- "Did you mange to locate Dooku before landing in jail?"
"Well I know he's on board. Might have been able to do something about it if I'd had my weapon."
"It was important for you to arrive without it so your capture would be convincing."
"Oh, they were convinced all right. But how come I'm the one getting caught all the time? It doesn't look good."
"When you're a Jedi Master, you can make the plan."
"That's just it. How can I become a Jedi Master if I'm always getting caught?"
"At least you're a master… at getting caught."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker
In 21 BBY during the Clone Wars, the Galactic Republic launched an attempt to capture Count Dooku, the Head of State of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. The skirmish began when Anakin Skywalker boarded Dooku's ship in order to be taken captive to verify if Dooku was indeed aboard.
After Skywalker was captured, Obi-Wan Kenobi boarded the craft when it was in the Vanqor system. Kenobi was able to sneak past the battle droids patrolling the ship and free Skywalker. The two Jedi confronted Dooku, and at the same time Skywalker's flagship, the Resolute, arrived and attacked the frigate. Dooku however, was able to escape the two Jedi by using a secret hatch, and left the ship in his personal solar sailer with an escort of vulture droids.
Skywalker and Kenobi were able to arrive in the hangar and the pair stole a shuttle to chase the Sith Lord, and after a brief chase the solar sailer was hit and crashed on the planet Vanqor, but the Jedi were hit by the Vulture droids, causing them to crash. After the crash-landing, the two Jedi entered a cave in search of the Count, but Dooku trapped them. The two Jedi fought a gundark in the cave, as Dooku escaped off planet with a group of Weequay pirates lead by Hondo Ohnaka. After defeating the gundark the pair of Jedi tried to unblock the exit to the cave, but they accidentally unleashed a toxic gas, however they were saved by the arrival of Ahsoka Tano and a group of clone troopers, who opened the cavern.
In 22 BBY, the galaxy-wide civil war known as the Clone Wars began at Geonosis. The war was fought between the Galactic Republic and the still recently formed Confederacy of Independent Systems, which was led by a Head of State, Count Dooku. Dooku was a former member of the Jedi Order, but, sometime prior to the war, had secretly become a Sith Lord. Capturing Dooku became a major priority to the Republic and Jedi, as it would bring the Clone Wars to a quicker end.
In 21 BBY, the Republic created a plan to capture the Count. The first phase was for Jedi General Anakin Skywalker to board the Munificent-class star frigate that Dooku was believed to be on. The Jedi Knight would arrive without his lightsaber, so that he could be captured; Skywalker could then learn if Dooku truly was on the ship. Afterward, Obi-Wan Kenobi would board to rescue Skywalker. As the pair would confront Dooku, Skywalker's flagship would arrive to engage the frigate and land troops on board to aid them.
Battle on Dooku's frigate
- "What are you doing?!"
"Not that way, we need to cut him off."
"You cut him off. I'll follow him and meet you at the hangar."
"Why do I even try?"
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, after Dooku escaped through a secret hatch
After the plan was set, the Republic launched the mission to capture Dooku. The first phase of the mission began, and Skywalker boarded the frigate that Dooku was suspected to be on. Skywalker arrived on the enemy starship without his lightsaber in ordered to be captured, and Skywalker was able to confirm that Dooku was on the frigate, but did not fully locate him.
After the capture of Skywalker, Jedi Master Kenobi donned an EVA suit and boarded Dooku's frigate and manged to sneak past the battle droid security. Kenobi made his way to the cell blocks of the ship and freed Skywalker. Kenobi also gave Skywalker back his lightsaber, and the two Jedi proceeded to head to Dooku's quarters. They confronted Dooku, but the Sith Lord escaped through a secret hatch. At this time the Republic Venator-class Star Destroyer Resolute, under the command of Skywalker's padawan, Ahsoka Tano, and his Clone Captain, CT-7567 "Rex," suddenly arrived and began to fire on Dooku's frigate.
Skywalker followed Dooku down the hatch, and Kenobi left to cut the Sith off in the hangar. Dooku fired force lightning at Skywalker, which the Jedi Knight defected with his lightsaber, but it made him lose sight of the count at a junction. Dooku made it to the hangar where an OOM command battle droid reported that his Punworcca 116-class solar sailer was ready for his escape. Kenobi then arrived in the hangar, only to see Dooku escape with his FA-4 pilot droid on his solar sailer, alongside with an escort of several vulture droids. After witnessing this, Kenobi fought his way to a Sheathipede-class transport shuttle, which Skywalker also boarded.
Skywalker piloted the ship as Kenobi took control of the weapons systems. He also contacted Tano and told her to meet them on the ground with reinforcements. Kenobi was able to hit the side of Dooku's solar sailer, forcing the Count's ship to crash-land on the nearby planet of Vanqor. Due to Dooku's crash, the vulture droids turned their attention to the Jedi's shuttle, and, while Kenobi was able to hit one of the droids, the Jedi's ship was hit, forcing them to crash on the planet as well.
Crash on Vanqor
- "There's still Dooku to deal with."
"You let him get away?"
"No, not get away, exactly..."
- ―Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano
The pair of Jedi crashed near Dooku's ship, and after investigating they found that his ship's engine was damaged meaning the Count would be unable to flee. Dooku's pilot droid was also seemly deactivated, but the Jedi found a homing beacon on the side of Dooku's ship, meaning he was waiting for aid. Skywalker quickly destroyed the beacon to prevent Separatist reinforcements, and the two Jedi then noticed a nearby cave. The two sensed multiple life forms in the cave, and realized that Dooku was one of them.
