- "Execute Order 66."
"Yes, Lord Sidious."
- ―Darth Sidious, to CT-7567 "Rex"
A skirmish broke out onboard former Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano's Venator-class Star Destroyer during the final days of the Clone Wars when clone troopers of the 501st Legion's 332nd Division and the Coruscant Guard received Order 66 from Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine.
Clone Commander Rex managed to resist Order 66 long enough to tell Tano to find information on ARC trooper Fives. After Tano released the rogue Sith Lord Maul as a distraction, she looked into Fives with the help of astromech droids and, while he had been killed sometime before the skirmish, she was able to learn about the control chips that forced the clones to obey the order. Armed with this information, Tano was able to capture Rex and remove his chip.
Subsequently, Tano and Rex fought their way through the ship while Maul destroyed the Star Destroyer's hyperdrive, severely damaging the ship and causing it to drop out of hyperspace onto a collision course with a moon. Tano and Rex attempted to steal a shuttle, but found that the clone troopers, led by Jesse, had been waiting for them. Maul subsequently stole the shuttle and escaped in it, with Tano being forced to let him go in order to save Rex's life. After the droids' destruction, Tano and Rex escaped in a two-seat Y-wing starfighter as the starship began to break apart, and the Star Destroyer crashed on the moon, killing everyone still onboard. Before leaving for good, Tano and Rex buried every single clone they could find, including Jesse, and Tano abandoned her lightsabers at the burial site.
Prelude[edit | edit source]
Bio-chip conspiracy[edit | edit source]
- "The evidence is in here. It's—it's in here. It's in all of us, every clone."
"What is it?"
"Organic chips built into our genetic code to make us do whatever someone wants, even kill the Jedi. It's all in here."
- ―Clone troopers Fives and Rex
During the Battle of Ringo Vinda, clone trooper Tup of the 501st Legion suffered a malfunction in his control chip that caused him to carry out Order 66 prematurely, executing Jedi General Tiplar in the middle of battle and leading to a Republic retreat. The cause of Tup's condition was officially unknown as the Kaminoans, knowing a partial truth about the purpose of the chips, were under orders from the man they knew as Tyranus to conceal the chips' existence and Order 66 from the Jedi. This led Tup's best friend in the 501st, ARC trooper Fives, to decide to investigate himself. Fives discovered Tup's decayed control chip with the assistance of medical droid AZI-3, although Tup died shortly after the chip was removed.
Determined to uncover the truth, Fives and AZI-3 eventually went rogue in Tipoca City, with Fives having his own chip removed and discovering that all of the clones had them. Eventually, he managed to persuade Jedi Master Shaak Ti, who oversaw clone trooper training, to let him plead his case about the danger of the chips before Supreme Chancellor Palpatine on Coruscant. Unbeknownst to anyone, however, Palpatine was in truth the Sith Lord Darth Sidious and the architect of the conspiracy. On the approach to Coruscant, Kaminoan doctor Nala Se, who had accompanied Fives and Shaak Ti, secretly injected the ARC trooper with a drug that made him increasingly aggressive and paranoid. Fives was subsequently made to look like he had gone mad, becoming a fugitive after being framed for attempting to assassinate the Chancellor. He eventually arranged a meeting with his superiors, General Anakin Skywalker and Clone Captain Rex, at an abandoned warehouse on Level 1325, but failed to convince them that he was telling the truth before being shot by the Coruscant Guard.
Subsequently, the official cause of Fives and Tup's behaviour was claimed to be a rare parasite from Ringo Vinda that had caused their chips to malfunction, making them go insane. Although the Jedi had become aware of the chips' existence, they believed the cover story that the chips were intended to curb any aggression and insanity the clones may have inherited from their template, Jango Fett. Despite remaining skeptical of Fives' claims, Rex, feeling a duty to his friend, filed an official grievance afterwards in which he reported Fives' belief that the chips might have another purpose, although he was aware the report was likely to fall on deaf ears.
The Siege of Mandalore[edit | edit source]
- "I don't have the numbers needed for a siege. Without a complete lockdown of the city, Maul will escape again. That's why I'm proposing a joint operation; if we are successful, you'll have Maul and I'll have Mandalore."
