- "Now is the time to strike. Now is the time to launch our final operation."
- ―Darth Sidious
The Battle of Coruscant, also known as the First Battle of Coruscant, was a crucial Clone Wars battle in 19 BBY. Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, knowing the Jedi were close to discovering his alter ego, Sith Lord Darth Sidious, ordered General Grievous, leader of the Military of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, to kidnap him. Also he swept into the system and catching the Republic Coruscant Defense Fleet completely by surprise. The Confederate Navy hammered the few defending warships, destroying them, before assaulting the planet itself.
Meanwhile, Grievous, along with his MagnaGuard droid elite, used the battle above as a distraction, and landed on the planet, fighting their way towards Palpatine's bunker, as several Jedi and dozens of clone troopers protecting the Chancellor were killed. Grievous succeeded in capturing Palpatine, before fleeing to his flagship in orbit, the Invisible Hand. Tyranus was aware of this and led on by Sidious to believe that this was part of his plan to convert Anakin to the Dark Side, but was really unaware that Sidious had intended for Anakin to kill him and then replace him as Sidious's apprentice.
However, the fleet was unable to leave, as Republic reinforcements had arrived and trapped the Separatists. The two fleets engaged each other, firing volleys back and forth. Jedi Generals Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker arrived at the battle. They boarded the Invisible Hand, made their way to the Wizard's Tower, where Palpatine was being held. Before the Jedi could rescue Palpatine, Count Dooku arrived with an escort of two super battle droids. After a brief duel, Skywalker defeated Dooku. Dooku was then betrayed by his master, as Sidious had Anakin kill him. The duo, along with the now-freed Palpatine, were captured by General Grievous before they could make their escape. Skywalker and Kenobi were able to defeat his MagnaGuards, forcing the General to flee. With the loss of the flagship, the Separatist fleet retreated, having suffered heavy losses. Chancellor Palpatine was safe in Republic hands.
Alas, neither the Republic nor the Jedi were aware that Palpatine had orchestrated the battle, and was also testing Anakin Skywalker, whom he was grooming to be his new apprentice.
- "General, I'm certain you recall the plans we discussed some time ago, regarding the final stage of the war."
"Regarding Coruscant, yes. We must accelerate those plans. Prepare, General, for what will be your finest hour."
- ―Darth Sidious and General Grievous, shortly before the Battle of Coruscant
Prior to the attack, the Outer Rim Sieges had enmeshed millions of Republic and Separatist warships in vast campaigns in the galaxy's spiral arms. As a result of this, most of the Republic's Jedi were locked up in battles far away from the Core Worlds, and thanks to carefully controlled propaganda, the general populace believed that a total Republic victory was near.
With the Republic fleets spread throughout the Outer Rim Territories and the Coruscant Defense Fleet depleted and off guard, the Confederates had an opportunity to deal a mighty blow to the Republic by attacking Coruscant. Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, leader of the Republic, was aware that the Jedi were searching for a Darth Sidious, a mysterious Sith Lord who they believed had orchestrated the war. Unknown to them was that Palpatine was Sidious, and he was controlling both sides, in hopes of obtaining his true goal—complete galactic control. Palpatine planned a lightning raid on the planet led by General Grievous, Supreme Commander of the Droid Armies. Grievous assembled an armada of thousands of destroyers and frigates—led by the Providence-class destroyer Invisible Hand—for a strike on Coruscant.
Meanwhile, the Republic Group, an anti-Palpatine, pro-Galactic Republic group, decided to retrieve and unveil the Insignia of Unity, which had earlier been stolen by them. They then sent a request for the spacers Tobb Jadak and Reeze Duurmun to come to Coruscant to discuss retrieving it.
The Separatist invasion of the planet
- "An attack on Coruscant seemed unthinkable. So when the CIS struck at the heart of the Republic, few were prepared. For X1 and I, it was just another chance to prove ourselves in battle."
- ―Clone trooper X2
General Grievous timed the strike to coincide with Chancellor Palpatine's State of the Republic address. Thousands of delegates, including Padmé Amidala and Bail Organa, who would otherwise not have been on Coruscant, remained planetside for post-speech celebrations, and would be there when the Separatists struck. Through the use of a secret hyperspace passage through the Deep Core supplied to them by Darth Sidious, the Separatists managed to jump right on top of the Coruscant Home Fleet, catching them completely by surprise. Most of the Republic ships, caught off-guard with their shields down, were destroyed instantly, but at least a thousand Venator-class Star Destroyers remained intact and functional. Using a jamming signal similar to the one deployed at the Battle of Praesitlyn, the Confederate Navy managed to disrupt all HoloNet transmissions throughout the planet.
While the attack was taking place, an investigation conducted by a team consisting of Jedi Masters Mace Windu and Shaak Ti, Captain Dyne of Republic Intelligence, ARC commander Valiant, and his clone troopers was taking place within Darth Sidious' hideout in the Works. Inside the building, they were able to track Sidious' path from the building by his footprints; following the trail, the team ended up in the sub-basements of 500 Republica, where they were temporarily halted by security. After being cleared by the building personnel, they continued to follow the trail, but found it to disappear in the middle of an unremarkable ferrocrete floor, and numerous other footprints covering the floor masked where it might have picked up again. It was at this point that a group of ships surrounding the Republica plummeted to the ground. Alarmed, Windu and Ti took half of Dyne's soldiers and left the building through one of its skydock tunnels. Outside, they realized that Coruscant was under attack, and Ti was dispatched to find Palpatine while Windu put the clones on crowd control and left to get backup.
