- "Supreme Chancellor, delegates of the Senate, a tragedy has occurred, which started right here with the taxation of trade routes, and has now engulfed our entire planet in the oppression of the Trade Federation!"
- ―Sheev Palpatine
The Trade Federation was an interstellar shipping and trade conglomerate during the waning days of the Galactic Republic, one so powerful that it had its own representatives in the Galactic Senate. Viceroy Nute Gunray secretly allied with the Sith Lord Darth Sidious to invade the peaceful planet of Naboo and cause a crisis in the Republic government, although his occupation was thwarted by Queen Padmé Amidala and her forces. Escaping imprisonment, Gunray pledged his droid forces to the Confederacy of Independent Systems, and the Federation fought Republic and Jedi armies throughout the Clone Wars. Gunray and his fellow Separatist Council members were killed by Darth Vader at the end of the war, and the Trade Federation was nationalized by the newly-formed Galactic Empire.
- "Because something dangerous is brewing in our little corner of the Outer Rim. Discontent is on the rise, as are criminal enterprises and mercenary groups in the employ of self-serving corporations. In the Seswenna sector, several lommite mining concerns are vying for the attention of the Trade Federation, which is determined to forge a monopoly in the free trade zones."
- ―Sheev Palpatine to Wilhuff Tarkin
The Trade Federation was notoriously operated by members of the Neimoidian species, who were known for their business skills and cutthroat dealings. It became one of the wealthiest corporate organizations in the galaxy, and came to control a large portion of interstellar shipping passing through the Outer Rim Territories. It was given representation in the Galactic Senate of the Republic, and used its influential seat to lobby for greater power. Its ultimate goal was to control all galactic trade routes, ports, and freighters, and was willing to do anything to increase profits and avoid Republic taxes. The Federation maintained exploratory craft during the last decades of the Republic; Everi Chalis's mother attempted to sell her six-year-old daughter to the captain of one such craft, though the captain refused as Everi was too small, but gave her a packet of nectrose crystals instead. The company also maintained droid manufacturing facilities on worlds including Akiva.
The Federation was keen to protect its profit margins; after the agricultural scientist Leo Leonis and his wife Tepha created genetically modified crops for the planet Chrona, the company let their inventions rot in warehouses for the benefit of its own profits. Within a year new crops were distributed, and the Republic settled the court case in the Federation's favor, despite testimony from Leonis himself.
As of 34 BBY, the Trade Federation was a monolithic organization expanding its reach into the Outer Rim Territories by utilizing loopholes in the Republic's Free Trade Zone legislation, and continued to increase its sway in the Senate. Galactic industrial conglomerates such as the Federation were responsible for an economic upswing for senators, lobbyists, and entrepreneurs on Coruscant who placed themselves in the service of such groups. Determined to monopolize the Free Trade Zones, the Federation caught the attention of several lommite mining concerns in the Seswenna sector, and embroiled itself with the troubled King Ars Veruna of Naboo.
Association with the SithEdit
Prior to the Invasion of Naboo, the Federation came into contact with the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, who had a vested interest in the organization's projects and operations. Allying in secret with Sidious, the Federation attempted to establish mining facilities in the Kellux system, beyond the sanctions of the Republic, but their droid defenses were waylaid by a pirate faction which utilized electrostatic field generators to render the droids inoperable. Sidious sent his Sith apprentice, Darth Maul, to assist the stranded Federation allies, and the Zabrak arrived in time to destroy a squadron of orb-wings and board the captured Federation battleship over Kellux. He fought and killed the pirates, and cut down the surviving Neimoidians to prevent word from returning to Sidious.
In response to Prop 31-814D, a Senate law which enabled taxation of the Free Trade Zones, and while following the orders of the manipulative Sith Lord Darth Sidious, the Trade Federation blockaded and invaded Naboo with its droid army. The invasion served as a pretext for Naboo's Senator, Sheev Palpatine—secretly the public guise of Sidious himself—to be elected Supreme Chancellor. During this period of time, the Trade Federation was headed by Viceroy Nute Gunray, who oversaw the invasion and installed himself in the Theed Royal Palace until Queen Padmé Amidala ended his occupation.
Viceroy Gunray was arrested by Republic officials and sent to answer for his crimes, although he evaded imprisonment after multiple trials and retained his position as head of the Federation. However, the Federation's monopoly on Outer Rim shipping was broken due to the events of the Naboo invasion, and groups such as Eriadu Mining and Shipping prospered while the Separatist Crisis grew. Baktoid Armor Workshop approached Poggle the Lesser of the Geonosians to design droid foundries on behalf of the Trade Federation. These factories were secreted under the surface of Geonosis, and mass-produced battle droids to increase the Federation's armed forces.
A decade after the war on Naboo, the Trade Federation pledged support to the Confederacy of Independent Systems, becoming a major military benefactor during the Clone Wars. Publicly, however, the Federation denied all links to the Confederacy of Independent Systems, while maintaining a seat in the Republic Senate and officially taking a neutral stance in the conflict.
Nationalization and legacyEdit
The Federation leaders were killed by Darth Vader at the end of the war on the volcanic world of Mustafar following the Outer Rim Sieges, and the corporation was nationalized by the newly formed Galactic Empire, while its accounts were plundered by Imperial financier and former Federation employee Arsin Crassus.
During the era of the Galactic Empire, the Trade Federation was vilified by many; Leo Leonis considered its epoch to be a bad dream, and instructors such as Tralls taught a version of the crisis on Chrona that suggested the Federation engineered a famine. Zare Leonis took issue with this version of events, although agreed that the Federation had ruined his family's work, and he was glad the company was no longer in business.
A wealthy corporate organization, the Trade Federation was led by a Viceroy; as of 32 BBY, Nute Gunray held this position, and directed the Invasion of Naboo. The Federation also maintained a seat in the Galactic Senate of the Republic, where it was represented by Senator Lott Dod.
- Darth Maul, Part I
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace (First appearance)
- Star Wars Journeys: The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars: Galactic Defense
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Supply Lines"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Ambush" (Appears in flashback(s))
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Cargo of Doom"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Senate Spy"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Corruption"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Assassin" (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Sphere of Influence"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Heroes on Both Sides"
- Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Tarkin (Mentioned only)
- Servants of the Empire: Edge of the Galaxy (Mentioned only)
- Battlefront: Twilight Company (Mentioned only)
- Shattered Empire, Part III (Mentioned only)
- Aftermath (Mentioned only)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
- ↑ 2.0 2.1
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Aftermath
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2
- ↑ Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
- ↑ Battlefront: Twilight Company
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Servants of the Empire: Edge of the Galaxy
- ↑ In Tarkin, Wilhuff Tarkin refers to these events as having occurred twenty years prior to the Mission to Murkhana, which took place in 14 BBY.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Tarkin
- ↑ Darth Maul, Part I
- ↑ Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy
- ↑ Star Wars: Card Trader
- ↑ Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith