- "You think this will save you, Princess? This display of resistance only delays the inevitable—and seals your fate."
- ―Imperial Commander Karg
The Battle of Kattada took place in 1 BBY, during the time of the Galactic Civil War, and was fought between the Galactic Empire and the Alliance to Restore the Republic in the planet Kattada's main spaceport of Haleoda. Shortly after arriving on Kattada, Rebel-allied crew members of the CR90 corvette Tantive IV were confronted by an Imperial force under Commander Karg and Lieutenant Spilik. The Imperials had been given orders to arrest the crew of the Tantive IV, among them Princess Leia Organa, if the corvette landed on any other planet than Organa's homeworld of Alderaan.
After an Imperial attempt to arrest Organa, and the Kattadan leader Mia Ikova because she aided Organa, left Ikova wounded, Rebel Captain Raymus Antilles had the turrets of the Tantive IV fire upon the Imperials. This crippled the Imperial's Sentinel-class landing craft, and destroyed the shuttle's communications. Forced to confront the stranded Imperials, the crew members and Kattada's troopers attacked after a short reprive in the fighting. The Rebels triumphed after they managed to breach the defenses that the Imperials had created around the shuttle. The fighting was costly for both sides, with Ikova succumbing to her wounds and both Imperial officers dying. In the end, Organa's true colors were not revealed to the Empire.
- "So Leia, what service are you seeking? Delivery, or receipt?"
"You do get to the point, don't you? Very well. I have a shipment of supplies that I need delivered… to the Rebels on Ralltiir."
- ―Kattadan leader Mia Ikova and Princess Organa
In 1 BBY, during the Galactic Civil War between the Galactic Empire and the Alliance to Restore the Republic, key Alliance member Princess Leia Organa attempted to transport combat-related medical supplies to the Rebels on the Imperial-subjugated planet Ralltiir utilizing the CR90 corvette Tantive IV. That trip occurred during Operation Skyhook, a Rebel project to obtain the plans for the Empire's massive battlestation known as the Death Star in order to destroy it. During the Tantive IV's stay on the world, the crew members of the corvette, all loyal to the Alliance, picked up Basso, a wounded Rebel soldier who had made it past the Imperial presence on Ralltiir to get in contact with Organa and deliver information hypno-imprinted into his memory, which was only accessible with medical equipment not held aboard Organa's corvette. To treat his wounds, the crew members of the starship put Basso in a healing bacta tank. However, Organa was unable to deliver the medical supplies to the Rebels after the Imperials whom Basso had evaded, led by Lord Tion, threatened to search the Tantive IV for anything that might connect Organa to the Rebel cause. Organa prevented Tion from searching the ship, and the corvette left Ralltiir, its mission a failure.
Hoping to find some other way to get the medical supplies to Ralltiir, Organa and the crew of the Tantive IV traveled to the world of Kattada, where they landed in the biggest spaceport, Haleoda. Organa then met with Mia Ikova, the elected leader of Haleoda, in private to ask if Kattadan smugglers could take the Tantive IV's medical supplies to Ralltiir. Ikova agreed, and the supplies were unloaded. Meanwhile, an Imperial landing force led by Commander Karg and Lieutenant Spilik rushed to intercept Organa and the rest of the corvette crew upon orders from Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader. The Dark Lord wished to detain Organa and the others if they traveled to any world besides Organa's homeworld of Alderaan. Just as Organa and the crew members were ready to depart Kattada to return to Alderaan, one of the Kattadan soldiers warned Organa and Ivoka of an approaching Imperial Sentinel-class landing craft, which contained the Imperial landing force. After the vessel touched down next to the Tantive IV, the Imperials attempted to detain Organa and the others. Although Captain Raymus Antilles of the Tantive IV had the crew members and troopers on the corvette arm themselves with blasters and man the ship's turbolaser turrets, Organa sought to end the confrontation peacefully.
- "You men, stop wasting your fire on that ship! Your blasters can't penetrate its hull. Get on board! Power up the shields and the guns! Get ready to launch the missiles."
- ―Lieutenant Spilik
Organa's ideas of a peaceful solution were destroyed when the Imperials attempted to arrest Ikova alongside the members of the Tantive IV for aiding the Princess. Two Kattadan guards stepped forward to help their mistress, and the Imperials fired a blaster volley, killing the two guards and wounding Ikova. Organa, who would have gone peacefully with the Imperials had Ikova not been shot, ordered the members of the corvette to open fire on the Imperials with the corvette's turrets. The attack forced the Imperial stormtroopers and scout troopers to fall back to their ship, although Karg stood firm and confronted Organa at blasterpoint as she was tending to Ikova. Antilles had one of the Tantive IV's turrets shoot Karg, wounding Karg severely, and saving Organa from death.
On the Imperial side of the battlefield, Spilik prevented his troopers from firing on the attacking corvette, as the Imperial's blaster fire would not damage the ship. Instead, the Lieutenant ordered his men to get aboard the landing craft and prepare guns and missiles for action. Meanwhile, upon Organa's insistence, both Karg and Ikova were brought aboard the Tantive IV to have their wounds tended in the medical bay. Antilles reported that the fight so far had cost them no casualties, but he warned the Princess of the damage that could be done if the Imperials contacted their fleet command.
