- "We didn't anticipate the Outer Rim Sieges would last this long."
"That would be why they call it a siege, Anakin."
- ―Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala
The Outer Rim Sieges (19 BBY) was the final campaign of the Clone Wars between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems, being fought in the third and final year of the conflict. The campaign occurred when the Confederacy was pushed back to the spiral arms of the galaxy. Although the Republic continued to keep the pressure on the Separatists in these territories, the sieges also encompassed when General Grievous, the Supreme Commander of the Separatist Droid Army, launched an offensive, pushing the Republic Military to the brink. In response to the assault, Jedi Generals were deployed to help the Grand Army of the Republic. Although there was a stalemate for a time, the sieges ended up turning the tide of the war in the Republic's favor, making the Confederacy fear they would lose the Clone Wars.
- "In addition to the violence, the Republic was being bankrupted by the war effort—many essential services were cut off in the name of wartime sacrifice. Had the war not turned during the Outer Rim Sieges, it's possible support for the war effort or confidence in Chancellor Palpatine's leadership may have permanently eroded."
- ―Janyor of Bith
The Outer Rim Territories had served as the primary theater of conflict during the Clone Wars. Throughout the war, the Republic struggled to contain Separatist advances throughout the Outer Rim. Confederate forces, spearheaded by General Grievous, had gained numerous victories against the Republic in the early months of the war, including the Malevolence Campaign, as well as a series of attacks on Republic fleets by the Confederate armada across the Outer Rim, particularly on Falleen and Quell. These Separatist advances throughout the Outer Rim early on in the war further jeopardized the Republic's foothold in vital sectors, and civilian worlds such as Ryloth and Mandalore suffered greatly due to violence and the closing of Outer Rim trade routes.
Due to the Jedi's attention being diverted to battling the Separatists, many crime syndicates and pirates exploited the war as an opportunity to expand their reign, as well as criminal activities, throughout the Outer Rim. Criminal groups and organizations such as the Ohnaka gang, Hutt clans, Black Sun, and the Pyke Syndicate were able to prosper due to the Republic being focused on the war effort. Groups, such as the Zygerrian Slave Empire and Death Watch, were able to return to power in the Outer Rim due to backing from Count Dooku and the Separatists. These organizations would sow additional chaos in the Outer Rim as they had free reign during the war.
Additionally, as Republic forces continued to be spread thin throughout the Outer Rim, many Confederate planets, such as Geonosis, that were thought to be conquered and secured, began to rise up and overthrow Republic occupation forces, allowing the Separatists to prolong the conflict.
As a result of the fighting, vital Outer Rim worlds such as Saleucami, Felucia, Mygeeto, Kaller and the Colonies world of Cato Neimoidia were continuously caught in a series of engagements throughout the war due to their importance. Cato Neimoidia was invaded by the Separatists prior to the Outer Rim Sieges, but Republic forces were able to hold them off. Felucia was the site of several engagements earlier in the war, one of which saw the destruction of a crucial Republic medical station. Following the capture of Jedi Master Eeth Koth, Grievous advanced to Saleucami in an attempt to establish a base in the system, but was thwarted by the Republic, and the worlds of Kaller and Mygeeto had been the sites of prolonged campaigns throughout the course of the war.
However, as the war progressed, the Republic was slowly able to turn the tide of the fighting in the Outer Rim. The Confederacy suffered major setbacks following the destruction of the droid factories on Geonosis, as well as the Separatist Navy and Army being repelled by the Republic at the Battle of Sullust and the Battle of Mon Cala. Additionally, the Republic was able to mount victories on key worlds, such as at the Second Battle of Felucia, weakening Separatist hold on vital sectors. These victories in the Outer Rim as the war continued led to growing confidence that the Separatists would not be able to sustain war for much longer, giving the Republic a path to end the conflict soon.
Though victory seemed inevitable for the Republic in the final year of the war, it would take much longer than anticipated. As the war entered its final months, General Grievous launched a massive counteroffensive against the Republic to regain a strong foothold for the Confederacy in the Outer Rim. Republic and Separatist fleets and armies clashed on numerous fronts, with the sieges not only being confined to the Outer Rim Territories. As Grievous continued to lead the Separatist advance against the Republic, Admiral Trench moved his droid forces into the Core systems and launched a massive siege against the Republic shipyards on Anaxes, while the Separatists also launched attacks on the Colonies world of Cato Neimoidia and Mid Rim worlds such as Kashyyyk and Boz Pity.
During the campaign, the homeworld of Count Dooku, Serenno, became a focus for the Republic, but multiple attacks against both the D'Astan sector and the Serenno system itself failed to take the world. As Confederate forces continued to assault vital star systems, the Republic and the Jedi Council deployed their generals throughout the Outer Rim to halt the Separatist advance. However, with the Jedi and most of the experienced officers away from the Core fighting in the sieges, Grievous would exploit this vulnerability and launch a surprise assault on Coruscant with thousands of warships from the Separatist Navy.
The sieges continued to take place until the final days of the Clone Wars. Battles that took place during the Sieges included the Battle of Anaxes, the Siege of Saleucami, the Fourth Battle of Mygeeto, the Battle of Felucia, the Conquest of Kaller, and the Battle of Yerbana. Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and his former apprentice Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker fought in the Outer Rim Sieges before being recalled for the Battle of Coruscant.
As the sieges continued to unfold, Republic forces had difficulty routing the droid army from vital Outer Rim worlds. On many planets, such as Kaller, Yerbana, Mygeeto, and Cato Neimoidia, the Separatists were able to dig in and entrench themselves so strategically that the Republic suffered heavy losses in trying to overcome those defenses. Separatist fortification on many of these worlds is what led to the prolonged conflict in the Outer Rim.
For a time, the sieges were in a stalemate. Though the Confederacy was initially successful in stretching the Jedi and clone armies thin throughout the Outer Rim, the strategy ultimately proved costly to the Separatists, as the Republic continued to fight back, turning the tide of the fighting. Grievous' offensive resulted in the death of Trench on Anaxes, and the severe diminishing of the droid army and the Separatist fleet as the war entered into its final days. In addition to continued losses in the sieges, the loss of Count Dooku and an entire third of the Separatist armada at Coruscant would continue to diminish not only the Separatist's ability to wage war in the Outer Rim, but also morale among the Separatist leaders, including Viceroy Nute Gunray, and lead them to doubt the Confederacy's chances of winning the war.
Following the rescue of Chancellor Palpatine, Grievous retreated to the Outer Rim world of Utapau, where he deployed the already severely depleted droid army across numerous systems in hopes of pushing the Republic back. With Separatist forces spread thin over many Outer Rim sectors, it became increasingly difficult for the Jedi Council to track General Grievous, who assumed the position of Head of State of the Separatist Alliance following the death of Count Dooku, making him a priority target for the Republic to bring the war to an end. There was grave concern among Republic politicians, including the Chancellor, that the war would not end until Grievous was killed. Days later however, the Republic tracked the general to Utapau and the subsequent battle and death of Grievous would bring further destabilization of the Separatist command structure, and following Order 66, the execution of the Separatist Council on Mustafar and the deactivation of the droid armies, the sieges, and the war as a whole, came to an end.
- Star Wars: Galactic Defense
- Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy – A Graphic Novel
- Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Bad Batch"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "A Distant Echo"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Unfinished Business"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Old Friends Not Forgotten"
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (First appearance)
- Kanan 1
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Aftermath"
- Kanan 2 (Vision to Caleb Dume)
- Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures – "Chewbacca - Wookiee Warrior" (In flashback(s))
- Galaxy's Edge 2 (In flashback(s))
Notes and references