- "But at what cost? It's like you once said. 'Many lives get caught between the Republic and the Separatists.'"
"I did say that once. Then after watching the heroics and selflessness of the Jedi, I do believe the Republic is the right side to be on."
"What do you mean?"
"Dendup has appointed me the new senator of Onderon. I will follow in my mother's footsteps. And I will bring us back to the Republic."
- ―Ahsoka Tano and Lux Bonteri
Lux Bonteri was a Human male politician and rebel fighter from Onderon during the Clone Wars. Originally loyal to the Galactic Republic, Bonteri's family sided with the Confederacy of Independent Systems when Onderon seceded at the war's outset. They moved to the Separatist capital of Raxus after Bonteri's mother, Mina Bonteri, became the senator of Onderon in the Separatist Parliament. Reaching adolescence in a time of war, the idealistic Bonteri hoped, like his mother, for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, though he came to hate the Republic after the death of his father, an officer in the Confederacy military, at the hands of clone troopers from the Grand Army of the Republic. Over a year into the war, Bonteri was forced to rethink his views on the Republic and the Jedi Order after meeting a Jedi, Padawan Ahsoka Tano, for the first time. Yet he thereafter lost his mother due to the machinations of Count Dooku, who ordered her death to terminate a peace proposal that she had introduced. Bonteri briefly represented Onderon in the Parliament in his mother's place, but he soon withdrew to seek justice for her assassination.
Renouncing his Confederate ties, the orphaned Bonteri fell in with the Death Watch, a Mandalorian splinter group that shared his desire to kill Dooku. While working to determine Dooku's location for the Death Watch, Bonteri inadvertently involved Tano in his search for justice, which took them from a peace conference on Mandalore to the Death Watch's camp on Carlac. Despite Tano's allegations about the dishonorable conduct of the Death Watch, Bonteri refused to believe her claims until the group's leader, Pre Vizsla, had his charges raze an entire township of Ming Po before his very eyes. Bonteri ceased his involvement with the Death Watch and escaped from Carlac with Tano; though they parted ways, he promised they would meet again soon. Such was the case in 20 BBY, when Tano came to serve as an advisor for the group of rebels that Bonteri had joined to liberate Onderon from King Sanjay Rash's Separatist-backed regime. Coordinating their grass-roots insurgency with rebel leaders Saw and Steela Gerrera, Bonteri worked to free his homeworld by restoring the deposed King Ramsis Dendup to the throne.
After Bonteri and Saw petitioned the Jedi High Council for help, the Republic armed them against King Rash, and Tano was sent—alongside Jedi Knights Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi and Clone Captain Rex—to train the rebel soldiers. After her comrades departed, Tano stayed to aid the rebels, working with Bonteri and his associates to retake the capital city Iziz. On Bonteri's suggestion to win them the support of the civilian populace, the rebels targeted Iziz's main power generator, striking a critical blow to Rash's forces while further becoming public symbols for freedom. Once they rescued Ramsis Dendup from being executed by Rash, Bonteri and his colleagues withdrew from Iziz, making a stand against the Separatist Droid Army in the eastern highlands. Bonteri grew close to Steela and nursed a brief romance with her, but though they won out over Rash's battle droid army, Steela was killed in the fighting. With Onderon's independence restored, Bonteri, having been re-appointed by the reinstated King Dendup as the senator of Onderon, decided to join the Galactic Senate and bring Onderon back into the Republic.
Orphaned by war
- "Well, I mean, you think we're all the bad guys, but how many of us have you actually met? And droids don't count."
"Well, other than military officers like Grievous and Ventress, none, I guess. You and your mother are the first."
"Well, look at me. Am I so bad?"
- ―Lux Bonteri and Ahsoka Tano, in a discussion of perspectives
A Human male, Lux Bonteri was born to the prominent politician Mina Bonteri and her husband in the years preceding the galaxy-wide Clone Wars. Their family was of high status and hailed from Onderon, an Inner Rim world ruled by King Ramsis Dendup that was affiliated with the Galactic Republic. Bonteri's mother represented their homeworld in the Republic Senate and acted as a mentor to Padmé Amidala, an aspiring politician growing up on the planet Naboo. Bonteri thus became acquainted with Amidala during his early life. In 22 BBY, when the Republic entered into full-scale galactic conflict with the separatist Confederacy of Independent Systems, King Dendup advocated for Onderonian neutrality, attempting to keep their world out of the galaxy-wide intergovernmental tensions. Yet the monarch was ousted by King Sanjay Rash, who—by the Treaty of Iziz—allied Onderon with the Confederacy. Following Onderon's secession from the Republic, Bonteri's family joined the Separatists and subsequently became distanced from Amidala, who had become Naboo's delegate to the Republic Senate.
Bonteri's mother continued her representation of Onderon in the Separatist Parliament, which was headquartered on the Separatist capital of Raxus Secundus, or "Raxus" for short. Their family consequently moved to a large estate in a city on Raxus. Bonteri was forced to grow up in a time of war, and though he made several friends, his original views on the Republic and the Jedi Knights who served it were challenged. After his father, who worked as an officer for the Confederacy military, was killed in battle with the Grand Army of the Republic's clone troopers while establishing a base on Aargonar, Bonteri came to hate the Republic and became increasingly withdrawn, to his mother's concern. In 21 BBY, nearly a year after his father's death, Bonteri's mother was contacted by an old friend: Amidala, who sought an audience with her former mentor. Although the Republic Senate had outlawed contact with the Separatists to avoid legitimizing them as an official state, Amidala hoped, with the help of Bonteri's mother, to promote a peace accord between the two governments as a means of ending the war's increasing flow of casualties. Accompanying Amidala to Raxus was Ahsoka Tano, a Jedi Padawan of around Bonteri's age who hoped to gain greater insight into the nature of the conflict.
