- "General Grievous, you have defeated me and taken control of my ship. Congratulations. However, if you're watching this message, that means I'm boarding an escape pod and will soon be safely away from the ship—which is about to self-destruct."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi, in a holographic transmission left for General Grievous
During the Clone Wars in 20 BBY, the Galactic Republic task force commanded by Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi was attacked by a fleet of Confederacy of Independent Systems warships led by the Kaleesh Separatist General Grievous. Upon Grievous's arrival, his fleet gained a swift advantage over Kenobi's forces as they bombarded the Republic fleet with turbolaser fire, while also eliminating several of his supporting light cruisers and frigates, as well as his starfighter squadrons. While the capital ships continued to engage one another, the Kaleesh boarded the Republic flagship, the Venator-class Star Destroyer Negotiator, alongside several droid gunships, droid starfighters and bombers, which deployed dozens of battle droids in an attempt to kill Kenobi. In the fighting aboard the Negotiator, the two generals confronted one another in lightsaber combat.
Despite his attempts to prevent Grievous's invasion of his ship, Kenobi's clone troopers of the 212th Attack Battalion, including Clone Marshal Commander CC-2224, nicknamed "Cody," were unable to repel the Kaleesh's droid forces and lost control of his flagship. After coming to the realization that the Negotiator was lost, the Jedi Master ordered his crew and troopers to evacuate, while he and the Clone Commander rigged the Star Destroyer to self-detonate rather than allowing its capture by Grievous. Following Kenobi's escape from the ship, Grievous entered the command bridge and attempted to acquire the information stored within its databanks, but upon learning that the Star Destroyer was to self-destruct, the Separatist general fled the vessel before it could explode.
The failure of the Republic Navy detachment to hold its ground ended hopes of a rescue mission directed at several Jedi younglings aboard the Crucible, who had lost their leader, Padawan Ahsoka Tano, to the Ohnaka Gang during a raid on their ship. Simultaneously, the victory achieved by the Separatist Navy flotilla granted free rein over nearby areas of space like the Florrum system to General Grievous, who would later seize the headquarters of the Ohnaka Gang on the planet Florrum.
- "The pirate Hondo has attacked and severely damaged our ship, and taken our chaperone, Ahsoka Tano."
- ―Jedi youngling Katooni, reporting to General Kenobi
In 20 BBY during the Clone Wars, Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi and his fleet were on patrol when Kenobi's flagship, the Negotiator, picked up a distress signal from the Jedi starship Crucible. The Crucible, returning from a journey to Ilum so its youngling passengers could undergo the ritual of the Gathering, had been attacked by the pirates of the Ohnaka Gang, looking to steal the younglings' recently-claimed kyber crystals.
Padawan Ahsoka Tano, chaperoning the six younglings, fought off the pirates, but was been sucked onto the Acushnet in the process and taken prisoner, which the younglings only realized after the Crucible had escaped via a hyperspace jump. After hearing the young Jedi's plight, Kenobi ordered them not to attempt a rescue mission, and told them he would be sending Clone Commander Cody to pick them up from the damaged Crucible, after which he would deal with Hondo Ohnaka and rescue Tano himself.
- "Our forces are being overrun. The droids are sending out boarding parties."
- ―A clone navigation officer, to General Kenobi
However, immediately after signing off with the Crucible, a Separatist fleet dropped out of hyperspace in front of Kenobi's forces, forcing his fleet into a battle. The Separatist fleet was commanded by Kenobi's old enemy General Grievous, which consisted of three Munificent-class star frigates, two Providence-class dreadnoughts and one Recusant-class light destroyer. The Separatist Navy detachment thus outnumbered the three Republic Venator-class capital ships and the array of sub-capital vessels. Vulture droids were launched immediately as the Separatist ships began firing on the Republic fleet. At the outbreak of battle, an Arquitens-class light cruiser pushed forth towards the Separatist fleet, passing a heavily damaged Consular-class frigate which promptly exploded in a fireball. Republic Z-95 headhunters and BTL-B Y-wing starfighter/bombers engaged the Separatist starfighters.
A trio of Republic starfighters, chased by vulture droids, flew by the Recusant-class light destroyer while a smoking, damaged Arquitens-class light cruiser drifted past and fiery explosions broke out on the hull of the light destroyer. As this Arquitens-class light cruiser blew to pieces, one of the clone Z-95s was also shot down and crashed into the light destroyer near one of its hangars. Vulture droids continued to pursue the retreating Z-95 and Y-wing, piloted by "Engle", flying past the Separatist vessels and towards the Republic ships. The gunner of Engle's Y-wing managed to down one of the vulture droids.
