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"They're all over me! Get them off my—"
―A clone trooper pilot whilst being pursued by a droid tri-fighter during the Battle of Coruscant[src]

The droid tri-fighter was a model of droid starfighter utilized by the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars. It was specifically designed to engage and excel in heavy dogfighting. Despite being the smallest starship in both the Republic Navy and Confederacy navy, the tri-fighter was heavily armed, and possessed an advanced droid brain, which gave it an advantage when dealing with organic pilots. These droid brains were more advanced than those intergrated in various other droid starfighters manufactured for the Confederacy. Conceived for the total destruction of an enemy, it possessed an array of missiles and other armaments.

A formidable opponent for clone pilots during the galactic-spanning conflict,[2] the tri-fighter saw use at major engagements, including the Battle of Sullust,[9] Battle of Dathomir,[10] and Battle of Coruscant. At the end of the war, the tri-fighters were disabled when Darth Vader initiated a shutdown command, deactiavting all operational Separatist units.[2] Five years after the conclusion of the Clone Wars, tri-fighters could still be seen harassing the nascent Galactic Empire under the command of dissidents, with one such cell being led by former Republic Intelligence official Berch Teller.[8]

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

A standard tri-fighter measured 5.4 meters in length, making it the smallest starship in both the Separatist and Republic navies.[4] A space-faring relative of the Trade Federation's dreaded droideka, the tri-fighter[6] was designed with a sole purpose in mind: total destruction of their adversary.[11] Developed for intense dogfighting and close-range space battles, the tri-fighter, unlike Vulture-class starfighters, featured more advanced brains than standard Separatist droid fighters,[6] which made it harder for an enemy to second-guess the fighter's movements and tactics.[11] These brains were engineered with basic heuristic processors. A unit was able to analyze, anticipate, and mimic an opponent's attack. The tri-fighter's predatory programming came from the Colicoids.[12]

Tri-fighters flying during the Battle of Coruscant

Compact and heavily armed,[5] the tri-fighter possessed four laser canons and discord missiles,[4] which were located on its bottom. Support clamps were connected to its wing cannons, and one of the tri-fighter's weapons, the nose-tip laser cannon, was at the front of the fighter near its photoreceptors and port sensors.[4] The droid starfighter also had a payload of proton torpedos, pistoeka sabotage droids, or concussion missiles.[5] A radiation vent and cooling radiator were on its repulsorlift wings, and these wings were for flying in a planet's atmosphere. The droid also had three drive thrusters and a gyroscopic reactor core. To intimidate organic enemies,[11] the fighter's three-armed design mimicked the skull of a ferocious[4] and terrifying prehistoric predator native to Colla IV.[12]

History[edit | edit source]

Clone Wars[edit | edit source]

Battle of Sullust[edit | edit source]

"Trident Group One, attack the starboard engines. Trident Group Two, knock out their port shield generators. I'll go directly for their bridge."
―Asajj Ventress orders the Trident Groups against the Resolute[src]

Manufactured by Plac-Arphocc Automata Industries,[1] tri-fighters served as part of the Separatist navy during the Clone Wars,[9] a three year long conflict fought between the Separatists and Galactic Republic.[13] During the Battle of Sullust, droid tri-fighters of Trident Group One and Group Two served under dark acolyte Asajj Ventress in her fleet. During the fighting, Ventress, flying in her Ginivex-class fanblade starfighter, ordered the first team of tri-fighters to attack the starboard engines of the Venator-class Star Destroyer Resolute and had the second team to attack the port deflector shield generators. Ventress herself made a run for the Resolute's bridge. After a clone navigation officer aboard the Resolute reported the loss of the port deflectors, Ventress fired on the flagship, and this assault on the Resolute was able to cripple the vessel. Afterwards, Ventress, who was followed by several tri-fighters, moved to attack Jedi Generals Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.[9]

