- "The Banking Clan has hidden huge factories on Muunilinst, building huge droid armies and massive warships. We must act quickly!"
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi
The Battle of Muunilinst was a major engagement that took place within four weeks after the Battle of Geonosis in 22 BBY, initiated by the Republic to put a curb on CIS funding and battle droid production. Storming the planet, the Republic assaulted the main city of Harnaidan, using a team of Advanced Recon Commandos to eliminate key enemy defenses within the city. Meanwhile, Anakin Skywalker led the space assault, taking out various separatist orbital stations.
This was the first battle Durge was seen in, and caused major Republic casualties when he appeared. The IG lancer droids also made their first appearance, jousting with the similar clone lancer troopers of the Lancer Battalion. Despite heavy Separatist resistance, the Republic nonetheless succeeded in capturing the Separatist command, with the efforts of The Muunilinst 10 and other contributing to this. The battle would also signify the Jedi's first encounter with the minion of Dooku's known as Asajj Ventress.
- "I doubt even Master Qui-Gon could have prepared a Jedi for this."
- ―Kenobi's thoughts during the battle prelude
The battle was arranged in a meeting between Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Yoda, and Chancellor Palpatine in the Chancellor's Suite, four months after Geonosis. Anakin and Obi-Wan were enlisted by Palpatine to lead an assault on Muunilinst, home of the InterGalactic Banking Clan. The Intergalactic Banking Clan was a heavy monetary, warship, and battle droid contributor to the Separatists, and the Chancellor believed they could deal the Separatists a major blow by capturing the IGBC's headquarters. Despite concern from Yoda and Kenobi, Skywalker was made commander of the Republic spaceborne forces.
Immediately afterward, a large Republic force was mustered for this task, and was loaded aboard a flotilla of Acclamator-class assault ships. Before leaving, Anakin took the opportunity to bid farewell to his wife Padmé Amidala.
The surface battle
- "Those guns are destroying our forward positions! The Republic is breaking through!"
- ―San Hill responding to SPHA-T fire
The Republic fleet of Acclamator-I-class assault ships led by Anakin and Obi-Wan, encountered resistance as it entered the orbit of the planet Muunilinst. Despite losing several gunships to enemy missile fire, the Republic's invasion force, including gunships and the assault ships carrying SPHA walkers, managed to land on the planet, where they engaged the Separatist Droid Army in front of the city of Harnaidan, while Anakin led the flight groups against Separatist fighter craft in orbit. Hundreds of assault ships landed throughout the heavily fortified world, with their hulls filled with troops and vehicles, even though they took losses. They proceeded to besiege the cities.
The Republic forces made considerable progress during the initial stage of the Harnaidan siege, with SPHA artillery pieces concentrating fire on the ground just before the clone front lines. Any units coming to the front lines on the Separatist side were almost instantaneously decimated by artillery barrage, forcing the droids to pull back. Buildings fell quickly to the amount of artillery firepower as the SPHA batteries were brought to the frontlines, which caused much collateral damage.
- "You are the best; the elite."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi
During the initial landing, the specialized landing craft of the ARC troopers of The Muunilinst 10 was deployed to go on a special mission within Harnaidan. These ARCs were led by Captain Fordo. Pulling away from the main force, it entered the city with little difficulty.
However, they were shot down by a missile launcher-wielding battle droid, and the gunship crashed into a street. After taking out surrounding droid snipers, taking one casualty in the process, the troops found they were cut off from their original drop zone, but still made their way to the enemy command center. Along the way, they faced off against an Armored Assault Tank, which they successfully destroyed with a ARC Trooper shooting it from inside, blowing it to pieces.
After reaching the Separatist command center, the commandos eliminated surrounding droids and proceeded to lay explosive charges on a large cannon that was bombarding the Republic forces. Once the cannon was destroyed, they rappelled up to the roof of the command center to await Kenobi. The destruction of the artillery gun contributed to CIS commander San Hill's fear about the battle, as he now believed that the Republic artillery reached far enough into the city to blow up the cannon.
- "Mount up."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi
The Republic's initial success panicked San Hill, and he turned to the bounty hunter Durge, who was present, and demanded to know why Count Dooku would dispatch him to the battle if all he was going to do was stand around. Durge responded by briefly grappling Hill, and then decided to move into action with a contingent of IG lancer droids. Leaving the CIS command post, Durge and his force of droids moved to the front lines and tore towards the heart of the Republic's forces, causing huge casualties in the Republic ranks and destroying nearly all the SPHA walkers.
Durge's success spurred General Kenobi to lead a team of clone lancer troopers out to meet Durge's forces. The two bands of swoop riders entered into a vicious mass joust, both clone and droid alike being impaled or thrown aside like debris. Obi-Wan and Durge both slew a good share of the enemy. As both sides sustained massive casualties, the two commanders spotted one another and engaged in personal combat.
