- "That is one big cruiser-crusher!"
- ―Ahsoka Tano upon seeing the Malevolence for the first time
The Malevolence was a Subjugator-class heavy cruiser that served in the naval forces of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, as well as the flagship of Kaleesh Separatist General Grievous. Designed in secret on the planet Pammant by Ruggle Schmong, the Malevolence was one of two examples of a Subjugator-class model. In 22 BBY, during the Clone Wars, the Galactic Republic suffered a series of attacks launched by the Malevolence in several star systems, but was, however, later discovered by the Republic following the Battle of Abregado, where Jedi General Plo Koon managed to escape the destruction of his fleet and report his findings to the Republic.
After Koon reported his findings, the Malevolence, which had targeted the Republic's secret Outer Rim medical station in the Ryndellia system, was crippled by a squadron of BTL-B Y-wing starfighter/bombers led by Jedi General Anakin Skywalker and Koon. Following its failure to destroy the medical station, the Malevolence was destroyed by General Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, who snuck aboard the battleship in order to rescue the captive Senator Padmé Amidala from Grievous, during which Skywalker sabotaged the warship's navigation systems to direct it into the nearby Dead Moon of Antar.
One of two examples of a Subjugator-class heavy cruiser, the Malevolence was manufactured in secret by the Quarren engineers of Free Dac Volunteers Engineering Corps on the planet Pammant. It measured to over 4,000 meters in length, outsizing five Venator-class Star Destroyers of the Galactic Republic. Located within the ship, was an extensive system of rail jets, which were used to transport its passenger complement of B1-series battle droids and B2-series super battle droids and cargo across the battleship to several stations, such as substation 9-4. Aboard its spire-like command bridge, the Malevolence was operated by a crew of 900 droids.
In terms of armament, the Malevolence was equipped with two mega-ion cannons located on its port and starboard hull, which were powered by the ship's reactor. When fired, the cannon released a large, circular wave of ion energy which was capable of disabling the power systems of enemy ships caught in its radius, leaving them without deflector shields, weapons and communications. Defenseless, the Malevolence released a barrage of fire from its array of 500 turbolasers and five point-defense laser cannons.
Additionally, the Malevolence was also equipped with tractor beam emitters, which were capable of forcing objects as large as an H-type Nubian yacht inside one its several hangar bays. Inside its hangars, the Malevolence carried a number Vulture-class droid starfighters and at least one Droch-class boarding ships used for hunting and destroying enemy escape pods, as well as Soulless One, the personal Belbullab-22 heavy starfighter of General Grievous. The battleship also boasted a maximum speed of 1,050 kilometers per hour from its sixteen engine units, and was also equipped with a Class 2 hyperdrive generator, a navigation computer and sensor array.
Battle of the Phu system
Early in the Clone Wars, rumours began to spread of a new mystery Separatist weapon after dozens of Republic warships were destroyed in surprise attacks by the Malevolence that left no survivors. During the hunt for the Malevolence, which was commanded by Separatist leader Count Dooku and Kaleesh General Grievous, Jedi General Plo Koon dispatched a task force of three Venator-class Star Destroyers to locate and destroy the weapon before it could strike elsewhere. However, while traveling through the Phu system, the task force was ambushed and destroyed by the Malevolence.
Battle of Abregado
- "General Grievous, this will be a suitable test for our new weapon. You may fire when ready."
- ―Dooku to Grievous
After the defeat at the Phu system, Koon, aboard his flagship Triumphant, managed to track the Malevolence to the Abregado system, where, after arriving, he attempted to relay his position to General Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano, whose fleet was stationed in the nearby Bith system. However, before the Kel Dor could relay their position, the Malevolence jammed the Republic's transmission and fired its mega-ion cannon, disabling Koon's fleet, forcing them to flee in escape pods as the Separatist warship destroyed each Star Destroyer.
Prior to its destruction, the Triumphant was able to eject several escape pods, including one manned by Koon, Commander Wolffe and clone troopers Boost and Sinker. Eager to avoid the Republic learning of the position and nature of their secret weapon, Dooku sent out a Droch-class boarding ship, nicknamed "pod hunters," to hunt down the survivors. The pod hunter destroyed two of the three remaining Republic escape pods, and proceeded to latch onto Koon's pod - but Koon and his men fought back and destroyed the pod hunter and its crew.
This, however, alerted the Malevolence that there were remaining survivors who were fighting back. Searching for these survivors, the Malevolence neared the pod's location - only to find that Koon and his men had been rescued by Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano in the Twilight. With the Twilight's location given away by the presence of a medical droid tending to the clones, the Malevolence fired its ion cannon at the Twilight, only for the ship to narrowly escape to hyperspace. Dooku was furious, knowing that his secret weapon had now been revealed.
Attack on a Republic medical center
- "The Republic has launched a small strike force to attack the Malevolence."
"Let the Republic come. Our ship is unstoppable."
- ―Dooku and Grievous, via hologram
Some time after the Battle of Abregado, Grievous and the Malevolence targeted and destroyed another Republic fleet consisting of Star Destroyers and medical frigates in the Ryndellia system. Afterwards, Dooku contacted Grievous via hologram and provided his next target: the Kaliida Shoals Medical Center, an undefended medical station in the Outer Rim which was treating over 60,000 injured clones.
The Malevolence jumped into hyperspace on its way to the medical station, but its navigation computer was required to calculate a complex course to circumnavigate the nearby Kaliida Nebula - much to Grievous's chagrin. While in hyperspace, Dooku informed Grievous that the Republic had launched a small strike force lead by Anakin Skywalker to take down the Malevolence. Grievous, however, remained confident in his ship.
The Malevolence emerged from hyperspace to find several medical frigates evacuating wounded from the medical station, and Grievous immediately targeted them with the ship's ion cannon. A squadron of BTL-B Y-wing starfighter/bombers, lead by Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano with Plo Koon as fighter escort, had also arrived before the Malevolence, having taken a shortcut through the Kaliida Nebula. Grievous launched vulture droids to engage them.
Grievous picked off the medical frigates first before turning his attention to Skywalker's Shadow Squadron, firing the Malevolence's ion cannon at the oncoming Y-wings - despite his own fighters being in the way. Skywalker ordered his men to make for the edge of the ion shockwave, but a number of them were caught in the blast or otherwise destroyed, as were the vulture droids released by the Malevolence. Satisfied with his work, Grievous then targeted the medical station itself.
Despite having lost almost half their ships, Shadow Squadron continued to advance towards the Malevolence. But after another Y-wing was blasted out of the sky by the heavy cruiser's turbolasers, Skywalker was forced to adapt from his original target - the bridge of the Malevolence - to its ion cannon instead. As the ion cannon charged up in preparation for firing at the medical center, the Y-wings fired their torpedoes at the base of the giant cannon, causing it to overload when Grievous gave the instruction to fire. The ensuing explosion destroyed both ion cannons, while also disabling the hyperdrive of the Malevolence.
Soon after, a fleet of three Venator-class Star Destroyers lead by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Wullf Yularen arrived in the system to engage the Malevolence. Grievous ordered a full retreat to Separatist space, with the three Star Destroyers in pursuit.
Rescue mission aboard the Malevolence
- "Do not compound your failure this day by allowing our prize warship to fall."
- ―Dooku to Grievous, via hologram
As the Star Destroyers continued to pursue the Malevolence, the heavy cruiser was in a bad way - its stabilizers, primary shield, hyperdrive and both mega-ion cannons were disabled. Grievous was contacted by Dooku, who was concerned that they would lose their prized warship. Dooku revealed that he had organised with Darth Sidious for an important senator to arrive in the system, whom they could use as a hostage.
A H-type Nubian yacht arrived shortly after, with Padmé Amidala and C-3PO onboard, and Grievous ordered the yacht to be pulled inside the Malevolence by tractor beam. Grievous then headed down to the main hangar via rail jet, and boarded Amidala's yacht with two B1-series battle droids in tow - only to find that the engines had been set to overload. The yacht exploded, but Grievous was able to make his way out from underneath the debris - and instructed his crew to sound the alarm, as stowaways were onboard.
Amidala and C-3PO made their way to a nearby communications panel and attempted to contact the Republic fleet, but they were interrupted by Grievous and a squad of battle droids. Meanwhile, the Twilight - with Skywalker, Kenobi and R2-D2 onboard - docked at an emergency airlock on the Malevolence. Subsequently patched through to Amidala, Skywalker and Kenobi agreed to meet with the senator in a large open area in the center of the Malevolence.
The groups arrived on different sides of a large chasm, which was dominated by an extensive rail jet system. Amidala and C-3PO were soon spotted by several battle droids, and the ensuing blaster fire alerted the Jedi as to their location. Skywalker was able to rescue Amidala from a rail jet which was set to plummet off a destroyed bridge, while Kenobi unwittingly became separated from C-3PO.
With Amidala having overheard earlier that the hyperdrive was nearly repaired, the trio hatched their new plan: Skywalker instructed R2-D2 to find C-3PO, while Kenobi would make certain that the Malevolence's hyperdrive stayed offline. Kenobi's objective was overheard by Grievous, however, who was monitoring all internal communications - and Kenobi was intercepted by Grievous at the ship's engineering station, with the cyborg general aided by droidekas, B2-series super battle droids and B1 battle droids. However, Kenobi used his Force abilities to push the droidekas into the other droids, allowing him the chance to escape. The Jedi is pursued by Grievous, and the two partook in a lightsaber duel in the midst of the rail car system - but Kenobi made his escape on a passing rail jet.
Meanwhile, Amidala and Skywalker made for the bridge having dealt with several super battle droids that were pursuing them. Skywalker chopped down the droid pilots on duty, before hot-wiring the ship and leaving a "surprise" for Grievous. Amidala cleaned up the destroyed droids, and the pair exited the bridge just as another droid crew arrived. On the way down, the pair encountered C-3PO and R2-D2, and the four of them made for the Twilight. Kenobi arrived at the airlock just as the group enter, and they quickly detach from the Malevolence.
With the rescue team clear, the Republic cruisers opened fire on the Malevolence once more - and Grievous jumped into his personal starfighter Soulless One, keen not to let the Jedi escape. Grievous was contacted whilst in pursuit of the Twilight and informed that the hyperdrive had been repaired. Grievous, delighted, ordered the ship to retreat to the secret Separatist base in Sector Four. However, the navi-computer malfunctioned and directed the Malevolence towards the nearby Dead Moon of Antar - courtesy of Skywalker's earlier hot-wiring. The droid pilots were unable to reset the navi-computer, sending the heavy cruiser crashing into the Dead Moon of Antar. Grievous fled the system, cutting off a transmission with Dooku in the process. The Malevolence was no more, and the crew of the Republic cruisers celebrated.
Commanders and crew
- "My lord, they will never capture me or this ship."
- ―Grievous to Dooku, after the Malevolence was damaged by Shadow Squadron
Separatist General Grievous commanded the Malevolence during its major operations, and placed a lot of confidence in the sheer strength of the heavy cruiser, as well as his commanding of it. Count Dooku oversaw the Battle of Abregado, and was confident enough in Grievous' ability to command the ship that he left it under the cyborg's control during the attack on the Kaliida Shoals Medical Center. The subsequent damage to the Malevolence following Shadow Squadron's attack, however, left Dooku disappointed with Grievous's "failure."
The heavy cruiser was crewed by 900 battle droids, primarily consisting of B1 battle droids. The ship also housed B2 super battle droids, droidekas, firefighter battle droids and B1-series rocket battle droids.
Behind the scenes
The Malevolence was inspired by the real-life battleship Bismarck, a mysterious and massive German ship which participated in World War II. The look of the ship was designed by Russell Chong, and was based off an unused piece of concept art from Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. Chong took inspiration from the shell-like designs of the Mon Calamari cruiser and the GR-75 medium transport, while also integrating city-like trenches akin to those of the Death Star.
The shots of the firing channel onboard the Malevolence, as seen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars episodes Rising Malevolence and Shadow of Malevolence, were a nod to a similar shot onboard the Death Star in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.
- Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Ambush" (First appearance) (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Rising Malevolence"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Shadow of Malevolence"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Destroy Malevolence"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Landing at Point Rain" (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Sphere of Influence" (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Bad Batch" (Mentioned only) (poster only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "A Distant Echo" (Mentioned only) (poster only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Unfinished Business" (Mentioned only) (poster only)
Notes and references
- Star Wars Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles
- "The Beginning of the Clone Wars" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Collapse of the Republic
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Shadow of Malevolence"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Rising Malevolence"
- Star Wars: The Rebel Files
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Destroy Malevolence"
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas places the early events of the Battle of Ryloth and the mission to Rodia to 22 BBY. As the episode the Battle of the Kaliida Nebula takes place within takes place between the events of the pieces of media the other events are attached to according to , this event, including the destruction of the Malevolence on the Dead Moon of Antar must also take place in 22 BBY.
- Star Wars: Build the Millennium Falcon 43 (Starship Fact File: Heavy Cruiser Malevolence)