- Palpatine: "Doctor Boll has stated that only droids will be affected by the bomb's electron field."
- Sionver Boll: "Yes. The clones and your people will be quite safe. We have accounted for every probable outcome."
- Mace Windu: "It's the improbable that concerns me, Doctor. There must be other options."
- ―Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and Doctor Sionver Boll assure Doge Nakha Urus and Jedi Master Mace Windu about the safety of the electro-proton bomb[src]
The Battle of Malastare, one of the longest and fiercest engagements of the Clone Wars, took place in 22 BBY on the planet Malastare. Hostilities commenced when an invasion force of the Confederacy of Independent Systems assaulted the Mid Rim world, which had fuel reservoirs necessary for the Galactic Republic to maintain its offensive. After an extended period of fighting, the battle appeared to conclude with a Separatist victory, so Republic Supreme Chancellor Palpatine authorized the use of an untested superweapon, the electro-proton bomb, which was capable of deactivating technology by means of an electromagnetic pulse.
As the Republic forces and Malastare's native Dug units occupied a final position near Doge Nakha Urus' palace, a flight of bombers dropped the electro-proton bomb on the advancing Confederate droid columns. The weapon successfully deactivated the enemy army, but it also created a sinkhole, which swallowed Republic men and equipment. Rescuers led by Jedi Master Mace Windu discovered that a gargantuan creature—the Zillo Beast—had been awoken by the blast. Although the Dugs attempted to kill the beast, fearing that it would destroy their civilization, Palpatine desired to save the monster for possible experimenting, as its armor could not be penetrated by lightsabers or blasters. Eventually, a force of stun tanks subdued the beast, which was then taken to the Republic capital world of Coruscant for study, and a treaty was signed with the Dugs, providing the Grand Army of the Republic with fuel.
- "We need that treaty signed, so we can gain access to the fuel reserves here on Malastare. Without it our armies shall be vulnerable."
"I will do my best."
- ―Republic Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and Dug leader Doge Nakha Urus
In 22 BBY, the first year of the Clone Wars, the rich natural fuel reserves of the Mid Rim planet Malastare became crucial for the Galactic Republic, whose war effort would have suffered a severe setback without them. Therefore, Palpatine, the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic—who was secretly a Sith Lord called Darth Sidious—intended to secure the world. This made the planet a strategic target, as the Confederacy of Independent Systems was also interested in these natural resources. To ensure the fuel supply of the Grand Army of the Republic and prevent Malastare from joining the Separatists, Palpatine wished to sign a treaty with the Malastarian council. The Dugs' leader, Doge Nakha Urus, headed this body, and, therefore, he and the council had control of the fuel reserves.
- "I won't allow my people to become Separatist slaves!"
- ―Doge Nakha Urus
After an extended period of combat, the Confederacy's droid units were on the verge of capturing Malastare. In an attempt to turn the tide of the battle, Palpatine authorized the Republic Army to utilize a new superweapon called the electro-proton bomb, which could release an electromagnetic wave capable of disabling droids and vehicles within its explosive radius. The weapon had never been tested before, and Nakha Urus and Jedi Master Mace Windu initially feared the possibility of the weapon affecting Malastare's ecosystem. The pair eventually agreed to the deployment of the bomb at the urging of the Chancellor. Doctor Sionver Boll, the female scientist who developed the bomb, also assured the two that the weapon would impact neither the world nor its inhabitants negatively.
Meanwhile, a T-series tactical droid led the Confederacy's invasion force—consisting of B1 battle droids and B2 super battle droids supported by LR-57 combat droids, Armored Assault Tanks, LM-432 crab droids, Vulture-class droid starfighters, and Hyena-class bombers—toward the Doge's Palace, where Windu, Urus, Boll, and Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker were gathering.
As clone troopers, led by Commander CC-6454 and Captain CT-7567, and supported by All Terrain Tactical Enforcers supplemented with Dug forces that included cavaliers riding insectomorphs and artillery, went on the defensive, several Y-wing bombers and ARC-170 starfighters escorted by V-19 Torrent starfighters took off from the Doge's palace under orders from Skywalker. While the ARCs began strafing the Confederate army, the bomber carrying the superweapon—piloted by clone pilot "Goji," the leader of Red Squadron—maneuvered over the target area and dropped its load. The ensuing explosion and electromagnetic pulse damaged and deactivated the droid army, along with several Republic vehicles and pieces of technology.
- "The ground is sinking!"
- ―Jedi Master Mace Windu
The detonation of the bomb caused parts of the surface to collapse, creating a sinkhole. Several clone troopers, AT-TEs, and LAAT gunships fell into the pit, which also damaged pipes coming from a fuel facility. The Jedi dispatched search parties to retrieve the men, but contact was soon lost with them, so Urus, Windu, and Skywalker traveled to the hole in a gunship to investigate. Windu assigned Skywalker to Urus, while he and CC-0411 flew down the crater with a group of clone troopers. After finding some survivors, the Jedi Master continued his search with three clones, also calling Skywalker to the spot.
When the surface they were standing on began to move, the team members realized they were standing atop a creature. The clones opened fire on the creature to no avail, as their blasters could not pierce the beast's skin. The clones fell off the beast, which killed one trooper, but Skywalker arrived in his starfighter and began circling around the monster's head to distract it. Windu and his escort were airlifted by an arriving LAAT/i gunship, but Skywalker's fighter was damaged by the creature, causing the vehicle to crash. The Jedi Knight attempted to engage the beast, only to find that its skin was lightsaber-resistant. Skywalker was forced to jump on R2-D2, his astromech droid, who used his thruster jets to flee the scene. Urus later informed the Jedi that the creature was none other than the last surviving Zillo Beast—a ninety-seven-meter-long monster that used to prey on the ancestors of the Dugs before its species was supposedly driven into extinction when the harvest of the fuel began.
