- "Blast it! I hate it when my cons come true."
- ―Marn Hierogryph
The Battle of Vanquo took place in 3964 BBY, when the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders attacked the Outer Rim mining world of Vanquo at the beginning of their war with the Galactic Republic. A resource world near the Mandalorians' true target—the ecumenopolis of Taris—Vanquo was part of a Republic security cordon known as the Jebble-Vanquo-Tarnith line designed to protect Taris from Mandalorian aggression. That did not deter the Mandalorians from attacking Vanquo as part of a three-pronged offensive aimed at Taris, with Neo-Crusader leader Mandalore the Ultimate designing the Vanquo battle to lure away the Republic Navy's left flank and open up a corridor to Taris. Squads of Mandalorian shock troopers easily secured the mining camps on Vanquo's nightside, while the Mandalorian and Republic fleets engaged in a heated space battle above the planet. Eventually, Republic Captain Saul Karath was forced to retreat, and the Mandalorians conquered the planet. The Mandalorian victory at Vanquo gave the Neo-Crusaders an Outer Rim stronghold they never relinquished and also set the stage for their conquest of Taris not long afterward.
- "I'll tell ya, if the Mandalorians ever move on Vanquo, they'll find nothing here but people they've already seen!"
- ―A Vanquo miner, regarding the refugee situation on Vanquo
In 3976 BBY, the Mandalorian warrior clans, at the command of leader Mandalore the Ultimate, began to carve out an empire by conquering unaligned worlds on the Outer Rim, drawing no action from the Galactic Republic. After amassing a sizable amount of territory, the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders lurched out toward the Core, encroaching on Republic space and threatening resource worlds near the ecumenopolis of Taris. One of the worlds in Mandalore's sight was Vanquo, a rugged mining planet that had become a destination for refugees from the Mandalorian crusades.
With the Mandalorian threat looming very real, Vanquo became part of a Republic security cordon known as the Jebble-Vanquo-Tarnith line. Designed to defend Taris, the line was host to heavy, stalemated fighting on worlds like Suurja—however, in 3964 BBY, all this changed. At Taris' Jedi Tower, four of the five Padawans undergoing training as the next generation of Jedi on the planet were murdered, supposedly by the lone surviving classmate, Zayne Carrick. After Carrick escaped pursuit and fled the planet, public confidence in the Jedi Order was severely shaken, leading to the Jedi High Council withdrawing the five Jedi Masters stationed at the Jedi Tower back to Coruscant. Mandalore the Ultimate took this as a signal to begin his attack, launching a three-pronged offensive aimed at seizing Taris. The real Mandalorian Wars had begun.
- "It's working, Mand'alor. The Republic fleet's left flank has split to cover Vanquo—clearing the way for our main thrust!"
"Then the path to Taris is clear, at last."
- ―Cassus Fett and Mandalore the Ultimate discuss their attack on Vanquo
Mandalore intended all along for the attack on Vanquo to be a diversion, meant to draw the Republic fleet's left flank and open the way for the Mandalorians' main thrust toward Taris. To that end, the Mandalorians landed in force on the nightside of the planet, led by Commander Rohlan Dyre, who had been in trouble for desertion on several previous occasions. The shock infantry touched down among the mining camps that dotted Vanquo's mountainous landscape, many dropping down on Basilisk war droids and scout speeders as well as Meteor-class Q-Carriers and Shaadlar-type troopships—at one outpost, a Mandalorian force, including Dyre himself, happened across the fugitive Zayne Carrick and his friends, who had previously faked a Mandalorian attack on the outpost to clear it for scavenging. The group was caught by surprise, and the Arkanian Offshoot Jarael, who had been posing as a Jedi in their previous con, was taken prisoner on a Teroch-type gunship. As the others attempted to escape, Dyre used the commotion as a cover to escape the battle in the group's ship, The Last Resort. Carrick's group caught up to Dyre as he was flying toward orbit, with The Last Resort under heavy Mandalorian blaster fire. However, Dyre succeeded in flying The Last Resort out of the Vanquo battle zone.
Otherwise, the battle went off without a hitch for the Mandalorians. The shock troops encountered minimal resistance at the mining camps, and Mandalore's lieutenant, Cassus Fett, reported that an orbital screen was being set up over the dayside of the planet so the major settlements there could be engaged—also, the Mandalorians had succeeded in drawing the Republic Navy's flank away. Meanwhile, an intense space battle raged over Vanquo, as dozens of Mandalorian Kyramud-type battleships clashed with Republic Hammerhead-class cruisers, with the Hammerheads launching flights of Aurek-class tactical strikefighters that flew against squadrons of Mandalorian Davaab starfighters. The Republic forces were led by Admirals Jimas Veltraa and Noma Sommos, who were coordinating the defense against the entirely of the Mandalorian attack toward Taris. At Vanquo itself, the Republic defense fleet was helmed by Captain Saul Karath in his Inexpugnable-class tactical command ship, the Courageous, which held the center of the Republic line. Karath defended Vanquo with all his strength but eventually had to fall back and retreat, allowing the Mandalorians to take the planet.
Not only did the Mandalorian conquest of Vanquo give the Neo-Crusaders a stronghold on the Rim that they would not relinquish, but the battle also helped set the stage for the Mandalorians' attack on Taris shortly afterward. The Jebble-Vanquo-Tarnith line broken, Republic Admiral Jimas Veltraa reformed the remnants of the Outer Rim fleets into a line to defend Taris. However, the Mandalorians still captured Taris, with Veltraa perishing in the destruction of his flagship, the Reliance. Saul Karath's strong defense of and fighting retreat from Vanquo proved to be a career-maker for the captain, as he was promoted to admiral after the battle was over.
Behind the scenes
The Battle of Vanquo first appeared in Knights of the Old Republic 7, a comic written by John Jackson Miller and released in 2006. The action continued in the series' next issue, and the result of the battle, along with further information about the event, were given in the supplements The Admiral's List: Jimas Veltraa Memorial Edition and the 2009 reference book The Essential Atlas. The battle's name was first given as the "Battle of Vanquo" in the 2008 Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide.
- Knights of the Old Republic 7 (First appearance)
- Knights of the Old Republic 8
- The Admiral's List: Jimas Veltraa Memorial Edition (Mentioned only)
- The Admiral's List: Karath Home Safely (Mentioned only)
- Knights of the Old Republic 49 (Indirect mention only)
- Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide (First identified as Battle of Vanquo)
- The Essential Atlas
Notes and references
- Knights of the Old Republic 6
- The Admiral's List: Jimas Veltraa Memorial Edition
- Knights of the Old Republic 7
- The Essential Atlas
- Knights of the Old Republic 8
- Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
- The Taris Holofeed: Prime Edition
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. III, p. 294 ("Vanquo")