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"Retreat you must. On the moon below is my mission. There I must go."
―Yoda, to Captain Zak — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

The mission to Rugosa was an operation that took place in 22 BBY during the Clone Wars. The Galactic Republic and the Jedi High Council sought to build a base in the Outer Rim Territories for further combat against the Confederacy of Independent Systems, and Grand Master Yoda was dispatched with a convoy of clone troopers to the coral moon of Rugosa to engage in diplomatic negotiations with Katuunko, the king of Toydaria. However, the Dark Acolyte Asajj Ventress arrived first to negotiate with Katuunko on behalf of the Confederacy and its Head of State, Count Dooku. The Republic convoy was ambushed by several Confederate frigates, but Yoda was able to land on the moon in an escape pod with three clones.

Ventress posed a challenge for the Jedi: she would send her best battle droid forces to capture him, and if he defeated the droids, Toydaria would be given reason to ally with the Republic. Should Yoda fail, Toydaria would join the Confederacy. Yoda accepted the terms, and he and the clone shock troopers Lieutenant CC-4477, nicknamed "Thire," Jek, and Rys separately fought the droids. The three clones defeated a squad of B1 battle droids, but Yoda arrived to rescue the clones from a group of oncoming B2 super battle droids. After escaping, the four took refuge in a cave, where the Jedi Master imparted his wisdom upon the clones to inspire their efforts.

Yoda proceeded to defeat several Confederate droid squads and three Armored Assault Tanks single-handedly, and Ventress broke the terms of the competition, dispatching droideka reinforcements to eliminate the Jedi. Thire launched a rocket and caused an avalanche, however, crushing the droids. With the Confederacy's attempt at a treaty foiled, Dooku ordered his apprentice through a hololink to assassinate Katuunko. Yoda and the clones arrived in time to stop the assassination, and Ventress was forced to activate pre-planted explosives to cause a rockfall and escape. Yoda was able to stop the rubble, and Katuunko promised Toydaria's service to the Republic, before departing aboard an LAAT/i gunship with the Republic diplomatic forces.

Prelude[edit | edit source]

"Send a Jedi. I have always wanted to meet one."
"Your world is close to the enemy, King. You would have me risk a Jedi with no troops?"
"No, no, no. Let me propose a neutral meeting ground, shall we say…Rugosa, yes? Three days' time. The coral moon shall do."
―King Katuunko and Supreme Chancellor Palpatine[src]

Chancellor Palpatine contacts King Katuunko aboard the Thief's Eye.

In 22 BBY,[9] as the Clone Wars continued to rage on across the galaxy, the Galactic Republic sought to establish a base in the Outer Rim Territories for further combat against the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Supreme Chancellor Palpatine contacted the neutral king of Toydaria, Katuunko,[15] aboard his personal Peregrine-class star yacht,[11] the Thief's Eye.[12] A potentially important Republic ally in the war,[11] Katuunko had witnessed the Republic's compassion for civilian refugees firsthand during previous negotiations with Republic representatives, and he had even gone so far as to secretly assist Republic relief efforts in the Battle of Ryloth.[1] Because of this,[4] Katuunko agreed to enter into discussion with the Republic.[15]

The Toydarian king requested for a Jedi to be sent, as he had always wanted to meet one; because of this request, the neutral moon of Rugosa was chosen. The Republic asked Grand Master Yoda to serve as its ambassador in the diplomatic negotiations. Upon receipt of his mission, Yoda left the galactic capital of Coruscant with clone troopers Lieutenant CC-4477, Jek, and Rys.[15] The Confederacy used the recently built listening post Skytop Station[15] to intercept the messages between Katuunko and the Chancellor, however, and dispatched several Munificent-class frigates to lie in wait for the Republic convoy. The Confederacy intended to stop the Republic convoy from reaching Rugosa and prevent negotiations between Katuunko and the Republic from taking place, while the Dark Acolyte Asajj Ventress was sent to Rugosa to persuade Katuunko to join the Confederacy,[12] under orders to use any means necessary to achieve her objective.[16]