- ―Bo-Katan Kryze, to Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker
During the Clone Wars, the planet Mandalore's pacifist government, headed by Duchess Satine Kryze, had been overthrown by the splinter faction Death Watch, headed by Pre Vizsla. However, in order to gain power, Vizsla had allied himself with the renegade Sith Lord Maul, a former apprentice of Sidious. Maul, having plans of his own, intended to use Mandalore as a base from which to run his criminal organization the Shadow Collective. After the takeover, Vizsla betrayed Maul; however, he easily escaped from jail and defeated Vizsla in a duel for authority, claiming the Darksaber and installing Almec as the public ruler of the planet.
Vizsla's lieutenant Bo-Katan Kryze, the Duchess' sister, refused to accept Maul's rule, splitting away with her own faction of warriors and beginning a civil war for control of the planet. During the Battle of Sundari, Kryze rescued Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, who Maul desired vengeance against for cutting him in half and leaving him for dead during the Battle of Naboo, and who had also once been in love with Satine. Kryze told Kenobi she hoped for a Republic invasion as it would ensure Maul's death. However, during the battle, Maul was captured and his brother Savage Opress killed by Sidious, who had come to the planet personally to deal with the threat to his power.
Maul was eventually rescued from his imprisonment by super commandos Gar Saxon and Rook Kast. Kryze, attempting to track down his location, witnessed former Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano, who she had previously encountered on Carlac while she was still with the Jedi Order, embroiled in trouble with the Pyke Syndicate on Oba Diah. The Pykes were part of Maul's Shadow Collective, and after Tano and her friends the Martez sisters escaped the syndicate, Kryze followed them back to Coruscant and recruited Tano to help deal with their mutual enemy Maul.
Tano eventually went to her former master Skywalker for help when she and Kryze learned that Maul had returned to Mandalore's capital of Sundari. However, Skywalker and his former master Kenobi were unable to help when they were abruptly called away to the Battle of Coruscant. Skywalker's solution was to split the 501st Legion and create a new unit. Since Tano was no longer officially part of the Grand Army of the Republic, he promoted Rex to Commander with Tano officially serving as his advisor. Unbeknownst to anyone, Maul had intended the Siege of Mandalore as a trap for both Kenobi and Skywalker: having foreseen the imminent rise of the Galactic Empire under Sidious, Maul had had a vision that Sidious intended Skywalker as his new Sith apprentice, and wished to prevent that by killing the Jedi Knight.
When Maul found that Tano had come instead, he changed plans and attempted to recruit her to destroy Sidious with him, an offer she declined when told of his visions about Skywalker, refusing to believe that her former master would ever fall to the dark side. Tano eventually bested Maul in combat and captured him. The Mandalorians imprisoned him in the last existing containment pod built by their culture for Force-users. Bidding farewell to Kryze, Tano and Rex set out on a Venator-class Star Destroyer to transport Maul to the Jedi High Council on Coruscant, accompanied by a detachment of the Coruscant Guard in addition to the 332nd Company.
The skirmish[edit | edit source]
- "All right. We know Ahsoka Tano is onboard. She's been marked for termination by Order 66. Under this directive, any and all Jedi leadership must be executed for treason against the Republic. Any soldier that does not comply with the order will also be executed for treason."
- ―Clone Commander Rex to his men
Order 66[edit | edit source]
After the Star Destroyer jumped into hyperspace, Tano and Rex were discussing their feelings about the war and the toll it had taken on them when Rex received word that a new dispatch was coming. He invited her to come along and have a look due to the possibility of it being about General Kenobi having defeated Grievous on Utapau, but she declined and told him to go, suggesting it was probably more good news. Mostly alone on the bridge, Tano then had a Force vision of something terrible happening, something involving Skywalker: on Coruscant, Palpatine had successfully manipulated Skywalker into falling to the dark side of the Force and becoming his new apprentice.
