- "We've had no further contact with General Plo Koon. The absence of distress beacons indicates that his fleet was… That his fleet was destroyed like the others. We are about to prepare a rescue mission."
- ―Anakin Skywalker, to Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and the Jedi High Council
The Battle of Abregado was a space battle that took place in 22 BBY during the Clone Wars. Following the defeat of Jedi General Ares Nune's task force in the Phu system at the hands of the Confederate warship Malevolence, Jedi General Plo Koon of the Galactic Republic took several Venator-class Star Destroyers to find and destroy the ship. Koon tracked the Malevolence to the Abregado system, but the warship attacked his fleet with its ion pulse cannons, and the Star Destroyers were left defenseless. Shortly before the cruisers fell to turbolaser fire, several clone troopers managed to flee in escape pods, and Koon escaped in a pod with Clone Commander CC-3636, nicknamed "Wolffe," Clone Sergeant Sinker, and trooper Boost.
Dooku dispatched several boarding craft with rocket battle droids to eliminate the survivors, as he did not want the survivors to inform the Republic of the Malevolence. Only Koon and the three clones in his pod were able to defeat the battle droids who came in search of survivors. Jedi General Anakin Skywalker and his Padawan, Jedi Commander Ahsoka Tano, soon arrived in the system aboard Skywalker's personal ship, the Twilight, and they rescued Koon and the clones. The Twilight encountered the Malevolence, but the Jedi and clones successfully evaded a wave from the warship's ion cannons by jumping to hyperspace. Their escape brought the knowledge of the nature of the weapon to the Republic.
- "I have recommended an increase in patrols along the region. I will lead the sweeps in the Triumphant and maintain constant communication."
- ―Plo Koon volunteers to lead a hunt for the Malevolence
In 22 BBY during the Clone Wars, the Confederacy of Independent Systems built a superweapon, the Subjugator-class heavy cruiser Malevolence, capable of neutralizing all power in its enemies with its ion pulse cannons. Blasts from the cannons left the ship's targets defenseless and vulnerable to turbolaser fire from the Malevolence without the ability to use deflector shields. Under the command of General Grievous, the Malevolence began a series of strikes on Galactic Republic task forces that left no survivors to tell the Republic of the weapon's origins or methods of attack. The attacks did not form a pattern, and the unpredictability of future targets spread fear throughout the Republic.
Shortly after the defeat of Jedi General Ares Nune's patrol of several Venator-class Star Destroyers in the Phu system, the Jedi High Council met with Supreme Chancellor Palpatine to discuss methods to protect more Republic fleets from being destroyed. Jedi General Plo Koon volunteered to take several Venator-class cruisers—including his flagship, the Triumphant—to find and eliminate the Confederate weapon. Koon's forces were supported by the Wolfpack clone trooper squad.
- "We're losing all our power! That energy field has left us defenseless!"
- ―Commander Wolffe, shortly after the Malevolence fires its ion cannons at their fleet
Plo Koon and his forces tracked the Malevolence to the Abregado system and approached the vessel. Koon intended to report as much information on the weapon as possible in case of his defeat, and before proceeding, he contacted Jedi General Anakin Skywalker and his Padawan, Jedi Commander Ahsoka Tano, who were keeping the nearby Bith system secure. The Confederate Head of State, the Sith Lord Count Dooku, had arrived aboard the Malevolence to observe General Grievous' progress, and ordered the Republic task force's transmissions to be jammed. After Koon and Clone Commander CC-3636, nicknamed "Wolffe," reported their position to Skywalker and Tano, their communications were cut.
Seeing this as an opportunity for another test of the Malevolence's ion cannons, Grievous ordered the weapon to be fired. The Confederate warship moved to attack Koon's fleet, and because they were out of range, the Republic cruisers were unable to open fire. The Malevolence discharged its cannons; as the wave approached, Koon and the clone troopers braced themselves for impact. The wave passed over the fleet and neutralized the cruisers' shields, and the vulnerable cruisers fell to fire from the Malevolence's numerous laser cannons. Shortly before the Triumphant was destroyed, Plo Koon and several clone troopers were able to flee from the cruiser in escape pods. As Koon's fleet was ripped apart, a debris field—from the wreckage of the three destroyed cruisers—was scattered in the Abregado system. The power of the escape pod containing Koon, Commander Wolffe, Sergeant Sinker, and trooper Boost depleted, leaving the pod without life support or access to communication channels.
