- "Do the Bothans know what Grievous plans? They must. They're Bothans. But why haven't they told us, why haven't they—"
"They don't know. There's a good chance I'm the only one who does. Me and my source. And now you. It was an accident she found out. And she only risked telling me to pay back a life debt. Obi-Wan… You Jedi can't let Grievous get his metal hands on Bothawui."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi learns of General Grievous's impending invasion of Bothawui from Dexter Jettster
The Battle of Bothawui was a space battle that took place in 22 BBY, during the Clone Wars. After learning that the Confederate General Grievous was planning to invade the planet Bothawui, the Jedi High Council dispatched Jedi General Anakin Skywalker and a fleet of three newly constructed Venator-class Star Destroyers to blockade the Both system in preparation of Grievous's arrival. Accompanied by his Padawan, Jedi Commander Ahsoka Tano, as well as a unit of clone troopers, Skywalker engaged Grievous several times before arriving over the gas giant Bothawui Prime.
Clone Captain CT-7567, nicknamed "Rex," took multiple AT-TE walkers to the planet's asteroid belt, intending to attack Grievous's frigates from the rear once they passed by. The Confederate general arrived in the system, and Skywalker led the starfighter unit Gold Squadron in his Delta-7B fighter. After the Confederate fleet went through the asteroid belt and passed by the walkers, the AT-TEs opened fire, crippling the frigates. Grievous attempted to escape in his personal fighter; and, as Skywalker and his astromech droid R2-D2 gave pursuit, the Jedi's fighter was damaged by flying debris. Rex was able to save Skywalker, but R2-D2 was salvaged by the Trandoshan scavenger Gha Nachkt.
Prelude[edit | edit source]
- "I can't possibly overemphasize the importance of this mission, Anakin. For the first time since the war started, we have the element of surprise. We may never get it again. This could be our only chance to take down Grievous once and for all."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi briefs Anakin Skywalker on his mission to protect Bothawui
In 22 BBY, during the Clone Wars, the Jedi High Council received intelligence from diner owner Dexter Jettster that the Confederate General Grievous was planning on invading the planet Bothawui. The planet was home to the Bothan people, who possessed extremely adept information-collecting abilities and who were vital to Galactic Republic intelligence. Intending to prevent Grievous from taking Bothawui, Jedi Masters Yoda and Mace Windu devised a plan to blockade the Both system. Grievous would be drawn to the bold offensive, and the Republic would be able to trap and eliminate the cyborg general.
Three new Venator-class Star Destroyers from the Allanteen Six shipyards were to be sent to Bothawui under Jedi General Anakin Skywalker's command. The assignment pleased Skywalker, as it was the first time he was to be given his own battle group. The three Star Destroyers of Skywalker's new fleet—Resolute, Pioneer and Dauntless—arrived on the galactic capital of Coruscant, and Skywalker himself took the Resolute as his flagship. Admiral Wullf Yularen was assigned to be Skywalker's deck officer aboard the Resolute, while Commanders Vontifor and Isibray took charge of the Pioneer and Dauntless. Skywalker was accompanied by his Padawan, Jedi Commander Ahsoka Tano. A unit of clone troopers—under the command of Clone Captain CT-7567, nicknamed "Rex"—was assigned to the battle group, and after preparations for the fleet's departure were completed, the three Star Destroyers left Coruscant.
En route to Bothawui, Skywalker was pursued by four Munificent-class frigates under the command of Grievous, and the Republic cruisers were knocked out of their hyperlanes multiple times. In their third engagement with the Confederate frigates, Skywalker was able to delay Grievous before taking a direct hyperspace course to Bothawui. However, Grievous delayed his pursuit of Skywalker to coordinate attacks on Republic forces on separate fronts. The Confederate general picked up two more frigates and invaded the planet Falleen, overwhelming a Republic battle group stationed there, before regaining his original course to Bothawui.
Skywalker arrived over the gas giant Bothawui Prime before Grievous and learned of the defeat at Falleen from High Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi. Although outnumbered two-to-one in vessels, Skywalker was intent on preventing Grievous from taking Bothawui. Skywalker deployed AT-TE walkers under the command of Rex to the asteroid belt surrounding the planet. Once the Confederate fleet passed through the asteroids, Rex's squad would be able to outflank Grievous's frigates.
The battle[edit | edit source]
- "We're outgunned! We're not going to last a mynock minute out here!"
- ―Ahsoka Tano
The six Confederate frigates arrived in the system, and Grievous ordered his ships to navigate through the asteroid belt, believing that the asteroids would provide suitable protection from the Republic's laser fire. Unaware of Skywalker's deployed AT-TE walkers, the cyborg general ordered all of the power of the frigates to be diverted to the forward shields. In his Delta-7B fighter, Skywalker himself led the starfighter unit Gold Squadron toward the Confederate fleet, in order to draw Grievous's attention away from the deployed walkers and make the three cruisers' defense appear authentic to the Confederate general.
