The First Battle of Bothawui was a naval conflict between the Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic during the Great Galactic War. Following the return of the Empire and its initial victories in the Outer Rim Territories in the early stages of the war, the Sith Emperor turned his sights toward the Mid Rim in 3671 BBY, with Bothawui as his first target. Admiral Greik of the Republic Navy predicted the attack, and so took approved the daring tactics of the combat analysis droid B-3G9 and assembled the entirety of his fleet of warships over the world. The incursion, led by Darth Immern, was a disaster for the Empire, as the Republic force was ready for the attack. The entire Imperial Armada strike fleet was wiped out, but the Empire's defeat during its first attempt at taking Bothawui only served to provoke their second, more aggressive attack.
Since the start of the Great Galactic War in 3681 BBY, the Sith Empire was widely successful in its campaigns in the Outer Rim Territories, but only made minor incursions into the Mid Rim. Even these negligible attempts at expanding the war were often met with failure, but after the Imperial seizure of the Seswenna sector in the Outer Rim in 3671 BBY, the Sith Emperor began planning his military's full forward progression toward the Core Worlds. The first step in this plan was to finally conquer the Mid Rim—more specifically, the Bothan sector. Anticipating this development, Admiral Greik of the Republic Navy began planning a counterattack; in a strategy devised by the expert combat analysis droid, B-3G9, Greik amassed the entirety of the Republic fleet in the Both system to defend against an Imperial invasion of the planet Bothawui.
- "Believing the Republic was still recovering from its heavy losses, Imperial forces charged into Bothan Space where they were caught off guard by the full force of the Republic fleet."
- ―Jedi Master Gnost-Dural
Believing that the forces of the Republic Navy were still recovering from the Outer Rim campaign, the Imperial armada hastily rushed into Bothan Space. From aboard his personal cruiser, Imperial commander Darth Immern led a fleet of Harrower-class dreadnoughts into a severely mismatched battle against the entire Republic fleet in orbit above Bothawui itself. The Republic force, consisting of numerous Thranta-class corvettes and at least one Valor-class cruiser, the Intercessor, battered the Sith forces into submission. The Imperial fleet was caught completely off-guard and was quickly overwhelmed by the Republic vessels, which obliterated all of the invading forces, including Darth Immern himself. The Kel Dor Jedi Knight Gnost-Dural, who had recently been transferred to the Republic Navy after serving for many years in the embattled of the Minos Cluster, served with the fleet during the battle, as did the Bothan Jedi Kutri O'a.
- "The news spread across the galaxy, rekindling lost hopes and re-energizing exhausted defenders. The Republic fleet moved on, but a courageous force of Jedi and Republic soldiers remained on Bothawui to await the Empire's return."
- ―Jedi Master Gnost-Dural
The conflict at Bothawui was the Republic's first major victory against the Empire since the war had begun. News of the battle spread across the HoloNet, restoring the morale of the people of the Republic and reinvigorating its jaded military. The bulk of Bothawui's defense forces soon moved on, once again scattering throughout the galaxy to combat the Empire. To protect from retribution, the Republic commissioned engineers to construct a new, high-powered planetary shield on Bothawui's surface. To protect the shield itself, a dedicated contingent of Jedi and Republic soldiers remained on the planet in anticipation of the Empire's retribution.
The Empire indeed returned, this time with a massive invasion army intended to overwhelm Bothawui. The remaining Republic forces under the command of Jedi Master Belth Allusis were wiped out during their fight to protect the planet, but were ultimately able to repel the Sith from Bothawui. The battles at Bothawui restored hope to a discouraged Republic and empowered its defenders to continue fighting the war for several decades. B-3G9, the droid hero of the First Battle of Bothawui, was rewarded for the victory with an order for it to be upgraded and undergo maintenance at its Czerka Corporation factory of origin. However, due to an administrative error, the droid underwent a partial circuit remapping to remake it as a standard protocol droid. The mix-up diminished B-3G9's tactical analysis programming, removing it from command status but allowing it to continue serving the Republic as a manager of individual starship defense systems. Another droid involved in the battle, MZ-12, was Darth Immern's astromech droid who served aboard the Sith Lord's cruiser. After Immern's death, MZ-12 sought out new masters to serve within the Imperial Armada.
Following the conclusion of the war with the signing of the Treaty of Coruscant, the then-Jedi Master Gnost-Dural made a holorecord that detailed the Empire's attempts at taking Bothawui. Additionally, his journal of war stories, which included an account of the battle over Bothawui, was added to the Jedi Archives on Tython by Grand Master Satele Shan, who also included an anecdote regarding the Bothawui victory.
Behind the scenes
The First Battle of Bothawui was introduced in the fifth installment of the Galactic Timeline, an in-universe account of the events leading up to the massively multiplayer online video game from LucasArts and BioWare titled Star Wars: The Old Republic. The timeline is narrated by Kel-Dor Jedi Master Gnost-Dural, whose voice is provided by actor Lance Henriksen. The conflict was later mentioned in The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural, which was released with collector's editions of The Old Republic upon its release on December 20 of 2011. While this battle is referred to as simply the "Battle of Bothawui" in the timeline and book, the following, more prominent battle is also referred to as the "Battle of Bothawui." The 2013 digital expansion for The Old Republic, titled Star Wars: The Old Republic: Galactic Starfighter was the first to identify the battle as the First Battle of Bothawui. The expansion also provided additional information on the conflict's participants.
- Timeline 5: The Battle of Bothawui (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (Codex entry)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Galactic Starfighter (Mentioned only) (First identified as First Battle of Bothawui)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Shadow of Revan (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Timeline 5: The Battle of Bothawui
- The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural
- According to Timeline 5: The Battle of Bothawui, this conflict occurs eighteen years before the Treaty of Coruscant. The Treaty was proposed and ratified in 3653 BBY, as seen in Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia.
- The Essential Atlas
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Galactic Starfighter—Codex: "B-3G9"
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Galactic Starfighter—Codex: "MZ-12"
- Star Wars: The Old Republic—Space Combat: "Clouds of Vondoru"
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia.
- While some sources, such as Star Wars: The Old Republic, The Old Republic, Blood of the Empire Act 1: Shades of the Sith, and Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia make mention of Imperial actions in the Mid Rim prior to the First Battle of Bothawui—such as the Battle of Talay, the engagement in the Mid Rim, and the Battle of Bomodon—most sources, including The Old Republic Encyclopedia and The Old Republic, clarify that the First Battle of Bothawui was the Empire's first significant attempt at penetrating the Mid Rim.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Shadow of Revan—Codex: "Master Kutri O'a"
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Galactic Starfighter