- "Warning. Enemy capital ships. Venator-class."
- ―A tactical droid
The Venator-class Star Destroyer, also known as a Republic attack cruiser or Jedi cruiser, was a line of wedge-shaped Star Destroyers in service with the Galactic Republic Navy during the Clone Wars. The backbone of the Galactic Republic's naval forces, the Venator was a versatile capital ship capable of serving as a troop carrier, a cargo transport, and a warship for ship-to-ship combat. Its front section contained a large flight deck and hangars to accommodate a complement of Republic starfighters and gunships.
The Republic deployed the Venator-class Star Destroyers across the galaxy during the conflict with the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Often utilized as flagships by the Jedi Generals of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Venator-class was closely associated with the Jedi Order as a result. Venators served in several major engagements of the Clone Wars, including the Battle of Christophsis, the Battle of Sullust, and the Battle of Coruscant.
Following Order 66 and the rise of the Galactic Empire, Venator-class Star Destroyers remained in service to the Imperial Navy during the early days of the Imperial Era. Ultimately, though, the Venator-class was decommissioned and replaced by the Imperial-class Star Destroyer, a larger warship that was modeled on its Republic predecessor.
- 1 Characteristics
- 2 History
- 2.1 Clone Wars
- 2.2 Siege of Mandalore and Order 66
- 2.3 Legacy
- 3 Behind the scenes
- 4 Appearances
- 5 Sources
- 6 Notes and references
The Venator-class Star Destroyer costed 59,000,000 credits and was manufactured by Kuat Drive Yards for the naval operations of the Galactic Republic in the Clone Wars. Spanning between 1,137 and 1,155.0 meters in length, the Venator was defended by powerful deflector shields and sturdy armor plating on its hull, while possessing an assortment of armaments. It was also equipped with a long-range sensor suite, as well as a navigation computer and corresponding systems. Venator-class vessels generally carried a crew of 7,400 personnel, including officers, pilots and enlisted crew, but could also hold some 2,000 troops in addition. 7,000 metric tons of cargo could be transported aboard the Venator, as well as sufficient consumables to last two standard years.
During the early period of the Clone Wars, the Venator-class Star Destroyer featured a wide array of hangar space. The forward section of the Star Destroyer featured a passage down the middle, with bays for starships on either side. It was mainly accessed by large doors on top of the ship. At the fore of this passage, at the bow the ship, was a collection of hyperspace transport rings. Towards the aft of the passage, doors in the floor could open, leading to a space where Republic frigates could dock. If no cruiser was docked, however, the space could be used by personnel to jump out of the Star Destroyer directly onto the battlefield, or to deploy walkers without the need for dropships. Overseeing the passage was a raised command station positioned at the aft. Even further aft, the Venator-class had two independent docking bays on their port and starboard sides, again protected by blast doors.
Towards the end of the war, a different type of Venator was used. These featured a set of smaller doors on the dorsal side of the ship, and lacked access from the ventral side altogether, with the blast doors that previously led to the main hangar space replaced with additional lighting, a crane and sometimes additional weaponry, such as a built-in beam weapon. Additionally, the side doors no longer led to independent hangars, but another passage that linked the two sides of the ship. The central hangar row then joined the smaller passage in the middle, replacing where the command station used to be. At the front of the main passage was a small opening starfighters could launch from without having to go through any of the main doors.
- "We've entered the atmosphere. Fire retro-rockets!"
"We've lost lateral control. We're gonna break apart—"
- ―Clone navigation officers
Venator-class Star Destroyers featured two bridges, with the starboard bridge serving as the primary command center of the ship and the port bridge being dedicated to starfighter operations. These bridges were raised from the main body of the destroyer and provided a wide, panoramic view of the battle. However, the bridges' exposed nature made them vulnerable to attack. The bridges featured large windows at the front, with two sunken pits behind, with a raised command walkway in between. This design would become a staple in Imperial vessels, giving emphasis to the command hierarchy. Further behind, a holotable sat between two sets of blast doors which could be used for communication, ship analysis and troop movements.
As a capable warship, the Venator-class Star Destroyer boasted a myriad of weapons. On the dorsal side, eight double-barrelled DBY-827 heavy turbolaser turrets, four on either side of the bridge area, were the Star Destroyer's main weapons. These heavy turbolasers had different modes of firing: one was to fire alternating between the two barrels, at variable but relatively rapid rates, while another was to fire both barrels simultaneously, but at a generally lower but still variable rate. The DBY-827 turret could fire upon both starfighters and warships.
The other main firepower came in the form of the AV-7 Anti-vehicle Artillery Cannon, albeit mounted to the vessel without legs, which could be operated by a single soldier and was also used as an artillery piece for Republic ground forces. The Venator's artillery decks featured long rows of many such cannons that aimed approximately perpendicular to the length of the ship in order to fire at vessels across from it, usually at close range. The AV-7 cannons and their ammunition were susceptible to exploding if struck by enemy fire when Venators brawled with opposing ships.
The Venator was also equipped with at least 52 point-defense laser cannons for anti-starfighter purposes. At least one kind was a swivelling double-barrelled turret operated by a single gunner, which had a field of fire—left and right, and up and down—in which the turret could swing to attack a unit. For target practice, mechanical skeet packed with explosives could be launched from these gun emplacements, which a gunner would try to hit.
Near the front of the ship, the Venator-class had two sets of medium dual turbolasers located along the hull trench, one on each side. At the aft, light laser cannons were used to defend against enemy starfighters. Four heavy proton torpedo launchers and six heavy tractor beam projectors could additionally be found as part of the combat apparatus, as well as beam weapons attached to the ventral docking bay on certain Venators.
The Venator-class featured ten ion thrust engines of three distinct sizes, with five on each side of the ship, arranged symmetrically. Each engine consisted of multiple chambers and rings, and the interiors were covered in a blast primer coating. The reaction that propelled the main engines consisted of a pulse combining to spark off the reactor core rods. If three engines on the starboard side and three on the port side failed, auxiliary power would activate. Additionally, the engines could be individually controlled from the command bridge. The Venator's engines were powerful enough to successfully destroy a Lucrehulk-class Battleship by ramming.
The ion engines were connected to the hyperdrive systems in such a way that critical damage to the hyperdrive mechanisms had the possibility to eventually lead to the destruction of the engines. This could render a Venator encountering such a situation without propulsion or maneuverability.
If an individual without protective gear was too close to the ion engines when they were online, they could suffer serious burns that would require immediate medical attention. However, these injuries were healable.
- "Now our cruiser's ready to launch."
- ―A clone trooper on Kashyyyk
A Venator usually required specialized landing strips to perform atmospheric landings, such as those at a cruiser staging area on Coruscant, while the similar Acclamator-class assault ships could perform surface landings with their legs. However, surface landings on natural terrain could occur, as exemplified during the Battle of Kashyyyk, when a Venator was able to touch down at the city of Kachirho and deploy Republic ground forces to reinforce the Wookiees.
In its impressive starfighter complement, the Venator could carry some 420 units, including 192 Alpha-3 Nimbus-class V-wing starfighters, 192 Eta-2 Actis-class light interceptors, and 36 Aggressive ReConnaissance-170 starfighters, as well as V-19 Torrent starfighters, BTL-B Y-wing starfighter/bombers, and Clone Z-95 Headhunters. It could also hold some 40 Low Altitude Assault Transport/infantrys, a variety of shuttles, and landing craft. Venators could deploy some 24 All Terrain Tactical Enforcer walkers, other ground vehicles and modular components needed for a planetary garrison.
- "Over-fire all reactors. We're gonna blow right past this guy, whoever he is."
- ―Jedi General Anakin Skywalker, facing down Admiral Trench
The main reactor of the Venator-class Star Destroyer was a large, dome-shaped chamber located along the centreline of the ship, under the bridge tower. It could annihilate up to 40,000 tons of fuel per second at maximum power. Various reactant pumps and ducts, as well as cylindrical annihilation reactant silos, were located to the fore of the main reactor. At least one subsidiary reactor, also dome-shaped but significantly smaller, was found in the left aft "wing" of the vessel. This reactor was surrounded by a collection of power cells. Hitting and disabling the main reactor could prove fatal to the survivability of a Venator in battle.
At least one compartment pertaining to the reactor operations of the Venator contained three vertical shafts and walkways suspended over the chasm. Some walkways approached from three directions between the three shafts to meet at a control station in the middle. Clusters of cylindrical structures were located both below and above this station, as well as extensive tubing throughout the room. Damage to the different systems present in the chamber could sometimes leave the vessel crippled.