A trio of tri-fighters during the Battle of Sullust

After Ventress hit Kenobi's Delta-7B Aethersprite-class light interceptor, the two Jedi split up, resulting in Ventress following Kenobi's starfighter, while the tri-fighters pursed Skywalker's fighter, which the Jedi General joked about. As three of the droid starfighters chased him alongside a Recusant-class Commerce Guild destroyer, Skywalker spotted three other tri-fighters at the other side of the warship. Skywalker used this to trick the three fighters behind him to crash into the other three. Skywalker then moved to help Kenobi, allowing Skywalker to blast Ventress's starfighter. Ventress and Kenobi then both had a crash landing in the Separatist command ship's hangar. Unfortunately for those on-board, Count Dooku, the Separatist Head of State, had been ordered by his Sith Master, Darth Sidious, to kill Ventress, so he ordered that TJ-912 fire on the command ship. After it was destroyed, Dooku ordered the Separatist fleet to withdraw. However, Ventress survived the attempt on her life and went to the planet of Dathomir, where she planned her revenge with the Nightsisters.[9]

Further action[edit | edit source]

"Woah! What the…"
Advanced Recon Commando CT-5555 upon seeing starships fight at Umbara[src]

Tri-fighters later took part in the Battle of Lola Sayu as part of the Lola Sayu defense fleet. However, the Republic forces were able to escape the planet.[14] They were also involved in the Battle of Umbara and fought alongside the Umbaran Militia.[15] Despite the betrayal of Jedi General Pong Krell, the Republic managed to win the battle.[16]

Tri-fighters and Hyena bombers during the Battle of Dathomir

Sometime after her plot to use Savage Opress against her former master failed, Ventress returned to Dathomir once again. Unbeknownst to her, Dooku learned this and ordered General Grievous,[10] the ruthless[17] Supreme Commander of the Droid Army,[18] to annihilate the all of the Nightsisters. After the battle droids under Grievous's command had landed on planet, two tri-fighters and two Hyena-class bombers approached the Nightsister lair and fired. Eventually, the Separatists prevailed[10] and wiped out Mother Talzin's clan, although Ventress, Mother Talzin,[19] Merrin,[20] and Shelish survived.[21]

Attacks on Kenobi's fleet and Cato Neimoidia[edit | edit source]

Before General Kenobi could deploy Clone Commander CC-2224 "Cody" to pick up a group of Jedi younglings on the Crucible, a Separatist fleet under the command of General Grievous came out of lightspeed and attacked the Jedi's fleet. Republic forces began to be overrun, and tri-fighters flew alongside Grievous's Sheathipede-class transport shuttle during the battle. Grievous and a force of battle droids soon boarded Kenobi's flagship, the Negotiator, which ultimately made the Jedi General activate the Venator-class Star Destroyer's self-destruct.[22]

Tri-fighters during the defense of Cato Neimoidia

Later, the Separatists invaded the planet of Cato Neimoidia, prompting the Republic to launch a defense, with General Skywalker and his Padawan, Jedi Commander Ahsoka Tano, leading a starfighter squadron and bringing a group of Republic gunships. However, once they were into the planet's atmosphere, several tri-fighters were launched from a Providence-class dreadnought, and three of the droids moved to attack the Republic starfighters. After taking out at least two Z-95 Headhunters, one of the tri-fighters launched buzz droid missiles, resulting in a number of the sabotage droids to land on Skywalker's Eta-2 Actis-class light interceptor. The droids forced his astromech droid, R2-D2, to crash land the ship on a cliff.[23]

Ringo Vinda campaign and the mission to Utapau[edit | edit source]

"I'm picking up fighters on our tail."
―Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi, referring to Grievous and the tri-fighters[src]

During the Battle of Ringo Vinda, droid tri-fighters were present in the Confederate held part of the Ringo Vinda space station, along with vulture droids and other combat droids, just as General Skywalker, Clone Captain CT-7567 "Rex," and ARC trooper CT-5555 "Fives" launched a rescue mission to free clone trooper Tup, who was being transported on a Maxillipede shuttle to be taken for examination by the Sith. The three were able to successfully rescue the captured trooper.[24]

Later in the war, General Grievous and Count Dooku attempted an arms deal for a massive kyber crystal with Sugi arms dealers on Utapau. Eventually, Jedi Generals Kenobi and Skywalker arrived on Utapau and tried to stop Grievous, although the Separatists eventually took the crystal aboard a Maxillipede shuttle[25] to bring it to a supply ship. The Jedi pursued the crystal using a freighter, but Grievous, using his personal starfighter Soulless One, and three tri-fighters chased after their ship. As they flew through a Separatist fleet, three vulture droids also began to pursue the Jedi. Kenobi took control of the weapons systems, however, and he managed to take out all three of the tri-fighters and one of the vultures.[26]