The mission[edit | edit source]

Confederate ambush[edit | edit source]

"I ask, how can the Jedi protect you if they cannot protect themselves?"
―Count Dooku, to King Katuunko — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

Being the first to arrive on the moon aboard the Thief's Eye,[12] Katuunko and his guards were surprised by the appearance of two B1 battle droids and Asajj Ventress, whom Katuunko did not recognize. The Dark Acolyte claimed to be an emissary for her Master and displayed a holoprojector, allowing communication to be made between the king and the Confederate Head of State, the Sith Lord Count Dooku. The count was aware of the Republic's desire to establish a base in Hutt-controlled space and proclaimed the inability of the Jedi Order to protect others, as the Jedi were unable to protect themselves.[8]

Confederate ships ambush the Republic convoy.

The Republic Consular-class frigate arrived above the moon, carrying Yoda and several clone troopers. The convoy hailed the Toydarian royal delegation but received no response. Two Confederate Munificent-class frigates then came out of hyperspace and began firing at the vessel.[8] Clone Captain Zak[10] was willing to abandon the mission in order to save Yoda by returning him to Coruscant. However, Yoda stated that his mission was on the moon's surface and that the convoy should flee while he took three clone troopers to Rugosa in an escape pod. To increase the chances of the maneuver's success, the convoy launched all of its escape pods.[8]

On the moon below, Dooku stated that the Separatist Droid Army could better protect Toydaria, outnumbering the Grand Army of the Republic 100-to-one. However, Katuunko doubted this, having heard that a single Jedi was worth a hundred battle droids. Meanwhile, with all the pods launched, the Republic convoy left the system. The Confederate warships attempted to shoot down the escape pods but missed Yoda's pod.[8]

The trial[edit | edit source]

Ventress: "If Yoda is indeed the Jedi warrior you believe he is, let him prove it. Allow me to send my best troops to capture him. If he escapes, join the Republic. But should my droids defeat Yoda, consider an alliance with the Separatists."
Katuunko: "I did not request Yoda's presence here to test him in battle."
Yoda: "Accept the challenge I do, Your Highness. Arrive by nightfall I will."
―Asajj Ventress places the terms of the competition; Yoda accepts — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

Katuunko watched the Republic ship flee through his rangefinder, and Ventress attempted to use the retreat to illustrate the Republic's weakness. Further away in the jungle, CC-4477—nicknamed "Thire"—managed to patch into the king's communication system, allowing Yoda to speak to Katuunko through a holotransmission. The king was pleased to see the Jedi Master, having previously believed that Dooku had frightened him away. Yoda became aware of Ventress' presence, as the Dark Acolyte proposed a contest to demonstrate which side was superior in strength. Ventress planned to dispatch her forces[8] from the T81 Division[13] to capture Yoda, and if he defeated them, the Toydarians would join the Republic. If the droid forces defeated Yoda, however, the king should consider joining the Confederacy. Katuunko was opposed to such a contest, as he did not request a meeting with the Jedi Master to have him engage in a fight. Nevertheless, Yoda promised to reach the rendezvous point by nightfall, and Ventress agreed with the king's demands that the Jedi had to be given a fair fight.[8]

After returning to her base, Ventress contacted Dooku and stated that her forces were being deployed. As Supreme Leader of the Confederate delegation, she did not intend for Yoda to get his fair fight[8] and dispatched the recently promoted 224[7] with the task of leading the droid forces, and the battle droids prepared to ambush the Republic's diplomatic squad. Led by 224 in his Armored Assault Tank, the main column of Confederate forces advanced into the jungle. Yoda and his men made their way to the rendezvous position on a different path, as the Jedi Master was certain that their enemies were already heading toward them. The droids began to go through the coral of the jungle, but the dense foliage prevented the tanks from advancing.[8]

Yoda eliminates a Confederate tank.

Yoda and the clones split up, seeking to use their surroundings to their advantage.[17] The clones engaged a squad of B1 battle droids from the south and managed to defeat them, but B2 super battle droids then came to attack the clones, and the three were forced to flee. Yoda, meanwhile, was able to defeat an entire squad of droids on his own without even using his lightsaber. CC-4477 was hit by a rocket fired by[8] a B2-HA series super battle droid[14] and was wounded in the leg. Yoda appeared and aided the clones, using the Force to turn around a battle droid and destroy the rest of the squad. Droidekas soon appeared, and the Republic forces fled. Yoda, clinging onto CC-4477's back, deflected the lasers at a nearby tall formation of land coral, causing the droids to be crushed, and the four escaped to a cave to rest. The clones learned that they were low on ammunition, but the Jedi Master imparted his wisdom on the clone troopers to further inspire their efforts.[8]

After hearing the sounds of the droids approaching in the distance, Yoda and the clones exited the cave. The Jedi and his men arrived on a ridge to observe the advancing droids below, which were passing through a narrow pathway. Yoda left the clones on the ridge and faced three tanks and a large number of droids alone. The Jedi Master destroyed all of them, along with 224, leaving Katuunko amused and Ventress angry. However, Ventress did not give up easily; the Dark Acolyte broke the terms of the competition and secretly sent several droidekas to deal with the Jedi Master. As Yoda destroyed the last Confederate tank, the droidekas arrived, and the Jedi Master began blocking their laser attacks. CC-4477 launched the last of the rockets at an overhanging rock above the canyon, causing an avalanche to crush the droids. Yoda then led the clones to the rendezvous point, remarking that it was not polite to be late.[8]

Endgame[edit | edit source]

"In the end, cowards are those who follow the dark side."
―Yoda, after Asajj Ventress flees — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

Katuunko was greatly amused by the droids' defeat. Through a holotransmission, he informed Dooku that one Jedi was not worth a hundred battle droids, but rather a thousand, and stated that he would be joining the Republic. Dooku urged him to reconsider, but the Toydarian king refused to deal with those who went back on their promises, as Ventress had broken the terms of the competition. Seeing that his plan had failed, Dooku ordered Ventress to kill the king, believing that negotiations might go smoother with his successor. Katuunko's guards tried to stop the Dark Acolyte, but Ventress merely Force-pushed them aside, knocking them unconscious. As Ventress attacked Katuunko with her paired lightsabers, she found herself confronted by Yoda, having arrived in time to save the king.[8]

Ventress' assassination attempt is thwarted by Master Yoda.

Yoda used the Force to stop the Dark Acolyte's death blow from being struck. As Ventress' droid escorts were dispatched by the clones, Yoda disarmed Ventress herself, and after examining her lightsabers, the Jedi returned them to her,[8] having proven they were useless against his telekinesis,[17] while commenting that she still had much to learn. Ventress was outnumbered, and Yoda suggested that she surrender. In order to escape, Ventress detonated pre-planted explosives at the Thief's Eye and caused the hillside adjacent to the Republic forces to collapse. Yoda was forced to telekinetically stop the rocks from crushing all of them, and as he did so, Ventress seized the opportunity and fled to her ship. Dooku, watching the events unfold through the holoprojector, commented before taking his leave that it was a pity that he had not been there himself.[8]

With the Confederate threat over, Yoda was able to enter into negotiations with Katuunko. The king stated that discussions were unnecessary, however, as the Jedi had already proven his worth.[8] Katuunko presented his ceremonial sword to Yoda and entrusted him with his planet's protection[17] while pledging Toydaria's support to the Republic, declaring that it would be an honor to fight on their side. A Republic Venator-class Star Destroyer arrived in Rugosa's orbit, sending down an LAAT/i gunship to pick up the victors, now that their mission was complete.[8]

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

"You have completed the first stages of your training and I am sending you on an assignment to Toydaria. You will bring me King Katuunko, alive. Kill all who might interfere."
―Dooku, to Savage Opress[src]

Opress hunts down Katuunko on Toydaria following his refusal to join the Confederacy.