The possibility convinced Organa to grant Antilles permission to turn the turrets of the corvette onto the Sentinel-class shuttle's communications array and landing gear, leaving the shuttle crippled and the Imperials unable to call for backup. However, the deflector shields of the shuttle were still operational, and Spilik, the commanding officer in charge at that point, ordered for them to be brought to full strength. Meanwhile, Organa overruled Antilles' decision to finish off the Imperials and instead had the Tantive IV move away from the danger of the battlefield so they could tend to Ikova's wounds. The corvette landed a short distance from the fighting.
Lull in combat and ground assault
- "It's started! Don't wait for targets! Open fire!"
- ―An Imperial scout trooper
On board the grounded corvette, Organa, alongside Mia Ikova's father and the Tantive IV's medical crew, witnessed Ikova make her last wish that the supplies would get to Ralltiir before she died from her wound. After accusing Organa of killing him, Karg too died from his injuries. Back at the battle site, the Imperials under Spilik dug in, removing panels in the landing pad to create trenches, as well as preparing their artillery-class E-Web heavy repeating blasters for battle.
The shields of the landing craft were at full strength as well, though the speeder bikes in the ship could not be accessed, as the Imperials could not pry the hatch open. A scout trooper reported the situation to Spilik, who wondered why their enemies had let them hole up and refrained from attacking right away. On the Tantive IV, Organa consulted with Basso, who had recovered from his wounds from Ralltiir, on the possibility of a ground assault against the Imperial positions. Though Organa at first did not want to pursue such a course of action as it would be too costly, Basso convinced her that there was no other way. By then, Imperial High Command had listed the patrol to Kattada overdue, and the Imperial forces were waiting for another patrol ship to arrive by midday.
Back at the battlefield, the Kattadans, along with the crew members and troopers of the Tantive IV, resumed the battle against their adversaries. Enemy blaster fire against the Imperials caused them to respond with their own, exposing their position. This allowed the Rebel allied forces to thin the ranks of the Imperials with a sniper volley. However, before the Imperials could target and take out the snipers, the Rebel forces charged the Imperial position, although others, including Organa and Antilles, stayed behind. In the end, Organa's forces overwhelmed those of Spilik, and the Lieutenant himself perished in the battle, with only a handful of Imperial troops surviving to surrender.
- "Our people will have the Imperial ship dismantled, and all traces of the battle hidden before another patrol arrives. Not a word of what transpired here will pass anyone's lips."
- ―A Kattadan
Because the Rebel-allied forces prevented the Imperials on Kattada from contacting their superiors, the Empire failed to gain solid proof that Organa was associated with the Rebel cause. Following the battle, the Kattadans assured the crew of the Tantive IV that the Imperial landing craft would be dismantled and all other evidence of the battle tucked out of sight before another Imperial patrol arrived. Organa and the others from the Tantive IV left for Alderaan in hopes of having the doctors on Organa's homeworld unlock the information stored in Basso's memory. After the Rebels discovered the existence of the Imperials' massive Death Star battlestation via Basso's information, Organa was assigned the mission to retrieve the Death Star plans from Rebels in the Toprawa system.
Behind the scenes
The Battle of Kattada first appeared in the fifth and sixth issues of the Dark Horse Comics series Star Wars: Empire. Released in 2003, the two issues formed the story arc Princess... Warrior, written by Randy Stradley and illustrated by Davidé Fabbri, Christian Dalla Vecchia, and Digital Chameleon. 2004's Star Wars Miniatures: Ultimate Missions: Rebel Storm by J.D. Wiker contained instructions for a game scenario of the Battle of Kattada that could be played with Rebel Storm characters. In the game scenario, the players take control of the Imperials and the Rebels at the time the two forces are in a standoff. If the Imperial player kills Organa or manages to repair their transmitter and call for help, he or she wins, while the Rebel player wins if the majority of the Imperials are defeated, or if none of the Tantive IV's crew attacks and at least one of the Kattadans survive the fighting. In 2008's The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, the battle was identified for the first time as the Battle of Kattada in the entry for Basso. The battle was later referenced in 2009's The Essential Atlas, written by Jason Fry and Daniel Wallace.
- Star Wars: The Comics Companion
- Star Wars Miniatures: Ultimate Missions: Rebel Storm
- Star Wars: Panel to Panel Volume 2: Expanding the Universe
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (First identified as Battle of Kattada)
- The Essential Atlas
Notes and references
- According to Star Wars: Empire at War, Captain Raymus Antilles is assigned by Mon Mothma to the Tantive IV after a Rebel raid over Corulag. Since Antilles is in command of the corvette during the battle of Kattada, the Corulag operation must happen before it.
- Empire 5
- The Essential Atlas
- The zero point between years in the Galactic Standard Calendar falls between the second and third months of the Great ReSynchronization year, or the start of 35:3 in the case of 0 ABY. As this battle falls in 35:2, it occurs in 1 BBY.
- Galaxywide NewsNets places the Subjugation of Ralltiir in 35:2 GrS.
- Empire 6