What a wasted effort!
—Acrolian Admiral Gaius Demyus on the war
The Separatist-Imperial War was a short-lived, year-long conflict between the newly formed Galactic Empire and the faltering Confederacy of Independent Systems. The war began when Drewika Zirátæ, expecting Palpatine to honor his previous agreement to help the Clone troopers relocate and live out their lives as men, saw no action on Palpatine's part following the Republic's victory in the Clone Wars. With the war over, and the clones still in the Empire's service, Drewika began to suspect Palpatine's true intent. Zirátæ went directly to the Emperor to force his hand, yet after a heated discussion, the Emperor went back on his agreement, making the argument that the Empire needed every soldier it could get. Angered and betrayed, Drewika did what he had desired to do the entire Clone Wars; he went to the capital of the CIS to offer his services as the organization's leader. Though the Republic had defeated the Separatists, killing its main leaders and confiscating its Trade Federation battle droids, the Separatist Congress had survived intact on Raxus, and pockets of CIS droid units and fleets were scattered across the Outer Rim. Drewika, though distrusted at first for his involvement with the Republic during the Clone Wars, was named Head of State as Dooku's successor. Drewika's ally in the Mafia, Malus Reven, was named Supreme Commander of the Droid Armies. Drewika convinced the Acrolian Senate of the Acrolian Star Empire to throw its support behind the CIS, and made attempts to consolidate his combined forces, by bring them to Raxus.
His first move as Head of State was to petition the clones in the Grand Army to leave the Empire and take up residence within the borders of the Acrolian Star Empire, as full citizens with the rights that they would not otherwise possess. This was Drewika's bargain with Palpatine in the first place, a moral crusade that had kept Drewika firmly in the Republic camp during the Clone Wars, though his heart was with the Separatist cause. Within hours of Zirátæ's message, many of the clone troopers who had fought with Zirátæ during the preceding conflict, deserted the Imperial Army on Acrolian vessels. Roughly one half of the original Kamino clone batch, around one million clones, converged on Magna Luna's spaceport, requesting citizenship and new life. The rest, viewing desertion as dishonorable, remained with the Empire, albeit unwillingly. Angered by this turn of events, Palpatine ordered an invasion of Acrolis. Though his large fleet managed to destroy some small asteroid bases in Acrolis's asteroid belt, the invasion never made it as far as the planet's surface. Drewika had been expecting some treachury on Palpatine's part, so he ordered the infamous Acrolian 3rd Fleet under Admiral Gaius Demyus to defend the capital. Though the naval battle was fierce, the Acrolian Star Empire was victorious.
Extremely outraged at Palpatine's outright hostility towards what Zirátæ saw as a noble, moral cause, Drewika returned to Raxus, where Malus had ordered the newly reorganized droid army and navy to assemble. Drewika soon after formally declared war on the Galactic Empire. With Acrolis's Star Forge set to churn out thousands of BX-series droid commandos and B1 Battle droids, in addition to Vulture droids, Hoersch-Kessel Drive, Inc. donated a large number of Munificent-class star frigates to the war effort. Drewika received a Recusant-class light destroyer free of charge from the company, which became his command ship. Named "Riyo" after Drewika's friend Riyo Chuchi, the ship saw action at the war's first true battle, the Siege of Coruscant. With his troops mobilized, Zirátæ struck first at the Empire's capital, Coruscant, seeking to capture the Emperor and force him to surrender and accept Drewika's terms. As was the case with General Grievous's similar plot, the plan failed, and Drewika was trapped inside the Senate building. After fighting a long dual with Darth Sidious, Drewika withdrew empty-handed. From there, the CIS expanded across the Outer Rim, taking planets it once held in the Clone Wars, like Saleucami and Taris.
Drewika continued to offer terms of surrender to the Empire throughout the war, to no avail. The Empire kept up the struggle, while Drewika continued to launch cutting attacks against key Inner Rim core worlds, like Anaxes and Corulag. To try to intensify the pressure, Zirátæ brought in Acrolian Star Empire troops, the best trained men in the Outer Rim, who were sent out to assassinate the Empire's key Moffs and other officials. The war continued on for another year before Palpatine petitioned to honor Drewika's demands. A peace talk was held over Raxus, and a treaty was signed over Acrolis, the site of the initial battle. In exchange for releasing all Kamino-batch clone troopers from Imperial service, except for the 501st Legion and the Coruscant Guard, Drewika would dissolve the CIS for good and establish ASE neutrality towards the Empire. In addition, Drewika Zirátæ was to join the Empire as its Military Executor, the third highest rank in the Empire, and work for Palpatine. Zirátæ accepted the offer, and dissolved the CIS. However, he removed many of his key Separatist Congress allies to ASE space, as well as the larger part of his droid forces for future use by Acrolis.
With the Treaty of Acrolis, the war ground to a halt. Drewika's crusade of the past 4 years had been concluded, and the ASE had emerged strengthened, if not victorious.
Behind the ScenesEdit
The Separatist-Imperial War was intended to be a transition between the period of the Clone Wars and the reign of the Galactic Empire. It allowed Drewika's conscience to be at peace over the clone troopers, explained Acrolis's neutrality toward the Empire in Star Wars: Rising Force, and described how Zirátæ obtained the rank of Military Executor.
This article was nominated for "Best Event" in the Sixth Wiki Awards.