- "We believe my droid, Artoo, is on board. He's the one that led us here."
"Hmm. This complicates things. You must sneak aboard that station and destroy it before they crack Artoo's memory banks. I know you're fond of that droid, but he's fallen into enemy hands."
"I could… rescue Artoo."
"No, this is not a rescue mission."
- ―Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, on R2-D2, shortly after Skywalker discovers Skytop Station
The mission to Skytop Station, also known as the raid on Skytop Station, took place in 22 BBY, during the Clone Wars. After Jedi General Anakin Skywalker's astromech droid, R2-D2, was lost during the Galactic Republic's defense of the planet Bothawui, the Trandoshan scavenger Gha Nachkt salvaged the droid from the local asteroid belt and promised him to the Confederate General Grievous in exchange for credits. Skywalker and his Padawan, Jedi Commander Ahsoka Tano, were issued R3-S6 as a replacement droid but were unaware that he was a spy working for Grievous.
High Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi ordered Skywalker to find and destroy Skytop Station, a Confederate listening post. After discovering the station over the moon Ruusan 2 in his personal ship, the Twilight, Skywalker learned that R2-D2 was aboard the station. Skywalker decided to rescue the droid, while Tano planted explosives around the station with a squad of clone troopers. Tano and the clones first engaged battle droids in a crossfire outside the reactor room. When Grievous arrived and attacked the group, Tano distracted the cyborg general while the remaining clones—Captain CT-7567, nicknamed Rex, as well as trooper Denal—finished the mission.
Skywalker was able to retrieve his droid from Confederate IG-100 MagnaGuards and arrived in the south landing bay to rendezvous with the Twilight. After Rex and Denal had arrived, however, R3-S6 trapped the group in the hangar and activated several Vulture droids. B2 super battle droids entered the room and engaged Skywalker and the clones. Skywalker ordered Rex to activate the explosives; and, with its anti-gravity repulsorlifts damaged, the station began to be pulled into the moon. Tano briefly confronted Grievous and arrived in the landing bay, and R2-D2 was able to open the hangar door from an external terminal; the droid also eliminated the spy droid, R3-S6. Grievous escaped in his personal fighter, and Skywalker retrieved R2-D2 in his Jedi interceptor, escaping the station with his team.
- "Most honored Count, Skytop Station is fully active! Only my contacts in the communications cartel could make such a marvel possible. We can intercept and analyze countless HoloNet transmissions. We are the ultimate listening post for this entire quadrant."
- ―Senator Po Nudo gives Count Dooku a tour of Skytop Station
In 22 BBY during the Clone Wars, the Confederacy of Independent Systems built Skytop Station, a listening post over the moon Ruusan 2. The Confederacy used the base to intercept Galactic Republic transmissions and began to use the information to ambush Republic forces.
During the Republic's defense of the planet Bothawui, Jedi General Anakin Skywalker's astromech droid, R2-D2, was lost. Skywalker was left dismayed, as he had developed a strong attachment to the droid; because of this, he had never wiped the secret Republic information stored in the droid's memory bank. Skywalker and his Padawan, Jedi Commander Ahsoka Tano, were issued a replacement droid, R3-S6; but, unbeknownst to them, the droid was a spy working for the Confederate General Grievous, intent on removing Skywalker as an obstacle. Skywalker and Tano searched for R2-D2 aboard the scavenger Gha Nachkt's freighter, the Vulture's Claw, in the asteroid belt near Bothawui but were unable to find the droid, unaware that Nachkt had already found R2-D2 and promised him to Grievous in exchange for credits.
Skywalker took his fleet of several Venator-class Star Destroyers back to the shipyards where they had been manufactured, believing that they could use modifications. Eventually, High Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi contacted Skywalker and his Padawan at the shipyards and reported that Republic Intelligence had confirmed the existence of a Confederate listening post. Kenobi gave Skywalker the new mission of finding the Confederate base, and Skywalker elected to personally undertake the sweeping the outer corridors of space suspected of Confederate activity. Accompanied by R3-S6, the Jedi departed in his Delta-7B starfighter. After R3-S6 alerted Grievous to Skywalker's presence under the cover of defectiveness, however, Tano and Clone Captain CT-7567—nicknamed Rex—were forced to gather a squad of clone troopers and rescue Skywalker in the Twilight, Skywalker's personal G9 Rigger-class light freighter.