Soon, Dug rail guns and debris loaders arrived and spent the rest of the day bombarding the beast, illuminating the sinkhole. The two Jedi quarreled with Urus on the matter, as the latter intended to kill the creature due to the danger it presented to the Dugs, as a prophecy said that one of the creatures would eventually eradicate the Dug species. The Jedi stated that ending the life of the last member of a sentient species was against the Jedi Code, but the Dug leader did not allow interference into the subject, dubbing it an internal affair and threatening to reject the fuel reserve treaty if he was not allowed to kill the Zillo Beast with Republic support. This meant that he was using his position to enforce the Republic to accept it. Seeing that there was no hope in convincing the Doge, Windu and Skywalker left.
The Jedi then contacted Chancellor Palpatine, showing him a holorecording of the creature. Windu insisted that the beast be carried off-planet and settled in the Outer Rim Territories, while Boll suggested further study of the monster due to the ability of its skin to resist most weaponry. Skywalker then proposed that the gaps in its armor be targeted with stun cannons, which would put the animal into an unconscious state similar to death. This would allow the Republic to transport the beast away and examine it and satisfy the Dugs as well. The Chancellor, amazed by the monster, accepted Skywalker's plan.
Upon approaching Urus with stun tanks, the Jedi found that the Dugs had already begun their operation; the sinkhole was being filled up with Malastarian fuel, which was said to be lethal to the creature. Windu attempted to convince Urus by threatening him with his lightsaber, but the Zillo Beast climbed out of the sinkhole, destroying the Dug rail guns set up around the perimeter. Seeing this turn of events, the stun tanks opened fire and eventually managed to daze the beast, albeit at the cost of several tanks.
- "Welcome to the Republic, Doge Urus. I'm sure this business arrangement will be mutually beneficial."
- ―Chancellor Palpatine, just after the treaty had been signed
Although the victory was costly, and the battle was one of the longest and fiercest engagements of the Clone Wars, Urus was satisfied and signed the treaty, which provided the Republic war machine with fuel necessary to continue its offensive. The unconscious beast was loaded onto transports after being airlifted by a flight of LAAT/c gunships, but Palpatine and his scientific advisors altered the original plans—which would have had the monster transported to the Outer Rim Territories—and ordered the Zillo Beast transported to Coruscant, the Republic's capital city-planet, so that its armor could be studied for possible use. The Chancellor tasked Windu and Skywalker with escorting the creature to Coruscant.
Studies of the Zillo Beast on Coruscant found that its scales could not be removed without hurting or killing the creature. An angered Palpatine ordered Boll to kill it, but the beast broke free from the facility in which it was analyzed and wrought havoc on the planet. As the beast made its way to the Senate Building, Palpatine, Skywalker, Senator Padmé Amidala, and R2-D2 attempted to flee on the Chancellor's shuttle. Their efforts to escape were foiled, however, when the Zillo Beast grabbed the shuttle and attempted to kill the Chancellor, as it recognized him as a Sith Lord. Skywalker, however, managed to cut the ship in two, thus allowing them to escape. Not long after, LAAT/i gunships arrived, which dropped Malastarian fuel bombs on the creature, killing it. As the lifeless body of the Zillo Beast was transported away, the Chancellor ordered Boll to clone the creature—a command that surprised her.
The Confederacy also took notice of the Zillo Beast's destructive capabilities. Later in the war, the Confederacy covertly dispatched a number of heavily-cloaked commando droid shuttles to Malastare, hoping to gather a sample of the Zillo Beast's DNA so that Confederate technicians could clone another and use it as a war beast. Most of the Confederate forces, however, were destroyed by a tribe of uncivilized Dugs, who honored the Zillo Beast as a deity and used the droid parts to build a large statue in the shape of the beast. After detecting the presence of Confederate battle droids on Malastare, the Republic dispatched Skywalker's Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, and Master Plo Koon, along with a squad of clone troopers, to investigate. They found the scrap statue and were forced to fight both the Dugs and the remaining Confederate forces, defeating both.
Behind the scenesEdit
The battle made its debut in the eighteenth episode of the second season of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series, titled "The Zillo Beast." It eventually received its official name in the next episode, "The Zillo Beast Strikes Back," and also made a non-canonical appearance in the video game LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars, serving as the game's epilogue.
In LEGO Star Wars, the level depicting the Battle of Malastare is divided into two parts. The first part is one of the game's several real-time strategy levels, in which the Republic and the Confederacy battle on the surface. Both sides control a number of ground bases, which allow the controlling side to build defensive weapon emplacements and troop barracks and to call vehicle reinforcements. The playable characters Windu, Skywalker, CC-0411, and CT-7567 are required to capture one of the enemy bases, which allows the Republic to build a targeting paddle for the electro-proton bomb. The second part of the level is the battle against the Zillo Beast. In order to unlock the option to call in RX-200 tanks, several ground cannons must be built first. After the player has deployed several tanks on the battlefield and has concentrated their fire on the Zillo Beast, the creature is knocked down. It tries to attack again but is calmed with a giant pacifier. The Zillo Beast is then carried away by an LAAT gunship, while another gunship carries a giant rattle, and clone troopers follow behind with an equally giant baby bottle.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Zillo Beast" (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Zillo Beast Strikes Back" (Appears in flashback(s)) (First identified as Battle of Malastare)
- LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (Non-canonical appearance)