- "Well, it should be quieter since the planet was sterilized. No queens, no hives… Wonder what weapon they used. Would be nice to get ahold of that…"
- ―Doctor Chelli Lona Aphra while visiting Geonosis after the sterilization
Around 9 BBY, the Outer Rim world of Geonosis was sterilized by the Galactic Empire, killing most of the planet's population, by orders from Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, to ensure the secrecy of the Death Star project. The Geonosians of the Stalgasin hive were the original builders of the Death Star, an armored battle station capable of destroying entire planets. During the Clone Wars, they were persuaded to aid in the battle station's construction by Lieutenant Commander Orson Callan Krennic.
At the end of the war, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine declared himself Emperor and transformed the Galactic Republic into the Galactic Empire. The Death Star project fell under Imperial control and the battle station was moved away from Geonosis. The only survivor of the sterilization was Klik-Klak, who at some point after came into the possession of a Geonosian egg who when hatched became Queen Karina. She eventually moved to a lair beneath the planet's surface. Unable to produce new offspring and thus unable to repopulate the species, Karina continued the production of battle droids that the Geonosian droid factories once produced. The Sith Lord Darth Vader came to Geonosis during the Galactic Civil War and took the droids from her.
Prior to the outbreak of the Clone Wars, the Geonosians designed an Ultimate Weapon for the Confederacy of Independent Systems. This weapon, later known as the Death Star, was an armored battle station capable of destroying entire planets. When the Clone Wars broke out on their homeworld of Geonosis, the designs for the Ultimate Weapon were taken by Count Dooku, a Sith Lord and leader of the Separatist Alliance, to his master, Darth Sidious, on Coruscant. Sidious was secretly Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, who led the Galactic Republic and controlled both sides of the war. His goal was to transform the Republic into a Galactic Empire and rule the galaxy as Emperor.
- "They're dead. All of them."
- ―Ezra Bridger, sensing there is no life on Geonosis
Sidious' goals came to pass at the end of the Clone Wars. The Separatists were defeated, and the Republic was transformed into the Empire. The Death Star continued its construction over Geonosis under the supervision of first Vice Admiral Dodd Rancit, and later Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, but it was eventually moved to another location. Ordered by Tarkin, now a Grand Moff, the Imperial Weapons division sterilized Geonosis using Imperial gas canisters, destroying all but one of the planet's population of approximately 100 billion, resulting in the largest genocide ever committed by the Empire.
- "The only thing I know about Geonosis is that the population is gone. I never asked questions."
"Well, maybe you should start. Or are you afraid of the answers you'll get? Afraid you'll learn the Geonosians were wiped out by your precious Empire?"
"And why would we do that? What could possibly be the point?"
"Ah, good questions. Chase the answers, and maybe you'll learn the truth."
- ―Agent Kallus and Garazeb Orrelios
In 3 BBY, the third year before the Battle of Yavin, the rebel crew of the starship Ghost traveled to Geonosis after receiving an intelligence report suggesting that the Empire was building something over Geonosis.
When they arrived, they found only Imperial construction modules that had once supported the Death Star's construction, though the rebels were unaware of what was being constructed there. The intelligence was, in reality, a trap to lure the rebels to Geonosis. Agent Kallus of the Imperial Security Bureau led a group of stormtroopers in ambush against the rebels on one of the modules, but the rebels were able to escape. One of the rebels, Garazeb Orrelios, was stranded on Bahryn, an icy moon of Geonosis, with Agent Kallus after an escape pod they were in crashed. Before they were rescued, Orrelios learned that Kallus was unaware of what happened on Geonosis. He did not believe that the Empire had any reason to exterminate an entire population, but Orrelios said he was simply in denial.
The following year, Senator Bail Organa dispatched Saw Gerrera and his Partisans to investigate the apparent disappearance of the Geonosian species. Saw and his team were ambushed and attacked by Klik-Klak, who mistook them for hostiles. After Rebel Command lost contact with Saw and his team, Senator Organa dispatched the Spectres and the former Clone Captain Rex to continue Saw's mission. After reuniting with Saw, the Spectres and Rex captured Klik-Klak. A disagreement ensued between Saw, who wanted to take Klik-Klak offworld for interrogation, and the Spectres, who wanted him to remain on Geonosis.
The rebels were forced to take their ship Ghost into the depths of Geonosis after they were attacked by a light cruiser commanded by Captain Brunson. Down there, the rebels discovered the poison canisters which the Empire had used to perpetrate genocide against the Geonosians. The rebels managed to flee Captain Brunson's cruiser but were unable to bring back physical evidence of the poison canisters. However, the rebellion was able to use visual images of the canisters to rally more worlds to the rebel cause.
Several years later, during the Galactic Civil War, the Sith Lord Darth Vader and the archaeologist Doctor Aphra went on a secret mission to Geonosis in order to acquire battle droids for use in his personal army. They found Karina and discovered that she was continuing to manufacture battle droids, as the Geonosian droid factories once did before and during the Clone Wars. Vader took her battle droids, but left the queen alive. The rebel leader Mon Mothma's Declaration of Rebellion indirectly referenced the Geonosian genocide when it condemned the Galactic Empire for instituting a "blatant policy" of speciesism and genocide against the non-human populations of the galaxy.
Behind the scenes
- Star Wars Rebels – "The Honorable Ones" (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Rebels – "Ghosts of Geonosis" (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Rebels – "In the Name of the Rebellion" (Mentioned only)
- Doctor Aphra: An Audiobook Original (Mentioned only)
- Darth Vader (2015) 4 (First mentioned)
- "Breathing New Life Into a Dark Lord"—Star Wars Insider Special Edition 2016
- Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- Star Wars: Rogue One: Rebel Dossier
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 15 (Databank A-Z: Dooku–Dwarf Spider Droids)
- Star Wars: The Rebel Files
- Dawn of Rebellion (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition
Notes and references
- Solo: A Star Wars Story
- Star Wars Rebels – "Ghosts of Geonosis"
- Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide establishes that the DS-1 Death Star Mobile Battle Station was moved to Scarif nine years before the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. As Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the events of Rogue One to 0 BBY, the Death Star was moved to Sacrif in 9 BBY. Furthermore, because Dawn of Rebellion establishes that the Death Star was over Scarif months after the sterilization of Geonosis, the sterilization must have occurred around 9 BBY.
- Darth Vader (2015) 4
- Dawn of Rebellion
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Updated and Expanded states that Leia Organa was 16 years old during her mission on Lothal. Since Star Wars: Galactic Atlas establishes that Organa was born in 19 BBY, the mission must take place in 3 BBY. Dawn of Rebellion dates the attack on Phoenix Squadron to three years before the Battle of Yavin, or 3 BBY according to Star Wars: Galactic Atlas' dating system. As the Ambush on an Imperial construction module takes place between these two events, it must also take place in 3 BBY.
- Star Wars Rebels – "The Honorable Ones"
- Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy