- "I feel ill prepared for this maze of commerce and politics."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi
The Mission to Ord Cestus was an operation by the Galactic Republic to cease the production of JK-13 "Jedi Killer" droids that were to be sold to the CIS and represented a threat to the survival of the Jedi Order.
The mission was led by Generals Obi-Wan Kenobi and Kit Fisto, and supported by an ARC trooper captain A-98 "Nate", and four clone troopers: Sirty, Xutoo, Forry, and Seefor. The JK-13s were a specialized Force-sensitive non-sentient security droid that was extremely hard to defeat, even for a Jedi Knight, and so Supreme Chancellor Palpatine dispatched Kenobi, Fisto, and their strike team, along with the mollusk-like barrister Doolb Snoil, to stop the production of the droids. The strike team's first plan was to use diplomacy to convince the leader of Ord Cestus, G'Mai Duris, to sign a contract with the Republic instead of the CIS. While Kenobi and Snoil handled the negotiations, Fisto and his strike team started training recruits to overthrow the government if need be. During this time, the strike team made contact with the Desert Wind terrorist group, a cell of men and women who were fighting for freedom from the Five Families, a tyrannical group of families controlling the economy and government of Ord Cestus.
After a long time deliberating, Kenobi decided they needed a way to pressure the Five Families into signing a contract with the Republic. Unbeknownst to Kenobi or Fisto, Separatist commander and Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress had arrived on Cestus shortly after Kenobi, and was there to make sure that the Five Families did not sign a contract with the Republic.
Kenobi contacted Fisto secretly and developed a cunning ruse to pressure the Five Families. Using a lightwhip and posing as one of Dooku's dark Jedi, Fisto, A-98, and several Desert Wind guerrillas, "kidnapped" four members of the Five Families en route to a conference with Kenobi. Kenobi "figured out" the precise location of the kidnapped members and "rescued" them, staging a mock battle with Nemonus (i.e. Kit Fisto) and several other Desert Wind soldiers and "rescued" the members of the Five Families. Grateful, the Five Families decided to sign a contract with the Republic.
Just before the signing of a contract, however, one of the members of the Families delivered a holovid of Kenobi's "battle" with A-98, taken via a hidden holocam by Asajj Ventress. This proof shattered the negotiations, and Kenobi and Snoil were forced to leave the planet on board their transport. However, Kenobi used an escape pod to transport himself to a rendezvous point with Kit Fisto and Desert Wind. The Five Families attempted to destroy Kenobi's transport using Hunter-Killers, unaware that Kenobi was already planetside. They did however manage to destroy the ship, killing the pilot, Xutoo. Snoil escaped in an escape pod back to the surface as well, and was later picked up by Desert Wind.
Desert Wind began to pressure the Cestian government by carrying out insurgent strikes on Cestus Cybernetics facilities, attempting to avoid fatalities for both sides while crippling the Cestian economy and forcing G'Mai Duris to sign a contract with the Republic. Their efforts seemed to be working until a group of JK-13 and infiltrator droids invaded Desert Wind's hideout, capturing and killing several members of Desert Wind. It turned out that Asajj Ventress had used the Force to pinpoint Kenobi's location for the Five Families, allowing them to launch a strike. During the fighting Captain Nate was injured and Sheeka Tull, one of the Jedi's contacts on Cestus, escaped with him and brought him to some Cestian healers.
Desert Wind, despite this setback, set up for a final strike against Cestus Cybernetics. With a Republic Acclamator-class assault ship on-station, Kenobi and Fisto planted homing beacons in Cestus Cybernetics' main factory center so that the Acclamator could bombard the factory and cease the production of battle droids. The plan seemed to be working, but Kenobi and Fisto had some unfinished business to attend to before executing their plan. Before they left, Nate returned, totally recuperated from his injuries sustained in action. Kenobi and Fisto ordered the clone troopers not to leave their posts no matter what until the bombardment was finished or the two generals returned.
After the troopers acknowledged this order, the two Jedi left to meet one of their contacts: a X'Ting gangster known as Trillot, who would be supplying them with equipment. The whole meeting turned out to be a trap laid by the assassin, Ventress, so that she could finally kill the two Jedi. Before forcing the Jedi to fight unarmed against a horde of young X'Ting warriors, knowing the Jedi would not draw their weapons to slaughter unarmed beings while she observed and studied their fighting style, Ventress revealed that the whole purpose of the Confederacy purchasing the JK-13s was to draw the Republic's attention to Cestus. She revealed that she had moved the homing beacons that were to designate the targets for the assault ship so that the bombardment would kill millions of innocent civilians and thereby cause other systems to secede from the Republic.
As Kenobi and Fisto fought on Ord Cestus, the two Jedi ran into Ventress. Ventress sent X'Ting thugs to soften them up. Fisto was able to break away from the pack, and pursued Ventress. Fisto's one lightsaber was unable to block both of Asajj's. She was able to deal a blow to Fisto. As she came in for the kill, Fisto rolled off a dock and into an underground river.
Meanwhile, Kenobi broke free and engaged Ventress, gaining leverage initially. He blocked all strikes, and pinned her lightsabers down. She freed her right hand, nearly decapitating Kenobi. As he moved to the left, Asajj's spin-kick caught him and knocked him onto the dock. Sensing, through the Force, that Kenobi was in trouble, Fisto summoned strength and severed the dock. It collapsed, sending Kenobi and Ventress into the river. Fisto then lost consciousness.
Kenobi fitted a rebreather into his mouth, but since Ventress held two lightsabers, she could not. Obi-Wan pressed the sudden advantage until she dropped one of her lightsabers to grab her rebreather. In the murky water, Kenobi struck a blow against her ribs. Ventress headbutted Kenobi, causing them both to drop their rebreathers. Fighting underwater with no air, they realized that the first one to go up for air would be vulnerable. Seeing that she was stuck, Ventress released a black ink from her belt, and escaped. Kenobi and Fisto climbed out of the water.
End of the Five FamiliesEdit
Meanwhile, Nate (now calling himself Jangotat) had located, with the help of a X'Ting named Resta, the Five Families' private resort/bunker, where the Five Families had retreated when they heard about the Republic Assault Ship in orbit. With the help of Resta and the Desert Wind ex-leader, Jangotat made his way into the bunker. He then knocked out Resta so that she would survive to live her life and made his way inside. Inside he found the bunker protected by a JK-13, and a battle ensued, which ended with the Desert Wind leader blowing himself up with a mine to try and destroy the JK-13. Despite his sacrifice the JK-13 survived, but the droid went insane, smashing itself into the rock wall continuously. At first Jangotat was stumped, but then he figured it out. The dashta eels, the Force-sensitive creatures which were housed inside the JK-13s, were peaceful, and so, when the terrorist leader died in its arms, the eel inside the JK went insane.
The Five Families had been tricking the Confederacy in an attempt to get richer and then escape the planet. Despite this information, Jangotat knew that the Five Families must be destroyed, and so he called in an orbital strike right on top of his position, killing himself as well as the Five Families and saving millions of lives. However, before his death, Jangotat recorded a last message, telling the Jedi about his discovery of the Cestus' deception, as well as telling his lover, Sheeka Tull, that he would have returned to the GAR despite her love, because it was his duty.
Following this, the Cestian government signed the contract with the Republic and the mission was a success. Before leaving the system, the strike team, Kenobi, Fisto, and Sheeka Tull, who had become romantically attached to Jangotat and was now carrying his child, said their goodbyes to Jangotat. Following this, the strike team and the two Jedi returned to Coruscant, their mission complete.
- The Cestus Deception (First appearance)
- The New Essential Chronology
- "The 100 Greatest Things About Star Wars... Ever!"—Star Wars Insider 100
- The Essential Reader's Companion