- "She has all our best interests at heart."
"Does she really? I've heard she doesn't have a heart."
- ―Mousul and Nemrileo, discussing Shu Mai
Shu Mai was a female Gossam native to the planet Castell, who served as the Presidente of the Commerce Guild prior to and during the Clone Wars. She was one of millions of Gossam devastated during the economic depression on her homeworld dozens of years before the rise of the Empire, and after they were saved from their hardship by the Commerce Guild, Mai gained a position as Chief of Property Resources for the Guild, and was eventually promoted several more times. Using shrewd and sometimes unscrupulous tactics, Mai eventually brought the Gossam out of their financial troubles, before repurchasing Castell—only so she could raise rent even more and demand tribute from her people. Impressed with her entrepreneurial nature and shrewd business awareness, the Commerce Guild then elected her as their Presidente.
Mai then secretly aligned the Guild with the Confederacy of Independent Systems, a group of powerful individuals who had broken away from the Galactic Republic. Mai pledged the Guild's forces to the CIS during the Clone Wars that followed, and served on the Separatist Council alongside such others as Nute Gunray, Wat Tambor and San Hill. At the close of the war in 19 BBY, Mai was among the Council members executed by Darth Vader on the planet Mustafar.
Shu Mai was known to use various unscrupulous methods to get her way, though she was always careful not to tie herself to such acts, and to remain within the letter of the law at all times. She was extremely greedy, and cared for little other than herself—she would happily have killed off most of the population of Felucia, one of the Gossam's colony planets, rather than let it fall to the Republic. Her ultimate desire lay in power, and, most of all, money.
- "We [the Commerce Guild] are always eager to take advantage of shifting political realities."
- ―Shu Mai, Presidente of the Commerce Guild
Shu Mai was born on the Gossam homeworld of Castell, a planet located in the Colonies region of space, which was located not far from the Core Worlds. She had light blue skin and a thin, spindly body, with a pair each of long and elegant arms and legs. Physical appearance and image were considered extremely important in Gossam culture, so Mai used oil-based gels and creams to mold her hair into a wave that swept up from the back of her thin head. She was also known to wear elaborate clothing; usually colored red.
Shu Mai was one of the Gossam who suffered during a devastating ten-year economic failure around the time of the Trade Federation's Invasion of Naboo in 32 BBY. This depression came about after taxes on trade routes became more and more expensive, resulting in a lowered cost and demand for Castellian goods and services. During the financial crisis, the situation became so severe for the saurian species that they were murdering each other over food, money and passage offworld. However, the Commerce Guild stepped in and effectively saved the planet from complete disaster. In return for dedicated Gossam servitude, the Commerce Guild bought massive amounts of Gossam property and gave their economy a kick start with a series of huge investments. Castell eventually became one of the prime locations of Commerce Guild manufacture. One of the Gossam employed by the corporation was Shu Mai, who, through her aggressive business skills and determined nature, as well as her loyal support of the Gossam workforce, slowly began to ascend the Guild's ranks, until she became its Chief of Property Resources.
Mai was instrumental in bringing her homeworld out of its devastating financial slump, through expert negotiation tactics and occasional illegal activities. Mai was eventually given the chance of repurchasing Castell, which would drastically reduce the rent and tributes her species had to pay to the Guild, as well as freeing them from their slave-like servitude. Shu Mai did purchase back her home planet—but only for her own gains. After the purchase, she raised rents and ruthlessly forced her people to pay her large tributes. Her superiors at the Commerce Guild were highly impressed by this maneuver and it gained her great standing among her colleagues. Eventually, after many ruined careers and mysterious accidents, she was named the new Presidente of the Guild by her peers.
- "On the ruins of the old, decrepit Republic those of us with foresight will build a new political structure, perfect and gleaming. One without any weak links, free of the moralistic waste that encumbers and slows the appropriate development of a truly advanced society."