On the first jousting pass, Durge deprived Kenobi of both his lance and helmet. In response, Kenobi drew his lightsaber and on the second pass, sliced Durge's lance to pieces and destroyed his bike. As he charged in to skewer his dismounted opponent, Durge, in an incredible display of strength and reflex, caught Kenobi's swoop by the steering vanes and flipped the Jedi off. Wielding the bike as a club, Durge then charged Kenobi. Kenobi sliced it to pieces and stabbed Durge through the chest. Durge merely laughed, surprising Kenobi.
Durge's decentralized Gen'Dai physique allowed him to easily survive the stabbing, and he proceeded to beat Kenobi with his fists. Kenobi, with his saber still lodged in Durge's chest, couldn't retaliate, and was lifted bodily off the ground by a solid punch to the gut. Durge proceeded to fire at Kenobi with a small rapid projectile launcher, but the Jedi deflected the slugs with the Force. Switching to a flamethrower, Durge's attacks were again deflected and the flamethrower was crushed with the Force.
Brandishing a massive flail, he prepared to finish off Kenobi, but Kenobi used the Force to summon his lightsaber back to him and severed the flail's chain. Though he drew his two blaster pistols, Durge was disarmed before he could use them. Switching on the energy shields built into his gauntlets, he deflected Kenobi's lightsaber slashes, but was unable to adequately counterattack.
Kenobi pressed his advantage, Durge barely blocking, until finally, Kenobi sliced of Durge's right arm and bisected him through the middle. After seemingly defeating Durge, he salvaged a remaining swoop on the field and proceeded to join the ARC troopers. As Kenobi jetted off into the city, he failed to notice Durge's body pulling itself back together.
Infiltrating the command tower
- "Ah yes. I believe you were surrendering."
- ―Kenobi to San Hill
After the joust and battle with Durge, General Kenobi rushed through the city to the command tower, where he met up with the Muunilinst 10. Blasting open the roof of the structure with explosives, the troops, led by Kenobi, rappelled into the control room and quickly destroyed all the security droids.
Capturing San Hill, Kenobi offered to spare his life in exchange for an unconditional surrender. Before Hill had a chance to answer, Durge smashed through the tower window into the room on a jetpack. However, he was quickly shot down by concentrated fire from the clone troopers and ARC's. Hill took the opportunity to take cover under the situation table.
Thinking Durge to be dead, the troopers approached the smoking crater they had made, only to be knocked aside by a massive fleshy arm. Durge climbed from the crater, all his armor save a few, small fragments along with his helmet and gloves blasted off, revealing his true Gen'Dai form. He quickly attacked Kenobi, driving the Jedi atop the situation table, which Durge snapped in half with his fists. He was then attacked by clones rappelling down on grappling hooks which they attached to him.
The blaster fire had no effect, and Durge simply ripped the lines from the wall with his sheer strength, toppling the clones. Charging Kenobi, Durge disarmed him and almost literally absorbed him into his body, hoping to suffocate him, and then approached the ARC commander, Fordo. Fordo then fired a taser at Durge, electrocuting him. This only succeeded in enraging the Gen'Dai, who charged Fordo, knocking aside the clones in his way.
However, before Durge could kill him, he suddenly bloated to massive size and exploded. Kenobi had used the Force to push outward and destroy Durge's body from the inside out. Commenting on how much of a mess he had made, Kenobi turned back to Hill, who promptly surrendered.
The space battle
- "This is no droid pilot…"
- ―Anakin Skywalker, concentrating on Asajj Ventress
Meanwhile, Anakin Skywalker was leading the clone navy in a fierce space battle above Muunilinst. Several Republic Acclamator-class assault ships engaged the Confederacy's gun platforms. The Republic's V-19 Torrents were engaged by large numbers of Nantex-class starfighters. Skywalker ordered the clone pilots to disengage, and destroyed large numbers of the enemy fighters with his proton torpedoes.
Pursued by yet more enemy fighters, he ordered his clones to fire all their concussion missiles across the bow of Cruiser 8, much to the confusion of the clones. He flew past the ship as the missiles started arriving; the missiles hit the swarm of fighters pursuing him, destroying a large number of them. Trailed by missiles, Skywalker flew through the hangar of one of the gun platforms. The missiles collided with various objects within the hangar and destroyed the gun platform from the inside. Sustained turbolaser fire from the Republic capital ships destroyed another one.
Only a few Separatist fighters remained, but a mysterious ship appeared engaged the Republic forces, annihilating Blue Squadron. Skywalker personally engaged the fighter, pursuing it into the atmosphere and through the streets of Harnaidan. When the pilot, a mysterious Force-sensitive protégé of Dooku, Asajj Ventress, jumped into hyperspace, the impetuous young Jedi followed, disobeying a direct order from Obi-Wan, leading to a fateful duel.
Conclusion and aftermath
- "The IG Banking Clan has surrendered! The day is ours! The Republic is victorious!"
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi
Having surrendered, San Hill was taken into custody, although he later escaped. The majority of the battle droids were deactivated as Voolvif Monn and the Third Systems Army battled through the Droid Army in Harnaidan, and the battle was won for the Republic.
