- "Sarrish? Sarrish. Wait. What was the Battle of Sarrish?"
"It was one of the Republic's most devastating losses."
"Sarrish. Yes. Yes, I remember now. So many soldiers were dying."
- ―Gregor and Meebur Gascon
The Battle of Sarrish, fought on the planet Sarrish between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems, took place in 20 BBY during the Outer Rim Sieges of the Clone Wars. Following a Republic victory at Duro, High Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi and the Grand Army of the Republic's 212th Attack Battalion pursued Confederate forces to Sarrish, where they staged an assault on the entrenched battle droid infantry from the Separatist Droid Army. With a mountaintop anti-aircraft gun supplying heavy cover fire for the droids on the surface, Kenobi split his clone troopers to fracture the enemy lines. After his LAAT/i gunship was shot down, Marshal Commander CC-2224, nicknamed "Cody," led the soldiers of the 212th's "A" Squad to capture the anti-aircraft gun, using the droids' own artillery against them. Yet the Separatists ultimately routed the Republic forces, inflicting devastating clone trooper casualties. Clone Captain CC-5576-39 went missing in action during the battle, later ending up on the remote planet Abafar.
- "This isn't an easy mission, Cody, but if we stick to the plan we'll come through this."
"Copy, General. See you when this is finished."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi and Cody
In 20 BBY, the third year of the Clone Wars, the Galactic Republic capitalized on victories in the galaxy's Core Worlds and Colonies by targeting holdings of the Confederacy of Independent Systems throughout the Outer Rim Territories, in a campaign termed the Outer Rim Sieges. Following the Republic's recapture of Duro, a Republic Navy fleet chased the Separatists along the Corellian Trade Spine hyperlane into the Expansion Region. They ended up in the Vensensor sector, which Senator Veedaaz Awmetth represented in the Republic Senate, close to Separatist-loyal space. Sarrish, one of the sector's worlds, became the site of contention between entrenched forces from the Separatist Droid Army and the Grand Army of the Republic's 212th Attack Battalion, led by High Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi and Marshal Commander CC-2224, nicknamed "Cody."
- "Two injured, four dead. Five if you count the pilot. But that's not the bad news—does that rock look familiar?"
"Yeah, the promontory we were warned about. We're right where we're not supposed to be."
"General Kenobi ordered us not to try taking this section from the ground."
"That's what he said. But what would the general do if he was here?"
"Troops, prepare to attack."
- ―"A" Squad's lieutenant and Cody, upon crash-landing on Sarrish
Kenobi and Commander Cody marshaled their 212th clone trooper battle group onto LAAT/i gunships and prepared to land on Sarrish, with several LAAT carriers bringing along All Terrain Tactical Enforcers. Their flight path headed them eastward across Sarrish, bound for the plains where the Separatists had assembled their defenses—comprising B1-Series battle droids and DSD1 dwarf spider droids, along with such larger walkers as OG-9 homing spider droids. In addition to surface blaster fire, the battle droids also employed an anti-aircraft gun from a promontory to reinforce their southern flank. With the mountaintop gun harassing and dealing losses to their gunships, Kenobi deemed a direct ground assault too costly and instead ordered Cody and their troopers to avoid the southern promontory and focus on shattering the enemy lines; they would disperse the droid infantry and then concentrate their efforts on individual pockets of resistance. Kenobi, meanwhile, delegated the task of eradicating the anti-aircraft gun to his task force's gunships and ARC-170 starfighter squadrons, once their troops had completed their landing.
As part of their assault plan, Kenobi divided his forces, leading an attack on one front while Cody oversaw another area of the clones' campaign. En route to the surface, Cody ordered all of his squads to maintain unit formations, though the Separatists shot down the gunship carrying him and "A" Squad just thirty seconds away from the designated landing zone. "A" Squad's gunship landed behind enemy lines, below the mountain housing the anti-aircraft gun—the very one that Kenobi had ordered them to avoid. The crash injured two troopers and killed five others, including the vessel's clone pilot. Using the fallen craft as cover from droid fire, Cody met with the squad's clone lieutenant to decide on their next move. Despite Kenobi's orders for the contrary, Cody and the lieutenant decided to target the enemy anti-aircraft gun, as out of the rest of their forces, they were in the best position to do so. Cody brought along troopers CT-8867, CT-8868, and CT-8869 to attack the artillery gun while the lieutenant remained with the squad to provide covering blaster rifle fire for them.
Upon sighting Cody and his comrades, the B1 battle droids on a ridge midway up the promontory commenced firing on the four approaching soldiers, who used their DC-15A blaster rifles' ascension guns to scale the cliff. By the time Cody reached the mountain summit, the three troopers accompanying him had all fallen to droid fire, but he nevertheless continued on with his task. As Cody grappled with the battle droids guarding the gun's ammunition stockpiles, the droid gunner turned his attention to Cody. While "A" Squad used their crashed gunship to shield themselves from oncoming droid fire, the lieutenant realized the enemy gunner's intentions in time and had his men open long-range fire on the gunner, eliminating the droid before he could target Cody. The clone commander summarily commandeered the unoccupied artillery cannon, turning it on the remaining Separatist infantry in the vicinity, including the droids bearing down on "A" Squad's crash site from an adjacent cliff. Regrouping at the remains of their gunship, the squad rallied to their victory.