Tri-fighters and other Separatist fighters over Utapau

After the Maxillipede boarded the supply ship, Kenobi and Skywalker entered the ship using escape pods, and Skywalker had their freighter crash into the supply craft's hyperdrive to prevent a Separatist escape. Eventually, the two learned the crystal could refract and intensify energy sent into. Knowing this, when they brought the crystal to the ship's hangar, Kenobi made several Armored Assault Tanks fire at it. While they and Grievous escaped the doomed ship, the crystal overheated, ultimately sending out an energy wave that began to destroy other Separatist ships. After the wave started, three tri-fighters were flying near a Recusant-class destroyer, and at least two of the fighters were destroyed.[26]

The final days[edit | edit source]

"The Seps were on us as soon as shook the dust from our wings. The V-19s punched a hole through the droid tri-fighters that tried to block our advance. Lost two pilots."
―Clone pilot Oddball[src]

Tri-fighters were part of the battle on Lokori.[27] Tri-fighters also participated in battles of the Outer Rim Sieges campaign, including a skirmish between a Republic and Separatist fleet that was led by General Grievous. The tri-fighters were being engaged by Z-95 Headhunters in dogfights over the Providence-class dreadnoughts. Tri-fighters also participated during the Battle of Cato Neimoidia, during which they took on Jedi General Plo Koon and his wingmen. Tri-fighters were also present during the Battle of Yerbana, where they engaged Z-95 Headhunters and Republic gunships trying to provide support to Clone Commander CC-2224 "Cody" and the 212th Attack Battalion, who were under fire by Separatist ground forces. In the air, the tri-fighters launched surprise attacks over the Headhunters and gunships, weakening them. Nevertheless, the battle on Yerbana was still won by the Republic.[28]

They were also deployed during the Battle of Coruscant, a major Separatist strike against the Republic capital world under the command of Grievous. During the surprise attack, Grievous was able to land in the Executive District, capture the Republic's Supreme Chancellor, Sheev Palpatine, and take the chancellor to his flagship, the Invisible Hand. To rescue Palpatine, Jedi Generals Skywalker and Kenobi went to infiltrate the Invisible Hand. The elite Clone Flight Squad Seven was to escort them, and their V-19 Torrent starfighters were able to make a hole through the tri-fighters that attempted to stop their advance, although the squad lost two pilots.[5] As the Jedi and clone trooper pilots were making their way to Grievous's warship, a tri-fighter took out a Aggressive ReConnaissance-170 starfighter. Several tri-fighters also chased after another ARC-170, making the clone pilot ask for help. While Skywalker wished to go back to help the pilot, Kenobi did not let him and insisted that they had a mission to do.[2]

Clone pilot Oddball's ARC-170 and a tri-fighter over Coruscant

After a tri-fighter managed to blast an ARC-170, one tri-fighter flew near the vulture droid that fired buzz droid missiles at the Jedi. Skywalker and Kenobi ultimately defeated the buzz droids and boarded the Invisible Hand. During their time aboard, Skywalker killed Count Dooku, Palpatine was rescued, Grievous abandoned the craft, and the starship crashed to Coruscant's surface.[2] Grievous ordered all Separatist ships to retreat, but some vessels, including some droid starfighters, remained. Clone trooper pilots spent hours taking out leftover tri-fighters, vulture droids, and hyena bombers. The battle also proved to be the Separatist's last grasp, as their fleet had been annihilated and Dooku was dead. Clone pilot CC-2237 "Oddball" later have a postmission summary, and he mentioned that Squad Seven's V-19s punched through the tri-fighters.[5]

Age of the Empire[edit | edit source]

A short time after the Battle of Coruscant, Chancellor Palpatine, secretly the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, transformed the Republic into the First Galactic Empire. Anakin Skywalker, now newly christened to be the Sith Darth Vader, had all Separatist droid units, and therefore their droid tri-fighters, shut down.[2]

During the ensuing Imperial Era, some tri-fighters continued to see use as part of the Free Ryloth movement[7] and Berch Teller's rebel cell.[8]

Age of the New Republic[edit | edit source]

