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For other uses, see Malevolence (disambiguation).
"That is one big cruiser-crusher!"
―Ahsoka Tano upon seeing the Malevolence for the first time[src]

The Malevolence was a Subjugator-class heavy cruiser and the flagship of General Grievous early in the Clone Wars. Its dual mega-ion cannons were capable of disabling the power systems of entire fleets, rendering them defenseless against the ship's massive array of turbolasers.

After several encounters during the Malevolence campaign, the heavy cruiser was destroyed after Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker tampered with its navigation computer and sent it crashing into the Dead Moon of Antar.


Malevolence profile

Profile of the Malevolence

The Malevolence was a hulking Subjugator-class heavy cruiser manufactured by Free Dac Volunteers Engineering Corps which measured 4,845 meters long - four times longer than a Venator-class Star Destroyer.[1]

Its primary weapon was dual mega-ion cannons,[5] one on each of the starboard and port sides of the ship,[7] which were powered by the starship's reactor.[2] When fired, the ion cannon sent out a massive, circular shockwave of energy that disabled the electronic and power systems of any ships caught in its path, leaving them stranded without deflector shields, energy weapons and any form of communications. Defenseless, the Malevolence's target would then be destroyed by a barrage of fire from the heavy cruiser's 500 turbolasers and 5 point-defense laser cannons.[1]

The ship was also equipped with a tractor beam, which could be used to pull objects inside its bays,[9] and a Class 2 hyperdrive, while it was capable of speeds of 1,050 kilometers per hour.[1] Due to its size, the Malevolence had its own internal rail jet system[9] to deploy supplies and troops.[1]

The Malevolence was known to carry a number of vulture droids for fighter to fighter combat,[6] as well as at least one Droch-class boarding ship, used for hunting down and destroying enemy escape pods.[7] The heavy cruiser also carried Grievous's personal starfighter, Soulless One.[9]


Battle of AbregadoEdit

"General Grievous, this will be a suitable test for our new weapon."
―Dooku to Grievous[src]
Abregado SWCW RM2

The Malevolence fires one of its ion cannons

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. Concerned, the Jedi Council sent Jedi Master Plo Koon to investigate, with Koon tracking the Malevolence to the Abregado system.[7]

Count Dooku, commanding the ship alongside General Grievous, ordered the Malevolence to jam all communications - interrupting Koon as he attempted to relay his position to Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano, stationed in the nearby Bith system. Before Koon's fleet, consisting of his flagship Triumphant[12] and two accompanying Venator-class Star Destroyers, were in range of the Malevolence, the Separatist cruiser fired its mega-ion cannon, sending out a massive shockwave of ion energy that knocked out all systems on the three Republic cruisers. Without their deflector shields, Koon's fleet were cut to pieces by the Malevolence's turbolasers.[7]

Battle of Abregado

The Malevolence destroying Koon's fleet

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.[7]

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.[7]

Attack on a Republic medical centerEdit

"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[src]
Battle of the Ryndellia System

The Malevolence destroying a Republic fleet in the Ryndellia system

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.[6]

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.[6]

Kaliida Shoals system

The Malevolence targeting medical frigates evacuating from the medical center

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 fighter-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.[6]

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.[6]


The Malevolence's ion cannon overloads after being torpedoed by Skywalker and Shadow Squadron

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.[6]

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.[6]


"Do not compound your failure this day by allowing our prize warship to fall."
―Dooku to Grievous, via hologram[src]
Malevolence stern

A damaged Malevolence flees from the Republic fleet

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.[9]

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.[9]

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 centre of the Malevolence.[9]

Kenobi vs Grievous Malevolence

Kenobi and Grievous duel on top of a Malevolence rail jet

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.[9]

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.[9]

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.[9]


A doomed Malevolence heads towards a nearby moon

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.[9]

Commanders and crewEdit

"My lord, they will never capture me or this ship."
―Grievous to Dooku, after the Malevolence was damaged by Shadow Squadron[src]
Rising Malevolence

General Grievous and Count Dooku on the bridge of the Malevolence

Separatist General Grievous commanded the Malevolence during its major operations, and placed a lot of confidence in the sheer strength of the heavy cruiser,[6] as well as his commanding of it.[9] Count Dooku oversaw the Battle of Abregado,[7] 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.[6] The subsequent damage to the Malevolence following Shadow Squadron's attack, however, left Dooku disappointed with Grievous's "failure".[9]

The heavy cruiser was crewed by 900 battle droids,[2] primarily consisting of B1 battle droids. The ship also housed B2 super battle droids, droidekas, firefighter battle droids[9] and B1-series rocket battle droids.[7]

Behind the scenesEdit

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,[13] and was based off an unused piece of concept art from Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith.[14] 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.[13]

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.[15]



Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Star Wars Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Ultimate Star Wars
  3. 3.0 3.1 Collapse of the Republic
  4. StarWars-DatabankII Ion Cannon in the Databank (backup link)
  5. 5.0 5.1 StarWars-DatabankII Malevolence in the Databank (backup link)
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Shadow of Malevolence"
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Rising Malevolence"
  8. 8.0 8.1 Star Wars: The Rebel Files
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 9.15 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Destroy Malevolence"
  10. 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 SWCustom-2011 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Chronological Episode Order on (backup link), this event must also take place in 22 BBY.
  11. StarWars-DatabankII Battle Droid in the Databank (backup link)
  12. SWCustom-2011 "Rising Malevolence" Episode Guide - The Clone Wars on (backup link)
  13. 13.0 13.1 SWCustom-2011 "Shadow of Malevolence" Episode Featurette on (backup link)
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