In the briefing room, Rex received the transmission from Palpatine/Sidious to "Execute Order 66." This activated the control chips of first him and then all the other clones onboard the Star Destroyer, as Tano came into the briefing room to tell him that she had sensed that Skywalker might be in trouble. Rex, realizing at that moment that Fives' suspicions had been correct, tried to fight the compulsion, dropping his helmet to the floor, as Tano realized something was wrong with him. Two other clone troopers on the bridge received Order 66 and trained their blasters on Tano, but Rex told his men that he would handle it, before drawing his pistols on Tano with shaking hands, yelling at her to stay back and then to "Find Fives!" When Rex began firing, Tano fought back, leaping onto the holotable and knocking Rex into it, causing him to fall to the floor as she deflected the other troopers' shots and telekinetically closed the bridge door.
The respite only lasted for a moment, however, as the other door opened and troopers including the ARC trooper Jesse charged in as Rex got up. As the troopers surrounded her and began to fire, Tano, atop the holotable, deflected all of their shots into the ceiling to create an exit hole, before escaping as the room filled with smoke. When the clones' blaster fire stopped, they wondered if they had succeeded, only for Rex to realize that Tano had escaped via the ceiling. Rex was still trying to subconsciously fight off the control chip when one of the Coruscant Guard shock troopers asked him if he was all right while handing him his helmet. He shook it off and said he was just tired before putting his helmet back on, ordering the shock troopers to go to the detention level and execute Maul. Rex briefed the other clones in the room that Tano had been marked for death via Order 66, and that any soldier who refused to carry out the order would also be executed for treason. He ordered the rest of his men to form search parties and fan out across the ship in search of Tano.
In his cell, Maul had also sensed the events on Coruscant leading to the execution of Order 66. When the two shock troopers reached his cell and prepared to execute him, however, he was saved by Tano, who subsequently released him from the containment unit. Tano demanded to know if what was happening was his doing, but Maul did not know what she was talking about. Informed that the clones had turned against Tano for no apparent reason and were not acting like themselves, Maul deduced that this was part of his former master Sidious' plan to destroy the Jedi, before attempting to persuade Tano to join forces with him again to survive. She rebuffed him, explaining that she was only releasing him so he could serve as a diversion for her and that she had no intention of allying with him. For this reason, she also refused to lend Maul one of her lightsabers when he asked for a weapon. When informed of the prisoner's escape and that Tano was still on the loose, Rex ordered the escape pods destroyed and the hangar bay placed under maximum security.
Tano snuck through the ship to a droid storage room, where she activated her old personal astromech droid, R7-A7. R7 was happy to see her and was worried about what was occurring, and she had to shush him so he didn't make too much noise. Two other astromechs in the room, CH-33P "Cheep" and RG-G1 "G-G", were also activated and asked what was going on. Tano told them that she had no idea why the clones had suddenly turned on her, and that she needed their help. Despite the danger, the droids immediately agreed to assist her. Tano had R7-A7 access the ship's database for any and all secure files on the late Fives, finding technical information as well as images of the ARC trooper and of Tup and Tiplar before finding a recording of Nala Se, where the Kaminoan scientist reported that he had suffered a malfunction in his inhibitor chip, which had been accepted by the Galactic Senate and the Jedi Council. However, Nala Se also mentioned the grievance Rex had filed about the incident. When R7-A7 attempted to open the report on Tano's orders, he found that it was sealed; however, they were allowed access after Tano had him use Skywalker's clearance code, 8108. After viewing Rex's report, Tano realized that the "inhibitor" chips were indeed the cause of the clones' sudden antagonism and formulated a plan to save Rex.
Elsewhere on the ship, Maul, despite being unarmed, easily overpowered the clone troopers with the Force. As the clones retreated, Maul cornered a group of them in a corridor, ripping a panel from the wall to serve as a makeshift shield. He slammed a shock trooper into the ceiling before throwing the panel to decapitate Ridge and another trooper. He used more wall panels to crush two troopers before turning them into shields as well. When the troopers reported the carnage and that Maul was advancing on the hangar, Rex ordered them to retreat and seal the blast door in an attempt to direct Maul's approach. However, Maul pulled one trooper's arm through the closing door as several of his comrades tried in vain to pull him back, resulting in the arm being severed when the door closed. Maul knelt down to listen to the chatter on the wrist comm the clone had been wearing, before stealing it to eavesdrop.
The medical bay[edit | edit source]
- "I am one with the Force, and the Force is with me...."