Each Venator-class ship was equipped with a class 1.0 main hyperdrive, as well as a class 15 backup hyperdrive. At least one hyperdrive generator was located at the back of the rearmost "fin" that separated the ion drive thrusters. In front of it was the main inertial compressor, with the stern power feeds slightly further to the fore.
Similar to one of the reactor operations compartments found aboard Venators, the hyperdrive room was another cavernous chamber, with walkways on at least three levels criss-crossing above a deep chasm. Situated equidistant from a group of consoles, four tall columns spanned the height of the room, which could be damaged or even knocked completely loose by severe force, causing gases to shoot out of ruptured pipes and electricity to arc throughout the room. If this occurred when the Venator was travelling in hyperspace, the hyperdrive generators could become unresponsive to being disengaged. Additionally, the vessel could be forced out of hyperspace with much destruction to its rear sections, including the engines.
Warship of the Republic
With the outbreak of the Clone Wars, the Galactic Republic turned to the Venator-class Star Destroyer for its versatility. Leading the Republic war effort, the Jedi assigned the role of flagship to the Venator-class. As a result, the Venators became known by the colloquial term "Jedi cruiser" due to their affiliation with the Jedi Generals of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Battle of Christophsis
Several months after the outbreak of the Clone Wars with the First Battle of Geonosis, the Confederacy of Independent Systems had established a 30-warship blockade over the planet Christophsis led by the Harch Admiral Trench, which allowed the Separatists to gain access to the Corellian Run and the resources on the surface. The Separatists' occupation soon led to the Battle of Christophsis, where their blockade was engaged by a fleet of three Venator-class Star Destroyers and three Pelta-class frigates led by Jedi General Anakin Skywalker aboard the Resolute. However, Skywalker's fleet was severely outnumbered and outgunned, leading to the loss of one of the supply ships and all three Star Destroyers taking heavy damage.
Skywalker was later reinforced by fellow Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi, who arrived aboard the Venator-class Star Destroyer Negotiator. After Kenobi arrived to assist Skywalker, the former ordered the latter to withdrawal his ships and regroup on the other side of Leesis, Christophsis' moon, where Skywalker would be asked to pilot a new prototype stealth ship and continue with his mission to deliver the supplies to Senator Bail Organa and his troops, who were attacked by the droid forces by air and ground. Deciding to take matters into his own hands, Skywalker went on the offensive and engaged Trench's flagship, Invincible, and managed to destroy the command ship, although Trench managed to survive, sending the remaining ships of the Separatist fleet into disarray, allowing Kenobi and the remaining Republic ships to engage the rest of the fleet.
After establishing a base on the planet's surface, the Republic fleet was once again engaged by Separatist warships, forcing Admiral Wullf Yularen aboard the Resolute to retreat to a Haven-class medical station. After retreating, Jedi Master Mace Windu contacted a clone officer to summon Admiral Wurtz, requesting three star cruisers from his fleet. Gaining additional reinforcements, Admiral Yularen and Master Yoda managed to break through the Separatist blockade with the Venator-class Star Destroyers, which fled the system, and allowed the Acclamator-class assault ships from Wurtz's fleet to land on the surface, supplying additional clone troopers and winning the battle.
Battle of Ryloth begins
In the first year of the war, the Separatist Alliance led a planetary-wide invasion of the Outer Rim world of Ryloth, establishing a blockade under the command of Captain Mar Tuuk of the Confederacy of Independent Systems Navy. However, a fleet of at least two Venator-class Star Destroyers under Republic Admiral Dao were providing protection for Jedi General Ima-Gun Di and the Outer Rim garrison clone troopers, but his fleet's necessary resources began to diminish, and were soon destroyed after the Star Destroyers' shields were disabled.
- "And we have had no further contact with General Plo Koon. The absence of distress beacons indicates that his fleet was… that his fleet was destroyed, like the others. We are about to prepare a rescue mission."
