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"The Droid Gotra heard about a surviving Geonosian queen with a droid factory. They wanted me to liberate it from the evil carbon-based oppression. But we can always steal it for us, eh?"
―Doctor Aphra, to Darth Vader[src]

The secret mission to Geonosis was carried out by the Sith Lord Darth Vader not long after the Battle of Yavin. Having fallen out of favor with Emperor Palpatine, Vader had recruited the rogue archaeologist Doctor Chelli Aphra and the assassin droids BT-1 and 0-0-0 to assist him in building an army of unquestionably loyal battle droids. Vader soon arrived on the planet Geonosis and his team infiltrated the lair of Karina, a Geonosian queen who had utilized a droid factory to produce battle droids as her "children" after she was injured and left unable to produce offspring during the sterilization of Geonosis. While BT-1 fired on the queen's B1 battle droids, Vader and Aphra severed the queen from her factory, and Aphra used her starship, the Ark Angel, to blow a large hole in the roof of the lair so that Vader's own starship could then extract both the factory and Vader's team with a large crane. The captured droid factory began producing BX-series droid commandos for Vader, which he used to assault the research base of a rival Imperial operative named Cylo.


"I need troops of unquestioning loyalty."
"Hey, I understand. Who wouldn't want a phalanx of carefully restored battle droids… How do you feel about a secret mission to Geonosis, Lord Vader?"
"I have no feeling regarding Geonosis."
―Darth Vader and Aphra plan the mission[src]

During the reign of the Galactic Empire, the Empire sterilized the planet Geonosis, killing[6] all Geonosian life on the planet except for a single Geonosian drone, nicknamed "Klik-Klak" by the Lothal rebels[7] of Phoenix Cell when they undertook[8] a mission to investigate Geonosis alongside rebel extremist Saw Gerrera and his Partisans[8] in 2 BBY.[9] An unhatched egg containing the last insectoid Geonosian queen also survived under Klik-Klak's protection. The egg hatched eventually and the next Karina was born; thereby ensuring the survival of the Geonosian specifies.[10] However, Karina was injured by Imperial bombs sometime later, and was left unable to produce offspring.[5] By 0 ABY she had[4] taken up residence in a subterranean lair and attached herself to a droid factory in an attempt to continue her race using the factory as her womb and the battle droids it produced as her "children."[5]

Luke Vader First Confrontation

Luke Skywalker attacks Vader during the attack on Cymoon 1, gaining the Sith Lord's interest.

Some time later, during the Galactic Civil War between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance, the Alliance destroyed the Empire's greatest weapon: the Death Star mobile battle station capable of destroying entire planets.[11] One of the Rebel Alliance's follow-up campaigns included an assault on Weapons Factory Alpha, the Empire's largest weapons factory on the moon Cymoon 1,[12] and the Sith Lord Darth Vader failed to prevent the Rebels from blowing up the factory.[13] Emperor Palpatine, Vader's Sith Master, grew displeased with Vader and demoted him for his failures at Yavin and Cymoon 1 and put him under the command of Grand General Cassio Tagge. Vader secretly hired two bounty hunters to hunt down two targets: an Imperial operative whom Vader had seen working for Palpatine in a suspicious manner, and the Rebel pilot who had destroyed both the Death Star and Weapons Factory Alpha.[14] Vader then convened with Tagge aboard his Executor-class Star Dreadnaught Annihilator.[15]

Vader and Tagge soon attacked and defeated a group of pirates who utilized custom droideka security droids provided to them by a Doctor Chelli Aphra.[15] Vader had been impressed with the droidekas and began a search for Aphra, eventually locating her on the asteroid space station Quarantine World III. The archaeologist also gave Vader two assassin droids, 0-0-0—commonly known as Triple-Zero—and BT-1, also known as Beetee, to help. Vader revealed that he needed private resources of his own to capture the operative and the Rebel: unquestionably loyal battle droids. Aphra understood, and using information she had been given by the Droid Gotra, a criminal syndicate, she explained that a Geonosian queen had survived her homeworld's sterilization and possessed a droid factory. Vader agreed to her choice,[1] and they left for the old warzone of Geonosis aboard Aphra's starship, the Ark Angel.[5]

The missionEdit

"And now for our devilishly clever plan to steal a robot womb factory off a homicidally broody alien queen. Do you still think this is a good idea, Lord Vader?"
―Aphra and Darth Vader, as they begin the heist[src]
Team to Geonosis

Vader's team—Aphra, Triple-Zero, Beetee, and Vader himself—arrive on Geonosis.

