The Battle of Geonosis was the first battle between the Confederacy of Independent Systems and the Galactic Republic in the conflict that would become known as the Clone Wars. It would be the first major combat of the Grand Army of the Republic, as well as the first major battle the Jedi would fight in years. It would be the battle that sparked one of the most famous wars in galactic history.
The battle occurred after Separatist forces captured Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi on Geonosis and charged him with spying for the Republic. Anakin Skywalker and Senator Padmé Amidala attempted to rescue Kenobi, but were also captured and sentenced to death. They narrowly escaped their executions, which involved an acklay, a nexu, and a reek.
In response to Kenobi's report about the Separatists' conspiracy, the Galactic Senate, at the suggestion of Representative Jar Jar Binks, granted Supreme Chancellor Palpatine "emergency powers" to deal with the crisis.
Yoda brought the clone army into use, and sent them to Geonosis right behind a Jedi strike force. The rapid nature of the deployment left Cuy'val Dar sergeants such as Kal Skirata and Walon Vau reeling at waking up to discover the commando squads they had trained gone.
A group of 212 Jedi, led by Jedi Masters Mace Windu, Coleman Trebor, Eeth Koth, Kit Fisto, Plo Koon, Shaak Ti, Luminara Unduli and Ki-Adi-Mundi were sent to Geonosis by the Jedi Council to rescue Obi-Wan Kenobi and investigate reports that Separatists were constructing an army on Geonosis.Upon entering the system, the fleet of Jedi starfighters were fired upon by Anti-orbital cannons, taking several casualties. Mace Windu and Luminara Unduli slipped past the firing range of the cannons and commandeered TX-130S fighter tanks, and employed communications jamming to stop any CIS forces from calling for reinforcements. They set off to disable the orbital cannons. The droid defenses, consisting of GATs, Hailfire droids, and STAPs, attempted to hold them off, but were destroyed by the Jedi. The power nodes were destroyed, causing the cannons to explode.
The last cannon, however, was housed in a Geonosian base. Mace set out on foot to disable the cannon. He penetrated the droid defenses and destroyed the last power nodes with his lightsaber. With the orbital defenses disabled, a landing zone had to be made. The Jedi strike team landed in a captured Confederate outpost and moved toward the arena in a convoy of RTTs. Mace and Luminara cleared the way in their tanks. They reached the perimeter of the arena, where they destroyed tunnel catacombs deploying battle droids. The Jedi deployed into the arena quietly.
Also around this time, the Acclamator-class assault ship Aken was traveling to Geonosis through its asteroid belt. Aken was escorted by Jedi starfighters lead by Adi Gallia, who had traveled from Nod Kartha, and Siri Tachi. After they were spotted by droid starfighters, the Jedi had to defend the Aken from two C-9979 landing craft and two Trade Federation Missile Frigates that appeared behind them along with Geonosian starfighters from the surface. The Separatist forces pushed the Republic group forward until the Aken reached the edge of the asteroid ring. There a blockade of Missile Frigates arrived to trap them. Gallia led the starfighters and destroyed a pair of the frigates in their line. This allowed the Aken to escape and eventually reach the surface of Geonosis.
The three captives, Anakin, Padmé and Obi-Wan managed to avoid the nexu, reek, and acklay beasts that had been set upon them long enough for Master Windu's 200-Jedi rescue mission team to arrive. However, Count Dooku revealed the Separatist's new secret battle droid army, and a heated battle took place. Though outnumbered 50 to 1, the Jedi fought to the end. As the Jedi appeared throughout the arena, many Geonoisans fled.It was during the heated battle that followed that bounty hunter Jango Fett attempted to fight and kill the legendary Korun Jedi Master, Mace Windu. However, during the fight, a reek arena beast nearly trampled Jango and damaged his jet pack. After killing the reek, Jango was charged by Mace Windu; at the last second the Mandalorian attempted to activate his jetpack, but failed. Mace Windu quickly beheaded the infamous bounty hunter. His battered helmet was soon found by his "son" Boba Fett. However, Dooku's forces held the upper hand.
