- "Most honored Count, Skytop Station is fully active! Only my contacts in the communications cartel could make such a marvel possible."
- ―Po Nudo, to Count Dooku
Skytop Station was a Confederate listening post during the Clone Wars. A modified core ship, the station was designed to monitor Republic communications, thereby providing the Confederate Droid Army with vital intelligence on the movement of enemy fleets. Skytop Station was built and crewed by the Hyper-Communications Cartel, a business group formed by Confederate leader Po Nudo. It was stationed in the upper atmosphere of one of the moons of Ruusan.
Once construction was completed, Skytop Station began to intercept Republic HoloNet transmissions, providing the Confederacy with intelligence on the movement of Republic fleets. Following the Battle of Bothawui, High Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi tasked Jedi General Anakin Skywalker and his Padawan, Jedi Commander Ahsoka Tano, with finding and destroying the station. The two discovered Skytop Station's location after receiving a distress call from the captured Republic droid R2-D2, who was being taken to the station to be delivered to the Confederate General Grievous. Skywalker and Tano traveled to the station and infiltrated it alongside members of the Grand Army of the Republic's 501st Legion with the intent to rescue R2-D2 and destroy the listening post. Despite Grievous's efforts to thwart the Republic forces, Skywalker and his companions were able to disable Skytop Station's reactor and repulsorlift generators, causing the core ship to fall from the sky.
- "We can intercept and analyze countless HoloNet transmissions. We are the ultimate listening post for this entire quadrant."
- ―Po Nudo
Originally a Trade Federation core ship, Skytop Station was heavily modified by the time it was utilized as a listening post. Unlike a standard core ship, the station possessed large antennae protruding from both the top and bottom of the vessel. Additionally, massive sensor dishes crowned the station's upper hemisphere. Its interception range spanned the entire galaxy, being able to eavesdrop on HoloNet messages as well as monitor long-range movements of starships.
Internally, the station contained a disassembly chamber for the dismantling of droids, as well as landing bays that possessed enough space to accommodate Vulture droid starfighters and Rogue-class starfighters. The doors to the landing bays were controlled by astromech droid interface terminals, both within the bays and on the exterior of the station. Skytop Station also had at least one room filled with battle droid components for storage. Aqualish technicians monitored the information collected by Skytop Station in darkened rooms near the disassembly chamber. The station was kept afloat by repulsorlift generators that were powered by reactors; the reactors themselves were protected by a ray shielded door.
Skytop Station's complement of Vulture droid starfighters and Rogue-class starfighters provided more than adequate defense for the facility. When General Grievous took command of the listening post, he added B2 super battle droids and IG-100 MagnaGuards to its defenses. B1-Series battle droids also helped to maintain the station.
- Kenobi: "Our intelligence has confirmed that Grievous's spies have been intercepting our transmissions."
- Tano: "He must have some sort of secret listening post out there somewhere."
- Skywalker: "That would explain how he's been able to ambush our fleets."
- ―Republic commanders Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, and Anakin Skywalker[src]
Skytop Station was brought online in 22 BBY in the upper atmosphere of the moon Ruusan 2 after the Separatist organization known as the Hyper-Communications Cartel completed extensive modifications to its original core ship frame. The moon was chosen as the ideal location for the spy station, as it possessed an electrically-charged atmosphere that disrupted scanners and prevented the detection of objects within it. Shortly after the station was fully activated, the Confederate Head of State, Count Dooku, traveled to it alongside his Dark Acolyte apprentice, Asajj Ventress. Dooku and Ventress were given a tour of the new station by Cartel leader Po Nudo, who proclaimed that Skytop Station would be capable of picking up countless Republic transmissions throughout the quadrant. Although Ventress detested the principals of covert eavesdropping that were embodied in the listening post, Dooku was impressed with the station.
