Related to my other question here:

We see in the background that there are Republic capital ships that have landed and troops are being disembarked for the fight. A few scenes later, we see Dooku leaving and the Trade Federation ships in orbit around the planet. Did the Republic capital ships have to fight through the Trade Federation ships before they could land?


There was very little fighting (if any) in space prior to the ground battle at the Battle of Geonosis.

Wookieepedia's Legends article on the First Battle of Geonosis cites some light skirmishing between Jedi/Republic forces and Separatist planetary defenses in the space around Geonosis. The Legends sources for this are the video games Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter. For the most part there was little fighting until the ground battle began.

Canon sources do not mention any fighting in space prior to the ground battle.

The reason for the lack of fighting in space is that the Separatists were caught mostly by surprise. The Military Creation Act had been proposed in the Republic Senate but was opposed by a number of senators (including Padme Amidala) and had not passed yet. As far as the Separatists knew, the Republic had no military and therefore Geonosis did not need to be defended from space. The only Separatist who knew about the existence of the clone army was Count Dooku, and that's because he was secretly playing both sides and had ordered the creation of the clone army.

The surprise was so complete that the Separatists' core ships (which are part of the Lucrehulk-class battleships) were on the ground at the start of the battle and and were attacked by SPHA walkers as they attempted to lift off well after the ground battle was underway:

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With their core ships on their ground, the Separatists did not have a significant force (if any) of capital ships in orbit around Geonosis prior to the ground battle.


No. The film's original script indicates that the Federation ships were parked on the surface of Geonosis, totally oblivious to the threat of a Jedi Army in space above them, gifting the Republic an easy victory:


The massed lines of parked Federation Starships and the DROIDS surrounding the arena, are themselves surrounded by thousands of Republic Starships, disgorging TENS OF THOUSANDS OF CLONE TROOPERS. Beyond, more Republic Starships are landing and spewing out troops.

INT. GUNSHIP NUMBER ONE - DAY MACE WINDU stares at the incredible sight.

YODA: More battalions to the left. Encircle them we must, then divide.

This is backed up in the film's official novelisation:

Poggle rushed to the side to confer with an army commander, then came back to Dooku and Nute Gunray, his expression fierce. “All of our communications have been jammed!” he informed them. “We are under attack, on land and from above!”

“The Jedi have amassed a huge army!” Nute Gunray cried.

“Where did they get them?” Dooku asked, sounding perplexed. “That doesn’t seem possible. How did the Jedi come up with an army so quickly?”

  • picture > novelization :) Good answer, though. +1. – Null Oct 15 '15 at 17:48
  • 1
    @Null - True, but your picture doesn't offer any context. Maybe they were forced down to the surface, maybe those are just some of their ships... – Valorum Oct 15 '15 at 17:50
  • The context is in the...text. The Separatists were surprised because they didn't even know about the clone army. They don't need their core ships in orbit if the Republic doesn't have a military for the core ships to defend against. – Null Oct 15 '15 at 17:53
  • @Null - The context comes from a non-canon source though. PC games aren't considered part of the main Star Wars canon works policy. – Valorum Oct 15 '15 at 18:00
  • I know the games aren't canon; I said they are Legends from the beginning. The point is that's the only mention of fighting in space, and it was light skirmishing anyway. The context I'm talking about is that the Separatists did not know the Republic had any military force to begin with, and therefore they thought they did not need to defend Geonosis from space. – Null Oct 15 '15 at 18:14

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