Dyne and Valiant, meanwhile, remained in the Republica to continue the search. After scanning the basement, Dyne realized that transmissions on regular frequencies were jammed, and sent a group of probe droids to search for more unusual frequencies; they found one, emanating from the very spot Sidious' trail had disappeared. After discovering a hydraulic turbolift, the two rode it into the depths of 500 Republica. There, they discovered a large metal doorway, behind which, the probe droids said, was one organic and several droids. Dyne and Valiant moved to advance on the door, but upon hearing someone speaking Geonosian, they turned around to find a pair of Geonosian guards aiming at them with sonic blasters. The Geonosians opened fire instantly, and their blasts sent Valiant and his soldiers' mangled bodies flying into the door. Dyne slammed into a wall, his insides liquefied. As he lay there, the door opened and Sidious stepped through, observing the scene. In his dying moment, Dyne recognized him as Palpatine.
Outside, the Republic fleet closed in on the Confederate ships and positioned themselves in a defensive screen around the planet. Grievous tried to create the impression that his strike was borne of desperation, as he haphazardly dispersed his warships to target communications satellites, orbital mirrors, and random targets on the surface. Numerically inferior due to half the home fleet being reassigned to the Outer Rim Sieges, the Republic naval commanders fought conservatively while they waited for reinforcements to arrive from the distant battlefields. Anticipating this, Grievous positioned warships at key hyperspace reversion points and deployed mass-shadow mines to delay the arrival of any additional Republic ships.
The Republic quickly figured that the Confederacy was using the same jamming device as they did on Praesitlyn and were able to eventually return transmissions to normal. Thousands of new ships that had been secretly constructed by Kuat Drive Yards for Palpatine, along with many clone troops secretly bred on Centax-2 made their combat debut and entered the battle. They began inflicting some losses on the CIS fleet, even managing to destroy several battleships. In retaliation, Grievous ordered Vulture droid fighters to perform suicide attacks on landing platforms, skyways, and pedestrian plazas in Coruscant's Senate District, causing many military and civilian casualties. Separatist landing craft were deployed onto the surface of the planet, unloading hundreds of thousands of battle droids to create an elaborate diversion while Grievous prepared a raiding party intent on capturing the Supreme Chancellor. Chaos ensued throughout the city, with much collateral damage inflicted in the fighting.
- "Well done, gents. With flying like that, the Republic is well on its way to victory."
- ―A 501st Legion clone trooper
Desperate to repel the Confederacy, the Jedi sprung into action alongside the Grand Army of the Republic. After Windu alerted Jedi Master Yoda of the attack, he joined fellow Jedi pilot Saesee Tiin in boarding their interceptors and engaging enemy starfighters in the skies above Galactic City. Windu's starfighter was eventually overwhelmed by a swarm of Separatist ships; though his wings were rammed off, sending his fighter plunging down, he managed to jump out and take control of an enemy Vulture droid, which he used to assist ARC-170 squadrons.
Elsewhere, Yoda, leading the clone security forces on the surface in the defense of the besieged Senate District, used the Force to throw droidekas into enemy fighters and pull enemy landing craft into one another. Afterward, he moved to help clone forces being overrun by Separatist battle droids and super battle droids in Sector Four. The clone troopers were aided by Windu, who crash-landed his Vulture droid in the middle of the battle droid formation. Hoping to gain reinforcements, Yoda contacted the Jedi Aayla Secura, located on the Outer Rim world of Felucia, but Secura determined that she was too far away and so instead put in motion a plan to capture Shu Mai, one of members of the Separatist Council.
The Republic's Special Operations Brigade began to mobilize and Yayax Squad was sent to defend HNE headquarters in support of an artillery division based near there, to ensure that it could continue to broadcast. Jedi Master Arligan Zey, the brigade commander, retreated to a secure command center and sent out a Code Five signal to all Special Operations Brigade personnel with the Mid Rim, recalling them to Coruscant. Omega Squad soon responded and arrived in a GAR rapid assault vessel. They contacted Zey, who ordered them to make their way to Coruscant's main utility stations and give ground support to mobile anti-aircraft batteries. However, before they could do this, they were attacked by a Separatist fightercraft and were forced to crash land. They received new orders to make their way to the tactical control center of GAR HQ and were able to hitch a ride there in a passing Coruscant Security Force assault ship.
The assault ship had been deployed as part of a Coruscant Security Force operation to keep civilians away from the battlefield. They were eventually deployed at HNE HQ and fought alongside Yayax Squad there, under the command of the ARC trooper, Lieutenant Aven. The Separatists were trying to capture it intact, so had sent in ground troops, which they had to fight off. A wave of super battle droids attacked them, but were easily defeated as some were weakened due to the sabotage of the factories where they were produced, to make them produce inferior droids. They also received air support, in the form of two Low Altitude Assault Transports, which finished off most of the droids. Afterward, the center's civilian staff prepared a mobile transmitter to move to a more safe location, while Aven received word over his comlink that the Separatist blocking of the system had been bypassed and thousands more Republic ships had joined the battle.
The Mandalorian Kal Skirata decided to use the battle as an opportunity to break the captured Separatist scientist Doctor Ovolot Qail Uthan out of the Valorum Center. Skirata wanted Uthan, because he believed that he wanted her help to develop a cure to stop the accelerated aging in clone troopers. He entered the center along with Bardan Jusik, Ordo Skirata and Fi Skirata; Kal and Jusik masqueraded as officials from the Chancellor's office, while Fi and Ordo dressed as regular clone troopers. They persuaded the center's staff that they had been authorized to take Uthan to a more secure location, to prevent the Separatists from freeing her. They also took with them Arla Fett, who they unexpectedly found in the facility. They left in an LAAT/i flown by Walon Vau and retreated to a safe house in the lower levels.
Meanwhile, on Coruscant, Amidala was leading the evacuation of the Senate Apartment Complex with Captain Typho and her droid C-3PO when she met up with fellow senators Bail Organa and Mon Mothma. On their way out, the three ran into the Jedi Shaak Ti and Stass Allie, who informed them that they were looking for the Supreme Chancellor. The Jedi lent the senators Allie's speeder to get them to a shelter. With Organa piloting, they fled for safety, but were shot down by Vulture droids and crash-landed in a public plaza. Unfortunately for them, the droids followed them and prepared to attack the three Humans. Amidala and Organa found blasters in a nearby crashed speeder and began to goad the droids into a position where Low Altitude Assault Transports could take them out. However, the droids suddenly stopped, and took off into the air.
In space, Jedi Master Saesee Tiin led a group of twenty-two Jedi in Eta-2 Actis-class interceptors past the Separatist blockade in order to relay a distress signal through the Jedi's emergency HoloNet beacon. Tiin then proceeded to help lead the orbital defense of Coruscant. He landed in the hangar of the Venator-class Star Destroyer Impavid. The vessel was critically damaged by enemy turbolaser fire, and Tiin and his troops boarded the Providence-class carrier/destroyer Prosperous, commandeering it and using the ship's turrets to blast other enemy ships.
Despite these successes, the Jedi realized too late that the Republic had been lured into a feint and that General Grievous had outmaneuvered them to reach his primary objective—Supreme Chancellor Palpatine.
The capture of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine
- "Kenobi, Skywalker, Coruscant is under siege, and General Grievous has abducted the Supreme Chancellor. You must return immediately. You must rescue Palpatine."
- ―Mace Windu
Prior to the Separatist attack, Palpatine was awarding two Force-sensitive clone troopers, X1 and X2, for their courageous efforts at the recent Tatooine invasion. Upon hearing the first sounds of the battle, the troopers left to join the fray. Meanwhile, Shaak Ti returned to 500 Republica with fellow Jedi Stass Allie, Roron Corobb, and Foul Moudama, this time to Palpatine's suite. They were at first denied access by Palpatine's Red Guards, but when Palpatine completed his trip from the basement, the guards let the Jedi in just short of Ti forcing her way through. Palpatine, along with his adviser Sate Pestage and Director of Republic Intelligence Armand Isard, met with the Jedi inside. The Chancellor refused to evacuate to a secure bunker, insisting that he set an example by not hiding away, though Isard, Pestage, and even the captain of Palpatine's guards agreed with the Jedi that he needed to leave. Sensing a perturbation in the Force, Ti and Allie tackled Palpatine to the ground as the gunships outside the suite's window exploded, and a Separatist craft carrying Grievous and a band of battle droids rose into view. Grievous blew open the window and, as the battle droids poured into the room, Allie and the Red Guards set up a defense while Ti hurried Palpatine deeper into the suite.
The skimmers, meanwhile, had taken up the attack on Grievous' ship, and soon enough the general and his droids were forced to withdraw. As Isard alerted Homeworld Security that Grievous had broken through Coruscant's defensive perimeter, Palpatine had decided it was indeed time to evacuate. Grievous, however, quickly returned, bursting through the window. Palpatine stood his ground, facing down Grievous, but Ti pulled him back with the Force and the group ran, with a squad of clone troopers and a Senate Guard remaining in an attempt to hold back Grievous. Suspecting that the prepared escape routes had been compromised, Ti had the party hurry to one of Republica's private turbo lifts. Having defeated the troopers blocking him, Grievous ambushed the Chancellor's party as they were waiting for the turbolift to arrive. Corobb, an Ithorian, used his four throats to emit a powerful blast that tore up the hallway and drove Grievous back long enough for them to enter the lift. Grievous attempted to catch up with the turbolift, but the Chancellor's clone trooper escort fired a rocket through the lift's wall, blowing Grievous off the side of the building. At the bottom, Ti saw no sign of Dyne and Valiant, and the group made their way through the tunnel to the east skydock. They had not escaped the Separatist forces yet, though; Grievous was waiting with an army of B2 super battle droids outside. Corobb used his trick yet again, buying them the time they needed to escape.
During his search, one of Grievous's Magnaguards faced off against X2, who destroyed it. The clone trooper soon spotted the droid General himself and began following him through the battle-torn Coruscant; X2 eventually tracked Grievous to a Skylane transportation hub. Tired of X2's persistence, Grievous ambushed the trooper there and attacked him. X2, however, used explosives against Grievous that threw him into the planet's traffic and injured him. Having faced with a challenging enemy, Grievous decided to retreat and continued his search for Palpatine. Rejoining with X1, X2 took an ARC-170 starfighter and joined the space battle.