By the time of the skirmish aboard a cruiser stolen from the Pyke Syndicate by the mercenary Ledesmar, there was a collection of droid tri-fighters onboard the ship.[29]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

In Star Wars Battlefront II, the droid tri-fighter is in the "Interceptor" class for the Confederacy of Independent Systems faction.[30]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Star Wars Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Collapse of the Republic
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Star Wars: On the Front Lines
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Star Wars: Ships of the Galaxy
  7. 7.0 7.1 Lords of the Sith
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Tarkin
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Nightsisters"
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Massacre"
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition
  12. 12.0 12.1 Star Wars: Complete Vehicles
  13. StarWarsKids.jpg The Clone Wars | Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures Fun Facts on the official Star Wars Kids YouTube channel (backup link)
  14. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Citadel Rescue"
  15. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Plan of Dissent"
  16. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Carnage of Krell"
  17. Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
  18. Ultimate Star Wars
  19. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  20. Star Wars: Uprising
  21. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Bound for Rescue"
  22. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Sabotage"
  23. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Unknown"
  24. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Crystal Crisis"
  25. 26.0 26.1 TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Big Bang"
  26. Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel
  27. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Old Friends Not Forgotten"
  28. Poe Dameron: Free Fall
  29. Star Wars Battlefront II
Separatist battle droid models
Infantry
Aqua droid · B1-series battle droid (631 · B1 grapple droid · B1 recon droid · B1 repeater blaster droid · B1 rocket launcher droid · B1-series rocket battle droid · B1 supervisor droid · Firefighter battle droid · Heavy Battle Droid · Jungle battle droid · OOM-series battle droid (OOM command battle droid · OOM pilot battle droid · OOM-series security droid)) · B2-series super battle droid (B2-ACM Trooper · B2-HA super battle droid · B2-RP battle droid · B2 grapple droid · Super battle droid rocket trooper) · B3 battle droid · BX-series droid commando (BX-series droid commando captain) · C-8 saboteur droid · D-wing air support droid · Infiltrator demolition droid · Droideka (Sharpshooter droideka) · DSD1 dwarf spider droid · IG lancer droid · IG-100 MagnaGuard · LR-57 combat/retail droid · Millicreep droid · Pistoeka sabotage droid · Probe killer · SD-K4 assassin droid · Separatist probe droid · Unidentified battle droid model · Viper recon droid
Droid tanks
IG-227 Hailfire-class · LM-432 crab droid · NR-N99 Persuader-class
Droid walkers
Harvester · Octuptarra tri-droid · OG-9 homing spider droid
Droid starfighters
Droid tri-fighter · Hyena-class bomber · Vulture droid starfighter (Unidentified vulture droid variant)
Other
Decimator · Droideka Oppressor · HMP droid gunship · J-1 proton cannon · S-43 enforcer droid · ST-series super tactical droid · T-series military strategic analysis and tactics droid
[edit]
Confederacy of Independent Systems starship classes
Space stations
Automated vulture droid deployment station · DS-1 Death Star Mobile Battle Station · InterGalactic Banking Clan gun platform
Dreadnoughts, battleships
Lucrehulk-class · Providence-class
Battle cruisers, heavy cruisers, destroyers
Bulwark-class · Fantail-class · Recusant-class · Subjugator-class
Frigates, cruisers
Diamond-class · Munificent-class (Munificent-class C3)
Assault ships, corvettes, light cruisers
Commerce Guild corvette · C-ROC Gozanti-class · Hardcell-class (Battle Refit) · Separatist Gozanti-class · Trident-class
Support ships
Core ship (Battlesphere) · Lucrehulk-class LH-3210 · DH-Omni Support Vessel · Umbaran support ship
Light craft
C-9979 · Droch-class · Firespray-31-class · G9 Rigger-class · H-2 executive · HMP Predator · Maxillipede · Punworcca 116-class · Separatist drop ship · Settie-class · Sheathipede-class · Sheathipede-class Type B · YV-865 Aurore-class
Starfighters, bombers
Belbullab-22 · Commerce Guild bomber · Droid tri-fighter · Ginivex-class · Hyena-class · Mankvim-814 · NovaSword · Rogue-class Porax-38 · Scarab-class · Tempest Zero · Vulture-class (Unidentified vulture droid variant) · Zenuas 33
[edit]

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