- "He's destroying the whole fleet! Thousands of warriors are dying!"
- ―Leia Organa Solo
The Battle of Pinnacle Base was fought between the New Republic and the forces of the Reborn Emperor Palpatine over the Republic base at the Pinnacle Moon. Some event of the battle was foretold by Bodo Baas's Master.
After Luke Skywalker was taken to Byss, he discovered that Emperor Palpatine, also known as the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, still lived despite his death at the Battle of Endor. Skywalker, deciding it was the best way to defeat the Emperor due to his ability to cheat death, became his apprentice. Later, Luke's twin sister Leia Organa Solo traveled there to attempt to rescue him. Unfortunately, she only succeeded in getting herself and her companions captured. However, Luke aided their escape and provided them with the command codes that controlled the World Devastators ravaging Mon Calamari, allowing the New Republic to win the battle.
- "Leaders of the Rebel Alliance, I have no quarrel with you. Give me the woman Jedi, sister of Skywalker… return the precious object she stole from me. A shuttle is waiting to send her to my ship, and then I will discuss a truce with the Alliance."
- ―Palpatine makes his demands to the New Republic leaders
Arriving above Pinnacle Moon in the Eclipse accompanied by two Allegiance-class battlecruisers, a third ship and a subservient Luke in tow. Palpatine's sudden arrival caught the New Republic defenders off-guard, allowing the Sith Lord to make his demands to the Republic unchallenged. He demanded that Leia Organa Solo surrender to him and board his vessel, and bring along the Jedi Holocron she had stolen from him. Sidious also promised that if the Republic complied with his demands, he would discuss a truce.
After studying the prophecy of Bodo Baas's Master told to her by Baas's hologram, Leia willingly boarded Eclipse, where Palpatine held her brother, Luke, under his influence. Attempting to break Organa and bring her unborn child under his influence, Palpatine goaded Skywalker into attacking her and proving himself still worthy of following the way of the dark side of the Force. Parrying his attack with her new lightsaber, Leia reached out to Luke's lingering good side, and managed to bring Luke out of his mental captivity. The Jedi Master turned on his former master.
- "My ally is the Force. Through the strength of the Force, your shroud of evil has been lifted from my mind."
"So be it… THROUGH THE POWER OF THE FORCE YOU WILL DIE!"
- ―Luke Skywalker and Palpatine
Enraged, Palpatine brandished a blue-bladed lightsaber and attacked Luke. The two then engaged in a vicious lightsaber duel. The fight was powerful and brutal, with both combatants changing battle positions, utilizing several fighting styles and trading numerous blows. Even Leia, who was watching the fight, could not even see any movements; but she could feel the tremendous power of the clash, as titanic waves of light and darkness; eventually, the light was winning. Despite his viciousness and tremendous power, Sidious was finally driven off guard and defeated by Luke, who was aided by his sister's Force harmony, losing his left hand.
Despite losing his hand, the Sith Lord was hardly defeated. He claimed that he saw through the dark side that Luke wanted to overthrow him and take his place as Emperor. Declaring that the Jedi underestimated his power, and enraged by the loss of his limb, Palpatine summoned a Force storm and began to destroy the New Republic fleet.
Using the Force, Skywalker and Organa Solo surrounded the Emperor with a wave of light side energy, cutting him off from the dark side, and, thus, his power. With Palpatine unable to control the storm, it spun out of control and began to devour the Eclipse. The Skywalker siblings escaped the ship as it was torn apart, taking Palpatine's current incarnation with it. After destroying the Eclipse, the storm quickly dissipated.
It is unknown if Eclipse's escort fleet retreated or engaged the remnant of the Republic fleet, or were destroyed when Palpatine lost control of the Force storm. It is probable that they retreated, as the Republic fleet still held numerical superiority, meaning an eventual New Republic victory.
At the time, it was believed that the Emperor was destroyed aboard his capital ship. However, Palpatine's spirit survived, eventually transferring his essence to a new body.
Behind the scenes
The Battle of Pinnacle Base first appeared in the issue Dark Empire 6 of the Star Wars: Dark Empire series of comics. The battle was conceived and written by authors Tom Veitch, illustrated by artist Dave Dorman and colored by colorist Cam Kennedy. Veitch used this as the climax of the story; pitting the Sith Lord Emperor Palpatine against the Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker and his sister Leia Organa Solo.
The Battle of Pinnacle Base would eventually be featured in the Dark Empire audio drama, which witnessed the climax take on a whole new personality through the voice acting of John Cygan (Luke Skywalker), Ann Patricio (Princess Leia) and Nick Jameson (Emperor Palpatine). This duel features an interesting reversal in that the Jedi involved is wielding a red lightsaber and the Sith involved is wielding a blue-bladed weapon.
The confrontation between Luke Skywalker/Leia Organa Solo and Emperor Palpatine's clone is depicted in Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force, though there are some mistakes. The description says that the meeting took place on Byss instead of on the Eclipse. Moreover, Luke wields the green-bladed lightsaber instead of the red one. In the Legends canon he changed back to his green crystal after this duel.
- Dark Empire 6 (First appearance)
- Dark Empire audio drama
- Tyrant's Test (Indirect mention only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Omen (Indirect mention only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Omen audiobook (Indirect mention only)
- Dark Empire Sourcebook (First identified as Battle of Pinnacle Base)
- Galaxy Guide 11: Criminal Organizations
- The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side