- "We have more than a dozen active battlefronts on Anaxes. And we are losing nearly every one. But if Admiral Trench can no longer anticipate our moves, we now have the opportunity to retake the planet."
- ―Mace Windu
The Battle of Anaxes, also known as the battle for Anaxes or battle on Anaxes, was a prolonged engagement that took place on the planet Anaxes during the third year of the Clone Wars, and was considered part of the Outer Rim Sieges despite Anaxes' location in the Core Worlds. Harch Separatist Admiral Trench led an attack on the planet's shipyards, instrumental to the Republic war effort. Jedi Generals Mace Windu and Anakin Skywalker coordinated the Republic counteroffensive. At one point in the battle, Trench had overrun the shipyards and the Republic was in serious danger of losing the planet due to the use of a strategy algorithm extracted from the captured ARC trooper Echo, who was thought to have been killed on Lola Sayu.
After Echo's rescue from the Techno Union on Skako Minor, Trench and his forces were unaware of the loss of the asset they had been using to achieve victory due to Foreman Wat Tambor's withholding of the information in an attempt to preserve the Techno Union's profit margins. Echo was able to use Trench's ignorance of his rescue to manipulate him into a situation where he could send a pulse to shut down all of the battle droids on Anaxes. However, Trench had a backup plan of a bomb he had hidden in the shipyards that was powerful enough to destroy most of the planet. The swift actions of Echo, Windu and Anakin Skywalker were able to prevent its detonation. With Trench's death at Skywalker's hands and the subsequent destruction of his flagship, the campaign ended in a Republic victory.
The Core Worlds planet of Anaxes was home to important shipyards that produced ships for the Republic Navy during the Clone Wars, including one of the war effort's largest shipyards. Thus, it was a prime military target for forces of the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
Prior to the Battle of Lola Sayu, Clone Captain Rex of the 501st Legion, along with ARC trooper Echo, developed battle plans for the Republic Military. Along with fellow ARC trooper Fives, Echo also knew of an algorithm Rex had created to improve Republic strategies. With Echo's apparent death during the action on Lola Sayu and Fives' later death on Coruscant, Rex was seemingly the only one alive who knew about the algorithm.
Unbeknownst to the Republic, however, Echo had not actually died at the Citadel, but had barely survived the explosion of the Sheathipede-class Type B shuttle he had been attempting to reclaim, and was recovered by the Separatists. Albeit grievously injured, he eventually wound up in the hands of the Techno Union, who turned him into a cyborg so they could extract information from his brain, including the strategy algorithm. He was kept in a facility on the planet Skako Minor, the headquarters of the Techno Union.
In 19 BBY, in the final weeks of the war, the Republic had pushed the Separatists to the brink in the Outer Rim Territories. As a result, General Grievous, Supreme Martial Commander of the Separatist Droid Armies, launched a swift counter offensive against the Republic forces throughout the Outer Rim. This led to many of the Jedi generals and clone armies being deployed to worlds across the Outer Rim to contain the Separatist advance. Grievous' offensive, known as the Outer Rim Sieges, allowed Confederate forces under the command of Admiral Trench to move into the Core and lay siege to the Republic shipyards and clone forces on Anaxes, starting one of the most important battles of the final phase of the war.
The battle for Anaxes took place over many different battlefields all over the planet. During the early stages of the battle the Republic seemed to be in control of the battle, containing the droid armies on the ground and in the air, but after weeks of perilous fighting the Republic's grip on the planet started to slip away. Admiral Trench, commander of the Separatist forces at Anaxes, had access to the stolen algorithm being extracted from Echo, which was being broadcast from Skako Minor to a Cyber Center on Anaxes, and was using it to counter the Republic's strategies.
Jedi Generals Mace Windu and Anakin Skywalker, who were leading the Republic's forces on Anaxes, were concerned about the losses. Captain Rex believed that the droids had learned his strategic "playbook", and he shared this theory with Skywalker and Windu. However, he did not tell them that because the strategies used by the Separatists were plans he had created with Echo, there was a chance Echo was still alive, as he felt that the Jedi would think it was a crazy idea. Clone Commander Cody of the 212th Attack Battalion suggested that they take a small squad behind enemy lines to infiltrate the Cyber Center, a plan which was approved by Windu.
Cody decided to call in Clone Force 99, a squad of clones with unique but combat-useful mutations informally known as the "Bad Batch", and with whom he had worked before, to participate in the mission due to their high success rate. The squad was dealing with an insurrection on Yalbec Prime when they received the Commander's transmission, resulting in them arriving at Fort Anaxes late. Rex told Cody about his theory that Echo was still alive prior to their departure, although Cody was skeptical. Along with ARC trooper Jesse and medic Kix, Cody and Rex met the Bad Batch as they arrived in their gunship the Havoc Marauder. After greeting Bad Batch leader Clone Sergeant Hunter, Cody and the rest of the strike team departed on an LAAT gunship.
