- "Ahsoka, surely you understand this is a pivotal moment in the Clone Wars? The heart of the Republic is under attack!"
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi, to Ahsoka Tano
The battle began when the Confederacy launched a massive assault on Coruscant, the Republic's capital. It was orchestrated by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine of the Republic, who was secretly Sith Lord Darth Sidious. Sidious arranged for himself to be kidnapped as Palpatine by the Separatist cyborg General Grievous as part of a plot to bring Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker closer to the dark side of the Force. Two Jedi, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, arrived on scene with the Republic's Open Circle Fleet. The two flew into the heart of the massive battle, determined to rescue Palpatine from Separatist custody. They succeeded in boarding General Grievous' flagship—the Invisible Hand—and after a lengthy duel, Skywalker killed the Confederacy leader, Head of State Count Dooku, at the command of Palpatine.
The duo, along with the now-freed Chancellor, were unable to escape, however, as they were captured by Grievous' personal battle droids. Skywalker and Kenobi were able to beat the cyborg general's MagnaGuards, forcing him to flee. With that, the Separatist forces retreated, having lost much of their fleet. Following the battle, Chancellor Palpatine was now safe in Republic hands. However, the Jedi Order remained unaware that Palpatine had orchestrated the battle, and was also testing Skywalker, whom he considered a good choice for his new apprentice.
Prelude[edit | edit source]
- "Right now, people on Coruscant need us."
"No. The Chancellor needs you."
"That's not fair."
"I'm not trying to be."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ahsoka Tano
A short time after the start of the Clone Wars, Jedi Master Mace Windu speculated that the Confederacy of Independent Systems intended to eventually reach Coruscant, the Galactic Republic's capital. At this early stage of the war, seeing that the Separatists were continually extending their reach to the Outer Rim Territories, Windu recounted that power followed in concentric circles. He postulated that, after the Separatists had a foothold in the Outer Rim, they would move inward towards Coruscant.
Prior to the attack, the Outer Rim Sieges had enmeshed Republic and Separatist warships and armies in vast battles in the spirals of the galaxy. As a result of this, most of the Republic's Jedi were locked up in battles far away from the Core Worlds. The majority of experienced military officers were also away in these battles, and so whatever officers that were in the Coruscant Home Defense Fleet had not seen much action, and additionally had not been drilled on what to do when faced with a full-scale planetary attack. Republic strategists did not worry, however, believing that the Confederacy wouldn't dare attempt an attack on the Republic capital of Coruscant and they could focus on the sieges and leave the planet with few defenses. The citizens of Coruscant were also not worried and expected a Separatist surrender soon. This all gave the Separatists an opportunity to deal a mighty blow to the Republic by launching an unexpected attack on Coruscant. They would be able to inflict a large amount of damage to their adversary, as well as to gain a massive propaganda victory.
However, these were not the only victories the Separatists were after; under Darth Sidious' orchestration, the Confederacy sought to kidnap Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, leader of the Republic. Unbeknownst to but a few, Palpatine was secretly the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, and was controlling both sides of the war, in hopes of obtaining his true goal—complete galactic control. In order to do so, Sidious planned a raid on the capital, and had General Grievous, Supreme Martial Commander of the Separatist Droid Armies, assemble an armada of Separatist battleships—led by the Providence-class Dreadnought Invisible Hand—for a strike on Coruscant.
The battle[edit | edit source]
Strike on Coruscant[edit | edit source]
- "Clone Flight Squad Seven launched from the carrier Ro-Ti-Mundi. Our mission was to escort Jedi Generals Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker to the Separatist flagship Invisible Hand and cover them while they executed a boarding action. Once we hit space I ordered Squad Seven's V-19s to take point. The Seps were on us as soon as shook the dust from our wings. The V-19s punched a hole through the droid tri-fighters that tried to block our advance. Lost two pilots. I brought up my ARC-170's to tail the Jedi and ordered the other heavy hitters to do the same."
- ―Clone Pilot Oddball gives his account of the Battle of Coruscant
The Separatists launched their surprise attack on the Republic capital of Coruscant, under General Grievous and Count Dooku themselves. The Confederacy possessed a massive fleet at their command, and the ships proceeded to attack the Republic Navy vessels defending the planet. The startled and inexperienced Coruscant Home Defense Fleet was caught off guard, but it turned out the Separatists did not wish to keep the planet. The Separatist navy was only a cover for a strike team to reach the surface. Grievous slipped onto the planet surface, and landed in the Executive District with the intent to capture the Supreme Chancellor. Grievous managed to cut through the layers of security forces and Jedi, which included the Jedi Roron Corobb, who was killed defending Chancellor Palpatine. Grievous also came in contact with Jedi Master Shaak Ti, who was knocked unconscious when Grievous used electrified cables, and allowed Grievous to steal her lightsaber. The defense fleet had only organized into attack formation by then, but Grievous had already managed to abduct Palpatine and take him back to the Invisible Hand.
The Republic's reinforcements, however, including the Open Circle Fleet, had arrived by then and attempted to rescue the Chancellor before the Invisible Hand and the Separatist ships could jump to hyperspace with their prisoner. With the Separatists attempting to repel Republic forces and escape, heavy fighting broke out between various starships, including cruisers and starfighters. Republic High Command was worried that if the Separatists were able to escape with the Chancellor the psychological fallout would be immense. The loss of Palpatine would expose the vulnerability of the Republic's capital, and it would present the possibility of the Chancellor being subjected to a sham trial being broadcast across the galaxy, and this "trial" would likely end with execution. That possibility would force Republic High Command to negotiate with the Separatists, and force them to offer deep concessions. Due to this, the Invisible Hand became the Republic's main target, and the home defense fleet moved to cut off the hyperspace jump point, which bought time for a rescue team to execute a daring strike onto the Separatist flagship.
Jedi rescue[edit | edit source]
- "This is where the fun begins!"
- ―Anakin Skywalker
As Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker met with his former Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, who was preparing to launch an assault against the renegade Sith Lord Maul and his forces on the planet Mandalore, Skywalker learned that the Separatists had kidnapped Chancellor Palpatine and both he and Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi were forced to come to Coruscant in their Eta-2 Actis-class light interceptors to rescue him. To assist the Jedi Generals, elite clone trooper pilots of Clone Flight Squad Seven under clone pilot CC-2237, otherwise known as "Oddball," launched from the Venator-class Star Destroyer Ro-ti-Mundi. Oddball ordered his squad's V-19 Torrent starfighters to take point, which allowed the V-19 torrents to punch a hole through the Separatist tri-fighters, and while two pilots were lost during this, the squad kept moving. Oddball brought his Aggressive ReConnaissance-170 starfighters to tail the Jedi. As they piloted their fighters towards the Invisible Hand, they found hundreds of vulture droids and tri-fighters swarming around the General's command ship. The Jedi engaged the enemy fighters with the help of the clone fighter squad. At the same time, support frigates were also defending the Invisible Hand, and Recusant-class Commerce Guild destroyers, Lucrehulk-class Battleships, and Munificent-class star frigates battled against Republic ships. The Republic craft made an aggressive push to try to trap as many enemy capital ships as they could, but due to everything in the battle the ship fighting became a slugging match, and there were heavy casualties on all sides. Starships made close passes to each other, and multiple of the larger ships started to vent atmosphere. Smaller frigates completely broke apart, and their fragments became hazards in space. During the battle, small groups of vacuum-suited clone jetpack troopers flew through space to board damaged Separatist vessels to take their bridges.
In Skywalker's and Kenobi's struggle towards the Separatist flagship, the clones started to take casualties in the dogfight, and Skywalker wished to go back and help. Kenobi, however, would not let him, insisting that they had to stick to the mission. Flight Squad Seven boosted their afterburners to keep up with the Jedi, and Oddball later guessed that it was Skywalker causing the Jedi to go so fast. The Jedi and clones were then attacked by a swarm of Vulture droids, and the droid starfighters fired missiles at them, but Skywalker managed to evade them by rolling, which caused the missile's' flight paths to intersect. Kenobi, however, was not able to avoid the missiles targeting him, and they eventually exploded, releasing a horde of buzz droids that attached themselves to his ship's hull. They destroyed his astromech droid R4-P17, and the droids were rapidly disabled Kenobi's Jedi interceptor as well, however, Skywalker managed to save his friend by firing on the buzz droids as well as smashing into Kenobi's ship and crushing them. In doing so, however, he also heavily damaged Kenobi's interceptor. One of the surviving buzz droids managed to climb aboard Anakin's interceptor, but R2-D2, at the guidance of Kenobi and Skywalker, managed to deactivate it by zapping it in the center eye with one of his electrical tools. Flight Squad Seven had troubles of their own with the Buzz droids, with the droids disabling one ARC-170 by cutting its engines and sending it out of action. Another ARC-170 lost its weapons to the droids, and was forced to return to Ro-Ti-Mundi. Oddball did notice the Jedi were having buzz droid problems, but by the time the squad had caught up, the Jedi had dealt with them.
As they hurtled toward Grievous' flagship, Skywalker, after being reminded by Kenobi and R2 that the flagship's shields were still up, destroyed the atmospheric containment shield protecting the hangar bay entrance. With Kenobi's ship's engines failing, the two fighters breached the vessel's defenses and crashed in the hangar, and there the Jedi made quick work of the security droid resistance. The Jedi reaching the ship also meant that Flight Squad Seven's mission was complete. Oddball directed his squadron to eliminate necessary targets and stay close in case the Jedi needed cover on their way out of the ship.
Back with the Jedi, R2-D2 located Palpatine's homing beacon, and they headed towards the signal emanating from the upper observation deck, but Grievous knew that the Jedi would come aboard his flagship, as Dooku had predicted it beforehand. He was requested on the bridge via the ship's captain and was told that the Jedi were now being tracked.
As the two Jedi headed towards Palpatine, they boarded a turbolift upon a quick evasion from a trio of destroyer droids, where Kenobi and Skywalker found a group of security battle droids. They requested for the Jedi Knights to drop their weapons, however, backfired when it caused them to drop their own guard instead, giving the Jedi Knights an opportunity to cut them all down. After a brief misadventure when the lift they were using was abruptly stopped, Kenobi and Skywalker were assisted by R2-D2 in getting to the top of the Invisible Hand, where they found Palpatine being held captive. Similarly, R2-D2 was briefly captured by two patrolling B2-series super battle droids shortly thereafter, although R2-D2 managed to escape by spraying them with oil, and then igniting the oil when activating his thrusters to fly off, burning them to inoperability. This was simply another example of the astromech's heroics, and if he had failed at any point in the battle it would have ended in a disaster for the Republic.
Duel with a Sith[edit | edit source]
- "Get help. You're no match for him. He's a Sith Lord."
"Chancellor Palpatine, Sith Lords are our specialty."
- ―Palpatine and Obi-Wan Kenobi
Before the Jedi were able to release Palpatine, Darth Tyranus, publicly known as Count Dooku, arrived with two B2 super battle droids. He jumped down from the balcony and engaged the Jedi in a fierce duel. However, he found himself unable to fight both Skywalker and Kenobi at once, so he Force pushed Kenobi away from the duel so he could focus on fighting Skywalker. However, Dooku still began to tire as Skywalker drove him back up the stairs to the balcony. Kenobi, quickly recovering, brought down the Sith Lord escort and continued to attempt an attack on him from behind. Dooku, however, simply kicked aside Skywalker and incapacitated Kenobi more permanently by slamming him into a railing with the Force and causing debris to fall on him. Angered, Skywalker kicked Dooku back off the balcony and once again engaged him. Sensing that Skywalker was holding back his anger and hate, Dooku taunted him, hoping to disrupt his concentration. However, it had the opposite effect: it infuriated Skywalker to the point where he tapped into the dark side. He attacked Dooku with his rage and hatred, throwing fast, heavy attacks against the Sith Lord. Dooku could barely deflect his opponent's blows, let alone fight back, and was even singed by his own blade at one point. Finally, Skywalker managed to overpower Dooku's defense and cut off his hands. Grabbing Dooku's lightsaber with his offhand, he held both blades in a scissor position around the now-defenseless Sith Lord's neck.
Still bound to his chair, Palpatine commended Skywalker's victory and proceeded to goad him to kill Tyranus, causing Dooku to look at Palpatine with a shocked expression on his face, as he was shocked that his own master was betraying him. Skywalker was hesitant at first, as killing a defenseless opponent—which Dooku now was—was against the Jedi way. However, with Sidious goading him on and saying do it, he gave in to his hatred and beheaded Dooku. This move left the Confederacy of Independent Systems without its leader, founder, and main political figure.
Continued battle[edit | edit source]
- "All batteries, fire, fire!"
- ―The captain of the Invisible Hand, after engaging the Guarlara
As the duel ended, the Invisible Hand was intercepted by the Venator-class Star Destroyer Guarlara, engaging in a brief firefight against each other, with the Invisible Hand taking extensive damage in the process, causing the ship to momentarily plummet towards the planet below before control was regained by its crew. With many essential systems failing, the Invisible Hand had become a decaying space wreck and Skywalker's priority was now to escape. Gathering the unconscious Kenobi against Palpatine's request to leave him behind, they headed for the turbolifts. Skywalker discovered that the elevator wasn't functional and ordered R2-D2 to reactivate the elevator.
Kenobi regained consciousness soon after, and the trio headed for the hangar, but before they could reach it Grievous learned that they were in hallway 328. The cyborg ordered that the ray shields be activated; as such, the shields dropped on the Jedi and Palpatine, trapping them. Skywalker was sure that R2-D2 would arrive and release the shields, but as the astromech came screeching in, droidekas unfolded and aimed at him, and a super battle droid even kicked him down to his back after being zapped in the wrist blaster. Surrounded and outnumbered, Kenobi humorously asked if Skywalker had a backup plan. The Jedi, along with the Chancellor and R2-D2, were captured and taken to the bridge and brought before Grievous.
Confrontation with Grievous[edit | edit source]
- "Ah, yes, the negotiator: General Kenobi. We've been waiting for you. That wasn't much of a rescue."
"And, Anakin Skywalker, I was expecting someone with your reputation to be a little... older."
"General Grievous, you're shorter than I expected."
- ―General Grievous and Anakin Skywalker meeting for the very first time
After the Jedi, Palpatine R2-D2 were brought aboard the Invisible Hand's bridge, the cyborg general mocks Skywalker and Kenobi on their failed rescue and took their lightsabers from an OOM command battle droid, noticing that Anakin Skywalker was in front of him, finally meeting him face-to-face, both mocking one another, Skywalker angering Grievous in the process. Boasting about adding their lightsabers to his collection, Kenobi assured Grievous that this time he wouldn't escape. R2-D2 suddenly distracted the guards at Skywalker's command with his tools, and Skywalker and Kenobi were able to summon their lightsabers back as Grievous ordered his MagnaGuards, IG-101 and IG-102, to dispose of the Jedi. After a quick battle, the Jedi easily defeated the droids and freed Palpatine from the grip of two security droids. Grievous ordered the crew to keep the ship in orbit, but soon the pair of Jedi closed in on the cyborg, intent on capturing him. Grievous, however, grabbed an electrostaff that one of his MagnaGuards had dropped and threw it into the damaged bridge viewport, shattering it.
Grievous allowed himself to be sucked out into space to escape the Jedi and later re-entered the ship through a hatch. The Neimoidians and OOM pilot battle droids quickly abandoned the bridge, and some of the pilot droids were cut down by the Jedi. In an attempt to foil the Jedi's escape, Grievous launched every escape pod on his flagship, fleeing in one, and his pod was recovered by the Lucrehulk-class Battleship Profusion. The Invisible Hand's hull sagged under the pressure of Coruscant's gravity well, and began a meteoric plunge toward Coruscant.
The ship's internal gravity quickly switched polarities due to the gravity well, but despite everything Skywalker took control of the helm, and attempted to pilot the wreck to a safe landing on Coruscant. Rapidly losing structural integrity, the entire rear half of the Invisible Hand tore off due to the atmospheric stress and the loss of the ship's tensor fields. Oddball witnessed the ship fall and break in half, and he later said that he didn't expect that the Jedi would survive. In spite of the heavy damage, Skywalker, Kenobi, and Artoo managed to successfully crash-land the ship on a long emergency runway in Galactic City. With the loss of their flagship, the failure of their main objective, and the death of Count Dooku; Grievous and the surviving elements of the depleted Separatist armada retreated in disgrace. Not all ships could follow however, as a full third of the Separatist armada had been lost, whether it was due to engine damage, critical ship failures or destruction. More ships under the command of organics like Neimoidians or Muuns surrendered, but droid starfighters did not. It took hours for clone pilots to clear out the rest of the vulture droids, tri-fighters, and Hyena bombers.
Aftermath[edit | edit source]
- "Soon I will have a new apprentice, one far younger and more powerful."
- ―Darth Sidious, conferring with General Grievous after the battle
Palpatine was quickly returned to the Republic, where he was greeted by various senators and Master Mace Windu. After landing on the capital, Obi-Wan returned to the Jedi Temple, and Skywalker went with the group of politicians. Palpatine praised the heroics of the Jedi who had rescued him and mentioned how they had killed Count Dooku, but how Grievous had once again escaped. Palpatine informed Windu that the Senate would continue the war as long as Grievous lived, so Windu made sure the Jedi's top priority would be finding the General. Skywalker briefly talked with Senator Bail Organa, as R2-D2 reunited with C-3PO. Skywalker then secretly met with his wife, Padmé Amidala, and it was their first meeting in some time, as the Jedi Knight had been away fighting the Outer Rim Sieges. There Padmé revealed that she was pregnant, and she questioned what they would do because she knew Skywalker was a Jedi and marriage was against the Jedi Order's rules.
Dooku's death at the hands of Skywalker precluded the Jedi from learning more about Darth Sidious. When Tano informed Kenobi during the Siege of Mandalore that Maul had knowledge about Sidious, Kenobi suggested them to capture Maul so maybe he could reveal Sidious' true identity to the Jedi Council.
At some point after the battle, Oddball gave a post-mission summary of flight squad seven's mission. The pilot went over their launch to the destruction of the Invisible Hand. The pilot mentioned that after he saw the CIS flagship break in half that he believed that the Jedi would not escape.
The Separatist were dealt a crippling loss from Coruscant, with an entire third of the Separatist Armada lost. Worse than that though was the loss of their leader, Count Dooku. After his death, Grievous became the Confederacy's new Head of State, but it greatly destabilized the Separatist control structure. Without the assurances of victory from Dooku, the members of the Separatist Council, particularly Nute Gunray, began to doubt the abilities of their new leader to keep them safe for much longer. Meanwhile, the Jedi High Council made tracking down Grievous and bringing him to justice their utmost priority in hope of finally ending the war. The Jedi Order would go on to track him to Utapau, where they launched an assault in which Kenobi confronted and killed Grievous only a few days after the Battle of Coruscant.