Meanwhile, huge Republic assault ships penetrated the upper atmosphere and dropped a fleet of gunships, carrying thousands of clone troopers and dozens of AT-TEs as well as General Yoda, to the surface. By the time the fleet reached the arena, the Jedi had already suffered heavy casualties; 170 Jedi Knights had fallen and only about 45 remained alive. The stadium was littered with droid parts.
The opening battle of the Clone Wars had begun.
Around the time of the arena battle, a group of clone troopers lead by Jedi Master Adi Gallia and Jedi Knight Siri Tachi attacked a power plant that fueled the droid foundries in the surrounding area. After having escorted the Aken to the surface of Geonosis, Master Gallia and Siri Tachi led several LAAT/i gunships at their command to deploy troopers near the power plant. The two Jedi defended the clones on the ground and in the air from Separatist forces which included battle droids, tanks, and droid starfighters. Along the way, Gallia had the gunships destroy a nearby Trade Federation Core Ship. Clone troopers eventually reached the power plant and set up explosives inside in. After the plant was detonated by the clones, Adi Gallia and Siri Tachi took to space to prevent Separatist transports from escaping.After the rescue of the Jedi, the droid and clone armies engaged one another in a complex series of engagements on a number of different fronts. The Republic had planned the attack as a sudden, overwhelming assault that would catch the Separatists off-guard and prevent them from gaining further influence. Their army landed in twelve Acclamator I-class assault ships, offloading infantry, armored vehicles, and artillery and air support. The Separatist army consisted of droid infantry of varying strength and larger droid-controlled vehicles.
The Battle of Geonosis was primarily a ground campaign. However, the Republic's crucial use of aerial bombardment of the Separatists' fighter craft allowed the Republic's gunships to have air superiority throughout much of the battle, giving the clone forces a crucial advantage. And although the clone troopers were vastly outnumbered by droids, the droids were heavily exposed to attacks from the air by Republic gunships. The Republic's armored AT-TE walkers were strong against the lightly armored spider droids employed by the Separatists, but were vulnerable to the missiles on the Hailfire droids and the intense laser flak projected into the air. The Republic gunships were instrumental in clearing away the Hailfire droids and allowing the AT-TEs to establish superiority on the battlefield, although the Hailfires were able to shoot down a number of LAATs and a few were destroyed by lucky shots by the flak.Reconnaissance troopers mounted their speeder bikes and raced across the battlefield, gathering vital information about enemy activity. Elsewhere, Geonosian-trained acklays and nexus devoured unfortunate clone troopers. A group of the airborne infantry, including Battalion Commander CRC-09/571, led the frontal assault on the Separatist core ships. Jedi Master Mace Windu, who was fighting on the ground, made his way to a LAAT/i and used it to destroy several Hardcell-class interstellar transports before landing and defending SPHA guns bringing down core ships in a TX-130 Saber-class fighter tank. In this way, another three core ships were taken down, before Mace was informed that contact with Master Yoda had been lost.
Having beaten the droid army into retreat, Yoda took note of the fact that much of the Separatist starfleet was still grounded receiving shipments of droids when the Republic attacked. Lightly armored and vulnerable Techno Union starships attempted to withdraw immediately, but many were destroyed in the first wave of attacks from the Republic gunships. The Jedi Master now ordered the army's artillery to attempt to take down as many of the heavily armored Trade Federation Core Ships as possible, as they each held millions of deadly battle droids, and managed to bring down at least one. In space, the Republic fleet fought to intercept and destroy the Separatist ships (that carried scores of combat droids). Despite taking control of the surface of the planet, the Republic was unable to capture the Separatist leadership and stop the war before it began, and most of the Confederacy's battle droids and heavy equipment escaped aboard core ships.Meanwhile, Echuu Shen-Jon and a team of other Jedi, including Plo Koon, destroyed several core ships and Techno Union vessels, before setting off to pursue Count Dooku. However, they were delayed by Sev'Rance Tann, who killed Stam Reath, Echuu's apprentice, angering Echuu. Sev'Rance escaped, and the Jedi pursuit of Dooku was presumably lost.
In the midst of battle, the Republic's Hawkbat Battalion was ordered to march directly into the line of fire of a column of spider droids. The battalion was almost completely annihilated, but Captain CT-65/91-6210, leader of K Company, stayed behind in a shallow crater to tend to two critically injured troopers at great personal risk. Surrounded by spider droids, he defended their position for three hours until the casevac team arrived. His heroic acts had not been in vain, as the two men under his command was rescued.
Elsewhere, ARC trooper CT-96/298, previously having studied power cell recharge cycles, recognized when a Hailfire droid was about to enter a reflux pattern. The whine of the droid's capacitor was barely audible, but CT-96/298 leapt from cover and eliminated the Hailfire before it could explode, thus saving the lives of five of his cohorts.
Above a crevasse, the Republic Commando squad Theta Squad rappelled in and placed charges on a Geonosian door while Delta Squad held off OG-9 spider droids nearby. After the door was blown, Theta and Delta entered the Geonosian caverns and split up. Heading for a droid foundry, Theta squad leader RC-1133 ordered RC-1136 to stay behind and hold a position while the rest moved forward. 1136, or Darman, lost contact with his squad and pulled out. He was the only survivor of Theta.
Delta Squad managed to kill Geonosian Separatist General Sun Fac as he attempted to flee the planet in his personal Geonosian fighter. They also spotted General Grievous's Soulless One. Later, Delta Squad infiltrated and destroyed the underground droid factory that Theta had been aiming for and a Federation Coreship, stealing (under heavy fire) the escape coordinates for the CIS fleet, thus allowing the Republic artillery and fleet to take down the rest of the CIS fleet. Along the way, they also eliminated significant numbers of droids, Geonosian warriors, and an anti-aircraft turret. Delta squad was one of only a handful of Republic Commando squads not to lose any members during the battle of Geonosis.
Following an initial raid on a Geonosian power plant, Adi Gallia and her former Padawan, now Jedi Knight Siri Tachi, flew into orbit in their Delta-7 interceptors, intending to intercept escaping droid transports. Navigating through the asteroid ring, the Jedi received a hyperspace transmission from Nym, warning that Captain Cavik Toth of Sabaoth Squadron was en route to Geonosis with his Hex fleet. With the power of Trihexalon, Toth intended to level the battlefield on Geonosis, under the orders of Count Dooku.
Adi and Siri led the fight against Toth's Hex Deployers and Bombers alongside Zeta Squadron, a squadron of Jedi pilots including A'Sharad Hett and An'ya Kuro. The Hex threat was summarily defeated under Jedi firepower, though the pilots were soon outmatched with the arrival of two Sabaoth Destroyers and complements of Sabaoth starfighters and Defenders. Fortunately, Loyalist aid arrived in the form of Nym and the Lok Revenants, soon joined by three Mere cruisers capable of taking down Toth's capital ships. Nym and his forces would deal with the capital ship turrets on the destroyers while the Jedi attacked the waves of fighters.After one warship was destroyed, a third Destroyer emerged from hyperspace—Toth's flagship. The Mere cruisers directed their fire on the second vessel while all starfighter forces then began to target the flagship's capital turrets before they could cripple the Mere cruisers. Developments on Geonosis forced Master Windu to call back Zeta Squadron leaving Adi and Siri with only the Revenants for support. Nym sustained critical damage to his craft during the fight, and was forced to leave the battlefield. Nevertheless, the Revenants penetrated the flagship's deflector shields, and the Destroyer's main systems went critical. Toth himself fled his flagship in a personal starfighter, and engaged Adi Gallia in single combat. Toth's weaponry could not overcome the Jedi's mastery of the Force, and his fighter was destroyed moments before his flagship exploded.