The Cyber Center
En route to the Cyber Center, Cody briefed the team on the infiltration plan. However, the gunship was spotted by patrolling battle droids, subsequently being shot down as it flew through a canyon. The pilot was killed in the crash, and although the other passengers were uninjured, Cody was pinned under the gunship. Bad Batch member Wrecker used his extreme strength to push the wreckage off of the Commander, who Kix determined to have sustained internal injuries. The canyon was shortly attacked by Separatist reinforcements, speculated to have been drawn to the area in part by the explosion caused when Wrecker had pushed the gunship off of Cody. Hunter gathered his squad together and they executed "Plan 82" against the attacking droids, using the damaged door of the gunship, droid poppers, and their blasters to swiftly rout the force. Rex ordered the strike team to move out as more reinforcements would likely be sent. After the clones were gone, a force of BX-series droid commandos with a C-9979 landing craft inspected the site and called in a tactical droid to report to Trench that the droids had been defeated by clones using unusual tactics. Trench ordered his droid forces to locate the clones.
The clones continued onward on foot, guided by Hunter's enhanced senses. At a rest stop, Rex announced that he was taking command since Cody was clearly too injured to continue, as he had already called in an evac for Cody and decided Kix would remain with him. This led to a disagreement between Jesse and Kix, who defended their captain, and Wrecker and Crosshair, who didn't respect most regular clones and disliked the idea, as Rex and Tech attempted to break up the fight and force Wrecker to release Jesse. Hunter ordered Wrecker and Crosshair to stop fighting the other clones and agreed to follow Rex's lead. The remaining strike team continued onwards.
Encountering the Anaxes Separatist Security Outpost near the Cyber Center, Rex decided to take it using the Bad Batch's prior performance as his attack strategy. The clones swiftly overwhelmed the droids on guard, but when Tech accessed the computers to find out the Cyber Center's defenses, he discovered that a platoon of reinforcements were on their way there. Rex decided to abandon the outpost, with Hunter, Tech and Wrecker using stolen speeder bikes to flank the droids and enter the Cyber Center's back door while Rex, Jesse and Crosshair distracted the guards at the front. While the distraction was going on, the three Bad Batchers neutralized the droids in the Cyber Center, with Tech staying to access the computers while Hunter and Wrecker went to open the front door.
As Hunter, Wrecker and Jesse held off attacking droids at the front entrance, Rex joined Tech in the control room and gave him the algorithm so he knew what he was searching for. However, both clones were surprised when Tech discovered that the algorithm was not stored in the Cyber Center's memory banks, but was instead being broadcast from Skako Minor. Digging deeper, Tech discovered a transmission that sounded like a human voice. Shocked, Rex asked him to transmit a request for the voice's identity. The response they received, with the vocal masking falling away to make it clear it was the voice of a clone trooper, was "CT-1409": Echo's identification number. As the Separatist reinforcements arrived, Hunter, Wrecker and Jesse fell back, with Hunter ordering Crosshair to secure some transportation. Hunter had to shout at Rex a few times to get him to leave, due to his deep shock that Echo was still alive. The clones retreated from the Cyber Center in a stolen speeder.
When Trench's tactical droid investigated the site afterwards, it reported to the Admiral that the clones had abandoned the facility without stealing any data. Trench was not pleased, however, to discover that the strike team had apparently made a transmission to Skako Minor. The Admiral contacted Techno Union foreman Wat Tambor on Skako Minor to warn him that a Republic strike team was likely to violate corporate neutrality and attempt to retrieve the source of their algorithm.
After informing the Jedi and the general staff about Echo's situation, Rex, Hunter and Skywalker waited for word as to whether a rescue mission would be given the go-ahead. Eventually, Obi-Wan Kenobi came to inform Skywalker that the Jedi High Council had not given permission for the rescue, but Skywalker ignored him and resolved to go on the mission anyway, to Kenobi's resignation. Departing on the Havoc Marauder, Skywalker, Rex and the Bad Batch landed on Skako Minor and got into a confrontation with the native Poletecs, who did not want more war on their world. The strike team managed to negotiate a truce, stating that they were simply there to rescue one of their own, and the chief loaned them some scouts to lead them to Purkoll, the city where Echo was being held.
Infiltrating the building Tech had traced Echo's signal to, the strike team was confronted by D1-series aerial battle droids when they located the door leading to where Echo was being held. Tambor appeared on a viewscreen and taunted the clones before ordering the droids to execute them, but they fought them off with Skywalker's assistance. As Skywalker, Hunter, Wrecker and Crosshair held off more approaching droids, Rex and Tech entered the room where Echo's signal was coming from and released him from a stasis chamber.
