- "Gungans no dyin' witout a fight. Wesa warriors. Wesa got a grand army."
- ―Jar Jar Binks
The Gungan Grand Army was a large Gungan army on the planet Naboo. It was formed around 3000 BBY by Boss Gallo during the War of the Gungan tribes to defeat Boss Rogoe. During its history, it fought the Gungan–Naboo War with the Naboo. In 32 BBY, the Trade Federation invaded Naboo, enslaving the Naboo people and driving the Gungans out of Otoh Gunga.
It was believed that the first Gungan "grand army" was assembled to defend against Bursas, large and dangerous animals. The grand army eventually drove the bursas to extinction. Sometime around 3000 BBY, the Grand Army formed at the peak of the War of the Gungan tribes when Boss Gallo united the Gungans to defeat the warlord Boss Rogoe.
In 100 BBY, the Grand Army fought off unknown invaders of Naboo. As a result, the Gungan tribes were united even closer than they were after the War of Gungan Tribes thousands of years before.[source?] Every Gungan city was required to hold annual drills for its militiagungs so that the Grand Army could be assembled in thirty-six hours.
Crisis on Naboo
- "Wesa ready to do our-sa part."
- ―Boss Nass in regards to the upcoming battle.
In 32 BBY, the planet of Naboo was blockaded and invaded by the Trade Federation. By that time, the Grand Army had not been called for over 100 years. It had been maintained to defend against large predators and tradition. The Naboo people were entirely overwhelmed by the Trade Federation Droid Army, allowing the Droid Army to turn its attention to subjugating the rest of Naboo. The Droid Army swept through the swamps, driving out the Gungans from Otoh Gunga. When the Queen of Naboo, Padmé Amidala, returned from her voyage to acquire help, she met with the survivors from Otoh Gunga and convinced Boss Rugor Nass to help them. Boss Nass agreed to assist in retaking Naboo, and set about gathering and rebuilding the Grand Army. The Grand Army, sent out as bait for the Droid Army, was composed of two-thousand Gungans and was commanded by General Tobler Ceel under Boss Nass and the Bombad General Jar Jar Binks. The battle on the plains of Naboo weakened the Grand Army but they succeeded nonetheless by preventing the Trade Federation's army from intervening in Theed. 543 Gungans were killed and its leaders captured, but the destruction of the Droid Control Ship in orbit shut down the Droid Army.
During the Clone Wars, around the year 21 BBY, Jedi Grand Master Yoda contacted the Boss of Otoh Gunga, Lyonie, to ask for assistance in a battle. Binks, now a Senator, convinced Lyonie to assist. Binks, along with a portion of the Gungan Grand Army, was sent to Mon Calamari onboard a Venator Star Destroyer. Many Gungans died in that engagement while fighting Aqua droids, and many were captured when the Separatist leader Riff Tamson used a Trident vessel to create a whirlpool. The survivors were sent to a prison camp among Mon Calamari's coral reefs. Soon after, the Mon Calamari prince Lee-Char visited the camp and told the prisoners to wait for his signal before attacking. Lee-Char was captured and brought before Tamson, and was scheduled to be executed. The Quarren, Mon Calamari's other race, had joined the Separatist cause but betrayed the Separatists and freed the prisoners. The Grand Army was able to fight back, and some Gungans joined Captain Ackbar in taking down a Trident-class ship. The battle was ultimately won, and Lee-Char was crowned king.
At a later time, there was unrest on Naboo. Rumors were circulating that the Gungans allied with the Separatist Alliance. Boss Lyonie was calling on the Grand Army to march on Theed. Amidala, now Naboo's senator, along with the Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, returned to Naboo to defuse the situation. They met Binks on Lake Paonga, and the Gungan took them to Otoh Gunga to meet Lyonie. The Boss rejected their help, but Skywalker realized Lyonie was under a form of mind control from a necklace given to him by Minister Rish Loo. The Jedi crushed the necklace and freed Lyonie. Lyonie then confronted Loo, who betrayed the Boss and stabbed him. Loo escaped from Otoh Gunga and went to the surface to inform the Grand Army that Lyonie was dead and rally them to march on Theed.