As the frigates approached, Skywalker and the V-19 Torrent starfighters of Gold Squadron held position. Aboard the Resolute, Tano ordered the cruisers to hold their fire until the AT-TE walkers could engage Grievous's fleet. The Confederate frigates emerged from the asteroids and commenced fire at the Republic cruisers. Outgunned, all of the cruisers sustained damage, and one of the Republic vessels was crippled. Skywalker led his squadron toward the Confederate fleet, but one of the V-19 fighters was hit by laser fire and crashed into another fighter. While his squadron retreated, Skywalker and his astromech droid, R2-D2, headed toward the Confederate frigates to confront the fleet at a closer proximity.
The unsuspecting Confederate frigates passed by the walkers, and Rex and his men opened fire. As Grievous realized he had been outflanked, the walkers attacked the frigates' unprotected sterns. One of the Confederate vessels was destroyed, and Tano ordered the Republic fleet to commence fire at their adversaries. A frigate fell to laser fire from the Republic cruisers, and Skywalker destroyed the bridge of another vessel with his fighter, disabling the frigate.
Realizing that he had been defeated, Grievous boarded his personal fighter, Soulless One, and fled from his command ship and the rest of his outmatched frigates. As the Republic cruisers targeted what remained of the Confederate fleet, Skywalker gave pursuit of Grievous, but the Jedi's fighter was hit by flying debris. While Grievous was able to jump to hyperspace and escape, Skywalker's fighter exploded and veered toward the asteroid belt.
Aftermath[edit | edit source]
- "Where's Artoo?"
"I'm sorry, Master, he's… gone."
- ―Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano
Rex led the search-and-rescue mission that saved Skywalker from the asteroid belt, and the Jedi was tended to by a medical droid aboard the Resolute. However, Rex was unable to save R2-D2. Skywalker was left dismayed, as he had developed an attachment to the droid. As such, the Jedi had never wiped the droid's memory banks of secret Republic information. When Kenobi—who had been witness to the battle in a Force vision—learned of this, he ordered Skywalker to find the droid, as the information would prove fatal to the Republic in the hands of the Confederacy.
Unbeknownst to the Jedi, the Trandoshan scavenger Gha Nachkt found R2-D2 and promised the droid to Grievous in exchange for credits. Skywalker and Tano were assigned a replacement astromech droid, R3-S6, and departing the Republic fleet in Skywalker's personal ship, the Twilight, the Jedi searched the asteroid field for R2-D2. Skywalker and Tano discovered the wreckage of Skywalker's fighter but found that R2-D2 was missing from the fighter's astromech socket. The Jedi came across the Vulture's Claw, Nachkt's freighter, and disguised themselves as peasants before entering the ship and searching for R2-D2 among the scavenger's wares. General Grievous's loss at Bothawui added to a number of his recent defeats, eventually leading Confederate Head of State Count Dooku to arrange a test for him.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
The Battle of Bothawui was featured in "Downfall of a Droid," an episode in the first season of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series. The battle was later expanded upon in the December 2008 novel The Clone Wars: Wild Space, written by Karen Miller. Series Director Dave Filoni and Series Writer Henry Gilroy noted that the element of the AT-TE walkers in space was used to make the battle more dynamic and interesting because of a lack of assets available for producing the episode.
The Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Visual Guide sourcebook implies that Skywalker's troops were on the surface of Bothawui itself, but no other source expanded upon this or clarified it.
The planet that Skywalker defends in the episode, originally identified as Bothawui, was retconned to be named Bothawui Prime in the 2009 The Essential Atlas. Author Jason Fry established Bothawui Prime to be another name for the gas giant Golm, a planet first created for the 1996 Shadows of the Empire Planets Guide.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Rising Malevolence" ("Newsreel" only)
- The Clone Wars: Wild Space (Vision to Obi-Wan Kenobi)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Downfall of a Droid" (First appearance)
- The Clone Wars: Downfall of a Droid
- The Clone Wars: Grievous Attacks!
- The Clone Wars: R2-D2's Adventure
- The Clone Wars: Forces of Darkness (Mentioned only)
- The Clone Wars: Jedi in Training (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Duel of the Droids" (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes (Mentioned only in Nintendo DS edition)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Bombad Jedi" (In flashback(s))
- Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth (Indirect mention only)
- Clone Wars Gambit: Siege (Indirect mention only)
Sources[edit | edit source]
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- The Clone Wars: Wild Space
- "Republic HoloNet News Core Edition 14:4:14"—Star Wars Insider 67
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Downfall of a Droid"
- "Downfall of a Droid" takes place within the time frame of the events of The Clone Wars: Wild Space, which The Essential Reader's Companion dates to 22 BBY. It can be thus concluded that "Downfall of a Droid" also takes place in 22 BBY.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Downfall of a Droid" (Decoded)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars The Complete Season One, DVD Featurette for "Downfall of a Droid"
- Shadows of the Empire Planets Guide