- ―Ahsoka Tano, joined by Rex, recites the Guardian's Mantra
As Rex and several of his men were running through the hallways to try and cut off Maul, R7-A7 abruptly rolled out in front of him in the middle of an intersection and caused him to fall on the droid. Before Rex could properly react, Cheep quickly sealed three of the four blast doors around him, separating him from the other clones. As Rex demanded to know if the droids were crosswired, R7-A7 played a hologram recording of Tano, where she told Rex she did not blame him for what had happened as he had been unwittingly programmed for these events when he was very young, and offered her help. When Rex subsequently drew a pistol on R7-A7 and demanded to know where Tano was, she revealed she had come up right behind him. R7-A7 immediately took advantage of Rex's distraction to shock him unconscious. As the clones in the surrounding hallways began to force their way through the sealed blast doors to get to Rex, Tano confirmed that the hallways leading to the medical bay were clear before draping Rex atop the three astromechs. As they set out, the other clones managed to get through the sealed doors, but Tano had already sealed the final blast door in her path, slowing down her pursuers.
Upon reaching the medical bay, Tano and the droids sealed the door before moving Rex onto an examination table. Tano had R7-A7 run a scan for Rex's control chip, but that scan and a second scan found nothing. Outside, the pursuing clones found the sealed door and inserted a computer spike to begin to manually unlock it. Tano ordered G-G to be ready to reseal the door if the external controls were breached. Running out of time as the scan continued, Tano put her hands on Rex's head and used the Force to search for the chip, chanting the Guardian's Mantra of "I am one with the Force, and the Force is with me" as she did. Despite being unconscious, Rex began to chant with her. Tano's effort worked, as the chip was soon located on the scan, and she ordered R7-A7 to begin the procedure to remove it. The droid voiced his concerns about whether or not it would work, and Tano pointed out that if it failed, they were dead anyway. R7-A7 began the procedure, sending Rex into the surgical chamber.
The clones outside eventually unsealed the door, and Tano prepared herself for battle, ordering G-G to be ready with the door. When the attack began, she deflected the clones' shots and Force pushed several of them back into the hallway. As the fighting was going on, the procedure on Rex was completed and he began to regain consciousness. Tano eventually dropped her shoto upon being shot in the wrist, and was in danger of being overwhelmed when Rex shot a few of the attacking clones, allowing G-G to reseal the door. Turning to Rex, who was rather shaken by what had happened but once again fully in his right mind, Tano asked him if he was okay, and he said he was, apologizing for his actions under the influence of the chip, including nearly killing her. Tano asked Rex just how widespread the inhibitor chip problem was, and he told her that the entire Grand Army of the Republic had been ordered to hunt down and destroy all Jedi.
Outside, the attacking clones began to use arc welders to cut the door out of the frame. Wondering how they were going to get out of the room, Tano had an idea and asked Rex to set his blasters to stun as she didn't want to kill any of the clones. Rex suggested that she tell them that, but did as she asked. The instant the two cuts made in the door had converged, Tano Force pushed it into the hallway, taking out multiple clones. Tano and Rex fought off all of the nearby clones, with the droids sealing off blast doors to cut off more who were approaching. Tano asked R7 to find them a safe path away from there, and when the droids confirmed that the escape pods had been destroyed, Tano and Rex headed for the hangar as their best option. Rex, noting that his men had been having a rough time, asked Tano if she had heard that Maul had also escaped, and she admitted that she had actually released him as a diversion. Incredulous, he followed her after voicing his disapproval.
With their commander missing in action, troopers reported to Lieutenant Jesse that the whereabouts of "Target 2" (Maul) were unknown, and that Tano had escaped the medical bay. Jesse asked if Rex had assisted her, but none of the clones knew for certain. Maul overheard the entire conversation on his stolen comlink. Storming the hyperdrive room, Maul used the Force to quickly take out the clones stationed there, but not before one trooper was able to report Maul's presence. After defeating the clones, Maul ripped the hyperdrive engines apart, crushing a squad of clones who had entered the room. This act forced the ship out of hyperspace and caused it to begin to fall apart. The bridge officers attempted to disengage the hyperdrive when informed it was failing, but were too late to do so. Emerging from hyperspace, the Star Destroyer headed straight for a moon and was caught in its gravitational pull. The event caused the entire ship to shake, with Tano and Rex wondering what had happened.