Lyonie survived his wound but was unconscious. Skywalker saw that Binks resembled the Boss, and convinced him to pose as Boss Lyonie to call off the Grand Army's attack. They went to the surface, and Binks was able to fool the Grand Army into believing that he was Lyonie. Rish Loo, seeing that his ruse had failed, escaped deeper into the swamps on a Flitknot speeder bike. Three C-9979 landing craft then entered the area and landed. One disgorged a tactical droid with a B2 super battle droid escort. Binks and General Tarpals followed the tactical droid onto the landing craft, where they met General Grievous. Binks, still posing as Lyonie, told the cyborg general that he wasn't going to go through with the attack. That angered Grievous, and Binks acquiesced and ordered Tarpals to prepare the troops. Tarpals disembarked and contacted Amidala, who suggested a strategy. Binks, meanwhile, stalled for time, but Grievous saw through the ruse and attempted to kill him. Binks escaped off the craft and saw that the Grand Army had succeeded in shutting down the droid army and was gathered around to try to capture the Separatist general. Tarpals and several other warriors engaged the general in the duel. Grievous fatally stabbed Tarpals, who used his sacrifice to impale the cyborg leader with a spear, distracting him long enough for the other warriors to hit him with boomas, knock him down, and capture him.
Skywalker chased Rish Loo to his secret outpost, which was in use by Count Dooku, the head of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Dooku killed Loo, then dueled Skywalker. Skywalker was subdued and captured, and Dooku contacted Amidala, offering a prisoner exchange: the Jedi for the General, and gave her one hour to decide. Later, a Sheathipede shuttle arrived near the gathering of the Grand Army. The tactical droid delivered the wounded Skywalker to the Naboo contingent, and the Grand Army let Grievous go. The Separatist army then left Naboo. Neeyutnee, Naboo's current Queen, praised Binks for reuniting the Naboo and the Gungans again.
Galactic Civil War
In the period after the Battle of Yavin, Grand Army militiagungs and Generals could be found in various Naboo cities. In 4 ABY, the Grand Army aided the Naboo in ridding the planet of the Galactic Empire.
The Grand Army could only be called by the reigning Boss of Otoh Gunga.
- Militiagungs—Gungan citizens pressed into part-time military service, armed with boomas and supplied with Atlatls and personal energy shields. They supply their own gear and are inexperienced but courageous.
- Gungan Guard—Otoh Gunga security guards armed with double-bladed electropoles.
- Kaadu Cavalry—Kaadu-riding fighters armed with cestas.
- Grand Army Officers—Captains and Generals. Generals lead individual sections of troops in battle battle and use horns, whistles and gestures to relay orders.
Equipment and vehicles
The Gungans primarily used organic technology and grew their vehicles and weapons. Much of their equipment was hand-crafted. The Grand Army's strategy was defensive-oriented with their deflector shield generators mounted on their large animals, the fambaas. The deflector shield blocked laser blasts but allowed slower-moving objects in. The Gungan offensive weaponry consisted of spears, atlatls, Electropole and cestas for throwing boomas. Gungan battle wagons pulled by falumpasets carried large energy balls for use in catapults.
The Gungans also used bongos for transporting supplies.[source?] The Grand Army used kaadus as mounts for their officers and as cavalry, with their riders using flamethrowers. Other kaadus were mounted with weapons to serve as anti-infantry units. The Grand Army also used biological units as heavy weapons, such as cerrabores and lerraas, and swifts. Other heavy weapons included raapturs. Glurrgs assisted the Grand Army as workers.
Behind the scenes
The Gungan Grand Army appears in material relating to the release of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace.
The New Essential Guide to Alien Species states that the first Grand Army was formed in 100 BBY to fight off unknown invaders and unite the Gungan tribes. However, this conflicts with the fact that it was in existence thousands of years before during the War of Gungan Tribes and the Gungan-Naboo War.
Another contradiction in the Essential Guides is the existence of the Gungan-Naboo War. One source states that a war occurred between 150 BBY and 121 BBY. The New Essential Guide to Alien Species states that there was never a war between the Gungans and Naboo.
In the 2001 video game Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, the Gungan Grand Army gets its own campaign narrated by Boss Nass. The game chronicles its formation under Boss Gallo and skips to the Invasion of Naboo. The last mission is an alternate history scenario where the Grand Army outright wins the Battle of Grassy Plains and liberates Theed. The last mission in the OOM-9 (Droid Army) campaign is another alternate history scenario where the Droid Army defeats the Gungan Grand Army. The same game also establishes that, in addition to its ground army, the Gungan Grand Army also possessed a Navy (of both the aquatic and starfaring varieties), a mechanized army, an air force, and a heavy weapons division.
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Shadow Warrior"
- Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds Databank
- The Essential Atlas
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Gungan Attack"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Prisoners"
- Grand Army units can be seen as NPCs in Star Wars Galaxies
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary