- "They want the Empire to collapse the same way some hoped the Republic would, only this time our enemies aren't rebelling in protest of Senate representation, trade routes, or taxes. They're intent on sowing chaos, on bringing everything down. They have no agenda—political, religious, or any other—beyond a desire to end civilization as we know it."
- ―Commander Orson Krennic
Separatist holdouts was a term for the collective military and political segments of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, an unrecognized government of star systems and corporations that seceded from the Galactic Republic. The Separatist holdouts came to exist as remnants of the former Confederacy in the aftermath of the Clone Wars, a pan-galactic civil war that was fought between the Republic and Separatists from 22 BBY to 19 BBY. During the subsequent era known as the Age of the Empire, the Separatist holdouts were hunted by the Republic's successor, the Galactic Empire. During the rebellion, they helped a group of rebels against the Empire.
- "I calculate that this will be my only opportunity to end the Clone Wars as I planned: with a victory for the Separatist Alliance."
- ―General Kalani did not accept that the Clone Wars had truly ended
Separatist holdouts were the remnants of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. The political crisis between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy culminated in the Clone Wars, a galaxy-wide conflict that the latter ultimately lost, yet also allowed the Galactic Empire to rise in place of the Republic. Although the war's conclusion marked the end of the Separatist cause, the remnants of the Confederacy would endure for years, hiding from the New Order in several locations such as the planet Agamar or in the Western Reaches. These holdouts varied from groups of pro-Separatist sentients to battle droids that did not follow the shutdown command at the end of the Clone Wars, which could be mostly independent and disconnected from each other.
By 19 BBY, the last year of the Clone Wars, the highest ranking leaders fell in quick succession; beginning with Confederate Head of State Count Dooku, who was killed during the raid over the Republic's capital world of Coruscant and General Grievous, perished on Utapau while trying to escape. The Separatist Council, including Viceroy of the Trade Federation Nute Gunray, retreated to Mustafar. As the war drew to a close, Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine—secretly Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith—declared himself Emperor and transformed the Galactic Republic into the Galactic Empire. Having gained absolute power through the conflict, the Emperor dispatched his new apprentice, the Sith Lord Darth Vader, under the pretext of peace to Mustafar where he ultimately executed the council and deactivated the Separatist Droid Army instead, bringing an end to both the Separatists and the Clone Wars.
As a result, most of the remaining systems and sectors in the Confederacy fell to the power of the Galactic Empire and were occupied shortly after. However, some of the military and governing elements began retreating to the Western Reaches to continue their resistance while others such as General Kleeve abandoned the Confederacy altogether. Having been betrayed by both the Sith Master and the Sith apprentice, the leaders of the Confederacy were reduced to various ununited warlords across the galaxy, where the Separatist were but a shadow of their former selves.[source?]
Resisting the Empire
- "Galen, you're not going to hear this on the nightly holonews, but while the war is essentially won, its not over. Not here. Not in many systems of the Western Reaches."
"I've heard reports of Separatist holdouts—"
"They're much more than holdouts. Call them what they are: anarchists."
- ―Orson Krennic and Galen Walton Erso
Early into the Empire the war was not entirely over as some pockets of resistance rebelled against the new government. The early years of the Empire were marked by the military occupation and subjugation of various worlds that were part of the Confederacy, including Kooriva, Murkhana, and the former capital planet, Raxus Secundus. Part of the reason the Onager-class Star Destroyer was developed was so the Empire could ruthlessly take out the planetary shields used by CIS holdouts. Senator of Raxus Secundus, Avi Singh was persuaded by the Empire to endorse Captain Bragg's occupation, only to reject the occupation and escape the planet with Clone Force 99. Hardline Separatists entrenched themselves in the Tion Hegemony, which was where Raxus was located, the Corporate Sector, and the Western Reaches.
In 18 BBY, the Empire oversaw a campaign of mass arrests, executions, and massacres on Antar 4 overseen by Wilhuff Tarkin that swept up many republic loyalists. Two reporters, Anora Fair and Hask Taff, reported heavily on the operation, angering prominent Coruscanti and causing considerable political controversy. Despite this, the Empire continued to utilize the existence of Separatist holdouts as an excuse for its continued peacetime military expansion and to justify increasing security measures. With booming civic pride and patriotism, many galactic citizenry joined the Imperial Military as Imperial cadets. Zare Leonis imagined serving the Empire; fighting against Separatist holdouts, pirates, and slavers.
Soon after, the Imperial Navy proceeded to mount incursions into holdout-held space, including a series of campaigns in the Western Reaches, where most of what was left of the Confederacy of Independent Systems had fled. As the conflict progressed, the planetary populations of former Confederate worlds, dissatisfied with the Empire's perceived lack of reconstructive action in the Clone Wars' aftermath, only added to the holdouts, further swelling their numbers. Imperial shipyards like the one in orbit over Kartoosh, just outside of the Western Reaches, served as a repair hub for starships damaged in engagements with Separatists as well as salvage yards for captured vessels. The Bilbringi shipyards also served as a dismantling point for old Separatist warships. The Imperial forces were led by Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, fresh from "pacifying Antar 4," who had been assigned to oversee operations by Palpatine himself. Both Tarkin and Lieutenant Commander Orson Krennic would utilize the conflict against the holdouts as a pretext to justify for the appropriation of numerous legacy worlds—worlds legally protected as ecological reserves—advancing the top-secret Imperial construction project occurring above Geonosis.
The same year, Moff Tarkin was reassigned to Sentinel Base to oversee the Death Star project. Many in the Imperial hierarchy believed that this was because of a failure commanding the mop-up operations, despite the conflict in the Western Reaches being considered over by 15 BBY. However, two years later, Separatist holdouts were still viewed as a major threat by the Imperial Military, and were thus initially suspected of being culpable for the attack on Sentinel Base.
Age of rebellion
- "You are against the Empire. I am against the Republic. Now the Republic has become the Empire. I accept your logic. We are on the same side."
- ―General Kalani, to Ezra Bridger
Separatists who did not relinquish the struggle against the Galactic Republic and its successor, the Galactic Empire, were natural allies of the growing rebellion. These "diehard" Separatists were, however, more fanatical than other rebels and had a higher degree of willingness to undertake radical measures against the Empire than the politically astute leaders of the central resistance are restful for. There were many instances where the Separatists were former soldiers or operatives, as the droid members of the formerly extensive Separatist Droid Army were inoperable and rarely joined resistance groups.
These Separatists were experienced with military or sabotage training, and had recruited family or younger individuals as most were typically older. Several knew of forgotten Separatist bases or weapons stockpiles. Characteristically, Separatists fought as individuals, yet in instances of extensive local resistance they were able to conjure forces that rivaled those of the nascent rebellion.
In 2 BBY during the days of the early rebellion against the Galactic Empire, one holdout was encountered by the Republic Clone Wars veteran, Captain Rex, while leading a rebel cell from Lothal on a mission to Agamar to salvage proton bombs from a derelict DH-Omni Support Vessel. Rex along with Jedi Knight Kanan Jarrus, Padawan Ezra Bridger, and Garazeb Orrelios were quickly captured by General Kalani, a high ranking super tactical droid of the Confederacy military. Kalani, having studied the tactics of the war for over a decade, forced the rebels to take part in a final combat simulation designed to prove once and for all which side had the better combat strategy.
However, Bridger managed to convince Kalani that neither the Republic nor the Separatists really won the Clone Wars, but had both been decimated by their true enemy: the Empire. Due to collaboration between the rebels and former separatists, Kalani and the rebels were able to mount a successful rearguard defense against an Imperial attack. General Kalani and the rebels ultimately escaped aboard Neimoidian Sheathipede-class transport shuttles. Refusing an offer to join the rebellion, Kalani shared his prediction that the rebels had a 1% chance of success against the Empire before departing to parts unknown.