The hangar[edit | edit source]
- "The hangar bay doors are sealed. They've got everything locked down. If they weren't trying to kill us, I'd be proud."
- ―Rex, on the efficiency of his men to prevent Tano's escape
Tano, Rex and the droids stormed the hangar control room, quickly stunning the clones inside. Noting that the hangars had been locked down, Rex said that he would be impressed if his men weren't trying to kill them. Tano had G-G find out what had happened to the ship, with R7-A7 ordered to open up the hangars and Cheep tasked with prepping a shuttle. Informed that hangar control had failed to respond, thus making it likely that Tano and, presumably, Rex, intended to escape that way, Jesse ordered multiple units of clones to meet him in the hangar, but not to act until he gave the signal. Maul overheard the conversation on his stolen comlink.
When G-G informed Tano and Rex that the hyperdrive had been destroyed and the ship was now caught in the nearby moon's gravity, Tano had R7 open the main hangar doors. The sight of the approaching moon only strengthened Tano's conviction that they had to get off the Star Destroyer as soon as possible. Locating a Nu-class transport in Bay 12, R7 opened the doors only for a large amount of clones, led by Jesse, to emerge from the other bays, lying in wait for them. The clones ran out into the middle of the hangar, and Jesse ordered them to stand their ground, noting that anyone trying to escape would have to go through them. Rex and Tano had a disagreement over how they were going to get to the shuttle, as he pointed out that the other clones did not care if they died in the process of trying to kill them, to which she responded that they, like him, were good soldiers and she refused to be responsible for their deaths.
Noting that Jesse's troops were standing atop the lifts to the repair bays, Tano had an idea, having Rex pretend to have taken her prisoner as a distraction so the droids could sneak around the clones and access the lift controls. Just before they entered the hangar, Jesse, informed that Maul was also heading in that direction, ordered all other forces on the ship sent to reinforce his position. As the droids worked, Rex stalled for time by pointing out to the clones that as Tano was no longer a Jedi, she was not technically a target of Order 66. When Jesse countered that Rex himself had said the clones were under special orders from Darth Sidious to kill Tano anyway, Rex attempted to appeal to their long comradeship to buy the droids time, saying that they would be the ones executed for treason if they got it wrong. Ultimately, it did not work, as Jesse accused Rex of treason and said that he would be demoted and executed alongside Tano. However, the droids signalled to Tano and Rex that they were ready. Rex commented to Ahsoka that he had never really liked being a commander anyways as they prepared to defend themselves.
As Jesse was about to order the clones to open fire, the three droids lowered the lifts in the middle of the hangar floor, causing many clones to fall down to the lower levels, with Tano Force pushing Jesse into the hole before she and Rex fought off the remaining troopers on the upper level. As this was happening, Maul managed to locate the transport that Tano and Rex were after, hopping in and attempting to fly away. Alerted by the droids, Tano ran after Maul, but he knocked her down through the opening in the hangar where the lifts were. RG-G1 pulled Tano up with a cable while Jesse and the others below shot at them, with Rex providing cover fire for her, and she ran after the transport, pulling it back mid-flight with the Force. Rex ran after her and grabbed her wrist in an attempt to brace her, but was shortly warned by R7-A7 that Jesse's reinforcements had arrived, and eventually lost his grip, turning his attention to holding off the approaching clones. Tano managed to hold Maul back for several moments, but had to let go in order to defend Rex, who was in danger of being overwhelmed by the other clones' blaster fire. In the crossfire, R7-A7 was hit with a blaster bolt and destroyed.
Unable to defend themselves in their current position, Tano cut a hole in the floor below her and Rex, causing them to fall through to the lower levels. However, Jesse and his troops, who had been attempting to gain control of the lifts, were still down there, saw them, and started to fire. They were interrupted by the lifts launching them back up again, controlled by CH-33P and RG-G1. The clones quickly located and walked over to the astromechs, who attempted to surrender. The droids were fired upon anyways, destroying them.