- ―Shu Mai's plans for the galaxy
Under Shu Mai, the Commerce Guild began to engage in underhanded and sometimes illegal activities, and gained tremendous political power due to its acquisition of raw materials necessary for the galaxy to function. Usually on Mai's orders, Guild representatives often bribed corrupt Republic officials and senators to control market forces with huge tariffs. Many smaller companies complained about the Guild's actions and bullying tactics, though Mai was careful to operate outside Republic jurisdiction and to always make sure to never actually break the law. Mai often forced systems to become Guild members, even unleashing the Guild's great droid armies on systems who refused. With many sectors seceding from the Republic during the Separatist Crisis, Mai and the Guild made sure to snatch up any potentially lucrative businesses that were no longer protected by the Republic. Soon after Mai's ascension, the Commerce Guild became embroiled in a vendetta against Nute Gunray's Trade Federation, and E4 baron droids were sent to assassinate the Gossam presidente. They were ultimately unsuccessful, though. Some time before 22 BBY, the Commerce Guild was responsible for niobarium pollution on Vorian IV, though Mai managed to successfully cover it up.
During the Separatist Crisis, Shu Mai was present when the Sullustan Beolars Bribbs was elected president of the Sullustan Council and the CEO of SoroSuub Corporation, a massive company which held considerable influence over the Commerce Guild. Shu Mai supported Bribbs and his controversial proposal to make the votes of SoroSuub shareholders count for twice as much as the votes of non-shareholders. She received great applause during the speech.
In 22 BBY, Shu Mai, as the Commerce Guild Presidente, was approached by Count Dooku of Serenno, a former Jedi who was the leader (at least to the public) of a group of systems that had defected from the Republic known as the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Mai refused to make a formal alliance with the Confederacy, knowing it would be frowned upon by many of her supporters, though she did make an informal agreement with Dooku. She eventually learned of Darth Sidious, Dooku's mysterious Sith Master, and his plans for taking over the Republic. Mai was not the only one approached: Nute Gunray of the Trade Federation, former senators Po Nudo and Tikkes, San Hill of the InterGalactic Banking Clan, Wat Tambor of the Techno Union, as well as Archduke Poggle the Lesser and many others were contacted by Dooku. Each of them was given a specialized Xi Char mechno-chair, which Sidious and Dooku used to contact them.
Midway through 22 BBY, Shu Mai attempted to instigate the withdrawal of the planet Ansion from the Galactic Republic. After examining a detailed map of the galaxy which documented trade routes and alliances between planets, Mai deduced that by discreetly putting pressure on Ansion to secede, she could force dozens of planets to secede with them, thus giving the Commerce Guild a chance of capturing or purchasing the planets. Ansion was in itself an insignificant planet in the eyes of the Senate, as many of its population were nomads, and it had no real industry. However, if Ansion were to leave the Republic, so would several of its allies, and by extension, possibly more than forty star systems that had made pacts or treaties with Ansion's allies. Other than Mai and the Commerce Guild, very few had noticed that such a backwater planet as Ansion lay at the center of so many interlocking treaties. Shu Mai planned out the withdrawal with Ansionian Senator Mousul and several others, and although they wished to persuade the planet to secede through force, Shu Mai remembered the debacle that followed when the Trade Federation attempted something similar a decade earlier on the planet Naboo. Mai did not want to draw attention to Ansion, preferring to subtly persuade the people of Ansion to make up their own minds; Senator Mousul had already begun a political campaign to encourage the planet's withdrawal from the Republic. Those who backed the Guild's efforts with political and financial support would be richly rewarded, though Mai was indifferent about becoming the leader of this group of planets.