- "That was certainly priceless information, Pendewqell. I bet the Galactic Republic will be super happy now that they can stop the Emperor from rising to power. Probably save the galaxy a whole lot of lives, too. Maybe we can go to the Jedi Council and get a nice fat reward! So all we need to do now is travel back in time! What do you say—?"
- ―Quiggold sarcastically remarks to Pendewqell after discovering the secret treasure was actually Kix
In 31 ABY, fifty years after the Clone Wars, a discounted holdout continued to exist due to an ion storm striking the cruiser Obrexta III decades earlier. The cruiser was tasked with carrying the captured clone trooper CT-6116 from Coruscant to Serenno, and had him locked in a cryo-cycle stasis pod. En route, the cruiser had been attacked by Republic forces and heavily damaged. Knowing that the ship was in no shape to reach Serenno, B1-series battle droid B1-CC14 activated the ship's emergency beacon before jumping the ship to a random point through hyperspace. The jump took it to the desert planet Ponemah Terminal in the Outer Rim, where it fell into the planet's surface and B1-CC14 lost power. Decades later, the cruiser would have some of its systems re-powered, including its emergency broadcast. Believing the Obrexta III contained the legendary lost treasure of Count Dooku, a number of pirate groups raced to the downed ship. After one group of pirates led by Sidon Ithano managed to get aboard the vessel, B1-CC14, unaware that Clone Wars were long over, briefly powered back up and activated a fail-safe that would mobilize all B2-series super battle droids on board to stop the intruders, believing that they were Republic clone troopers. As the pirates tried to escape, the battle droid was ultimately destroyed as the Obrexta III exploded. Having recovered CT-6116 from cryo-cycle stasis, the crew of the Meson Martinet offered the clone to join their crew scouring the galaxy for lost Separatist installations they had discovered with the recovery of the Obrexa III's memory core, which he humbly accepted.
After the incident, Ithano's crew, now joined by Kix, went to seek further raids of Separatist locations. One of these holdouts was located on a swampy misty planet, where B1 battle droids came up from the ground to attack the crew, which included Ithano himself, Kix, and Reveth. C-3PO later referenced this story to some visitors by describing it as "spooky."
- Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel (Mentioned only)
- Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Aftermath" (Indirect mention only)
- Darth Vader (2017) 12 (Mentioned only)
- Tarkin (First mentioned, simultaneous with Tarkin audiobook)
- Tarkin audiobook
- Servants of the Empire: Imperial Justice (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Rebels – "The Last Battle" (First pictured)
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story novelization (Mentioned only)
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story audiobook (Mentioned only)
- "The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku"—Tales from a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens: Volume I (First appearance)
- ""—Star Wars Adventures Ashcan (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 33 (Helmets: Commander Neyo)
- Dawn of Rebellion
- Knights of Fate
- Star Wars: Complete Vehicles
- Starships and Speeders
Notes and references
- Servants of the Empire: Imperial Justice
- Star Wars Rebels – "The Last Battle"
- Dawn of Rebellion
- Knights of Fate
- ""—Star Wars Adventures Ashcan
- "The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku"
- Tarkin states that Separatist holdouts formed immediately after Darth Vader deactivated the Separatist Droid Army, an event which is depicted in Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the events of the film to 19 BBY, and thus holdouts were formed in 19 BBY.
- Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- Kanan 4
- Starships and Speeders
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Common Ground"
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy
- Dawn of Rebellion dates the events of Star Wars Rebels: Steps Into Shadow seventeen years after the end of the Clone Wars, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 19 BBY; therefore, the events of Steps Into Shadow must take place in 2 BBY. According to Star Wars: On the Front Lines, Mon Mothma's denunciation of the Galactic Empire and the Declaration of the Rebel Alliance take place 2 years before the Battle of Yavin or 2 BBY. As "The Last Battle" is set between Steps Into Shadow and "Secret Cargo," the events of the episode must also take place in 2 BBY.
- While neither the name "Kix" or his number are used in ""—Star Wars Adventures Ashcan, official concept art for the comic confirms that a character within Ashcan is Kix.