Trade Federation

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"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!"
Senator Palpatine[src]

The Trade Federation was a very powerful Republic commerce guild, trade cartel, megacorporation, and lobbying group that was founded in 350 BBY[12] as an association of business and trade groups with its own commercial trade fleet.[16]

The Federation grew to dominate entire star systems and all major trade routes, and possessed a formidable private military. Toward the end of the Republic, it would become increasingly dominated by the commerce-savvy Neimoidians.[14]

The Federation played a major role in the Clone Wars for its allegiance to the Confederacy of Independent Systems. It was dissolved and imperialized upon the Galactic Empire's formation in 19 BBY but was not officially disbanded until the Imperial Senate was dissolved in 0 BBY.[13]


Pre-Clone WarsEdit

In 350 BBY the Trade Federation was founded in the Colonies by many species, including the Neimoidians. The Trade Federation became a shipping corporation and cartel. It made deals with Baktoid Armor Workshop and the Xi Char in order to form its own private military to accomplish their Sith-influenced aims. It was originally controlled by a directorate, which was led by a commanding Viceroy.[17]

The Neimoidians who ran the Trade Federation received their organizational skills from running mass hives and fungus farms on their homeworld of Neimoidia and the Neimoidian purse worlds like Cato Neimoidia,[5] Deko Neimoidia, and Koru Neimoidia.[4]

The Trade Federation maintained a sizable monopoly on interstellar trade and held considerable sway in the Galactic Republic, even managing to gain a seat in the Senate on the same level as a member world, represented by Lott Dod.[14]

In particular, they held maps of hyperspace routes closely rather than sharing them, enabling them to cement their hold over trade routes. Only the Jedi and the Office of the Supreme Chancellor were able to maintain maps of similar quality. The Federation had many planetary protectorates throughout the galaxy, often using the ceremonial halls inside their core ships to sign protectorship agreements.[18]

Neimoidians were very influential in the leadership of the Directorate, though the Federation only became a Neimoidian monopoly in 33 BBY, when six other members of the Trade Federation Directorate were murdered, leaving only Viceroy Nute Gunray.[2] He proceeded to fill up the vacancies with his Neimoidian puppets (some of whom later comprised the Occupation Council that took control of Theed after the Naboo invasion).[15]

When Alaris Prime was discovered, a droid army under the leadership of Nute Gunray settled on the forest moon to begin stripping its resources and establish a base in the strategically located system, struggling against the moon's native Gundarks. Unaware of the Trade Federation's presence, the Wookiees legally brought colonists to Alaris Prime under the leadership of Attichitcuk, his son Chewbacca, and their friend Shoran. With the help of a Jedi force, the Federation left the moon.

After procuring the necessary resources on a number of planets, including Alaris Prime[19], Esseles[20], and Eos[21] Sidious approached Gunray and commanded him to use his cheap, and dangerous army on the prosperous, distant and naïve planet of Naboo, which would fall to the Federation's will without the unsuspecting Republic's immediate aid or sympathy.

Trade Federation Droid Army

The Trade Federation's invasion force marches on the Naboo capital of Theed.

The Trade Federation protested the taxation of the Free Trade Zone by the Galactic Senate. As a daring example to other planets, Nute Gunray started a blockade to stop trade on Naboo. He was manipulated by Darth Sidious, who ordered him to invade Naboo.[14] Two of the Trade Federations member species—the Caarites and the Filordi—felt this blockade would destroy the Federation, so they split off to form the Metatheran Cartel and forced the Federation out of the Cularin system.[10]

The Trade Federation's fleet was largely made up of converted Lucrehulk-class freighters. The Executive Board was unwilling to spend more credits (being the thrifty businessmen they were), and chose to convert their enormous commercial freight carriers into formidable, three-kilometer long warships, complete with shields, turbolasers, and military grade communications arrays. Also, the Trade Federation struck deals with numerous species, like the Colicoids and the Xi Char, to construct massive armies for the Federation.[17]

In addition, even in the long awaited and profitable enterprise of battle, the Trade Federation warcraft were still manufactured inexpensively. Unwilling to spend more money on droid brains, the Trade Federation Executive Board proceeded to control their massive armies from a single central control computer aboard a Lucrehulk-class Droid Control Ship.[14]

Following the Invasion of Naboo, the Federation began diversifying its fleets, with new destroyers and cruisers using the modular core ships as control cores.[18] In addition, Pammant Docks provided the Trade Federation with massive Providence-class carrier/destroyers, such as the Invisible Hand.[22]

Around 24 BBY, Count Dooku began rallying various systems and corporations to form the Confederacy of Independent Systems on Raxus Prime including the Trade Federation which established the Separatist Council with Nute Gunray as its head.

Clone WarsEdit

"With these new battle droids we've built for you, you'll have the finest army in the galaxy."
Wat Tambor to Nute Gunray, telling how the Techno Union has built one of the strongest armies in galactic history for the Trade Federation[src]

Sentepeth Findos reluctantly grants the Federation's assets to the Galactic Empire at the end of the Clone Wars.