Down in the repair bay, Tano and Rex attempted to find a working ship, eventually locating a BTL-B Y-wing starfighter that was behind them in order to escape the chaos. While Tano defended against approaching clones, who had managed to get control of the lifts, she Force-threw Rex onto the starfighter. As the Star Destroyer began to enter the moon's atmosphere, the bridge officers attempted to fire the ship's retrorockets, but the ship began to break apart as an explosion killed everyone on the command bridge. With everyone in the repair bay thrown off their feet, Rex, having gotten into the cockpit of the Y-wing, yelled for Tano to get over, but as she leapt for the starfighter, it was knocked out of the ship. Rex managed to activate the bomber as it tumbled through the air before flying back to the Star Destroyer in search of Tano. She fell through the sky of the moon, hopping on scrap that had fallen from the ship, attempting to reach Rex as he pulled the Y-wing closer to her. She finally made the jump to the starfighter and held on, pulling herself into the open gunner's cockpit. As the pair flew off, the Star Destroyer crashed onto the surface, killing everyone still on board.
Aftermath[edit | edit source]
After the skirmish, Tano and Rex flew down to the wreckage of the Star Destroyer. They salvaged supplies and parts from the crash site, to repair both the Y-wing and the recovered R7. Tano and Rex also buried every clone whose body they could find, including Jesse. Standing in front of the graves, marked by the clones' helmets on poles, Tano, filled with anguish and defeat, abandoned both of her lightsabers in order to fake her death. After leaving the moon, Tano and Rex parted ways and went into hiding separately in the Outer Rim.
Traumatized by the events, Tano suffered from lingering guilt about letting Maul escape, since the Jedi were no longer around to protect the galaxy from his wrath. Over a year after the end of the Clone Wars, Tano led an uprising against the forces of the Galactic Empire on the remote moon Raada, where she bested the Imperial Inquisitor Sixth Brother. During the moon's evacuation, she built herself a new pair of lightsabers. Afterwards, she joined the rebel movement headed by Senator Bail Organa as an intelligence agent under the codename Fulcrum.
Years later during the Imperial Era, the wreckage was discovered by Imperial forces. Darth Vader visited the now snow-covered site accompanied by stormtroopers. At the crash site, he located Ahsoka's lightsaber buried in the snow, as well as a damaged 332nd Company helmet. He examined the lightsaber, and took it with him when he left.
Rex eventually wound up living on the planet Seelos with fellow clones Wolffe and Gregor, who had also had their control chips removed at some point. He was reunited with Tano a few years before the Battle of Yavin, when she sent the Spectres to recruit him into the rebellion. Dealing with his own trauma over Order 66, Rex did not tell Jedi survivor Kanan Jarrus, who was upset about being around clones and distrusted them, the details of how he'd had his chip removed, giving the impression it had been taken out prior to the order being given.
Maul spent the early years of the Imperial Era secretly running the crime syndicate Crimson Dawn, but eventually became stranded on the dark side-strong planet Malachor. There, he encountered Tano again when she visited the planet with Jarrus and his apprentice Ezra Bridger. The three light-siders briefly allied with Maul to defeat three Imperial Inquisitors who came to the planet, but after Maul's inevitable betrayal, Tano declined a rematch, tasking Jarrus with defeating Maul as she sensed a greater threat approaching. After being thrown off the Malachor Sith Temple by Jarrus, Maul escaped the planet in a TIE Advanced v1 belonging to one of the dead Inquisitors. Maul was eventually killed on Tatooine by his old enemy Kenobi after tracking the Jedi Master to the planet.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
The skirmish aboard Ahsoka Tano's Star Destroyer first appeared in "Shattered", the penultimate episode of the seventh and final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which premiered on Disney+ on May 1, 2020. The skirmish was first mentioned, indirectly, in the Star Wars Rebels episode "The Lost Commanders".
The skirmish was also indirectly mentioned in the novel Ahsoka. However, almost all of the novel's details about the Siege of Mandalore, Order 66 and Ahsoka and Rex's survival of it were retconned by The Clone Wars. In particular, the novel implies that Ahsoka, Rex and Maul were still on Mandalore when the order was given.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Shattered" (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Victory and Death"
- Ahsoka (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Rebels – "The Lost Commanders" (First mentioned) (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Rebels – "Twilight of the Apprentice" (Indirect mention only)
Sources[edit | edit source]
- (Indirect mention only)
- (Indirect mention only)
Notes and references[edit | edit source]