The Ambush on Rugosa, also known as the Battle of Rugosa, was a mission that took place during the Clone Wars on the moon Rugosa. The Galactic Republic aimed to create a base to combat the Confederacy of Independent Systems in the Outer Rim Territories. The mission proved successful as the spirited fighting of the Jedi impressed the Toydarian king, Katuunko, who agreed to ally with them.
The mission to Rugosa was not Katuunko's first dealing with the Republic, having helped them clandestinely smuggle relief supplies to the Twi'leks of Ryloth during the Battle of Ryloth. Katuunko arrived on the neutral moon of Rugosa on his yacht, the Thief's Eye, with two members of the Toydarian Guard. As they puzzled over the late appearance of the Jedi, they were surprised by the arrival of Separatist commander Asajj Ventress, who had been sent on behalf of her master, Count Dooku, to attempt to convince the king to instead side with the Separatists. To convince the king that the Jedi were too weak to protect his system, Dooku had two frigates ambush the Republic cruiser carrying the Republic envoy, Jedi Master Yoda and several clones of the Coruscant Guard. Yoda, however, made it to the moon's surface in an escape pod, so instead, the Separatists turned the meeting into a contest of strength. Ventress would send her best troops to capture the Jedi, with their success or failure deciding who Katuunko would join. Yoda accepted the challenge despite Katuunko's misgivings and the king insisted that Yoda be given a fair fight. Ventress agreed despite intending nothing of the sort and deployed a full battalion of droids and tanks to capture Yoda.
Under the command of 224, the droid forces found the Republic delegation but the moon's large coral formations prevented their tanks from reaching them. Droid patrols advanced on foot, but were easily destroyed by the clones and Jedi, though the former were forced to retreat by a squad of B2-series super battle droids, one of whom injured Lieutenant Thire before Yoda arrived and swiftly destroyed them. During this time, King Katuunko regularly communicated with Yoda until Ventress destroyed his communicator in anger, vowing that the Jedi would not escape her.
Yoda then confronted the full force himself, dismantling droids and tanks single-handedly with only his lightsaber, including 224 himself. When Ventress attempted to contact 224 and was informed of his destruction, as well as Katuunko's stated faith in the Jedi, she broke the terms of the challenge by deploying droidekas into battle. Yoda's clones, who had been watching the Jedi cut his way through the droids with hearty amusement, spotted the inbound droidekas and devised a plan to take them out as Yoda finished destroying the last tank. Using their sole remaining rocket, the clones brought down an adjacent cliff face on the droidekas, destroying them and winning the challenge.
Having his mind made, Katuunko contacted Dooku and stated his intention to join the Republic, citing his refusal to deal with those who broke their words as Ventress had done when she sent in the droidekas. After deciding that negotiations would be more fruitful with Katuunko's successor, Dooku spitefully ordered Ventress to murder the king. Katuunko's guards attempted to shoot her in defense of their monarch, but she easily deflected their shots before Force-pushing them away and moved to kill the king with her paired lightsabers. The red blades were halted inches from Katuunko's head by Yoda, however, and Ventress' droids were swiftly dealt with by the clones. Though Ventress proclaimed no fear of the Jedi, Yoda disarmed her with the Force before advising her to surrender. Instead, Ventress detonated pre-planted explosives which destroyed the king's yacht, escaping as Yoda was forced to protect himself and his allies from the falling debris. With Ventress gone, Katuunko stated that negotiations were unnecessary and presented Yoda with his ceremonial sword, signifying the beginning of Toydaria's membership in the Republic just as a Republic cruiser arrived in orbit to extract them.
Behind the scenes
The Ambush on Rugosa first appeared in "Ambush," the first episode of the animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars' first season, which originally aired on October 3, 2008. The ambush was later first identified the thirty-eighth issue of the Star Wars Helmet Collection magazine series published by De Agostini in 2017.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Ambush" (First appearance)
- "Sharing the Same Face"—The Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Rookies" (In flashback(s))
- Dark Disciple (Indirect mention only)
- Dark Disciple audiobook (Indirect mention only)
- Ultimate Star Wars
- "Asajj Ventress: A-Typical Anti-Hero"—Star Wars Insider 159
- Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 31 (Databank A-Z: Kaminoans–King Katuunko) (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 38 (Helmets: Commander Thire; Weapons & Uniforms: Toydarians; Highlights of the Saga: Ambush on Rugosa) (First identified as Ambush on Rugosa)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 47 (Databank A-Z: Max Rebo–Sabacc)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 55 (Databank A-Z: Saesee Tiin–Toydaria) (Indirect mention only)
- Rise of the Separatists (Indirect mention only)
- "Blasters and Firearms" – Star Wars Encyclopedia (First identified as Battle of Rugosa)
Notes and references
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Supply Lines"
- Star Wars: Build the Millennium Falcon 43 (Starship Fact File: General Grievous's Flagship)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Ambush"
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas places the events of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film and "Bombad Jedi" in 22 BBY. As the events of "Ambush" take place between the two aforementioned media according to , it must also be set in 22 BBY. As the Ambush on Rugosa occurred in "Ambush," the battle must have occurred in 22 BBY.
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 38 (Highlights of the Saga: Ambush on Rugosa)
- "Blasters and Firearms" – Star Wars Encyclopedia