- "We are still analyzing the data from the attack, but we can confirm that General Ares Nune's task force did encounter enemy forces on patrol."
- ―A Republic Navy official reports on the battle
A battle took place in 22 BBY during a Galactic Republic patrol of the Phu system, overseen by Jedi General Ares Nune and Clone Commander Kite. The Confederate warship Malevolence was also in the system, under the command of General Grievous, and quickly eradicated Nune's fleet of three Venator-class Star Destroyers with its ion pulse cannons. Following the attack, Jedi General Plo Koon led a task force of several cruisers to find and destroy the Confederate weapon.
In 22 BBY, the first year of the Clone Wars, the Confederacy of Independent Systems built a superweapon, the Subjugator-class heavy cruiser Malevolence, that was capable of destroying numerous Galactic Republic fleets with its ion pulse cannons. The cannons neutralized all power in their targets, leaving them defenseless and vulnerable without the ability to use deflector shields to protect themselves. That, in turn, allowed the Malevolence to destroy its unprotected prey with its numerous turbolaser cannons. The Confederacy soon began to use the Malevolence in numerous strikes on Republic task forces that left no survivors. The Jedi High Council became increasingly worried with the losses, and the attacks sowed fear among the citizens of the Republic, even more so because the targets were unpredictable and did not form a pattern.
- "Commander Kite, all hands to escape pods! Abandon ship! Abandon ship! Abandon ship!"
- ―A recording retrieved from the battle
Jedi General Ares Nune and Clone Commander Kite took three Venator-class Star Destroyers—including Nune's flagship, the Laudable—on a regular patrol of the Phu system. However, the Malevolence was also in the system, under the command of the Confederate General Grievous. The cyborg general immediately ordered the Malevolence's ion cannons to fire. As the ion wave obliterated the shields of the Laudable, Nune ordered Commander Kite to organize an evacuation of the cruisers via escape pods. However, the Malevolence moved in and destroyed the vessels before Nune and his crew of clone troopers could escape.
- "Finding it is one thing. Finding a way to stop it is another."
- ―Mace Windu, on the Confederate superweapon
The defeat of Nune's fleet was reported in the HoloNet News, resulting in increasingly widespread concern among the Republic citizenry. A recording that was taken from the lead ship during the battle survived, and was played during the broadcast. Following the report of the loss, Jedi Masters Yoda, Mace Windu, and Plo Koon of the Jedi Council met with Supreme Chancellor Palpatine in his office on the galactic capital of Coruscant. Koon volunteered to take several Venator-class Star Destroyers to find and destroy the "mystery weapon," as the Malevolence had been dubbed. Aboard the Star Destroyer Triumphant, Koon tracked the Malevolence to the Abregado system and engaged it in battle.
Behind the scenes
The battle of the Phu system was featured in The Clone Wars webcomic Shakedown, which was released on October 2, 2008 and led into "Rising Malevolence," one of the episodes featured in the October 3, 2008 premiere of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series on Cartoon Network. The battle was also mentioned in the in-universe HoloNet News report A Galaxy Divided, an ongoing podcast featuring The Clone Wars series that was also released on October 2, via StarWars.com and iTunes.
Notes and references
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded
- "Republic HoloNet News Core Edition 14:4:14"—Star Wars Insider 67
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Rising Malevolence"
- The Clone Wars: Shakedown
- The Essential Reader's Companion
- The Clone Wars: Prelude
- HoloNet News — A Galaxy Divided
- Both The Clone Wars: Shakedown and HoloNet News — A Galaxy Divided are somewhat contradictory of each other. In the comic, the Malevolence's ion pulse immediately neutralizes Nune's fleet, while a recording played during the HoloNet News podcast states that the Malevolence's ion cannons initially eliminate the shields of the cruisers in Nune's fleet, but that the cruisers themselves were not immediately destroyed. The podcast goes to imply that Nune and his forces then attempted to retreat before falling to the Malevolence. This article follows the latter's interpretation of events