Once Amidala and Tano arrived at the Bonteri family estate aboard his mother's H-2 executive shuttle, Bonteri welcomed their guests and helped them with their luggage, though Tano, who did not trust the Separatists, brushed off his offer of help. While his mother explored with Amidala the possibility of Confederate–Republic peace negotiations, Bonteri spent some time outside in the estate's private garden, where Tano eventually joined him to get some air. Bonteri, identifying Tano as a Jedi from her lightsabers, had not met a Jedi up until then, and—having heard mixed viewpoints on them—was initially hesitant to admit to his biased perspective on the Jedi and the Republic. Yet he also questioned Tano's equally contained view of the Confederacy. Of the Separatists, Tano had only encountered military officers from the Separatist Droid Army like General Grievous and Commander Asajj Ventress; Bonteri and his mother were the first civilians with whom she had come face to face. Bonteri and Tano realized, respectively, that the Jedi and the Confederacy were not quite what they had been led to believe, and they grew in understanding of each other by reconsidering their assumptions about the other side of the war. They quickly became friends despite being on opposite sides.
At a following session of the Separatist Parliament, Bonteri's mother introduced a motion to open peace negotiations with the Republic, and she was able to win enough support from her colleagues to ratify the measure. With the Parliament suing for peace, Bonteri shared his mother and friends' hope that the Republic would respond in favor of negotiating an end to the Clone Wars with the Confederacy. Their work on Raxus done, Amidala and Tano prepared to return to the Republic capital world, Coruscant. Bonteri and his mother saw them off from a spaceport on Raxus; in parting, Tano told Bonteri that she hoped not to meet him on the battlefield, for his sake. Despite their efforts, Confederate Head of State Count Dooku, secretly the Sith apprentice to the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious, undertook measures to ensure that the war continued to serve the purposes of the Order of the Sith Lords. Dooku sanctioned a Separatist bombing of Coruscant's power generator, leading the Republic Senate to vote down the Parliament's offer for negotiations.
Shortly thereafter, the count organized a sneak attack on Confederate territory and had Sith assassins murder Bonteri's mother, then publicly blamed her death on a Republic assault and used the incident as an excuse to repeal the Parliament's peace proposal. Newly orphaned with both of his parents gone, Bonteri did not accept Dooku's explanation that the Republic was responsible for his mother's death.
Pursuit of justice
- "You know what you did, Dooku."
"Do I? I've done a lot of things, young man. And choose to remember them in order of importance. The death of your mother seems to have… escaped me."
"I will have my revenge."
[To a pair of commando droids] "I think it is time we reacquaint the young senator with his mother. Kill him."
- ―Lux Bonteri confronts Count Dooku
Bonteri briefly took over his mother's Senatorial seat for Onderon in the Separatist Parliament. Yet after discovering Dooku's part in her murder, Bonteri renounced his affiliations to the Confederacy and departed from Raxus to pursue justice for her death. He made contact with the Death Watch, a Mandalorian splinter group based on the planet Carlac that strove for a return to Mandalorian warrior culture over the pacifistic regime of Duchess Satine Kryze and her New Mandalorians. Led by the hardened warrior Pre Vizsla, the Death Watch had lost the support of Dooku and the Confederacy on the eve of a planned invasion of Mandalore, leading to their exile from the Mandalore system and their desire to murder Dooku. Sharing their objective and being blind to their murderous nature, Bonteri believed that the group had honor and sought membership. For admission, Vizsla ordered him to obtain Dooku's exact location so that they could target him. Bonteri developed a plan to openly accuse Dooku of murdering his mother, and when brought before the count, he would use a holotrace device to determine the Head of State's whereabouts via the holotransmission. With that information, he hoped that the Death Watch would be able to assassinate Dooku. To obtain Dooku's attention, Bonteri traveled to Mandalore, where Duchess Kryze was hosting the first-ever peace conference between delegations from the Republic Senate and the Separatist Parliament.
Although not invited to Mandalore by the Separatist delegates—Separatist Congress Leader Bec Lawise, Senator Voe Atell, and a Gossam senator—Bonteri proceeded to the royal palace in the capital city Sundari and interrupted the proceedings just as Atell was demanding that Padmé Amidala, the Republic delegation leader, acknowledge the Confederacy's legitimacy on behalf of the Republic. Making a dramatic entrance, Bonteri was escorted into the palace by Kryze's Mandalorian Royal Guard and caused a significant stir among both parties, particularly for Ahsoka Tano, who was serving as Amidala's bodyguard. After bowing to Kryze and receiving permission to speak, Bonteri wasted no time in accusing Dooku of complicity in his mother's assassination. The Separatist senators reacted with outrage to his claims, and Lawise, labeling him a traitor, immediately ordered his delegation's security droids to arrest the young man and remove him from the room. With the matter an internal Separatist affair, neither Kryze nor the Republic representatives could interfere. As a pair of BX-series droid commandos dragged him out of the throne room, Bonteri warned the Separatist delegates that they would all be betrayed by Dooku, as his mother had been.
The security droids escorted Bonteri to a C-9979 landing craft docked at the city spaceport, where he was brought before a holographic transmission of Dooku. Discreetly activating his holotrace device, Bonteri repeated his accusations to Dooku, who—unimpressed by his bravery—ordered the commando droids to execute him. Before the droids could do so, Tano, having followed Bonteri to the docks, stormed into the hold. Being bereft of her lightsabers as per Mandalorian law, Tano used the Force to destroy one of the droids and kicked the other aside. Bonteri took Tano's hand and joined her in escaping from the Separatist landing craft, though they were pursued by a trio of security droids that had been guarding the vessel. En route to the Phoenix, a Republic diplomatic GX1 Short Hauler elsewhere at the docks, Bonteri attempted to tell Tano that her assistance was appreciated but unnecessary. Nevertheless, Tano hurriedly urged him to the Phoenix, where Republic Captain Taggart and his retinue of Senate Guards held off the incoming security droids. Just as Bonteri and Tano were leaving Mandalore aboard the Phoenix, they were contacted by Tano's Master, Anakin Skywalker, who had just learned that the peace conference had collapsed. Although Bonteri apologized for the trouble he had caused, he was surprised when Tano revealed her intentions to bring him into the Republic. Skywalker agreed and told her that they could discuss giving Bonteri amnesty back on Coruscant.
Having no intention of joining the Republic, Bonteri drew his deactivator hold-out pistol on Tano once the transmission with Skywalker ended. Tano was shocked by his show of force and immediately disarmed him of his blaster pistol. Revealing that he was no longer a Separatist, Bonteri refused to join the Republic, as he saw the Death Watch as a more noble and effective group. Upon learning that Bonteri sought to kill Dooku, Tano did not wish for him to pursue such a futile goal and took control of the Phoenix, intending to take him to Coruscant. Yet Bonteri, resolute with his decision, stunned Tano and commandeered the vessel, traveling through hyperspace to Carlac to deliver his information to the Death Watch.
Dealings with the Death Watch
- "I believed you had honor, but you're just murderers. No better than Dooku."
"You call us murderers? And yet it was your own lust for revenge that made you seek us out."
"I wanted justice for my mother's death."
"And you shall have it. But the Jedi are no different from Dooku and this one shall pay in part for their crimes against Mandalore. So you see it's not murder at all. It's like you say. It's justice."
- ―Lux Bonteri and Pre Vizsla, as the latter prepares to execute Ahsoka Tano
En route to Carlac, Bonteri hid Tano's lightsabers in one of the Phoenix's storage pallets. Upon landing at a grove on the icy Carlac, Bonteri left Tano and her astromech droid, R2-D2, aboard and set off to meet the Death Watch. Just as an irate Tano joined him, six Death Watch soldiers led by Bo-Katan Kryze, a lieutenant for Pre Vizsla and Duchess Satine Kryze's sister, arrived to meet them. Bonteri reported that he had gathered Dooku's exact location; Tano, meanwhile, was forced to lie that she was Bonteri's betrothed when Bo-Katan inquired after her identity. Tano was shocked that he had fallen in with the Death Watch, which had a deep-rooted hatred for the Jedi Order, but Bonteri ignored her concerns and made to return with them to their camp aboard an RGC-16 airspeeder. While R2-D2—who had brought Tano's lightsabers but was forced to hide them from the Death Watch—was carried into the airspeeder, Tano, compelled to join her companion, rode on a Balutar-class swoop with one of the soldiers. At the camp, Bo-Katan took Bonteri and Tano to meet with Vizsla in the main tent, then went to find the Mandalorian leader. Once they were alone, Bonteri still refused to believe Tano's claims about the Death Watch's terrorist-based extremism. When he saw that Vizsla was about to enter the tent with Bo-Katan, Bonteri impulsively resorted to kissing Tano to silence her objections from them.
After sending Tano away with Bo-Katan, Vizsla wasted no time in demanding that Bonteri divulge Dooku's whereabouts. Although Bonteri attempted to barter with him to ensure that the information would be properly used, Vizsla threatened to give him a scar like his own from Dooku if the young man questioned his resolve. Acquiescing, Bonteri handed the holotrace device over to Vizsla, who ordered that a feast be held in celebration of their success with locating Dooku. At the dinner that evening, Bonteri sat with Vizsla and was served by Tano, who had become a servant alongside several Ming Po women whom the Death Watch had captured. The meal was interrupted by Chieftain Pieter, the leader of the nearby village from where the Death Watch had taken the females. No longer tolerating the Mandalorians' exploitation of his tribe, Pieter demanded that Vizsla and his comrades relocate from Carlac, to which Vizsla surprisingly agreed, giving his word that he would return Pieter's people at sunrise the next day. Bonteri took Vizsla's promise as a sign of good faith and said so to Tano, who remained unconvinced of the Death Watch's honor. Tano was proven true the next morning when she and Bonteri accompanied Vizsla and his soldiers to the rendezvous with Pieter.
Although Vizsla released the Ming Po women as he had promised, he thereafter killed Pieter's granddaughter Tryla with his Darksaber and then ordered his troops to raze the entire village to the ground. Horrified by the display of cruelty, Bonteri was welcomed into the Death Watch by Vizsla, who told him never to let the weak order him around. No longer able to hide being a Jedi with the lives of the Ming Po at stake, Tano attacked one of the soldiers who was using a flamethrower against the villagers. She was just as quickly captured and subdued by the Death Watch, and Vizsla had his men drag her back to camp via their cables, while Bonteri was detained for harboring a Jedi. As a snowstorm brewed, Bonteri and Tano were brought into the main tent, with Vizsla refusing Bonteri's request for Tano's release. Realizing that Tano had been right, Bonteri denounced the Death Watch as murderers, though Vizsla called out his own hypocrisy of wanting to murder Dooku, which had brought him to them in the first place. Vizsla intended to execute Tano for the Jedi Order's alleged crimes against Mandalore, but before he could do so, R2-D2 entered the tent and made a loud distraction by activating all of his tool systems. While Bonteri pushed Vizsla off balance and escaped from his captors, R2-D2 returned Tano's lightsabers to her. She summarily beheaded the four troopers who had been restraining her and told Bonteri to return to the Phoenix, while she faced Vizsla in lightsaber combat.
Once outside, Bonteri was greeted with a strange sight: reassembled by R2-D2, the Separatist battle droids that the Death Watch had been using for target practice turned on their masters. While Tano dueled with Vizsla and the battle droids occupied the rest of the enemy soldiers, Bonteri and R2-D2 made for the Death Watch's RGC-16 airspeeder, commandeering it and preparing to return to the Phoenix. Once Tano joined them, Bonteri piloted the speeder out of the camp, with Bo-Katan and two other soldiers pursuing them through the snowstorm via jetpack. Tano managed to repel the two soldiers with some help from R2-D2 but found it harder to defeat Bo-Katan, who nearly threw her off the vehicle. Just as Bo-Katan prepared to shoot Tano with a gauntlet blaster, Bonteri tipped the speeder to the side, causing Bo-Katan to lose her balance long enough for Tano to jump back aboard. After brawling with the Mandalorian warrior in unarmed combat, Tano Force-pushed Bo-Katan off the speeder. Bonteri, Tano, and R2-D2 made it safely to the Phoenix, aboard which they departed from Carlac.