- ―Anakin Skywalker
Later on in the Clone Wars, the Separatists secretly created the Malevolence, a Subjugator-class heavy cruiser equipped with two devastating mega-ion cannons that could easily disable the systems of any ship, starfighter or station, including an entire fleet of three Venator-class Star Destroyers led by Jedi General Plo Koon. Koon, commanding the hunt for the mystery weapon from the Venator-class Star Destroyer Triumphant, was able to report his fleet's position in the Abregado system before the Republic transmissions were jammed. The Malevolence then fired it's portside mega-ion cannon at the Republic fleet, disabling all three Venators, before unleashing a barrage of turbolaser fire on the helpless warships. Completely defenseless, all three ships were torn apart by the barrage with the Triumphant being the last to fall, seconds after Koon and some of the crew managed to evacuate in escape pods.
After Plo Koon's forces were decimated by the Malevolence at the Battle of Abregado, the Republic, learning of the warship and its ion cannons, attempted to locate the Malevolence, which was placed under the commander of the notorious Separatist General Grievous. However, after receiving information of the destruction of a Republic medical convoy of three Pelta-class frigates escorted by a lone Venator-class Star Destroyer at the hands of the Malevolence in the Ryndellia system, which was close to Naboo and the Kaliida Shoals Medical Center, the Republic's secret Haven-class medical station, which was tending to over 60,000 wounded clone troopers, and would become Grievous' next target, leading to the loss of both of the Malevolence's ion cannons and the deactivation of the ship's hyperdrive.
After losing its primary weapons and the hyperdrive being disabled, Jedi Master Kenobi led a fleet of three Venator-class Star Destroyers, including Kenobi's flagship Negotiator and Skywalker's flagship Resolute, against the Malevolence, which was retreating to Separatist-controlled space. Despite it's crippled state, the Malevolence's sheer size meant that that it was able to absorb the full firepower of all three Star Destroyers. Hoping to destroy Grievous whilst the vessel was unable to flee, Kenobi ordered all batteries to target the Malevolence's command bridge at maximum firepower, but the ships were forced to cease their assault when an arriving Republic senator, lured to the battle zone under false pretenses, was drawn into the cruiser and taken hostage. The three Venators maintained their pursuit of the Malevolence, however, and resumed firing at Koon's order when the senator was safely extracted, though their participation was ultimately rendered unnecessary when, thanks to some internal sabotage, the Malevolence crashed into a nearby moon when it attempted to jump to hyperspace.
- "The Republic fleet! We're outgunned! Get us out of here!"
- ―General Grievous orders his fleet to withdraw
Sometime after the Malevolence campaign, a Republic fleet of at least three Consular-class frigates and six Venator-class Star Destroyers patrolled a quadrant of space in order to protect Kamino from enemy attack, particularly from the armada of General Grievous. At one point, Clone Commander CC-2224 "Cody" and Clone Captain CT-7567 "Rex" were sent by Jedi Generals Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi to inspect Rishi Station, on the Rishi Moon. However, the station was attacked by Separatist commando droids, who hard-wired an all-clear signal to hide the approach of Grievous' fleet. The clone officers and the surviving clones at the base eventually retook and destroyed the station, disabling the all-clear signal. Skywalker and Kenobi were immediately alerted by this, and moved their fleet to the Rishi system to face Grievous. The firepower of their Venators forced the cyborg general to retreat at once.
Battle of Bothawui
- "All batteries, target that command bucket!"
- ―Jedi Commander Ahsoka Tano directs the fleet
Grievous was soon on the offensive again, defeating a Republic battle group at Falleen before proceeding to the Bothawui system. At the Battle of Bothawui, a fleet under General Skywalker, consisting of three Venators beyond the planetary rings, faced Grievous' flotilla of six Munificent-class star frigates, which emerged through the asteroid field. Skywalker's flagship, the Venator-class Star Destroyer Resolute with Admiral Wulff Yularen and Jedi Commander Ahsoka Tano on board, launched Gold Squadron along with the Jedi General himself in his Delta-7B Aethersprite-class light interceptor. Although the Venators were initially taking enemy fire, with explosions erupting on the tower decks of one cruiser, Grievous fell into a trap, having been laid by Skywalker. Republic All Terrain Tactical Enforcers, waiting on the asteroids, opened fire on the Munificents from the rear. Because the Separatist vessels had diverted power to the forward shields, the aft of their hulls were exposed. One Munificent fell to the AT-TEs, before the Resolute opened fire, destroying another. Skywalker knocked out the bridge of a third star frigate in his fighter. Grievous, seeing that the situation was dire, fled his command ship, flying away in his starfighter Soulless One. Skywalker spotted him and engaged in a pursuit. Commander Tano ordered the Venators to target the command ship, destroying it in fiery explosions. Skywalker was unsuccessful in stopping Grievous, who fled into hyperspace.
