What Happened On Cato Neimoidia? Obi-Wan's Joke Explained

Obi-Wan Kenobi mentions an incident on Cato Neimoidia in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, telling Anakin Skywalker that it “doesn’t count” as saving his life, but the incident is depicted in a Legends-era novel. Throughout the Clone Wars, Anakin and Obi-Wan fought alongside each other, working as a duo even after Anakin’s ascension to Jedi Knighthood and leading the Clone Army to victory against the Separatists. Cato Neimoidia, a Neimoidian purse world, is naturally a CIS stronghold in the Clone Wars era, and it’s also the sight of a major siege in which Anakin Skywalker debatably saved Obi-Wan’s life.


Following the Battle of Coruscant in Revenge of the Sith, Anakin mentions to Obi-Wan that he’d saved his life for the tenth time, and while the line seemed to be hyperbole at first, Obi-Wan quickly confirms that the two have been keeping track of such instances. Obi-Wan claims “That business on Cato Neimoidia doesn't... doesn't count,” which would understandably lead some viewers to wonder what exactly happened on Cato Neimoidia. While the current canon continuity’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars features Cato Neimoidia in several episodes of its seven-season run, the incident is never shown.

Related: Star Wars Finally Explained Anakin's Fatal High-Ground Decision

In Legends, however, the incident on Cato Neimoidia is shown before Revenge of the Sith’s theatrical release, via the 2005 novel Labyrinth of Evil. During the Siege of Cato Neimoidia, Obi-Wan, Commander Cody, and several clone troopers battle Separatist droids, but stray blaster bolts break open a canister, releasing toxic spores. While Cody and his troops are unaffected, Kenobi (who briefly lost his rebreather) became poisoned by the spores and was in a similar state to inebriation, but he nevertheless defeated the CIS forces—much to Commander Cody’s astonishment—before Anakin arrived on the scene and gave him his lost rebreather, removing the spores’ effects. Due to the strange nature of the situation, Obi-Wan and Anakin disagree over the situation truly being a rescue on the latter’s part.

Why Does Obi-Wan Tell Anakin Cato Neimoidia Doesn't Count?

Obi Wan Kenobi smiling at Anakin Skywalker- Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith

The situation on Cato Neimoidia is ambiguous, as Obi-Wan’s intoxicated state would be life-threatening in a battle with CIS droids, yet Kenobi managed to cut down all of his opponents, even while poisoned. From Obi-Wan’s perspective, he managed to fight off a contingent of droids despite the impairment. However, when Anakin gave him his rebreather back, allowing him to purge the spores from his system, he saved his former master from being killed by more formidable CIS forces (Super Battle Droids are easily defeated by Jedi and clone troopers under normal circumstances). With this in mind, both Obi-Wan and Anakin’s perspectives on the situation are arguably correct.

Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Revenge of the Sith dialogue regarding the incident on Cato Neimoidia is the source of numerous memes, and considering how often memes are acknowledged in canon continuity material, it’s surprising that the incident is never shown or at least mentioned again. The Clone Wars season 7 had an opportunity to depict a new version of the incident at the start of its four-episode series finale, perhaps using the purse-world as the setting of its battle sequence instead of the original planet Yerbana, but for the time being, the event lacks a proper depiction in canon. Legends explains Obi-Wan’s reference months before the release of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, providing a fair argument for Kenobi and Skywalker’s differing perspectives in the process.