Star Wars is a franchise that has never been lacking in grand spectacle, and this list will be commemorating the best of the best when it comes to the epic battle department. Star Wars is filled with grandiose battles that turn the tides of war for either side, that captivate our imaginations, and make us ponder the importance of war in the first place. After all, "Wars" is quite literally in the title of the franchise.
It's not easy ranking the most important battles ever fought within Star Wars canon, and at some point "importance" has to be finitely defined. In most cases here, "important" was either used to signify its significance in an overarching war, or the very importance the battle had on Star Wars history and on pop culture history as well.
Without further ado, here are the 15 Most Important Battles Ever Fought In The Star Wars Universe.
15 Operation Cinder
This is technically a series of battles which is currently occurring in the Star Wars canon novels. Operation Cinder was a posthumous strategy put in place by Emperor Palpatine (Darth Sidious) that saw Naboo’s surface completely scoured with a climate disruption array.
The climate disruption array is a device that is deployed in the outer orbit of a planet, creating giant storms and hurricanes on the surface. It was deployed about twenty days after the Battle of Endor (which will obviously be touched on later), by Captain Leer Duvat, acting on Palpatine’s specific orders.
Operation Cinder also included many other worlds, including Burnin Konn, Abednedo, Candovant, and Commenor. The operation was a huge blow to the Resistance's efforts to combat the remainder of the Empire's presence, and it even caused an interruption between Leia Organa, Shara Bey, and the Queen, Sosha Soruna. This interruption halted the alliance that both parties were building toward. It seemed obvious to most Star Wars fans, but it was just another reminder that Palpatine was an immensely talented tactician.
14 Battle of Mon Calamari
The Battle of Mon Calamari took place during the Clone Wars in 22 BBY, and was fought between the Mon Calamari and Quarren races on the planetary system Dac. The Quarren teamed up with the Moappa people, the Confederacy of Independent Systems, and the Quarren Isolation League in order to attempt to overthrow the rule of the Calamari Council.
However, the Calamari Council had the Galactic Republic backing them, and were sent Jedi Master Kit Fisto and a troop of clones to combat the Quarren. Fisto was chosen by Grand Master Yoda because of his Nautolan heritage, and it ended up being the correct decision. Master Fitso led a group of SCUBA troopers and, along with the Mon Calamari Knights, they were able to crush the Quarren forces and ultimately destroy the Crab Cannon, which was the Quarren’s ultimate trump card during the fight.
It was one of the greatest battles during the Clone Wars, and is definitely memorable for its intriguing aquatic warfare.
13 Battle of Christophsis
The Battle of Christophsis also took place during the Clone War period (many appear on this list) and saw the Separatist Droid Army capture the planet of Christophsis, which was a member of the Galactic Republic. After a distress call was received by the Jedi High Council and the Galactic Republic, Jedi Generals Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker and Admiral Wullf Yularen were dispatched along with a clone trooper contingent from the Grand Army of the Republic.
The main site of the battle was a plaza in the capital city of the planet, but the Republic’s forces were ultimately stalled due to intel from a separatist spy, Clone Sargeant Slick. Luckily the Jedi and the Republic’s forces were able to merely escape with their lives. The spy was later discovered, and in a final attack, Skywalker and his Padawan, fan-favorite Ahsoka Tano, were able to destroy the Confederacy’s Shield Generator.
Later, Grand Master Yoda, with a newly reinforced fleet in tow, was able to drive through the Separatist blockade, and forced the enemy off of Christophsis. It was a thrilling arc, and just so happened to include all of our favorite Jedi.
12 Siege of Mandalore
The Siege of Mandalore completely enveloped the Outer Rim world of Mandalore. It also just so happened to be one of the final battles of the Clone Wars, and included everyone’s favorite dual-lightsaber-wielding Sith Lord, Darth Maul. Both Ahsoka Tano and Clone Captain Rex were sent in to apprehend Maul, who was controlling Mandalore via Prime Minister Almec. Ahsoka and Rex sent in a battalion of troops to force Maul into retaliation with his own loyal forces.
When the battle broke out, Ahsoka was able to lure Maul into a trap, briefly exchanging lightsaber blows. Ahsoka drew Maul into a city plaza, where her comrades were able to trap him within a ray shield. Unfortunately, Chancellor Palpatine issued Order 66 just in time to force the Grand Army’s Clone Troopers to execute the Jedi commanding officers.
In a moment of immense pressure, Ahsoka was presented with a difficult choice, kill Maul or save Rex, and of course she chose the latter. It was at this moment that Rex removed his inhibitor chip, which would have forced him to kill Tano, and they both escaped the planet. Unfortunately so did Maul, and a recent appearance in the Shattered Empire comic series may suggest he doesn’t die anytime soon.
11 Battle of Malachor V
The Battle of Malachor was one of the final events of the Mandalorian Wars. It was a face-off between Revan and the Mandalorian army. It is also well known because of Revan’s use of his personal superweapon, the Mass Shadow Generator. In a final assault on the Mandalorian fleet, Revan drew the opposing forces towards his own, only to use The Mass Shadow Generator to pull all ships in its wake into a vast gravity vortex.