While en route to Geonosis, Vader brought in his J-type 327 Nubian starship to aid in the latter stages of the mission. Soon thereafter, the Ark Angel set down near the entrance to the Karina's lair, while Aphra sent Triple-Zero and Beetee into a cavern to scout out the most direct route to Karina's chamber. Vader had been to Geonosis several times before during the Clone Wars while still a Jedi, and being on the red-desert world brought up painful memories of his deceased wife, so he ordered Aphra—who had been asking Vader personal questions—to be silent as they, too, entered the catacombs to steal the droid factory.[5]

Farther in the tunnels, Beetee and Triple-Zero came across several of the queen's B1 battle droids, and Beetee promptly destroyed them with its flamethrower while Triple-Zero insulted them in their native language. Aphra and Vader soon came across the carnage. Aphra examined the burned droids, noting that they had "interesting tweaks" to the standard battle droid design, such as insectoid wings which the Geonosians often supported. Aphra conflated that the "tweaks" meant the Karina did not see the droids as mechanical beings, but as her own children. Vader and Aphra caught up with the two assassin droids and together they entered the great queen's chamber.[5]

Vader leapt down to Karina and cut her from the droid factory—her "womb"—using his lightsaber. She survived the attack and sent dozens of B1 battle droids, some capable of flight, to stop the Sith Lord. In response to this, Vader ordered Beetee to open fire. The droid did so with his surfeit of blasters, pulverizing many of the droids while Vader cut down others. Aphra, meanwhile, prepared the Ark Angel's locator beacon to send it to the ceiling of the lair. When the beacon's thrusters malfunctioned, Aphra jumped down to Vader's position to ask if he could help. Before the rogue archaeologist could finish asking, Vader used the Force to throw the beacon to the roof with the point of his finger, leaving Aphra content with the Sith Lord's abilities.[5]

Queens lair is attacked

Karina releases her "children" against Vader for his trespass.

The Ark Angel, at Aphra's order, barraged the roof of the lair, creating a massive hole in the ceiling and causing vast amounts of rock to rain down. However, Vader used the Force to create a "bubble" around himself and the doctor to protect themselves while Vader's Nubian starship lowered a crane through the hole. Karina ordered her "children" to make sure the intruders did not escape, and to bring back her "womb." Aphra attached the crane to the droid factory while Vader held off Karina's onslaught. Aphra was unsure if Vader's "pretty little" starship would be able to rip the factory from its foundations, but Vader assured her it would due to the "enhancements" he had given it. Vader's chromium starship then lifted Vader, Aphra, and the factory into the skies of Geonosis while Beetee and Triple-Zero followed behind using Beetee's booster rockets.[5]


"In a few hours you'll have your droid army. Some minor tweaks to get it 100%, but nothing BT can't handle."
―Aphra to Vader, after starting the droid factory[src]

Vader and his team returned to his Nubian, docked with the Ark Angel, and began fine-tuning the droid factory. Not long after, Beetee and Aphra got it working successfully, creating a single BX-series droid commando that Triple-Zero examined. Aphra remarked that Vader now had a private off-the-grid army and no longer needed her services, thinking he would kill her. Vader, however, believed she was still useful and informed her that she would live as long as he had use for her. Soon, one of the bounty hunters Vader had hired, the Wookiee Black Krrsantan, came with a very important delivery.[5]

Vaders loyal droid soldiers

The newly assembled commando droids and Vader invade Cylo's research base.

Krrsantan had captured Cylo-IV and brought him aboard the Ark Angel where Vader ordered Triple-Zero, a specialist in torture, to learn what Palpatine had tasked him with. Triple-Zero did so and was able to identify the agent and the location of his research base where assassins were being trained to possibly replace Vader as the Emperor's enforcer—with commission from Palpatine himself. The protocol droid accidentally killed Cylo-IV during the interrogation, and informed Vader of his findings. Vader ordered the course to the base be set, and they left immediately[5] to storm the base using two platoons of the newly built commando droids.[2] Later, Vader continued to produce commando droids, using multiple platoons of them during multiple campaigns in the Empire's name, notably during the War on Shu-Torun, where the droids helped turn the tide of battle to Vader's favor.[16]

Behind the scenesEdit

"But for this he will need his own personal forces. Vader recruits droid archaeologist Doctor Aphra to do so—and she led the fallen Jedi to the old warzone of Geonosis"
―The final paragraph of Darth Vader 4: Vader, Part IV's opening crawl.[src]

The secret mission to Geonosis was first mentioned in the third issue of the Marvel comic book series, Darth Vader, which was released on March 11, 2015.[17] The mission first appeared in Darth Vader 4: Vader, Part IV, which was released on April 8, 2015.[18] It was written by Kieron Gillen, with art by Salvador Larroca.[5] Gillen has been working alongside the Lucasfilm Story Group to develop the story and events of the ongoing comic series.[19]

Although the title of the secret mission to Geonosis is not a formal name such as the Battle of Coruscant, it is not a conjectural title as it is referred to as such by dialogue spoken by Aphra in Star Wars: Darth Vader 3: Vader, Part III.[1] When Darth vader 4: Vader, Part IV was released, the Geonosian queen in the issue went unnamed. However, in late 2016, the Star Wars canon source book Star Wars: Galactic Atlas was released. In the book, the Geonosian queen who fought against Darth Vader and Aphra was identified as Karina.[4]



Notes and referencesEdit

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