Following the loss of contact from Plo Koon, Skywalker and Tano entered into a holo-meeting with Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and the Jedi Council. Skywalker reported Koon's position in the Abregado system before communications had been cut, and suggested that the absence of distress beacons implied that his fleet had been destroyed. Battle groups were reassigned to protect the Republic's supply convoys, including Skywalker's fleet. The Jedi Council ordered Skywalker to reposition his fleet without searching for survivors of the attack on Koon's forces. Admiral Wullf Yularen was to protect the convoys while Skywalker went to scout ahead for enemy activity with Tano in his personal freighter, the Twilight. The two headed for the Abregado system, however, as Skywalker intended to search for survivors, against the Jedi Council's orders.
Skywalker, Tano and the astromech droid R2-D2 arrived in the system aboard the Twilight. Entering the debris field, R2-D2 activated the ship's scanners in search of surviving life forms in the battlefield. High Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi contacted the ship, and upon hearing that Skywalker and Tano had not found any survivors, Kenobi ordered Skywalker to rendezvous back with his fleet. R2-D2 picked up a signal on the emergency channel, and Tano began to put out a signal through the emergency communication channel, trying to make contact with any remaining survivors of the battle.
Hunt for the pods
- "Send out the hunters. I want all of those life pods destroyed."
- ―Count Dooku
Count Dooku did not want to risk the chance that the survivors would inform the Republic of the Malevolence's ion cannons and dispatched several boarding craft with rocket battle droids aboard—nicknamed "pod hunters"—to destroy the escape pods. The battle droids split several of the pods open, leaving the clones inside vulnerable to the vacuum of space. The clones restored the power in Koon's pod, and were able to gain access to the communication channels. Receiving a signal from another escape pod, Pod 1977, the Jedi and the troopers soon witnessed its destruction at the hands of the hunters. By this time, the droids had destroyed all the pods except for the one containing Koon and the clones. Noticing the remaining pod, the battle droids approached it and prepared to destroy it.
As the Confederate craft neared the last surviving pod, Koon decided to personally confront the droids, as his species was able to withstand the pressure of space for a brief amount of time. Sinker and Boost used their armor suits to receive oxygen and accompanied the Jedi, leaving Wolffe inside the pod to keep the communication signal alive, as it was the only chance for their rescue. The craft latched onto the pod with its "pincers," and as the rocket droids approached and prepared to slice the pod's view hole open, Koon and the two clones attacked the droids. The droids retreated into the craft and activated the craft's squeeze mechanism, intending to crush the pod with the craft's pincers. Koon used the Force to push Sinker behind the craft where the droids were situated, and the clone eliminated most of the battle droids with his blaster.
In the pod, Wolffe picked up Tano's signal. He was unable to return a message, however, as the crushing of the pod caused Wolffe to lose the signal. Koon, still outside the escape pod, severed the Confederate craft's legs, breaking its grip on the escape pod. Then, Koon Force-pushed the craft away and pulled Sinker back toward the pod. The craft hit a piece of debris from the destroyed Venator-class cruisers and exploded, and the loss of contact with the craft alerted the Malevolence to the possibility of remaining survivors.
- "I know he's alive! I can sense it!"
- ―Ahsoka Tano and Anakin Skywalker, on Master Plo Koon
After Chancellor Palpatine learned of Skywalker's absence from the command of his battle group, the Chancellor contacted Skywalker and ordered him to cease his search for survivors, as the displacement of his fleet had left other Republic fleets out of position. However, Tano was able to sense Koon through the Force and took helm control of the Twilight, piloting it toward Koon's location. Finding Koon and the clones, the Twilight deployed its tow cable and pulled the pod and its survivors into its hangar. The clones were tended by a medical droid, while Koon joined Skywalker and Tano on the bridge of the ship, briefing them on the Malevolence and its ion cannons.