The Thief's Eye, which had been destroyed on Rugosa, was eventually repaired.[18][19] As the war continued, Dooku proved to hold a grudge against Katuunko for his refusal to join the Separatists,[19] and the Toydarian king became a target for abduction when Dooku sent his new Sith apprentice, Savage Opress, to kidnap him at the king's palace on Toydaria.[18] By doing so, Dooku hoped to force Katuunko into allying with the Separatists.[16]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

The mission was featured in the October 3, 2008 premiere of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series on Cartoon Network and appeared in "Ambush," the first episode of the series' first season.[7] The events leading up to the mission appeared in the webcomic Prelude, which led into the episode.[15] It later appeared in the young readers book Ambush.[10] In September 2010, nearly two years after "Ambush" was released, the episode "Supply Lines" of The Clone Wars television series' third season was released as a prequel to "Ambush" and explained why King Katuunko had been so willing to enter into negotiations with the Republic on Rugosa.[4]

The entry for Clone Commander CC-1010, nicknamed "Fox," in the December 2008 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia incorrectly stated that Fox participated in the mission to Rugosa.[20] Some of Hasbro's 2009 Star Wars: The Clone Wars toy line incorrectly stated that Yoda's mission took place to the Toydaria system[21] and on Toydaria itself.[22] The 2011 non-canonical video game LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars features the mission in its depiction of "Ambush." Besides being much more humorous and comical than the episode, the game slightly modifies the mission's storyline; instead of splitting up at the beginning of the mission, Yoda and the clone troopers stay together and engage the battle droids as a group.[23]

The young readers' book Who Are the Jedi? erroneously classified Yoda's three accompanying clone troopers during the mission as an "army" of troopers.[24]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Supply Lines"
  2. SWInsider.png "Republic HoloNet News Core Edition 14:4:14"—Star Wars Insider 67
  3. The New Essential Chronology
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Clone Wars Episode Guide: Supply Lines on (content now obsolete; backup link)
  5. The Clone Wars: Shakedown
  6. Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 The Clone Wars Episode Guide: Ambush on (content now obsolete; backup link)
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 8.16 8.17 8.18 8.19 8.20 8.21 8.22 8.23 8.24 8.25 8.26 8.27 8.28 8.29 8.30 8.31 8.32 8.33 8.34 8.35 8.36 8.37 8.38 8.39 8.40 8.41 8.42 8.43 8.44 8.45 8.46 8.47 8.48 8.49 8.50 8.51 8.52 TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Ambush"
  9. 9.0 9.1 The Official Star Wars Fact File Part 24 (22 BBY 85–86, The Struggle for Toydaria)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 The Clone Wars: Ambush
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Incredible Vehicles
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Databank title.png Katuunko, King in the Databank (content now obsolete; backup link)
  13. 13.0 13.1 Sw-pm-logo1.png Star Wars PocketModel TCGClone Wars (Card: T81 Division Droid STAP)
  14. 14.0 14.1 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 The Clone Wars: Prelude
  16. 16.0 16.1 Encyclopedia King Katuunko in the Encyclopedia (content now obsolete; backup link)
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Ambush(Decoded)
  18. 18.0 18.1 TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Witches of the Mist"
  19. 19.0 19.1 The Clone Wars Episode Guide: Witches of the Mist on (content now obsolete; backup link)
  20. The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 293 ("Fox, Trooper")
  21. HasbroInverted.png Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Pack: Clone Commander Thire) (backup link)
  22. HasbroInverted.png Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Pack: AAT Driver Battle Droid) (backup link)
  23. LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
  24. Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Who Are the Jedi?
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