In the meantime, Kenobi encountered heavier fighting than anticipated in his own section of the campaign, receiving a minor hand wound. As Kenobi and the main body of 212th troops set up a staging area, Cody and his squad's survivors joined them there, reporting their own success with destroying the anti-aircraft gun.
Yet despite the Republic's initial victories on Sarrish, the battle eventually turned against the 212th. The Separatists routed the Republic forces, inflicting a critical amount of casualties and resulting in the deaths of many clone troopers. Amidst the carnage of his comrades, Clone Captain CC-5576-39, nicknamed "Gregor"—a veteran clone commando attached to the 212th—tried to find help for the wounded. However, after his elite squad, Foxtrot Group, perished in the fighting, Gregor disappeared from the battlefield and was reported as missing in action.
- "Do… do you remember how you escaped Sarrish?"
"No. I just remember seeing all those bodies. Bodies everywhere. I knew I had to get help, but that's where the memory stops."
"Well, soldier, there's nothing you can do about that battle now, but you can help us. Our mission depends on it."
- ―Meebur Gascon and Gregor
The Battle of Sarrish, as it became known, was remembered as one of the Grand Army's most devastating losses. Captain Gregor suffered from post-traumatic stress, which soon developed into a case of amnesia. He escaped from Sarrish and ended up on a shuttle that crashed on the remote Outer Rim world of Abafar, where he was taken in by Borkus, the proprietor of the Power Sliders diner. When Colonel Meebur Gascon and the Republic's D-Squad was stranded on Abafar following their capture of a Separatist encryption module, they happened upon Gregor, who had begun to work as a dishwasher, with so little pay that he was essentially Borkus's slave. Gascon and his all-droid squad discovered Gregor's past from his clone identifying code and convinced him to help them escape from Abafar, as it was of the utmost priority for them to bring the encryption module back to the Republic. Thanks to Gregor's efforts, Gascon and his squad were able to pilfer a Nu-class attack shuttle from Separatist forces at a rhydonium mining facility and departed Abafar.
Behind the scenes
- "Gregor mentions the Battle of Sarrish. This is an event dramatized in an Expanded Universe comic book, 'Routine Valor,' which was the Star Wars title available for Free Comic Book Day in 2006."
- ―Episode Guide for "Missing in Action"
The Battle of Sarrish was created as the story for Routine Valor, a single-issue comic book published by Dark Horse Comics on May 6, 2006 for the annual Free Comic Book Day. Following Routine Valor, the battle received few references in Star Wars material—save for mentions in The Essential Atlas in 2009 and a 2010 Comic Pack from Hasbro's The Legacy Collection—until January 2013, with the release of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series' hundredth overall episode, "Missing in Action." The episode, which aired on January 5 with the series' fifth season, connected the battle with the character of Gregor, an amnesiac clone commando.
Besides attributing the battle's name, "Missing in Action" also introduced it as a devastating Republic loss, whereas the events of Routine Valor had implied a Republic victory, having ended with Commander Cody's success with taking the anti-aircraft gun. In the episode, Gregor's military database record misspelled it as the "Battle of Serrish" in Aurebesh, while the accompanying guide on StarWars.com spelled it correctly.
Initially, Routine Valor did not provide a specific date for the battle, only indicating that it took place "sometime during the Clone Wars." The Essential Atlas established that it was part of the Outer Rim Sieges, which lasted from 20 to 19 BBY. However, it is assumed that the battle took place in 20 BBY due to the fact that it was shown to precede the events of "Missing in Action," which can be dated to 20 BBY. It is also unclear if The Essential Atlas's placement of the battle within the Outer Rim Sieges—which, being the final phase of the Clone Wars, were not specifically depicted in The Clone Wars television series—is still valid. Until Lucasfilm Ltd. establishes a cohesive timeline, this article attempts to reconcile information from all source material.
- Routine Valor (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Missing in Action" (Mentioned only) (First identified as Battle of Sarrish)
- The Essential Atlas
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Comic UK 6.54
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Magazine 22
- The Official Star Wars Fact File Part 80 (ART26, D-Squad Hero)
Notes and references
- Star Wars Character Encyclopedia
- Routine Valor
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- The Essential Atlas
- Although The Essential Atlas places the battle during the Outer Rim Sieges of 20 BBY to 19 BBY, it is assumed to take place specifically in 20 BBY because it precedes the events of "Missing in Action," which takes place in 20 BBY according to The Official Star Wars Fact File Part 58 (DSQ1–2, D-Squad).
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Missing in Action"
- The Official Star Wars Fact File Part 80 (ART26, D-Squad Hero)