The Twilight's scanners picked up the approaching Malevolence. To avoid detection, Koon quickly ordered all power to be shut down. All systems of the ship were deactivated, including R2-D2; however, the Jedi forgot to power down the medical droid. The Malevolence's scanners detected the medical droid, and prepared to confront the survivors. As the warship maneuvered to attack the ship, the Jedi realized that they had overlooked deactivating the medical droid. Immediately restoring all power, Skywalker piloted the Twilight away from the Malevolence, seeking to jump to hyperspace and avoid the Confederate warship's cannons. Koon reactivated R2-D2, and the droid began to plot a hyperspace course out of the system. As the Twilight began its escape, Grievous ordered the ion cannons to be fired, and as the ion wave approached, Skywalker was able to fly the Twilight out of the debris field. Skywalker engaged the ship's hyperdrive engine, and the Jedi were able to evade destruction at the hands of the Malevolence, taking the knowledge of the warship's weapons to the Republic.
- "Your failure is most unfortunate. I will have to discuss this with my Master."
- ―Count Dooku, to Grievous
The battle caused a ship graveyard to be erected in the Abregado system from the three destroyed Republic cruisers; all of Plo Koon's forces except for three clones and the Jedi Master himself had been killed. Yet Koon, Skywalker, and Tano were able to give a report to the Jedi Council on the Malevolence. Despite the fact that most of Koon's forces had been eradicated, Dooku considered the battle a defeat because of the Republic's identification of the Confederate weapon. The Sith Lord was extremely displeased with Grievous' failure; his trust in Grievous shaken, Dooku left to discuss plans with his Sith Master, Darth Sidious. Eventually, Grievous continued his flagship's swath of destruction with a strike targeting the Vanik system.
Following the revelation of the Malevolence, Skywalker planned to counterattack the warship with Shadow Squadron. The Jedi took the starfighter unit to acquire several experimental Republic BTL-B Y-wing starfighters from a testing facility on the planet Bormus for the attack. The Malevolence's obliteration of a Republic medical convoy in the Ryndellia system revealed that Grievous planned to target a secret Republic Outer Rim medical center near the Kaliida Nebula. Intending to engage the Malevolence before it could attack the medical base, Skywalker, accompanied by Tano and Koon, led Shadow Squadron on a shortcut to intercept the warship.
Behind the scenes
The Battle of Abregado was the subject of "Rising Malevolence," an episode featured in the October 3, 2008 premiere of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series on Cartoon Network. The second episode of the series' first season, the episode featured the series debut of Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, Plo Koon, and R2-D2, as well as several other prominent characters such as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, and Jedi Master Mace Windu. The battle also featured the first visual appearance of the Malevolence, having been first mentioned in the webcomic The Clone Wars: Prelude. The events leading into the episode—notably, the battle in the Phu system—were featured in the webcomic Shakedown, released a day before the episode's premiere. The battle was officially named in Star Wars: The Clone Wars Activity Annual: Summer Edition 2010.
Although the young readers' book Meet Ahsoka Tano claimed that the Battle of Abregado took place just a few days after the Battle of Christophsis, this profession interrupted the more drawn-out chronology between the Battle of Christophsis and the events of other episodes of the television series. This article therefore assumes that Meet Ahsoka Tano is in error.
The reference book Star Wars Blueprints: Rebel Edition erroneously conflates the events of "Rising Malevolence" and the following episode, "Shadow of Malevolence," by mentioning a "rescue mission to the Abregado system" that Skywalker and Tano oversaw with a squadron of BTL-B Y-wing starfighters.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Ambush" (First appearance) (Appears in "Newsreel" only)
- The Clone Wars: Meet Ahsoka Tano
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Rising Malevolence"
- The Clone Wars: Jedi Adventures
- The Clone Wars: Jedi in Training
- The Clone Wars: Forces of Darkness
- The Clone Wars: Jedi Heroes
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Shadow of Malevolence" (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Jedi Crash" (In flashback(s))
Notes and references
- The Clone Wars: Shakedown
- "Republic HoloNet News Core Edition 14:4:14"—Star Wars Insider 67
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- The Official Star Wars Fact File Part 24 (22 BBY 87–88, The Malevolence Campaign)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Rising Malevolence"
- HoloNet News — A Galaxy Divided
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Shadow of Malevolence"
- The Clone Wars: Procedure
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Activity Annual: Summer Edition 2010
- The Clone Wars: Meet Ahsoka Tano
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Episode Guide
- Star Wars Blueprints: Rebel Edition