyena-bombers to hit senator Organa on the surface. That should draw those cowards out from behind the moon."
- ―Trench applying his tactics against the Republic
Trench was an admiral who held no mercy or remorse toward his adversaries, which in turn made him a terror to all those who came across him and his fleet. He was a military genius and his tactics and maneuvers on the battlefield made him responsible for the destruction of many Republic fleets. Two of his war trophies included the battle cruiser The Righteous and the frigate Swift Return. His genius was also evident in his method of hunting cloaked ships, which was recorded in a intelligence record, which was studied during the blockade of Christophsis by Admiral Yularen.
Having won many victories in war, Trench had developed an overconfident personality and prided himself on always being one step ahead of his opponents. However, this overconfidence nearly led to his own demise. Even when his death appeared eminent, Trench did not panic or show distress; he simply accepted his fate.
Admiral Trench's ships
Trench's first ship
This ship was present at the Battle of Malastare Narrows, where it was commanded by Admiral Trench. It managed to keep Malastare blockaded until it was destroyed by a Jedi-led task force. Trench himself was believed to have gone down with this ship; however, this information was later proven false.
The Invincible served as the Harch Admiral's flagship at the Battle of Christophsis. It offered a great range of attacks and a heavy defense of the blockade itself. That was due to the ship being very well-equipped with deflector shields and thermal shields, which offered a powerful defense, allowing the vessel to emerge completely unaffected by hostile fire. The cruiser had the upper hand, but a bad turn of events brought its downfall at the hands of Jedi General Anakin Skywalker.
Behind the scenes
Trench's name was originally going to be "Taranch". This would have been a more obvious nod to the name of the arachnid species tarantula, from which his design is derived. Even though the name was dropped, it is still present in the Trench's record, though spelled in Aurebesh.
It should be also noted that Trench's death is not mentioned in the "Cat and Mouse" episode guide, which ties in with the discussion between Anakin Skywalker's and Admiral Yularen in the episode about Trench's "first death" and his return. Trench's survival was confirmed in a clip shown on StarWars.com, where Trench was shown alive with half his body consisting of cybernetics. Additionally, Clone Wars writer Brent Friedman confirmed on his Twitter account that he had written an unproduced episode arc featuring Trench.
Due to him being a highly successful field commander in the Confederacy, he could be considered the Star Wars version of General Robert E. Lee, the most successful General in the Confederate States Army during the United States Civil War.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Cat and Mouse" (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures – "Starfighter" (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Unknown"
- "Launch Pad"—Star Wars Insider 116 (First mentioned)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Comic UK 6.8
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: New Battlefronts: The Visual Guide
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Official Episode Guide Series 1 & 2
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Comic UK 6.21 (Indirect mention only)
- (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Incredible Vehicles
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Head-to-Head
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Episode Guide
- The Art of Star Wars: The Clone Wars booklet
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 The Essential Guide to Warfare
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Cat and Mouse"
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Head-to-Head
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Star Wars: The Clone Wars novelization
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Star Wars: The Clone Wars: New Battlefronts: The Visual Guide
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars Comic UK 6.8, in Yularen's profile
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3