- "We have to strike when the starfighters are being refueled. It's our only hope."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi
The war on the planet Melida/Daan between the Young—a group of children—and the Elders, the world's oldest residents, of 44 BBY reached its climax when the Young attacked the spaceport where the Elders refueled their starfighters. The Elders were making the tactical error of refueling all of their fighters, which were their primary advantage in the war, at the same time, and a Young strike team infiltrated the hangar through an underground shaft in an attempt to eliminate this advantage. After a brief skirmish, the fighters were successfully disabled, and a time bomb destroyed most of the spaceport. With the Elders' advantage gone, the planet's Middle Generation, which had remained neutral in the war up to this point, allied with the Young, who declared victory in the war.
- "But, hey, you'll come up right behind the fueling tanks. Three of the starfighters are, bang, lined up next to them. Two are close to the entrance, There are two utility droids and six guards. At least, blast, they won't be expecting you to come from below."
- ―Mawat, giving the all clear for the strike team to proceed
For centuries, the planet of Melida/Daan had been locked in a civil war as the two native tribes, the Melida and the Daan, fought over years-old grudges. In 44 BBY, a group of children from both tribes known as the Young made a bid for peace by attacking both tribes' weapons storehouses, capturing both sides' weapons, and marching on the capital city of Zehava. However, the two tribes joined forces as the Elders and retaliated with hidden starfighters, giving them an advantage over the Young.
After fourteen days of fighting, Obi-Wan Kenobi—a Young leader who had resigned from the Jedi Order to join the fight, feeling that the Young's cause was greater than that of the Jedi—noticed that the Elders were making the critical error of refueling all five of their fighters at the same time, and created a plan to take advantage of this. Another Young leader, Mawat, excavated a tunnel from the Young's underground headquarters to a power shaft under the Elders' spaceport, and a strike team consisting of Kenobi, Nield, Cerasi, and Roenni used this path to gain access to the hangar during refueling.
- "They've probably called for help on their comlinks."
"We need to cover Roenni. Keep firing."
- ―Cerasi and Kenobi, after being spotted by the Elders' guards
The Young's plan was to have Roenni, the youngest member of the team, quietly disable the power converters on the fighters with a fusioncutter while the other three team members stood guard. This worked for the first three fighters, which were near the Young's entry point, but the other two ships were closer to the Elder's guards, and Roenni was too afraid to cross the hangar alone. Kenobi moved to her side and ran to the last two fighters with her. During this maneuver, however, a utility droid bumped a barrel, which rolled up to Kenobi and Roenni. A guard turned around and spotted the two infiltrators, but before he could act, Kenobi leaped through the air and hit the guard—taking him out of the fight—then knocked a second guard out.
The other four guards opened fire with their blasters, and as Roenni worked on disabling the fourth ship, Nield, Cerasi, and Kenobi returned fire. Roenni finished with the fighter and moved to the last one. Two guards moved to either side of the spaceport in an attempt to get behind the Young strike team, and Kenobi moved to compensate for the guards' tactic. Finished with the last fighter, Roenni—who didn't know about the guards' maneuver—jumped down from the ship and was immediately spotted by one of the flanking guards, who turned to fire on her. Kenobi responded by knocking the guard's blaster from his hand with the Force before running to Roenni's side and bringing her back to relative safety.
Kenobi then pushed the barrel that had been knocked over by the droid earlier toward the guards. It hit one guard, knocking him into a second guard and pushing both of them into the other guards' line of fire. Taking advantage of the guards' distraction, the strike team bolted for the shaft they had used to enter the hangar. Cerasi, Roenni, and Nield quickly jumped down through the hole, followed by Kenobi, who tossed a time bomb onto a nearby fuel tank. The resulting explosion destroyed the bulk of the spaceport.
- "It's done. The Elders have no starfighters anymore. You can contact the Middle Generation."
"I think we just won the war!"
- ―Nield informs Mawat of the plan's success
The Middle Generation—the few remaining middle-aged natives after most had been wiped out in the prior war—had indicated to the Young prior to the attack that they would be willing to ally with the Young if victory in the war was close, and they did so after the Young notified them of their success in disabling the starfighters. With the new numbers advantage provided by the alliance, the Young declared victory in the war, and a government was formed by the Young. The government was able to keep the peace for a short time, but after infighting broke out over policies, it quickly fell apart. Soon after, the now-divided Young battled once more, this time against itself. The intervention of Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, who had been summoned to the planet by Kenobi to keep the peace, stopped the fight, and a strong peace agreement was soon reached between the Elders and the Young.
Behind the scenes
The attack on the spaceport first appeared at the beginning of the sixth book in the young-readers Jedi Apprentice series, The Uncertain Path, written by Jude Watson and published in February 2000 by Scholastic Inc.
- Jedi Apprentice: The Uncertain Path (First appearance)