RotS: Battle Over Coruscant

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Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Chapter II: Battle Over Coruscant

Battle Over Coruscant

002 Venator

Opening shot: Pan down to a Star Destroyer.

The film opens with a pan down through Coruscant's upper atmosphere. While outlining an early, basic overview of the story, George Lucas suggested the film open with a montage of battles occurring on seven different planets, to show the scale and depth of the Clone Wars. The task of designing these "Clone Wars worlds" was the first Lucas set to his art department, a month prior to the release of Episode II. Some of these designs were revised and reused as planets seen during the "Order 66 montage" in the final film.

The first starship seen onscreen is the Venator-class Star Destroyer, otherwise known as the Republic attack cruiser. This vessel is the direct precursor to the Imperial-class (or Imperator-class) Star Destroyer seen in Episode IV. It also begins the trend of revealing Star Destroyers during the opening shot of the saga's last four episodes, while continuing the trend of showing Republic-affiliated ships in the opening shot of each prequel film.

003 Interceptors

Arrival of Kenobi and Skywalker.

Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi make their appearance in Eta-2 Actis-class light interceptors, more commonly known as "Jedi Interceptors". These vessels blend the design of the Delta-7 starfighter seen in Episode II with the TIE fighter later seen in Episode IV. It also uses features found in the Delta-7 toy produced by Hasbro—notably, its "Fight or Flight" feature which included pop-open wings.

004 Dive

The Battle of Coruscant.

This opening shot is the longest of any Star Wars film, and took over a year to complete[1]. As the interceptors dive into the battle, we see more Venator Star Destroyers, as well as Lucrehulk-class battleships (Trade Federation battleships) and Munificent-class star frigates (Banking Clan frigates). Two droid tri-fighters are pursued past the screen by an ARC-170 starfighter, while others race from behind it. Moments later, a Recusant-class light destroyer (Commerce Guild support ship) explodes in front of the interceptors, forcing their pilots to fly through the wreckage.

006 Sink

The "kitchen sink" hits a Venator.

Further on, a Munificent frigate explodes, and the piece of debris the camera tracks as it smashes through the hull of a Venator is actually a kitchen sink—added by CG artists at ILM after a comment was made that the space battle was so dense it contained everything but the kitchen sink[2].

RotS 007 Artoo

Artoo and hallmarks of the future Empire.

As the camera closes in on R2-D2, note not only do the interceptors sport the familiar hexagonal cockpit of the TIE fighter, the logo emblazoned on the portside wing is the six-spoked emblem soon to be used by the Galactic Empire, rather than the eight-spoked version appropriated by the Republic from the ancient Jedi Bendu[3].

RotS 008 Anakin

Anakin Skywalker bearing his scar.

Anakin's scar was received during a duel with Asajj Ventress on Coruscant, as detailed in Star Wars Republic 71: The Dreadnaughts of Rendili, Part 3. During production, George Lucas commented that the scar's origin would undoubtedly be explained in the Expanded Universe, but offered an alternate view when lightheartedly opining that the injury was received when Anakin slipped in the shower.

RotS 009 Display

Anakin's starfighter display.

The tactical display visible in Anakin's cockpit should appear familiar to fans: screens very similar in design also appear in Darth Vader's TIE Advanced X1 starfighter in Episode IV.

RotS 010 Hand

The Invisible Hand revealed.

The "command ship" is first revealed. It is a modified Providence-class carrier/destroyer designated the Invisible Hand. The name may be in reference to the character of Darth Sidious, especially considering the vessel's sister ship, the Lucid Voice[4], is apparently referring to Sidious' apprentice, the charismatic and outspoken Count Dooku.

RotS 011 Vultures

The Vultures prepare for flight.

The Vulture droids have had a makeover for this film, sporting the dark hues and hexagonal logos of the Separatist fleet, as do the battleships of the Trade Federation. They have also been given voices, in accordance with their role as battle droids. Several Alpha-3 Nimbus-class V-wing starfighters can be seen in the upper-left background here, though these proto-TIE fighters are more prominently displayed towards the end of the film.

RotS 012 Odd Ball

Commander Odd Ball and his copilot.

Commander Odd Ball, more properly known as Captain Davijaan, of Squad Seven. Note the symbols on his HUD appear similar to those found on the X-wing starfighters of the original trilogy. Pay attention also to who says the famous line, "Set S-foils in attack position" (a reference to Garven Dreis' near-identical line in Episode IV); it is actually Odd Ball's copilot, though his mouth is hidden behind his helmet. The subsequent S-foil unlocking is again a reference to Episode IV, when the X-wings prepare for battle against the Death Star.

Odd Ball refers to Obi-Wan as "Red Leader". This title will later be held by Garven Dreis in Episode IV, and Wedge Antilles in Episode VI. Coincidentally, actor Denis Lawson—Wedge himself—is Ewan McGregor's uncle. A familial connection exists in-universe also: Anakin's callsign is "Red Five"[5]; the title his son will take in Episode IV. Labyrinth of Evil reveals the fate of the remainder of Red Squadron prior to this battle[6]

RotS 013 Fun

Anakin Skywalker.

"This is where the fun begins."
—Anakin Skywalker

This line was first uttered by Han Solo in Episode IV during the escape from the blockade over Tatooine.

RotS 014 EV

A clone pilot goes EV.

