- "I decided the only way we can break the blockade is if I pilot the Defender right into their battleship and take out their commander."
"This way, I'm the only one at risk. Besides, the Defender is damaged already."
- ―Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano
The Defender was a Venator-class Star Destroyer of the Galactic Republic naval forces' Open Circle Fleet during the Clone Wars. In 21 BBY, the Defender served in a fleet with two others Venators including—Resolute and Redeemer—that was commanded by Jedi General Anakin Skywalker and his Padawan, Jedi Commander Ahsoka Tano. The fleet was dispatched by the Republic to the planet Ryloth in an attempt to break a Separatist blockade under the command of Neimoidian Captain Mar Tuuk.
Upon the arrival of the Defender and the two other Star Destroyers in the Ryloth system, the vessels proceeded to launch the V-19 Torrent starfighter Blue Squadron under Tano's command, however, Tuuk was able to lure the Republic fleet into a trap, and while the starfighter squadron was distracted, the Neimoidian summoned Separatist reinforcements to the system, outnumbering and catching Skywalker's fleet off guard. The additional reinforcements forced Skywalker to order a full retreat, but not before all three Star Destroyers sustained heavy damage, with the Defender losing its starboard bridge tower and the Redeemer breaking apart in space under heavy fire.
After the two remaining ships made their escape from the system, Skywalker devised a plan to take down the blockade without having to suffer anymore casualties, which resulted in the Defender being evacuated of all crew and passengers to the Resolute, and Skywalker taking control of the damaged Venator. The Jedi then returned to the Ryloth system in the Defender, where he spoke to Tuuk aboard his Lucrehulk-class Battleship, stating that he had returned to surrender the Star Destroyer and all its crew in return for relief supplies being transported to the Twi'leks on the surface. However, Skywalker's plan was soon discovered by the blockade, although too late, and the Jedi, evacuating in an escape pod, sent the Defender into the Lucrehulk, destroying both vessels. Despite the loss of the Defender, its sacrifice allowed the remaining Republic forces to break the blockade and ultimately liberate Ryloth.
As a Venator-class Star Destroyer, the Defender was wedge-shaped with two bridges and a large dorsal hangar bay. The Star Destroyer was also equipped with escape craft, a hyperdrive generator, a deflector shield generator, and was armed with DBY-827 heavy turbolaser turrets and medium dual turbolaser cannons.
Behind the scenes
The Defender made its first appearance in "Jedi Crash," the thirteenth episode of the first season of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series, which aired on January 16, 2009, albeit in the episode's opening newsreel. It later made its full appearance and was identified as the Defender in the first season's nineteenth episode "Storm Over Ryloth," which aired on February 27 of that same year.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Jedi Crash" (First appearance) (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Storm Over Ryloth" (First identified as Defender)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Landing at Point Rain" (In flashback(s))
- Lords of the Sith (Indirect mention only)
- Lords of the Sith audiobook (Indirect mention only)
Notes and references
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Storm Over Ryloth"
- "Storm Over Ryloth" depicts the Defender with what Star Wars Complete Vehicles, New Edition identifies as DBY-827 heavy turbolaser turrets, of which Venator-class Star Destroyers possess eight (four port, four starboard), and medium dual turbolaser cannons, of which Venator-class Star Destroyers possess two (one port, one starboard).
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas places "Blue Shadow Virus" and "Innocents of Ryloth" in 21 BBY. As this episode takes place between these two episodes according to , the events of "Storm Over Ryloth," which includes the destruction of the Defender in the Ryloth system, must also take place in 21 BBY.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Jedi Crash"