Trouble with Nute Gunray
- "Those are Republic warships! Oh, the clones have arrived!"
- ―C-3PO rejoices the arrival of the Tranquility
When Senator Padmé Amidala travelled to the planet Rodia to engage in diplomatic talks with Senator Onaconda Farr, she was promptly detained by Separatist droid forces, as part of a plot created by Viceroy Nute Gunray. Amidala's protocol droid, C-3PO, sought a communications station, where he contacted a clone trooper on a military frequency. Eventually, after Amidala's companion, Representative Jar Jar Binks, had defeated the droids by commanding a Kwazel Maw, the cruiser Tranquility arrived with the clone troopers of the 41st Elite Corps, who arrested Gunray.
The Viceroy was taken aboard a Consular-class frigate, accompanied by Jedi Master Luminara Unduli and Ahsoka Tano. Once the frigate had docked with the Tranquility, Gunray was transferred to a jail cell, guarded by Clone Commander CC-1004 "Gree" and Captain Faro Argyus, who had secretly allied himself with the Separatists. Soon, a boarding party consisting of B2-series super battle droids and the Separatist Dark Acolyte Asajj Ventress penetrated the hull of the Venator and entered the main hangar on Droch-class boarding ships, resulting in firefights in the hangar and hallways. Ventress infiltrated the engine room of the Venator and planted explosive charges, before heading to Gunray's detention cell. There, Tano and Ventress dueled, until the latter locked the Jedi Padawan in the cell. After Master Unduli returned, she freed Tano and forced Ventress to flee, who detonated the explosives and escaped down an elevator shaft. While various systems aboard the Star Destroyer were malfunctioning, Unduli and Ventress faced each other in the burning engine room, clashing in the perilous environment, before the Separatist agent pinned her leg under a metal pipe. Tano's arrival caused Ventress to retreat once again, saving the Jedi Master. Meanwhile, the turncoat Argyus sprung into action and freed Gunray, and the two escaped aboard the frigate, picking up Ventress in an escape pod. The Sith acolyte killed Argyus after hearing him gloat about taking the glory of the successful mission.
Tracking down Dooku
- "Sir! There's a Jedi cruiser attacking!"
- ―A B1-series battle droid on the bridge of Dooku's frigate
In one of the Galactic Republic's attempts to catch Count Dooku, General Skywalker was sent aboard Dooku's Munificent-class star frigate under the pretense of surrender. General Kenobi eventually boarded the frigate by performing an extravehicular maneuver and freed Skywalker. At the same time when the two Jedi found the Count in his quarters, the Resolute, with Commander Tano and Captain Rex on the bridge, approached and attacked the frigate, unleashing laser fire that rocked the ship. After a chase through the frigate and then in space in the Vanqor system, both the Jedi and the Count crashed on the planet Vanqor. Following a journey into the gundark-filled caves on the surface, the Jedi Generals were picked up by Tano and the clones, having been dispatched from their Venator on a Nu-class attack/transport shuttle.
Liberation of Ryloth
Some time after the Separatists gained full control of Ryloth, with the Separatist blockade holding a tight grip around the planet, the Republic sent a fleet of three Venator-class Star Destroyers—the Resolute, Defender, and Redeemer—under Jedi General Anakin Skywalker, Admiral Yularen and Skywalker's Padawan Ahsoka Tano, to break through the blockade to allow the Republic to land their forces on the planet's surface. While Skywalker and Yularen commanded the fleet from the Resolute, Tano was to command a squadron of V-19 Torrent starfighters to engage the attacking vulture droid starfighters, and after breaking through the vulture droids, she pressed her attack on the blockade, but were caught off guard as the Separatists summoned four additional Munificent-class star frigates, and launched their fighters to attack the Venator-class Star Destroyers. Outflanked and overwhelmed, Skywalker and Yularen both ordered the young Jedi back to defend them from the enemy vulture droids, which were launching suicide runs against the three Star Destroyers. After Ahsoka was ordered a final time by Skywalker to return to the fleet and Admiral Yularen was severely injured after the Resolute's bridge was rammed by a vulture droid, Tano reluctantly ordered the remaining pilots of her squadron to return to the Resolute so the Star Destroyers could flee the system. Before jumping to hyperspace, the Star Destroyer Redeemer was destroyed.