In 22 BBY at the wake of the Clone Wars, Nute Gunray pledged the Trade Federation's resources to said cause in exchange for the death of Padmé Amidala, as revenge for the fiasco on Naboo. Unfortunately, a botched attempt on Amidala's life by Zam Wesell resulted in Obi-Wan Kenobi tracking a bounty hunter to Geonosis, where Gunray and the other various members of the CIS had gathered. Kenobi was captured, but this merely resulted in Anakin Skywalker and Amidala setting out to rescue Kenobi.[6]

Eventually, these events spiraled into Mace Windu leading a Jedi attack on the arena where the prisoners were about to be executed, much to Gunray's dismay. Upon Yoda's arrival with a large clone army, it descended into a full scale battle, starting off the Clone Wars between the Confederacy and the Republic.[6] The Trade Federation was unable to break off now, and soon Federation automata formed much of the CIS army.[22]

During the Clone Wars, planet Rosha was deeply involved with the Trade Federation.[11]


With Nute Gunray's death in 19 BBY at the hands of former Jedi Anakin Skywalker, now Darth Vader, the Trade Federation fell.[5] Acting Viceroy Sentepeth Findos who was on Cato Neimoidia resisted for a brief moment but was forced by Stormtroopers to sign a peace treaty with the Empire only a few days after the Clone Wars ended, giving all of the Federation's resources to Palpatine's disposal to help him build the Galactic Empire but there was still some resistance.[13] This had made the federation a puppet government of the Imperial Senate. Some of the insurgents were absorbed into the Rebel Alliance in 2 BBY. The rest continued to be a puppet government until they sank with the Imperial Senate in 0 BBY.

Nonetheless, Trade Federation holdouts remained after the Battle of Yavin. Fanatical loyalists, zealots, and avengers affiliated with the Trade Federation remained on the planet Naboo, where they were considered enemies of the Royal Naboo Security Forces and the Nal Raka Criminal Empire led by Borvo the Hutt. In fact, the Nal Raka Criminal Empire assumed control over the Old Trade Federation Route following the Invasion of Naboo.[23]


"The Trade Federation cannot function without its head. Neimoidians don't think for themselves. Without the Viceroy to command them, they will cease to be a threat."
Padmé Amidala[src]
TF iconography

Trade Federation iconography

Notable membersEdit

See Trade Federation members.

Battle droidsEdit

Organic forcesEdit



A Vulture droid starfighter.

Ground unitsEdit


A Trade Federation troop carrier.

Aquatic unitsEdit

Aerial unitsEdit

Capital shipsEdit


A Lucrehulk-class battleship bearing the markings of the Confederacy of Independent Systems.

Support craftEdit

Behind the scenesEdit

The Trade Federation are the main antagonist in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace and become a core faction of a larger movement in Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones the Clone Wars and Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. Their creation, and to some extent their motives and characterization, had been part of George Lucas's response to the Republican Revolution in 1994 (which had occurred eight days into Lucas' draft-writing the screenplay for The Phantom Menace), in particular then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich's Contract with America.[24]

The Trade Federation's creation date was speculation of Michael Potts. He chose the date of 350 BBY in his timeline, based on available information, and was pleasantly surprised when his fellow Star Wars Fanboy Association member Ann Margaret Lewis used Time Tales as a reference point when writing The Essential Guide to Alien Species, and therefore established this date within continuity.


Non-canon appearancesEdit


Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Star Wars: Republic: The Stark Hyperspace War
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Cloak of Deception
  3. Darth Maul: Saboteur
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Cato Neimoidia in the Databank
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
  7. Starfighter: Crossbones
  8. Star Wars: Starfighter
  9. Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Living Force Campaign Guide
  11. 11.0 11.1 The Last of the Jedi: Return of the Dark Side
  12. 12.0 12.1 The Essential Guide to Alien Species
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Republic HoloNet News Special Inaugural Edition 16:5:24
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
  15. 15.0 15.1 The New Essential Guide to Characters
  16. Secrets of Naboo
  17. 17.0 17.1 Star Wars: Episode I Incredible Cross-Sections
  18. 18.0 18.1 Star Wars: Attack of the Clones Incredible Cross-Sections
  19. Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
  20. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Adventures
  21. Star Wars: Starfighter
  22. 22.0 22.1 Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith Incredible Cross-Sections
  23. Star Wars Galaxies
  24. Chris Taylor. How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise. New York, New York, USA: Basic Books, 2014-2015. Pp. 300-301. "Anyone sitting down to write a screenplay on November 1, 1994, as Lucas apparently did, would have been interrupted eight days into the writing process by one of the most seismic midterm in postwar American history. Republicans took the House and the Senate for the first time in 40 years. A resurgent GOP under House Speaker Newt Gingrich started pushing its tax-cutting, regulation-slashing 'Contract with America.' Democrats, whose messaging had improved since Ted Kennedy's "Star Wars" flub, started calling it a 'Contract On America."
    "It was perhaps no co-incidence, then, that Lucas started writing about a "Trade Federation," aided and emboldened by corrupt politicians, embroiled in some sort of dispute over the taxing of trade to the outlying star systems. We never learn what the dispute is about -- whether the Trade Federation was pro- or anti-tax. But what we know is that the name of the leader of the Trade Federation -- never actually spoken in the movie, but noted in the script from the start -- was Nute Gunray. By 1997, when the GOP Senate leader was Trent Lott, Lucas named the Trade Federation's representative in the Galactic Senate: Lott Dodd. We're a long way from the subtlety of his [George Lucas's] [North] Vietnam metaphor here."

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