- "Whatever you do, you must not put your troops at risk to save me. I will complete the mission, but escape appears doubtful."
- ―Tohno, to Anakin Skywalker
The Battle of Zaadja was a confrontation during the Clone Wars which occurred approximately eighteen months after the First Battle of Geonosis. The result of a massive expansion of the Confederacy military, Zaadja became a large battle droid manufacturing facility under the control of the Geonosians. The battle witnessed the landing of the Third Systems Army under the command of High Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker; General Kenobi's forces were to act as a diversion for the actual Jedi mission to succeed. Attached to the Republic forces was the Jedi Knight Tohno, who was charged with the primary mission of infiltrating the Separatist droid factory in an effort to plant explosives, which would destroy it from within. The outcome of the battle saw the Republic forces emerge victorious, but also witnessed the sacrifice and death of Jedi Tohno.
- "Masters Windu and Rancisis agreed to this plan before we left Coruscant. It has already been decided."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi, to Anakin Skywalker
With the progression of the Clone Wars, the Separatist forces began growing as new worlds and allies began joining the war against the Republic. Using numerous worlds as manufacturing bases, the Separatist Droid Army began adding to its ranks a seemingly endless supply of droids. One of the many planets chosen to provide the Separatists with material needed for the war was the world of Zaadja. Realizing that they needed a way to slow down the Separatist's droid production, the Republic began formulating a variety of missions aimed at neutralizing as many of these factory-worlds as possible. When word of the facility on Zaadja reached the Republic, a special mission was formulated by the Jedi and placed under the direction of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Tohno. Along with Kenobi's Padawan Anakin Skywalker and the Third Systems Army, Kenobi and Tohno traveled to Zaadja to carry out their mission.
- "We'll give you the opening you need. May the Force be with you."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi, to Tohno
In a plan developed by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Tohno, and approved by Jedi Masters Mace Windu and Oppo Rancisis, the Republic mission called for a two-pronged course of action: Acting as a diversion, Kenobi and Skywalker would lead the Third Systems Army onto the field of battle to draw the Separatist forces away from the droid factory on Zaadja; concurrently, Tohno was tasked to infiltrate the droid factory and destroy it using military-grade explosives.
Due to her unique training in architecture and engineering, Tohno was chosen for this specific mission because her skills would allowed her to determine how best to destroy the manufacturing plant. If the diversion and mission was successful, then Tohno would be able to extract herself back to Republic lines where she would rejoin Kenobi and the Third Systems Army.
Although Tohno was initially able to infiltrate the factory unnoticed, she was soon discovered by a large number of Geonosian soldiers tasked with preventing such an incursion. Using the Force to conceal her movements, she managed to get past the majority of enemies, but was confronted by a Geonosian sentry before she was able to reach the heart of the factory. Fighting her way through a large number of the enemy, Tohno was able to plant the majority of her explosives before more Geonosians caught up with her.
Meanwhile, a restless Anakin Skywalker, who had been struggling with the need for so many Jedi to sacrifice themselves thus far in the war, sensed that Tohno's survival was in jeopardy. Using his radio to communicate with her, Skywalker reassured her that he was inbound to her position with a gunship to lend her his aid. Disregarding her own personal safety, Tohno ordered the young Padawan to remain with Master Kenobi and his clone soldiers. Though Skywalker continued to argue with her, Tohno was able to convince him that if he came after her, it would cause needless casualties among the troopers of the Third System Army. Having realized that she would not survive her mission, Tohno wanted to complete it with as little loss of life as possible. Reluctantly turning back to the Republic lines, Skywalker came to understand that Tohno's personal sacrifice was what was needed for the mission's success.
While she had been reasoning with Skywalker, Tohno had managed to make her way to the center of the factory, which contained the power core for the whole facility—it was also where she was confronted by more Geonosian soldiers. Though she was able to mount an impressive defense, Tohno was eventually overrun by the enemy soldiers—nevertheless, using the Force she was able to throw her lightsaber at her pack which contained the remaining explosives she had brought with her. The lightsaber set off the explosives and a massive chain reaction perpetuated by the power core, and the explosives she had already placed elsewhere.
The resulting explosion was on an enormous scale and completely destroyed the factory, as well as wiping out all of the Separatist forces surrounding it.
- "If we stay true to our ideals, her sacrifice will not have been in vain. And we will keep the memory of it in our hearts."
- ―Obi-Wan, to Anakin, shortly after Tohno's death
The success of the battle caused the Separatist forces to lose a vital resource with which to expand their military forces. Nonetheless, the Zaadja factory was but one of many such facilities, and the Republic continued with their designs to further impede manufacturing for the Separatists. The Mandalorian Protectors, allies of the Separatists, also succeeded in hitting the Republic forces hard during the battle.
The Battle of Zaadja was also one of many emotional milestones for the young Jedi Anakin Skywalker, who increasingly encountered difficulties with the sacrifices he witnessed. Though he was reluctant to accept it, Skywalker agreed with Tohno's decision to end the Zaadja mission with as little loss of life as possible. Nonetheless, Skywalker would continue to struggle with the need for so many young, and promising, Jedi to sacrifice themselves throughout the course of the war.
Behind the scenes
Due to a number of small continuity problems with the 2008 Clone Wars multimedia project, there are some conflicts with what has been established in Republic 67 and various items of the project, such as the Clone Wars movie and ongoing TV series. Due to the fact the new movie, TV series, and other facets of the Clone Wars multimedia project are all set in the first year of the war, the Battle of Zaadja may eventually see re-dating to fit into the first year as well. However, given that nothing within the 2008 Clone Wars multimedia project even mentions this battle, Lucasfilm Ltd. may simply choose to leave the dating as it is. Likewise, established within Republic 67 is the fact that Anakin Skywalker is a Jedi Padawan who holds the rank of commander within the Republic's military. However, with the release of the Clone Wars movie, Skywalker is a fully fledged Jedi Knight during the first year of the Clone Wars, thus causing another minor continuity problem. To date, there has been no official statement from Lucasfilm Ltd. regarding either the dating situation or the problem with Skywalker's Jedi status.
- Republic 67 (First appearance)
- Galaxy at War (First identified as Battle of Zaadja)