Mai employed a Hutt named Soergg Vosadii Bezhin to attempt to influence the political process on Ansion. However, the Jedi High Council had caught wind of the possible secession, and dispatched four Jedi on a diplomatic mission, in an attempt to gain favor with the Ansionian people. Mai had Soergg attempt to kill them, though his attempts failed. This of course angered Shu Mai, and with their plan looking less than likely to succeed, many of Mai's financial backers began to doubt her, though she had the faithless individuals killed (e.g., Nemrileo irm-Drocubac). However, her plans ultimately did fail, as the Jedi were successful in their diplomatic mission: Ansion elected after all to remain a member of the Republic. Mai had to kill several more of her co-conspirators, who were angry at her apparent failure (e.g., Tam Uliss). However, Dooku (aka Darth Tyranus), who had been advising her all along, was understanding of the "object lessons" she felt compelled to deliver and told her that the Ansion failure was but a minor setback to their grand schemes.
- «What you are proposing could be construed as treason.»
- ―Shu Mai, in Gossam, to Count Dooku[src]
Mai was later invited to the planet Geonosis in the Outer Rim Territories for a conference with the other Separatist leaders. Dooku wanted for them to re-pledge their alliance to the Confederacy—Mai did so, but reluctantly, as she knew it would amount to treason. In the end, though, the profits she would earn from the alliance were too vast to turn down, and like the rest of the Separatist Council, Mai pledged the support and the military forces of the Commerce Guild to the dissident former Jedi. However, Shu was the only one of the powerful Separatists to have any niggling doubts about Dooku, and opted to pledge to the Confederacy only in secret. This earned her some ridicule with her peers, though she was unperturbed by their snide remarks. However, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, who had previously helped to thwart Mai on Ansion, had tracked bounty hunter Jango Fett, Dooku's right-hand man, to the desert world, and witnessed the meeting between the Separatists. Kenobi was ultimately captured, and he, along with his Padawan Anakin Skywalker and Naboo Senator Padmé Amidala, was scheduled to be executed by the Geonosians in the Petranaki arena. However, the Jedi Order had discovered Kenobi's kidnapping, and over two hundred Jedi were sent to the arena in a bold rescue attempt. Shu Mai watched with the other Separatist leaders as the Jedi ranks were decimated, and soon there were little more than a dozen Jedi remaining. Dooku pleaded with them to throw down their weapons and surrender, but Mace Windu, the leader of the team, refused. Dooku ordered their deaths; however, hundreds of LAAT/i gunships appeared, led by Master Yoda—the Republic had discovered a secret clone army ordered on Kamino decades earlier. The CIS army was defeated in the arena, and the battle that followed marked the beginning of the Clone Wars. The Commerce Guild's DSD1 dwarf spider droids and OG-9 homing spider droids, with Shu Mai's permission, took part in the battle, though Mai herself stayed in the Separatist Council War Room. The CIS were taking heavy losses, and soon after the battle began, Mai and the other Separatist leaders retreated.
Approximately nine months into the war, Mai was involved in the setting up of the CIS "shadowfeed", which broadcast Separatist propaganda and operated similarly to the Republic HoloNet News. Around the same time, on the planet Bassadro, Shu Mai attempted to gain the support of Republic-aligned worlds when she launched a verbal attack on the Republic for their actions on the planet. Supposedly, the clones of the Republic had slaughtered entire mining villages, killing over four hundred natives. Rather than let the Republic continue harming innocents, the CIS decided to surrender on the planet, though only to make themselves look good in the eyes of the galaxy—the lives of innocents were not something that concerned Shu Mai or the other members of the Separatist Council. To compensate for the loss of miners, Shu Mai recalculated several mining quotas among other producer worlds.
Once again through the "shadowfeed," Shu Mai addressed the hundreds of shareholders of the Commerce Guild from the Inner Rim planet of Moorja. Because of the poor weather conditions and ion storms of the world, the CIS had been unable to dispatch battle droids to fight against the Republic's clones, but it was decided that organic forces would be used instead: Gossam Commandos, Koorivar Fusiliers and Neimoidian Gunnery Battalions were sent. Mai later commented to her shareholders that using organics was in this case far more cost effective, as if they were to use droids, they would have had to fit them with ionic-dampening technologies.
Upon being invited to the Separatist-allied planet Zygerria by its Queen, Miraj Scintel, Mai and Wat Tambor traveled there to watch an auction for the entire population of the Togrutan colony Kiros to be sold into slavery. Upon their arrival, Tambor and Mai entered the building where the auction was being held, and they were welcomed by the Queen. The auction began, but the Queen soon interrupted it to show the captured Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi to the crowd. Tambor was frightened by Kenobi's presence there, as he knew what the Jedi were capable of, despite the Queen's assurance to him and Mai that there was nothing to worry about. However, the Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker was also present, disguised as a slaver. When the Queen ordered him to whip Kenobi, he attacked Kenobi's guards, supported by his Padawan, Ahsoka Tano; astromech droid R2-D2; and Clone Captain Rex. Tambor's worries were confirmed, and he and Mai fled the planet.
Close of the war
- "The general has dealt many blows to the Republic. Surely you are safest under his care…are you not?"
"Grievous lives to fight. If he wants to hide, then matters are dire for the Confederacy. The General claims the fall of our homeworld was part of Dooku's plan. The Commerce Guild is expendable, it would seem."
- ―A Commerce Guild Administress and Shu Mai discuss Grievous's plan to hide the Separatist Council in the Outer Rim
The war raged on for the next three years, and by 19 BBY, the CIS were taking heavy losses. A majority of the home planets and purse-worlds of the members of the Separatist Council had fallen to the Republic, and the Confederacy was being driven into the Outer Rim Territories. In 19 BBY, Shu Mai, along with rest of the Council, was summoned to meet with General Grievous, the supreme commander of the Separatist Droid Armies, to discuss where they would be relocated to. The leaders of the Council were intimidated by Grievous, though they put up with him because of his alliance with Dooku. They met in Grievous's flagship, the Invisible Hand, where the cyborg told them that because their homeworlds had fallen to the Republic and their purse-worlds were no longer secure, they would be relocated to the Outer Rim; however, Grievous had yet to capture a suitable planet for them. He told them to wait in their respective vessels docked on his flagship while he found them a suitable world.
Shu Mai was angry at Dooku, who had told her that the fall of Castell was all part of the plan; the Commerce Guild had become expendable to the Sith Lord. She and the others had been promised riches, power and recognition beyond their wildest dreams, yet now they were in hiding, and were being kept out of the loop by Sidious and his subordinates. She traveled to her compound on the nearby Gossam colony planet of Felucia, which was suffering a heavy onslaught of Republic pressure. While there, Grievous communicated with her through her mechno-chair, telling the Guild Presidente that the planet Belderone had been chosen for them to relocate to. Mai accepted, and told the General of the two traitorous relief workers, suspected of being Jedi, that had been captured by her Gossam Commandos. Mere moments after Grievous left, Mai contacted fellow Council member Nute Gunray through a comlink, telling him that she feared for her safety with Jedi after her, and that she would prefer to travel to the rendezvous point at Belderone with the other Councilors in a convoy. Gunray, however, had no idea what Shu Mai was speaking about; he pretended that his mechno-chair had been malfunctioning, though in truth it had been left behind after his evacuation on Cato Neimoidia, and was now in Republic hands, meaning that Grievous's message did not reach its intended recipient. Gunray agreed that they should travel together in a convoy, and when he had left, Mai began to put her plan for Felucia into place. Shu Mai knew the Jedi were on her tail, and that the planet would soon fall from the CIS's grasp. She had a protocol put in place, which, if the planet became under attack, would poison the water supply of Felucia, crippling the planet and making it next to useless for the Republic. She then departed for the rendezvous point at Belderone.
