Now, at the Imperial palace of Doge Urus, the leader of the Dugs, the Jedi count down the minutes until the detonation of theirdoomsday device....
An enormous army of battle droids marches across the bleak landscape of Malastare towards the Imperial palace. Republic forces adopt defensive positions. Within the palace, Dug leader Doge Nakha Urus stands defiant, flanked by Jedi generals Mace Windu and Anakin Skywalker. Supreme Chancellor Palpatine monitors the military action remotely via hologram, while Republic scientist Doctor Sionver Boll makes final preparations for the release of the electro-proton bomb. She is confident in her research that states only droids will be affected by the weapon.
Clone troopers and Dug cavaliers riding insectomorphs hold the droids off while Republic Y-wing bombers scramble. ARC-170 fighters flank the lead bomber that carries the payload. The electro-proton bomb free-falls into the thick of the droid ranks, releasing an enormous blast. A wave of electromagnetic energy sweeps past the droids and clone forces, disrupting all technology in its wake: the droids are crippled, the clone helmets get momentarily frazzled -- even Anakin's mechanical arm briefly fritzes.
The victory is short-lived as another crisis manifests itself. The blast opens up an enormous sinkhole that swallows up the malfunctioning Republic vehicles. A huge crater now dominates the landscape.
In the aftermath of the bomb, Mace Windu re-establishes communications with Chancellor Palpatine and reports on his progress. The Chancellor is most concerned that the Dugs sign a treaty ensuring Republic access to Malastare's fuel. Doge Urus says the treaty is currently being reviewed by the Malastarian council.
A battlefield update reports that one of the clone rescue teams aiding in extraction from the sinkhole has gone missing. Anakin, Mace and Doge Urus race to the site aboard a gunship. While Anakin attends to the Dug leaders, Mace ventures into the foggy pit alongside Commander Ponds and Troopers Hawkeye and Trapper. They find injured troopers who report the presence of something alive in the pit. Mace radios to Anakin, requesting assistance.
The ground suddenly heaves beneath Mace's feet as a gargantuan creature emerges. It is a huge reptilian creature awakened from a lengthy slumber. Its titanic form pulls itself to its full height and it shrieks in rage and confusion. Mace and his troops scramble aboard a gunship as Anakin soars into the pit aboard his Jedi starfighter.
Skywalker is stunned by the spectacle before him. The beast swats the starfighter, sending it spinning out of control. It crashes into the pit but Anakin and R2-D2 emerge intact. Anakin ignites his lightsaber and is shocked to discover the beast's scales are resistant to its blade. Anakin climbs the beast to avoid its grasp and leaps atop R2-D2, who uses his rockets to fly away from the monster.
Doge Urus declares the monster is the Zillo Beast, one of a species thought extinct. Ages ago, when the Dugs first began harvesting the fuel in Malastare's core, they battled beasts of this kind. The beast is an enemy of the Dug, and they will stop at nothing to kill it. The Dugs spend the remainder of the day dropping payloads of explosives into the pit in a vain attempt to destroy the invulnerable Zillo Beast. The thunder of explosions is punctuated by the outraged shrieks of the monster.
Mace Windu objects to the actions of his allies. He views the Zillo Beast as a one-of-a-kind life-form that should not be destroyed. His protestations threaten the likelihood the Dug council will sign the treaty of alliance with the Republic. The Dugs insist the Jedi must kill the Zillo Beast to ensure their cooperation and access to their fuels.
Mace Windu and Doctor Boll once again communicate with Chancellor Palpatine. Palpatine is amazed at the creature's size and resiliency, but is dismayed by Master Windu's reluctance to assist the Dugs. The ever-analytical Doctor Boll suggests that the Zillo Beast may be an invaluable resource -- its natural armor could be translated into military applications.
Anakin offers a compromise: if the Jedi are able to somehow incapacitate the Zillo Beast, making the Dugs think that it was killed, then they could secure the treaty while sparing the monster's life. Anakin believes a concentrated stun pulse could penetrate between the creature's scales and knock it out. Dr. Boll agrees with Anakin's plan, and Palpatine approves.
Republic tanks begin lining the rim of the crater. Doge Urus has ordered torrents of Malastarian fuel poured onto the Zillo Beast. The creature finds the substance toxic and painful. But rather than destroy it, the stream of fuel only prompts the Zillo Beast to scale the sinkhole walls and emerge onto the surface. The monster wreaks havoc, tossing aside tanks as if they were toys.
The tanks under Anakin and Mace's command open fire, lancing the creature with stun beams. The Zillo Beast plods forward, but eventually succumbs to the rays and collapses into a deep sleep.
The Dugs celebrate the victory and sign the treaty with the Republic. The Jedi and clone forces load the Zillo Beast onto a transport for flight to an uninhabited Outer Rim world. Chancellor Palpatine, however, announces a change of plans. Palpatine's scientific advisers recommend studying the creature under the most controlled conditions. With that recommendation, Palpatine orders the beast taken to Coruscant.