The technicians at Skytop Station later intercepted a communication between Supreme Chancellor Palpatine of the Republic and King Katuunko of Toydaria. The two discussed a possible alliance between the Republic and Toydaria, and planned for negotiations to take place on Rugosa. With this information, Dooku was able to dispatch Ventress to Rugosa in order to make an offer of alliance to Katuunko on behalf of the Confederacy. The station later came under the command of the Confederate General Grievous, who used the intercepted transmissions in order to ambush Republic fleets. Shortly after the Battle of Bothawui—during which Jedi General Anakin Skywalker lost his astromech droid, R2-D2—Republic Intelligence was able to confirm that a Confederate listening post was the source of the ambushes. High Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi charged Skywalker and his Padawan, Jedi Commander Ahsoka Tano, with locating the station and destroying it.
During a scouting mission in an area of suspected Confederate-held space, Skywalker was attacked by two Confederate frigates after his location was revealed by the Confederate spy droid R3-S6, who was serving as Skywalker's astromech droid after the loss of R2-D2. R2-D2 had in fact been captured by the Trandoshan scavenger Gha Nachkt after the conflict at Bothawui, and the scavenger had arranged for the Republic droid to be sold to General Grievous. Nachkt traveled to Skytop Station in his ship, the Vulture's Claw, to deliver R2-D2 and collect his fee. En route to Skytop Station, R2-D2 was able to alert Skywalker to his position by connecting to the Vulture's Claw's communication system. Skywalker, who had been rescued from the Confederate frigates by Tano and Clone Captain CT-7567, was still searching for both Skytop Station and his astromech droid. He followed R2-D2's signal to the Hoth's Brand system where the listening post was located.
- "Captain, trigger the explosives!"
"But—sir, we're still in the station!"
"You just let me worry about the details!"
- ―Anakin Skywalker orders the destruction of Skytop Station
After the Vulture's Claw landed on Skytop Station, Nachkt led R2-D2 to a room filled with surveillance posts manned by Aqualish technicians. There, Nachkt met with Grievous, who demanded that R2-D2 be taken to the disassembly chamber to be dismantled and searched for information. While Nachkt dissected the astromech, Skywalker, Tano, and a contingent of clone troopers from the Grand Army of the Republic's 501st Legion arrived above Ruusan in their ship, the Twilight, and followed R2-D2's signal into the upper atmosphere of one of the planet's three moons. The group, along with R3-S6, free fell from the Twilight onto the station, where Skywalker used his lightsaber to cut an opening in the station's roof. The Republic forces entered Skytop Station and split up; Skywalker searched for R2-D2, while Tano and the clones set off to plant explosives in the station's reactors.
In the disassembly chamber, Nachkt was able to crack R2-D2's memory banks, revealing that the droid had never had its mission memory erased. The Trandoshan expected extra payment for the discovery; however, Grievous opted to kill him and simply forgo payment. The general was then informed by his spy, R3-S6, that Republic forces had infiltrated the station. Grievous put Skytop Station on high alert and ordered several IG-100 MagnaGuards to move the dismantled R2 unit to his ship while he confronted the intruders himself. The alert status triggered a ray-shielded security door to be lowered over the entrance to the reactor room, preventing Tano and the clones from planting the explosives. R3-S6 appeared to be attempting to lower the shield; in actuality, the droid was stalling until battle droids arrived to combat the Republic forces. Although Clone Captain CT-7567, nicknamed Rex, was able to disable the droids, all but two of the clones were killed by Grievous when he arrived. In order to save Rex and Denal, the two surviving clones, Tano engaged Grievous and led him into a storage room filled with spare battle droid parts.
Elsewhere within the station, Skywalker caught up with the MagnaGuards that were escorting R2-D2 to Grievous's ship. Skywalker defeated the droids, and together with R2-D2, he escaped to the south landing bay, where he contacted the Twilight for an immediate evacuation from the station. Meanwhile, Rex and Denal completed the mission's primary objective and planted explosives within the reactor room before rendezvousing with Skywalker in the landing bay. As Skywalker attempted to leave the bay to locate Tano, R3-S6, who had been sent by Grievous to delay the Republic forces, sealed all exits from the bay and activated several vulture droids that had been hanging from ceiling-mounted recharge racks. The droids opened fire, forcing Skywalker and the clones to take cover near several docked Rogue-class starfighters, while R2-D2 attempted to open the hangar bay doors from an external control port on a maintenance catwalk.