When the Separatist fleet emerged out of hyperspace at Belderone, they were treated to a full scale Republic assault, led by Shu Mai's old enemies Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker (Gunray's missing mechno-chair had given the Republic much information on Grievous's movements.) Knowing they would never defeat the Republic forces, Grievous ordered his droids to fire on the evacuees from Belderone, and retreated back into hyperspace, emerging deep in open space. After the defeat at Belderone, Grievous had the Council relocated to the planet Utapau. While on the sinkhole filled planet, Shu Mai joined in the celebrations with her peers upon learning that Grievous had successfully captured Supreme Chancellor Palpatine from Coruscant. However, Palpatine soon escaped Grievous's grip (with the help of Skywalker and Kenobi, who also killed Dooku, dealing a great blow to the Confederacy), and later, Shu Mai learned that the protocol on Felucia had been initiated. She could never return to her second home again. Although she knew it had to be done, she was unhappy about it. Dooku had offered them riches and the chance to rule the galaxy, but now they were on the run, unable to return home. The Commerce Guild Presidente expressed her displeasure at this to her fellow Councilors, though some, like Archduke Poggle the Lesser and InterGalactic Banking Clan chairman San Hill, had more faith in Grievous and Sidious than the Gossam female. Gunray told them that Dooku had better provide all that he promised, as the Neimoidians were funding almost the entire war effort. Just as Grievous, flanked by his IG-100 MagnaGuards, arrived, Mai told Gunray that if that was the case, he should start making orders. Gunray's confidence in front of the cyborg, however, faltered, and Grievous told them that the Republic would soon track them to Utapau; they would once again be relocated, this time to the volcanic planet Mustafar. The Council members were furious, but none were brave enough to defy Grievous, and they all accepted their fate and moved to Mustafar. The move proved to be a masterstroke, as Utapau fell under Republic pressure soon after their departure, and Grievous was killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi.
- "We were promised a reward, a h-h-handsome reward—"
"I am your reward; you don't find me handsome?"
- ―Shu Mai pleads with Darth Vader, before he kills her
Shu Mai's plans for Felucia were eventually foiled by a group of Jedi Knights led by Aayla Secura, though Mai was unperturbed; with both Grievous and Dooku now dead, the Council was in control of the CIS. Nute Gunray, as head of the Council, became the new Head of State, however, his reign would end soon thereafter. They contacted Sidious, who told them that his new apprentice, Darth Vader, would be arriving soon to take care of them. When Vader arrived, Shu Mai and the other Separatists realized they had been betrayed, and the Sith proceeded to mercilessly slay them on Mustafar. He eventually slaughtered all present, including Shu Mai who was decapitated, thus destroying the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
Personality and traits
- "Impatience is a potentially fatal disease."
- ―Shu Mai
Shu Mai had an extreme lust for power and money, and was not above using unscrupulous methods to get what it was that she wanted. After she was given the opportunity to buy back Castell and become a savior among her people, she greedily raised the rents exorbitantly, causing her people great suffering. Shu Mai did not care, however, as she had made considerable profits on the operation. During her attempts to persuade Ansion to secede, she hired mercenaries to take out Jedi Masters Luminara Unduli and Obi-Wan Kenobi, as well as their Padawans, Barriss Offee and Anakin Skywalker. She did not care for the repercussions and possible damage that could ensue because of her actions; profit was the only thing that the Gossam Presidente did care for.
However, Shu Mai was also extremely careful and cautious when using such methods against her opponents: she never tied herself directly to such acts, and whenever she herself became involved, she was careful to ensure she stayed within the letter of the law at all times, though she was not adverse to having others commit illegal deeds. When she pledged her allegiance to Dooku and the CIS, she was careful to do so only in secret, as she knew she would become a target for the Republic if she sided with the former Jedi openly. Shu Mai was a shrewd businessbeing, and knew how and when to make a deal or purchase real estate. She put very little value on sentient life, and would happily have sacrificed the lives of many of her fellow Gossams if it meant she made money, or that the Confederacy became more powerful. She often had even those who had shown slight distrust in her killed—such as the financial backers who doubted her leadership during the debacle on Ansion— or else those whose jobs she craved.