The two entered the cave and used their lightsabers for light, but as they searched the cave Dooku surprised them by causing a rockfall. Kenobi was able to jump away from the rocks in time, but Skywalker could not and was briefly trapped underneath the rocks. During this brief time, Dooku was able to steal Skywalker's lightsaber and left the cave, and even caused another rock fall to trap the Jedi.
Skywalker was able to free himself from the rocks, and after briefly searching he found Kenobi. As Kenobi attempted to repair his lightsaber, which had been damaged by the falling rocks, one of the native gundarks found the Jedi and attacked Skywalker. Around this time Dooku retruned to his crash-site, however found that his ship was currently surrounded by a group of pirates. The pirates were busy raiding the two crashed ships and the leader of the pirate gang, Hondo Ohnaka approached the Count. Hondo complemented the Solar Sailer, and Dooku allowed the pirates to raid his craft. The pirate then offered Dooku off world, as long as he would pay the pirates, and the Count accepted deal.
In the cave, the pair of Jedi were able to use the force to blocking away with rocks, and began to try to find a way out of the cave. The Jedi then heard a second gundark, however Skywalker stated that it was too far away to be a problem. Another problem was added to their list however, when the two accidentally released toxic gas from an area in the cave. The two attempted to hold out, but both eventually collapsed due to the gas, but they were luckily saved by an explosion that opened the cave. This had came from Ahsoka and a group of clones, who had arrived to be the duo's reinforcements.
The explosion removed the threat of the gas, and the two Jedi reunited with Ahsoka by the Nu-class attack/transport shuttle they had arrived in, however she soon spotted a gundark running to attack the group, which was possibly the one Skywalker had claimed to be "too far away." In response to this the clones shot at the rocks, again sealing the cave. Skywalker then revealed that Dooku had escaped their grasp, and they headed to their ship to leave the planet.
- "If you want the Sith Lord it will cost you a million credits. The payment will be in spice delivered in an unarmed diplomatic ship."
"We will need proof he's alive before agreeing to your terms."
"Let me present your fearless Sith Lord."
- ―Hondo and Palpatine's discussion via hologram
Sometime after the skirmish the Weequay pirates and Dooku arrived at their destination, but after stepping onto the planet Florrum Dooku was surrounded at blasterpoint by the gang. Hondo then revealed he had knew that Dooku was the Confederacy's leader, and also revealed that he now possessed Dooku's lightsaber, which had been stolen by the pirate's Kowakian monkey-lizard, Pilf Mukmuk. Hondo threatened the man whom he believed was a Jedi, but Dooku then revealed to Hondo that he was actually a Sith Lord, but Dooku was still outnumbered. The count was taken into the pirate's custody, so that he could be given away at a high ransom. Hondo contacted Supreme Chancellor Palpatine on Coruscant. Palpatine and several others spoke with Hondo via hologram, and the pirate stated that the Republic would have to pay one million credits in spice to get Dooku. Palpatine doubted the pirate's claims, however the pirate showed the Count's lightsaber, which Grand Master Yoda did recognize as Dooku's blade. Hondo also threatened that if the Republic did not agree to pay for Dooku, he would instead offer Dooku back to the Separatist Council.
Senator Padmé Amidala offered the idea that two Jedi could be sent to verify if Dooku truly was in their custody. Ohnaka agreed to these terms, but stated that the Jedi had to come unarmed. Mace Windu then stated that they had reestablished contact with Skywalker and Kenobi, and because they were in a star system close to Florrum they were sent to verify Hondo's claims.
Dooku would ultimately escape from the pirates custody and the Clone Wars would continue. Towards the end of the war the Jedi discovered that Dooku had established a listening post on Vanqor, and planned to destroy it. Due to past experiences on the planet, Kenobi was not keen to return to Vanqor when he heard about the listening post.
Behind the scenes
The skirmish at Vanqor first appeared in Star Wars canon in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "Dooku Captured," which first aired in January 2009. The first appearance of the battle in any medium was in the Star Wars Legends webcomic The Clone Wars: Bait, which was part of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars webcomics. Within the comic Anakin Skywalker boards Count Dooku's frigate with a fake lightsaber, and is purposely captured by a group of battle droids as vaguely referenced in Dooku Captured.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Dooku Captured" (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Gungan General" (In flashback(s))
- "Dooku Captured"—The Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark (Indirect mention only)
- Dark Disciple (Indirect mention only)
- Dark Disciple audiobook (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 21 (Databank A-Z: Greedo–Gundarks) (Indirect mention only)
- "Anakin Skywalker" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
Notes and references
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Lair of Grievous"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Supply Lines"
- Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide states that the Onderonian Civil War began 22 years before the Rogue One mission, and that it ended 19 years before the mission. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the Rogue One mission to 0 BBY. Therefore, the Onderonian Civil War began in 22 BBY and ended in 19 BBY.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Gungan General"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Dooku Captured"
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 30 (Highlights of the Saga: The Betrayal of Captain Argyus) places the rescue on the Tranquility to 21 BBY and Star Wars: Galactic Atlas similarly dates the raid on Nuvo Vindi's laboratory to 21 BBY. As the episode this event takes place within takes place between the events of the episodes the other events are attached to according to , this event must also take place in 21 BBY.
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- Star Wars: On the Front Lines
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- Dark Disciple
- The Clone Wars: Bait