King Ramsis Dendup refused to commit Onderon to the Clone Wars, thinking that neutrality would spare the planet from the violent conflict. Sanjay Rash knew better. To ensure Onderon's prosperity and strength in the shifting galaxy would require a strong alliance -- and that meant striking an accord with the Separatists. Through methods cloaked in intrigue, Rash assumed the crown of Onderon, deposing Dendup and branding him a powerless old crone. Rash then allowed the Separatists to establish a firm foothold, cementing his rule of the planet.
As the galaxy began to split with the Separatist crisis that escalated into the Clone Wars, King Ramsis Dendup of Onderon looked on with disapproval and dread. The conflict would spill onto the borders of his home, and he would have to make a choice. But he saw no virtue in either the Republic or the Confederacy, recognizing the corruption that rotted within both governments. Dendup decided that the best course of action for his people would be to remain neutral in the conflict. For this, he was branded an indecisive coward and ousted from the throne by those who saw opportunity for change in power.
In its earliest ages of civilization, Onderon was a world marked with savage jungles that were filled with dangerous creatures. To survive, the primitive human inhabitants of the planet protected themselves behind the walls of fortified settlements. Over time, these grew to become enormous walled cities, like the planet's capital, Iziz. In the modern era, during the time of the Clone Wars, the planet's monarch King Sanjay Rash allied Onderon to the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Many Onderonians, however, refused to recognize the legitimacy of Sanjay's rule -- they preferred the neutral stance championed by former monarch Ramsis Dendup, whom Rash ousted.
Saw Gerrera was a loyal follower of King Ramsis Dendup, the benevolent monarch of Onderon who attempted to keep his world apart from the tensions of the Clone Wars. Saw believed firmly in independence, and did not want to see his planet thrust into galactic warfare. But Dendup was ousted by King Sanjay Rash, who committed the world to the Separatist cause. Saw was one of the fervent young loyalists who refused to acknowledge Rash's rule, and openly rebelled against the crown. He and his sister Steela were cast out of the walled city of Iziz and forced to live in ruins amid the jungles of Onderon, but formed a rebellion.
Early in the Clone Wars, the Separatist droid army was often led into war by analytically minded tactical droids. Before long, the Republic was able to outmaneuver the tactical droids by exploiting their reliance on precise calculation and lack of imagination when dealing with the unexpected. Furthermore, the droids were spindly mechanics whose heads could be yanked off and scoured for vital combat data. Super tactical droids, like General Kalani, were an improvement over the standard tactical droid. Kalani's advanced processors and robust frame made him a threat to be reckoned with.