Meanwhile, Anakin tracked Asajj Ventress down to the fourth moon of Yavin. There, Ventress killed the clone troopers accompanying Skywalker and destroyed his ship. Anakin and Ventress engaged in a lightsaber duel through the jungles and on top of a Massassi Temple. In the end, Ventress was defeated, though not killed. This event was of some significance, as in the process, Anakin was pushed a little closer to the dark side. Years down the road, he would fall completely and become Darth Vader.
After the duel, Skywalker returned to Muunilinst in Ventress's fighter and was scolded by Kenobi for his hotheadedness. Kenobi noted his concern in the Sith's interest in his apprentice. At that point, Kenobi received a transmission from General Daakman Barrek on Hypori, a distress call, which would lead to another significant turn of events with the introduction of a new foe: General Grievous, the Supreme Commander of the Droid Armies.
Behind the scenes
The scene in which the Republic and Separatist forces fight in mounted combat on swoops is meant to resemble a futuristic version of a Medieval joust, further supporting George Lucas' ideas and plans for the Jedi that are related to things such as chivalry and knights.
Although no explicit figure has been given of the size of the Republic assault force, a passage in The New Essential Chronology, describes the Republic besieging the "unassailable castle keep" of the planet Muunilinst with "sheer numbers… hundreds of assault ships, each one groaning from the weight of troopers and war machines". If these ships were Acclamator-class assault ships and were filled to their maximum specifications as would be expected, at least 3.2 million clone troopers would have been deployed to the battle. The main assault ships in this era were the Acclamator-class and the Supercruiser, which was able to take even more troops. At minimal figure, eleven Acclamator-class warships are seen together above Muunilinst in Clone Wars, which would give a minimum troop capacity of at least 176,000. This does not account for the ones that landed on the planet and deployed troops and artillery walkers.
The debate over numbers at Muunilinst is part of a wider disagreement among fans as to the size of the Grand Army of the Republic and the scale of forces involved in the Clone Wars: a book-level canon source states explicitly that the GAR could deploy only 1.2 million clone troopers in total at this stage in the war, rising later to a total muster strength of three million; this is contradicted by many other, higher-canon sources, and many fans believe that these numbers are unworkable. They argue that other evidence indicates clone forces numbering in millions of divisions. For fuller discussion, see here.
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 1" (First mentioned)
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 2" (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 3"
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 4"
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 8"
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 9"
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 10"
- Star Wars: Clone Wars: Planetary Forces
- Star Wars: Clone Wars PhotoComic
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 11"
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 20"
- CIS Shadowfeed Year's Start Fete Day Edition (Mentioned only)
- Only the Force (Mentioned only)
- Labyrinth of Evil (Mentioned only)
- Reversal of Fortune (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith novelization (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith unabridged audiobook (Indirect mention only)
- Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight (Mentioned only)
- Millennium Falcon (Mentioned only)
- Millennium Falcon audiobook (Mentioned only)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 115 (TEC2, Hardcell-class interstellar transport)
- Ultimate Missions: Clone Strike
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide (Picture only)
- The New Essential Chronology (First identified as Battle of Muunilinst)
- "Guide to the Grand Army of the Republic"—Star Wars Insider 84
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Special Edition (Picture only)
- Starships of the Galaxy, Saga Edition
- Threats of the Galaxy (Indirect mention only)
- The Clone Wars Campaign Guide
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 3
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 15
- Galaxy at War
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 21
- The Essential Atlas
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 34
- Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures (Collection: Jedi Battle Logs Vol 1)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File Part 6 (Dark Side Influence)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File Part 11 (ANA25, Anakin Skywalker)
Notes and references
- The New Essential Chronology
- Clone Wars Chapter 19
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 16"
- Clone Wars Chapter 20
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 1"
- The Battle of Muunilinst is depicted in "Chapter 2" of Star Wars: Clone Wars, which features the Padawan Anakin Skywalker. The Clone Wars: Wild Space states that Skywalker was promoted to Jedi Knight from the rank of Padawan four weeks after the Battle of Geonosis, which occurred in 22 BBY as the beginning of the Clone Wars according to The New Essential Chronology. Additionally, The New Essential Chronology confirms one month after the battle to be 21.95 BBY. Therefore, the Battle of Muunilinst occurred by four weeks after the Battle of Geonosis, or by 21.95 BBY since Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded states that one month was seven weeks.
- Only the Force
- Clone Wars Chapter 2
- Clone Wars Chapter 17
- Clone Wars Chapter 4
- Clone Wars Chapter 10
- Galaxy at War
- Clone Wars Chapter 8
- Clone Wars Chapter 11
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- Clone Wars Chapter 9
- Clone Wars Chapter 3
- Clone Wars Chapter 18
- Star Wars: Clone Wars DVD commentary
- Republic Commando: Hard Contact
- Inside the Worlds of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, numerous canon sources
- Various forums, including TheForce.net and stardestroyer.net