|Eriadu Trade Summit|
Discussions prematurely end in failure
The Eriadu Trade Summit was an event proposed by Senator Palpatine in 33 BBY, ostensibly to gather all parties affected by Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum's proposal to allow the Trade Federation an increase in standing permissible armament in exchange for Galactic Senate taxation of free-trade zones. The Nebula Front, a radical political group that opposed the Trade Federation, was specifically not allowed to attend the event. This decision culminated in an attempt on Valorum's life by the spurned Nebula Front. The event was held on the planet of Eriadu, an important trade world in the Outer Rim.
The event itself resulted in disaster. The majority of the Trade Federation Directorate was assassinated by its own security force in a plan orchestrated by Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious, who made the Nebula Front appear responsible for the murders. No consensus was reached regarding the taxation of trade routes, and the Trade Federation was placed under the leadership of Nute Gunray, who would proceed to blockade trade on the planet of Naboo in protest.
In 33 BBY increased political pressure was placed on Valorum, the Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic, by the Trade Federation and its political allies regarding his proposal to tax trade routes in the outer systems. In order to discuss Valorum's proposed legislation, the senator from Naboo, Palpatine, suggested that a summit be held on the Outer Rim planet of Eriadu, where the Trade Federation and its delegates could share their ideas on the proposed legislation and debate with their political opponents. The summit was to serve as a platform for all relevant parties to express their viewpoints on the taxation of the outer trade routes; as such, all voting on the matter was postponed until the summit's completion.
The summit itself was held in Seswenna Hall in Eriadu City. Organizations and governments invited to the Summit included the Association of Free Trade Worlds, the Commerce Guild, the Corporate Alliance, the Hutts, the Rights of Sentience League, Senex sector, the Stark Veteran Assembly, the Techno Union, and the Trade Federation. Although the Republic was represented by Valorum personally, many of its member worlds were allowed their own delegations, including Bothawui, Clak'dor VII, Falleen, Malastare, and Sullust. The Nebula Front itself was not invited despite its concerns regarding the Trade Federation because Valorum believed that it would only grant them unwarranted legitimacy.
The Nebula Front, however, was concerned that the Trade Federation would pass on the additional costs of taxation to those who used their shipping services. Having been denied a voice at the trade summit, the Nebula Front's leader Eru Matalis—known to his allies as Havac— made plans with the mercenary Captain Cohl to assassinate Valorum during the trade summit. The Front's intent was to prevent the new taxation in the hope that the outer worlds could avoid increased shipping costs while the Front continued its campaign of violence against the Trade Federation.
As it was essentially a meeting of the Republic and Trade Federation, those organizations were represented by their leaders, the Supreme Chancellor and the Directorate, respectively. However, it was to be a serious mistake; in an act orchestrated by Darth Sidious, security droids assassinated six of the seven Directorate members and made an attempt on the life of Valorum, making it look like the Nebula Front was responsible.
As a result, the Summit ended prematurely, with nothing resolved. It was a major public relations disaster for both the Jedi who failed to prevent the attacks, and for Valorum himself. The Senate unilaterally passed its new taxation laws anyway, while also passing restrictions on the Chancellor's use of the Judicial Department and Jedi Order. The deaths of his companions allowed Viceroy Nute Gunray to assume direct control of the Trade Federation and order a blockade of Naboo as retaliation against the Republic and its senator who had proposed both the summit and taxation. Thus, the Summit's failure set the stages for the blockade and Battle of Naboo.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Eriadu Trade Summit featured in the 2001 novel Cloak of Deception, written by James Luceno. The event was later mentioned in Luceno's other novels, Darth Plagueis and Labyrinth of Evil. The summit was also noted in The New Essential Guide to Characters, The New Essential Chronology, and the The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 33 and The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 35.
- Star Wars: Darth Plagueis (Indirect mention only)
- Cloak of Deception (First appearance)
- Labyrinth of Evil (Indirect mention only)
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 33
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 35