After unplugging Echo from the Techno Union's computers, the team escaped Purkoll by riding some of the planet's native keeradaks. When Tambor sent droid forces after them and attacked the Poletec village the reptiles had brought them to, Rex managed to persuade the Poletecs to help them, and the groups joined forces to repel the attack before the Republic forces departed to return to Anaxes. Informed of the droids' failure to recapture Echo, Tambor decided to hold off on informing the Separatist military as the loss of the clone constituted a blow to the Techno Union's profits, and the greedy foreman wished to find some way of recouping the losses first.
Taking back Anaxes
Upon the team's return to Anaxes, Echo was outfitted with new cybernetics and armor, but kept the socket arm with its scomp link. Although the Separatists unknowingly no longer had their biggest advantage against the Republic forces, they were still winning in most of the over one dozen fronts active around the planet. Despite concerns over his fitness, Echo came to the Jedi Generals and Rex with a plan to use his cybernetics and the fact that Trench was unaware of his rescue against the Separatists. His plan was to, with the Bad Batch's help, infiltrate Trench's flagship and feed him false strategies, while Windu and Kenobi led a large attack on the assembly complex. This time, as the Republic would know all of the moves Trench was going to make, victory would be assured.
As the team prepared to depart, Hunter and Tech were both skeptical of Echo's loyalty, noting how long he had been used by the Separatists, although Rex had no such concerns. The strike team departed on the Havoc Marauder while the main attack force was preparing to move out. As the Bad Batch's gunship approached Trench's fleet, Echo plugged in and sent the flagship a signal masking it as Separatist shuttle TC-159. Two battle droids on the bridge detected the approaching ship, but were fooled by the signal masking. The Marauder docked with an airlock on the underside of the ship. The team entered the com-vault undetected, and Echo asked Tech to rig up an interface for him.
On Anaxes, Windu and Kenobi's attack force approached the main assembly plant, with the Jedi Generals riding in gunships with their assault force. As Separatist fire began to bear down on the gunships, Windu gave Gold Leader and his squadron of Y-wing starfighters the go-ahead to launch. Gold Squadron subsequently bombed the droid forces atop the assembly plant. When their gunships arrived above the assembly plant, Windu and Kenobi jumped out, smashed through a large skylight, and landed on the assembly floor. Confronted by large numbers of battle droids, Windu offered them a chance to surrender and be reprogrammed, which the Separatist forces did not take. The 212th and Mace Windu's unit in the gunships followed the two Jedi Generals down via jetpacks and ascension cables.
Trench, informed of a massive Republic assault on the shipyards, ordered his super tactical droid to send a request for the algorithm to Skako Minor. Echo, plugging into the com-vault's computers, detected the request and remarked he was just in time, but Tech prevented him from immediately responding as they had to make his transmission look like it was coming from Skako first, as otherwise Trench would realize the team was onboard his ship. Echo, posing as the algorithm, gave Trench the strategy to send all droids on Anaxes to the shipyards, as the Republic would place all their faith in the Jedi and not send reinforcements. He explained to Rex, Hunter and Skywalker that this was so he could shut down all of the droids with a feedback pulse in one go. Despite Hunter and Tech's skepticism, Rex insisted that they had to trust Echo.
Windu and Kenobi, informed of the plan, were apprehensive due to how much they and their men would be outnumbered, but continued fighting. After the first wave of droids, Kenobi commented that things weren't as bad as he had anticipated, just as the Separatist reinforcements arrived, whereupon the Jedi Master quipped to Windu that the numbers of droids exceeded his expectations. At that moment, Echo sent the feedback pulse, which worked as planned and took down all of the Separatist ground forces on Anaxes. Trench, watching from the bridge of his flagship, was shocked and demanded an explanation, as the algorithm had never been wrong before. His super tactical droid reported that they were working on tracing the source of the feedback pulse. Informed that it had originated on his ship, Trench ordered security droids sent to deal with the Republic infiltration, and turned to his backup plan: "Total annihilation."
In the com-vault, Echo was about to unplug so the team could leave when he detected the command sent from the bridge activating a countdown. Trench, not wanting to rely solely on algorithms, had hidden a bomb powerful enough to destroy most of Anaxes near the fusion reactor of the assembly plant, and had ordered it activated. The Admiral's super tactical droid also intended to send a pulse back to whoever had shut down the droids, but despite the danger, Echo refused to unplug, working to decrypt the bomb's deactivation code as fast as he could. Skywalker, concerned that Echo wouldn't be able to get the deactivation code, headed for the bridge of the cruiser to try and get it out of Trench personally. Informed of the bomb, Windu and Kenobi ordered their men to evacuate the assembly complex. Windu headed down to the fusion reactor to locate the bomb, as one person was needed on the ground to help disarm it.