After the Resolute and the Defender fled the system, Skywalker was contacted by Jedi Masters Mace Windu and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and informed them of their lack of progress and their losses. Windu warned Skywalker that if his attempt to break the blockade was unsuccessful, the Republic's planned invasion would have to be postponed, although Skywalker stated that the Twi'leks could not afford the postponement, and assured them that he would break through the blockade. Indeed, after he crashed the Defender into the Droid Control Ship, and Tano used a Marg Sabl tactic to outmaneuver the other Separatist ships, the Republic invasion fleet was able to arrive and land on Ryloth.
- "The Jedi Council will be there, along with Republic officers from around the galaxy and… What the… The Separatists are going to ram the station with this ship!"
- ―Meebur Gascon
Later in the Clone Wars, the Galactic Republic had held a strategy conference in the Carida system, aboard the Valor orbiting the planet Carida. However, unknown to the Republic, the Confederacy of Independent Systems was planning to bomb Valor and end the conference. As part of their plan, the Separatist forces managed to hijack one of the Republic's Venator-class Star Destroyers, which had been held in orbit above the Outer Rim world of Abafar, a planet rich in an extremely valuable and highly volatile starship fuel known as rhydonium, which the Separatists were mining from a mining facility established on the surface by the Confederacy, with the intent of loading the Star Destroyer with thousands of canisters of rhydonium to transform the vessel into an unassuming bomb.
Following their escape from Abafar, the Republic's D-Squad, a covert unit of Republic astromech droids and one DUM-series pit droid, led by Zilkin Colonel Meebur Gascon, managed to board the Star Destroyer, assuming that the Republic had sent the Venator to rescue them. However, once they arrived on the Star Destroyer's command bridge, they discovered that Separatist forces had hijacked the vessel, and, after narrowly escaping the pursuing battle droids, Colonel Gascon and the droids found a detonator painted in the respective colors of the Separatist Alliance in the center of the hangar bay control room, coming to the realization that the ship was truly a massive, unassuming bomb, opening the doors inside the hangar, revealing thousands of rhydonium canisters stacked together in each hangar, and upon sight of the canisters, Colonel Gascon remarked that the amount of rhydonium aboard the vessel could possibly destroy the entire Republic Navy.
While aboard the Venator in hyperspace, D-Squad came across a small group of Republic droids that served aboard the Star Destroyer before the Separatists took control, one of which was the LEP servant droid BNI-393, who informed the squad that the ship had been hijacked by the Separatists, and that its destination was a space station located within the Carida system, bringing the Zilkin to realize that the Separatists intended to use it to take out the Republic space station Valor, the location of the Republic's strategy conference, forcing the team to take matters into their own hands and thwart the Separatists' plans by triggering the ship's explosion sooner than intended. However, the team soon ran into a series of complications as the super tactical droid in charge of the operation sent a swarm of buzz droids after the squad to dispatch them, but were eventually defeated at the cost of one of the team's members, M5-BZ, who sacrificed himself in order to defeat the buzz droids by opening the airlock, pulling the buzz droids into hyperspace. After BZ's sacrifice, the Star Destroyer exited hyperspace in the Carida system, and the engines were put to maximum power.
Before the super tactical droid could initiate the countdown sequence, he crossed paths with the astromech droid R2-D2, who managed to keep the Separatist droid out of reach of the detonator, granting him a small amount of time to trigger the detonation before it reached the station, resulting in a simultaneous explosion of the rhydonium canisters, destroying the Star Destroyer and creating a large blast that engulfed the station and all vessels flanking it, sending large pieces of debris hurtling through space, obliterating a single Arquitens-class light cruiser, and damaging the station.