R2-D2 was taken to Skytop Station by Nachkt to be sold to Grievous, but the astromech droid was nevertheless able to hack into the communication systems of the Vulture's Claw. R2-D2 sent a transmission to the Twilight; and, having received the message, the Jedi and the clones tracked the droid to the Ruusan moon. Having come across the Confederate base that the Republic had been looking for, Skywalker contacted Kenobi and reported their discovery. Upon learning that R2-D2 was in the base, Kenobi ordered Skywalker to destroy the station without risking the mission in order to rescue the droid, as it would prove fatal to the Republic if Grievous gained the information inside its memory banks.
Ambush outside the reactor room
- "Sorry to interrupt your playtime, Grumpy, but wouldn't you prefer a challenge?"
"That wouldn't be you."
- ―Ahsoka Tano and Grievous, after the latter attempts to kill the unconscious Rex
As the Twilight hovered high over the station, Skywalker, Tano, R3-S6, and a squad of five clone troopers—including Captain Rex and trooper Denal—jumped out of the ship and free-fell toward the Confederate base. The Jedi and the clones used the Force and JT-12 jetpacks to slow their descent, respectively. Having safely landed, Skywalker used his lightsaber to cut a hole in the roof. The squad entered the station and eliminated a pair of B1-Series battle droids. R3-S6 plugged into an astromech droid port and accessed a holomap of the station while Skywalker ordered Tano to destroy the station's reactors. With the base's anti-gravity repulsorlifts crippled, gravity would pull the station into the nearby moon. Skywalker separated from the group, however, planning to rescue R2-D2 against Kenobi's orders.
Inside the station's disassembly chamber, Nachkt was able to take R2-D2 apart and access the droid's memory banks. Upon discovering the Republic secrets stored in the droid, the scavenger demanded more pay from Grievous. Yet, the request led to his murder at the hands of the general. All the while, Tano and the clones headed for the reactor room, but R3-S6 lagged behind and contacted Grievous, reporting the presence of Republic forces aboard the station. The cyborg general ordered R3-S6 to delay the Jedi and the clones. Grievous's personal IG-100 MagnaGuards bodyguards arrived to guard R2-D2, and the general left to personally confront the Jedi.
The Republic squad arrived at the reactor room and discovered that it was being isolated by a ray shield. R3-S6 accessed the shield's controls, but purposefully took his time to allow several Confederate droid patrols to arrive and ambush the Republic squad. Tano and the clones engaged a B1 battle droid squad, which was soon reinforced by a patrol of B2 super battle droids that arrived and attacked the Republic forces from behind. R3-S6 suddenly closed the door to the reactor room. As the battle droids trapped the Republic forces in a crossfire, Tano ordered Rex to utilize EMP grenades to disable their adversaries, and the battle droids were deactivated.
Grievous ordered his MagnaGuards via holotransmission to take R2-D2 to his ship, Soulless One, and the droids hastily reassembled the astromech droid for easier transport. The general then arrived to confront the Republic forces outside the reactor room, and attacked Tano; after the two exchanged lightsaber blows, Tano was knocked against a wall and rendered unconscious. As the cyborg general approached the clones, they attempted to defend themselves with blaster fire, but Grievous eliminated all of them except Rex and Denal, who were knocked unconscious. The Confederate general prepared to kill Rex, but Tano regained consciousness and blocked the blow, preventing the clone captain from being killed.
Grievous activated another lightsaber, and Tano continued to duel the general. She drew him away from the clones and then escaped with R3-S6 into a storage room. After ordering the battle droids throughout the station to remain on alert for Skywalker, Grievous gave pursuit. Entering the room, Tano hid from the cyborg general. Meanwhile, Captain Rex regained consciousness and contacted Tano via comlink, reporting that he and Denal were the only clone troopers remaining. Tano ordered Rex to plant the explosives and rendezvous with the Twilight at the south landing bay, while she herself resolved to engage Grievous alone. Tano caught sight of R3-S6 and called out to him; however, the astromech droid pointed his light at the Jedi, alerting the cyborg general to her location. Grievous lashed out at her, and Tano dropped her comlink as she avoided a saber blow. The general destroyed Tano's communication device, stating that there was no escape, and Tano rolled under a shelf, fleeing from her adversary.
Retrieving the droid
- "You have something that belongs to me."
- ―Skywalker, to the MagnaGuards transporting R2-D2
As the MagnaGuards transported the reassembled R2-D2 through another room, Skywalker approached and caught sight of his astromech droid. The MagnaGuards carried R2-D2 out of the room while the Jedi was delayed by several super battle droids. He was unable to follow R2-D2's captors, as the door to the room soon closed shut; however, Skywalker was able to cut a hole in the roof with his lightsaber, and arrived on the other side of the door. The MagnaGuards dropped the astromech droid and engaged the Jedi. After he destroyed one of the droids, Skywalker received a glancing blow on his shoulder. He beheaded the droid that had attacked him and went on to swiftly destroy the remaining two MagnaGuards. R2-D2 was able to use his booster rockets to bring himself right side up again, and shocked the torso of a still-active MagnaGuard, deactivating the droid.
R3-S6 contacted Skywalker, and the Jedi ordered the droid to meet him back at the hangar. Skywalker proceeded to signal the Twilight's clone pilot for a rendezvous in the south hangar bay, and the Jedi headed to the hangar with R2-D2. As R3-S6 reported Skywalker's plan of escape to Grievous, Tano eavesdropped on the two and learned of R3-S6's treachery. Grievous ordered his spy droid to prevent Skywalker from escaping, and the astromech droid left to confront the Republic forces, while Grievous continued to search for Tano.
Trap in the hangar bay
- "Captain, trigger the explosives!"
"But, sir, we're still in the station."
"You just let me worry about the details."
- ―Anakin Skywalker orders Rex to active the explosives
Notwithstanding the encounter with Grievous, Rex and Denal were able to enter the reactor room and plant the explosives. Skywalker and R2-D2 arrived at the rendezvous point before the others, and the Twilight soon entered the hangar. As the Twilight's clone pilot exited the ship and approached Skywalker, R3-S6 arrived and passed by the group, heading for an astromech droid terminal. The others were oblivious to the droid's actions. Rex and Denal entered the hangar bay, and when Rex reported that Tano had engaged Grievous alone, Skywalker was alarmed. The clones prepared to lead Skywalker to his Padawan, but R3-S6 suddenly revealed his true loyalties, locking both the hangar door and the hatch to exit the hangar bay. The spy droid also activated three Vulture droids of the 88th Flight unit that were suspended from the roof of the hangar.
A squad of super battle droids entered the hangar, and Skywalker and the three clones were caught in a crossfire. Fleeing toward several crates on the other side of the room, the Jedi blocked and rebounded the incoming laser shots while the clones took cover behind the crates and opened fire on the droids. Grievous, meanwhile, suspended himself from the roof in the storage room and was able to find Tano, clamping one of his large, metal hands around the Padawan's throat. As Tano brought up her lightsaber, the general knocked it aside and descended to the floor. Grievous picked up her lightsaber and activated it, stating that after he eliminated Tano, her master was next. At that moment, Skywalker ordered Rex to activate the explosives, despite the fact that the squad was still in the station.
Rex complied, and as the station shook with the multiple impacts, Tano was able to use her lightsaber to sever Grievous's hand that was clamped around her throat. The Padawan jumped onto a shelf, causing the shelves' contents to drop out, and the shelves themselves began to topple over in a domino effect. Tano escaped into an air vent and retrieved her lightsaber with the Force before fleeing. Grievous slashed at the vent Tano was in with his lightsaber; however, the Padawan was able to evade being sliced to pieces, and she headed for the hangar bay.
Skywalker took cover behind the crates in the hangar and ordered R2-D2 to search for an astromech droid terminal on an outer platform of the station, in order to get the hangar door open and allow the group to escape the station aboard the Twilight. As R2-D2 left the hangar, Grievous escaped the station in his fighter. Tano arrived in the hangar, using her lightsaber to cut a hole in the grate covering the end of the vent. The Padawan jumped onto one of the Vulture droids, and as another droid fighter took aim at the droid she was on, Tano jumped onto the second fighter and severed its neck. Both droids were eliminated, and Tano joined her master in deflecting the battle droids' laser shots. As the super battle droids and the remaining Vulture droid continued to attack the Jedi and the clones, Rex noticed several fuel cells next to the crates. Skywalker hurtled a crate at the droids, and Rex placed a blaster shot on the target. In the resulting explosion, the remaining battle droids were destroyed.
Escaping the station
- "General Skywalker's gotten into his fighter. Where's he going?"
"He's… going after Artoo."
"I'll be right back. Don't wait for me."
- ―Rex, Ahsoka Tano, and Anakin Skywalker, shortly before Skywalker departs to rescue R2-D2
R2 arrived on an external platform, discovered a terminal, and accessed the station's controls. However, R3-S6 arrived close behind and attacked R2-D2, and the two astromech droids fought each other in a duel. While both droids shocked the other, R2-D2 was able to temporarily disable R3-S6, and returned to the terminal. R2-D2 then opened the hangar bay door, and the Jedi and the clones boarded the Twilight and left the Confederate base.
As Skytop Station was pulled further down into the moon's atmosphere, Skywalker boarded his Delta-7B fighter and left the Twilight, intending to rescue R2-D2. R3-S6 regained control and confronted R2-D2 again, and the two continued their fight. R2-D2 was able to spurt oil at the spy droid, and R3-S6 slipped toward the edge of the platform. The spy droid fired a grappling hook at R2-D2 to prevent himself from falling off the edge, but R2-D2 used his booster rockets to ignite the oil into flames. R2-D2 cut the line keeping him connected to the spy droid with his chainsaw, and as R3-S6 plummeted off the platform, he was smashed to pieces by flying debris. Skywalker arrived, and R2-D2 took his place in the astromech droid station of the Jedi's fighter. As gravity pulled Skytop Station down into the moon, Skywalker and his astromech droid retreated.
- "So let me get this straight, Anakin. You risked the mission, all your men, even your Padawan, to save a droid?"
"Artoo found the listening post, and he saved our lives. We couldn't just leave him there, Obi-Wan."
"Oh, Anakin, one day…"
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker
When he learned of Skywalker's exploits, Obi-Wan Kenobi could not believe that Skywalker had risked both his squad and his own Padawan to save an astromech droid. Skywalker held no regrets, however; R2-D2 was more than just a droid, he was a friend. Skytop Station had been destroyed, and the spy droid R3-S6 had been eliminated. Nevertheless, General Grievous had escaped the station's destruction. His loss of Skytop Station, coupled with other recent losses, prompted Confederate Head of State Count Dooku to arrange a test for his general.
Behind the scenes
- "We show that she's not going to win this fight; she's only going to be able to escape it. It's just a matter of survival for that girl against Grievous, unless Anakin is there, and they can fight him together. But of course, Anakin can't meet General Grievous because in Revenge of the Sith, we realize that this is the first time they've ever met each other face to face."
- ―Series Director Dave Filoni discusses the roles of Ahsoka Tano and Anakin Skywalker in the episode
First mentioned in the sourcebook The Clone Wars: The Visual Guide, the mission was the main focus of "Duel of the Droids," an episode in the first season of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series. The duel between Tano and Grievous was included in the video game Lightsaber Duels, a game based on the series. The mission featured the appearance of the Confederate listening post Skytop Station in the televisions series, which had been previously introduced in The Clone Wars web comic Prelude. Additionally, the station's destruction occurred during the mission.
The mission portrayed Ahsoka Tano's first confrontation with General Grievous. Series Director Dave Filoni stated that while the crew intentionally developed Tano as a well-trained Jedi Padawan, they wanted to get across the fact that she was not skilled enough to defeat Grievous on her own and would need the help of her Master, Anakin Skywalker, to defeat the cyborg general. Filoni noted that it was not intended for Skywalker to confront Grievous during the episode, however, for Skywalker could not meet Grievous face to face until the film Revenge of the Sith, which takes place after the series ends.
The prelude to the mission—namely, the Battle of Bothawui and the mission to the Vulture's Claw—was mentioned in the December 2008 novel The Clone Wars: Wild Space, written by Karen Miller. Yet, the novel introduced continuity problems, as it stated that Skywalker and Tano returned to the Allanteen Six shipyards after their search for R2-D2 aboard the Vulture's Claw, while the episode "Downfall of a Droid"—in which both the mission to the Vulture's Claw and Skywalker's sweeps of space were first featured—stated that Skywalker's mission to suspected Confederate space took place directly after the mission to the Vulture's Claw. This article assumes that the novel's interpretation of events is correct. The mission was also featured in the Nintendo DS version of the 2009 video game Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes and the 2011 non-canonical video game LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars, the latter of which humorously depicted the mission in its adaptation of "Duel of the Droids."