The force was so strong that it tore many of the ships apart and even fractured the planet of Malachor V to its core. The world was split into planetoid fragments, which became a giant graveyard for the thousands of Jedi and troopers that died there.
Both sides were extremely devastated by the attack, but the Mandalorians suffered the greatest number of casualties, and the remnants of the battle were quick to surrender. This was the final act of the Mandalorian Wars, and it proved that Revan was as relentless as any other Lord of the Sith.
10 Battle of Jakku
Jakku is the planet where we first met our favorite new Jedi, Rey. And even though we still don’t know her last name, she has proven to be strong, a (very) fast learner, and brave as well. When we first discover Rey, we are greeted by a familiar yet ominous sight, the worn-out husks of some very large Star Destroyers.
The Battle of Jakku marked the final stand of the Galactic Empire, and the last battle of the Galactic Civil War. It took place about a year after the Battle of Endor, and was waged between the New Republic and the remaining forces of the Imperial Military. Luckily for the Empire, they had vastly superior Naval ships, and so they sent the full might of their military to Jakku, to combat the Rebels crusade to re-capture the weapons facility located there.
The rebels had an ace up their sleeve in the form of Thane Kyrell, Kendy Idele, and a fraction of former Imperials who knew the schematics of the Star Destroyers. Kyrell didn’t have to put that knowledge to use, however, as the Republic’s military prowess turned out to be too much for the struggling remains of the Empire, and the captain of the Inflictor decided to crash her ship directly into the planet. Luckily she was saved by Kyrell (her former lover) and brought into the custody of the Republic.
9 Assault On Star Killer Base
The Assault on Star Killer Base was, of course, the final battle presented in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This epic fight was between the forces of the First Order and the Resistance, and it took place about thirty years after the Battle of Endor. The battle was an aerial one, fought between the First Order’s TIE Fighters, and the Resistance’s T-70 X-wings.
The Resistance fighters had to make their way into Star Killer Base in order to prevent it from destroying the Resistance’s base on D’Qar. The ground assault portion of the attack was formulated by Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Finn, and saw them forcing (for lack of better term) Captain Phasma to lower the shields of Star Killer Base. The Ground Assault also contained the unfortunate death of our favorite scavenger in the galaxy, but hopefully we will see Kylo Ren’s arc make this sacrificial act mean even more.
The aerial assault saw Poe Dameron destroying the thermal oscillator. There also just so happened to be a fight occurring on the surface of the planet, as Rey and Finn took on the villainous Kylo Ren.
8 Battle of Scarif
The Battle of Scarif was depicted in the newest Star Wars Film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This particular fight was the first major battle of the Galactic Civil War, and it opened the flood gates to the great war between the Alliance to Restore the Republic and the Galactic Empire.
It turned out to be a victory for the Alliance due to the valiant efforts of Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor, and co. With their successful acquisition of the plans to the Death Star, they were able to get them into the hands of the Alliance to ensure future victories for the Rebel cause. After the plans were received, the Death Star exited hyperspace and was turned directly on the Citadel Base on Scarif, while Darth Vader chased after the Profundity with his own Star Destroyer, the Devastator.
Shortly after this, we lead up to the end of the Rogue One film and the introduction of A New Hope. We see Vader tear Rebel Soldiers apart in an attempt to regain the Death Star plans, but he apparently just didn’t murder them quickly enough, and the plans eventually made their way to the Tantive IV. The laser that evaporated the planetary base on Scarif also destroyed all remaining members of the Rogue One team, including their brave leader, Jyn Erso.
7 The Battle of Yavin
The Battle of Yavin was a victory for the Rebels, that was the direct result of the retrieval of the Death Star plans by the team in Rogue One. It was the Star Wars films' first major battle, and is truly a spectacle to behold even today. The Rebels were able to analyze the plans that Princess Leia had acquired, and they revealed a massive weakness in the Death Star’s construction: a small thermal exhaust port that lead directly to the main reactor. If a single laser was shot through this vent, it would cause a chain reaction that would cripple and ultimately destroy the battle station.
Enter one of the greatest scenes in motion picture history, as the Rebels, led by Luke Skywalker, made a final run at the Death Star trench, with Darth Vader in tow. Luckily for Luke, his good friend Han Solo was there to destroy one of Vader’s wingmen. This gave Luke the opportunity he needed to fire the famous shot that would destroy the first (of many) Death Stars.
6 Battle of Coruscant
The Battle of Coruscant is the opening conflict in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. It is easily one of the most epic fights in all of Star Wars history, and it is cinematic eye candy (even though it doesn’t last too long). The prequels may have a lot of problems, but the space battles were not one of them. The Battle of Coruscant is especially memorable because it proved once again that Palpatine was a mastermind. He orchestrated an entire battle built around a supposed kidnapping by his real general, Grievous, just to lure Anakin further towards the dark side.