Shu Mai was incredibly ambitious, and let no obstacle stand in her way to success and power. During her ascension to the role of Presidente of the Commerce Guild, she had dozens of opponents and adversaries killed, and ruined many a potentially great career. Even once she reached the top, she was not content with what she had, and joined the Separatist movement. Shu Mai was also very clever, and had a patient nature not shared by many of her colleagues. During her mission on Ansion, she opted for a slow, subtle approach, while her allies expressed their desire to go in with all their guns blazing. Mai was also clever and calm enough to know that what may appear as a failure was not necessarily such, and rather than feel downtrodden, she usually turned her eyes to the next place she could exploit.
She was also one of the few members of the Separatist Council to question Dooku, Sidious and Grievous. Others had unwavering loyalty to their superiors, but Mai was quick to express her doubt in them during times when they were absent. Her rebellious nature, however, usually diminished at the sight of Grievous and his powerful droid bodyguards. In addition to her native Gossam, Shu Mai could also speak Galactic Basic Standard, Geonosian, Huttese, and Pak Pak.
Behind the scenes
Shu Mai was created for her brief appearance in Attack of the Clones, though she first appeared in the prelude novel to the movie, named The Approaching Storm. She was realized as a computer generated character for Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The New Essential Chronology incorrectly names her as the Corporate Alliance Magistrate on page 80.
Shu Mai appeared only briefly in Episodes II and III of the Star Wars saga, though her backstory was expanded upon in several Expanded Universe works, primarily The Approaching Storm by Alan Dean Foster and Labyrinth of Evil by James Luceno. Additional information was provided in the Star Wars Gamer magazine, The New Essential Guide to Alien Species and Shu Mai's Databank entry. Shu Mai also appears in a deleted scene found on the Attack of the Clones bonus disc. The scene shows Anakin and Padmé being sentenced to death by Poggle the Lesser and Shu Mai is seen sitting with Nute Gunray and the other separatists.
Shu Mai appeared in the fourth chapter of the 2008 Slaves of the Republic story arc of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars comic series. However, when the comic story was adapted into the 2011 fourth season of The Clone Wars television series, Mai's appearance was not included. Because the television series is being given canonical precedence, her role in Slaves of the Republic has yet to be clarified.
- Darth Plagueis (Mentioned only)
- Kinect Star Wars
- The Approaching Storm (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones comic
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones novelization
- Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds: Clone Campaigns (Appears only in non-storyline event) (Mentioned only)
- Galactic Crisis!
- CIS Shadowfeed Dispatch 14:3:10 Edition
- CIS Shadowfeed Dispatch 15:3:21 Edition
- The Clone Wars 4
- Reversal of Fortune
- Labyrinth of Evil
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith comic
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith novelization
- Star Wars Trading Card Game - Attack of the Clones (TCG) (Card: )
- Galactic Power Brokers"—Star Wars Gamer 10 "
- "Separatists at Birth"—Star Wars Insider 69
- Ultimate Alien Anthology
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 136 (GUI1-2, Commerce Guild)
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- The New Essential Chronology
- The New Essential Guide to Alien Species
- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith The Visual Dictionary
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 37
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded
- Star Wars Character Encyclopedia
- The Essential Reader's Companion
- Star Wars: Force Collection (Card: Shu Mai)
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15
- ↑ Star Wars Character Encyclopedia
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 The New Essential Guide to Alien Species
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Ultimate Alien Anthology
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Galactic Power Brokers"—Star Wars Gamer 10 "
- ↑ 7.0 7.1
- ↑ 8.0 8.1
- ↑ The New Essential Guide to Droids
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 The Approaching Storm
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Labyrinth of Evil
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones novelization
- ↑ The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ CIS Shadowfeed Dispatch 14:3:10 Edition
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 CIS Shadowfeed Dispatch 15:3:21 Edition
- ↑ The Clone Wars 4
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 Reversal of Fortune
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 20.2 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- ↑ "Separatists at Birth"—Star Wars Insider 69