Republic Heroes version
The depiction of the mission in Republic Heroes featured even more continuity errors. In the game's interpretation of events, General Grievous is not present, and the Republic strike force is divided into two groups, which approach the station's reactor from two directions. The first group consists of Skywalker and Tano, while Rex and Denal comprise the second one. During the mission, Skywalker deliberately takes the wrong path in order to find R2-D2, but does not inform Tano of his intentions. The two move through the station and reach Sector AA-23, where all systems, including repulsorlifts, are shut down.
Skywalker contacts Rex and Denal and asks them for assistance. On their way to the reactor core, the two troopers find a control panel and reactivate all systems. Tano realizes what Skywalker's plans are but remains with him. The two continue to move through Skytop Station, battling enemy battle droids, including BX-series droid commandos, and eventually rescue R2. Soon, Rex and Denal successfully destroy the reactor and are ordered to rendezvous with the Jedi at the hangar so they can escape aboard the Twilight. The destruction of the reactor, however, triggers a failsafe lockdown, which seals the hangar's doors. R2 discovers that there are two terminals controlling the lockdown; both of them need to be deactivated in order for the hangar doors to open.
To this end, Skywalker decides to dispatch Tano to take R2 back to the Twilight and deactivate the first terminal located just outside the hangar itself, while he will go for the second one. Before Skywalker can proceed with the plan, R2 informs him of an important Separatist transmission, and Skywalker decides to hear it. The transmission is in fact a dialogue between Grievous and the droid EG-07, which Grievous asks about the history of a planet—later revealed to be Mustafar. The droid tells the general that the ancient Jedi have discovered a powerful weapon there, which they have sealed beneath an ocean of lava, fearing its power. Upon hearing such information, Grievous decides to find that weapon. Skywalker decides to inform the Jedi Council of Grievous's plans, but is reminded by Tano that they need to escape from the doomed station first.
Skywalker then promptly begins to execute his plan, sends his Padawan to the hangar, and moves through the station to the terminal. Soon, Denal and Rex reach the hangar, defeat a number of battle droids there, and prepare the Twilight for takeoff. Tano and R2 then arrive at the hangar, and the droid deactivates the first terminal. Traversing through the outer hull of Skytop Station, Skywalker reaches the second terminal and deactivates it as well, thus taking down the lockdown. He then makes his way to the Twilight, defeats several IG-86 sentinel droids that have pinned down Tano and the clones inside the ship, and opens the hangar doors. After Skywalker boards the Twilight, it takes off from the station. Because of the conflicting storyline that would require too much fan-based speculation to incorporate into the original story, this article assumes that the Republic Heroes depiction is non-canonical.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Ambush" (First appearance) (Appears in "Newsreel" only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Duel of the Droids"
- The Clone Wars: Jedi in Training
- The Clone Wars: Forces of Darkness
- The Clone Wars: Rescue in the Sky
- The Clone Wars: R2-D2's Adventure
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes (Nintendo DS edition) (First identified as mission to Skytop Station)
- LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (Non-canonical appearance)
Notes and references
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Downfall of a Droid"
- "Republic HoloNet News Core Edition 14:4:14"—Star Wars Insider 67
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Duel of the Droids"
- The Essential Reader's Companion dates the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film and The Clone Wars: Secret Missions 4: Guardians of the Chiss Key to 22 BBY. In addition, in Guardians of the Chiss Key, Count Dooku mentions a recent run-in with a group of Weequay pirates, which refers in part to the events of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "The Gungan General." Since places "Duel of the Droids" between The Clone Wars film and "The Gungan General," it can be concluded that "Duel of the Droids" also takes place in 22 BBY.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Official Episode Guide: Season 1
- Star Wars PocketModel TCG: Clone Wars
- The Clone Wars: Prelude
- The Clone Wars: Wild Space
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Duel of the Droids" (Decoded)