Although Tano set course for Coruscant, Bonteri, determined to follow his own path, headed for the secondary pod and prepared to part ways with his friend to go into hiding. A moment before he was to detach, Tano arrived on the other side of the airlock and tried to convince him not to leave. Despite knowing that he could not accompany her to Coruscant, Bonteri admitted that they made a good team. He parted with Tano on good terms, her wishing him well and him promising they would meet again someday.
Battle for Onderon
Aiding the rebels
- "We need to build on our momentum and continue our attacks to keep them off balance."
"We have to assure the people first. If we keep disrupting their lives, we risk alienating them. We have to gain their trust."
"I agree with both of you. We can balance both. We also need to recruit others to join us."
- ―Saw Gerrera, Lux Bonteri, and Steela Gerrera
In the intervening weeks, Bonteri returned to Onderon, which was being occupied by the Separatist Droid Army. By 20 BBY, he grew determined to free his homeworld from King Sanjay Rash's Separatist-backed regime and joined the Onderon rebels, a grass-roots group based in the jungles outside the capital city Iziz. Led by self-appointed leader Saw Gerrera, the young insurgents refused to recognize Rash's rulership and sought to restore Ramsis Dendup to the throne. Working with Saw and his sister Steela Gerrera, Bonteri used his political skills to secure legitimacy for the insurgency. Although the rebels gained civilian recruits, they required training, as well as hardware and supplies, if they were to challenge the Confederacy. Bonteri addressed that problem by utilizing his contacts with the Jedi Order, given his friendship with Ahsoka Tano. He and Saw holographically contacted the Jedi High Council from the rebels' secret hideout and requested aid to retake Iziz from the Separatists. After Jedi Grand Master Yoda promised they would find a way to help, Bonteri looked to Tano—who was present at the meeting—for support, exchanging a brief glance with her before the transmission ended.
The Jedi Council agreed to arm the Onderon rebels against Rash's regime, providing credits and supplies while also sending a team of advisors—Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Ahsoka Tano, along with Clone Captain CT-7567, nicknamed "Rex," of the Republic Grand Army's 501st Legion—to train them to fight the Separatists. In equipping the insurgents, the High Council hoped to open fighting with the Confederacy on two fronts to liberate Onderon from enemy occupation. After Tano and her comrades arrived on Onderon, Steela brought them to the rebels' base, where they began training sessions to target specific elements of the Separatist Droid Army. Bonteri was glad to be reunited with Tano, though Steela remained wary of her, as she was an off-worlder. In their first lesson, Rex showed the rebels how to disable an Armored Assault Tank, with an electromagnetic pulse grenade tossed into the tank's front cabin and topside turret hatch. Bonteri and Saw paired up as the first team to practice the maneuver, but Bonteri fell off the main laser cannon while attempting to reach the top hatch, taking Saw with him on his way down. Steela helped disinfect Bonteri's injuries and also prevented a fight between him and Saw, who believed that the ex-senator was out of his element as a soldier. The next training session went differently, with Bonteri succeeding in tossing an EMP grenade through a droideka's deflector shield on his first try.
After both Gerreras found it difficult to master the grenade toss, Bonteri helped coach Steela, but she eventually gave up out of frustration, preferring her sniping abilities to combat the droids. While the Jedi oversaw blaster marksmanship practice, in which Steela particularly excelled, a Separatist battle group—having located the insurgent camp—arrived to quash the rebels. As battle droids invaded the camp, Bonteri took cover with Saw and Tano behind a broken wall, returning the droids' fire while Tano deflected incoming laser shots with her lightsabers. After Saw and several soldiers used homemade disruptors to take out the first infantry wave, an Armored Assault Tank entered the fray with a second wave of droids. Witnessing the devastation wrought by the tank's cannon, Bonteri and Saw teamed up to disable the tank. This time, their maneuver succeeded, with the two tossing thermal detonators into the tank's hatches and jumping clear before it exploded. The rebels took heart from being able to defend their camp and, using an idea devised by Bonteri, set off to take the fight directly to Rash. Posing as game hunters with a dalgo-drawn caravan, Bonteri and his comrades won passage through the walled Iziz's gates from the battle droid guards, then split up to avoid detection, agreeing to regroup after nightfall.
The rebels decided to execute a series of strikes on droid patrols throughout the city, with Bonteri carrying out an attack in Malgan Market. Hiding behind a merchant stand, Bonteri tossed an EMP grenade at a five-member B1 battle droid squad, deactivating the droids in front of a crowd of civilians. Bonteri met up with Tano and the Gerreras as well as Skywalker, Kenobi, and Rex, and they proceeded to a safe house in Iziz to review their progress. Despite the rebels' success with disrupting the patrols, Kenobi and Tano noted that the civilians had been frightened by the outbreak of violence. While Saw believed that they should increase their efforts against the Separatists, Bonteri and Steela agreed that they had to first earn the people's trust and assure them of their intentions if they were to overthrow Rash's regime. Bonteri proposed that they make a show of strength to secure public support: targeting the city power generator. Tano, continuing to serve as an advisor, accompanied Bonteri and the Gerreras to inspect the generator complex while Skywalker, Kenobi, and Rex returned to Coruscant to report back to the Jedi Council.
From an adjacent rooftop, Bonteri and his comrades surveyed the generator, which, if destroyed, would compromise the battle droids' source for recharging and thus render them useless. Using a pilfered B1 battle droid cranial unit, Saw discovered via robolobotomy that there were a large number of droid sentries stationed at every access point to the generator station. Bonteri worked with Steela to devise an assault plan, and they decided that they would commandeer an Armored Assault Tank to eliminate the generator. To secure a tank, the rebels targeted a large patrol of battle droids that night, hoping that a tank would be called in for support. However, the initial reinforcements took the form of a pair of shielded droidekas, forcing Bonteri and his comrades to change tactics. Bonteri and Saw raced through some adjacent alleyways to outflank the droidekas and, once behind them, tossed EMP grenades through their shields to deactivate them. Saw managed to disable one of the droids, but Bonteri botched his toss, his grenade gaining too much speed to penetrate the second droid's shield. Steela came to their aid by manually depositing a grenade through the shield, disabling the droideka. Shortly thereafter, their hoped-for Armored Assault Tank arrived along with several B2 super battle droids, and Steela, Tano, and rebel soldier Dono provided cover for Bonteri and Saw to reach the tank.
Once the two disabled the vehicle with EMP grenades, Steela rebooted its computer systems, allowing Saw to drive them to the power generator. Bonteri remained with Saw aboard the tank while Steela and Tano drew the attention of the droids defending the front entrance to the complex. After Saw blasted through the front entrance with the tank's main cannon, a squad of BX-series droid commandos came to confront the rebels, taking advantage of the main gun's required recharge time. One of the droid commandos nearly knocked Bonteri off his perch on the tank and proceeded to attack Steela, but Bonteri recovered in time to shoot the droid through the head. Once Saw used the tank's cannon to destroy the generator, Bonteri and the others abandoned the tank, retreating from the scene. In the following hours, the rebels executed a string of attacks on droid patrols in the city, gaining widespread support for their cause. The rebels held a celebration at their safe house to commemorate their victory, during which Dono extemporaneously proposed that they elect Steela as their leader. When Steela was voted leader by a majority, Saw—disappointed with losing his position—stormed out of the room, and Steela left to reassure her brother. Saw took some time to accept his comrades' decision, but he ultimately agreed, as did Bonteri, that his sister was the best candidate for leader.
Rescuing Ramsis Dendup
- "I knew you couldn't resist a good fight."
"Am I becoming that predictable?"
"Only to me."
- ―Lux Bonteri thanks Ahsoka Tano for her assistance to the rebels after she rescues General Tandin
The rebels' destruction of the power generator proved their strength to Rash, who publicly decried them as terrorists. Bonteri, already considered a fugitive criminal since his actions against Dooku and the Confederacy, further became an enemy of the crown as his connection to the insurgency became known. He meanwhile began to develop feelings for Steela, to whom he had become close. As the rebels escalated their attacks, they decided to make a public address to gain support in Iziz. While Steela led an assault on a Separatist troop column, Bonteri surreptitiously placed a holoprojector on a crate in Malgan Market, then rendezvoused with Tano, who had planted another transmitter elsewhere in the city. Once they received a signal from Steela, both remotely activated their holoprojectors, which each generated a large hologram of Steela that towered above the rooftops. Steela assured the civilian populace of the rebellion's intentions and declared that they needed to reinstate Ramsis Dendup, their rightful ruler; her words did much to ease the beleaguered people's fears.
Some time after Bonteri and the others returned to their safe house, Dono arrived with the grave news that Rash, holding Dendup responsible for instigating the rebel attacks, was holding a public execution of the former king the next day in Yolahn Square. The Gerrera siblings agreed on the need to rescue Dendup but became divided over the best time to do so. Steela believed that they could gain momentum by freeing him during the execution, in a display for all of Iziz to witness. Saw, on the other hand, was convinced that the Separatists expected them to do just that, and was of the opinion that they should act more quickly. He departed to rescue Dendup on his own despite protest from Bonteri and Steela, the latter of whom sent Dono to follow her brother. Later that evening, Bonteri joined Steela in brainstorming a way for them to free Dendup, though he became distracted and could not help letting his feelings for her show; she spurned his interest in her for the time being and had him gather the other rebels to be briefed on the plan. Steela's idea was for them to stage their rescue just as Dendup was about to be executed, a strategy that Bonteri saw as risky but attainable due to the element of surprise. When Bonteri asked Tano if she would be taking part, she stated that she would not be participating, as she had already become more involved in Onderonian affairs than the Jedi Council had intended.
At that moment, Dono rushed into the room and reported that Saw had been captured while trying to free Dendup from imprisonment in Rash's royal palace, the Unifar Temple. Bonteri promptly gathered a squad to free Saw, but Steela stopped him, maintaining that because their priority was Dendup, they lacked the time and manpower to rescue both her brother and the former king. When Tano agreed with Steela's orders, Bonteri and his comrades reluctantly acquiesced, resolving to adhere to their original plan. The morning of the execution, Bonteri and Steela took several soldiers to Yolahn Square for their rescue operation. There, they shouldered their way through the crowd of hundreds gathering to watch the proceedings. Flanked by a line of B1 battle droids, Rash brought Dendup out onto the steps of the Unifar Temple, followed by a handcuffed Saw, several IG-100 MagnaGuards, and General Kalani, a super tactical droid whom Dooku had sent to Onderon in command of droid reinforcements for Rash. Just as Rash issued the order for Dendup's execution, Steela signaled the rebels to begin their attack. Bonteri pulled Steela's sniper rifle out from under his cloak, and she used it to snipe the two MagnaGuards that were about to activate Dendup's electroguillotine.
Acting swiftly, Bonteri tossed a pair of smoke grenades onto the palace steps, generating a smoke cover that he and his fellow soldiers employed to engage the droids. He slipped through the smoke and knocked down Rash with his blaster, then covered Steela from the droids as she freed Dendup from the electroguillotine. Before they could escape with Dendup, Bonteri and his friends found all of their paths blocked by B2 super battle droids that Kalani had called in as reinforcements. At Kalani's demand for their surrender, Dendup told the rebels to lay down their weapons. Bonteri and the others complied, being taken aside by the super battle droids as Rash prepared to execute them once he had dealt with Dendup. Just as another pair of MagnaGuards readied their electrostaffs to trigger Dendup's electroguillotine, the execution was again interrupted, this time by General Tandin of the Royal Onderon Militia. Having previously sworn allegiance to Rash and the crown, Tandin—who had come to regret his servitude to Rash and the Confederacy following a discussion with the captive Saw—came to the aid of the rebels. With Tandin and his squad of royal Onderon Guards facing down Rash and his battle droids, Bonteri released Dendup from the electroguillotine.