During the Battle of Utapau, Palpatine successfully achieved his goal of converting Skywalker to the dark side of the Force, and took the fallen Jedi Knight as his new apprentice, thus replacing Count Dooku. The Chancellor dubbed Skywalker as "Darth Vader" and executed Order 66, branding the Jedi as traitors and creating media that the Jedi were behind the whole Clone Wars. With the Jedi Order destroyed, Palpatine transformed the Republic into the Galactic Empire.
The Battle of Coruscant had shown that dangers existed close to Coruscant, and this meant Palpatine faced almost no opposition to expanding the military and making a central authority. The Clone Wars had finally ended and while the galaxy had technically achieved peace, it was at the cost of freedom. As recounted in Hondo Ohnaka's Galactic Explorer's Guide, falling debris from the orbital combat left scars that marred Coruscant's cityscape for decades.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
- "[Lucas] has also altered the beginning of the film. Instead of starting with seven battles on seven planets, Episode III now opens with a huge space battle. Our heroes crash-land into a 'bad guy ship,' perhaps Neimoidian, where there will be lots of 'cliffhangers, from one near-death experience to another Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom aboard a ship.' The ship might be breaking apart. He asks the artist to work on a 'grand control room and a grand office.' The heroes will be trying to rescue a kidnapped character. For their escapades, he asks the artists to come up with dangerous situations, or what are generally referred to as 'gags'...He then reveals that Anakin and Count Dooku will have a huge deal aboard the ship. The entire opening sequence should last about twenty minutes."
- ―Jonathan W. Rinzler on Episode III's opening battle
In the DVD commentary for Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas said that he wanted the Battle of Coruscant to serve as a bridge between the prequel and original trilogy, utilizing ARC-170s as the precursor to X-wings, and including vulture droids from Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. Anakin Skywalker's and Obi-Wan Kenobi's fraternal relationship through the battle is unmistakable from the 1939 classic film Gunga Din.
Originally, the Battle of Coruscant was first developed as one of a montage of planets, as the initial story of Episode III was to open with a series of Clone Wars battles across the galaxy. Another unused idea was that Shaak Ti was intended to die during the battle, impaled through her heart by General Grievous aboard the Invisible Hand. Though this scene was present in the storyboards and early drafts for the film, it was deleted from the final cut of the film. Likewise, an idea dropped in the early stages of writing had Palpatine revealing to Anakin that Dooku paid the Tusken Raiders to kill his mother so Skywalker's hatred could be fueled to kill Dooku.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Star Wars Journeys: Beginnings
- Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures – "Jedi vs. Sith - The Skywalker Saga"
- 5-Minute Star Wars Stories
- Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir 3 (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Old Friends Not Forgotten" (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (First appearance)
- Revenge of the Sith Golden Book
- Revenge of the Sith Read-Along Storybook and CD
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Phantom Apprentice" (Mentioned only)
- Ahsoka (Indirect mention only)
- Ahsoka audiobook (Indirect mention only)
- Lords of the Sith (Mentioned only)
- Lords of the Sith audiobook (Mentioned only)
- A New Dawn (Mentioned only)
- A New Dawn audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Rebels – "Shroud of Darkness" (Indirect mention only)
- Force Collector (Indirect mention only) (Vision to Karr Nuq Sin)
Non-canon appearances[edit | edit source]
- LEGO Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
- William Shakespeare's Tragedy of the Sith's Revenge: Star Wars Part the Third
- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales – "Crisis on Coruscant"
- Star Wars Blips – "Fan Droids" (Appears in hologram)
Sources[edit | edit source]
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Old Friends Not Forgotten"
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- Star Wars: On the Front Lines
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 28
- Star Wars Lightsabers: A Guide to Weapons of the Force
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- Star Wars Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles
- Star Wars Journeys: Beginnings
- Star Wars: Complete Vehicles
- Collapse of the Republic
- Jedi of the Republic – Mace Windu 1
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Phantom Apprentice"
- Star Wars: The Galactic Explorer's Guide
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith DVD commentary
- Star Wars Insider 87
- STAR WARS EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH (2005) at Imaginary Cinema (Web archive)