In the midst of the battle the Separatist leader Dooku tried to escape to a hangar where his starship was located. A gunship carrying Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Padmé Amidala, and some clone troopers gave chase. Dooku ordered his Geonosian escorts to take out the pursuing gunship. The resulting attack on the gunship led to Amidala and a clone trooper falling to the desert below (though they escaped any serious injuries), and this led to some brief tension between Skywalker and Kenobi.
Mace Windu also attempted to stop Dooku, but he encountered three of Dooku's Dark Acolytes, who blocked off the ground entrance to the hangar. They engaged Windu in combat, and all three were killed by the Jedi Master's TX-130S fighter tank, but not soon enough to allow the Korun master to involve himself in the fight.
Upon arriving at Dooku's hangar, Kenobi and Skywalker challenged the Count. As Kenobi began to strategize, Skywalker, his anger getting the best of him, charged at Dooku. Dooku released a barrage of Force lightning and blasted Skywalker aside before turning to Kenobi. Kenobi began to circle and refused to back down, despite the Count's threats. Drawing his lightsaber and angling the blade into a guard position, Dooku awaited Kenobi.
Kenobi promptly charged at Dooku, attacking. Dooku quickly deflected the attack and the subsequent jab. After a quick flurry of bladework, Kenobi slashed at Dooku's legs. Dooku overleapt the attack and flourished his blade to drive Kenobi back as he landed. As Kenobi fell back, Dooku calmly taunted him, having expected better from someone held in such esteem by Yoda. Kenobi attacked again, attempting to regain the offensive, but was forced into retreat by Dooku's elegant Form II bladework. Dooku quickly seized the offensive, the precision bladework of his Makashi style wearing away at Kenobi's Form III defense. Kenobi, straining to keep up, was pulled into a bladelock. Dooku, a devil's grin on his face, pushed Kenobi's blade aside, and suddenly jabbed at Kenobi's arm, cutting it across the side. As Kenobi fell back in pain, the Count stayed on him, slashing the Jedi across the leg, bringing him down. Despite his wisely shown restraint against Dooku, Kenobi, fatigued by the battle and having only an unfamiliar lightsaber to wield, was defeated.
As Dooku raised his lightsaber to kill Kenobi, Anakin, having recovered from the blast of Force lightning, leapt into action. Flying across the hangar from the corner in which he lay, Skywalker reached the two in time to block the Count's blow. As Dooku turned to regard Skywalker, Kenobi used the Force to retrieve his fallen lightsaber, tossing it to Anakin as he and Dooku began their battle.
Anakin, taking up the second blade, began to unleash of flurry of broad Form VI attacks, briefly leaving the Count off his guard. However, since neither Ataru nor the two-blade fighting style of Jar'Kai were forms that Anakin had received advanced training in, Dooku was able to recover his guard and drive Anakin back. Skywalker was forced to revert to his standard Form V practices when Dooku masterfully disarmed him, flicking his second blade out of Skywalker's hand and destroying the hilt in mid air. Warding off Dooku with two rapid strikes, Skywalker quickly retreated, regaining his composure.
Slashing a power cable connected to Dooku's ship as he raised his blade into a high guard, Anakin caused a short circuit that briefly caused the hangar lights to flicker. As the chamber dimmed, the two advanced on each other. As they stared at one another, blades at the ready, Anakin attacked. The two engaged in a flurry of swordplay, seemingly equally matched. Briefly breaking off, Dooku quickly reassessed Anakin's strength. Dooku quickly attacked, and the duel resumed. Despite holding his own against Dooku for much of the duel, Skywalker was finally brought down when Dooku twirled and slashed off his arm with a sudden undercut. As Anakin cried out in pain, Dooku blasted the Jedi aside with a Force push.