However, Skywalker, having singlehandedly stormed the bridge, contacted Windu, having intimidated Trench into giving over the code. After the bomb was disarmed, Trench tried to kill Skywalker, but the Jedi Knight fatally stabbed the admiral and took a detonator. Once he and the clones were fleeing aboard the Havoc Marauder, Skywalker gave the detonator to Wrecker as a gift, allowing the clone commando to annihilate the entire Separatist fleet.
- "Captain Rex, Corporal Echo, and Clone Force 99, you have all done a great service for the Republic. Thanks to your courage and effort, Republic shipyards will soon be up and running again."
- ―Mace Windu, to the clones
As thanks for his actions, Echo was promoted to the rank of Clone Corporal. Additionally, he was dubbed the "Hero of Anaxes." The Republic victory ensured their shipyards could get back to work.
For their role in making the Battle of Anaxes a Republic victory, the Republic prepared medals for Rex, Echo, and the Bad Batch, but the commando unit instead planned to leave before the ceremony. Now that the squad trusted him and, given that he was now a cyborg, feeling at home with his fellow irregular clones, Echo wanted to leave with them. Though he had only just gotten his friend back, Rex let Echo go. Before departing, Echo and his new squadmates saluted the Clone Captain.
Though the Republic succeeded in repelling the Confederacy from Anaxes, the battle proved that even the Core Worlds were vulnerable to Separatist attack. This would prove true weeks later when General Grievous exploited this vulnerability and led a massive assault on the Republic capital of Coruscant to kidnap Supreme Chancellor Palpatine.
Additionally, the death of Admiral Trench and the substantial loss of battle droids and Confederate warships at Anaxes served as a devastating blow to the Separatist war effort in the final weeks of the war. With Trench's death and the serious depletion of the Separatist Droid Army and Navy from Anaxes and the rest of the Outer Rim Sieges, General Grievous deployed the remaining forces of the droid army in a desperate counteroffensive on numerous Outer Rim Worlds in a final effort to halt the Republic advance following the Battle of Coruscant. The Separatist Droid Army ultimately collapsed weeks later following Grievous’ own death and the execution of the Separatist Council, bringing the Clone War to an end.
Although it was never attacked by the Confederacy during the battle, as the Separatists had preferred to focus their assault on Anaxes, the nearby world of Alsakan was scared by the battle because of their proximity to it. After the Republic reformed into the Galactic Empire, Alsakan became one of the Empire's greatest supporters.
Behind the scenes
The Battle of Anaxes first appeared in "The Bad Batch", an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars that was initially released as an unfinished story reel in 2015 before a completed version premiered on Disney+ in 2020.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Bad Batch" (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "A Distant Echo"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Unfinished Business"
- The Clone Wars: Season 7: Volume 1
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Aftermath" (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 2 (Databank A-Z: Alzoc III–Antilles)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 16 (Databank A-Z: E-11 Blaster–Cornelius Evazan)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 35 (Helmets: 212th Attack Battalion)
- Dawn of Rebellion (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 56 (Databank A-Z: Tractor Beams–Tri-Fighters) (First identified as Battle of Anaxes)
- Collapse of the Republic
- Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
- (First identified as battle on Anaxes)
- The Star Wars Book (First identified as Battle for Anaxes)
- "The First Order" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
- "Anakin Skywalker" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
- (Indirect mention only)
Notes and references
- Deal No Deal" establishes that the episode, and the rest of the arc it's part of, is set prior to the events of the Bad Batch arc, as Anakin Skywalker's presence at Coruscant in the episode means that he hasn't yet left to fight in the Outer Rim Sieges, of which the battle of Anaxes is a part. Therefore, the escape from Oba Diah, which begins in "Deal No Deal", must take place before the battle of Anaxes. : The episode guide of "
- The Star Wars Book
- The Mandalorian civil war begins in "The Lawless" and does not end until "The Phantom Apprentice." places the events of "The Bad Batch" between "The Lawless" and "The Phantom Apprentice," so its events must be concurrent to the civil war.
- Star Wars: Force Collection (Card: Bacara (★★★★))
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Bad Batch"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "A Distant Echo"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Old Friends Not Forgotten"
- The Star Wars Book places the Battle of Anaxes to nineteen years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. As Star Wars: Galactic Atlas states that A New Hope begins in 0 BBY, the Battle of Anaxes must have occurred in 19 BBY.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Unfinished Business"
- Dawn of Rebellion
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Aftermath"
- "The First Order" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Counterattack"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Orders"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "On the Wings of Keeradaks"
- Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith