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"Let me propose a neutral meeting ground. Shall we say…Rugosa, yes? Three days' time. The coral moon shall do."
―King Katuunko[src]

Rugosa, also known as the coral moon, was a temperate moon in the Sanbra sector. It was one of the worlds that made up the Infinite Empire, a galactic power led by the Rakatan species in approximately 30,000 BBY. The moon was later discovered by Toydarian scouts working near the Balmorra Run, and because of its attractive climate and warm oceans, it became a Toydarian vacation spot that they kept secret from their Hutt masters. Once the Hutts discovered the Toydarians' duplicity, they punished them by releasing a plague onto the moon, drying up all its oceans and exposing vast expanses of coral.

During the Clone Wars, Rugosa was selected as the site for negotiations between King Katuunko of Toydaria and representatives of the Galactic Republic. However, when the Confederacy of Independent Systems intercepted communications arranging the meeting, they ambushed the Republic envoy. A small group of clone troopers, led by Jedi Master Yoda, made it to the moon and engaged the Confederacy in combat, eventually defeating their forces and gaining the allegiance of King Katuunko.

Description[edit | edit source]

"Beautiful, this moon, is. Amazing, the universe, is."
―Master Yoda — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

A dense coral forest on Rugosa

Rugosa was a temperate moon orbiting a blue planet[7] in the Rugosa system—a star system located in the Sanbra sector of the Outer Rim Territories[2]—near the Balmorra Run. The moon was once covered in warm swamps and shallow seas; however, a Hutt plague dried up its oceans,[5] leaving its coral formations and reefs exposed, as well as fossil remains of native species.[7] Many plants and coral survived the plague:[5] the massive coral formations varied in color, from green to blue to purple, and included various forms, from large fan-shapes to antler shapes and porous spheres. Some were large enough for starships such as the Peregrine-class star yacht Thief's Eye to comfortably land on them.[7] A number of petrified coral formations were damaged during the battle that took place there during the Clone Wars.[8]

Following the Hutt plague, rainfall slowly began to accumulate in the ocean beds. Exotic fauna also arrived on the moon, and baby neebray manta lived among the coral formations as a stop along their migration through space.[5]

History[edit | edit source]

"We've been translating the Rakata inscriptions. Most are indecipherable, but a few refer to a prisoner called "the Infernal One." We've seen the title before, in the Dead Corals of Rugosa and the Ziost Abyss. We thought it a myth—the Rakata warlord who bled and enslaved a thousand planets."
Threnoldt — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

Around the year 30,000 BBY, an alien species known as the Rakata became a significant galactic power. Using Force-based hyperdrives, they traveled to many worlds around the galaxy that possessed significant signatures in the Force and united them to form the Rakatan Infinite Empire. Among these worlds was Rugosa,[6] one of a thousand planets subjugated by a warlord known as "The Infernal One," whose name was inscribed in a region that became known as the Dead Corals.[9] After five thousand years of galactic dominance, plague caused the collapse of the Infinite Empire and, eventually, the end of the Rakata presence on the moon.[6] "The Infernal One" who had dominated this world and many others fell into myth.[9]

Following the Rakatan extinction,[6] the moon remained uninhabited for thousands of years until it was discovered by Toydarians scouting around the Balmorra Run some centuries before the Clone Wars. The Toydarians were native to the Hutt Space[5] planet Toydaria, which was covered in muck lakes filled with dangerous predators.[10] To the Toydarians, Rugosa's warm swamps and coral seas appeared a paradise. Their clan chiefs turned the moon into a vacation spot and kept its existence hidden from their Hutt overlords. When the Hutts eventually discovered the deception, they released an ancient plague on the moon in order to punish the Toydarians. Within months, the plague dried up Rugosa's seas, turning the verdant moon into a dry world.[5] Consequently, it earned the nickname "the coral moon" among some Toydarians.[8]

During the Cold War, researchers of the resurgent Sith Empire referred to the Rakatan inscriptions on the Dead Corals during their exploration of the Eternity Vault on Belsavis to provide clues to the identity of the Rakata imprisoned there, the legendary "Infernal One."[9]

The Clone Wars[edit | edit source]

"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."
―Asajj Ventress, to Katuunko — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

In 22 BBY, the galaxy was engulfed by the Clone Wars fought between the Galactic Republic and the breakaway Confederacy of Independent Systems. The Confederacy met success with capturing many hyperlanes, causing the Republic to seek out alternate routes throughout the galaxy. After successfully negotiating a treaty with the Hutt crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure for safe passage through Hutt Space[11] in 22 BBY,[12] the Republic sought to secure a supply base in the region. Identifying the neutral Toydaria system as a suitable location, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine of the Republic personally contacted King Katuunko of Toydaria and requested his world's allegiance to the Republic. Wishing to ensure that his people were not coerced into giving their support, Katuunko insisted that the Republic send a Jedi as an envoy. When Palpatine raised concerns over sending a lone Jedi so near to enemy-controlled space, Katuunko suggested the moon Rugosa[1]—which reminded him of his homeworld[13]—as a neutral meeting place. Palpatine agreed, and Grand Master Yoda was subsequently chosen to conduct the negotiations.[1] Spies for the CIS intercepted word of the proposed meeting,[3] and in order to disrupt the Republic's plan, the Confederate Head of State Count Dooku dispatched Asajj Ventress[8]—a disciple who was trained in lightsaber combat and the dark side of the Force[14]—to convince or coerce the Toydarian King to become a Confederate ally instead.[8]

Katuunko, Yoda, and Ventress negotiate on Rugosa.

Shortly after arriving on the moon in his personal star yacht, the Thief's Eye,[15] Katuunko and his delegation were met by Ventress and a small squad of B1 battle droids. Ventress presented the King with a holo-message from Count Dooku, who challenged the ability of the Jedi to protect Toydaria should the King side with the Republic. At that point, a Republic Consular-class cruiser bearing Jedi Master Yoda emerged from hyperspace in orbit of the moon. The cruiser was ambushed by two Munificent-class star frigates, which jammed the craft's transmissions. On Yoda's orders, the cruiser launched all its escape pods before fleeing the system. One of the escape pods, containing Yoda and three clone troopersLieutenant Thire, Jek, and Rys—crash-landed on the moon. Lieutenant Thire patched into the King's communication system, alerting Katuunko to the Jedi's survival. Faced with Yoda's presence on the moon, Ventress made a proposal: she would send her best troops to capture the Jedi. If Yoda escaped, the King would join the Republic, but should her droids defeat Yoda, the King would ally himself with the Confederacy. Yoda accepted the challenge, declaring that he would reach the King's position by nightfall.[8]

A Confederate C-9979 landing craft landed on the moon, disembarking[8] an entire battalion of droid forces.[16] Under the command of OOM command battle droid 224,[17] a number of large Armored Assault Tanks advanced on Yoda's position; however, they were impeded by the moon's dense coral. Consequently, further droid forces were dispatched on foot. Yoda and the clones took a circuitous path to the rendezvous point, hoping in this manner to avoid some of Ventress's forces. They soon encountered two patrols of B1 battle droids, which they successfully defeated, before encountering a complement of B2 super battle droids. These, too, were dispatched by the Republic forces, although not without Thire sustaining a wound from super battle droid artillery. A third skirmish, this time against several droidekas, followed shortly thereafter, during which Master Yoda deflected their blaster fire into a nearby coral growth, toppling it onto the droids. While the fight was again won by the Republic, the clones had severely depleted their munitions after these three encounters and so, along with Yoda, took temporary refuge in a cave.[8]

Katuunko and Ventress overlook Rugosa from a large coral formation.

While the Republic forces recuperated, a Separatist column of three Armored Assault tanks and assorted infantry advanced down a ravine toward the Republic position. Yoda ventured down into the canyon on his own and destroyed the three tanks and a large number of droids. As a last-ditch effort to eliminate the Jedi, Ventress dispatched several droidekas as reinforcements. While the droidekas almost took the Jedi Master by surprise, they were destroyed by Thire, who launched the clones' final missile at a rock formation overhanging the canyon. The resulting avalanche crushed the droids.[8]