Battle of Coruscant
- "Anakin, Rex, prepare all forces. We're jumping to hyperspace immediately."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi
Nearing the end of the Clone Wars and, subsequently, the Galactic Republic, the Confederacy of Independent Systems—under the orders of Darth Sidious, the true leader of the Confederacy—launched a massive and startling assault on the planet Coruscant in the Core Systems, the capital of the Republic, in an attempt to capture Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, who secretly orchestrated the battle and arranged for himself to be kidnapped by the Kaleesh cyborg Grievous as part of his plan to bring Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker closer to the dark side of the Force.
Prior to the assault, the Republic and Separatist Alliance became enmeshed in the climax of the Outer Rim Sieges campaign, which was primarily fought on various worlds of the Outer Rim Territories, far from the Core Worlds and, consequently, Coruscant. As a result of the Sieges, most of the Republic's fleets, experienced officers and Jedi Generals were preoccupied on the various fronts of the campaign, leaving Coruscant sparsely protected by the Republic's remaining officers and the ill-prepared Coruscant Home Defense Fleet, which had seen little to no action in the duration of the Clone Wars, giving the Separatists an opportunity to launch an unexpected and seemingly effortless attack on the Republic's capital.
Despite the high belief that the Separatists would never attempt such an attack, the Confederacy unexpectedly attacked Coruscant with a fleet of over 1,000 starships led by Grievous' flagship, the modified Providence-class Dreadnought Invisible Hand, catching the Home Defense Fleet off guard and quickly overwhelming them, with the Chancellor, after a lengthy chase through the Federal District, taken captive by Grievous back to the Invisible Hand.
Learning of the Separatist attack, the Republic's Open Circle Fleet and Jedi Generals Kenobi and Skywalker were recalled to Coruscant to rescue the Chancellor from Grievous. The Coruscant Home Defense Fleet, despite being outnumbered, attempted to prevent the Invisible Hand from escaping with the Chancellor onboard. Before the Separatists could make their escape from the besieged capital, the Open Circle Armada and the two Jedi arrived in time, bolstering the number of Venator-class Star Destroyers to the thousands, including the Star Destroyer Ro-ti-Mundi, to engage the large number of Munificent-class star frigates, Recusant-class light destroyers and Lucrehulk-class Battleships, which were escorting the Invisible Hand in order for it to flee, and allowed Generals Kenobi and Skywalker to enter the heart of the chaos of turbolaser fire and starships with their personal Eta-2 Actis-class light interceptors. Struggling to reach the flagship due to the interference of hundreds of Vulture droids, droid tri-fighters, and a brief evasion of discord missiles, two of which managed to deploy buzz droids onto Obi-Wan's starfighter, but were nonetheless destroyed. Returning to their flight path to the command ship, the Jedi quickly discovered that the hangar bay still had its deflector shields raised, forcing Anakin to open fire on a vulnerable point of the hangar to deactivate its shields, granting them mere seconds to enter the hangar before the blast shields were completely shut.
While aboard the Invisible Hand, the Jedi released the Chancellor from captivity and managed to kill the Sith Lord Count Dooku, the Confederate Head of State, and following their triumph over Dooku, the dreadnought briefly came into confrontation with the Venator-class Star Destroyer Guarlara and the two starships exchanged turbolaser fire as they engaged one another, with Guarlara inflicting extensive damage upon the Invisible Hand, causing it to momentarily plummet towards the planet below before the crew regained control. Despite rescuing the Chancellor and destroying a third of the CIS Navy, Grievous nonetheless managed to escape his flagship aboard an escape pod, which was retrieved by the Lucrehulk-class Battleship Profusion. Only days later, however, Kenobi killed Grievous and, shortly after that, Skywalker turned to the dark side of the Force. He slaughtered the Separatist Council on Mustafar and ordered the Trade Federation to deactivate all remaining Separatist droids immediately, officially ending the Clone Wars.
Siege of Mandalore and Order 66
- "This ship is going down, and those soldiers, my brothers, are willing to die and take you and me along with them!"
