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In the opening sequence of Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan and Anakin launch an attack on General Grievous' flagship.

When they're attempting to enter the hangar bay, they blow up the shield generator to allow access. However, when the shield opens, the air rushes out and an emergency hatch slams shut.

Why was this hangar pressurized to begin with? I imagine one of the main benefits of using droids is that they can operate in depressurized environments, and large sections of the ship don't have to be pressurized.

Is there an in-universe explanation for why such a large space was kept pressurized in a combat situation?

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    Just throwing out ideas. The Invisible Hand was part of the Trade Federation's fleet, and the Neomodians are bankers, not shipbuilders. Perhaps they bought/ refurbished ships used previously by organic lifeforms. Another thing is that it still had Neomodian crewmen (albeit, not that many) . I dunno. – Tony Jan 3 '16 at 1:53
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According to the factbook "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Incredible Cross-Sections" the Invisible Hand was built to operate with a humanoid crew, all of whom would require life support.

Although Grievous' Droid Armies have recently taken control of the vessel, it still had a crew of 600+ living and breathing Nemoidians, all of whom would require air in the event that they needed to enter the ship's hangar.

On top of that, the book makes it clear that there are only small air vents into the hangar bay. That means that if it was evacuated, it would be out-of-bounds for a considerable period of time to anyone who isn't carrying life support equipment.

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  • +1 good find. I'm pretty sure we see some Nemoidians manning the turrets of the Invisible Hand when it was trading fire with the Republic Star Destroyer. A screenshot of those Nemoidians would make this answer even more definitive. – Null Jan 3 '16 at 5:29

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