Neimoidians are known for their business skills, but Nute Gunray, Viceroy of the Trade Federation, was more cutthroat than most. It was Gunray who conspired with the Sith Lord Darth Sidious to launch the blockade and subsequent invasion of Naboo. Once the planet was under siege, Gunray attempted to force Queen Amidala to sign a treaty that would legitimize the occupation. Amidala escaped, and returned to infiltrate her own palace and blast through Gunray's protectors. Arrested by Republic officials, Gunray was carted off to answer for his crimes, but evaded imprisonment and kept his post.
General Grievous was a brilliant Separatist military strategist and a feared Jedi hunter, known for his ruthlessness and hacking cough. His body itself was a weapon, allowing him lightning quick strikes and devastating blows. But he was also quick to run from a fight, a tactic that worked until one final meeting with Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Dr. Nuvo Vindi, a brilliant but demented Separatist scientist, tried to release the deadly Blue Shadow Virus during the Clone Wars. Working from a secret lab on Naboo, Dr. Vindi plotted a catastrophic outbreak that was foiled when the Republic found a cure before his virus could spread.
The unctuous captain of the Neimoidian blockade over Naboo, Dofine was an officer in the Trade Federation. Greedy, deceitful and cowardly, Dofine nevertheless had the wherewithal to openly question Darth Sidious' machinations, for which he was verbally reprimanded by the Sith Lord. Despite his insubordination, Dofine remained in command of the blockade's forces. He gave the order to activate the droids on the surface of Naboo. Dofine perished aboard the Droid Control Ship when Naboo starfighter forces destroyed the vessel.
One of the wealthiest corporate organizations in the galaxy, the Trade Federation controlled most of the interstellar shipping passing through the Rim territories. The Trade Federation was headed by Viceroy Nute Gunray, and even had its own representative in the Republic Senate to lobby for even greater power. On the orders of Darth Sidious, the Trade Federation sent its battle droids to invade Naboo to create a government crisis. During the Clone Wars, the Trade Federation secretly signed on as a member of Count Dooku's Separatist organization, though representatives in the Senate tried to deny this.
Rather than use flesh-and-blood warriors, the Separatists prefer mindlessly loyal soldiers that are unquestioning of orders, and easily controlled. The soulless ranks of their battle droid armies consists of tall, thin robotic soldiers with exposed joints and bone-white or rust brown metal finishes that gives them an eerie resemblance to animated skeletons. Battle droids are very efficient, and can be controlled from centralized command centers, like the enormous Droid Control Ships used by the Trade Federation. They are dim-witted, often suffering programming glitches that give them quirky personalities that are too slow to adapt to enemies like Jedi Knights and clone troopers.