By this point, it was nearing sunset. Dooku again communicated with Katuunko by hologram. Having witnessed Master Yoda destroy an entire battalion of droid forces single-handed from afar, Katuunko declared his intention to side with the Republic. Dooku responded by ordering Ventress to kill the Toydarian. The Dark Acolyte ignited her lightsabers, swinging at the King in a killing strike. Her would-be regicide, however, was halted at the last instant by a Force grip employed by Yoda, who had just arrived with the clones at the rendezvous point. Yoda then offered Ventress the chance to surrender, but she refused and triggered a nearby explosion to provide cover for her escape. Impressed with Yoda's deeds,[8] King Katuunko allied his world with the Republic, signified by handing Yoda the ceremonial sword of Toydaria.[15] The Republic forces and the Toydarian delegation were evacuated from the moon shortly thereafter with the arrival of a Republic Venator-class Star Destroyer.[8]

Inhabitants[edit | edit source]

Rugosa was once inhabited by the Rakata.[6] These humanoids had large, cone-like heads with eyes on short stalks on the sides.[18] Disease eventually caused the collapse of their civilization and the end of their presence on Rugosa.[6] Thousands of years later, the moon was used as a vacation spot by Toydarians,[5] a short species with vaguely avian features and a stubby trunk. They had small wings with which they could fly, despite their tubby appearance.[10] Once Rugosa was ruined by Hutt plague, the Toydarians stopped using it as a vacation spot.[5] However, King Katuunko and his entourage visited the world during the Clone Wars.[8]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

"It was a new way to look at a planet in Star Wars."
―Dave Filoni, on creating a unique terrain for a planet[src]

Concept art of Rugosa

Rugosa was featured in "Ambush," the first episode of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series, which aired on October 3, 2008. Rugosa has subsequently been incorporated in supporting The Clone Wars material, such as The Art of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Official Episode Guide: Season 1; the latter fleshed out the history of Rugosa prior to Ambush. Rugosa has also been included in other releases such as The Essential Atlas.

Inspired by the Flash Gordon series, the moon was designed so as to offer a unique terrain. In previous Star Wars movies, desert, ice, jungle, and forest planets had already been presented, so the design team settled on a coral design to offer a new environment.[7] The word "rugosa" itself is an extinct order of coral.[19] The moon was initially designed with a reddish color palette; however, when it was decided to release the episode first, rather than later in the series as originally planned, Supervising Director Dave Filoni realized that the color would be too similar to that of the setting for "Rising Malevolence," the second episode to be released. Consequently, Filoni had Rugosa's color scheme modified to blue and green hues to create a distinct look.[3] Russell Chong, the artist who worked on illustrating the moon, is himself a scuba diver and drew on these experiences in his designs.[20]

According to The Essential Atlas Appendix, Rugosa is located within grid P-17. However all the maps within this book place Rugosa in O-17 as does the Essential Atlas Extra: Outer Rim Sectors feature. The 11 June 2010 update to the Star Wars: The Essential Atlas Online Companion—which had previously repeated the Atlas's placement—corrected this error and listed its location as O-17.[2]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Non-canon appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

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Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Clone Wars: Prelude
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Star Wars: The Essential Atlas Online Companion on (article) (backup link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Databank title.png Rugosa in the Databank (content now obsolete; backup link)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Encyclopedia Rugosa in the Encyclopedia (content now obsolete; backup link)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Official Episode Guide: Season 1, 23
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 The Essential Atlas
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Episode Commentary #1: Ambush on (content now obsolete; backup link not available)
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Ambush"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 SWTOR mini.png Star Wars: The Old Republic—Operation: "The Eternity Vault"
  10. 10.0 10.1 Databank title.png Toydarian in the Databank (content now obsolete; backup link)
  11. Star Wars: The Clone Wars film
  12. The Essential Reader's Companion
  13. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Ambush(Decoded)
  14. Databank title.png Ventress, Asajj in the Databank (content now obsolete; backup link)
  15. 15.0 15.1 Databank title.png Katuunko, King in the Databank (content now obsolete; backup link)
  16. Databank title.png Jek in the Databank (content now obsolete; backup link), Databank title.png Rys in the Databank (content now obsolete; backup link), Databank title.png Thire in the Databank (content now obsolete; backup link)
  17. The Clone Wars Episode Guide: Ambush on (content now obsolete; backup link)
  18. Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide, 17
  19. Rugosa on
  20. The Art of Star Wars: The Clone Wars
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