As the fight in the hangar continued, Skywalker ordered Captain Rex to activate the explosives, despite the fact that the Republic squad was still in the station. Rex complied, and the resulting explosion crippled the repulsorlift generators and shook the entire structure as flames erupted from Skytop Station's lower hemisphere. Tano, who had been captured by Grievous, used the explosion as a distraction and escaped by entering one of Skytop Station's air ducts. She joined the Republic forces in the hangar bay while Grievous fled the doomed battlesphere in his starship, Soulless One. As Skytop Station plummeted from the upper atmosphere of the Ruusan moon, R2-D2 was able to open the hangar doors for the south docking bay, allowing Tano, Rex, Denal, Skywalker, and their clone pilot to escape the station in the Twilight. Skywalker briefly returned to the crumbling station in his starfighter to rescue R2-D2 from the external maintenance catwalk, shortly before Skytop Station met its end.
Commanders and crew
- "Those 631s are not the brightest lights on the ship."
- ―A B1 battle droid, on the inferior capabilities of the 631 model B1 battle droid
As a Confederate listening post, Skytop Station was heavily staffed and protected by droids. Several different models of battle droids served as guards aboard the battlesphere, and it was noted that the 631 model B1 battle droids that served aboard the station were less intelligent than other droid models. The droids also suffered from servomotor corrosion as a result of the atmospheric moisture on the Ruusan moon.
The station's extensive sensor systems were monitored and controlled by Aqualish technicians. At some point during the war, the station was placed under the command of General Grievous, the Supreme Commander of the Droid Armies. Utilizing the information gathered by the station for surprise attacks, Grievous was able to repeatedly ambush Republic forces. However, Skytop Station was destroyed while under the command of the cyborg general. This, in conjunction with Grievous's loss of the Malevolence, greatly shook Count Dooku's faith in the general.
Behind the scenes
Skytop Station was designed and created for the 2008 Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series. The station first appeared in the online Clone Wars comic Prelude, and was referenced to in the series' first season episode "Downfall of a Droid." It finally made its series debut in the following episode, "Duel of the Droids," where it served as both the episode's setting and a major plot point. From a production standpoint, the station's interior actually consists of one primary hallway, re-shot from several different angles to give the appearance of multiple hallways within an immense structure. Aside from the corridors, The Clone Wars design team only had to create two new sets—the supply room and the hangar.
The station also appeared in the Nintendo DS version of the 2009 video game Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes; however, this appearance introduced numerous continuity errors in Skytop Station's history. In the game, General Grievous is not in command of the station during the Republic's assault, which is performed by Skywalker, Tano, Rex, and Denal. When Skywalker and Tano reach Sector AA-23 of the station, all of its systems are shut down, including the repulsorlifts. The systems are reactivated shortly afterward when Rex and Denal turn them on via a control panel. The two are then able to destroy Skytop Station's reactor; however this triggers a fail-safe lockdown, sealing the clones and Jedi within the crippled station. In order to open the hangar doors and escape aboard the Twilight, R2-D2 and Tano deactivate a control terminal in the station's hangar while Skywalker deactivates one on the station's exterior hull. Skywalker, Tano, R2, Rex, and Denal all return to the Twilight and make it off Skytop Station. In this version of events, the station is protected by regular battle droids, in addition to BX-series droid commandos and IG-86 sentinel droids.
- The Clone Wars: Prelude (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Ambush" (Appears in "Newsreel" only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Downfall of a Droid" (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Duel of the Droids"
- The Clone Wars: Forces of Darkness
- The Clone Wars: Jedi in Training
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes (Nintendo DS edition)
- LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (Non-canonical appearance)
- Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures video game (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- The Clone Wars: Prelude
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Duel of the Droids"
- Star Wars PocketModel TCG: Clone Wars
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Official Episode Guide: Season 1
- The Essential Reader's Companion
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: What Is a Sith Warrior?
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Downfall of a Droid"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Lair of Grievous"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Complete Season One—Featurette 106: Duel of the Droids