While Tandin held Rash hostage as leverage over the Separatists, the Onderon Guards helped Bonteri and Dendup escape with the Gerreras and their other comrades into the crowd, which cheered the turn of events. Only Tandin was left behind, and he was saved from Kalani's droids thanks to intervention from Tano. Bonteri and the rebels brought Dendup to the safe house, where they were soon joined by Tano and Tandin. Tandin pledged his loyalty and that of the Royal Onderon Militia to Dendup, as did Steela on behalf of the rebellion. Although their fight to free Onderon was sure to escalate, as the Separatists would respond to their rescue of Dendup with full force, Steela believed that their numbers would grow with the former king now on their side. As they celebrated Dendup's release, Bonteri relayed his gratitude to Tano, who had interceded to help them despite her orders from the Jedi Council.
The final fight
- "Steela would be glad. Her sacrifice gave Onderon its freedom."
- ―Lux Bonteri, to Ahsoka Tano
With the looming prospect of full-scale fighting, the Onderon rebels decided to withdraw from Iziz to the Onderon highlands, which lay to the east of the capital, in an effort to minimize civilian casualties. Before joining their comrades, Bonteri accompanied Tano to Malgan Market one last time, where she placed another holographic projector that transmitted a message to the civilians from Ramsis Dendup. In his address, Dendup spoke in favor of the rebels and urged the population to protest the Separatists' wrongful repression of their independence. His words caused the people in the town square to turn against the present droid patrols, while Tano departed from an adjacent roof with Bonteri on his ruping mount. They flew due east to the nest, the base that the rebels had established in the mountains, and reported the rioting to Dendup, Tandin, and the Gerreras. Much to the surprise of Bonteri and the others, Dendup designated Steela as the overall commanding general of the royal army in Tandin's stead. Honored by Dendup's faith in her, Steela immediately began preparations for the forthcoming battle, and though Bonteri did not get a chance to congratulate her, she briefly let down her guard to exchange a kiss with him.
It was not long before Kalani located the rebels in the mountains and sent out a full army of battle droids to confront them. While Tandin oversaw the insurgency and the Royal Militia's joint ground campaign against the droids, Saw took to the skies with a group of ruping riders to launch aerial bombardments on the enemy infantry. Bonteri, meanwhile, joined Steela and Tano atop one of the rocky spires to blast the droids from their elevated position. The ensuing engagement progressed in favor of the rebels until the arrival of a squadron of HMP droid gunships. Being ray shielded, the droid gunships were able to withstand the soldiers' blaster fire and attacked Bonteri's spire platform with scores of missiles, forcing him to take flight with Tano on his ruping while Steela escaped on her own mount. The three took up position on the ground, providing covering fire as Tandin and Saw, unable to repel the droid gunships, retreated with their men to escape the heavy ordnance barrages. Bonteri, Tano, and the Gerreras regrouped with Tandin and Dendup at the nest to decide on their next move. Steela ordered Saw and Tandin to stagger their defense to the camp, having their men remain in small teams so as to avoid forming large targets for the enemy gunships. Bonteri was frustrated that Tano, who had requested reinforcements from Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi to counter the deadly gunships, had her hands tied on account of the Republic's inability to interfere in what was seen as an internal Onderonian affair, but Steela was nevertheless grateful for the Padawan's assistance.
Bonteri was soon to have a change of heart about the Republic's involvement. The Personal Luxury Yacht 3000 Fortune and Glory landed near the nest, and Captain Hondo Ohnaka and some members of his gang of pirates disembarked with several crates of cargo. Although Bonteri, Steela, and Tano were wary of the pirates, Ohnaka revealed that his cargo was a smuggled supply of RPS-6 rocket launchers, paid for by Skywalker on the Republic's behalf for use against the droid gunships. Ohnaka and his men promptly left when a trio of droid commandos arrived and attacked the rebels. Once Steela and her ruping made quick work of the droids, she, Bonteri, and Tano each loaded up a pair of the rocket launchers and set off to distribute the heavy artillery to Saw and the others, who had already engaged the battle droids in the canyon leading to the nest. The rocket launchers proved to be a success, as they allowed Saw and his men to penetrate the enemy gunships' ray shields, to great effect. Shortly thereafter, Steela received word from a soldier back at the nest that one of the gunships, with orders to assassinate Dendup, was targeting the clifftop base. Following Steela's lead, Bonteri climbed onto his ruping with Tano and headed back to protect Dendup. Steela reached the nest ahead of them and defended Dendup from several droid commandos pursuing him to the edge of the cliff, while Bonteri and Tano, upon landing, cut through an additional squad of B1 battle droids.
As Steela saved Dendup from the droid commandos, Saw shot down the last of the droid gunships, which crashed into the cliff face upon which Bonteri and the others were standing. Bonteri and Tano were able to avoid the crashing gunship, but it hit the edge of the cliff where Steela was with Dendup, destabilizing it. After pushing Dendup to safety, Steela failed to jump to stable ground herself and helplessly clung to the edge. Immediately coming to his friend's aid, Bonteri crawled onto the cliff face and found Steela's hand just a few inches out of reach. He, too, would have fallen off if not for Tano, who telekinetically lifted him to safety with the Force, then turned her attention to Steela. Before Tano could pull Steela to stable ground, the downed droid gunship, its laser cannon still operational, trained its gun on Tano and hit her through the shoulder. Although Bonteri briskly took up Steela's sniper rifle and disabled the gunship's cannon, the damage had been done: Tano's wound disrupted her concentration long enough for her Force hold on Steela to be severed. Bonteri and Tano looked on in horror as their friend fell to her death on the rocks below, the final and most devastating casualty for Bonteri and the rest of the rebels to endure.