Meanwhile, the Jedi hurried through the city, leaping from platform to platform with two MagnaGuards closely in pursuit. They jumped onto a floating barge, but were shortly joined by four MagnaGuards and Grievous himself, who disabled the barge's repulsorlift generators. The Jedi fled into a subway station, leaping over trains and narrowly avoiding death as they fought the MagnaGuards on the tracks. Shaak Ti finally managed to destroy two of the droids, and Corobb destroyed another. As Grievous appeared and backed the Jedi into a tunnel, Shaak Ti used the Force to wrap his cape around a pipe on a train carriage. She activated the train, and Grievous was yanked down one of the tunnels. The Jedi decided that air vehicles would be too risky, and, meeting with Windu and Fisto, boarded a maglev train that would get them near the bunker.
However, Grievous's gunboat retrieved the General and he caught up with the Jedi's train. Battle droids boarded the train, followed by Grievous himself; Fisto took on two of the General's MagnaGuards, while Windu dueled the cyborg atop the train. The duel ended with Grievous being pushed off the train, although he was saved by a hijacked LAAT/i gunship, unbeknownst to the Jedi. Once the train reached a repulsorlift platform, Ti, Allie and Palpatine, accompanied by Corobb, Moudama, Roth-Del Masona, and B'ink Utrila, rode a gunboat to Sah'c Town, where the secure bunker was waiting. Fisto and Windu split from the group and went in pursuit of Grievous' droid gunboat. However, upon destroying it, they found nothing more than a super battle droid, and returned to the bunker, realizing this had been a diversion that would lead to the Chancellor's kidnapping. Outside the bunker, Corobb, Moudama, Masona, and Utrila led the Chancellor inside while Ti and Allie stayed outside to assist in defense. Grievous's hijacked LAAT/i gunship suddenly appeared, successfully penetrating the bunker's shield and crashing in the process. He then made his way inside, with six MagnaGuards in tow. Shaak Ti, realizing the Chancellor's safety had been compromised, split off from Allie and joined the four Jedi Knights in protecting the Chancellor.
Inside the bunker, Grievous and his bodyguards cut a bloody path of destruction throughout, defeating a number of clone troopers and security personnel. Using a code provided by Sidious, he made his way into the central room of the bunker. Meanwhile, the Chancellor and the Jedi found a turbolift that would lead them to the central room. Ti insisted that she stay behind to hold off any of their pursuers; Palpatine and the Jedi felt unsure in abandoning Ti, but she claimed it was to assure the Chancellor's safety. As the turbolift hurried off, Ti engaged in combat with a large number of MagnaGuards that emerged from the darkness. She was temporarily deprived of her lightsaber and nearly overwhelmed, but managed to obtain an electrostaff from one of the MagnaGuards, reclaiming her lightsaber and using both weapons to fight her enemies off.
Once the four Jedi escorted the Chancellor to the center of the bunker, they were confronted by Grievous, who engaged them in a lightsaber duel. In the early stages of the fight, Corobb and Moudama managed to get the General into a saber-lock, but it was at this point that his arms split into four, grabbing the lightsabers on his waist and provoking the general to lunge forward at the Jedi. He toyed with his foes for a time before decapitating Masona first. Corobb, who accidentally kicked Masona's head across the room during the fight, lost his focus and became distracted long enough for Grievous to kill with a stab to the heart. Putting forth his best effort, Moudama charged the General but lost his lightsaber arm and then his left leg before being disemboweled. He then toyed with Utrila, letting her gain a slight advantage by striking the General in the arm. Finally, Grievous put his enemy out of her misery with a stab to the heart.
Meanwhile, Shaak Ti finished off the last of Grievous's MagnaGuards, just as the droids retreated back into the shadows. Realizing they were a diversion for Grievous to reach the center of the bunker, she raced to the scene, just as Grievous was threatening Palpatine. As Shaak Ti ran into the room, she saw Grievous holding the Chancellor by the neck collar, the latter of which remarked dryly how she had come to his rescue. She charged at Grievous, but she was too exhausted from her engagement with the MagnaGuards. Grievous was aware of this, so he quickly subdued her by the neck with one split hand, confiscated her lightsaber for his "collection" and trussed her into a stun-net as to warn the Jedi of the Chancellor's capture.
As Grievous fled with his captor to a tri-wing shuttle stationed nearby, Windu and Fisto arrived in their gunship. The General, equipping his four lightsabers, prepared to confront the Jedi Master; however, Windu Force crushed the plates covering Grievous's internal organ sac, injuring his lungs and aggravating the General's already irritating wheezing and coughing problems; a result of his organic form not taking well to his cyborg implants. As the General coughed violently, his lungs cut by bits of duranium, the shuttle lifted off; Windu leaped upward in an attempt to board it, but the shuttle's laser canons fired at him, knocking him back down to the landing platform and leaving him fuming. Windu and Fisto, meeting up with Stass Allie and Corrob's Padawan Drake Lo'gaan, entered the bunker, searching for the occupants. Once at the central room, they found Shaak Ti incapacitated, with the four Jedi slain. Neither Grievous nor Palpatine were in sight, and Lo'gaan, distraught, cradled the body of his dead master while Allie collapsed at the sight of the slain Jedi Knights. Shaak Ti, lamenting her failure, showed Windu and Fisto a security recording of Grievous's escape, while a clone trooper explained that the General had exited through way of the south tunnels. Although the two were astounded by the general's audacious move, Windu ordered the troopers to recall any Jedi pilots as to help them pursue Grievous.