This unlucky clone pilot is thrown from the wreckage of his fighter, to be lost amid the blitzkrieg. This is perhaps an homage to a similarly-unfortunate pilot who is blown from his exploding TIE fighter during pursuit of the Millennium Falcon through the Hoth asteroid field in Episode V.

RotS 015 Mando-Hey

A clone pilot sporting a Mandalorian symbol.

The next pilot to suffer an explosive end has a strange marking on his helmet; this is a Mandalorian symbol, identical to the one that adorns the battle armor of Boba Fett.

RotS 016 Tri-Droids

Droid tri-fighters enter the fray.

Droid tri-fighters press the attack. These droid starfighters were to have had a larger role in the so-called "OSB" (Opening Space Battle), and though their screen time was cut drastically, their projected role earned them a two-page spread in Revenge of the Sith: Incredible Cross-Sections. Note the ARC-170 they destroy trails smoke as it falls, confirming that this battle is not actually taking place in space, but within the upper atmosphere of Coruscant[7].

RotS 017 Discord

Launch of a discord missile.

This Vulture droid unleashes previously-unseen weapons in the form of discord missiles, which burst open to reveal a hoarde of buzz droids. These deadly destructive machines were inspired by World War II legends of gremlins, fiendish sprites often described as tearing aircraft apart in flight[8].

RotS 018 Arfour

Obi-Wan's astromech, R4-P17.

R4-P17, Obi-Wan's astromech droid from Episode II, makes a return here. Arfour was actually given a full body by ILM, after being truncated to fit into the thin airframe of the Delta-7 for the previous film. Sadly, Arfour doesn't get a chance to show off her new body here.

The sound made by Anakin's interceptor as it goes into a spin is identical to the sound made by his Podracer's acceleration in Episode I. This can be heard most notably when Anakin speeds out of the Laguna Cave following Ratts Tyerell's fiery death.

RotS 019 Chase

A chase, a collision and a raid.

As Obi-Wan is being chased by the discord missiles, a crowded shot of the battle reveals not only a Recusant destroyer colliding with a Munificent frigate in the upper right, but down on the bottom of the screen is a Venator Star Destroyer docked with a Federation Battleship. The Animatics Department confirmed that the clone troopers onboard are actually storming the battleship, intending to take control[9].

A Multi-Troop Transport, first seen in Episode I, can be glimpsed in the hangar as Anakin destroys the shield generator. Note also that Anakin's lasers share the sound effect of TIE fighter lasers, although when Anakin shoots at Obi-Wan's fighter earlier, his lasers produce a different sound.

"I have a bad feeling about this!"
—Obi-Wan Kenobi

The famous reocurring line is once more spoken by Obi-Wan, who last said those words as his first line in Episode I.

Note the many battle droids flying out of the depressurized hangar as the interceptors race inside, while others have simply been knocked off their feet. Yet more are struck down by the crashing starfighters, while the remainer fall to the Jedi attack. The MTT has remained inside the hangar, though it has fallen on its side.

The hangar set in Sydney was comprised simply of a piece of dressed flooring and a section of wall with which Artoo could interface. The rest of the location is a combination of miniatures and computer-generated imagery[10].

The lightsaber props in this film were, for the first time, made out of graphite, making them far more light-weight than those from Episodes I and II. It also ensured they were more durable, and impossible to bend out of shape[11].

The spire is known as the "Wizard's Tower" in the Expanded Universe[12]—a nod to actor Christopher Lee who, as well as playing Dooku, also portrayed the corrupted wizard Saruman the White in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings films, a character seen inside the black tower of Orthanc. The chamber holding Chancellor Palpatine is referred to as the "General's Quarters".


"The Revenge of the Sith" was the original score for this sequence, and was released on the soundtrack CD, although the film uses a variant of this track.

A militaristic version of "The Force Theme" (also referred to as "Binary Sunset") can be heard as Anakin and Obi-Wan arrive in their starfighters. This occurs at approximately 01:38 on "Star Wars and The Revenge of the Sith" on the original soundtrack.

The musical sting that accompanies Artoo's dispatch of the buzz droid is the so-called "Rebel Fanfare". This piece does not appear on the original soundtrack. It can, however, be heard during action sequences in Star Wars Battlefront II.


  1. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith DVD Commentary (03:10)
  2. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith DVD Commentary (02:52)
  3. Star Wars Revenge of the Sith: Incredible Cross-Sections (Curtis Saxton, 2005), p9 - "Jedi Interceptor"
  4. Star Wars Revenge of the Sith: Incredible Cross-Sections (Curtis Saxton, 2005), p15d (fold-out) - "Invisible Hand"
  5. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith novelization (Matthew Woodring Stover, 2005), p24 (hardcover)
  6. Labyrinth of Evil (James Luceno, 2005) p234-241 (hardcover)
  7. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith DVD Commentary (04:10)
  8. The Official Site: Databank: buzz droid: behind the scenes
  9. The Official Site: Episode III: Episode III Easter Egg Hunt
  10. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith DVD Commentary (07:29)
  11. The Official Site: Set Diaries: More Familiar Names and Faces
  12. Star Wars Revenge of the Sith: Incredible Cross-Sections (Curtis Saxton, 2005), p15d (fold-out) - "Invisible Hand"

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