- "This is too easy."
- ―Kyle Katarn
The Mission to Danuta was an early operation of the Galactic Civil War and the second phase of Operation Skyhook. Kyle Katarn, a former Imperial-turned Rebel agent, was sent into an Imperial facility to take a supplemental set of the Death Star plans. Despite his skill and adrenaline, Katarn was on a few occasions saved by luck, and in the most intense moments of fighting he found himself beginning to draw on the Force to sense things before seeing them—a reliance he did not yet fully understand.
Katarn and Saren worked separately, having no contact with each other throughout the mission.
When librarian Atour Riten found the Death Star plans in the Death Star Library, he secretly sent a copy to the Imperial station on Danuta. Knowing about the existence of the Death Star, a Rebel sympathiser or agent had rigged a maintenance droid and sent footage of the facility to the Rebel Alliance.
After Rianna Saren informed the Rebellion about the Destruction of Despayre and the plans of the Death Star being held on Danuta, it was decided to steal those schematics in order to find a weakness to the new Imperial weapon. Rebel leadership decided that sending a team of commandos to fulfill the mission would risk too much collateral damage to the city of Trid, so they instead hired Saren and Kyle Katarn to infiltrate the facility and steal the plans.
Jan Ors was influential in the defection of former Imperial officer Kyle Katarn and brought him onboard the New Hope. Mon Mothma saw in him the ideal opportunity to hire him as a mercenary, thanks to him being a human male and his imperial training, plus the fact that he would be relatively "expendable", and was assigned the Moldy Crow. Worried about his Imperial background, and his friendship with Meck Odom, Mothma also assigned Jan Ors to spy on Katarn and make sure that he'd carry the mission, or assassinate him if she had indications that he was actually a double agent.
- "I'm dropped outside the monolithic Imperial base. Getting here was the easy part, it seems. Somewhere inside is the only thing that can save the Rebel Alliance from total annihilation. And the only obstacle between me and heroic success is a battalion or so of Imperial stormtroopers, commandos, and officers—and the fact that I have no idea where to look. Time is also running out. Kyle be nimble, Kyle be quick..."
- ―Kyle Katarn
Jan Ors arrived to Trid a day before Katarn in order to spy him. Eventually the Moldy Crow also arrived on the Danuta spaceport and Katarn spent the first day on recon work, always spied by Ors. Not able to find a way to enter the facility, and knowing that his longtime friend and Imperial officer was assigned there, he contacted him and revealed everything about the Alliance, and sought his help. Meck gave Katarn information on when to pass through the south perimeter gate, how to enter through an air shaft, and what kind of security to expect inside the facility. However seeing Katarn with Odom, Ors was persuaded that he sold the mission to the Empire; momentarily she considered killing him for the Rebel cause, but her hesitation allowed Katarn to see her, and explain that Officer Odom would actually help their cause.
In preparation, Ors made a makeshift bomb and planted it at the northern side of the facility, planning a diversion for Katarn, set to detonate forty-five minutes after he was to enter the base.
Indeed, as he was told, Katarn arrived outside the gate designated S-2 at 20:00 hours, and waited until twenty-one when Odom would begin his duty, performing a test at the locks; Odom would also override the south perimeter gate's collateral security systems, which were his duty to watch, giving Katarn some time to enter the gate. On his way toward the gate Katarn had to cope with a security droid and threw a rock to distract it. Once inside the perimeter, Katarn climbed to the roof, unscrewed the all-weather cap above an air shaft, and entered.
He descended up to when he saw the numeral One, and touched the entry plate to open the access hatch. Taking advantage of speed and surprise, he killed an Imperial commando with his Bryar pistol, which he replaced with the Imperial's rifle. On his left was an important-looking door, an operations room to his right and a hallway in front of him. After shooting a commando and some officers, he mounted a platform and replenished his ammo. More commandoes and officers appeared at the far end of the hallway and Kyle decided to move up the corridor to eliminate whatever opposition might be expecting him. On his way he stole some power packs and made sure that the communications center and the hall were clear.
Kyle checked a durasteel door with illuminated panels and confirmed what Meck had said; that it would open only with the red key. He opened the other available door opening to a courtyard, and shooted at the two stormtrooper guards from behind, after some brief ethical doubt; he planned to traverse the dark courtyard, and find the turbolift to the security station where the red key would be. He decided to use his rifle on automatic to equalize the odds, shooting at stormtroopers around him, or on walkways above him. A bolt singed his shoulder, but then he felt once more the Force, which slowed time and heightened his senses; this allowed him to shoot perfectly aimed shots. Once he was clear he replaced his rifle.
Simultaneously, Ors secured an escape route with the Crow by destroying the Imperial TIE Fighters at the Danuta spaceport; all but one were destroyed on the ground, guaranteeing that no fighters would pursue them.
He opened one of the pair of steel doors and more surprised Imperials emerged, whom he quickly fell; he resupplied himself with packs and took the lift to the security room. Once the platform reached the upper level, he killed officer Horst who held the red key; a surprised trooper attempted to ask for his name before falling down, and a commando on his lunch break. With the key in hand, he retraced his steps to the durasteel door.
Once there he missed a blaster bolt from a sniper above, through an upper-level window he failed to notice previously. He nailed the sniper but right then the alarm sounded; forty-five minutes after Katarn was in the base, Ors's bomb detonated, setting off five perimeter alarms, triggering searchlights, flares and security droids. Several personnel were ordered to investigate, as did Major Horst, the facility's officer-of-the-day. The alarm signified the end of Kyle's advantage of surprise.
Finally Kyle opened the security door with the red key, revealing a turbolift, and a commando waiting behind it; he would be dead if the commando hadn't made the fatal mistake of not releasing his weapon's safety, giving Kyle the moment he needed to shoot first and take the lift to a lobby. Despite Ors's diversion and lower resistance, the facility was still heavily fortified. Kyle found himself at the walkway he saw earlier from below, and more Stormtroopers coming looking at the bodies he fell earlier. The room contained a control panel which raised a wall at the downstairs hall. He decided to descend through the window instead of taking again the lift.
Ors flew by in the Crow at twenty-two hours to fire upon any personnel who were sent to investigate the perimeter disturbance. It was during this run that she destroyed the base's AT-ST and killed Horst.
Aiming to preserve his accomplice's anonymity, Katarn wounded Odom with a careful shot that incapacitated without killing him. After retrieving the memory matrix, Katarn then met Ors and the Moldy Crow at the rendezvous point on the roof, escaping with the plans that ensured the obtainment of a complete layout of the Death Star.
Behind the scenes
The Mission to Danuta originally appeared in the demo to the video game Star Wars: Dark Forces, and it serves as that game's first level. The briefing for the level in Star Wars: Dark Forces states that the mission belongs to the "second phase" of Operation Skyhook. It tells nothing about which was the first phase (although it would supposedly refer to the missions of Star Wars: X-Wing) and what missions comprised the phases of the whole operation.
The novella Dark Forces: Soldier for the Empire expands on the background and mission itself, adding Kyle's wanderings in Trid, the contributions of Meck Odom and Jan Ors. It reveals that the exterior of the facility is much more heavily guarded, with walkers and patrol skiffs, than seen in the game, which shows only a portion of the mission.
Once Kyle enters the base in the novella, the narration follows his movements inside, accurately describing the locales, rooms, doors, elevators and enemies as they appear in the game, but stays in the minimum possible actions required to get the keycard, steal the plans and escape; the gameplayer would typically explore sections which aren't mentioned in the novel, kill more Imperials, and even find hidden rooms, before completing the level.
The video game Star Wars: Lethal Alliance attributes Rianna Saren as having completed the Mission to Danuta and stolen the Death Star plans located there. It presents a different version of the mission than that described in the Dark Forces series. The relation between Katarn's mission and Saren's mission has not yet been clarified in official sources.
- Star Wars: Dark Forces (First appearance)
- Dark Forces: Soldier for the Empire / audio drama
- Death Star (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Lethal Alliance
- Dark Forces: Rebel Agent (Mentioned only)
- Dark Forces Official Player's Guide
- The Dark Forces Saga, Part 1 (Mentioned only)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 140 (KAT7-8, Kyle Katarn) (First identified as Mission to Danuta)
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Essential Atlas
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Lethal Alliance
- The Essential Atlas
- Star Wars: X-Wing
- Star Wars: Dark Forces
- Dark Forces: Soldier for the Empire
- The Essential Guide to Warfare places the attack on the first Death Star in 0 BBY, so everything between that battle and the Battle of Yavin must fall in 0 BBY.
- Death Star
- Dark Forces Official Player's Guide
- Fan-created remake of the Dark Forces level for the Mysteries of the Sith game engine
- Fan-created remake of the Dark Forces level for the Jedi Academy game engine