Clone pilot "Killer", flying the Z-95, reduced his fighter's speed and dropped behind the vulture droids, just as Separatist turbolaser fire tore up the starboard hull trench of one of the Republic Venator-class cruisers; Killer persisted to shoot down the vulture droids. By this point, one of the Munificent-class star frigates had advanced closer to engage the Republic cruisers at short range, though the Separatist frigate itself was also hit.
On the bridge of Kenobi's flagship, the Negotiator, a clone naval officer explained to the Jedi General that the Republic forces were being overrun while Grievous was sending a boarding party, as the ship shuddered as it came under attack. Kenobi soon departed for his ship's main hangar to repel the Separatist boarding party. Soon, Killer's starfighter was overwhelmed by Separatist laser fire, and exploded, and not much later, Engle's Y-wing was struck by enemy fire and careened, on fire and in a violent spin, towards the main hangar of the Negotiator.
Whilst the Separatist boarding forces, comprised of Grevious' Sheathipede-class transport shuttle and six HMP droid gunships, which were guarded by vulture droids, droid tri-fighters and Hyena-class bombers, trailed closely behind, Engle's Y-wing crashed in the central takeoff passage of the Negotiator in a fireball, with the wreck of the bomber grinding against the metal plating.
Skirmish aboard the Negotiator
- "You'll regret that."
- ―Kenobi, confronting Grievous, after the latter crushes a clone's neck
General Kenobi, arriving at the right-side hangar, rushed to defend against the Separatist battle droids, deployed from the droid gunships. While Grievous disembarked his shuttle with two IG-100 MagnaGuards, Kenobi dragged Engle away from the burning Y-wing as two astromech droids tried to extinguish the flames. Scores of B1-series battle droids crossed the airtight fields of the hangar, as a firefight started in the hangar spaces of the Negotiator. Clone troopers of Kenobi's 212th Attack Battalion took positions behind parked starfighters and crates, firing both their blasters and blaster cannons. Grievous, now assisted by vulture droids that had also entered the fight in walk mode, advanced towards Kenobi. Despite the efforts of several clone troopers to wrestle him, the cyborg general knocked some of them down with superior strength and slashed others with his lightsaber.
A standoff soon began with General Kenobi, Commander Cody and the clone troopers facing down General Grievous and his droid forces. Grievous, holding a clone trooper under his leg, killed him by crushing his neck, to which Kenobi remarked that he would regret doing so. As the two leaders locked sabers, blaster fire erupted again. Grievous kicked Kenobi into the door of an LAAT/i gunship, where Cody had taken up a position. The clone commander pointed out the fuel barrels nearby as a means of striking General Grievous; the Jedi General hurled one of these barrels at Grievous by way of the Force, which Cody proceeded to shoot, sparking a fiery explosion that left Grievous recoiling and his armor charred. Having thus bought some time, Kenobi and the clones retreated.
In the hallways of the Negotiator, the Separatist droids pushed back the Republic clones. Several members of the clone trooper flight crew took up arms and fought alongside General Kenobi and the other clone troopers. But Kenobi ordered his men to fall back and abandon ship, having judged that his flagship was already lost; he resolved to instead give Grievous a parting gift by activating the Negotiator's self-destruct mechanism.
In space, several Separatist starfighters made a bombing run on the starboard side of the Negotiator, tearing breaches in the hull as the stricken vessel's DBY-827 turrets unleashed a flurry of turbolaser fire. The droid starfighters additionally made a run past an Arquitens-class light cruiser and a Consular-class frigate, the latter of which was cruising above one of the other Venator-class Star Destroyers and, damaged by the Separatists, exploded. The wreckage of another Arquitens-class light cruiser, in front of this Venator-class, was smouldering and breaking up.
General Grievous, flanked by his two MagnaGuards, arrived at the command bridge of the Negotiator, where two of the clone naval officers had been killed. A B1 battle droid notified Grievous that the Separatists had secured the ship while another operated the controls of the central holotable. Just as Grievous finished his command that the droids should retrieve all information from Kenobi's vessel, a hologram of the Jedi General appeared, in which he conceded defeat and the loss of his ship. In the hologram, Kenobi also communicated that he was boarding an escape pod and would be at a safe distance from the ship, which was about to explode; Kenobi had activated the Negotiator's self-destruct system. Grievous, groaning at this message, quickly departed the bridge, much to the dismay of his droids.
The Jedi and his clone troopers, including Cody, rushed aboard escape pods and jettisoned in the direction of a battle-damaged Munificent-class star frigate. Meanwhile, Grievous dashed to his Sheathipede-class shuttle, knocking over two B1 battle droids who were guarding it and abandoning them to their demise. His shuttle safely fled the Negotiator as its hangar was rocked by a fiery explosion. Numerous other explosions soon tore through the ship, scattering debris everywhere as the Negotiator was reduced to a burning hulk. Kenobi, observing through the viewport of his escape pod, witnessed his flagship ripped apart by several more explosions, before being completely destroyed in a massive fireball. He admitted that the Jedi younglings whom he was planning to rescue were now on their own.
- "I'm afraid the younglings are now on their own."
- ―Kenobi, after his flagship meets its end
The Galactic Republic defeat forced General Kenobi and Commander Cody to abandon the plan to rescue the Jedi younglings. These younglings landed the Crucible on Florrum due to engine complications. Despite lacking the help of the Republic, the Jedi younglings attempted to rescue Ahsoka Tano from the captivity of the Ohnaka gang by joining Preigo's Traveling World of Wonder and performing at a circus at the pirate compound. This mission ultimately failed when the younglings and Tano, fleeing from pirate forces, were captured.
Now without Republic contest in the areas surrounding the Florrum system, General Grievous made a landing on the planet Florrum. By order of Count Dooku, who had previously been imprisoned and held for ransom to the Republic by Hondo Ohnaka, Grievous seized the pirate compound, capturing Ohnaka and several other pirates for their past transgressions against Dooku. In order to escape Florrum, the pirates and the Jedi teamed up to break out of the pirate base. A skirmish and a chase ensued, with Grievous pursuing the Jedi. Ohnaka, several pirates and all Jedi, along with their droids, fled to Republic-controlled space.
Kenobi and Ohnaka were reunited on another Venator-class Star Destroyer when the latter returned the Jedi to Republic protection. Grievous demolished the pirate base and melted down much of the equipment there for the Separatist war machine. The remaining pirates eventually returned to Florrum and dwelled in the ruins of their base.
Behind the scenes
The attack on Obi-Wan Kenobi's fleet featured in "Bound for Rescue," the eighth episode of the fifth season of the animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. For this scene, the clone trooper pilots with nicknames "Killer" and "Engle" were created as starfighter pilots serving in the Galactic Republic Navy. Both pilots were given unique markings on their Phase II armor.
There are some inconsistencies in this battle sequence, including those pertaining to the damage visible to the warships during the battle, the positioning of the ships, and the number of particular ships. One instance of this involves the Separatist Munificent-class frigates. Although the scene where the Separatist fleet comes out of hyperspace only shows two Munificent-class frigates, the holotable on the Negotiator depicts three, and in one frame near the end of the battle, three Munificent-class frigates can be seen. Hence, this article accounts for three star frigates.
The positioning of one of the ships in space during the earlier part of the battle also contradicts what appears on the hologram, and this article refers to the scenes in space. Additionally, when Grievous and his boarding party are approaching the Negotiator, the Venator-class Star Destroyer to the left of it can be seen exploding. However, a few frames later, when Killer is shot down, this Venator-class does not appear to be destroyed. This article thus does not count that cruiser as a destroyed ship.
Footage for the Separatist fleet exiting hyperspace and launching droid starfighters at the beginning of this battle was reused during the introduction of "Aftermath," the first episode of the first season of Star Wars: The Bad Batch, the successor animated television show to Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Although this scene was intended to accompany the narration that Grievous had launched "a desperate and brutal counterattack across several star systems" after losing the Battle of Coruscant, the battle between the fleets of Kenobi and Grievous did not occur during the final days of the Clone Wars, which were portrayed by the episode "Aftermath."
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Bound for Rescue" (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "A Necessary Bond" (Indirect mention only)
- "Almost a Jedi"—The Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Aftermath" (In flashback(s))
Notes and references
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "A Test of Strength"
- Star Wars: Force Collection (Card: Bacara (★★★★))
- Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Bound for Rescue"
- "Republic, Rebel, and Resistance Starfighters" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "A Necessary Bond"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Revival"
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Aftermath"