As Dooku briefly caught his breath, he noticed the sound of footsteps and the clack of a cane, as well as the characteristic panting. Turning to the hangar entrance, Dooku and the newly arrived Yoda regarded one another. Dooku attempted to kill Yoda by telekinetically ripping wall fixtures out of the hangar sides and hurling them at Yoda. When the ancient Jedi blocked, Dooku countered by ripping chunks of stone out of the hangar ceiling, a dangerous proposition as the hangar was carved out of a cavern and doing so could cause a cave-in. Yoda caught the chunks and threw them aside, turning to Dooku and acknowledging his power, but noting that he sensed the Dark Side of the Force in Dooku. Dooku, affirming his apparent superior power, unleashed a barrage of Force lightning at Yoda. The Jedi caught the lightning and deflected it back at Dooku, who again deflected it into a nearby wall. Dooku proceeded to unleash a second blast against Yoda, but as a show of his mastery, Yoda absorbed the bolt completely, with no need for deflection, showing Dooku the clear futility of this assault.
Dooku brandished his lightsaber, stating that this contest would not be decided by their mastery of the Force, but rather by their skill with a lightsaber. As Yoda drew his own weapon, Dooku leapt into action, unleashing his full Form II mastery against Yoda. However, Yoda's own mastery of Form IV allowed him to hold off Dooku's relentless attacks, and seize the offensive. Driven back by Yoda and realizing that he could not win, Dooku distracted Yoda by using the Force to topple one of the hangars power columns onto Kenobi and Skywalker. As Yoda broke off to telekinetically catch the power column, Dooku was able to quickly board his ship and escape.
By the end of the battle, only Republic soldiers remained. The victory had not come easy, however: When the Republic assault ship Implacable was extracted from Geonosis, med triage on board estimated 12,000 seriously injured men and 8,000 walking wounded. Approximately 72,000 clones were deemed combat-fit. Thousands of clone troopers had died in the fighting. Also, most of the Confederacy's army had been safely evacuated aboard core ships during the battle.
Geonosian Archduke Poggle the Lesser had fled along with the rest of the Separatist Council, and his warriors had retreated into the catacombs, where they resisted the Republic's every effort to dislodge them.
Count Dooku traveled to Coruscant, to meet with his master, who was settled in an abandoned executive headquarter in The Works, not far from the Senate District or the Jedi Temple. Pleased by the news of war he received from Dooku, Darth Sidious ordered the former Jedi, now the Sith Lord Darth Tyranus, to retreat to Raxus Prime to prepare a second battlefront against the Republic. Meanwhile, the Grand Army of the Republic was mobilized throughout the galaxy as the Clone Wars began.The main reason for the Separatist's defeat was derived from the fact that they were caught completely by surprise, working against their numerical superiority. Another reason they lost is that despite the fact Sev'rance Tann and General Grievous, arguably the Droid Army's most brilliant commanders, were present, they were not given command of the army, and were instead placed in support positions. Grievous remained unknown to the Republic, for he killed off any of the Jedi or clones he encountered, while Sev'rance Tann escaped Geonosis after killing Echuu Shen-Jon's Padawan, Stam Reath.
While back at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, Masters Kenobi and Windu both expressed their mutual belief that the battle would not have been won without the clones, but Master Yoda retorted at the irony of Obi-Wan's use of the word "victory". The battle was but the first of many in what became known as the Clone Wars.
In the months following the battle Mace Windu would regret his decision not to strike down Count Dooku when he had the chance, and killing Jango Fett without a second thought.
Depa Billaba would later state to Windu on Haruun Kal that by simply bombing the arena on Geonosis, the Republic could have prevented a war that destroyed billions of lives at the expense of only a few hundred Jedi.
Kal Skirata lost nine commandos that he trained in the battle, namely the casualties from Theta Squad, Prudii Squad, and Teroch Squad. He, Walon Vau, RC-1309, and RC-8015 would later reflect that this had been due to the Jedi's ill-advised usage of the commandos as infantry rather than special forces.
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