The Republic sent in two of its most formidable Jedi, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi to take back the Chancellor, and the two waste no time diving directly into the fray. At this time, Anakin is tasked with killing Dooku by order of the Chancellor, and in doing so, proving that he is the rightful apprentice to the Sith Lord. Obi-Wan and Anakin end up retrieving Palpatine, and scaring off Grievous, whom Kenobi is now tasked with tracking down. With Obi-Wan gone, it’s all too easy for Palpatine to sway Anakin to the dark side of the Force.
5 The Battle of Naboo
The Battle of Naboo was the closing battle of the Trade Federation's occupancy of the planet Naboo. The battle was the brain child of Princess Amidala when she finally returned to her home planet, when she was turned down by the Galactic Senate when asking for help. The battle was a ploy to lure the Trade Federation away from Theed, so that Amidala could in turn capture Trade Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray. The Federation’s battle droids were disabled by a team of Starfighter pilots that assaulted the Federation command ship.
This also just so happens to be the battle in which Obi-Wan Kenobi and his mentor, Qui-Gon Jinn confronted Sith Lord Darth Maul. This is easily one of the greatest filmed Jedi duels ever, and it gave us an extra layer to fan favorite Obi-Wan. This also just so happened to be one of the earliest conflicts orchestrated by Palpatine, and this invasion helped him to be elected Supreme Chancellor.
4 The Battle of Kashyyyk
The battle of Kashyyyk is also referred to as the Battle of Kachirho. It was a giant campaign occurring in the Outer Rim Sieges and one of the last confrontations that came about during the Clone Wars. Kashyyyk is, of course. the home world of the Wookiees, and it was nothing but an incredible spectacle to witness Chewbacca’s home world in the final prequel film.
The Confederacy of Independent Systems invaded Kashyyyk in order to obtain information on secret hyperspace routes that would have given them a distinct advantage in the war they were fighting. This was yet another battle that was broken up due to Palpatine’s Order 66, and just after this specific battle, the Republic made its final transition into the Galactic Empire that we all love to hate.
Several of the Wookies even helped some of the remaining Jedi escape off of the planet and soon after that, Kashyyyk was totally subjugated by the Empire for an extremely long period of time.
3 The Battle of Geonosis
The Battle of Geonosis is the first battle of the Clone Wars, and arguably its most important. It saw the Confederacy of Independent Systems square off against the Galactic Republic. It was the first major military combat of the Republic, and the first major battle the Jedi would fight. There's nothing better than seeing the Jedi at the height of their powers, decimating everything that stood in their way, and fighting as a single unit. It’s everything that Star Wars fans were waiting for, and even the lackluster story couldn’t take our eyes away for even a second.
The battle saw 212 Jedi, including Mae Windu, Coleman Trebot, Kit Fisto, and so many others tasked with rescuing Obi-Wan Kenobi, and in turn investigate the warmongering on Geonosis by the Jedi High Council. The Arena battle featured Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Amidala battling giant monstrous beasts (awesome). It also showed us the death of bounty hunter Jango Fett at the hands of Mace Windu (more awesome).
The Desert War was a strong departure from the classic filming techniques of the original movies, with the extreme close ups and shaky-cam work drawing viewers directly into the war. The battle also featured the lightsaber duel between both Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi against Count Dooku (the most awesome). Then we got treated to Yoda flipping around and defeating Dooku (the least awesome).
2 The Battle of Hoth
The Battle of Hoth is simply one of the greatest battles in cinematic history, and it’s a historic moment in the confrontation between the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance in the Galactic Civil War. This battle saw units from the Imperial Blizzard Force and the 501st Legion being led by the Sith Lord, Darth Vader.
This was a trench warfare-based battle in which the Empire was attempting to destroy the Alliance’s headquarters, Echo Base. The Imperial Invasion forces the rebellion to abandon its position on Hoth, and was a huge blow to the momentum the rebels were hoping to attain in the war. This was also the battle that introduced the world to the favorite giant walking weapon systems AT-ATs and AT-STs. Who can forget seeing Luke Skywalker take down one of these giant machines? Hoth is not only memorable; it’s intense, brazenly filmed, and perfectly executed. The Battle of Hoth is only outdone by the greatest battle of all.
1 The Battle of Endor
The Battle of Endor is an obvious pick for the most important battle in the Star Wars universe. Just in case you made it through this list without ever having seen Star Wars, the Battle of Endor was the ultimate battle in the Galactic Civil War, and saw the Rebel Alliance finally overtake and defeat the Galactic Empire. It was also the battle that saw the deaths of two of the most powerful Sith to ever live, Darth Sidious and Darth Vader.
The Battle of Endor left the Empire in shambles, and the Rebellion was finally able to become the New Republic, ending the Empire's grasp on the entirety of the universe. The war began due to the Alliance Fleet discovering that the Empire was using the Forest Moon of Endor to construct a second Death Star.
This is the battle that defined Star Wars; the battle that brought hope back to a downtrodden galaxy. This was also the confrontation that saw Luke Skywalker don his famous black outfit and go toe to toe with his nefarious father.
It’s sad to think this battle will most likely never be topped in the future. The implications of a war like this on the entire universe when these films were originally released will live on in history, and that is why this is the most important battle ever fought in the Star Wars universe.
Which Star Wars battle is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!