- ―Rex to Ahsoka Tano
The Venator-class Star Destroyer Tribunal was commanded by Ahsoka Tano and her special division of the 501st Legion. The cruiser ferried Tano, Commander Rex and the division back to Coruscant following the successful capture of former Sith Lord Maul on Mandalore, with Maul a restrained and guarded prisoner in the detention level. En route to Coruscant, however, Order 66 was implemented and the clones turned on Tano, also attempting to kill Maul on Darth Sidious' orders only for him to be freed by Tano as a distraction. This allowed her to ambush Rex and have his control chip removed, freeing him from the brainwashing. The ensuing skirmish aboard the Venator resulted in it crashing onto a desolate moon after Maul destroyed the hyperdrive, with the loss of all hands aboard save for Maul, Tano and Rex. The wreckage of the Venator would remain on the moon well into the Imperial Era, becoming buried in snow, until it was discovered by the Empire and investigated personally by Darth Vader, Skywalker's Sith identity, who retrieved his former apprentice's lightsaber from the crash site before departing.
Another Venator, commanded by Jedi Master Chiata, engaged in battle with a Separatist dreadnought in the final hours of the Clone Wars. Though it managed to destroy the opposing warship, the Venator was itself critically damaged and ended up crashing on the isolated world of Zeffo. Chiata, her Padawan Marseph, her unit's Clone Commander and a majority of the clone unit survived the crash, but the implementation of Order 66 saw the deaths of all involved, with Chiata being buried in the cruiser's wreckage by her Padawan before he succumbed to his own wounds and the clones being buried by the native villagers, who set up a shrine to them near the crash site. The wreckage of this Venator would also endure into the time of the Empire, becoming inhabited by various native fauna.
The Albedo Brave was a Venator-class Star Destroyer commanded by Jedi Master Jaro Tapal and his 13th "Iron" Battalion. The Albedo Brave was stationed in orbit above Bracca, having successfully secured the planet after a lengthy campaign, and was due to move on to Mygeeto when Order 66 was issued, forcing Master Tapal and his Padawan Cal Kestis to fight for their lives against their formerly loyal comrades. Though the two Jedi managed to kill many of the clones in their path, including the battalion's commander, and reach the escape pod bay, they were outnumbered and Tapal was fatally wounded just as they boarded an escape pod. The Albedo Brave was subsequently destroyed due to Tapal sabotaging its reactors to mask their escape, taking all the surviving clones aboard with it.
In the years after the formation of the Galactic Empire, Venators were still in service; however, they were being gradually replaced by the newer Imperial I-class Star Destroyer, which had been introduced in 18 BBY,[source?] as the backbone of the Imperial Navy. By 14 BBY, many Venator-class Star Destroyers used in the Clone Wars were scrapped on planets like Bracca, which were the sites of major campaigns during the war. The salvaged parts were meticulously picked through by large numbers of workers and the salvageable material was used to support the construction of newer Imperial machinery and ships.
The design of the Venator-class Star Destroyer ultimately evolved into the similarly wedge-shaped Victory-class Star Destroyer and Imperial-class Star Destroyer, the signature battleship of the Galactic Empire. As of the Campaign at Salient, during which Venator-class Star Destroyers reassigned from Telos deployed ARC-170 starfighters, another ship that was heavily used in the Clone Wars but was beginning to be phased out, to assist Governor Wilhuff Tarkin and the Executrix, the vessel was considered an older-generation model. However, it was still in production by 5 BBY and at least one Venator-class was stationed at the Anthan Prime Orbital Dockyard several months after the Battle of Yavin.
Sometime later, during the construction of the second Death Star, Venator-class Star Destroyers still remained in active service to the Empire, where several were used to protect the Sanctuary Pipeline leading to the Endor system and the Death Star. Following the Death Star's destruction in 4 ABY, the New Republic's Vanguard Squadron came across the wreckage of a Venator-class, while escorting three GR-75 medium transports, before coming into contact with the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Overseer. This was part of a New Republic ambush in the Zavian Abyss, where they revealed their prototype Starhawk.
The wreckage of a Venator-class Star Destroyer was located on the junk world of the Necropolis by the time of the New Republic Era. In 34 ABY, the Force-sensitive scavenger Rey visited the Necropolis in order to repair the Millennium Falcon. She was granted permission to salvage spare parts by Ara-Nea, a proprietor of the Necropolis, who charged the scavenger five hundred credits. Surveying the junk field from the dorsal side of a Venator, Rey considered it a "feast" as opposed to a typical day of scavenging for her.
Behind the scenes
The Venator-class Star Destroyer first appeared in the film Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith and was first named as such in the novel Tarkin and its audiobook. In Latin, the word vēnātor means "hunter".