A failed rescue
- "Jettison the bodies. Choose a place where the Republic can have a good look at them."
- ―General Grievous, after the deaths of Pablo-Jill and Sageon
As Grievous piloted the tri-wing shuttle into orbit, a number of Jedi pilots including Tiin, Kolar, L'lacielo Sageon and Pablo-Jill joined Mace Windu and Kit Fisto in their pursuit of the General. As the shuttle carrying Palpatine and Grievous neared the Invisible Hand, several Republic frigates and corvettes diverted from the main battle and joined the Jedi in their pursuit. Windu and the Jedi were right behind Grievous when a swarm of five hundred droid fighters, launched from a Trade Federation battleship, enveloped the shuttle in a defensive screen. As the shuttle neared its destination, the flagship opened fire on the pursuing Jedi fighters. While one of their comrades was killed, Pablo-Jill and Sageon were captured by the Invisible Hand's tractor beams and brought into hangar bay. The two Jedi attempted to defeat Grievous and rescue the Chancellor, but were killed by the droid general in a lightsaber duel. Their bodies were jettisoned into space for the Republic's citizens to see.
Safely aboard his command ship, Grievous broadcast a message across the HoloNet, revealing the capture of the Chancellor, and proclaiming an end to the Republic's corrupt reign, inciting panic and fear among the Republic populace. However, before he could flee, thousands of Republic warships from the Open Circle Fleet arrived in system and engaged the Separatist fleet. The reinforcements and the beleaguered Home Fleet trapped the Separatist ships in Coruscant's upper atmosphere, under the planetary shields. Falling ships from both sides struck the planet's surface, the impacts destroying large sections of the city.
During the battle, the spacers Tobb Jadak and Reeze Duurmon arrived in their ship, the Stellar Envoy, during the intense portions of the conflict to meet up with the Republic Group. Upon arrival at the planet, they are tasked to procure an object from an individual named Folee that would restore the Republic from Palpatine's nigh-dictatorial rule. However, the meeting was interrupted by the arrival of the Republic Director and avid Palpatine supporter, Armand Isard, who sent a battalion of clone troopers in pursuit of the spacers, having learned the Republic Group's plotting against Palpatine.
Meanwhile, the Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker had been searching for Count Dooku, alias Darth Tyranus, on the planet Tythe in the Outer Rim Territories. After exploring a ruined building where Dooku had been, the two returned to their Venator-class Star Destroyer the Integrity, where word of the attack on Coruscant reached them. The Jedi immediately readied their interceptors and prepared for battle.
Skywalker and Kenobi's intervention
- "This is where the fun begins!"
- ―Anakin Skywalker
Unable to escape Coruscant, the Invisible Hand had sustained heavy damage from the guns of Republic Star Destroyers over the course of a full day of battle. A screen of Separatist battleships, destroyers, and frigates sheltered the flagship from further harm, but after hours of sustained fighting, the craft's deflector shields were failing.
The 501st Legion was immediately given mission objectives to board their starfighters in a Venator-class Star Destroyer's hangar and head out to counter the Separatist fighters, engaging them in fierce dogfights. Their goal was to clear a path for Skywalker and Kenobi. The pilots proceeded to destroy a number of Vulture droids and a Munificent-class star frigate, as well as the shields and communications array of a Providence-class carrier/destroyer. Several 501st fighters then landed in the enemy cruiser hangar, exited their vehicles, and manually blew up the inner engine cooling tanks and auto turret defense system. Jumping back into their fighters, the pilots circled the Providence cruiser, destroying its bridge.
At that instant, Kenobi and Skywalker jumped out of hyperspace with a vanguard from the Fifth Fleet of the Open Circle Fleet. Taking advantage of the opportunity the 501st had created, they piloted their fighters towards Grievous' flagship. They were unable to communicate with the Jedi High Command due to heavy Separatist ECM scrambling, and were unsure if any other Jedi were out there fighting to rescue Palpatine. As they approached, they found hundreds of Vulture fighters and tri-fighters swarming protectively around the general's command ship, and the Jedi engaged the fighters with the help of Clone Flight Squad Seven. The two Jedi were also assisted by X2, who served as their escort and dispatched many Vulture droids. The clones took heavy casualties, and Skywalker was ready to go back and help them.
Kenobi, however, would not let him, insisting they stick to the mission. As the duo closed in on the Invisible Hand, they noticed that another destroyer was moving in to assist Grievous's flagship. Kenobi dispatched X2 to hijack that ship. When the clone infiltrated the destroyer, Kenobi sent two more troopers to assist him. The clones successfully reached the starship's bridge and took control of the vessel, and X2 used its weaponry to destroy the Invisible Hand's turbolaser defenses, as well as some Vulture droids that were attacking the approaching Jedi.
Soon, Kenobi and Skywalker were attacked by a swarm of Vulture droids. The droids fired missiles at them, but Skywalker managed to evade them by barrel rolling, which caused the missiles' flight paths to intersect. Kenobi, however, could not avoid the missiles targeting him, and they finally exploded, releasing buzz droids that attached themselves to his ship's hull. His astromech droid R4-P17 was destroyed, and the droids were rapidly disabling Kenobi's Jedi interceptor as well. Skywalker saved his friend by firing on the buzz droids as well as smashing into Kenobi's ship and crushing them, but he also destroyed the port dorsal radiator on Kenobi's interceptor in the process. One surviving buzz droids also managed to climb aboard Anakin's Jedi interceptor, although R2-D2, at the guidance of Kenobi and Skywalker, managed to deactivate it by zapping it in the center eye with its lightning gun.