Bonteri and Tano flew their ruping down to the base of the canyon, where a crestfallen Saw cradled the body of his sister as the other soldiers stood in shock. Saw, having shot down the gunship that had compromised the cliff face, felt responsible for Steela's death, but Bonteri told him that she had known—as well as they had—the risk that freeing Onderon had required. The rebels emerged victorious over the Separatists in the highlands, and the Confederate defeat prompted Dooku to withdraw Kalani and his forces from Onderon due to the unfavorable prospect of a prolonged conflict. After Bonteri and his comrades returned to Iziz, Dendup reclaimed the throne from Rash, who had been assassinated by Kalani on Dooku's orders. In one of his first acts as the reinstated monarch, Dendup re-appointed Bonteri as Onderon's Senatorial representative. With Onderon liberated from Confederate influence, a ceremony was held at the Unifar Temple to commemorate Steela's sacrifice and Onderon's restored independence. Thousands of citizens gathered in Yolahn Square to mourn the loss of the rebel leader alongside Bonteri, Tano, Saw, and their comrades; Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi also came to pay their respects. Having seen the valor of the Jedi and the Republic's commitment to freedom, Bonteri decided to continue his mother's pursuit of peace by joining the Galactic Senate and bringing Onderon back into the Republic, a choice that Tano was pleased to hear.
Personality and traits
Adolescent in wartime
- "Look at me. I'm not so bad, am I?"
"No, not bad at all."
"Ugh. Well, it seems boys are the same whether they're Republic or Separatist."
- ―Ahsoka Tano and Lux Bonteri
A fair-skinned Human male, Lux Bonteri stood 1.78 meters tall and had brown hair and pale blue eyes. Idealistic from a young age, he was brought up in the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars. Born to a prominent Separatist senator, he shared some of his mother Mina's views, including her frustration and sadness with the war's never-ending casualties; he lamented that so many lives were caught in the fighting between the Republic and the Confederacy. Following the death of his father, a fervent supporter of the Confederacy, Bonteri became increasingly withdrawn, much to his mother's concern, and developed a hatred for the Republic. A polite and well-mannered host, he obediently offered to relieve his family's house guests, Padmé Amidala and Ahsoka Tano, of their luggage when asked to do so. He became acquainted with Amidala during her studies under his mother's charge. Like his mother, he wanted for the war to reach a diplomatic end, though their campaign for peace did not succeed. He was perturbed but not outright offended when Tano, who harbored a distrust for all Separatists, curtly refused his offer to help her with her luggage.
Prior to the war, Bonteri was taught that the Jedi Knights of the Republic were good, but that mindset was challenged after his family joined the Confederacy. The people whom he befriended in the following months blamed the Republic and the Jedi for the war's bloodshed, and he responsively became skeptical of the aims of the Republic and the Jedi Order. Upon meeting a Jedi, Tano, for the first time, Bonteri initially did not know what to make of her. After speaking with her, he realized that the Jedi were not as bad as he had originally believed, though when asked what he thought of her, he took the opportunity to flirt with her. While conferring with Tano, Bonteri played a significant part in helping her see that the war was not as black-and-white as she had presumed, causing her to think twice about the Separatists and enabling her to see that they were not inherently evil, as she had at first contended. The two grew in understanding of each other as time went on, each revisiting ideas of what had formerly been a faceless enemy, and fostered a friendship that began to develop with stronger feelings.
Senator and freedom fighter
- "I didn't realize you had such strong ties to Onderon."
"Onderon is my home. My mother represented it in the Senate."
"Your voice is strong. Like hers was."
- ―Ahsoka Tano, Lux Bonteri, and Steela Gerrera
After his mother was killed, the orphaned Bonteri did not believe that the Republic was responsible as Dooku claimed. When he learned that Dooku—whom he had once admired as a strong and trusted leader—had ordered his mother's assassination, Bonteri swore vengeance and vowed to bring the count to justice. By that time, he had gained enough political acumen to replace his mother as the senator of Onderon, though he later resigned his Parliament seat to pursue revenge. He had no intention of joining the Republic and refused to accept amnesty; the Republic's failure to protect his mother only deepened his resentment toward it. So focused was he on avenging his mother's death that he fell in with the Death Watch, to whose terrorist and murderous ways he was blind. He badly misjudged the character of the Mandalorians and their potential for cruelty, instead seeing only nobility in them and their leader, Pre Vizsla. While working to determine Dooku's whereabouts, Bonteri displayed bravery in breaching protocol and openly accusing Dooku of murder, refusing to be silenced by Bec Lawise at the peace conference on Mandalore. In his speech there, he claimed to be a loyal Separatist, even a patriot, despite having severed his Confederate ties.
Throughout the incident, Bonteri retained his friendship with Tano and appreciated her help, though he believed that he had everything under control. Despite not being a fighter, he went so far as to turn a deactivator pistol on Tano when she attempted to take him to Coruscant. He even stunned her unconscious so that he could rendezvous with the Death Watch. Blinded by his desire for revenge, Bonteri stood by his plan to murder Dooku and did not wish for Tano to compromise it. To prevent her objections from being overheard, he impulsively kissed her as part of her cover that she was his betrothed. Although he wanted for Vizsla and the Death Watch to correctly use the information on Dooku's whereabouts, he risked raising the hardened Vizsla's ire in doing so. He failed to heed Tano's claims about the Death Watch's cruel and violent nature, believing that she simply did not understand his situation, but finally realized otherwise when Vizsla ordered an attack on the Ming Po village. He came to see the Death Watch as little better than Dooku, though a hypocrisy in him was noted by Vizsla, who recalled that it was Bonteri's own desire for revenge that had brought him to them in the first place. Once they had escaped from the Death Watch, Bonteri, electing to go into hiding, was still determined to follow his own path, even if it meant leaving Tano behind. He promised her that they would meet again one day, parting with her on amicable terms before setting off to find his own destiny.
In the time following the incident on Carlac, Bonteri came to regret his attempt at joining the Death Watch and was grateful to Tano for helping him see the error of his ways. He soon found a new cause in the Onderon rebels, becoming a soldier to fight for Onderonian independence. He used his political skills to aid the insurgency in obtaining legitimacy, and he also secured training and supplies via his contacts with the Jedi Order, given his connection with Tano. Though he grew determined to free his homeworld from Separatist influence by restoring Ramsis Dendup to the throne, his ill feelings toward the Republic remained; as he told Tano, he was not fighting for the Republic. He knew that their insurgency required the support of the people if they were to overthrow King Sanjay Rash's regime, repeatedly advocating that they win the civilians' trust by assuring them of their intentions, so as to ensure that the rebels were not publicly feared as the Separatist battle droids were. He clashed with fellow rebel Saw Gerrera on multiple occasions, believing that their success depended on political strength as well as military power, the latter of which Saw relied upon. Though they learned to work together, Bonteri often became irritated with Saw's short temper; Saw in turn questioned his effectiveness on the battlefield given his background as a politician. Bonteri nursed a close friendship with Saw's sister Steela, growing closer to her as they took the fight to Rash in Iziz.
After Saw was captured by Rash's forces during a single-handed attempt to free Dendup, Bonteri believed that they should act quickly and gathered his fellow soldiers to rescue Saw. He expected Steela to agree, but she convinced him—with the aid of Tano, who stated that purpose was more important than personal feelings—that they could not afford to divide their resources by rescuing both Dendup and her brother. Bonteri's part in saving Dendup from execution earned him the gratitude of the former king, who believed that Bonteri's mother would be proud of him for his commitment to liberty. Throughout their operations, Bonteri developed feelings for Steela and, at one point, could not resist letting them show. He was saddened when she placed her leadership of the insurgency first and rebuffed him in the interim, though he did not lose hope that she would reciprocate his interest in her. She eventually admitted that she shared his feelings, and they exchanged a kiss before the battle for the highlands. At the same time, Bonteri maintained his close relationship with Tano, who in turn was forced to confront her own confused emotions toward him. At times he became frustrated with the Jedi High Council's limits on her involvement in the fighting, but through her he nevertheless witnessed firsthand the heroics and selflessness of the Jedi.
Bonteri was grateful to find that the Jedi Order and the Republic had not given up on the rebels when Anakin Skywalker managed to smuggle a supply of much-needed rocket launchers to them. The Jedi's part in liberating Onderon from the Confederacy had a lasting impression on Bonteri, who—contrary to his original expectations—began to reconsider his long-held bitterness toward the Republic. Despite recognizing the substantial risk to becoming involved in the war between the Republic and the Confederacy, he saw the Republic as the best ally to ensure Onderon's continued freedom and independence. In addition, although he was devastated with losing Steela and deeply mourned her passing, her sacrifice further galvanized his determination to continue his mother's pursuit of peace and her work toward realigning Onderon with the Republic, in his renewed capacity as his homeworld's senator.
- "What are you doing with a gun, anyhow? You're not a fighter."
- ―Ahsoka Tano, after seeing Bonteri's deactivator pistol
Being the son of a well-known politician in a high-standing family, Lux Bonteri dressed formally while living on Raxus, even for daily activities around his family's estate. He wore a collared, embroidered lavender suit made of cloth, complete with a neck pin, metal shin guards, and black leather boots. After leaving Raxus, he sported darker, more all-purpose clothes, including gloves, a coat complete with shoulder guards, and even a deactivator pistol as personal weaponry. In icy conditions, he donned a headcap for warmth. Once he joined the Onderon rebels, Bonteri adopted soldier's gear to supplement his all-purpose suit, including a heavy vest with various equipment that he hefted over his coat. For weaponry, he carried a twin set of blaster pistols holstered on his thighs, as well as a DC-15S at times. As necessitated by the insurgency's covert operations, he wore a hooded cloak to conceal his identity.
Behind the scenes
- "On this adventure, we thought it would be very exciting to start to hint at a… problem for Ahsoka, which would be contact with a boy of her age that has nothing to do with the Jedi Knights, and a boy that is very different from Anakin Skywalker in every possible way. This boy was Lux Bonteri."
- ―Dave Filoni, on Lux Bonteri's role in "Heroes on Both Sides" as part of the character development of Ahsoka Tano
The character of Lux Bonteri was created for the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series and first appeared in "Heroes on Both Sides," an episode that aired with the series' third season on November 19, 2010. Voice actor Jason Spisak provided Bonteri's voice in the episode, which was written by Daniel Arkin and directed by Kyle Dunlevy. Bonteri's primary purpose as a character was to challenge Ahsoka Tano's anti-Separatist perspective on the war, as she had been brought up on teachings from such figures as her Master, Anakin Skywalker. Bonteri also became a potential romantic interest for Tano, given their shared age and views. He returned to the series, again voiced by Spisak, in the episode "A Friend in Need," which aired on January 13, 2012 as part of the series' fourth season. The episode, which expanded on the alluded romance between Tano and Bonteri in "Heroes on Both Sides," was written by Series Head Writer Christian Taylor and directed by Supervising Director Dave Filoni, who took a personal interest in the story.
Bonteri received an entry in the StarWars.com Encyclopedia in September 2011, which later updated to attribute Onderon as his homeworld. Another update confirmed that he briefly filled his mother's position in the Separatist Parliament, something that had been referred to in "A Friend in Need" but not explicitly clarified. In October 2012, Bonteri was featured in a four-part story arc—comprising the episodes "A War on Two Fronts," "Front Runners," "The Soft War," and "Tipping Points"—in the series' fifth season, for which Jason Spisak returned to voice the character. Besides advancing his role in the Onderon rebels, the story arc brought Tano's feelings for him to a head due to his own romance with Steela Gerrera.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Heroes on Both Sides" (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "A Friend in Need"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "A War on Two Fronts"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Front Runners"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Soft War"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Tipping Points"
- The Clone Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy (Mentioned only)