As they hurtled toward Grievous's flagship, Skywalker, after being narrowly reminded by Kenobi and R2 that the flagship's shields were still up, took advantage of the fact that the warship's main deflector shields had been partially compromised and 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 crash-landed in the hangar, where the Jedi quickly eliminated all security droid resistance. After R2-D2 located Palpatine's homing beacon, they headed towards the signal emanating from the upper observation deck.
But Grievous knew that the Jedi would come aboard his flagship, which Dooku had predicted beforehand. He was requested on the bridge via the ship's captain Lushros Dofine and heard that the Jedi were now being tracked.
As the two Jedi headed towards Palpatine, they were confronted by more droids in the hall along with wreckage and locked doors, but were able to overcome these obstacles. After boarding a turbolift upon evading destroyer droids, Kenobi and Skywalker were held up by a battalion of B1-Series battle droids, although their request for the Jedi Knights to drop their weapons 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 stopped, Kenobi and Skywalker were assisted by R2-D2 in getting to the top of the Invisible Hand's conning tower—the location of the general's quarters—where Palpatine was being held captive. Likewise, R2-D2 was briefly captured by two patrolling B2 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.
The Duel on the Invisible Hand
- "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 could release Palpatine, however, Dooku arrived, flanked by two super battle droids. Leaping down from the balcony whence he came, he engaged the Jedi. Referring to their earlier failure to stop him on Geonosis, Kenobi told Skywalker that they're to fight him together, with Skywalker mentioning he was about to suggest the same. The two Jedi began the duel by utilizing basic attacks of the forms Ataru and Shien in an attempt to deceive Dooku. At first, Dooku was able to easily counter their attacks with his mastery of Makashi. However, he was caught off guard when they switched to their more advanced and preferred forms of Soresu and Djem So.
Dooku proceeded to Force-push Kenobi out of the way so he could focus on Skywalker. Ducking a fierce swing, Dooku led Skywalker up the stairs to the balcony. Meanwhile, Kenobi brought down the two droids and headed over to attack Dooku from behind. However, Dooku kicked Skywalker aside and quickly incapacitated Kenobi, slamming him into one of the walls with the Force. In order to ensure Kenobi could not rejoin the fight, Dooku then used the Force to cause various debris to fall right on top of Kenobi, leaving him unconscious and pinned down. Enraged, Anakin kicked Dooku off the balcony and engaged him again. Dooku sensed through the Force that the situation had instilled fear in Skywalker. Seeking to exploit this, he then taunted Skywalker, attempting to apply the Sith Dun Möch technique with the hope of disrupting Skywalker's concentration. However, he had incorrectly assumed that Skywalker was afraid of facing Dooku alone, when in reality, the fear that Dooku had sensed was out of Skywalker's concern for Kenobi's safety. The attempt backfired, and Skywalker then began to feed off of the Dark Side, raining down fast, heavy power attacks against his opponent. Dooku was then forced backward, and his overconfidence in his control of the situation and underestimation of Skywalker would prove to be his undoing. With his strength and aggressive lightsaber technique, Skywalker finally overpowered Dooku's defenses and cut off both his hands. Catching Dooku's lightsaber, he held both blades in a scissor arc toward the Sith Lord's neck.
The shackled Palpatine commended Skywalker's victory and encouraged him to kill Dooku, thus betraying his apprentice. Dooku was shocked and horrified at his masters command. Dooku then finally realized that his master never considered him a true Sith Apprentice, but really a pawn he could use and discard. Skywalker was hesitant to kill Dooku at first, claiming that it was not the Jedi way to execute a defenseless enemy. Despite his misgivings and with Palpatine goading him on, Skywalker gave in to his anger and desire for revenge and beheaded Dooku, bringing an end to the Separatist firebrand. Nonetheless, Skywalker immediately regretted the decision, with Palpatine feigning sympathy regarding Skywalker's regret, and also acknowledged it wasn't the first time Skywalker gave in to anger, alluding to Skywalker's slaughter of the Tusken Raiders after they tortured the latter's mother, Shmi Skywalker Lars, to death.
- "After disabling the final capital ship, General Kenobi and Skywalker took advantage of the opportunity we'd created and rescued the Chancellor. Took all the credit, too."
- ―Unidentified 501st clone trooper
As the confrontation between the Jedi and Sith ended, the Invisible Hand entered a direct engagement with the Venator-class Star Destroyer Guarlara, exchanging broadsides with the warship. Both sides fired at the other with heavy turbolasers. The Republic destroyer managed to damage the Invisible Hand's systems, causing it to lose control. Sustaining crippling damage, the Separatist command ship temporarily fell toward Coruscant before regaining control. However, with artificial gravity, tensor fields, and inertial compensators failing, the ship had become a rapidly decaying space wreck.
Escape was now Skywalker's priority. He gathered up the unconscious Kenobi, despite Palpatine's demand to leave him and headed back for the bank of turbolifts. However, due to damage sustained during its battle with the Guarlara, the turbolift system was rendered non-functional, and with the Invisible Hand accelerating a descent down to Coruscant, Skywalker and Palpatine were forced to travel directly down the shaft. Before they could reach their destination, however, the ship, due to the bridge crew activating the ship's emergency booster engines at Grievous's order, righted itself, thus causing Skywalker and Palpatine hang onto a ledge, the jolt of which also resulted in Kenobi regaining consciousness. To make matters worse, the turbolift Anakin called for earlier also descended to their location due to miscommunication with R2-D2, nearly crushing them. Skywalker attempted to call R2-D2 to stop it, but Kenobi told him to jump, realizing there was no time for that. They eventually ducked inside an open elevator door, narrowly evading the speeding elevator.
The Jedi then headed for the hangar with the Chancellor. As they headed back to the hangar, the Jedi were confronted by battle droids, which they dispatched. They then received word that a Republic cruiser was being attacked by a Separatist cruiser, and its systems were failing fast. Anakin took control of a laser turret nearby, and fired on the Separatist cruiser, eventually destroying it. After this, the Jedi continued on to the main hangar bay. Before they could reach it, however, Grievous learned that they were in Hallway 328 of the Invisible Hand and ordered that the ray shields be activated; likewise, the shields dropped on the Jedi and Palpatine. 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; a super battle droid even kicked him down to his back after being zapped in the blaster arm. The Jedi, along with the Chancellor and R2-D2, were captured and taken to the bridge and brought before Grievous.
The droid general took Kenobi and Skywalker's lightsabers, boasting about adding them to his collection, but the Jedi, after warning him that he won't escape "this time," were able to recover them with the help of R2-D2, who used beams of electricity to distract the guards. The Jedi were able to summon their lightsabers back as Grievous ordered his MagnaGuards to dispose of the Jedi and make sure they suffered. After a quick battle, the Jedi defeated the droid warriors (with Obi-Wan initially having difficulty due to beheading the droid not destroying it) and closed in on Grievous, intent on capturing him. Grievous, in his weakened state, grabbed an overloaded electrostaff wielded by one of his MagnaGuards and threw it into the damaged bridge viewport, shattering it violently.
Grievous allowed himself to be sucked out into space, and later re-entered the ship through an escape pod hatch. In an attempt to foil the Jedi's escape, he launched every escape pod on his flagship and fled to a nearby Trade Federation battleship. Simultaneously, a communications error between Republic forces led to Home Fleet Strike Group Five savagely attacking Invisible Hand, this time dealing fatal damage to the ship's systems. The Separatist command ship began a meteoric plunge toward Coruscant.
Taking control of the helm, Skywalker attempted to pilot the wreck to a safe landing on Coruscant. Losing structural integrity, the entire rear end of the Invisible Hand tore off due to atmospheric stresses. Despite this, Skywalker, in order to avoid adding to the already massive damage Coruscant had already sustained from the fighting, successfully crash-landed the ship on a long, seldomly-used landing platform at the industrial center in Galactic City with the help of Fire Team Three (at the cost of two of its members), although the landing also resulted in the destruction of one of the observation towers on the platform in the process. With the loss of their flagship, the failure of their main objective, and the recovery of their supreme commander, Grievous, the surviving elements of the depleted Separatist armada retreated in disgrace to the Outer Rim. A few pockets of fighting carried on among the anti-Republic elements of the Coruscanti population, who had risen up during the battle. However, they were eventually defeated. While the battle had been raging above them, a group of agents from the Cularin system had been fighting the Dark Jedi Garth Ezzar in the Undercity and not long after the fall of the Invisible Hand, they finally succeeded in killing him.
- "Soon I will have a new apprentice, one far younger and more powerful."
- ―Darth Sidious, conferring with General Grievous after the battle
It was later revealed that the battle's only purpose was to get Darth Sidious off the capital to thwart the Jedi's attempts to track him down. Sidious also used the capture of his alter ego Palpatine to see if Skywalker could use his anger to defeat Darth Tyranus and become the perfect apprentice for Sidious. His ruse was so effective that even the Jedi were fooled. Afterward, Sidious contacted Grievous shortly after the latter arrived at his base at Utapau, ordering him to relocate the Separatist Council to Mustafar. Upon processing the order, Sidious then told the general that the war's end was near. Although Grievous protested that the loss of Count Dooku meant the Separatists are likely to lose the war, Sidious assured him that Dooku's loss was a necessary one, and inferred that he will soon gain a new Sith apprentice, one that would be much younger and more powerful.
With the loss of Dooku, Grievous assumed the title head of state of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, but it greatly destabilized the Separatists' power structure. Without the assurances of victory from the Sith Lord, the members of the Separatist Council began to doubt the abilities of their new leader to keep them safe for much longer. Back on Coruscant, the Jedi Council made tracking down Grievous and bringing him to justice their utmost priority.
Coruscant itself suffered extensive damage, due to the combination of Separatist bombing, vulture droid strikes, wrecked ships crashing, and the harsh urban warfare on the surface. Some of the large craters created during the battle were still in existence even after the end of the Clone Wars.
Meanwhile, the Stellar Envoy, due to it attempting to evade pursuing Republic forces, was forced to make an erratic jump in hyperspace to Nal Hutta, instead of Toprawa. The Stellar Envoy then crashed into the side of a bulk cruiser, significantly damaging it and resulting in Duurmun's death and placing Jadak into a seventy-year coma, to which his legs were later amputated due to being non-salvageable from the crash.
29 years later, a similar incident to the destruction and landing of the Invisible Hand would be practiced by Anakin Skywalker's son, Luke Skywalker, when he along with Lando Calrissian were shot down by Imperial Forces aboard the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Liberator over Coruscant in an infiltration mission gone awry. Like Anakin before him, he would safely land the remains of the Liberator on Coruscant with little casualties.
Behind the scenes
The Battle of Coruscant was created for Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, where it serves as part of the exposition. The Battle of Coruscant has also been described in other sources such as the novel Labyrinth of Evil, which is actually its first appearance, and the animated television series Star Wars: Clone Wars. In video games such as Star Wars: Battlefront II and the Revenge of the Sith video game, portions of the battle are playable.
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 The Phantom Menace. The New Essential Chronology stated that the battle lasted for a week. However, the Revenge of the Sith novelization stated it lasted only a "long, long day."
Accounts of this battle have been conflicting and which version is the canonical depiction is ambiguous. This discrepancy is primarily due to the fact that the Star Wars: Clone Wars series and the novel Labyrinth of Evil (published two months before the Battle of Coruscant Clone Wars episodes aired) gave differing versions of what happened. In the animated series, Mace Windu and Yoda together destroyed a small army of battle droids, whereas Labyrinth of Evil did not show Yoda participating in the battle and depicted Windu helping to protect Palpatine, dueling Grievous aboard a maglev train, which was mentioned in the Revenge of the Sith novelization. In Labyrinth of Evil, the Jedi defending Palpatine in the bunker (Roron Corobb, Foul Moudama, Roth-Del Masona, and B'ink Utrila) were defeated relatively quickly by Grievous and did not join in protecting him until relatively late in the battle, whereas in the animated series Corobb and Moudama assisted Ti in protecting the Chancellor from the beginning, going on a long chase through the city before finally being defeated by their quarry—Utrila and Masona were never present. Also, in Labyrinth, Stass Allie assisted Shaak Ti in protecting Palpatine, while in Clone Wars, Allie never appears. The webstrip Reversal of Fortune attempted to reconcile the two accounts somewhat.
Another inconsistency between the two works is where Kenobi and Skywalker were located prior to returning to Coruscant. In the novel, they visit Tythe before Coruscant, but in the series, they visit Nelvaan instead (which Dooku only pauses at in the novel). Initially, Leland Chee retconned this by stating that the Nelvaan events occurred after Tythe, but this was overwritten by The New Essential Chronology, which fixed the events the other way around. Therefore, this article includes information from The New Essential Chronology, which integrates details from both Labyrinth of Evil and Clone Wars.
In the GBA and DS versions of the video game adaptation of Revenge of the Sith, Anakin, shortly after learning about his secret mission to act as a spy for the Jedi Council regarding Palpatine's activities from Obi Wan, had to take out several Confederacy droids as well as an AAT that were suspected to have been secretly planted by the Separatists. In addition, in the DS version only, just before Anakin arrived at the Jedi Temple, Anakin had to take out a squadron of Vulture Droids that arrived to cause chaos throughout the city.
The battle was also featured in the video game Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron for the PlayStation Portable and the Nintendo DS. The two versions of the game are very different in their portrayal of the battle. This article currently describes the events as depicted in the Nintendo DS version. In the PSP edition, X1 and X2 participated in the battle and immediately engage Separatist forces in orbit around Coruscant. First, they fought enemy droid fighters, and eventually X2 and some clone troopers boarded a Providence-class carrier/destroyer. Inside the ship, X2 commandeered its orbital strike cannon and used it against Separatist ground forces that had been deployed onto Coruscant's surface. This provided the Republic support by hampering the Confederacy's ground invasion. Once complete, X2 and his clone brothers departed the ship in escape pods and reached the planet's surface in order to support the Republic's forces against the Confederacy. X2 reached Jedi General Mace Windu's location, and Windu tasked him with repairing a defense turret in order to blast Separatist barricades surrounding the Senate building. After X2 has completed the task, he and Windu reached the building and faced off against Grievous and his Magnaguards. After a short battle, the droid General retreated.
The Battle of Coruscant also appeared in the non-canon video games LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game, LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga, and Star Wars: Battle Above Coruscant. The first two functioned similar to the film and the Revenge of the Sith video game, with Kenobi and Skywalker battling droid starfighters in space, and then fighting battle droids in the hallways of the Invisible Hand. The latter resembled the space portion of the Battle of Coruscant.
- Star Wars: Battlefront II
- Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron
- Obsession 1 (Mentioned only) (First identified as First Battle of Coruscant)
- Reversal of Fortune
- Labyrinth of Evil (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Battle for the Republic
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 23"
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 24"
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 25"
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith comic
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith novelization
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith unabridged audiobook
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith video game
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith junior novelization
- Evil Eyes
- Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel
- A Hero Seeks Not Vengeance (Mentioned only)
- Dark Times 6 (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Republic: Hidden Enemy (Mentioned only)
- Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight (Mentioned only)
- Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- Agent of the Empire – Iron Eclipse 1 (In flashback(s))
- Agent of the Empire – Iron Eclipse 4 (In flashback(s))
- Skywalkers (Mentioned only)
- "Walking the Path That's Given" — Star Wars Tales 21 (Mentioned only)
- The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars Galaxies: The Complete Online Adventures (Mentioned only)
- Millennium Falcon
- Millennium Falcon audiobook
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (PS2, PSP, Wii versions' historic mission)
- LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
- Star Wars: Battle Above Coruscant